Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Confessions of a Compulsive Modeler

Anyone who's seen my 653rd Schwere Panzerj√§ger conversions knows I'm a sucker for visually unique armies.  Part of the reason I play German forces so frequently is the wide range of crazy vehicles they fielded during World War II.  Truth be told, the sickness started long before I found Flames of War because you see I'm also a model builder.  I brought that world over with me to miniatures wargaming.  The net effect is I finish fewer armies than I'd like, and most are never "out of the box."  That also means I probably don't have the best "tournament winning" army - but dang it I look GOOD losing. 

As Battlefront enters the "home stretch" in World War II, I'm lining up the list of "stuff I'd like to do" in 15mm using Battlefront miniatures as a starting point.  Right now the list is fairly extensive and will likely take me years to complete, but the end result should be very satisfying.

Given the release of the Jagdtiger list, I really want to convert a couple to the Porsche suspension version to add character to the 653rd list.  The miniature as depicted works great for the 512th, but the 653rd had more variety.  This is at the top of my list, but the conversion is non-trivial as the Porsche suspension version needs not only new running gear, but zimmerit on the hull as well.

With the re-release of the mid-war monsters, there are several minis I'd like to build from the Tiger (P) - including an updated Tiger (P) late, another Bergetiger (P), and both versions of the VK 4502 which I could run as a proxy for Tiger II's.

With the release of the non-zimmerited Tiger II, I'd also like to do an E-50 and E-75.  Yes, I know Heer 46 has them - they're not accurate based on my drawings.  The Forged in Battle ones are better, but still have some issues on the front hull.  Of course, once those are done - I'd like to do an E-10 and E-25, but those would be far more hard core scratchbuilds.

On a less exotic front, Battlefront has provided a very nice final production Panther G without zimmerit.  They have also given us a very nice initial production Panther G with zimmerit.  Unfortunately there are a lot of units that fielded vehicles without zimmerit, but lacking many of the "final production" features.  I'm hoping to make up a few of these as well which will involve some mantlet sculpting, rear deck changes, and exhaust modifications.  Once I have that together, I'll likely make an F with Schmalturm as well.

... and somewhere in all of this I'm going to finish up my Flakpanzer T34 and 39H OP.

So that's my "vision" - anyone else have "big plans" they want to share???  Confession is good for the soul, I'm told.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Market Garden Compilations for Flames of War

So I don't have my grubby hands on the final product yet, but unless you've been under a rock you know that Battlefront is in the process of releasing their new Market Garden Compilation.  Given that the original releases were a bit Spartan; these new books really flesh out the force lists and provide a much greater variety for both Allied and German commanders.  I didn't work on play-testing this particular project, but I did actually do some research and writing for the German compilation, Bridge by Bridge.  Big thanks to Mike Haught for the shout out in the design notes!

One thing that this project taught me is no matter how big my library is, and no matter how much I think I know about German operations in World War II, there is always more to learn!  I had to scour my library and the web to find the background for several unit histories, and then I had to try and work out contradictions in those references.  Overall it was an incredibly enjoyable project and I really look forward to playing some new armies out of the book.

I'll probably try and field the 559. Schwere Panzerj√§ger Abteilung list (and not just because I wrote the history).  I've always loved the Jagdpanther, and this list has some interesting flexibility with the inclusion of the Stug III.  Panzer Brigade 107 is also an interesting choice, and would certainly make a nice "bad guy" to play against a 101st Airborne force.