A Preponderance of Panzers

For May, I was hoping to complete a diverse German 15mm/1:100 scale armored force to use for a What a Tanker© game D-Day scenario.  Last month saw my completion of a good-sized US force – and I already had an 11-tank British contingent of Shermans and Fireflies.

As for the Germans, last year I had bought and assembled a 5-vehicle Plastic Soldier Company StuG III kit that could be completed as either F8 or G variants.  I assembled and primed them, but put them aside, as they did not fit in with either my France 1940 or North Africa scenarios.  From Battlefront Miniatures, I had bought several resin and plastic models to include a Marder III, 7 Panzer IV’s (E, F2, and H’s), 2 Tiger I’s, and a Panther D.  Additionally, I was able to acquire a Battlefront Ferdinand/Elefant from Chris Rett in my gaming club – which was fortunate as this model is now out of production.  This made 17 tanks/tank destroyers available to assemble and paint, but too big a force for just a Normandy scenario.  Plus, from my research, the StuG F8 was more of an Eastern Front vehicle.  So, I decided to proceed to complete these 17 for two different scenarios, some for the Eastern Front and some for the Normandy scenario.

Researching the camouflage patterns for these two groups showed me very different patterns of painting – and in each case I would need to expand my skills and tools to be able to achieve a good historical representation of each vehicle.  In particular, I needed an airbrush that could do the finest lines and make these tiny tanks look appropriate.  I found a solution in an Iwata Micron B airbrush.   This was not inexpensive, but in the end turned out to live up fully to my expectations.  As an aside, I had been struggling to have enough time to finish all of these tanks in May.  Work this month had been hectic, I attended HUZZAH in Maine (more to come on that in a future post), Memorial Day ceremonies, and the Boston Bruins have been in the Stanley Cup playoffs (and now the finals!!) so my hobby time has been constrained somewhat,  Unfortunately I got a bit more time as I was unexpectedly laid off this week!  I am sure that if I did not have a job, I would not have bought the new Micron B airbrush, but who knew that would happen?  Not me, but at least I was able to finish these in time to be my second entry in Azazel’s “Mechanismo May” community painting challenge.

Given that I was so busy, I took fewer WIP photos than normal – so I decided that this post I will go through some points on assembly, then share in turn the Eastern Front vehicles, the Normandy vehicles, and lastly the paints and materials that I used.  This means the eye-candy shots will be interspersed this time throughout the blog.  As always, let me know your thoughts and feedback – and which one you like the most, if you are so inclined of course!  There are links on the headers and elsewhere if you want more background, albeit from Wikipedia.

Notes on Assembly

2 Tigers
Tiger I kit innards
3 Tiger and washers
I wanted more heft in my tanks – so I added steel washers to the Tiger’s. I filled the hulls afterwards with PVA glue.
6 Panzer IVH with ball bearings and BB's
I remembered that I had some ball bearings from Jeff Smith and some BB’s – so the Panzer IV’s got these and PVA glue on top as ballast.
4 Assembled grouping less Pz Iv's and some StuG's
Some of the tanks, some primed, some not yet.  The Elefant in front had been given an Elefant trunk and ears with green stuff by Chris Rett’s daughter.  I did my best to remove the excess kneadatite before repriming.

Eastern Front

Here are the vehicles I built for a future Eastern Front scenario.

StuG III F8

1 StuG F8 base coated
StuG IIIF8 base coated
2 StuG F8 painted red
I made three F8’s for the Easter front.  Two had the two-toned reddish/brownish camouflage.
3 StuG F8 painted 3 color
The third F8 I experimented with the Iwata Micron B to make a three-toned camouflage pattern.
4 StuG F8's in wheat field
The three StuG IIIF8’s completed deployed in a wheat field.
5 StuG F8's in wheat field left side view
Left side view of the StuG IIIF8’s
6 StuG F8's in wheat field rear view
Rear view of the F8’s.  I used the Vallejo “Thick Brown Mud” on my Eastern Front vehicles to simulate the effects of Mother Russia.

Panzer IVF2

This model was a resin/metal combination.

4 Panzer IVF2 complete right side
Completed Panzer IVF2, left side.
5 Panzer IVF2 complete left side
Right side of the completed Panzer IV F2.

Panzer IVH

3 all 3 Panzer IV H's
I painted one Panzer IVH in a reddish/brown two-tone, and the other two in a two-tone yellow/green pattern.  Here they are with different decals.  I tried Armorcast decals in addition to my Battlefront ones – and the sizes of theirs (crosses) work better for small areas like you see here.  Give them a look if interested.
4 all 3 Panzer IV H's in a field
Patrolling a field.
5 all 3 Panzer IV H's by a wheat field
Left side of the Panzer IVF2’s.  I also varied adding crew or leaving the tank buttoned up to make it easier for tabletop identification and play – in addition to the different decal numbers.

Tiger I

4 Tiger in wheat field left side
Eastern Front Tiger I, left side, crossing a wheat field.
5 Tiger acquiring target
This was a fun model – and the weathering products worked well.
5 Tiger in wheat field frontal view
Acquiring a Soviet target.
5 Tiger in wheat field rightside
Right side shot.
6 Tiger in wheat field rear
Rear angle on the Tiger I.

These are going to be fun to use and see used in future games.  I previously had built a Battlefront resin Tiger I for North Africa, and I must say that the plastic ones are really nice models too (less weighty of course – which is why I added ballast).  Of course, I was primarily focused on getting ready for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  So let’s get to those AFV’s!

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Eastern Front scenarios that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Eastern Front2 Group shot 2 Eastern Front

Normandy Campaign

Here are the Normandy Campaign tanks and tank destroyers I built this month.  These all have three-toned camouflage pattern, though I tried to be true to the examples I found in my research.

Marder III

This was a resin and metal model.  I painted the crew separately before adding them to the model.

4 Marder III complete right side
Marder III in ambush position.
5 Marder III complete left side
Left side view.
6 Marder III rear
Rear view showing Marder III crew.

StuG IIIG

This version had the “schürzen” spaced armor – which was also on the Panzer IVH.  All these are plastic models.

2 Stug G's by wrecked building
Advancing past the ruins.
3 Stug G's in field
Moving into ambush position by the bocage hedgerows.
4 Stug G's advancing down road
Moving up.

Panzer IVE

This model is the least powerful of the Panzer IV’s I built for Normandy, but it was deployed in Normandy and in good numbers.

3 Panzer IVE by building
The Panzer IVE by a building near a Panzer IVH – the Vallejo “Crushed Grass” worked well along with the “European Thick Mud” and the European “Splash Mud” for weathering.

Panzer IVH

I built two plastic Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.  The side armor (schürzen) were not easy to affix, and made painting a challenge on both these and the previous Eastern Front versions.  Their camouflage patterns were slightly different.

1 Panzer IVH's and Panzer IVE in field
The two Panzer IVH’s and the Panzer IVE (for comparison) on the right in the hedgerows.
2 Panzer IVH's facing front
Frontal view of the Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.
2 Panzer IVH's turn corner
Patrolling the ruined village.

Elefant/Ferdinand

I really enjoyed bringing this monster tank destroyer model back to the tabletop.  It is out of production, so I was very happy that Chris sold it to me for a song.

4 Elefant in field
Elefant right side.  
5 Elefant facing front
Nice view of the front – the crewman was already mounted when I got this model.  I prefer to paint them separately, but this worked out fine – they are just so tiny.
6 Elefant rear
Good look at the rear of the vehicle – I liked that it had the zimmerit on it too.

Panther D

I’ve been wanting to build a Panther since I saw the Panther A at the American Heritage Museum last year.  This is 30 miles from my house!

15A PANTHER
Beautiful restoration of this Panther

Mine is a Panther D, and it was a resin/metal model.

Note the road wheel on the turret.  It came in the kit, and I put it there as there was a nub to hang it.  Unfortunately, it interfered with the turret being flush on the hull.  Luckily, I was able to remove the road wheel.  As I had an extra track section, I was able to affix it over that space on the turret.  The model was also missing on of the two exhaust pipes – an iconic part of a Panther.  I was able to drill the resin hull and build a replacement with a cut-down paper clip.

3 Panther in field
Panther crossing an open field.
4 Panther left side
Nice left side view showing the muddy tracks.
5 Panther right side
Right side view with track section on the turret.
6 Panther acquiring target
Target spotted!  Schnell!  Feuer!

Tiger I

I think you’ll be pleased with this one!

 

3 Tiger in field left side
Left side of the Tiger I for a Normandy scenario.
4 Tiger in field rear side
Tiger I rear view.
5 Tiger in field right side
Right side view of the Tiger I.
5 Tiger in open acquring target
Nice frontal shot.

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Normandy that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Normandy Germans

2 Group shot 2 Normandy Germans

3 Group shot 3 Normandy Germans

Thanks for looking and I hope that you found this interesting !  I have more to do now – next up:

1 Next models

D-Day is only 5 days away!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE USED ON THESE VEHICLES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Testors Plastic Cement
  3. Elmer’s white glue
  4. Steel washers
  5. Ball bearings
  6. BB gun BB’s
  7. E6000 epoxy
  8. Aleene’s poster tack
  9. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  10. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  11. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  12. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  13. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  14. Battlefront “European Skin”
  15. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  16. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Dark Olive Green”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Olive Green”
  19. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  20. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  21. Polly Scale “WWII Luftwaffe Uniform Gray”
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Panzer Dark Grey”
  23. P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  27. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  28. Vallejo Mecha Color “Olive Green”
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  30. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  31. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  32. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  33. Vallejo Model Air “USA Olive Drab”
  34. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  35. Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
  36. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  37. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  38. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  39. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  40. Microscale Micro-Set
  41. Microscale Micro-Sol
  42. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  43. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  44. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  45. Vallejo “Brown Mud” (Thick Mud)
  46. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  47. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”
  48. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

 

 

Author: Mark A. Morin

This site is where I will discuss stuff that I find interesting and that includes family, friends, golf, gaming, and Boston sports!

33 thoughts on “A Preponderance of Panzers”

  1. Epic post, Mark! That’s a ton of armour you’ve finished in the last month, regardless of when you started them off – and made all the better by your careful research and evident care in researching appropriate camouflage schemes for each vehicle before actually applying them to the tanks and armour.
    I’m looking forward to a lot of shots from Thursday’s games!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, the good news is that I know when we knuckle down and have fewer distractions it’s very doable to get quite a lot done with 4-5 days.

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  2. Always enjoy your posts Mark, the detail, the photos and the backgrounds data. Needless to say this one did not disappoint. As good as your other work is these tanks are something else. The paint jobs are simply stunning, an amazing collection my friend. Enjoy the upcoming games!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Sorry you lost your job mate ,never a nice thing having it happen to myself a few times in my career ,but I’m sure you are looking at the positive ,more model time. I just love the paint jobs mate on these tiny little beauties ,well done ,and I’m glad young Aleene got mentioned in dispatches !! .

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very kind Pat, being my second lay-off in 6 months this was a bitter pill, but who knows what the future holds. Hopefully I will find a better one maybe. Yup, certainly more model and golf time. Glad you liked the tanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Mike. I don’t think I had any special talents, and to tell you the truth I wish I got an airbrush years ago. Started off needing one because I couldn’t use rattlecans for priming and varnishing a lot of the year here in New England, and now that has grown to this.

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  4. Great stuff Mark, really interesting to see the step by step process and the list of ingredients! Sorry to hear about the job, hopefully it won’t take you too long to get another one. Enjoy the extra hobbying in the meantime though!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Superb post Mark- love all that you have done. My favourite is the Marder, being open topped the full crew figures really add to it.

    The Ferdinand/ Elephant is great too, huge things they are and your model has captured the look of it too.

    Sorry to hear about the job too.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Pete, the Marder was the smallest model of the group, and the Elefant the heaviest/largest, so you truly book-ended favorites. Yeah, the job stuff sucks, but I’m hoping to find a new gig soon.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks IRO, you’re right – wish I could be my own boss like you! Glad you like the post and the camo, and I think you meant to say ball bearing, not ball beating – but now I’m in pain laughing 😂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ouch! Ball beating reminds me of an Ex of mine haha. I don’t presume to know your circumstances but, honestly, starting my own business was one of the best things I’ve ever done. It was both easier and more challenging than I expected but now it’s smooth sailing. The hardest thing was taking the first step. Now I love what I do and my only regret is not having done it sooner

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m playing catch up at moment with blogs! Sorry to hear the job news, let’s hope something comes up! As far as the tanks are concerned, all very nice indeed and that airbrush is certainly earning its keep! Camouflage and weathering really looking good! Very difficult to pick a favourite, but probably Pz IV H number 31, with the Normandy Tiger close behind! Hope you enjoy gaming with ’em!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey John, just catching up as well as I clear my desk and begin the work of real job searching…three months after I was doing just that! Oh well, it will work out.

      I did like the reddish-brown #31 too – and the Normandy Tiger I is close to being my fave. Of course, you know what it’s like – these are all faves in their own way when you paint them. Glad you noticed the weathering – the new Vallejo stuff I am using is pretty effective.
      As for the tanks, I gamed (well I GM’d) with them on D-Day and will post something soon about them and the 8-rad SdKfz 231 and 233’s that I finished in time as well.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Looking forward to reading about your D-Day games. Funnily enough I’ve been thinking about the SdKfz 231 8-rad and whether I should get one for my early war Germans. I’ve got two 234 variants for late war (yep, you’ve guessed it, they are over 30 years old) but not sure which might be the best 20mm/1:72 231 model. Hope the job-hunting goes well!

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  7. So sorry top hear about you job woes Mark, all the very best in sorting out more gainful employment soon. Turning to your tanks, well they are superb as always, and your post is also interesting and informative, you know you really are rather good at all this!

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Roger my friend, it was a shock, but life moves on and I shall as well I suppose. Hoping that your new endeavors are proving rewarding and very glad that you are still reading my blog! Also, very kind of you on the compliments (and believe me they are timely life-wise!).

      Best as always,

      Mark

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