Montag, 28. Februar 2011

Autocannon Flak Zwilling - Part 1

Anti-transporter-spray.
"Dakka Dakka Dakka!!!"
Schütze Krauss murmuring in his sleep.

The Autocannon is the queen of the 5th Edition for the Imperial Guard. Enough strengh to punch through AV12 on a lucky day and enough shots to kill transports and infantry allike. Even better at transporthunting when it is under orders from an officer. So I definately need lots of these babys for my Baran Panzerdivision.

The Inspiration came from "The Soldier James Ryan" where a wheelmounted 20mm made a scary mess of the airborne rangers on the german tank. Everytime someone fires his AC I'm reminded of that scene. So my basic idea was to simply build that thing. 

Well, there the problems started. First the featured gun is a 20mm Flak on an Wheelmount (Sonderanhänger 52). There is an old tamiya 1:35 kit for this. But it is out of production and almost not possible to buy. Especially when I might need it 12 times. So I went for the 1:35 Flakvierling from  Tamiya. It can be bought for around 6 to 8€ at most toyshops in germany and i took two from the start. Bad Idea though.

This baby in 1:35 is BIG. Almost 1,5 the size of a Heavy weapons base. So again I looked into the 1:48 Range. And I found it there and also at my local Toyshop. The German 20mm Flakvierling 38.






It is a little costy with 15€ the box but my plan is to build two out of one box. But enough talking.
Lass Knacken!

1:48, I love you
That is the gunmount when the gun is stationed. It fits exactly the heavy weapons base.

I assembled the central part of the gun according to the manual. The grey part is a cutted searchlight from the tank sprue. I glued it in so that the gunner, more precise a guard gunner can reach the paddels with his imperial boots.

Thatfor I need a sitting guardsmen. 

When they took my first leg, I said: "Take it, its for the emperor!"



I started with cutting the leg of a kneeling guardsmen.





Then put the leg on the front, cutted the rest of his upper tigh remaining on his bottom and used green stuff to build a new thigh.

See, almost as new.



Here you can see him sitting already in position. I had to lenght his sitting stock with some plasticard and punched the searchlight-holder where originaly the pedals are located. But the long thigh is quite unstable at the moment. In future attemps I think I will use some kind of rod to fix the leg and then put the greenstuff around that rod. Thats why maybe the sacred form of the human body has something like bones. (see IIUP ch.6, s.2)

Gut, the second part are the guns. For my army I want only to use gw-guns are gw modified guns. That is the last border I will not cross. So I need Autocannons.

Original sickle magazines from the tamiya kit. A little DkoK.

The almost finished ones. Actually the Flakvierling had 4 guns. But 4 Autocannons would have been a little to much for a one AC-proxy. The ACs for the heavy weapon sprue were cut a lot to fit onto the gunmounts. The magazines on top where cut and filled with greenstuff. I said almost complete because when I later mounted the gunshield I had to cut them more and more so that they would fit.


I build the gunshield an 40k-ed it a little, also the ammunition boxes.

Double eagle.
Front
Top
On the Top-view you can see the extensive cutting on the autocannons. And the pic was actually made before I fit the gunner.

Gut, the gun isn't finished, like most of my conversions. BUT, the vallejo paint should arrive soon, so I can start with airbrushing the primer on. 

And some pic at the end. The last view of an orc bomber pilot.

Thats all for today.
Weggetreten.


Freitag, 25. Februar 2011

Feldgendarmerie - Rough Rider Bike conversion - Part 1

"Ogryns ready!?" - "Yuas Sor!"
"Rough riders ready!?" - "WROOOOOM WROOOOM!!!!"
Last year at the inter-regimental-games.


"I will drive closer, so that I can hit em with my sword!"

Two post ago I showed some pics of a scoutbike rough rider conversion from Col Hessler from his blog.
At that time I had also made my first prototype ready but wanted to show it only a little later. Also I know that most of my conversion aren't painted at that moment. But that will change soon. Bei meiner Ehre.

Ok lets get started.

I simply build the scoutbike according to the instruction manual. As the windshield I used the one without any extra weapons. The difficult part is the driver though. I took the Scout Space marines legs and cutted some of his boots mumbo jumbo. Also I cutted a littel the belt area of the scout-legs because then it would look like he has two belts on. After that I put a guardsman upper body on top.






Later actually I tore that body of the legs and put one of the officers from the command sprue on the legs.


Because my rough riders should act as Feldgendarmerie on bikes.  They were actually the military police and one of their main tasks was to shoot deserters and some other more grueling stuff during the late war. In the 40k universe they are some kind of troops attached to the comissariat of the baran military. Also the plate they wear gave them the name "Kettenhunde" which means roughly chain-dogs.

Quelle: Wikipedia
Somehow the repulsorfield of the Cadian Officers looks exatly the same.


Thats my version with a converted arm. A quik word on the arm. I made three demos of it.





The first is an guardsmen arm with a scout hand. Doesn't looked right. Also a full scoutarm looked to big for my liking. Although the ones used from ColHessler looked very good when painted.

The second one is a 1:35 Tamiya hand. Also doens't looks right, and the last one is a cadian hand on an cadian arm. And that is how it went.

The right arm is the one from the tank sprue and he wields a sword from the catachan command sprue. the bike was then loaded with tamiya 1:35 storm trooper stuff and some GW-sprues.

I even made an empty sword scabbard.
Gut. The prototype was done and I liked it that way. When I have finished my main task of my first 500 points I will go back and paint a 10 man squad of them. Instead of hunting lances I think I will outfit the other troopers with panzerfäuste. http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzerfaust


But the ones from tamiya are too small so maybe its again conversiontime.

Weggetreten.

Montag, 14. Februar 2011

Sdkfz 251/1 "Marauder zu Fuß" Manticore count as - 1. Basic Idea and the first steps-

"Its like flying a marauder bomber. Except the flying of course."
Feldwebel Zimmerle

As mentionted in the previous post I started to work on my first chimera count as. A kit bashing of tamiya and 40k model kits. And as the standard tamiya sdkfz wasn't available I bought the Rocket launcher one. So my first conversion will not only be a chimera but also a manticore count as.




Missily Death awaits.


Ok, lass knacken! We begin our Sdkf-Chimera with the tamiya kit.

It is the "Stuka zu Fuss" kit in 1:48. Costs around 22€.
The kit has around 240 parts and most of them are smaler than a frag grenade. So it is quite important to read the construction manual at least once complete. I haven't at first and made it myself a little more difficult.

Read the frakking manual. Front AND Backside.

The basic idea is to use the tamiya kit as the backbone of the chimera-count-as and put on additional parts to make it 40kish. A must are the weapons at least, but this can be done easily. The second part will be the hardest in building the suspension, ie. the tracks and the wheels out of GW-parts. At my first plan the tracks will be build out of the old chimera kit sideskirts and the wheels are made out of scout-space marine biker wheels.

So I first put the main body of the model together and fixed it with some tape.
Then I made some size camparison.

The picture was taken after some of the conversions.
So the sdkfz is almost as long as the original chimera. Although the original one is far broader. Maybe I will bild the sdkfz on some "chimera-base" for shooting and measuring commandos, etc.
I then began to build sdkzf tracks out of the old chimera kit.

Top is the complete one (other side of course),Middle is what is left after top and bottom is cut, Down is the completed three parts.

All credits goes to 8rad at WIP as he invented this construction as far as I know for his sdkfz conversion. Work_In_Progress by 8rad.
But he made it along the whole section, I build a shorter version for my 1:48 kit. I cut the lower level of the sideskirts and then a line of the top two milimeters. And then glued them together. Also I shortened the length of the section by cutting out 1 or 2 centimeters.

Here the size comparison after finishing it. Befor I made a cut I measured everything a hundred times of course.

Looked fine at that moment.

I then used some greenstuff to fill the missing parts.

Greenstuff to fill the gaps on the outer line.
At that moment I used some 4 year old green stuff. And as I used greenstuff for the third or fourth times in my whole life I was still dazzled why it was so hard to kneed. After breaking open a new pack of greenstuff I realized that my previous one was just to old and firm. The new one was far more fun to work with.

Not final status.
After I glued on the wheels in the standard holes I realized that they where to short on the top of the section and the tracks wouldn't fit in nicely. Also I put on a slice of plasticard at the backside to stabilize it. Only to realize that it was to thick and interfered with the wheels. So a lot of cutting later it fitted. The final status picture will follow soon.

The Modell itself was then pimped up a little 40kish.



Backdoor made out of the chimera kit.
The 6. Panzerdivision Baran comdemns torture in any possible way.
The tamiya kit has a wonderfull driver section, and I decided to put a soldier on the seat, to drive that baby around. I used a sentinel pilot but he used quite to much room. So I cut out the controll section out of his legs. Then I used some wire, a left over of my ps3 cables-wire and a free pencil from a furniture shop to wrench his legs together. Actually I felt a little like a torturer from the tudor era.
Once wrenched enough I put some model glue between his legs and after it was dry his legs stayed that way. Hell the Imperium hadn't hero sized legs on their mind when they constructed the Baran Sdkfz 251/1.

A picture on his place at the controlls.

"What do you want!? I'm driving!"
As with most conversion in a modell you can't even the his arms which I have also "wrenched" a little, or his sentinel controll sticks which I had cut completely. Also how perfeclty his legs try to controll gas and break pedal. I need another picture. That white stuff is some putty I used on him, but can't really rasp of in the afterward. the modell can stille be opened at that point as I will paint the basic colours and interior, and then will glue on the inner part. Also you can see here the interior of the sdkfz. Lot of store room for imperial stuff. Currently there is also a crewmen ready to be seated there. Pics will follow.

Ok, the main part is now the manticore thing. I wanted to mount rockets on the outside of the halftrack. So I thought of 6 Hunter-killer missiles, or maybe the four original one of the recent manticore kit. All of them would have worked. The hunter killer missiles even could have been put in the original wooden boxes out of the tamiya kit. But as I cut the pilot out of the sentinel kit my eyes fell on the missile launcher. Usually they aren't the weapons of choice for the sentinel as multilasers and autocannons are much more fun these days. Anyway I had one sentinel kit and the missile launcher fitted nicely on the frame. So I bought three others from a guy from my local gaming league who had just bought another guys Blood Pakt army. A real nice one btw.

Anyway, I glued the first three on the original 28cm Rocket frames.

"Wooosh! Wooosh! Wooosh", The German Rockets.

I know that the most bottomed rockets will fly into the directly forward placed launcher, but hey, thats the transport mode. The threes on the left side will need of course the skulls to be reversed, as they will be glued on topside down. Well you will see when they are finished, I think I can build something out of the Imperial Guard skull insignia from the tank sprue.

Left side, two launchers missing.


So I'm still in search of sentinel missile launchers, If you have one or two please contact me.
The launcher frames aren't glued on yet, and I'm thinking of letting them stay free to put on. This would actually give me a free chimera If I don't need a manticore for that game.

Ok thats all for today. Next time we will see how I have completely miscalculated the height of the track section and the size of the wheels. Of course after I have bought 12 scout bike wheels from an american bits dealer.

Weggetreten.

















Samstag, 12. Februar 2011

Basic Ideas on converting model kits into Imperial Guard stuff.


My basic idea was to build German Halftracks, the legendary sdkfz 251 as chimera tanks for my whole army. There are a lot of superb conversions around on the internet. A lot of them are just pure genius. See here, by 8rad on WIP , and here by Sgt. Wallace from Warseer  a Puma like Chimera.

Some are converted chimeras and some look like plastic kits from other firms but are instead complete plasticard constructions. All fantastic and all with some minor flaws, not in its design or how they were made but for me personally.
At first most of them are big, I mean really big. Nearly twice the size of the original chimera. Also most of them require really a lot of time to build them. Plasticard scratch build with chimera parts is just too much for me.  Especially when I think that I would need 5 to 7 of them just as chimeras. Not to mention manticors, basilisks, griffons and everything else which uses the chimera chassis.

So I made the decision to walk a path that I didn’t want to walk. Get a non GW Model kit and make it 40k-ish. So once you went there you will always have to talk with tournament organizers before the event and can say goodbye to GW-Tournaments altogether. Not that I go to GW Tournaments, but you have to think of your options. But I’m not sure if I still can beat that 75% rule. As I’m half in the conversion I still think I can reach that tally.

Ok, so lets get started. What I want to build is an Imperial Manticore Missile launcher Tank. WW2 Germany had two Halftracks who fulfilled that role. The “Panzerwerfer 42” which were 8 Tubes on the backside of a German Halftrack, an armored “Opel Maultier”. And the second one, six mounted Rocket throwers “Wurfrahmen 40” on the sides of a Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf.D.
Naturally as a Company of Heroes friend my choice was the later one. The Idea for the “Stuka zu Fuß” i.e.” Stuka on Foot” was in my head right at the beginning of the army project. Although it was a chimera as a mount at that time.
Anyway. I took one of the tamiya kits my older brother had for 8 years lying unbuild in his model storage. He was quite upset about it; actually he saw his kit when it was lying in my room. Yeah, like he would tomorrow begin to build it. Ok, I saw it and then bought one myself from my local toyshop. The old Tamiya 1:35 Sdkfz was designed in 1979 and haven’t changed since then.
I opened it and start to make notes on its size and realized that it was big enough, but actually too big. It is almost 5 centimeters longer than a GW unaltered Chimera. And that was actually the reason why I Didn’t t wants to convert a real chimera the first time. So I ventured forth the internet and found out that Tamiya in the recent years has improved its 1:48 line. A size usually reserved for aircraft models. So I bought the 1:48 Sdkfz for around 20€ and made a size compare. Its length is exactly like that of the GW chimera, but it is only half its wide. Which makes sense as the GW chimera is actually a driving rectangle. So far so good. So I began to compare the mini sizes.

GW uses 28mm Hero size if I’m correct. The 1:35 kits I used where actually too tall for my fellow guardsmen. As also the 1:35 men are two heads taller the IG ones. The 20mm Flak I liked to convert and the Pak 36 (which worked fine) are way too big for the imperial guardsmen. But the gear of the 1:35 tamiya men fits perfectly for their size. In comparison with 1:48 tamiya men the imperial guardsmen looks like übermuscled bodybuilders. But they are the same height. Also the tanks of that line should fit their size better.  So I went on with the 1:48 for the chimeras then. And instead of building a vanilla chimera out of an Sdkfz, I went straight into a Manticore count as. 

The “Marauder zu Fuß”


The “Marauder zu Fuß”

Donnerstag, 3. Februar 2011

Things to come


Achtung! No pics in these times as I’m currently without a proper internet connection. But I have progressed a little with my project and have done several things.

1st. I have used for the first time in my life a GW primer-spray. It worked out quite well, but still some parts of the minis didn’t caught any black paint. But the speed was just crazy compared to the tiring work of just priming the minis myself with a brush. Also the black spray-paint didn’t killed any details of my PAL 36 Lascannon. Great so far.

2nd. I have based and painted the bases of my second squad. Also I have tested a different technique to paint their uniforms. In my first pics of my first squad they had brighter grey uniforms. In the last version of the squad I changed the color to a darker grey with a wash of badab-black. And the looked too dark in the end.
So I have used some test-minis in which I have painted the uniform in a bright grey, astronomican grey I think. And then put two layers badab-black on it. Then one drybrush with the astronomican grey again and another layer of badab-black. And it looks quite good at the moment. This technique is from some guy I have found on the internet, but I have forgotten his name or side. So if he reads this, the idea is all yours. He painted his Deathkorps soldiers in one or two basic colors, a very bright ocher. And then he put 4 to 6 layers of a blue wash on the trousers, and the looked perfectly painted in blue. Then he put 4 to 6 layers of a brown GW wash on the jacket and it looked like a real leather jacket. The new GW washes just get better if you use them several times. Believe me and try the thraka green a second or third time on ork/goblin skin and it gets nicer every time. But remember that the basic color needs to be very bright or the mini will get too dark.

Ok, pictures of the test minis will follow.

3rd. Not yet painted the second squad or any command squad, but my first Rough Rider is almost build. When I was at my local Mini store Black Planett II in Wolfsburg (the link is for their main branch in Magdeburg) I found a box of a Space Marine Scout bike. So I thought to put some of them as rough riders in my Baran Army. Also I took the scout bike as it looks lighter than the space marine version. Two days after I have built my prototype I have found this on the internet:



It is from www.40kimperialguard.co.uk. So it was my idea but someone else was faster. But I have build my own arms for the drivers and changed also some other details, but more of this when the pics are ready.

Also I thought of build real horse mounted rough riders, maybe I will do that in the future, as also this lonely rough rider will serve as a prototype and will stay alone until I have finished the basic parts of my army. So finishing the second squad, and then comes the two command squads, plus veterans, plus two chimeras and my first 500pts will be ready.

Donnerstag, 20. Januar 2011

Feldbericht 1-90120-11 Loader Ditter - Part 2


One after another they came walking onto the marketplace. But they didn’t seem to be in any hurry. At first they were two then three and then it seemed like a Group of at least a dozen. Some of the roamed like a love drunken youngster after his first kiss. Not like they where at war. The wailing of the Feldwebel was gone. He seemed to have beard up against his pain and tried to press his tight with his bare hands to stop the bleeding. That seemed to displease the advancing squad of xenos. One of them, wearing an armor decorated with an absurd amount of spikes, raised some kind of pistol and fired another shard at the lying Feldwebel. It embedded itself in his right arm and he spasmd in pain. Unable to stop the bleeding of any of his wounds. Frankly that didn’t seem to satisfy the pistol wearer. He fired another shard at the Feldwebel’s head, and ended his life immediately. The pistol wearer then seemed to say, or vox something to his group and the hidden gun crew thought to hear laughter. A cruel and bitter xenos laughter.

Wesselsky had seen his share of brutality in his soldier’s life. He was young, only twenty-one standard years old, but has seen in his three years of service enough brutality from men against men. But these xenos were something completely different. They were way beyond cruelty. For them it seemed like a thing you even don’t think about. Like swatting a krikfly with your hand. With even no need to see if the insect has died by the strike or simply has been scared away.
Every part of Wesselsky’s life and upbringing urged him to kill these abominations. These were xenos, the enemies of mankind and its unquestioned rule of the galaxy. And if not that, they have killed one of his own this very moment like he was some stray dog. The Schütze hold the trigger string of the lascannon. But he had to wait. They haven’t come here by foot. There must be some transport, or emperor helps some kind of a tank. He hoped that the screams and the shouting had at least woken the Grenadier Trupp in the Schulz’s mansion. When the Trupp took control of the building they found the wine cellar barely touched. How their discipline has hold since then Wesselsky doesn’t know, but he couldn’t shake of the thoughts that the whole squad was lying and snorting in that building. Completely drunk after two days of feasting. With his anti tank cannon he had no chance against these killers.

The xenos group was advancing to the mansion. The marktplatz was still occupied by several empty wooden booths. And the enemy troopers did seem to be always in the near of one or another kind of cover, how swaggering their kind to walk looked. But the mansion had their attention as the emergency vox beacon was positioned under the roof of the building. From the outside, the mansion looked like it has two days ago. No sign of activity, fortification or anything else. This changed in an instant. Perfectly executed, the fire ambush sprung. Ten laser shots punched out of the windows of the building in unison. Two enemy soldiers went to the ground immediately. As their limbs lay they wouldn’t stand up on this side of the warp again. Three other xenos took also laser hits but their armor seems to shrug of the deadly effects. In a blink of an eye the surviving xenos where in cover and returning fire. Both sides tried to take potshots at the others but it was a stalemate. This seemed to change as on of the windows on the right side of the building was smashed open from the inside. The Grenadier Trupp brought their heavy stubber to bear. The belt feed machine gun began a second later to spit bullets towards the xenos. The Emperors-saw as it was named by the common soldiers was already hammering the xenos into defense and began to shred away several wooden covers like barrels and overturn market tables.

Still no one seemed to have taken notice of the covered anti tank team. The xenos where to occupied with the fight at their hands and Loader Ditter spoke his thoughts,
‘Let’s kill that scum and give them what they deserve.’

Wesselsky was spared an explanation as the firing position of the heavy stubber and a good part of the building on the left side erupted in an explosion of purple fire. His eyes could have been played a trick, but he thought he saw the upper half of a human body spit out of the mansions window. The transporter has arrived and taken its side in the firefight. It looked like a boat, more at home on some kind of peaceful river than the battlefield. Except that it was flying, painted in different shades of black and bustling with even more spikes and a big energy gun at its bow.

Wesselsky waited for that moment, but now as it was there he didn’t quite like it. The xenos transport was at the left side of their position, completely out of their guns fire arc. They had expected the enemy to attack from the north. Exactly where the xenos troopers where attacking, as this was the quickest way to their presumed base of operation. Their transport must have flanked the small city and attacked form the southwest, or they just decided to appear from thin air. So it will all been decided by one good shot, if we get out one at all the Schütze thought. He turned to the Loader Ditter who was shaking heavily again.
‘Listen boy, you know the drill. You grab the right stabilizer and I the left. Then we turn 90 degrees to the left. Klar!?’
Ditter waited a full second before answering and said then weakly,
‘Jawohl’
‘Gut, execution!’
Wesselsky grabbed with his left hand the wrist of the left stabilizer rail which went on the backside of the gun to hold the gun into position after each shot. As it was an energy based weapon it has usually no recoil. But this was a gun made on Baran. Produced in the machine cult sanctified factories of Kellersitz Primus they where made with the materials available. That meant inferior materials, thus a substandard focusing lens was used. Through the open focusing camber the very air in front was ignited by the firing laser beam. Resulting in some heavy recoil based on temperature and air moisture. And at this rainy weather it would kick out like a heavy grox bull.
Wesselsky risked a last view through the lens and the scene wasn’t a promising one. With the help of the transport the enemy had the Grenadiers in the house pinned and the transporter cleared on window after another with its bow mounted gun. Ditter grabbed the right stabilizing rail and hold with the other the cannons heavy battery.
Wesselsky began to count,
‘1, 2, 3 Go!’
To lift the two backside rails was difficult enough. The rain had made the earth soggy and it was more mud than earth else. They began to turn the gun to the left and began to sweat at that very moment. The wet ground smacked as they tried to move the tires of the gun carriage. They turned half the way when the barrel of the gun was caught in one of the bushes branches. They coughed and had almost dropped the gun but managed to hold on. The branch though was still there and preventing them from moving it further to the left.
’Fifteen centimeters back!’ Wesselsky ordered.
They pulled the gun back and then turned it further, but they were discovered already.

to be continued…



Mittwoch, 19. Januar 2011

Feldbericht 1-90120-11 Loader Ditter - Part 1



"Machine spirit, please take my gift though you may strike his enemies as he has given us the gift of living."
Loader Ditter, Operation Emperors Garden


At warseer is a guy with a death Korps of Krieg thread where he builds a new Squad and then publishes a short story for it. As I will never produce such an output on stories and perfectly modelled models like this genius I will simply try my humble story here and there and creep along with my own project.

The rain found its way through the camouflage net easily. Not that the net wouldn’t be completely drenched after three days of constant rain anyway. It still bothered Loader Ditter that not only he was completely wet and lying in a pool of cold water for the last two days, but also got a fresh supply of ice cold water from the heaven. Ask and the Emperor provides, that would have said his father in such a situation. Not aloud and not of course if some stranger or official persons where present. He looked left and saw Schütze Wesselsky curled up on the dirty ground, snorting like a grox. Very fitting thought Ditter, only that grox’s didn’t stink as much as the sleeping soldier. They haven’t slept in proper fieldbeds since a week, not to think of the chance to clean or shave. The nearby Trupp of Grenadiers who have taken the house on the right side as a field post haven’t such problems. They where in dry rooms with probably a well in the kitchen and some private place to get rid of the field rations they where eating for weeks.

The former occupants of the house, or a more appropriate name would be mansion was maybe the towns Schulz. Where he was now? Ditter doesn’t know and doesn’t care. Maybe the Schulz thought that in the crisis the people of this little town could look after themselves and left his position or which was more likely he was taken away by the xenos filth that was harassing that planet for half a year. Six month in which the Baran Troops tried to bring that enemy to a fight. But the xenos where avoiding the imperial troops. If the Baran Division where massing at the A2 named main road, then the xenos would attack some supply convoys in the hinterlands. If the troops spread thin then they where amassing and taking on a single Kampfgruppe after another. Ditter didn’t get any real reports of course, but he had his ears here and there. And soldiers talk. But since the last two days he was here, hiding in the garden of the Schulzs Mansion. Hiding with an anti tank field gun the size of a kübelcar. They had taken position in a group of three brushes and put the camouflage net on top of it. From 5 meters away you couldn’t even tell by the eye that they where there. But only for the eye. Ditter tried not to think what evil devices the xenos have at their disposal to find hidden enemies.
He tried to shift his position to get one or two centimeters closer to the shield of the PAL 38. There he would be at least protected from half of the rain. His hands at least where dry. He had put them under the tarpaulin which protected the lascannons battery from the wet. At the beginning of the campaign he had seen a soldier getting flogged for letting the battery caught water. At the test firing of the gun, the battery was simply worn out and the gun was virtually without any use. Well, that soldier wouldn’t do that mistake again, and Ditter didn’t dare to let them be without proper power when the moment arrived. Or get flogged too which was even more motivation to avoid it.

Maybe he should also take a nap like the Schütze. Take some sleep and wait until the action start, or someone higher up decides that this ambush was a stupid idea after all. Activating an emergency vox beacon in an almost empty town in the hinterlands. Predicting that an administratum official was stranded here and need evacuation. After two days the xenos wouldn’t be that stupid to came here anymore or believe that story. Also the transmission was encrypted and in their imperial tongue. Ditter doubts that the xenos could even understand it.
Just pack together and get back to the field camp. Eat, sleep, get dry and see if some amusement could be arranged. His thoughts of a particular very female amusement was cut short when there was muffled sound.
‘Oh scheiße, Wesselsky you stinking….’, but his hissed accusations where cut short as he heard that sound again. But this time it was followed by a series of piercing sounds, like someone was throwing knifes. He shivered but not of the cold. The xenos must be here. The human-takers, stories to scare children in his youth have set fear in some hardened veterans recently. But, by the emperor, where was Feldwebel Kessel. He is the commanding NCO of this mission and had sat the last two days with them in this position and waiting for the enemy to come. And now the enemy was here, and the Feldwebel gone. And that grox Wesselsky is still grunting like he is on baran at home.
He peaked past the protection shield of the field gun through the maze of the camouflage net and saw the last moments of the Feldwebels life.

He cam in view at the left side of the marktplatz. A square to sell and buy goods of the nearby farms. Before the xenos came of course. Despite the rain he was clearly visible as he wore his white underwear and was running as fast as he could towards the Schulz’s mansion. Actually it wasn’t very fast as he was obviously wounded and that wound has already painted his right side in a deep red.  He was screaming for help and for the emperor. Where his uniform was or his weapon Ditter could not tell. But he had the idea that not all of the former inhabitants had left the town, or where caught earlier.
The Feldwebel was getting slower, his wound draining the power from him. He was half over the platz when there was another series of slicing sounds, but this time the soldier saw the projectiles. Tiny knives or pieces of sharp metal flew towards the Feldwebel and impacted with his right leg. The flesh seems to vaporize in a cloud of red mist. The NCO hit the ground, screaming like he was set on fire. From his knee downwards his leg was a mess of sliced flesh and bone. Ditter have never heard a man scream in such pain in his soldier’s life. Death screams or last words, yes, lots of it. But this was pure pain, and the shot was not meant to kill the man in the open. Only to inflict pain. He had to act quickly; he took the battery from under the tarpaulin and tried to connect it to the heavy power cable feeding the lascannon. But his hands where shaking and the wailing of the Feldwebel was not helping either. At least Wesselsky was waking up.
‘By the emperor ba…’ he began, but was cut short when Ditter kicked his helmeted head as hard as he could. Enraged Wesselsky turned around only to see the terror in the loaders face. He understood fast enough that leisure time was over and peered through the gunshields slit. But there was no one to see except the heavily wounded soldier, he turned to Ditter. ‘Calm down boy, calm down’ he whispered to him.
He hated it when the only two year older Wesselsky called him like that. But he was saying the truth, Ditter tried to calm down and recited the litany of quick reloading. His hands shacked less as he concentrated on the text, a hundred times spoken. He managed to put the power cable in the batteries slot. The machine spirit of the lascannon gratefully hissed a merely audible whining sound. He nodded to Wesselsky. The Schütze nodded back and looked again through the tiny slit.

The black clad xenos were approaching.