After painting the Rogue Trader first releases, I have been in a more Sci-Fi mood. So the other week I submitted a small mail order to West Wind Productions for some of their Secrets of the Third Reich Range.
Their website can be found here:
I have wanted to buy some of these for a while. The premise of the game is that World War Two carried on beyond 1945 due to the development of advanced sciences and the use of Occult forces, and fits into the wider genre of 'Weird War Two' that has been gaining in popularity in the last few years. I could be wrong, but I think that West Wind were one of the first companies to pursue this genre.
A lot of the background is based on much of the well documented history written on what the Third Reich were up to with regards to technology, as well some of the more esoteric ideas surronding their Occult interests. I have'nt the space or time to go into everything, but it is fairly well known that the NAZI's were developing some very hi-tech technology, and that the SS had a interest in Volk-ish based Occultism and a pre-occupation with the Spear of Destiny. The Allies had interests in these areas too. In the UK there was Frank Whittle's Jet engine, enigma de-coding/computing, and in the area Occult with Churchill working with Mediums and Occultists.
Now I don't (yet) intend playing West Winds' game, but I wanted to collect and paint a semi Sci Fi/post apocalypse force along the lines of World War 2. I was'nt keen on collecting the NAZI's, but was drawn to the British and Commonwealth forces. West Wind also produce USA and Russian forces.
The design approach is to base the miniatures in a World War Two aesthetic, but to add more hi-tech elements. For the British this means the infantry dress in late war uniforms, but also with a degree of body armour. The weapons include an assault weapon version of the Bren Gun, an anti-Mech gun, and a magazine loaded mortar. The British infantry are armed with a carbine version of the Lee Enfield. Like some of the other forces, The British, have access to basic Mech Suits, and Occultists, but I have'nt purchased any of these as I just wanted to have the Infantry, and I was'nt too struck on the design of the Mechs.
Sculpting wise, the miniatures are basically World War Two British/Commonwealth miniatures, but with a form of body armour. They are supplied on 30mm lipped bases. Also, the miniatures come with seperate heads, which for the Secrets of the Third Reich range are gas mask wearing heads and wearing the Brodie (Trench) Helmet.
Price wise they are'nt too expensive, £1.75 per infantry man, and £6.50 to £8.00 per heavy weapon crew. Normal World War Two miniatures will be cheaper, but I liked the slightly different style from the Weird War Two look. If you are on a budget, then West Wind do sell packs of the seperate heads seperately for all the nations, and so could be used to convert up other normal World War Two ranges. Warlord games do plastic British and other nations, although I have no first hand knowlage of the miniatures themselves.
Most of the casting is good quality, although there were one of two miniatures with a few lumps of heavy flash. In addition the helmets on the seperate heads are'nt always crisp casts all the way around, and have a heavy cast line on the top which requires cleaning. In addtion I found the heads a pain to glue on. The heads need to be clipped from the sprues carefully to not destroy the pug needed to fix to the body, and some of the bodies require a little drilling. However, if you are used to basic modelling, there's nothing to worry about.
All in all, I am very pleased with them. They look great, and are fun and easy to paint. I still have about 50 of them to paint.
A little batch of British Infantry.
I went for the standard World War Two British paint scheme and decided
on 1940's, pre concrete cities, urban style bases,
with tiny bricks, barbed wire and mud.
There are four types of basic infantry with Lee-Enfield carbines.
He are two of them...
...and the second two.
All of the infantry have what at first look a little static poses, but with the posing of the heads, they look a lot more dynamic, advancing, and more battlefield aware.
Infantryman with an Assault Bren.
The Assault Bren seems to be a Weird War Two invention, a sort of 'sawn off' Bren Gun.
Vickers Heavy Machine Gun.
This is an unusual looking Mortar and is magazine fed. It does'nt look like the Mortar used by the British forces in World War Two, but does look a little like the Italian Brixia Mortar.
Rear view, showing the rear of the infantry body armour.
I had a 'spare' miniature from the Heavy Vickers Machine gun (yes, I know that in reality they had three crew but after years of 40k I thought two crew were enough. And anyway there's still a war on so manpower must be short!).
So, with the addition of a GW Catachan radio pack and using the radioman head from he command pack, I converted up a comm's trooper.
Close up of the barbed wire.
I bought two metres of this wire, snipped it to size, curled it around a paint brush handle, and glued them to the base. Then once dry I painted it brown and light drybrushed silver.
I bought some really tiny bricks, made from actual brick, from a dolls house supplier from e-bay. £9.99 for 250.
Ok, not a Secret of the Third Reich (well, probably not!), but a bit of fun.
I have several spare Rogue Trader 40k Orks, and have painted up this one in German colours, and based him up the same as the British. I have a vague plan to paint up the spare Orks (and, ahem, the few ones I have bought from e-bay recently) to act as a foe to the British. Also, like the solid bases Gnolls/Goblins, I wanted to paint up a few of these miniatures to on a more releastic paint scheme and on an individual basis.
Next update will be more of The Secrets of the Third Reich British, including a Warlord Games Sherman Firefly I bought yesterday and glued together this afternoon.
I will be getting back to painting Goblins in about a month or so.