Friday, 1 July 2016

Heer and Gebirgsjäger Paint Scheme Tests

The painting bureau is currently covered in a whole bunch of Poles and progress is good. I have almost completed the figures required for the Operation Squad game I have planned. The Poles will, however, need an opponent. To that end I have started thinking about the Germans. 

Now, I have never painted German infantry before, so this is new territory for me. That said, of all the belligerent nations of World War II the forces of the Third Reich are well provisioned with painting guides and I have saved myself from the insanity of painting awesome looking, but suicide inducing, German camouflage! 

Luckily the Early War German army has a sharp and simple colour scheme that shouldn't prove too time intensive. The most useful resource in this instance was from the Flames of War website, who have this rather handy pictorial guide:

Copyright Battlefront
I decided to do one Gebirgsjäger trooper (a Black Tree Design figure) and one regular Heer infantryman (from Crusader Miniatures). The Crusader fellow is a tad taller and bulkier than the Black Tree fellow, but they seem happy enough alongside each other. 

The Heer chap is sporting the standard tunic, while the mountaineer is wearing his reversible anorak. This was white on one side and grey on the other. The cool thing about the Gebirgsjäger is the variety of their uniforms. They are quite an "ally" outfit, as the photos below attest:

During the research phase for this project I spent an awful lot of time trawling for photos or drawings of German mountain troops. And I found a few colourised ones. The one above is from the Caucasus, so after Barbarossa was launched.

The photo below is from Austria in 1939. It is clear that these chaps weren't much for regulation kit, and I love the way that colours change almost randomly. 

The drawing below is a helpful painting aid for the wargamer keen to field Gebirgsjäger

Additionally, I used this fine little volume to help me along.

Using all the information I had gathered I had a go at painting both the miniatures and ended up with this:

The photos aren't that great, just some quick snaps on my iPhone, but I think it get across the idea of the uniform. I am quite pleased with the results, although the basing isn't done yet. Once they are complete I will drag out the lightbox and take some better pictures. 

I will cover my method in a separate post later, but in simple terms I simply blocked the colours, then washed with black ink, followed by a highlight. I did a little lighter highlight on the green of the collar, helmet, and gas mask canister. I also realise that I haven't highlight the black yet, but that is just a case of completion really. For the purposes of a test model I am quite happy with the results I have achieved. 

I have decided to stick to do the bases of my Germans similar to those of the Poles, though I think the Gebirgsjäger will likely be a little more rural. As usual, the author is grateful for the opinions of readers.