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Category Archives: Kursk

More shades of grey

More shades of grey

Do continuing my quest to build a large German army for the 1939 – 1941 period I tackled some more armour. Usually I am no big fan of using cell photo pictures, but when Intook these the other day (to show some of the guys at the club), I actually felt they turned out fine, so I decided to use them here as well. Only things that irritates me about these photos though is the slivering on some of the decals, since there is none in real live. Anyway… let’s get the party started.

Up first is a SdKfz 251 C from Blitzkrieg Models. Now this actually this is not meant for that period, but rather 1942up until maybe Kursk. Here I wanted a look of a haste camouflage job applied over a very faded Panzergrau. Since the model was assembled as it was and I was airbrushing grey anyway, I decided to mix it in. I simply went two shades lighter on everything, did some sloppy Dunkelgelb stripes and went heavier on the weathering. The sandbags were sculpted with green stuff out of necessity. The roof ring had been damaged in the mail and I found it more sensible to simply sculpt two sand bags on, rather than ask for a replacement. Crew and machine gun will be added later.

Up next is the SdKfz 232 in the six wheel version. This model is by Warlord games and one of only two in the whole early war German complement in 1:56th scale. Not

Much to say about it, except that it is a fairly nice kit, which suffered from a lot of bubbles on the fenders. Most of which I sculpted over, but looking at the picture, I seem to have missed a few of the smaller ones.

The Adler scout car is the other model in 1:56th scale and also by Warlord. Again a nice little kit, but a much cleaner casting.

Now this is a Steyr ADGZ. I always liked the vehicle for its looks, so I asked my friend Martin to print me one. Big downside to this is, that a) the file itself is very I detailed and b) this was one of the first models he ever printed and it shows. At some point I was close to not finishing it at all and simply throwing it away, but decided to carry on. Although I think it might not see that much tabletop use.

Up next is a Corgi SdKfz 7. The original paint job was quite OK, but the weathering was horrible (just a few strokes in a baby poo colour with a broad brush), sonI repainted the whole thing. It still. Red to be crewed and I will probably go for Warlord Games Plastic seared Germans.

This is a 3D printed Famo recovery half-track. I chose a covered version since I wanted this done quickly without having to paint a crew or load.

Horch Kfz 18 by Tamiya that will serve either as the overall command vehicle or the command vehicle for a non-armoured infantry platoon. I will later do another heavy car (this time a Steyr) in case I want to use both options at once. It still needs to be crewed and will probably receive the Tamiya minis that came with it.

Two Krupp Protze light trucks with PaK to serve in the light PaK battery. I have to say, having played mostly 1943 and later over the past nearly two decades, I was initially not too keen to even field one 3,7cm PaK, but after our first test game set in France 1940 I found that these actually were quite good for the period, so a whole battery became an option. Both of these are by Tamiya and will probably get the crews that came with them.

And a Schwimmwagen for the Kradschützenplatoon, finally completing that thing. The vehicle is by Tamiya the crew might be Company B, but I am not sure.

Flakpanzer II. The model is a 3D print, the FlaK and crew are Warlord games. The gun from the print was horrible and since I wanted to use the crew anyway, I decided to replace the gun as well.

A Bunkerflak. Again a 3D print. Not the best either but way better than the Scouts right above. The crew is a converted plastic Warlord Games mini.

A Acht-Acht FlaK by Italeri to provide some extra punch against those French heavies or Russian KV-IIs. Again, the crew are converted Warlord Games. I decided to build the model firing while limbered up, which it could do. When I was a young boy there was a very good multi part documentary co-produced by German and Russian TV stations. I seemed to remember seeing one fire while limbered up, so when I was building the model this winter I began by searching for pictures but could find none. So I looked at Wochenschau films and there were a lot of them firing while limbered. But the more war progressed, the rarer this became. I guess when you are moving fast through Europe and have all the advantages you do not spare the extra 2 ½ minutes to unlimber. But when you are outnumbered and have to fight from hiding you better spend that time to have a low profile.

And last there an AT-team completing the support options for the infantry platoon. I have to say I found the metal offerings on the market were all poorly sculpted, so when Warlord released their Afrika Korps Set with a Banzerbüchse I bought it and cobbled something together. The shooter is actually a Blitzkrieg body with Afrika Korps arms and the Spotter exactly the opposite. It also gave me the option to do a different position from the usual prone one.

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Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers

Ok, so let’s get the party started. For those of you playing Battlegroup, you will know that many scenarios require objective markers. Usually something between one and four. So far I did three for Berlin or other late war urban settings. Obviously that is too few even for that setting. So one more was needed. And while I was on it, I did a few more.

Battlegroup objektive marker

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich)

Battlegroup objektive marker (image edited to comply with German law)

Battlegroup objektive marker (Fall of the Reich) (image edited to comply with German law)

Up first is another one for Fall of the Reich. When Germany went about conquering virtually all of Europe as well as large parts of Russia and North Africa, they looted whatever they could, including many acheological artefacts.  When the Allies entered Germany, the Nazi high ups wanted to move many of these items out of the way, preferably into their own private collections. And I wanted one of these items, that could not be moved fast enough.

In this case I simply took an Egyptian artefact from Crocodile Games Wargods of Ægyptus range and placed it inside a wooden crate (build from plasticard) and added a helmet and G-43 from a Tamiya 1:48 scale infantry set.

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive markers

From left to right these are a wayside cross (1:48th scale scenery item), an Western Allies fuel dump (barrels and jerry can from a 1:48th scale Tamiya accessory set with the Tommy Gun being from Warlord Games) and a simple tattered scare crow (matchsticks and tissue paper soaked in white glue).

Battlegroup objektive markers

Battlegroup objektive marker (Spring to fall)

And another three ammo or fuel dumps. Again, weapons are from Warlord Games and the rest is Tamiya 1:48th scale.

I tried to keep everything on the two photos as generic a possible. Only the two German fuel dumps are painted for an early and mid to late war period. But all in all, there are two markers (cross and scarecrow) that could be used virtually everywhere in Europe or Russia for any period of the war. With the those two and a mix of a German objective and an allied one (depending on the opposition) I will always have at least four options.

Battlegroup objective markers

Battlegroup objective markers (Winter)

And last a few for winter settings. Left to right these are a snowman (sculpted from Greenstuff with snow flock added after painting), a “V” that someone peed into the snow, a stack of barrels and a jerry can covered by a tarpaulin and snow (again Tamiya items and white glue soaked tissue paper) and a simply scare crow (done like the one above). Now I have to admit, that these are kind of a reserve, for right now these are my only winter scenery items.

All of these were done last winter.

 

Battlegroup Kursk

Battlegroup Kursk

OK, it seems the process of catching up is not over yet. This is a game report of a game we (Julian and myself) played in May. This time it was Battlegroup Kursk (in 20mm). The scenario was the “Counter-Attack at Vinogradovka”, but with alternative forces.

 

Before I start, please let me say, that it seems I have waited a little too long writing this report, since my memory seems a little fuzzy by now. Be that as it may, I will try to give my best report.

The Germans (played by Julian) had a PzKw V Tiger, three PzKw III, accompanying infantry (if memory serves me right, about a platoon of them) and some off-board artillery.

The tanks were deployed on their right, the infantry in the centre and on their left (where the majority of their infantry was.

The Russians (played by me) brought 6 T34-76, three T-70s, two guns (IIRC a Zis-2 and a Zis-3), two medium mortars and infantry (again about a platoon worth plus a sniper team) to the fight.

One three tank group of T-34´s each were deployed centre and right, as was all the infantry. Only the T-70s were deployed opposite the German tanks.

Throughout the game, the Germans only rolled average when it came to the number of commands per turn. That being said, with one exception, the Russians rolled very low.

Almost from the start, the game turned into a heavy slugging match. The Germans activated first and pounded the Russian positions with their artillery and Tiger (since all other weapons were without range). They failed to do much damage to the infantry and gun crews they hit (IIRC only one dead), but two infantry sections and one of the AT guns were pinned. Some of the German infantry advanced as well.

The Russians returned fire with the other AT gun and the T-70s, firing at the PzKw IIIs, but the most they did was pin one of them. The T-34s in the centre started their advance towards the German tanks. At the same time the Russian that had been pinned by the German fire unpinned.

From this point on, things turned more and more into a gunfight between the tanks of both sides and the AT guns. Both the T-70s and PzKw III died pretty quick. The biggest problem was the Tiger. It slowly kept on taking out the T-34s. It is not like they did not fire back, but all they did was pin it from time to time. So by the end of the game, all that was left from the tank battle was the Tiger.

On the only thing that went somewhat well for the Russians was their right flank. Although they were subject to heavy fire and close attacks from the German infantry, they managed to dislodge them from the hill on that flank. Even better they also managed to take out the German spotters, which meant no more artillery coming down on their positions.

In the end it was too little though. I managed to always draw the high chits when unpinning or taking losses. So by the time they cleared the hill, the Russians had taken too many losses and had reached their breaking point and the Germans won the day.

 

All in all a very pleasant game, that was somewhat diminished by the bad dice rolling whenever it really mattered!

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

The Battlefield (Germans left, Russians right)

PzKw IIIs

PzKw IIIs

T-34s moving out of the village

T-34s moving out of the village

The beauty of the Russian countryside

The beauty of the Russian countryside

Tank engagement

Tank engagement

The Germans tanks

The Germans tanks

T-34 scaling the hill

T-34 scaling the hill

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2015 in Kursk, Wehrmacht, WWII, WWII: Germans, WWII: Russians