Thursday, 25 December 2014

From MilesR: 28mm DAK Starter Army (320 Points)

First of all, Merry Christmas from St Michaels, MD to all of the Challenge participants and your families.  I hope each and everyone of you is enjoying a wonderful holiday.

My next submission is a 28mm "Starter" Afrika Corps army for either Bolt Action or Chain of Command.  I still need to add a few support unit options but the bulk of the force is done.  I tried a new speed painting method and managed to get the entire force painted in 3 days.

First up are 38 Perry plastic infantry from their box set.  As proven by past posts, I'm a big fan of the Perry plastics and these are really nice minis.  There is a good selection of poses and assembly time was very fast.   The uniforms are a bit of a mix of styles but the predominant colors are Vallejo Green-Brown and Iraqi Sand.  After doing a giant Napoleonic unit, returning to WW2 uniforms was a pleasant break.

Next up is a recon platoon made up of 3 8-Rads.  The models are resin casts with metal detail parts and come from Warlord.  To be honest, the resin casting quality was very poor and there was a good bit of repair / filing required to get parts to fit well.  The crewman is a converted figure from the initial Warlord plastic german set.

 I usually play Bolt Action for WW2 skirmish games and really like the 8-Rad - more from its iconic shape rather than how it performs in a game.

I use the tank commander figure to designate which vehicle is the command tank.  That reduces the chance my opponent gets confused as to which unit is which during a game.

The real punch for this forces comes from a platoon of 3 Panzer III J's.  These are the new plastic kits from Rubicon Models. Overall, I really prefer these models over their resin counter parts and would rate them a 9.5 out of ten.

The only criticism is that some of the deck details (tools, tow cables are a bit on the faint side and are difficult to paint).  Ohh those tow cables were really hard to paint (hence all the stowage on the back).

Like the 8-Rad platoon, the crewman is a converted Warlord Plastic figure who is urging his charges onward.  He kind of reminds me of a German character from the 1960's series "Rat Patrol".  Let's hope his table top shooting is better than his TV counterparts!

I've been very impressed with the Rubicon models and look forward to building a few other tanks from their line.  There are rumors that this force may even receive a Tiger tank in the near future.

The tarps either metal castings or some roll up tissue paper soaked in diluted white glue.  I'll be adding a lot more stowage to both the Panzer III's and 8-Rads once I source some 28mm Jerry cans and ammo boxes.

A bit more recon in the form of two motorcycles with side cars.  The models are from Warlord and while a tad fiddly to assemble are very nice.

In Bolt Action - motor cycles with side cars are a great little unit - they're cheap, fast, and effectively, a mobile machine gun nest.
In terms of additional units to be added to this force it will be mostly support choices - some medium mortars, artillery, a few machine guns and a few trucks for the infantry to trundle around in.
One great aspect of the Rubicon Panzer III kit is the decal sheet - it's very large and has lots of options.  I was able to do the decals for all 8 vehicles in this submission from one sheet plus a handful of crosses from a second.  As you can see from the photo there are a lot of decals left over and I've got a full third sheet!

Another nice thing about the decals is you can make a platoon of up to four vehicles with the sequential insignia numbers.

A frustration I have with most 28mm vehicle kits is a lack of decals - with the Rubicon kits that isn't a problem and the left overs take up the slack for Warlord, Company B and/or Blitzkrieg.  I highly recommend the Rubicon Models plastic kits.

Oops, in the decal picture you can see my makeshift paint pallet - it's the flat back portion of a clamshell package.  I use the deeper front half to mix washes or hold glue.

I use a "new" paint pallet for every project as I do keep a notebook on what paints/shades I've used to help me remember when I add on at a later date and having the pallet helps to remind me of the colors.

One addition that might be interesting is for each of the Challenge participants to post pictures of their paint stations and/or discuss their favorite technique or tool - perhaps at the conclusion of the challenge.  I'm always fascinated to see how others approach the hobby and given the quality of the submissions, I have a lot I can learn from all of you.

OK, this little submission should net a total of 320 points, based on the following:

38 infantry figures                   190 Points
3 x 8-Rads                                 45 Points
3 x Panzer III's                          45 Points
2 Half crewmen                          5 Points
2 Motor Cycles +2 crew, each  35 points (10 for each cycle, 5 for the drivers and half for the sidecar crewmen)

From Curt:
Wow, an incredibly impressive entry Miles! You certainly are firing on all cylinders this year as your pace is blistering.  I must say that even though those 8-Rads were an apparent bugger to prep and assemble, the final product looks excellent. I'm also quite impressed with these Rubicon kits.  As Kevin and I were mentioning earlier, it's annoying to have to source decals from a third party after paying good money for a 28mm resin kit. These Rubicon sheets look very impressive (I really appreciate the consecutive turret numbers for those working on complete troops/platoons of tanks). 
Just as a suggestion Miles, you might want to experiment with a light drybrush of a light khaki or stone grey to reinforce the impression of the dust and grit that, from photos from the period, seems so pervasive.
Great idea on the hobby areas. I'll have to make up a post showing my hobby nook as I too am always curious how/where people do their magic. 
Well done Miles! 


  1. I'm sorry but I couldn't paint this quick of these miniatures were 6mm scale!?! Absolutely stonkingly mad!! I love it!!! Superb entry and a points bomb which I'm sure will leave many of us utterly speechless and dumbfounded. Well done, Sir :-)

  2. "Starter for 320?" Haha! Miles, I can almost hear your spreadsheet groaning under the weight of that points bomb mate.

    They're absolutely gorgeous and remind me I've got a pile of 15mm DAK to turn my hand to at some point soon.

    The PIIIJ is a cracking looking tank isn't it? FWIW, I agree with Curt, a quick drybrush of something one or two shades lighter would be a good idea.

  3. Great entry. Love the bikes. That's put the cat amongst the pigeons

  4. Clearly a very impressive entry. Huge respect to you for that. And clearly the way to paint an army .

  5. Wow that's an impressive entry! Great work all around!

  6. Now that's a proper points bomb! Great job Miles.

  7. I'm sorry, did you say 3 days? 3 days!?!? Colour me impressed, a fantastic looking force all ready for the tabletop.

  8. Great entry, with fantastic painted model. The DAK platoon is very interesting.

  9. Lovely work and just three days? I surrender ;-)


  10. Thanks for the very kind comments. It was a lot of fun to do the force in a single push but I think I'll be adopting a slower pace for a bit, I will try the dry brush method suggested by Curt and Mr Millsy.

    My burst of speed is due entirely to the power of the spreadsheet - "All Hail Excel!"


    1. I'd second (fourth??) the suggestion of a light dry brush of something dusty, but have to say that those III's are just lovely!

  11. Looking good. An impressive amount of work for three days effort.

  12. stunning overall view. everything looks unified whole, and it's great

  13. Very fine and an impressive points bomb. Good tip on the pallets - might borrow that as I also use blisters.

  14. for a starter, it's a starter ! what the other part of the meal will be? ;-)
    there is also sides! it's cool!
    great points bombing!

  15. Nice Point Bomb! Beautiful paint on them too! I was spread thin getting that Red Platoon done! Really good job and worthy of any table! A quick drybrush or two on the armor will only make them better! ;)

  16. Lovely stuff you have on show here! In just three days I'd never get a third of that done. So my hat off to you Sir.

  17. Stunning work. I always mean to keep a notebook, but always get carried away with the painting. Perhaps I should share my travel kit.

  18. Very impressive points bomb for 3 days' work :)

  19. Points. Bomb. And bad casting or no, it's impossible for 8-rads to look anything less than awesome. Great work all around!