I’m a bit of a newb for 20th century 28mm stuff. Having only done 15mm or 1/300th WW2 before I’ve recently started scratching together some Germans for Chain of Command.

Warlord Games

A really good range here, designed to match their game Bolt Action. The upshot of this is you can get everything you’d need to slap a complete force onto the table. Plastic infantry box sets, metal support weapons and loads of vehicles are available.

Their Panzergrenadiers boxed set isn’t much good for Chain of Command. A German player just isn’t likely to have enough support to field three Hanomags in a CoC game. Pity.

Their metal infantry is very good IMO, some of the best. Almost no flash and barely a mould line to be seen. Poses and variety are excellent.

Warlord forward observer and medic

Warlord Games forward observer and medic (WIP)

German officer urges his troops on. Nice mini I reckon

Warlord Games German officer urges his troops on. Nice mini I reckon

I’ve also got some of their plastic infantry. I bought the Pioneers boxed set, which is based on their Blitzkrieg infantry set. I’ve used them to make my dug in troops, and I’ve built up the engineers, just need to paint ’em.

As plastics go, they’re again very good, and the pioneers boxed set contains a bit of a treasure trove of extra bits, weapons, equipment, etc.

Artizan Designs

A reasonable range of late war Germans in metal. Quality is equally good as the Warlord stuff and they’re slightly cheaper, I bought most of my support weapons here. Highly recommended.

A nice comedy touch is that North Star Figures who distribute Artizan include a teabag in your first order, and link to how to make tea on their website. Read this one to the end! Nick Eyre seems to be on a bit  of a mission to spread the tea-drinkers gospel.

They also do tea-drinking miniatures, btw.

Wargames Factory

Cheap as chips. I went for one of their ridiculously cheap platoon boxed sets for the bulk of my main troops. At only £14 for 30 plastics from Scarab Miniatures I thought it was worth a punt.

They aren’t without issue though. The pic below shows some pretty blatant casting issues. A bit disappointing to be honest.

The belt of MG ammo on this body is just plain bad. Note the way the detail on belt extends down the side. This would look really obvious and terrible when painted. I've had to carefully file and scrape mine flat.

The belt of MG ammo on this body is just plain bad. Note the way the detail on belt extends down the side. This would look really obvious and terrible when painted. I’ve had to carefully file and scrape mine flat and cover the damaged area with pouches.

Some of the relief is also not well moulded, the stick grenade every man seems to have stuffed through his belt being a good example; it’s very flat.

 

Note the slightly awkward poses, and the flat detail of things like the grenades stuffed through the belts.

Note the slightly awkward poses, and the flat detail of things like the grenades stuffed through the belts.

 

The other issue is that each body and set of arms are matched. If you want to fit different arms (eg: different choice of weapons) to that that body is designed for you’ll need to be cutting, filing and filling gaps. Factor in considerable assembly time to get them how you want. It also begs the question that if the minis aren’t multi-pose, why bother with plastic? If the poses are fixed, why not just get metal and save yourself all that fiddling?

Once assembled the miniatures are realistically proportioned. They lack the exaggerated bulk that most metal 28mm figures have. This is good for realism, but can make them look a bit odd next to metals. I don’t find the posing very dynamic or lifelike either.

On the plus side the range of weapons and equipment is good. There are plenty of machine guns, which is handy as the Chain of Command list for late war Panzergrenadiers calls for two LMGs per section. Most companies do a metal line infantry section with one LMG, and only SFMGs as separate items (Artizan are one of the few to do extra 2-man LMG teams). Weapon options also include K98s (with or without schiessbecher), G43s, MP40s and side arms, but no StG44s.

There’s plenty of equipment in the kit too, such as pouches for SMG-equipped troops, machine gunners’ pouches, ammo cans, grenades, map cases, Panzerfausts, etc. There are three sprues with ten men each, and enough heads for them all to have helmets, plus two officers’ heads and three with caps. All the web kits are modelled with K98 pouches, with variations like MP40 pouches and gunner’s pouches simply glueing over the top of those. I like this. There is one problem child, body #1 which is intended to be an officer. However, unless you want 3 officers in a platoon you’re going to want to use this as an NCO or a private, but it lacks a web kit. You can at a pinch fudge it by loading it up with spare pistol holsters, map cases and SMG pouches and calling it an NCO, claiming that he’s using the internal suspension system of his tunic. A spare set of web kit (bread bag, water bottle, gas mask can, etc) on the sprue would have been more use than two officer heads IMO.

I may pick up some of the Warlord plastics for my pioneers and spare infantry, it’ll be interesting to see how they compare.

Despite some of the problems mentioned above I’ve used them a fair bit. I’ve now painted up enough metal miniatures from Artizan that I don’t need the plastics, but it’s handy to have spares for those big games or as extra squads.