January 09, 2014

Operation Squad WW2 - German Panzer Grenadiers

During the summer I went on a trip to PM Hobby, hoping to pick up some Gesso and ended up grabbing these Tamiya 1:48 scale Panzer Grenadiers on a whim (impulse buying at its finest). There are nine soliders plus three tank crew models in the box, as well as a vehicle driver and a seated officer. I haven't got any vehicles to put them in, but I'm thinking that maybe now I need one! I'll have to take a look at what kind of vehicles are available in the "Vehicles!" expansion for Operation Squad WW2.

One thing that I liked about this box was the instruction sheet. Being a war gamer, most of us get so accustomed to receiving a box or blister container filled with a bunch of random parts and simply being expected to 'figure it out'. I suppose part of that is the manufacturer giving you the freedom to construct the model(s) as you like but for beginners, or lazy people (that'd be me) detailed instructions are great.

The casting quality is ok, but the detail on the torsos and faces is a little soft. Construction was rather time consuming due all the small pieces for each figure. I clipped out and constructed them one figure at a time, which seemed the easiest route so as not to get all the tiny parts mixed up, or lost. Something to note is that there are only a few bases (odd shaped, flat ovals) included in the set, so you'll want to use your own. I've used some 25mm bases from my bits box so that they'll fit in better with my other models.

Something else I liked about this box, is that there are some examples of camouflage patterns that were worn by these fellows, and the instructions mark the figures with the appropriate Tamiya colours from their paint range. While I don't own any Tamiya paints, they provide some nice paint charts here. I wasn't interested in painting them in camo, instead opting for a much easier grey and black uniform scheme.

As downside to the figures is that they are definitely intended to be models and not gaming pieces. The barrels of the long rifles are very thin and will break off rather easily if not handled carefully. Since I'm not gaming with any kids, I hope they'll survive. I was a little concerned that the 1:48 scale wouldn't look right against my 28mm figures, but they stack up closely enough. If you hold a 28mm figure up right next to one of these you can tell they're not quite a match, but at two or three feet away on the table they look just fine.

For my $16, these were a great investment and I have added several more to my gaming collection (see here for my previously completed Russian Infantry). I'll be using these models for Operation Squad: WW2, because they look good and are a cost-effective, historically accurate option for the game.

Paint recipes:

- primed with white gesso (darkened with grey paint)
- flesh base coated with GW Tallarn Flesh
- all black uniform parts, boots, belts and leather painted with a mix of GW Black and Fortress grey
- washed with GW Badab Black
- flesh washed with GW Sepia

White-uniformed tank commander:
- painted white all non-flesh with white
- used above black/grey mix
- washed everything except flesh with Vallejo grey wash
- GW Badab black wash on boots and belt to darken again.
- silver touches on the hat, buttons and buckles

- base coated with AP Uniform Grey
- GW Boltgun metal for silver piping
- AP Undead Flesh for some equipment and socks
- GW brown on wood
- P3 Bloodtracker Brown on backpacks
- rifles GW Boltgun metal with P3 Armor Wash

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