Any time one of our Design Studio Painters brings a personal project of theirs into the studio, I simply have to collar them to talk about it. The combination of their skill level and passion always makes for truly spectacular miniatures or even entire armies, and Jamie Getliffe’s Winter Germans are no exception. As the proud owner of my own (albeit much less beautiful) Winter German army, I was determined to pick his brains and discover his secrets for myself (and then share them with you, because my Editor said I had to).

The German Heer (Winter) starter army boxed set is the ideal basis for an army. Indeed, With but a few additions, Jamie has made good use of almost all of its contents for his own force.

This project started about six months ago, when Jamie’s brother made a return to the hobby following a long period travelling the strange wilderness of non-wargaming pastimes. A fan of Enemy at the Gates (aren’t we all?) he went for a Soviet force… so naturally, Jamie had to get some Germans to play against them! As a man who likes a good research session, he went for a force that’s rather more historically themed than competitively optimised, based roughly on the 29th Motorised Infantry Regiment at Stalingrad. Handily, the Winter German Starter Army is a great jumping-off point for this kind of force, giving you plenty of what Jamie and I both agree is our favourite Bolt Action plastic infantry sprue.

Go onto any World War Two painting forum and ask about the best way to get your Feldgrau uniforms right. You’ll get about a thousand different replies (and that one tired jpeg showing all the variations in shade throughout the war), but Jamie’s recipe is both incredibly effective and almost unbelievably simple. It’s just Vallejo Field Grey, washed with diluted Army Painter Strong Tone, then highlighted up with a mix of Field Grey and a tiny amount of Ivory – which it turns out is very similar to what I do with my Winter Germans! What I don’t have, however, is Jamie’s secret ingredient – he adds just a couple of drops of ultra-matte varnish into the Strong Tone wash, which gives a fantastic texture to the model. It genuinely is as simple as that!

Jamie’s Panzer IV is in something of an unusual camouflage scheme but is heavily based on a series of reference images of a 16th Panzer Division vehicle. From historical accounts, the unit was issued very little paint, so applied it only sparingly! Replicating this on his model Panzer IV made for a unique-looking tank that both fits with the overall ‘feel’ of the force, and stands out as a nice centrepiece to the army.

As we all know, no army is ever ‘complete’, and Jamie has a few Opel Blitz trucks and attendant Panzergrenadiers to add to round out the force, but at the current size, it’s certainly enough for him to game with. He tries to stick to historical tactics, with each ten-man infantry squad built around supporting its integral light machine gun, but with his brother currently up 3-2 in their series of battles, he might have to mix it up if he wants to avoid repeating history in the bloody streets of Stalingrad!

The full army in its current form – Jamie plans to add a few trucks to truly ‘motorize’ the force.
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