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Monday, December 8, 2014

Bolt Action - Hungarian Officers and Veterans

Hi guys, welcome to the second installment of modelling and painting a Royal Hungarian Army platoon. Last time I gave a guide to getting the bulk of your force, the regular infantry, on the table. Now, it's time for some Officers to lead them as well as some ideas for late war Veteran troops.

With the officers you can really add a lot of Hungarian flavour to the look of your force. The officers uniforms is where they differ most from the Germans and there is a large variety of unique styles from the different branches of the Honved (army). It's also good because the conversions or specific miniatures needed are low in number, being the HQ units only. Once again I used reference to research the look I wanted, mostly from "Hungarian Army Uniforms 1939-1945"

High ranking Hungarian officer uniform reference that influenced my conversion.

Simple head swaps and added mustaches 

Captain, Motorised infantry

This is my 'senior' Officer, I want him to be able to be fielded as anything from a 1st Lieutenant, Captain or even Major (maybe, one day!). So I went for a distinctive lighter coloured tunic and the red stripes on his trousers like in the reference photo. The miniature is converted from an Artizan Designs German officer, simply swapping the head for a Warlord Games Belgian head (wearing a 'bonnet de police') I just love the head sculpt, the mustache and wise look to it make this officer look senior. I also added some binoculars from a spare plastic set I had on hand.

Painting wise I used the same colour steps as the regular infantry in the previous article but the Tunic was of course unique. This is a base coat of VJ974 Sky Green. Highlighted by mixing in VJ837 Pale Sand in increasing amounts. His collar tabs and shoulder boards are blue for the Motorised branch of the army.

Officer of the Motorised Infantry sporting the distinctive leather jacket of armoured and motorised troops

Lieutenant, Motorised Infantry

Next up is my junior officer, most likely being run as a 2nd Lieutenant. This guy is done up in the distinctive leather jacket common to the armoured and motorised forces. The base of the figure is another Artizan Designs German officer from their 'Thrilling tales' range. The leather coat was painted on and required no conversion other than removing the eagle on the breast pocket. The head is from a Warlord Games German in a side cap, with a mustache sculpted on. One of the main reasons I chose these two officer figures is for the distinctive shape of the trousers. I don't know what the specific name is for them, but it's the one where the thighs bulge out! I think you could easily use most early war German officer miniatures as the basis for your Hungarian ones.

Reference material on Recce Battalion uniforms and equipment

Veterans, Reconnaissance Battalion

The Hungarian army of the second world war included a variety of elite troops including it's Mountain Divisions, Hussar Cavalry and Assault Artillery crews. Any of which will ad lot's of variety and modelling options to your platoon. I'll be adding these latter. While researching the Hungarian army I stumbled across another unit of Veterans that I hadn't heard about previously, the Reconnaissance Battalions.I have found plenty of photo reference but not much information on them. From what I can tell they are bascially the infantry's own scout troops from 1944 onward and were lavishly equipped with all manner of German small arms. What I love about them is how their reversible camo snow suits give them a unique look. These suits were apparently quite rare, reserved only for the elite. It's also good to have variety in my painting to keep it interesting.

The first squad of Recce Battalion veterans loaded up with Panzerfausts

To model these elite reconnaissance troops I once again used the Artizan Designs range winter Germans. The only converting I did was to add a couple of mandatory mustaches. I also ended up adding some more Panzerfausts, 3 per squad, as I want these guys to be getting up close and personal with the enemy. I grabbed these from The Assault group's range of WW2 weapons. I am inspired by Jud's listing ideas for using dedicated squads loaded up with Panzerfausts to take out tanks, rather than just sprinkle out 1 'Faust per squad. Of course these recce troops have a fair amount of SMG's for this close in work as well.

A second squad of Recce Battalion converted up from Artizan Designs winter Germans

Ok, for those of you who know the Hungarian list you'll already be asking where these elite troops are...sorry folks, they don't appear specifically. I guess you could run them as the generic 'Veteran' infanty entry in the list, which I will sometimes. But for some reason, known only to Poseidon himself, Veteran Hungarian infantry do not have access to Panzerfausts and only a max of 2 SMG's per squad. So, to get the most out of my Recce Battalion squads I will end up running my army using the German list in some games.

The new colours needed to paint Recce Battalion troops
I really had fun painting these troops. I have already given a step by step guide on how to paint regular Hungarian troops, so use that to start with to paint the helmets, trousers, weapons and equipment.

So, to build on this initial guide, simply add on this process for the reversible snow suits and white washed helmets.

Step by step painting of the reversible snow suit

1) Basecoat of VJ894 Russian Green. 
2) Wash with Army painter strong tone ink
3) Paint on VJ894 Russian Green, leaving the crevices and shadows.
4) Highlight 60/40% VJ894 Russian Green and VJ974 Sky Green
5) Highlight 40/60% VJ894 Russian Green and VJ974 Sky Green

The white washed helmets had chipping added by carefully sponging on green paint 
Next, paint the helmets and jacket lining (around the cuffs and hood) with VJ876 Brown Sand. Highlight up through with VJ837 Pale Sand and then to pure white. Once at the white stage, it's good to use several watered down coats of white to keep it smooth rather than one thick coat which will leave a rough texture to the finish.

Last, grab a piece of foam like you get in a blister pack. Tear off one corner and dip it into some VJ887 Brown Violet, wipe most of it off and then, with hardly any paint on it, dab it lighlty around the edges of the helmet to simulate chipping. See the detail pics above.

My platoon features two squads of 7 of these elite troops for my assault work, to back up the 5 or so squads of regular troops.

Next time I will be giving a basic painting guide for the resin Hungarian tanks made recently by Mad Bob miniatures.

As always, join me on the forums and I'll be happy to answer any questions or talk Hungarians!

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