A Preponderance of Panzers – Chapter 2 – Scout Cars and Behemoths

I could not create a proper WWII Normandy scenario for What a Tanker© games without the German forces having both some proper reconnaissance vehicles and some of their legendary monster behemoth tanks.  I acquired four kits to remedy this deficiency – all from The Plastic Soldier Company.  One was a PSC kit of 5 SdKfz 231 armored cars, while I also ordered three Zveda models – a Jagdpanther, a Jagdtiger, and a Tiger II (aka “King Tiger” or “Königstiger”) as shown below.   This blog installment picks up from my previous posting about German tanks and tank destroyers for Normandy.

1 boxes
My plastic kits – all bought from The Plastic Soldier Company.

The tanks were all single models, while the PSC kit allowed you to build either SdKfz 231, 232, 233, or 263 8-rad scout cars.  While I liked the idea of having a 232 or 263 with their iconic roof antennae, I decided not to build them as such for a couple of reasons.  First, the spindly plastic antennae did not look survivable as tabletop figures.  Secondly, if I built the antennae, the turrets would not work.  In the end, I built three SdKfz 231 (with the same 20mm autocannon as the Panzer II) and two turretless and open-topped SdKfz 233 (with the same 75mm gun as the Panzer IVD).  Two SdKfz 231’s would be for North Africa, with the remaining 231 and both 233’s being built for Normandy.  These scout cars, and the other tanks and tank destroyers here all could reasonably be used on either the Western or Eastern Fronts.  I will cover each type in order, and then some “eye candy “shots of the finished models.  I will also share a listing of the paints and other materials I used in the projects for those interested.

SdKfz 231’s and SdKfz 233’s (8-rad scout cars)

These are all 8-wheeled scout cars, and I plan on using them to add some recon aspects to my games.  They are very light, and as I was concerned that they would be knocked around very easily.  I added Daisy BB-gun BB’s to the 231’s, but the 233’s were open topped and that was not an option.  The 233’s did have crew that needed to be painted and mounted.

1 assembly and weights
SdKfz 231 showing my use of BB’s as ballast.
2 SdKfz assembled (2)
The group of 5, assembled, less crews for the 233’s.
2 crew SdKfz 233 painted
One of the crews.  I drilled, ahem, their seat areas, with a pin vise, and mounted them on toothpicks for ease of painting.  I removed most of the toothpick tips before mounting the crewmen and painted over their posteriors.  You can’t see them, but forever these will have a stick up their asses…

As you see above, my Iwata Micron-B was a wonderful tool to achieve the three-tone camouflage patterns.  I applied decals, weathered the vehicles, and varnished them.  The sun finally came out so I took a couple of shots on the deck.

6 SdKfz 233 complete on deck
Completed SdKfz 233 shot outside.
5 SdKfz 231 and 233 complete on deck
All three for Normandy catching some rays.

For the North Africa/DAK 231 models, I just washed and dry-brushed them to achieve a weathered look.  I did not give the DAK 233’s because I did not want to paint another 15mm crew!  These will work just fine.

2 SdKfz 231's for North Africa
Das Afrika Korps now has reconnaissance.

Jagdpanther

The lines on this tank destroyer are practically beautiful.  Though if I was in a Sherman seeing one, my opinion would certainly be different!  Only 415 of these were ever built.

The Jagdpanther model was the easiest to assemble of the three.  The boxes say you don’t need glue, but I recommend using modeling cement for sure.  It certainly helps to close gaps.  I also weighted the tanks and tank destroyers down with BB’s in their hulls.

1 Jagdpanther assembled
Assembled Jagdpanther
2 Jagdpanther painted
Mid-project.
3 Jagdpanther after decal
Before final weathering and varnish was applied.

Jagdtiger

This monster was quite impractical – yet one tough AFV.  It weighed nearly 72 tons, and had a number of mechanical challenges.  However, its 128 mm gun was more than enough to dispatch any other vehicle on the planet.  Between 70 and 88 were built – so they were rare.

1 Jagdtiger assembled
Assembled Jagdtiger model.
2 Jagdtiger painted
After initial camouflage applied.

Tiger II

If the Tiger was iconic, the second generation version Tiger II is a step up even higher.  Only 492 of these 68-ton behemoths were ever built, but they first saw action in Normandy.  This one has the Henschel turret (a few rarities had a Porsche turret).  Early Tiger II versions also had reliability issues, but these improved quickly.

1 Tiger II Assembled
Assembled model of the Tiger II.
2 Tiger II painted
After initial camouflage applied.  Note the droopy bow machine gun.  I used liquid decal film to “firm” it up.

Of course, these are all part of my planned Normandy breakout scenario – so I will now share some eye candy of these German models on that planned tabletop battlefield.

Eye Candy

3 AFV's with painting models
I thought I’d first share this – this is my painting area with the images I used to guide my painting.  The vehicles are below.

Here is the battlefield and a first play test of the scenario that I ran at the Historical Gaming Club of Uxbridge, MA.  The Americans can be seen here.

5 play test
First play test of the scenario.  Note the cards on the table – those represent possible German vehicle positions – which the Americans and British had to recon as they attempted their breakout through hedgerow country.  I appreciate the gamers’ feedback here – it was helpful, and the scenario was close – it went 91-89 in favor of the Germans.  You can learn about the club here.

I modified the previous tabletop, and my current set up is below.

So now some shots of the vehicles on the new tabletop set up!

1 SdKfz 231 front Normandy
An SdKfz 231 recons.
2 SdKfz 231 right side Normandy
Right side of SdKfz 231.
3 SdKfz 233's reconning, front side, Normandy
Two SdKfz 233’s recon past a destroyed building.
4 Jagdpanther moving down road, frontal view
Jagdpanther advances down a French road.

11 Jagdtiger moving down road, right side

Right side of the Jagdtiger at a Normandy crossroads.

12 Jagdtiger hiding in field, left side
Left side of the Jagdtiger as it crosses a field.
13 Jagdtiger rear side
Rear shot of the Jagdtiger.  For all of these I tried Citadel’s “Typhus Corrosion” paint on the mufflers.  It’s a bit shiny in this shot due to lighting, but I think it worked well.
10 Tiger II moving by hedgerow, right side view
Right side of my Tiger II by a hedgerow.
9 Tiger II moving down road, rear view
Not great lighting – the turret is not “shiny” – but this shot shows the Tiger II from the rear.
8 Tiger II moving down road, left side view
Moving out!  Schnell! (sustained road speed was 24 mph!)
7 Tiger II moving in field, frontal view
Nice front shot of the Tiger II in a field showing the weathering/mud.  Also, the machine gun is “up” and no longer droopy.
6 Tiger II moving around corner, right side view
The best shot I have of the Tiger II.

If you want to get in on the action, here’s our announcement for our next gaming session on June 29th.  Or visit our Facebook page (and join if you’d like here).

2 New Leader

Thanks for looking!  Always appreciate your feedback in the comments section!

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

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Testors Plastic Cement
  3. Daisy BB-Gun BB’s
  4. E6000 epoxy
  5. Aleene’s poster tack
  6. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  10. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  11. Battlefront “European Skin”
  12. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  13. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  15. Battlefront”Black”
  16. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  17. Vallejo “Black Grey”
  18. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  19. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  20. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  21. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  23. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  24. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  25. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
  27. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  29. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  30. Vallejo Mecha Weathering “Oil Stains”
  31. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  32. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  33. Microscale Micro-Set
  34. Microscale Micro-Sol
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  36. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  37. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  38. Army Painter “Mid-Brown” (wash – desert models only)
  39. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  40. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  41. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  42. Vallejo “Brown Mud” (Thick Mud)
  43. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  44. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”

 

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!

28 thoughts on “A Preponderance of Panzers – Chapter 2 – Scout Cars and Behemoths”

  1. Great post Mark. The quality of those kits is excellent and well deserving of the top paint job you have given them. Do you own a cat? An odd question I know but a guy at my club also had a problem with spindly plastic antennae and used cat whiskers instead! He claimed the cat was never hurt, the whiskers just fall out from time to time. Never owned a cat so just took his word for it.

    Always like the table top pictures and will be interested to see some of the Normandy set up in due course. I see it is being held on the 29th, same day as the Plymouth Model Club annual show this weekend so I wont be able to make it! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ah, having you as a guest of honor would be fun indeed! Yes, the kits are great, and I’m happy you enjoyed them. I do not own a cat, and am quite allergic to them. I do own an Aussie, (well, sort of), in the way of a cockatiel who turned 25 this month and who is on my blog page. The antenna on this vehicle is not a vertical aerial, but a frame that covers the whole vehicle like a roof. Here’s a pic: https://images.app.goo.gl/ktFz2VK5zQ6SvhZ4A

      I’m hoping you enter some dioramas at Plymouth and good luck!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Brilliant work mate – a largely superfluous comment considering that it’s you, but I’m always impressed with your attention to detail and drive to create excellent games.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I think this is the first time I’ve seen your cockatiel get a mention – 25’s a good age, so you’re obviously doing something right! As for the armour? Excellent, as usual! That airbrush is really producing very nice camouflage finishes for sure! I can’t really pick a favourite as far as these models are concerned (they are all great) but I’ve always liked Jagdpanthers, they just look like they are meant to cause trouble!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We love our little guy, his name is Caesar. He is pretty spoiled!

      Glad you found these nice – I am very – I think you say “chuffed” – about the Iwata Micron B, and look forward to seeing what else it can do.

      The Jagdpanther is indeed bad ass (and not just the one I painted). Still, I am amazed that the Germans were able to develop and field such a wide variety of vehicles in such a relatively short time. Logistically this was not wise, and with the RAF and the USAAF destroying every production facility it only got worse. Much was ordered by Hitler, and his orders were not to be ignored – in the end the Germans were unable to match the industrial might of the Allies, let alone the bravery and will of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice paint work mate ,one thing I have noticed is that we all paint ,and sometimes on similar models, but we all have our own thumb print on how it turns out which makes it all the more interesting .I showed a cobber your work and he was like myself impressed with your painting but when I told him the size of your little guys he looked at me and said …..something I was not going to do to him in a thousand years ,so yeah you are doing a really great job with your style.
    As for Caesar he must be enjoying the American climate and the love and attention because 25 if a pretty old guy ,I have only known of one a cousin had and he got to 23 but had lost a lot of feathers by then ! .

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Really cool of you to share my work with your friend- and love the description you gave of what you passed up! You understand how nice it is to have others appreciate your efforts when they are so good at modeling as well. So that’s great to read! Eventually I’ll move on to other genres, but I am loving painting the armored vehicles.

      I think the oldest cockatiel on record is 35 or 36. I’d love to see Caesar make that. If you only feed a cockatiel seed, they last only 15 years. As omnivores they need a varied diet. He gets veggies, macaroni, and more, and when we boil lobsters and steamed clams he gets to share and those are his favorites. He does brighten our lives, and when we chat with people we often hear from folks “he’s still alive?”.

      Of course no more cockatiels leave Australia as pets, so they are all bred here. Our guy does not fly as we have ceiling fans which is one reason why he’s still alive! He does have a great life, not locked up and chewing up shoe boxes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Lobster and clams ! no wonder he’s keeping on going ,if you fed me that I try and stay alive !! ,anyway I was distracted by my mates offer and forgot to ask wether you built the ruined cottage or is it a kit ,it is really a nice model .

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Stunning work Mark.

    I’ve a soft spot for a good SPG and you’ve got some really nice example there. The 233s being a particular favourite as they are not something that you see that often. That said the lines of the Jagdpanther have a dangerous elegance of purpose about them that you have captured well.

    Cheers,

    Pete.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Pete. I was surprised to learn that the 233’s 75mm guns were recycled from Panzer IVD’s as they were upgraded. Appreciate the kind words! And yes, agree totally with you on the Jagdpanther. Cheers buddy!

      Liked by 1 person

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