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The Road to Stalingrad, Part Five

Fear not loyal readers of Lard Island News, my recent silence has not meant that I have been caught by the NKVD and put up against a wall, but that I have been hugely busy with the Stalingrad project as I now have just one week left to get the game onto the table (more on that soon, but suffice to say that exciting things are afoot!).

My German Engineers platoon is complete apart from the helmet decals which I ordered from Warlord so I am hoping they will arrive soon so that I can unveil my new army and it support options.  I’m now painting the Soviets and continuing to build my Russian village and Collective Farm.  More on that soon.

As a quick update, I thought I’d show you what I am doing for Shock markers as I have decided not to just use micro-dice for this, but have ‘graduated’ to some rather funky dials which our chum Colin at Charlie Foxtrot kindly gave me a while back and which have been languishing in my bits box ever since.

The dial is four piece of MDF which fit together to allow a central dial to be turned round and a number shows through a little window.  The beauty of this system is that I can make a little vignette of wounded or dead chaps to adorn them.  As one chum put it a ‘dial-a-stiff’ marker.

Here are some being prepared for my Soviet forces.

Here you can see that I have decorated the bases with some 1st Corps casualty figures.  I have also added a few weapons and additional bits of kit from a Tamiya 1:48 pack of Soviet infantry.  I find that 1:48 is close enough to 28mm that you can really not tell the difference once it is painted up and a pack of infantry of any nation will allow you LOTS of modelling bits which will come in handy when doing projects like this.

Anyway, for my German casualties I used metal figures from Black Tree Designs.  They provided a pack of five figures which I supplemented with a sitting wounded figure the origin of which escapes me.  As you can see below, I added some plastic bits from my Warlord early war infantry before adding sharp sand to the base.

As you can see, these poor chaps are pretty badly wounded; one has his leg blown off, the other his arm.  Now I am not queasy about such gory detail, but the loss of limbs by servicemen in recent conflicts to IEDs does make me feel a bit uncomfortable about showing this in a game setting.  I resolved to replace the missing limbs from my 1:48 parts.  You can see this below as well as the green stuff I have used to make repairs.  The grey boot on the chap on the right does show hoe well the 1:48 stuff fits in.

I then added some bricks to the bases made from spare MDF bits from buildings.  I want these models to look okay in both and urban and rural environment which is a pretty big challenge.  At this point I hit a real problem.  Despite the fact that I had been very careful to only get glue on the top of the dials, half of them had seen some seepage and the dials didn’t work.  The only option was to gat a knife out and split the top layer off.  The image below shows that this involves some damage.

LESSON LEARNT:  Model the top disc first before sticking the dials together.

With this done, I could undercoat the relevant bits only with no fear of paint clogging up the mechanism.

Okay, no need to show you how to paint figures, suffice to say that I found it easier to paint the bases first before moving on to the figures.  I went with dry brushes of brown, khaki, stone grey, brick red (actually red leather) and finally white.  The bricks, I (obviously) painted brick red.  

With the figures painted, I varnished the models and then added some clumps of grass.  I then stuck the dials together and, without coming near the paint and glue, they work perfectly.   

If you’re interested in getting these you can find them at Colin’s web site here:  Shock Dials

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4 Responses

  1. Greg Padilla says:

    Very nice! Gotta have the dead dudes. So I use the dial s from Warbases as they go up to “12”. If a unit has 12 shock they are in bit of trouble…but we have done that a few times. I experimented with a couple of shock dials to accommodate some dead horses…can be used for any mounted troops for CoC or SP2. I didn’t know 1st Corps did casualty guys…I do like the Soviets…nice mix. Oh, I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses the helmet decals too…I also use the shoulder patches and ranks as well. Good show!

  2. Doug says:

    I have a range of them using the Warbases dials. I have Napoleonic ones using the dead plastic Perry people, and for my AWI stuff used generic farmhouse animals.

  3. "Fingers" Lane says:

    Quote: “As you can see, these poor chaps are pretty badly wounded; one has his leg blown off, the other his arm. Now I am not queasy about such gory detail, but the loss of limbs by servicemen in recent conflicts to IEDs does make me feel a bit uncomfortable about showing this in a game setting. I resolved to replace the missing limbs from my 1:48 parts.”

    Interesting moral quandary here: realism versus taste.

    So, it’s alright to litter our model battlefields with corpses in agonised and contorted poses, just as long as those corpses are intact and not missing any limbs…?

    So, the portrayal of mutilation is more repugnant than the portrayal of death itself?

    I wonder what art historians would have to say about this?

    I’m aware of some wargame figure manufacturers that sell models of crucifixions, impalements or people being roasted or boiled alive or Einsatzkommando shooting (Jewish?) civilians in the back of the head.

    (I can name the guilty parties, if anyone is interested).

    If you mention anything like this in an article draft submitted to a wargames magazine, then it’s likely to get censored out.

    (e.g. a Lard Island Twitter post last year denounced a Bolt Action competition gamer at Donington for wearing an Allgemeine SS officer’s cap, but I wager that would never be allowed into Richard Clarke’s regular column for a commercial magazine).

    So, I’d be grateful for some more thoughts from Lard Island on such issues.

    Not that I’m relying on the Too Fat Lardies for moral guidance, but it would be reassuring to see more wargamers defying the currently fashionable conspiracy of silence on matters of moral scruples.

    That would make it more difficult for the amoral, anti-intellectuals to slap down anyone that dares to raise moral issues with the usual dismissive post-modernist bromides.

    Of course, I could always write an opinion piece of my own for publication by TFL, if that’s not considered getting too ‘heavy’.

  4. Big Rich says:

    Well, you raise some interesting points. I suppose that this is a matter of personal preference. As stated in the piece, I feel uncomfortable about showing figures with limbs blown off, so I amended the figures to reflect that; it’s a s simple as that, I was simply expressing a personal preference.

    As it happens, I have written at least twice about Nazi uniforms at wargames shows and on neither occasion were my comments favourable. As to the photo on Twitter, I did not ‘denounce’ anyone. I merely took a photo of a wargames competition. People could draw their own conclusions from the image. I would certainly speak out very loudly were I to see a company manufacturing figures of Einsatzkommando figures.

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