Friday, 30 August 2019

MG 08/15's and British Para

One option for a German force in the 1940 Blitzkrieg handbook for Chain of Command is the use of the iconic WW1 vintage MG08/15 for lower quality troops. As there's currently no manufacturer out there doing Wehrmacht figures armed with that venerable piece of equipment I had to resort to WW1 Germans from Renegade Miniatures. Great War Miniatures also offer a set with beautifully sculpted MG08/15's with crew but these are unfortunately sporting putties instead of jackboots unlike the Renegade ones. So being neither skilled nor patient enough to pull of greater works of conversion I settled on the Renegade figures. They received simple head swaps and most of their telltale WW1 equipment was filed off and replaced by bits from various plastic German sprues by Warlord Games. Good enough for gaming purposes.


The MG  08/15 was a development of the MG 08, the German derivate of the famous and ubiquitous Maxim machine gun. The MG 08/15 was intended to be used in a light machine gun role like the British Lewis gun. But unlike its British counter part it was still relatively heavy, weighing in at 19,5 kg and thus barely suited for its intended role. Still about 130.000 pieces were produced during the Great War making it the most numerous German made automatic weapon by then. In fact it was regarded as so ubiquitous an item that even today we Germans tend to say something is "0815" (spoken as nullachtfuenfzehn) when we think it's absolutely ordinary.


After the war the MG 08/15 was also used by Reichswehr and the Wehrmacht. It was gradually replaced in active units with the beginning of the arrival of the MG 34 in 1936. I've not come across any sources indicating their use during the Polish campaign but it definitely saw service during the 1940 Blitzkrieg in France. It was used mostly by lower quality troops as well as static troops on the Westwall. But even in 1941 there were several reserve units on the Eastern Front still equipped with the MG 08/15. Also late in 1944, early '45 it was dragged out of storage again to equip the various Volkssturm formations during the Reichs last death throws.


A figure I wanted to paint for a while now was the "limited" Para figure which came with the first version of the Bolt Action rulebook when ordering directly from Warlord Games. It's modeled by that absolute genius Mr. Hicks and it was only recently I was able to track one down. Actually is was gifted to me by a member of the German Sweetwater Forum.  I haven't done much work on my Para force lately but with a Arnhem supplement for Chain of Command on the horizon I might actually rectify this sad state of affairs. I certainly enjoyed painting these little fellas quite a bit.


Thanks for popping by and till next time!

19 comments:

  1. Lovely units, great details!

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  2. Superbly done, nice to see a bit of obsolete kit being fielded.

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  3. love the early war MG and your painting is always outstanding
    cheers John

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  4. Always incredible brushwork Nick. Great work!!

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  5. Great stuff, I am nowhere near your standard, but I still find it inspirational.

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  6. Fantastic work once again! I love those conversions on the germans, really adds a special flavour and a bit of variety! Painting is excellent as usual with very nice colours!

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  7. Lovely work on the MG.08/15 teams and Denis-on.
    I was thinking myself how to do MG.08/15 as I've already done a load of the Great War WWI figures with them.

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  8. Excellent Stuff! Beautiful painting

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  9. Splendid... I really like the Para’s

    All the best. Aly

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  10. Despite it being a simple conversion - by your own high standards - these still look stunningly good.

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  11. Fantastic painting. The MG is a nice conversion.

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  12. Excellent Nick! Those small conversions worked out perfect! I am looking forward to the release of Market Garden which should be fun to play.

    Christopher

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  13. Lovely pair of paras but the heavy/ light machine gun is ace,it looks like a light machine gun designed by GW!
    Best Iain

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  14. Beautiful work as always. I hope the following will be of help for future work.

    From 1930 the Reichswehr had the magazine-fed MG13 as the standard light machine gun, until its replacement by the MG34. I was surprised that it was omitted from the 1940 book for reserve and 'new' units.

    The expansion of the Army after 1934 did lead to older weapons being pressed into service; but even the 1916 Stahlhelm features in photos, worn with the new uniform and with 'long' Mausers carried.

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    1. Thanks for the info Harlequin! While I was aware of the MG 13 I didn‘t realize it was in such widespread use. I always thought it was more or less restricted to the cavalry as replacements for the MG 08/15‘s they had on „loan“ from the infantry.
      Actually it should be quite easy to kitbash as well. Marrying the main body of a MG 34 with the stock of either a Panzerbüchse or a Boys. Only the magazine would require a little more thought I guess.

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  15. Love the inclusion of the 08/15! What a hulking beast. The Para vignette is stunning.

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  16. Stunning brushwork again, Nick!

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  17. Sorry Nick, I thought I had previously left a comment but having just come back for another visit, I can see that I haven't.

    I never considered Renegade Miniatures as I thought they were on the large side and not compatible but I can see now that I was mistaken, as they look perfect with your excellent conversion work carried out on them.

    An informative post once again Nick and a very inspirational early war collection.

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