So, without much further ado… the last instalment for this year.
I have some mixed feelings about this mini (or rather the two of them). They do their part and they certainly fulfill their comic looks. But they are fairly bleak when it comes to detail and even those few folds that are in their clothes seem to be in the wrong places. I personally wish I had painted her after the Disney+ show had released since I rather prefer their colour choices over the comic one.
I personally would have liked Sam Wilson to be depicted as Falcon and not Captain America, but alas, I am really happy with the mini. It has great detail and was a joy to paint. If anything. The original pose was a little too compact for my taste, so I folded his wings into a straighter shape using boiling water and now you get a much better view of Sam himself.
This one was another fabulous job, although a very complicated one to assemble. Actually the first MCP mini where I needed the instructions to assemble it. It left me a bit “scared” before I started, since the whole mini is essentially different shades of metal and gun metal which all needed to be shaded as well, but in the end he was a real fun experience to paint.
The Hulkbuster Ironman is maybe the most impressive mini in the whole range. It took ages to paint (maybe 1 ½ weekends), but I really like the results. The shading looks more dominant in real life.
For Luke Cage I had been thinking about giving him a t-shirt from a rap / hip-hop group like in the TV show, but his arms block out so much of his chest, that it would have been unrecognisable, so I just went for classic colours. I went for a very washed out look for his jeans, since I felt this gave the mini a better contrast.
The Iron Fist was fun to paint and most importantly fun to paint. Simple mini with a great pose. I did the Iron Fist as blue energy, since I felt it made the mini stand out, even though I think this was never used in the comics.
Blade proved to be a more interesting mini than he would appear at first sight. While he is mostly dark colours, there is enough variation in colours and little details that really make the mini quite piece. And the misty spectral hands really added contrast to the mini. While I usually try to keep the street theme of the AMG bases as much as possible, I felt this would simply not work here, so I added a headstone from Perry Miniatures and some weed tuffs to give it a derelict cemetery look.
The same holds true for the base on Moon Knight. While I,would assume, he has his right foot on some ornamental piece of a building, it was just to low (in my opinion) to make it look right. So I gave the base some kind of park look.
I am starting to develop a liking for painting minis with lots of white, but I felt he needed some contrast so I gave him the black face mask from the early 1980s (Even though the rest of his costume is in 1990s style).
And this is it for now. In this sense I wish you all a very happy new year. May it be filled with good health and peace for you and your families!
It has been a busy few months and (as usual), I did not manage to post a thing. So I am trying to catch up (as usual). When it comes to MCP, I think the last time posted something was in 2021. So there is a lot of catching up, which I am going to break up into lots. Starting with Convocation and Dark Dimension.
Starting off with the mini I liked the least. Baron Mordo. All in all he is a nice mini, but he had a limited palett and I was struggling with his face, so he did not really tick my boxes.
While Clea had a just as limited colour selection, I really liked painting her. The combination of black, purple and pink was really nice to combine.
Hood ended up being a really fast paintjob and one that I really like. Over the years I have started to like shading reds and I a, real happy with how his jeans turned out.
The Ancient one was a real joy to paint. The combination of black and yellows took some time to paint, but I really loved it. And I am quite happy with her magic effects. Which really made me wish I had painted the the magic on the original Doctor Strange this way instead of replacing it with translucent plastic.
Speaking of Doctor Strange, there was a new mini for him, the Sourcerer Supreme version. I kept the some colours Imhad chosen for his first version, but went a bit darker. As Jessy and Chris from Fury´s Finest often say, Strange worries about getting things done first and only thinks about dealing with the consequences later. As a result I feel that with his rising powers he becomes a darker (but not more evil) character, so darker colours felt right. What I really like about this mini is his base. The portal to the Dark Dimension was a neat idea on AMGs part and was nice to paint. I went a bit overboard and tried to create a 3D effect onto the concrete around the portal. Not sure if I succeeded, but I like it.
Another mini I really enjoyed. Unfortunately the highlights on the black do not really show on the these photos, but in real life there is a great contrast between the black, the white and the bright reds and greens. And I am much happier with the skin tone on him.
And last for today is Dormammu. Completely lovely minis. Really liked shading the crimson and grey. What I really liked, was the fact that the panels themselves were smooth, which allowed me complete freedom painting him. For his face I went with the looks from the first Doctor Strange movie, giving him a Technicolor look. It stands out a lot on the mini, but I still like it.
So, this is it for today. Next instalment coming before the end of the year.
This post has been a long timecoming. I actually started it early summer last year, but then decided to finish it after the last three models. So,let us dive into what I finished this spring.
First of all there were some loose ends to tie up. That is opened topped vehicles I did almost three years ago, but that were still missing their crews. Having used a lot of Tamika kits that came with a crew, it seemed sensible to use these. (Sorry, just a group shot here.)
The good thing is, that there were so many, I actually had some extras to fill some more vehicles. One of them is a Krupp Protze KfZ 70 Tamika) to pull some guns like the LeiG 18 or PaK 38 below. Technically the LeiG 18 would have been pulled by a KfZ 69 and the PaK38 by something heavier. But I felt this was a good compromise for an army already overflowing with vehicle models. This way I could use the if (or when) an extra transport was needed as well.
The LeiG 18 is actually a repaint of a model I did a couple of years ago. Back then I rather meant to use it mid war, which was represented by painting their uniforms this way and giving the grey a sun bleached look with a Dunkelgelb overspray. So I repainted them both to match my other early war stuff. One of the crew from the PaK 38 did not really match the gun IMHO so I gave that crewmember to the LeiG 18 and replaced the missing crewman on the PaK with a plastic one. Both of these guns are by Warlord Games, with the LeiG being an old now out of production version from their early days (or even the days before they bought the range from Paul Hicks).
The rest of the crew went to a SdKfz 251/3 and 251/18 (used as a regimental command vehicle) to give me more communications and command options. These are 3D printed models. I printed these out with my old FDM printer. Shame I did not print them out later. With my newer printer the lines would have been smaller.
Speaking for more command and communications options I also did a PzKw I command version (3D print), a SdKfz 263 and Opel Blitz communications van (both of the later are 1st Corps).
And while I was working on the SdKfz 263, I also did a SdKfz 232 to get a heavy armoured car. Both the model and commander are by Tamiya.
And to add some more armoured support for an infantry division I added three StuG III Ausführung B. These are Tamiya models as well. Stowage is scratchbuild using Tamiya parts and plastic are for the racks.
Now one of the last things missing was some armoured resupply vehicle. I opted for a SdKfz 252. Not the most common vehicle, but I always liked its shape over the SdKfz 250/6 it was replaced by. Again this is a 3D print and again I wish I had printed this later.
So far the only artillery I had was a pair of SiG 33. To round that off a little more and give me some more options I added a pair of leFH18 howitzers. Both the Warlord Games models.
At this point my early war force was virtually complete. About the only things still missing were a Panzerjäger I, a Bison and another tank option when Imneed to depict a Panzer Division not equipped PzKw 38(t) tanks. Since the first two did not really interest me, that only left me with some PzKw III tanks.
I opted for a PzKw III Ausführung F. Maybe not the most common version, but I really like the twin turret mounted co-ax machine-guns. The models are by 1st Corps, the commander is by Rubicon.
And this essentially brought me to the end of the line. A complete force which can depict virtually any German force from the Invasion of Poland to Operation Barbarossa. Infantry in strength for all operations either on foot or mounted on trucks or half tracks, as well as a Kradschützenplatoon. All tank options from PzKw I to IV. Artillery, AT-guns, reconnaissance, command, communications vehicles and planes. Putting them all on the table for a group shot made me realise how much it actually is.
And last here are the detail shots from the past few years (from their respective posts):
In recent years I have developed quite a liking for wargaming the early years of WWII. And with it also for the „minor“ nations or smaller parts of campaigns.
One of those nations are the Dutch for May 1940. The biggest appeal of them is their lack of armour, combined with the fact that the German formations used against them did not feature the toughest armoured nuts (like PzKw 38(t)) or were actually lighter formations like Fallschirmjäger or infantry divisions. So that should allow for a nice break from the battles for Poland or France.
The minis chose are from the May40 Miniatures range. All in all the minis are fabulous and I have to say the photos on their website do not fully do them justice.
While the Dutch wore uniforms that were officiall labelled to be fieldgrey (although I feel more blue-greenish than the German uniforms of the same name), it seems the dyes faded fast and often ended up quite light. So I chose to do mine in a very faded bluegrey.
After taking the first picture, I noticed that the barrel had been bend during basing. Unfortunately I did not think about taking another photo. 🙄
I know that under the Battlegroup rules, that Solthurn only has a two men crew, but the team looked too good as it was. So I based them as a team of three and we will have to remember the smaller size during play.
The beauty about a force like those is, that it only took about four weekends and a few afternoons to paint it and it is is fairly complete already. All that is left to add is an armoured car (already on my painting table for when we return from Scotland), some artillery and a few odds and ends like artillery and medics (which I know will be released in the not too distant future by May40 Miniatures) and the whole force is done.
… and went over the top. And build more. And repainted a lot.
Let’s start from the beginning. As the long time followers will know, we used to play WWII games using the „The Face Of Battle“ rules. Those were skirmish rules in the classic sense and worked really well with individualy based crews for crew served weapons.
Roughly a decade ago we switched to Battlegroup since we wanted something that catered for bigger games and was a little faster. Battlegroup does not really care much for the basing. So neither did I. But when I started adding some completely new forces in recent years (my 1939-41 Germans, late war Fallschirmjäger and Poles) I started basing crews served weapons and some small teams on multi bases. And I really liked the looks. So I made the decision to do everything new fitting that criteria this way and slowly rebase the old stuff. My Americans already got the treatment two years ago (man I could have bet that was last year), it was now time to start with my Germans.
Up first is a Bandai Pak40 in 1:48th scale. Which is a bit of an oddball in my collection these days. The roughly 50 year old Bandai kit is the only model kit on the market these days. You can also get a PaK40 in 1:48th from Blitzkrieg, but that is about it and then you you need to crew it.
About the only options for a seperate crew that some to my mind are Victory Force and 1st Corps. Which essentially means a very limited variety. So I decided to go with 1:56th guns (for those guns where I will essentially need multiples), mainly on account of Warlord games offering a choice for virtually any force and setting and secondly because I have some guns with crews from other manufacturers (Empress, Heer46 and Offensive Miniatures) for some of the more odd forces / settings like Gebirgsjäger, Volksgrenadiere, Charkiv and so on.
Why am I telling you this? Well since it is going to be my only PaK40 in this scale, I wanted to pick a setting that limits the chances that I will have to put two of them on the table at the same time. So I went for very late war SS. I already had a crew from Victory Force painted up in a mix of Pea Dot and plain uniforms ready so they would only require a repaint of the helmets to match them to the gun. But then I decided to repaint on the gun as well. Back then I used a green that was too dark and applied the camo with a brush. Unfortunately the paint had been a little thick, so the camo formed a slight raise on the model. I wanted to equalise this with a new coat of camo and some varnish. At least that was the plan. I decided to go for a Resedagrün base and apply a hard edged camo over it by airbrush. What I did not realise back then, was that the masking putty started to flow that day (it was the first heatwave here in Germany that day) which led to extremely raised edges. So essentially I had the same problem as before. I felt it was half as bad after two coats of varnish, but looking at the photos now… I think I will apply some heavy camouflage to the model. So you might see more photos of this one in the future. The crates and loose ammo are from the Rubicon offering below.
Up next is a PaK40 from Rubicon in 1:56th scale. My old system meant, that I could get a way with very few gun models by simply having different crews to place besides them. These days it means that I have more crews than guns. Like a Wehrmacht crew with a strong mid war vibe. Since this is a setting where I could imagine two PaK40 on the table I went with Rubicon here. (There will eventually be another gun from Warlord to add to it.) The gun is completely new, while the crew is one from Victory Force I painted ages ago. Most of the crew are converted from their tri-pod HMG set, only the gunner himself is from the dedicated PaK crew set. Again the helmets were repainted to match the gun, as were the ammo containers (which actually come from the Bandai gun above).
The next gun, a Pak43 is 1:48th scale again. Quite an expensive model from Gaso.Line. But worth it. I repainted the gun, but to be honest, I cannot really say why. I think it was because I did not like something about the camo pattern. The crew is from Victory Force once more. In retrospect I am not really sure about the gunner. While kneeling poses seem ok for the rest of the crew he is very much dwarfed by the gun, which makes him look strange. But Inwould imagine the crew operating the gun under fire, so he might try his best to keep a low profile. And it is a huge gun, which is why the German troops called it Scheunentor (= barn door). Which is also why I put it into a prepared position to break up its outline from the front.
Now the next one is completely new. A PaK97/38. Years ago I saw a painting by Giuseppe Rava and somehow it made me want to model that gun with a SS crew. The model itself is from Rubicon. The gun commander and loader are from the old Bilt Action rules (before they were sold to Warlord Games). I think they originally came with a PaK40, but I always loved them since they are so very dynamic. Since there is only two crew and the PaK97/38 requires a three men crew in Battlegroup, I build a gunner from the Warlord Games plastic SS set and I feel it turned out good. This also gave me a chance to try out a new recipe for Oak Leaf camo.
Speaking of trying out… I also bought some new paints for Italian camo that I wanted to give a try. Stössi’s Heroes have a nice set of Sturmmann Otto Funk & Grenadier Klaus Schuh, who served as a MG team in the scout section of the 12th SS in Normandy. The photos of them in Rots are amongst those most used from the fighting in Normandy. Now the minis depict them while the photo was taken and on that occasion they both wore overalls made from Italian camo fabric. The minis are actually really nice, but have two slight „defects“. For one they are a bit short. So glued another thin base onto the slots bases I use to make them about as tall as the other minis I use. The other is that the miniature of Funk is carrying post war NATO ammo boxes. So these had to be replaced with boxes from a Warlord plastic set and some filling with green stuff.
And last are the only minis that were (almost) just rebased. My Wehrmacht artillery spotter team. In a recent game the upper part of the Scherenfernrohr had broken of. When I repaired that, I had to remove the tripod and cut the parts where it broke flat. This lead to some damage to the paint and to make sure it was all uniform, I repainted the whole thing. The spotter and his radio operator where based together as well.
Compared to the last few posts we are now going back in time quite a bit.
One of the armies I have always wanted to do was a Late Roman Army for the Western Empire. So a couple of years ago I bought some minis from Footsore Miniatures, but never got to paint them. But every year the German distributor (and publisher of the German translation) of SAGA runs what he calls “Die Heerschau”. All in all you need to paint a point worth of troops per month for six months plus the Warlord sometime during that period. Essentially it is a motivator at the beginning of the year. So this year I decided to get myself motivated and to finally paint those Romans I had lying around.
So let’s start with the Levies. I decided, that I wanted a Balista, which means you need to trade half a point away in return for the Balista. I feel you get the best deal with the Levies. So it is half a a point of Levies with close spears and a Balista. I always loved the poses of those late Romans crouching behind their large shields, so half the unit is depicted this way. I wanted to make the units easy to distinguish. So every class got a different uniform and shield design. The Levies got white tunics with simple red patterns and red shields with a yellow serpent. The only body armour they have are helmets (at best).
The normal foot troops are by Footsore (as will be the rest of the troops with the exception of the Balista), while the Balista is by Gripping Beast. Back when I bought these, the later was the only Balista option on the market. I think less than a month after I bought it , Stronghold here in Germany announced theirs, which is far nicer. But alas I did not want to buy another one. The shields are all by LBMS except for the one on the Balista base, which was hand painted to match the rest.
The Warriors are slightly better equipped with chainmail or boiled legged vests and helmets for everyone. These guys have dark green tunics with red trim and red shields.
Up next are the two points of Hearthguards on foot. While their armour does not get much better, their clothing are more expensive Blues and their shields feature elaborate designs.
These are also Hearthguards in horses. I went for the Cataphract Models planning to use them either as Cataphracts or regular Hearthguards. These models did not come with shields or visible tunics, so there is not much that could show them off as Hearthguards here. But their massive armour should do the trick. But the sheer amount of armour made them a bit dull to look at. Since I absolutely hate leather dyed in bright colours I decided to give them painted lances (which I also hate but no near as much) to add some colour to the minis.
And last are the Warlords. I feel this Warband could work with both. warlord on foot or a mounted one I did. up both options. Colour wise I went with the Hearthguard colours for their companions.
The mounted Warlord is actually King Arthur from Footsore. The animation of the mini is simply great and the armour fits the period, so he seems like the perfect choice. In those Case the shields were hand painted. I have to admit, I should have (tried) to imitate the more elaborate Hearthguards shields, but these days mounted minis tend to bore me fast and I wanted to get them over with.
There are still a unit of Levies with bows and a unit of mounted Warriors to do, but I hope those should be done fast over the winter.
About two weeks ago, we finally played a big game at my place again.
I still have a lot of love for the late war period and I felt that Fall of the Reich would be a good change from all the early war and Pacific games we played at Martin’s place during those two years.
I did not want the usual urban fighting or hoards of T-34s you often have with these games, so it was Americans fighting the Germans on the eastern front in Thuringia.
The Americans would be a war weary bunch from an infantry division. A commander in a 76mm Sherman, a radio team, an artillery spotter for some off-board howitzers, a truck mounted platoon of infantry, a Sherman platoon (three 75mm versions and an Easy Eight), a M-10 Wolverine and a Greyhound.
The Germans were led by a commander in a Panther l, radio van, dispatch rider, artillery spotter for two (on board) howitzers (banned by a few Fallschirmjäger cut off from their parent unit) by was a platoon of Panzergrenadiere on foot, a platoon of StuG IIIs, some bicycle mounted fusiliers. The big hitter was a PaK 44 (K81/2). I know these did not see action in that part of Germany, but I wanted to give it a spin.
The mission was for the American to break the Germans by turn eight. Anything else would be a German victory. We had two objective markers. One close to each deployment zone. The Americans would start on the forested hill, while the Germans would set up in the village.
When rolling for starting forces the Germans were really lucky, getting everything on the table except for two infantry sections, one LMG team, all the StuGs and their supply truck. The infantry was spread out over the buildings and the orchard on their left flank. The large PaK was also deployed at the edge of the orchard with its flank covered by a building. The radio team and artillery hid behind builings, while the Panther, fusiliers, and a Panzerschreck team formed a mobile reserve inside the village.
The Americans were faced with almost the exact opposite. They hard to start with their scout forces (Greyhound and a sniper team) and only two additional units (the artillery spotter and one of the Sherman’s).
The Americans decided not to push their luck moving down the road covered by the PaK, but went down a fire break in the girrest instead. They came under some inconsequential artillery fire by the Germans. Both sides managed to secure their objectives on the first turn. Unfortunately the American player drew the Endkampf counter. With the Germans being forced to draw five counters they had lost about 45% of their Battlerating on turn one.
The second turn was mainly an artillery duel with the Americans pining the PaK and some of the supporting infantry while the German artillery took out the American spotter. Again the Yanks got lucky on their chit, drawing a breakdown counter, which they played on the Panther. Now the Germans were past the halfway mark when it came to their battleratind ad lost their only tank.
With a steady stream of reenforcements coming in for the Americans and the PaK being temporarily out of action, they pressed their attack. The American commander, now taking care of spotting, had problems getting in contact with their artillery which lead to a short lull in the fire. The German spotter had problems getting in contact with his artillery , inspire of the presence of the radio van, but the dispatch rider took care of that. But it seems, that the coordinates were already out of date, since the German artillery proved ineffective.
The Yanks kept on pressing forward along the road now. The PaK did its best to keep them at bay, but seemed unable to hit the broad side of a barn.
Only when on of the American trucks dropped infantry off in the field infront of the PaK did things heat up. They had missed the LMG hiding under the roof of the house next tonten field and had to pay a heavy price for that. Especially when the riflemen next to the gun joined in.
Between their fire almost a complete fireteam perished, while the other and a .30cal team got pinned. While one fire team managed to mount an ineffective attack later on, the rest of the game would see them pinned and slowly worn down under the crossfire.
Now the Americans would try to press into the town with their tanks. But the advance was piecemeal, due tongue drawn out arrived of troops on the table and the fact that both the force and tank platoon commander had to call in the artillery.
Man, it has been a long time. To cut a long story short… my day job kept me more busy than ever and catching a Covid infection did. It help things much. That being said… work is finally slowing down and I have recovered from the plague itself (still struggling with some long term effects it seems) so I thought I should take the time to start posting again.
Last Friday Martin and I played our first game of Marvel Crisis Protocol since (I think October or November). Actually the first game of anything.
The game was set on a late 1990s Ney York street. Martin gave his Defenders another spin.
I had always refrained from trying out Guardians of the Galaxy. First since I had trouble laying my hands on the Starlord miniature. And once I got him, because I felt that faction ability was not matching up to others. So with the recent rules updates, I felt it was time to try.
I cannot really give a detailed game report since it was quite fast paced and we were very immersed in the game. But I felt the Guardians all punched way above their weight class and were a lot of fun to play.
Even by the standards of this blog, my output seems to have been low for some months now. Well it is not that. As some might know, last year I decided to tackle an old project of mine. A mid to late war Fallschirmjäger army for the eastern and western fronts (Italy will see a seperate one). So I started of with some artillery and a PaK 40 as well as some support weapons, mortars.
Around New Years I began the project in earnest with everything you will in this post. As I said this had been a long time coming, since with the exception of 15 minis all of these had been cleaned and primed 15+ years ago. So it was long overdue to get them table ready.
Before anyone asks, with the exception of a few minis I will point out, all of these are by Victory Force Miniatures. Which might seem like a problem, since their range is only about a maximum of 20 different models strong. But as I said these are meant I represent a 1943 or 1944 and later force. By that time many units had seen a huge influx of new recruits trained and equipped at different times. So while some men still had old one colour Knochensäcke and helmet covers, others had Splittermuster (which came in distinctly different shades depending an manufacturer and batch) or Sumpftarnmuster. So that allowed for a lot of variety. Some went for painted metal items (helmets, canteen cups,…), trousers and ammo bandoliers. All in all these led to a very colourful force and I am happy to say… there are no two minis that share the same pose and colour scheme.
For the time being, these are based in the Fallschirmjäger list from Battlegroup Overlord, which will also work for the eastern front or later periods like Market Garden. If other lists for that period get published in later books, I will mostly likely tweak this force.
So up first is the battlegroup HQ.
Up next are the spotters for all that artillery they have. The officer with the Scherenfernrohr is by Offensive Miniatures, the soldier with the map is from Warlord Games
To make sure that these guys can actually reach the artillery, there is also a radio team (standing in for a wire team under the rules).
The prone sniper is a converted Heer sniper by VFM, the sniper / spotter team is from Warlords plastic range (although I think I needed to convert the rifle to be scoped).
There are two scout foot patrols. I rather like them, since they pack quite some punch with their FG-42s. As some will notice, the second team comes with G43s, but those will serve as stand-ins for the FG-42s.
On to the infantry platoon HQ.
Plus those platoon support options not done last year. Writing this, it dawned on me, that I am still missing the medic for this force. So I think there will be one more mini to paint.
Now all three Trupps, with the exception of one NCO and one LMG assistant, feature the same minis. But as I said above, I think the variation in clothing / equipment colours and a few head swaps really makes them all look different.
The rules give the option to swap one of the regular riflemen for a secong LMG or two equip up tomtwommen with Panzerfäuste. So I build those options as well. All these are Warlord plastics (with the exception of the first and forth from the right with a Panzerfaust).
So what is left now. Well some anti aircraft and heavy anti-tank firepower.
For the anti-aircraft option I went for a 2cm FlaK 38. Essentially I see this as a light force and felt that a manhandled single barrel FlaK made more sense than a Flakvierling.
The model is a 1:48th scale plastic kit and the crew are converted Warlord plastics. I felt that since the kit gave me the option to depict the gun in any state I wanted, it would be nice to show it in the process of being limbered up, hanging half in the air.
And for the heavy anti-tank option I went for an Acht-Achter. I felt this was needed, since the Fallschirmjägerlist gives them StuG III or PzKw IV support at most.
The model itself is an old 1:48th scale FlaK 18 by Bandai that I have had for ages. I felt it would fit this force well, so it received some weathering and was given a Warlord plastics crew.
So this is it. All in all 96 minis, most of them in camouflage clothing. While I really, really like the result, I am really fed up painting Splittermuster and Sumpftarnmuster, especially all the „raindrops“. So I guess it will be at least 2023 before I start on the Volksgrenadiere (or so I say today).
To put everything into context, I have been wargaming World War II for about two decades ago. Back when I started there was not too much around. The big names were Black Tree and Artizan. My choice of miniatures, namely Victory Force Miniatures, was exotic, especially when living in Europe.
Bolt Action (not the game, but the company that would later be sold on to Warlord to form the nucleus for the game of said name) was still a twinkle in Paul Hicks eyes. Due to that vehicles were far and few in between.
You had the choice between a few small ranges from the US and Canada and the old Bandai kits in 1:48th scale. I went for the later, partly due to the fact that I was able to acquire a largish batch of both assembled (in various stages of disrepair) and unassailabled state.
Not that the choices for paints were much better. Tamiya and Vallejo both had ranges far below the size the are today and AK and Ammo were not even in existence. Same went for colour guides.
So why am I rambling like this. Well to underline that some of my choices when it came to painting things were a bit… let’s just say experimental. Some were good or OK even by today’s standards (like you will see later on), others were completely out of the park (like the one that led to the repaint of all my American tanks two years ago).
But with those that were fine… well weathering back then was usually a fine mist of dust airbrushed on around the tracks. No longer up to the standards I use today. Obviously this means a distinct visual difference between the new and the old. So those old models that will not require a complete makeover, will be brought up to date as time goes on. The plan right now is to do a few every time I work on new vehicles.
The ones I decided to start off with are the workhorses of the German armies, the Panzerkampfwagen IV. In this case the H version.
Just to give you an idea what they looked like before, here is a couple of pictures pulled from the archives:
So what do they look like now? Let’s start with turret number 311, or as it is called now… turret number 126.
As you can (hopefully) see I added chipping to the edges, scratches to the Schürzen (they often scratched against the vegetation or buildings, leading to them being ripped off or scratched), rust streaks, a wash to give it all more definition and a filter to blend the colours in a more natural way. Now all of these were applied to the other tanks (old and new) as well, so I will not repeat myself there.
So why the new turret number? To make sure the decals would not detach when working with the washes and filters, I gave all the decals two coats of varnish a couple of days before I started. I might have done so back when I originally painted these, but since I could not remember anymore, I felt better safe than sorry. And it worked on all the other tanks, but not this one. With the decals rubbing off I also had some more freedom here. The paint job (field applied Hinterhalttarnung variation) is distinctly late war (fall / winter 1944 or later), but the old turret number were more mid war. So I went full later war with white outline stencilled numbers.
Turret number 713 aka „Styx“ also has more of a late war vibe to it. Around 20 years ago I saw newsreel footage of a StuG III somewhere on the Eastern Front taken sometime during the last two or three months of the war. It featured broad brown roughly vertical bands with green lines snaking around them on the skirts. I found that camo impressive, especially since the green lines would „hide“ behind the brown on every second crossing, giving that camo forced perspective. So I decided to use it on a PzKw IV.
I will probably change the tank commander miniature later on though. While a black uniform would not be out of the question late war, the Schiffchen does not feel right.
Turret number 304 has more of a mid-1944 feel to it. So I felt this would be the perfect one to add “some” foilage against allied fighter bombers. I decided against that for the two above. After all those are for the late fall 1944 onwards period, when tanks featured no leafie braches any more (you do not find those during the cold months).
Only half of the PzKw IV were painted with rust on the exhausts. Since these would usually rust fast in real life, I wanted them all this way. And since I wanted a uniform look on all of them, I simply redid them all.
Turret number 313 had features a camo of diagonal stripes often seen during 1944 and would have been a fine candidate for foilage as well. But back then it took me a whole evening to cut the skirts to turn them into field workshop chicken wire Schürzen and I did not want foilage to distract from them.
Rounding off the PzKw IV family is a Flakpanzer Wirbelwind.
This is a New Millennium Toys model that were available for cheap in the US for a short time nearly two decades ago. The paint job was absolutely horrible and so I redid that ages ago. It received the same treatment as the others. It is still awaiting its crew. I still have a crew from Eurekas Jurassic Reich range that fits it well. But right now it’s whereabouts on the lead mountain are unknown, so until I find them, it will remain uncrewed.
Some of the details on the model are weak (or utterly wrong), but one can hardly complain for a model that cost less than 10 US$ back then.
And ending the old ones is a Raupenschlepper Ost or short RSO.
I painted this one ago based on a photo of one in a museum (most likely not an original paint job, but I liked it. Last year I decided to use it as the tow for my Fallschirmjäger PaK 40, which got a matching paint job last year.
Kicking off the new is a Styer 1500a radio truck. I absolutely love the Styer for its rounded chassis and when I saw a conversion kit for the 1:48th scale Tamiya kit it was a must have for me. The rack for the fuel canisters on the roof is scratch build.
This one will serve as the radio truck for my late war Fallschirmjäger force, so this was a good time to paint it. The keen eyed amongst you will notice, that it sports Heer and not Luftwaffe number plates. Well in the end it will also serve as the radio truck for other rosters, so I went with those plates that fit most of my forces.
Personally I think the sky reflecting in the windows will need towing down… what do you think?
And rounding things off is a StuG III to complete a unit started three years ago. It felt like a good time, since they will be required to provide some armoured support to my Fallschirmjäger when needed.
Unfortunately it turned out a little darker than the old ones. I am sure I used the same shade of Dunkelgelb as I did back then. So I can only assume I used a different wash or filter. But to be honest… a lot of vehicles even within the same platoon usuall looked quite different. This is due to the fact that most vehicles were camouflaged by their recipients and that the paints came as pastes that needed to be mixed with liquids before application. They could be mixed with virtually anything (water, fuel, fuel oil, all kinds of oils and spirits) and applied by any means (airbrushed, brushed on, rubbed on with paper, rags, bare hands,…) which led to vastly different shades. So I can live with it.
Looking at the photos I realised, that the radio truck and StuG are both missing some dust. This shall be rectified when I next break out my airbrush.
This is it for today. For all of you who noticed all the Fallschirmjäger references… stay tuned for the next post, which will be a massive one!