Sunday, 6 November 2011

15mm Stalingrad armies for Crossfire

A Soviet company (top) and a German company (bottom): all you need for a good game of Crossfire. The infantry are by Peter Pig. The Soviet A/T guns are 45mm obr 1943 and the German A/T guns are 75mm Pak 97/38, and are all from Battlefront Miniatures.

The Soviet T-34s (left) are the STZ (Stalingrad factory) variant. The German  assault guns (right) are the monster StuIG33B. The T-34s are finished in a burnt orange colour representing red lead primer. Legend has it that T-34s were rushed to the front from the factory unpainted.  The colour coincidentally blends in with the crushed brick terrain. All AFVs are by Battlefront Miniatures.

15mm Crossfire - Stalingrad games

May 2011 game
These shots are of a Crossfire 'Stalingrad' game played at my local club in May 2011. The home-made foamboard buildings have undergone some trauma and need patching up in places. If I was making these again I'd make them slightly smaller (3" x 3" modules) and add some rubble on the outsides. If I did this now the 4" x 4" structures wouldn't fit in the Really Useful Boxes in which I store and transport them.

The Soviet left flank. Note the T34 (Stalingrad variant) straight from the factory! The colour represents red lead primer and is coincidentally good camouflage against the red brick rubble. 

15mm Crossfire - foamboard buildings for Stalingrad

I used foamboard (foamcore) to produce some 15mm buildings for my Stalingrad project. Many wargames use templates for built-up areas. The buildings are purely aesthetic and are moved around or even removed when the areas are occupied by troops. For Crossfire I wanted some multi-storey structures with individual footprints of about 4"/100mm into which elements (representing squads) could actually be placed. I bought some readymades but I also decided to make some ruined and semi-ruined buildings from foamboard. There are lots of good articles on the Web to which I am indebted. This is just an account of my personal approach. Foamboard has a layer of foam sandwiched between two layers of card and can be bought in 3mm and 5mm thicknesses from art shops for as little as £2 for an A3 sheet. After some experiment, I developed the following procedure.

Design the buildings on a computer. I use CorelDraw and allow a basic height of 30mm per storey for 15mm scale. Print out the designs and trim to size with scissors. Stick the print-outs to the foamboard using Spraymount. The model illustrated is actually a double unit (4" x 8").

15mm Crossfire - Stalingrad

Inspired by Steven Thomas' '2 foot city scenario' for Crossfire, my 'Stalingrad' project involves small German and Russian forces (15mm Peter Pig figures) and an extensive cityscape. I'm using some J R Miniatures buildings from Magister Militum and some generic ruins from Ironclad Miniatures, but most of the buildings are scratchbuilt using modular foamboard units.

These pictures show the cityscape as originally envisaged. Unfortunately, placing figures within the mult-storey buildings proved to be fiddly, confusing (the bases got lost) and complex (house rules were needed). At first I separated the floors and used all the buildings as single-storey, but this didn't look right. Finally, I stuck the buildings back together.

My cityscape now consists of rubble areas interspersed with buildings, and I will add some pictures of these in a later post. Bases are placed only on the top floors. A single-storey building accommodates two squads with an extra squad allowed for each extra storey. This allows the buildings with more floors to be occupied by stronger forces. Gameplay is otherwise exactly as in the basic rules.

The '2 foot city' in progress.

Followers