Project 716 – Organising Infantry

Martin is back with an update on my D-Day German Beech Defenders of 716 Static Infantry Division for this summer’s Shoot & Scoot Patreon Day on June 8th. After what feels like an eternity of painting, (2 months to be precise) I have finally reached my goal of having a hundred points of models painted and am ready to start on team assembly. I’m going to share how I have gone about organising my models for my three Grenadier platoons on their bases.

Objectives

  1. I wanted to make my infantry look like they were covering the beach.
  2. I want to be able to distinguish between Rifle/MG and pure MG-armed platoons.

In previous versions of FOW Battlefront provided a more complex guide on how to base up certain types of teams so having been around a while I have got some useful resource material from older assembly guides to look back on. In 4th Edition standard German Infantry teams are all based with 4 Infantry figures per base but I have gone with something a bit old skool for Project 716. A key point to note here is that 716 ID had had the best of its fighting troops denuded from the regiments to feed the meat grinder of the Eastern Front which meant most platoons were far from full operating strength at the time of the D-Day landing.

Basing them?

For my two Rifle/MG platoons I have stuck with the standard v4 8 figures per section (or 4 per base) but rather than split them 4/4 I have chosen to make them a 3/5 split meaning that my NCO in each section is based along with the MG42 team giving me a 5 figure base whilst my other base has just the 3 riflemen. Having just the 3 figures on one base has allowed me a bit of extra base space to build up the front of the base as a firing position, made from foam core which I have topped with coils of barbed wire using some cocktail sticks to add the odd stake and a few sandbags (made from air dry modelling clay). With only 3 figures this prevents the base from looking too crowded. All my figures on these bases were chosen as they were in a firing pose or throwing grenades. My other base contains figures almost exclusively moving forward there is the odd exception mainly due to model availability. I picture these guys as hearing firing and coming forward from their resting position, moving up into the firing line to confront the Allied troops pouring onto the beach below them. These teams’ bases are conventional open-ground flat bases.

Ready for painting

For my MG-armed platoon, I have chosen to keep the 3 figure base with the built-up firing position but this time I used all my figures with SMGs in place of some of the rifle-armed figures and the 5-figure team has been reduced to the standard 4-figure base with extra ammo or MG42 carrying figures plus the NCO and an MG42 team giving the appearance of a more heavily equipped platoon despite having fewer figures, the missing figure from these teams mentally represents those whom have been sent east and makes the platoon look visually different.

Base all painted up

You might ask why no MG42s on my “front rank” teams? The simple answer is I couldn’t fit the firing posed 2 man team on with the way I wanted to build these so they are all on my “second rank” bases.

Each of my platoons has 2 Panzershrek teams and again I have tried to mix these up so some are advancing whilst those firing are positioned like my firing riflemen behind raised banks and wire. My attached HMG teams follow a similar set up I have modelled them all as if they are behind a prepared position firing on to the beach. These have been made from BBQ skewers and some air dry modelling clay.

Now with some added ground cover a 50/50 mix of beach sand and GF9 meadow blend flock

The final infantry platoon is my HQ and here I have had to raid the bits box so I can have one team, my Force Leader, positioned in a static set up with a radio operator (from the Open Fire Pak 40 crew) behind him as though commanding the overall operation whilst my 2IC team is made up of more dynamically posed figures as if leading reserves forward into firing positions mimicking the set up I have used for my three Grenadier Platoons.

All ready for the allied invasion

Thinking about which figures you want on each base and how and why they are there is a really good way to make your groupings of figures look a little more diorama-like, sure you could just stick them on in any general fashion but a little care can make a big difference to the overall look of your platoons. This is especially true with infantry where you have a broader selection of poses to choose from and a lot more of them to assemble.

A sneak peak of the entire Force enjoying the summer sunshine

Well, that’s it for this update hopefully it has provided a few ideas about how to base up your teams and how just a little thought about it can have a major impact on how they look once assembled. Onwards to D-Day, Martin.

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