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Thursday, June 8, 2017

Bolt Action - Hermann Göring Division Project

Gaz is a great mate of the BAA and recently approached me to see if he could write an article on the Herman Göring Division. The BAA is all about community content and I gladly accepted the offer and not long after he delivered this fine article. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did and if so please let Gaz know by commenting on the post to show your support for his first effort and cracking miniatures! Patch

With an upcoming theme event I had a chance to build and paint an army I’ve wanted to do since I started playing Bolt Action, the Hermann Göring Division (HG Division) in Italy 1944. Coming from an Airforce background I have always found it fascinating how other nations have utilised their own air forces.

People tend to think of all airmen being ace pilots battling gladiatorial duels in the skies, the reality being very different. The Luftwaffe, unlike the majority of other nations Air forces (I use this as a general term to include for example the USAAF) had at its disposal some very elite infantry and armoured units, such as the various Fallschirmjager regiments.

My focus has been on the regiment that bore the name of the Reichsmarschall, of which he was immensely proud. The HG Division was formed as a special Police unit before the war and numbered only 400 men but by the end of the conflict it had grown to a fully functioning armoured corp. The division got a reputation for hard fighting in the defence of Italy and famously protected the historic treasures in the Monte Cassino Abbey from certain destruction at the hands of the Allies.

I’ll be attending “End of the beginning 3”, run by Sam from the Down Order Podcast. The event is broken down into 3 theatres, Crete, North Africa and Italy, with all the armies and boards being themed on their specific theatre.

I’ve chosen the HG theatre selector from the Duel in the Sun book. The list is basically a sub selector from the Defence of Italy in the Armies of Germany book. It offers some interesting options that seem to be tailored for aggressive and fast play. To represent the armoured nature of the HG division the entire platoon must be mounted in transports (exactly the same way as an armoured platoon). The HG division was well known for its use of Flak artillery, especially mounted Flak, so the selector allows for one additional anti-aircraft artillery (AAA) unit and one additional vehicle mounted AAA unit. The HG division was made up of a lot of hardened veterans of North Africa, as such any Veteran Heer grenadiers may be upgraded to Fanatics.

The list I’ve chosen is what I think is a good themed list that is still viable “in game”:
-Veteran 2nd Leutnant, plus his aide
-5 Veteran grenadiers, fanatics, SMGs, 1 panzerfaust
-5 Veteran grenadiers, fanatics, SMGs, 1 panzerfaust
-8 Fallschirmjager, 7 SMGs, 1 panzerfaust
-8 Fallschirmjager, 7 SMGs, 1 panzerfaust
-Veteran Sniper team
-Regular Sd.Kfz 250/1 (recce)
-Regular Sd.Kfz 7/1 with flak 38
-Regular duel purpose flak 36

Modelling and Painting 

I knew even before I started which infantry figures I’d be choosing for the majority of the force, without a doubt my favourite company, Artizan designs. I love their infantry figures, the details on the equipment, faces, hands and weapons are crisp and well defined. Combined with the overall chunky look to them (chunky in a good way) they are truly a pleasure to paint. I try as much as I can to avoid repeating poses, so I ended up not taking 100% Artizan designs. My Flak 36 crew are from the Warlord set and some of the grenadiers and Fallschirmjager are from Crusader.

I’ve gone through a phase recently of near enough exclusively using the Foundry paint range. I was lucky enough to get some of the discontinued WW2 paint range which gave some really nice variation in the mass of khaki, olive green and sand yellow colours that inevitably ends up in most Bolt Action armies. For those who haven’t used the Foundry paints before they work on a 3 colour system, shade, colour and light. I find it a great way to paint as you don’t have to think too hard about colour selection for your shades and highlights.

I painted the Fallschirmjager In a mix of temperate and tropical kit, as was seen in the Italian theatre throughout 1944. All of them wear the iconic splinter pattern jump smocks, with a mix of tropical trousers and green wool trousers. As for the equipment I chose random colours from a pallet of greens and sandy shades.

 The HG division was issued with SS camouflage as well as Luftwaffe splinter camouflage, which makes for a very colourful and unique force with blue uniforms and beige and orange camouflage.
I wanted my grenadiers to look like veterans by making sure they stood out from regular German soldiers. Giving them worn looking, dusty and dirty gear makes them look a bit more grizzled.

As for the vehicles, the Sd.Kfz 250/1’s and the Opel trucks are from Rubicon. I found the kits to be pretty good with a high level of detail, I was disappointed however with the lack of detail on the crew supplied, they reminded me of the old Airfix kits I did as a child! So where I could I avoided using them. The Sd.Kfz 7/1 halftracks and the Flak 36 where both from Warlord, the resin parts where pretty slick.

I researched through the depths of my library, sat on the floor surrounded by various books looking through black and white photos and various colour plates, I finally decided on a scheme that would go across the whole force to unify everything, Generally speaking the vehicles are all a sand beige colour (Vallejo air German Pale Cam Brown, Sand Yellow and Sand Ivory) with some having camouflage work with in a dark green (Vallejo Air Dark Panzer Green). I found several different beige and green camouflage schemes used in Italy and applied them to several of the vehicles. I wanted to avoid over weathering the vehicles so only added slight dusting effects

I wanted the whole force to have a nice bright clean look. I’ve become bored of looking at army after army being dark shades of Khaki and OD green, don’t get me wrong if the army is historically accurate to its paint scheme, and that’s what you want, that’s fantastic. I like my armies to stand out from the crowd, and this can sometimes mean taking a bit of artistic license.

I’m very much looking forward to getting them on the field! (We might have to have Gaz come back soon and tell us all how he went - Patch)

 Article by Gaz Dafydd Walsh

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