Those who follow the Painting Challenge know that it is primarily about numbers. While I am unwilling to sacrifice quality for numbers I am already seriously trailing my target of a thousand points, so I needed something to push me forward. Especially since the next item I will paint will be the 95th Rifles for the 100 Days and a Napoleonic unit always means slower going than the more modern themes. So I thought that vehicles would be a good choice, since they give 15 points as opposed to just 5 for infantry. Looking through my cabinet of unpainted tanks I saw a number of early war German tanks which should do nicely. Single color, limited stowage. And it proved me right, since I did these in just one evening. All are repainted New Millennium toys repaints.
All in all it was pretty simple. I found that my homegrown Panzergrau was exactly the same shade as the one they came in. So I masked off the parts of the turret numbers I wanted to keep, resprayed the rest, completed the turret numbers making sure I got consecutive numbering (decals in case of the PzKw IV and freehand on the PzKw 38(t)), added dust and rust to the exhausts and I was done. This was only helped by the fact that these came with there turret hatches cast shut, so I did not have to worry about commander figures either.
So what do we have? Well first up are a Zug of PzKw IV Ausführung F1. Now early in the war this was the heavy tank of the German Panzerforces. It was originally designed as an infantry support tank and its role was to take out AT guns and emplacements. The tank fighting role, actually belonged to its smaller cousin the PzKw III. But this changed once the T-34 was encountered. It was simply impossible to up-gun and up-armour the PzKw III enough to keep up with real combat tanks so it was the PzKw IV that was continuously upgraded and served in that role as the main workhorse of the German army right until the end of the war.
Now this PzKw IV will give me lots of milage. While the 7,5cm gun displayed here was only introduced after Operation Barbarossa, the 5cm guns used on the earlier models are nearly indistinguishable in this scale and therefore these models can see service anywhere from the invasion of Poland or France up until the Invasion of Russia.
Up next is the PzKw 38(t). One thing the German army was fighting with right from the start was too few tanks. Annexing Czechoslovakia solved this problem in part since huge numbers of LT vz. 38 tanks became German property and were pressed into use. Back then it was at least en par with most other medium tank designs and outclassed the German PzKw I´s and II´s. But when it came up against newer medium and heavy tank designs it proved inferior. Once German armored forces faced an abundance of T34´s it became clear that the design was outdated and production was ceased in 1942 (although some were still given to other Axis nations late in the war). But the chassis was used for a number of other designs which included the Flakpanzer 38(t), Aufklärungspanzer 38(t) and most notably the Marder III and Hetzer vehicles. In the end the 38(t) chassis was one of the most widely used of all German vehicles.