Panzerschreck Design Studio

Journey of a Wargamer – Comments welcomed

Archive for the ‘Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe)’ Category

An ongoing project to assemble a 15mm / 1:100th taletop force that will provide a decent and well matched OpFor for my British, US and Soviets.

The end of the month…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 29

My copy of Paul Freyberg’s biography of his father arrived earlier this week. It’s a little battered, but still very serviceable. I’ve managed to get through to the first stage of the Crete battles and it’s reminded me that there is still so much to look at. Crete is one of those WW2 battles that I feel can only be really looked at with a line drawn through much of the scholarship of the pre-Ultra release era. So much was unable to be said, so much commentary without a core understanding of the realities.

What did strike a chord, and is still occasionally discernable in certain operations today, was  the total lack of understanding of British Higher command towards the commonwealth troops. The treatment of Freyberg and Blamey in Greece was not just poor, it was criminally reprehensible and Wavell and Wilson’s handling of the matters should have seen them sacked with the full weight of prosecution.

Wavell certainly comes across as a complete noserag.  I’m looking forward to reading more of Freyberg’s Italian Campaign recollections. Yes, the aurtthor is somehwat too close to the subject, but then again, having the source on tap and most importantly willing to talk about matters helps. Paul Freyberg himself being a soldier brings a degree of polish and understanding to the prose, yet he doesn’t fall into the trap of talking down to his audience.

Glad I finally got hold of a copy. Now to pick up a few more recent books on Crete and Greece.

In other news, the Tiger Abteilung arrived as well. Given it worked out at $15 per tiger , I’m well pleased.I had a quick glance through the little FOW handbook that came with it and I don’t think that much of the actual historical pieces. There’s something definitely offputting about the section on Wittman. Not overtly Nazi Fan-boy, but the hagiography reeks of Agte and phrases such as  “he died a soldier’s death”  make my skin crawl.

The models are ver’ pretty indeed.Definitely staying in the can until Australia though. I want to be much better with the airbrush by the time I tackle them.

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More Feline Goodness Part II

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 26

the last lot of photos of the Germans until Derek sends me more…

Panthers 4 

I’ve got so many crew figures to play with I might take my time selecting the right figures for the commanders.

Purty Putty Tat 

The dark yellow is actually a mix of Tamiya Dark yellow and Desert Yellow with a little bit of white added. It’s not quite as pronounced as this picture might have you believe, and nothing that a light dusting of buff or yellow grey can’t tone down. It’ll be interesting how the magic wash works on the overall tone, I’m thinking even if it darkens the overall scheme, I’ll not be too worried. What does thrill me is that I’ll have a nice consistent look across the platoons. Makes for a nice homogenous looking force (a tad dichotomous for a bunch of camo schemes but it’s the aesthete in me that cares).

Bye bye Kitty kats 

I’m not sure when I’ll next get the chance to post a lot of pictures – but hopefully I’ll sort something out soonish. In the meantime I  really should set out my late war brits for a mass photo shoot before I pack them away for the move.

P-J

 

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More Feline Goodness

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 24

Derek’s been a very busy lad it would seem. When I originally asked him to do some airbrushing, we hit upon a scheme that featured a fairly sparse coverage of olivgrun and rotbraun over the dunkelgelb base colour. Derek managed to alter those parameters slightly and I’m glad he did because the results are pretty damn good.

Panther G 

The thing that impresses me is that there’s very little I’ll need to do to get these to a level I’ll be very happy to field on the tabletop. I’ve got a fair amount of stowage and detailing I can and will add along with the markings and some subtle weathering.

Panthers 2 

I can see I’m going to have a bit of fun with Micro Sol and Micro Set. I’m also going to need to decide on exactly what unit I want to represent, as I’ll need to see what decals are available to get the look just right. And I still haven’t settled on a decent technique for the trackwork. I also have to think about drilling out the muzzle brakes…

Bergepanther 

The Bergepanther is probably where I can experiment the most with weathering, mud and paintchipping techniques as subtlety isn’t as paramount for a recovery vehicle as it would be for the teeth vehicles.

More pics later today but for now I’m just going to see where the Germans are in terms of a game-ready force.

P-J

 

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Reference materials and Reading list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 23

I haven’t restricted myself to buying just models lately, I’ve also picked up a few books:

The first is a  biography of Freyberg by his son, which has been on my Holy Grail list of books for some time. It’ll make a nice counterpoint to the rather facile criticisms of the Cassino battles by some of the more acerbic British and American authors (Fred Majdalany being a notable exception) and will also compliment my collection of Crete references perfectly

Freyberg VC 

The second book is another one that will sit by my workbench at all times, and will hopefully aid me in my quest to improve my modelling skills:

The Handbook 

The third book should be no surprise to recent viewers, given what i’ve been buying lately:

How to Build a Tigger 

I had thought of picking up the Greenland Ospreys on Panzers etc, and may still do so, but this should give me a starting point with the detailing.

The last book I bought lately was to get me started on the various 2nd Edition Flames of War supplements. I finally completed getting all my 1st Ed Flames of War books (somehow I now have 3 copies of the early Diving Eagles book though) apart from Stars and Stripes, but that will be easy enough to find. The real book I wanted was the initial 2nd ed army book: Festung Europa:

Festung Europa 

So that’s my current reading pile, no real relaxing reads, but enough to generate some real ideas.

Posted in Books, Diary of An Army II (1944 Fallschirmjäger), Diary of An Army III (1944-45 German Kampfgruppe), Flames of War, Gaming, History, Modelling and Painting, wargaming | Leave a Comment »

It only took one day…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

…to add more tigers to my collection courtesy of a bargain on Trade Me:

Pretty Kitteh 

and hopefully i’ll get them looking like this:

Very pretty kittehs 

I’m doomed. And now I just now I’ll need to buy the Wittman boxed set because it has a schwimmwagen!

 

Doomed I tell you. And this just after I bragged that I had more Cromwells than Tigers to show I wasn’t a panzerporn fanboy…oops, not true anymore.

Oh well at least I’ll be able to do a reasonable review and comparison with the second generation ones I already have. Now to explain this particular purchase to the other half.

P-J

 

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The list

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

here’s the list of German models I have right now:

German tanks and other vehicles

2 x Tiger II (1st gen – painted ambush)
2 x Tiger II (2nd gen – unpainted)
4 x Jagdpanther (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Panther G (1st gen – painted 2 and 3 colour)
5 x Panther G (2nd gen – unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
4 x Tiger I (2nd gen -unpainted) – base coat by Derek Forrester
1 x Bergepanther  – base coat by Derek Forrester
3 x Panzer IV G (unpainted 2nd Gen)
4 x Panzer III L/M
2 x Pzjgr Ferdinand (1st/2nd gen painted)
1 x Sdkfz 250/1alt (painted)

7 x Horch Staff car
2 x Kubelwagen
2 x Schwimmwagen
1 x Sdkfz 10/4 AA
3 x Krupp Protze
16 x Motorcycle/sidecars
4 x Pak 40 + crew
1 x pak 38 + crew
1 x leFH18 + crew
 

3 x Grenadier Platoons, 2 x MG platoons, 1 x 81mm Mortar platoon.

All I really need to add for my purposes are some Armoured cars (yes Pumas), Sdkfz 250s and 251s plus the ubiquitous StuG platoon and maybe a unit or two of Jagdpanzer IVs (JgPz IV/48s, JgPzIV/70s and IV/70As)

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Where The Tigers Are…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 20

So here they are, the first lot of big cats to be airbrushed, courtesy of Duellists club member and all around nice guy Derek F. Derek’s opinion is that the Tamiya Dark Yellow is actually too green tinged for his liking, and although I can’t see it myself (I do think I have issues with the green/yellow /brown spectrum of military colours) I’m going with his call to use a mix of Tamiya Desert Yellow and Dark Yellow. I’m very pleased with the way the red-brown has a vibrancy that captures the look I was after along with the understated amount of the contrasting camouflage colours. Now all I have to do is work on the details and the highlighting before applying some form of Magic Wash/Pinwash shading. Thinking about it, I’ll probably err on the side of less is more in terms of weathering and highlighting and just make sure that the details are done to the best of my ability. Aerials and the bow MG, plus a couple of crew  will probably do more to set them off nicely than any amount of chipping etc. I’m still wondering whether to use some of the seafoam foliage Derek generously gave me but I’ll probably make my decision once I’m in Aussie with a complete painted force. 

 

 

the First step 

 

 

The best thing about all this model acquisition is that it’s actually been coherent, I’ve worked to a plan and the best thing is that it’s actually mirrored the exact purchase plan I had in mind when Flames of War was still in early playtest. What I have to do is avoid the temptations of the Gentlemen’s Wargame Parlour and The Guild discussion groups with their evil eye-cady personal projects and diversions into the “Other” scale (20mm), although I do have a hankering to do something Twilight 2000 related just because it’s so attractive to play around with 1980s/90s era European equipment.  

   

Where will it all end? Probably never. Much of my impetus at the moment is rationalising my collections so that I can turn up to the club in Australia with stuff that fits the type of games I want to play and offer. Hence the retrenchment away from Ancients and Napoleonics until I’m fully settled, and the concentration on my two main interest, ACW and WW2.  

   

With all my purchases of late, I’m pretty much ready to spend the balance of 2008 painting all of it, with no need to do anything else in terms of miniatures acquisition. Given my partner is supportive, encouraging and understanding of my hobbies, I’m happy to just concentrate on that aspect and leave further acquisitions to the areas of paints, tools and reference materials.  

   

Of course there’s also the sorting out of various things I’ll need to do in the meantime, i.e. scenery, terrain, and the occasional bit of scratchbuilding/conversion.

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It’s started…

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 18

So yesterday Derek Forrester picked up the first lot of German panzers to be basecoated: 4 x Tiger 1s, 4 x Jagdpanthers, 5 x Panther Gs and 1 x Bergepanther. I just have to rememebr to pick up some Tamiya Dark Yellow and maybe some buff to take the green edge from it for him. The cool thing is this will be a collaboration of sorts. Derek does the initial 3 colours and I spend my time doing the detailing – something i find I’m okay to do. I’m going to be working with a version of the magic wash/pinwash for the panel lines and some moderate highlighting.

Next up I’ll get him to do the Panzer IVs and the remaining two Henschel Tigger IIs. I’ll probably end up doing the dappling for the ambush schemes myself as I’m avoiding the dot version and going for the tickmark variant which I prefer the look of, plus you can get away with fewer tick marks compared to the tendency to overdo the spotted ambush look – sometime one sees a KT looking more like a refugee from the measles ward.

With regard to markings, well I may actually have the KTs as part of sPzAbt 506 Hummel of Arnhem infamy just because they’re a Wehrmacht unit rather than the SS types, and I’ve got enough SS troopers to to do some 10th SS grenadiers to accompany them.

August September means the autumn scheme for the Germans which suits me just fine, I don’t like the look of the bright greens of the spring version, the russets and browns work better for my eyes.

And because it’s Arnhem, I suppose I better think about grabbing some Para Recce Jeeps – Peter Pig or Battlefront? Probably a mix of both, depending on what sort of deal I can get from Martin at Peter Pig if I buy enough, as I’d like to do a comparison between the two without the input of some of the more virulent PMTers like Hodge or Cartwright.

I can also go ahead and finish off my old Panzer IIIMs (okay they’ve got schürzen which the ones in Then and Now didn’t have) but they’ll at least be more use than a Kursk army I’ll never end up completing.

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Thoughts

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 10

With all these nefarious Germans soon to arrive, I’ve arranged to do a partial exchange of services for models. I don’t actually need the Panzer IVs right now, so a local club member who’s got the time and interest right now to do some airbrushing for me is going to do some 3 colour airbrushing base coats on the big cats, so I can concentrate on the detailing, weathering and dealing parts.

The issue I have is that I really do need to look at what particular scheme I want to use for the Panthers and Tigers. Ambush scheme is out for now, mainly because I’m not going to ask the guy to do that sort of work in an exchange deal. I quite like the idea of the sPzabt 101 three colour scheme for my tigger 1s, as that will allow me some versatility and also there’s Hill 112 to be considered.

As for the infantry, well that’s one area it’s going to be very measured and planned. I’m going to see just how motley I can get the uniforms to look, and this may see my first experimentation with green stuff for the zeltbahn ponchos etc, given that I won’t be too concerned about stuffing it up using the older gen figures.

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Here Kitty Kitty (the latest additions)

Posted by panzerschreckdesign on 2008, February 6

Tiggers

1st Gen Sculpts again, but nicely finished . I have to get rid of the Balkankreuz on the Turret sides at some point, but as I know the exact shades Evan used when he painted these all those years ago, I’m pretty comfortable with being able to do so. Some highlighting and detailing plus decals and markings to bring them up to scratch.

Tiggers!

Mreooow!

Panthers

I paid a bit of a premium for these first gen Battlefront Panther Gs, and my reasoning was they certainly looked nicely done from the pics. The ambush scheme was the clincher for me really. I wasn’t disappointed in the flesh, although I will have to either replace the old style narrow tracks with newer ones obtained from Evan, or disguise them by basing them which is a serious option for me these days (I used to find basing the bigger vehicles a biit dubious but these days I prefer to have them based for storage purposes particularly if they’re going to be taken to club meetings or such. I may end up replacing the gun barrels anyway but they do fit nicely with my Tigger IIs (see above). I’ll probably give them a coat of magic wash to accentuate the detail before a very light highlighting and decals to finish with a good varnish. And yes I have fixed the misapplied hatch.

Ooh Kitty cats

Panther G / 3 Colour

Panther G 2 Colour

Panther G Ambush

 

Panther G 2 colour #2

More Germans

One of the more glaring gaps in my WW2 collection has been Germans. Sure I have a bunch of Fallschirmjäger but in terms of general wehrmacht line infantry – nothing. At least until now. So they’re mid-late war with the anklets rather than Jackboots but that just means they’re ideally suited to my Normandy and Holland theme. I now have a decent bunch of AT guns to work with as well, important given the scenarios I have in mind. Plus Pak 40s are way more styley than the overrepresented 88mm.

Panzergrenadiers

  • 1 x Grenadier Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Company HQ
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier MG Platoon
  • 1 x Panzergrenadier/Grenadier Mortar Platoon
  • 1 x Fallschirmjager MG Platoon (like I need any more)
  • 2 x 7.5cm anti-tank gun (to add to the two I have already)
  • 1 x 5cm anti-tank gun (one of my favourite AT guns)
  • 1 x 10.5cm field howitzer (I’m sure I can find a use for this)
  • 70 + other miniatures, mostly older (rectangular base) Battlefront minis which will flesh out the infantry sections along with the Grenadier Platoon I already bought last week.

German Vehicles I

A bunch of vehicles including some older softskins to match my existing ones, along with a couple of very welcome Jagdpanthers.

German Support Vehicles

 

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Horch Kfz70 (I already have oodles of these, but I still have need of some)
  • 1 x Krupp Protze (Again, I needed a few more anyway)
  • 2 x Kubelwagen (just like Jeeps, I never have enough)
  • 2 x Schwimmwagen (very useful for Recce teams)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 10/5 2cm Flak halftrack (a bit of a luxury but my FJs need a few)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 11 3t halftrack (bonus vehicle here)
  • 2 x Jagdpanther (yeah baby, yeah)
  • 4 x Sd Kfz 251/1D/10D halftrack (I just need to get some seated Germans to populate them)
  • 1 x Sd Kfz 251/9 7.5cm halftrack (I need more)

German Vehicles II

I couldn’t resist picking these ones up as a complement to the previous lot. I wanted at least 4 Jagdpanthers,and the additional Tiggers were very welcome. Even though these models are not the latest sculpts from BF they match my existing ones and are still very serviceable as far as I’m concerned. I did pay close to retail but these are worth it especially as the Jagdpanthers are no longer available.

Lots of Heavy Metal late war panzertruppen

Left To Right, Top to Bottom

  • 1 x Jagdpanther (almost a full platoon)
  • 3 x Tiger 1E (Zimmerit) (now I have four of them)
  • 2 x Kingtiger (Henschel Turret) (that makes four as well)
  • 1 x Jagdpanther (there’s my four Jagdpanthers – can you sense a theme?)
  • 2 x Panther G (Okay so added to the four above plus my original G and D, that makes Woot! two platoons)
  • 1 x Bergepanther (because one should always have a recovery vehicle)
  • 3 x Panzer IV H (I’ll always find a use for Panzer IVs, but I really do need another 5 or so)

Summary

In one fell swoop I’ve accumulated almost the Late War Kampfgruppe force I wanted to do in 15mm. Just need to add some more Panzer IVs and perhaps some recce vehicles (234s of various types or 250s) and maybe some more Flak or ATGs ( Pak97/38s appeal for novelty value).

One of the reasons I was happy enough to go with buying all these older gen models is that I can practise my airbrushing on them, which I’d be nervous about with the more expensive recent German armour. I’ll probably try for some cohesive camo schemes though, it’s always easier to get into a groove when you’re working with the same parameters. Probably a 3 colour scheme similar to the first Panther G rather than an ambush tick/dot scheme or the broad swathes of colour. Somehow I think Panzer Colors 1, various Squadron Signals and Histoire et Collections books are going to feature on my reading list soon enough.

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