US Tanks and Tank Destroyers for Normandy Breakout Scenario

Welcome back dear reader for the latest installment on my US armored forces!  I needed to add more US vehicles for my Normandy Breakout scenario which uses the What a Tanker© rules by the UK-based company Too Fat Lardies.  I do modify these rules for the scenario.  For those who missed them (like some of the HAWKS did because I used the wrong hashtag!), the posts about the other vehicles and playtests for this scenario can be found at these links:

Vehicle Posts:

Playtest and related gaming posts:

I am planning on running this scenario at three upcoming events:

  • August 24th at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club in East Brookfield, MA
  • September 28th at BARRAGE in Havre de Grace Maryland
  • October 19th at the Fort Devens Game Day at the former Fort Devens, MA

This project, with the possible exception of an additional stray German vehicle or two, completes the list of vehicles I need for the scenario.  In looking for vehicles, I wanted to add some Shermans, another M10 Wolverine, and an M18 Hellcat.  I found a deal on a box of 5 plastic British Shermans M4A1’s with cast hulls that would work.  I would have preferred getting models like my M4A2 – but that one is OOP and even the American Shermans that Battlefront is selling now are basically M4A1’s.  So these British ones, properly assembled, at 15mm scale, is just fine.

For an M10, I converted an Old Glory M10 Achilles by using a leftover gun to make it look like an original version.  Technically, is that a conversion of a conversion?  After seeing how John at Just Needs Varnish! added a plastic card underneath his models to make them easier to paint, I was inspired to add a small steel base under my M10 chassis.

The M18 Hellcat I found was really nice – and I wish I had another as well.  This one had a slightly broken front fender, but its hardly noticeable.  In any case, I used enough mud and dirt to obscure that problem.

I also decided to use the Battlefront naming decals on all of these to help differentiate them on the tabletop – as well as by adding spare road wheels, spare tracks, and other accouterments to all of the vehicles.  Thanks to my good friend Jeff Smith, the Shermans got some real steel in them by means of ball bearings in the chassis.

I decided to weather these slightly differently by adding pigments – inspired by Pete’s blog and a Merkava he built.

After a few in-progress shots, I will describe the vehicles alphabetically by name and type.

M4A1 “Betty”

1 M4 Betty, left side, crosses a field
“Betty” crossing a field.  

2 M4 Betty, right side, in a field

M4A1 “Blood ‘N Guts”

1 Blood N Guts completed, left side
“Blood ‘N Guts” crossing an opening in the bocage.

2 Blood N Guts completed, left side, crossing the opening in the bocage

M4A1 “Destruction”

1 Destruction after decals
“Destruction” early in the weathering process right after decal application.
2 Destruction after pigments
“Destruction’s” chassis after weathering
3 Destruction in the hedgerows
“Destruction” moving down the road between the hedgerows.
4 Destruction completed, left side
“Destruction” left side – as an experiment I used Citadel contrast paint on the tarp.

M4A1 “Let ‘Er Buck”

1 Let 'Er Buck after decals and some weathering
“Let ‘Er Buck” chassis early in weathering.  I chose this name/decal in honor of Buck Surdu, though as an infantryman he may object…

2 Let 'Er Buck finished, left side3 Let 'Er Buck finished, front side

4 Let 'Er Buck finished, right side
Note on all these that I used different gear in different stowage to differentiate the tanks.

M4A1 “Polly”

1 Polly completed, left side
“Polly” by some ruins.  As I have a pet cockatiel named Caesar, this is as close as he gets to an avatar tank.

2 Polly completed, right side3 Polly completed, right side, at crossroads

M10 Wolverine “Demon”

1 M10 Demon after weathering
“Demon” getting dirtied up.
2 M10 Demon crosses field, left side
“Demon” crossing a field.  I did not buy crew for this one.

3 M10 Demon crosses field, right side

4 M10 Demon crosses field, front side
Nice view of “Demon’s” front showing the replacement gun.
5 M10 Demon and other Battlefront M10
On the left, “Demon” from Old Glory, on the right, my previously built M10 from Battlefront for comparison.  I used more mud and dirt on “Demon” as it was a much less detailed casting.

M18 Hellcat “Lucky Tiger”

1 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger after some weathering
M18 Hellcat “Lucky Tiger” chassis all dirtied up.  I chose the name/decal as I am sure sometime it will face a Tiger I or Tiger II, and it will need to be lucky!
2 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger right side on road
“Lucky Tiger” completed and moving down the road.

3 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger right side on road4 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger left side on road

5 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger aerial view on road
Aerial view of “Lucky Tiger” showing the ID decal to keep away friendly air attacks.

6 M18 Hellcat Lucky Tiger front view on road

Group Shots

1 Shermans aerial view
Shermans in convoy on road.

2 Shermans aerial and side view

3 Shermans front shot
Frontal view of the five Shermans.
4 All US front shot
My complete American armored troops (currently) for the ETO.  Front row left to right: two M4’s (Wargame Models in Ohio); the five Sherman M4A1’s of this blog post (Battlefront); one M4A2 (Battlefront).  Second row l-r: M10 Wolverine of this post (Old Glory); M10 Wolverine (Battlefront); M18 Hellcat of this post (Battlefront); three M8 Greyhounds (Old Glory).  Third row l-r: two M5 Shermans (Wargame Models in Ohio); one M3A1 Stuart (Battlefront); two M24 Chaffee’s (eBay 3D printed acquisition).  I built and painted all but the Wargame Models in Ohio models.

5 All US side shot

The US vehicle menu for the scenario looks like this now.

US Army Menu

I hope that you enjoyed this post – and thanks in advance for your feedback in the comments section!

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

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. E6000 epoxy
  3. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  4. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  6. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  7. Extra .50 cal machine guns from Battlefront kits for the M10 and the M18
  8. Extra 3″ gun from Battlefront kit for the M10
  9. ½” steel base from Wargame accessories for the M10
  10. Steel ball bearings from Jeff Smith’s fairway mower
  11. Daisy Air Rifle BB’s
  12. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  16. Battlefront “European Skin”
  17. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  18. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Militarum Green”
  20. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  21. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash”
  22. Microscale Micro-Set
  23. Microscale Micro-Sol
  24. Microscale Micro-Satin
  25. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  26. Vallejo Game Air “Satin” (varnish)
  27. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  28. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  29. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  30. Vallejo “White”
  31. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  32. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  33. Vallejo Weathering Effects “Crushed Grass”
  34. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  35. Vallejo “Light Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  36. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

British Armor and Some Blogs Worth a Look

During the Allied breakout from Normandy in 1944, the British Army used several different tanks and tank destroyers.  Some were American-made, some were British-made, and some were conversions of American vehicles.  For my What a Tanker© Normandy Breakout Scenario, I had plenty of British Shermans, a couple of Fireflies, and a few Daimler Dingoes, but the available British vehicle menu needed some fleshing out.  Clearly missing were the Cromwell Mark IV cruiser tank, the Churchill Mark IV heavy infantry tank, and the M10 Achilles tank destroyer.  This project aimed to rectify that situation, especially as I plan to run the game at a few upcoming conventions (such as at BARRAGE and at the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.

While looking at some images of these vehicles in my reference books, I came up with a new idea to incorporate into the project.  First – a brief segue.

I started this blog back in 2015, inspired by my friend Buck Surdu’s blog.  I was getting back into the hobby – and thought I’d share what I was learning about the gaming I was doing, the miniatures that I was working on, some history, and whatever I found interesting.  Since then, I have posted 143 times (this post is #144), have 139 followers (thanks to all and I am always happy for more so feel free to follow if you don’t already!).  I also learned of many others’ blogs and now I follow many of these.  Several  originate in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other Commonwealth nations.  They inspire and entertain me, and perhaps they will do that for you as well.  So, let’s get back to the idea I just mentioned.  Perhaps I could work in a few of those bloggers into these vehicles and have them be represented in a small way in this project and the future games I run.  More on that shortly…

Now, a few qualifying points.  Each of the vehicles you will see below has a link to a blog – BUT, these are not the only ones that I follow and my goal was not to leave anyone out.  However, I chose to include the following as ones that are among my faves, AND who have a connection to a place where, well, the Queen is on the currency (with two notable exceptions that I’m sure you’ll allow me).  Also, I wanted to use Battlefront decals to both make the tanks both easier to identify on the tabletop (these are small 15mm scale tanks) and have some connections to the bloggers.  Ease of identification on the tabletop is important, as most players have little knowledge of the history of the tanks.  Of course, there are experts somewhere who can correct me – and that’s not an issue.

Truly, I wanted to be as authentic as I could, but as I tried to research British tank markings, frankly, I got more confused!  The issue is not improved by any information about the decals from Battlefront.  US tank markings are pretty straightforward comparatively (IMO).  With 6 Cromwells here, I needed some variety!  You will see I used a number of decals from varying Commonwealth nations – and different theaters – incorrectly – and on purpose!  In addition to the decals, I varied spare road wheel and toolbox placements, as well as adding some freehand names to the tanks.  My freehand work is OK for the scale here I think – you can be the judge – I had to use a spotter brush and still make them look like a crew added the names.  Again, the decals I used below are not as historically accurate as possible, and that’s fine with me – they do accomplish the playability and blogger-linking goals I described.

So onto the project – I had 9 vehicles:

The Achilles had some casting defects that I remedied with green stuff.  I also gave them some leftover plastic .50 caliber machine guns as the ones they had were too bendy.  The plastic Cromwell’s got some BB’s in the hulls to add weight.  I tried to make the tanks a lighter green so as to match the other ETO British Shermans I already had.  I also added some radio antennae.

Now, in alphabetical order by name – and all linked blogs are worth checking out:

Alex

Alex’s blog can be found at Leadbaloony   He does a great job with terrain and older GW Space Orks (I believe from the late 1980’s to early 1990’s) that are painted unbelievably well.  I named a Cromwell Mark IV for him – it has a number 4 and solid white decals on the turret.  The red and white unit decal is (I believe) an older one from the 21st Tank Brigade, which I chose because Alex is a British veteran.

1 Alex done3 Alex front side on road2 Alex left side on road

AZAZEL

Azazel’s blog can be found at Azazel’s Bitz Box.  He is a fantastic painter and modeler and his interests run the gamut from terrain to 40K to Flames of War to board game minis and more.  He still finds time to run a monthly community painting challenge.  This July’s was “The Jewel of July ’19 Community Painting Challenge”, which included:

It’s for Vehicles. A Motorcycle or a Maus. A Starship or a Gaslands Car. A Panzer IV to a Kettenkrad. A Rhino APC or a Konigstiger or a War Rig or a M’ak I. (or M’ak II?)

This post is my second one for July’s challenge (here is my first).  The challenges are a always LOT of fun to see and he is a great guy for doing it month after month.  The Cromwell named for Azazel below has an open white square on the turret and a number 81.  As Azazel is an Aussie, I gave the tank an ahistorical 9th Division (Australia) decal with a lovely platypus on it.  The Aussies during the Normandy campaign were of course busy back in the Pacific theater fighting the Japanese, having already done their time fighting the Germans in North Africa.  I am sure that this Cromwell will acquit itself well.

1 Azazel2 Azazel front in field3 Azazel left side in field

IRO aka Imperial Rebel Ork

Moving on to yet another Aussie, IRO, his blog is Imperial Rebel Ork .  He is the master of kit bashing GW stuff into marvelous creations all his own.  He creates new worlds of wonder is all I can say – and I recommend you take a gander.  He also has a fine podcast he does with his buddy Warren (Waz), and its very funny and worth listening to (and not just because I made a promo on episode 14).  They do indeed need a lesson on American accents that originate outside of the Deep South!

His imagination is wonderful, and you never know what he will come up with next.  His Cromwell has a few markings that need explanation.  The turret has a couple of 3rd Infantry Division (UK)  triangle markings that I chose because I liked the look for the tabletop.  There is a number 75 on the tank, and the unit marker is a later 21st Tank Brigade one (I think).  I chose it because it had a devil/imp on it, and IRO is definitely that!

1 IRO2 IRO Cromwell front3 IRO Cromwell right side4 IRO Cromwell left side

John aka JNV aka Just Needs Varnish!

I find John’s blog Just Needs Varnish! very interesting and informative, PLUS the guy really know how to paint and create games.  His stuff ranges from WWII to lesser-known conflicts like the Paraguayan War and the War of Italian Unification.  He does his research, and I really like his attention to detail.  We are alike in that way I think.  Most importantly, John loves tanks too!

While John is a Brit, the tank with his JNV on it has turret markings for the 1st South African Infantry Division. As with IRO’s tank, these are of course not correct, but will visually helpful on the gaming table.  The tank has a 96 number on it, and a British 2nd Armoured Brigade insignia from North Africa on the hull front.

1 JNV2 JNV front3 JNV front in bocage4 JNV left side

Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s

Pat is a military modeler and not a gamer.  He has a lovely blog Pat’s 1:72 Military Diorama’s that details his work from the medieval era to the English Civil War to WWII.  His projects could be considered epic just from their size and scope, but the man does very high quality work too.  As I call it, great eye-candy – check him out!

Pat is also an Aussie.  His Cromwell has open white triangles on the turrets, and a number 15 on it.  It also has the same Aussie 9th Division platypus marking as Azazel’s tank.  

1 Pat2 Pat Cromwell left side3 Pat Cromwell front side

Per at Roll a One

Here is my first exception to the rule of having links to blogs of subjects of Queen Elizabeth – Per.  Per is Swedish, and I believe lives in the UK, so we’ll include him here.  His gaming blog is Roll a One which I follow on WordPress and on Twitter (though mine is also linked on Twitter I have little idea of what to do with mine on Twitter!).  Per creates truly massive games, most of which deal with Sweden in some way or another.  He has done WWII era what-if games with Swedish tanks, some unbelievable stuff for the Great Northern War in 6 mm, and lately some post-apocalyptic stuff that I really like.  Similar to Alex, he creates very immersive games.

Now I have no Swedish tanks like the Stridsvagn m/42 (but Per does) – and I wanted to include him as I like his stuff.  I’m also 1/8th Swedish, so I had a soft spot!  Per, I named an M10 Achilles for you – but with no decals.  Mainly this was because I could not find much in terms of references on such unit designations – and secondly because the model hull was not great for decals.  It did get (like all my British here) a star to keep them safe from the RAF and USAAF misidentifying them.  I did not buy a crew for this one.

1 Per2 Per left side Achilles

Pete at SP’s Projects Blog

Pete is another Brit with a fantastic hobby blog.  His is SP’s Projects Blog, and is quite good and has a number of interesting projects from terrain to vehicles to infantry.  I like Pete’s blog because he does a great job on his hobby work, and has a number of very interesting modern pieces.  He is also well versed in history, and writes some of the best battle reports on his Necromunda games.

Pete’s Cromwell has turret markings with an open red circle.  This is the only one I made that is resin and metal – the other 5 Cromwell’s were plastic.  It has a number 91 on it, and an insignia from the famous 7th Armoured Division – who was in Normandy!

1 Pete2 Pete left side3 Pete front side

Tabitha

Now for a real exception – Tabitha is my granddaughter and only a bit older than 2½.  She’s not a Brit or an Aussie, but she does light up our lives.  I’m still waiting on her blog though…

Similar to Per, she gets an M10 Achilles named for her.  As she has Finnish heritage (through me and my daughter Ellen of course), in her stead I will recommend a full Finn –  Mikko – and his blog here.  Mikko’s blog is the wonderfully named Dawn of the Lead.   Mikko is into pirates and zombies (and maybe pirate zombies).  His painting is superb, check his stuff out.

Now back to Tabitha and her named Achilles.  Also – I did not buy a crew for this one either!

Me and Tabitha1 Tabitha2 Tabitha front Achilles3 Tabitha left side Achilles

TIM aka The Imperfect Modeler

Now last, but most definitely not least, may I present the last tank and blogger for this post!  TIM aka The Imperfect Modeler (neither are his real names – he is actually Dave).  His blog can be found here.  It might be a shorter list to share with you what he is not into in terms of modeling.  His dioramas and figures are 28mm to 54mm, and span the American West, WWII, fantasy, and much more.  They are amazing, and you are missing out if you have not seen his stuff.

Dave also has a skill with writing and his blog postings are also very amusing.  We are relatively close in age, and I appreciate especially his discussions on movies and music.  His painting is top-notch, and his dioramas are stunning.  It’s a shame he is not a gamer though, his tabletops would be mind-blowing.

As Dave is a Brit, and a real man worthy of respect (just ask his wife), he gets the Churchill IV heavy infantry tank named after him.  It has turret markings of open red squares, and a number 71 (which was a good year for him I understand).  I chose the battleaxe symbol of the 78th Infantry Division for his tank (also not in Normandy, but worthy of Dave).

1 TIM2 TIM Churchill front3 TIM Churchill left side4 TIM Churchill left side in field5 TIM Churchill right side6 TIM Churchill rear view7 TIM Churchill top view

That wraps up the individual nods – please check them out!  I’ll conclude with a group shot, my new British tank menu for What a Tanker© and the paints and materials I used.  I hope you enjoyed this post, please let me know your thoughts, and I hope you found a new blog to enjoy!  Up next, more Americans!

5 group side

British Tanker Menu

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

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Daisy Air rifle steel BB’s
  3. Neodymium magnets (1/8″)
  4. E6000 epoxy
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  6. Spare Battlefront plastic .50 cal machine guns
  7. Reaper MSP “Black Primer”
  8. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  9. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Olive Green”
  11. Vallejo “White”
  12. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  13. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Aluminum”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  16. Citadel “Typhus Corrosion”
  17. Citadel “‘ardcoat”
  18. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (wash)
  19. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  20. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Grey Primer”
  21. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  22. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  23. Decals from Battlefront
  24. Microscale Micro-Set
  25. Microscale Micro-Sol
  26. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  27. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  28. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  29. Vallejo “Crushed Grass” (weathering)
  30. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

 

 

 

Normandy Breakout Game of What a Tanker!

Quote of the day – ” An eighth of an inch can get ya killed in this game”, Mike Morgan.

As the D-Day commemorative events have passed, its important to remember that there was also a hell of a fight for the Allies to break out of Normandy after the landings in the weeks after June 6th, 1944.  D-Day is iconic, and deservedly so.  I wanted to honor the Allied struggle in the Normandy Campaign.

To this end, I have been designing a suitable “Normandy Breakout” What a Tanker© game scenario for my 15mm/1:100 scale tanks.  This game scenario would be one that I could run at a convention or at our club in around four hours.  My goals were to:

  • Create an interesting scenario that incorporates the appropriate German, US, and British armor that was involved.
  • Make the scenario easy enough for new players to pick up and challenging enough for experienced gamers to also enjoy..
  • Maintain the feel of individual tank command in the game, but add other combat forces differentially to each side to increase the historic reality and game action.
    • Add elements of reconnaissance and enemy force location uncertainty to the game.
    • Add elements of infantry, combat engineers, anti-tank guns, and artillery (HE and smoke) to the game.
    • Provide the Allies with naval gunfire support and air support, while the Germans get only a rare case of Luftwaffe support.
    • Add an element of communications breakdown.
  • Make the scenario one where each side faces various risk/reward choices that have ramifications to victory in the scenario.

On June 29th, the Mass Pikemen gathered to play this scenario in East Brookfield, MA.  The tabletop set up was as shown here in the next two photos:

4a game table
Allies move on from the bottom edge.  Their mission is to cross to the other side.  Once the Allies cross, they score points and get a new tank to try to do it again.
4 game table
Same map – Allies move on from the left.

Rules and Scenario Modifications

The What a Tanker© rules are one of the best that I have seen in terms of a creating a tank crew experience in a fun and elegant way.  I have found that for a convention or single scenario game, modifications can augment the gaming experience.  In the rules, each tank crew on its turn rolls 6 D6 as COMMAND DICE.  These control what a crew can do, and as a tank takes damage, dice, and potential actions, are lost.  For the purposes of simplification for those unfamiliar with the game, here is basically what each COMMAND DIE does in the original rules:

  • 1’s allow movement
  • 2’s allow target acquisition
  • 3’s allow aim at an acquired target
  • 4’s allow firing at an aimed target
  • 5’s allow a tank to reload after firing
  • 6’s are WILD, and can be converted to any other die.

There is much more to the game, but this is the main action engine.  Certain tanks have special features/characteristics, like being “Fast”, which allows them to “convert” die to a “1”, or being “Low Profile”, which makes them more difficult to acquire by an enemy.  There are several vehicles that have features like these – and there are many others.

Here are my modifications to the rules for this scenario:

  • To keep the game moving, any vehicle touching a road could additionally convert one of its command dice to a “1” (a MOVE die).
  • I keep score in the game using poker chips.  Each side starts with 100 or 150 chips, depending on the number of players.  At end of game, high chip total wins.
    • Both sides choose their vehicles from a menu, and is charged chips equal to the value of each vehicle.  The starting vehicles must be chosen from different categories, such as “scout car”, “medium tank”, “tank destroyer”, “heavy tank destroyer”, or “heavy tank”.  See examples below of the menus.
    • Chips can be gained by:
      • Successful recon of potential enemy positions (gains two chips).
      • Destruction of enemy vehicles (gains point value of destroyed vehicle in chips).
      • Successful crossing of the battlefield (breaking out) by the Allies (gains chip value of vehicle that successfully crosses tabletop).
    • Chips can be spent to get:
      • Additional Bonus Attack Cards (cost two chips each).
      • New tanks or to get a better tank when you respawn a destroyed tank.
  • I added the category of “armored car” for machine-gun armed light reconnaissance vehicles such as the Daimler Dingo.  This allows them (at their peril) to fire at a heavily-armored vehicle and force them to button up, or have a chance of damaging other lighter vehicles.  There are no rules for armored cars in the original rules.  Some armored cars did have some anti-tank punch, and that is reflected in how I treat their offensive capability.
  • For vehicles that would have been more likely involved in traditional armored cavalry/scouting/reconnaissance roles instead of tank-to-tank combat, I created the characteristic of “recon“.  Recon vehicles could be armored cars, or light tanks like the M3/M5 Stuart.  Recon vehicles get two advantages.
    • The first is defensive.  To reflect the difficulty needed to acquire a well-hidden scout in cover, anyone trying to acquire a recon vehicle in any cover would need an additional “2” in addition to any other cover or vehicle feature benefit the target would get.  This advantage is lost in the open.
    • The second is offensive, in that a recon vehicle can convert any command die to a “2” – so they can acquire targets more easily.
    • The third is also offensive, and involves the use of Bonus Attack Cards as described below.  Each recon vehicle gets two Bonus Attack cards at the game start, and one free card per turn.  A recon vehicle can use two Bonus Attack cards per turn.
  • To represent the need for and the value of reconnaissance (and the uncertainty of knowing the exact locations of enemy positions), I use 18 wooden discs across the gaming mat.  These discs denote potential German positions.  At the beginning of the game, the Germans would secretly choose each of their vehicles and a deployed location.  This information is only known to the GM and the Germans.  Next, the Allies would choose their vehicles and deploy them openly on the deployment side of the tabletop – at positions the Germans would not have known when they made their selections.  German positions are only revealed if successfully reconned, or if the Germans move or fire their vehicles.  The Germans still roll their Command Dice, and can acquire targets and use Bonus Attack cards without revealing their locations.
  • To represent the other combat arms, I made and use the Bonus Attack Cards.  Each recon vehicle gets 2 cards to start the game and every other vehicle gets one.  Each turn, a recon vehicle gets a free card, and extra cards can be bought for two chips each for any vehicle.  A recon vehicle can use 2 Bonus Attack cards per turn, others just 1 per turn.  The target must still be acquired, and hit by rolling a “6” with two dice added together.  The decks for each side are different – and of course randomized when distributed.  The decks are built as follows:
    • 72 Allied “Bonus Attack Cards” made for my What a Tanker© Normandy scenario
      • 18 Infantry Assault Cards
      • 6 Combat Engineer Cards
      • 9 Anti-Tank Gun Support Cards
      • 6 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery Smoke Support Cards
      • 6 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 6 Air Support Cards
      • 6 Naval Gunfire Support Cards
      • 6 Commo Problem Cards
    • 72 German “Bonus Attack Cards” made for my What a Tanker© Normandy scenario
      • 18 Infantry Assault Cards
      • 6 German Pioneer Cards
      • 15 Anti-Tank Gun Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery Smoke Support Cards
      • 9 Artillery HE Attack Support Cards
      • 3 Luftwaffe (Air Support) Cards
      • 6 Funkprobleme Cards

Hopefully the following photos make these changes clear.

19 Discs
The wooden discs I used for secret German vehicle placement.
WaT Activation Letters
The Germans secretly write down their placements and share this with the GM.
20 Allied Bonus Attack Cards
Examples of my Allied Bonus Attack Cards – all are 1.5″ x 1.5″.
21 German Bonus Attack Cards
Examples of my German Bonus Attack cards – with some Deutsche thrown in for good measure.
Menu Example (2)
An example of the menu for the Germans.  All of the players (on both sides) had to pick vehicles from different categories at the start.  Later purchases and upgrades could be anything they wanted as long as they had the chips.
US and UK Menu (2)
The Allied vehicle menu.  I hope to augment this list with Cromwell and Churchill tanks and Achilles tank destroyers for the British.  The Americans will be getting an M18 Hellcat tank destroyer and some more Shermans.

Now I hope to share some photos of the game – and thanks to Mike Paine for sharing many of these.  Mike is a gaming legend in New England and it was wonderful to have him attend!

We had 6 players – and the game was hard-fought.  In the end, the Allies won 124-115.  It was close and a lot of fun for the players.

2 M10 from Mike Paine
Mike Paine took this shot of my M10 and added the tag!
3 Dingo's last moment from Mike Paine
The Daimler Dingo recons for German armor.
3a Dingo's last moment from Mike Paine
Unfortunate for the Dingo, he found Scott Howland’s hidden Marder III while he was in the open.
4 gamers
A lively game – Chris Burr makes a point to the GM (me).
4a gamers
The gamers watch Scott Howland and I try to hold my clipboard so the Allies can’t see the German dispositions.
4b Gamers
Ethan Howland maneuvers his Panzer IVH to hunt the M10.
5 SdKfz233 shoots Sherman
Mike Paine’s Sherman is ambushed in the flank by Chris Burr’s SdKfz 233.
5a Sherman and cards
Mike’s Sherman chases the SdKfz 233.
6 SdKfz233 hides from Sherman
The SdKfz hides along the hedgerow.
7 Sherman chases, Pz IVH shows up
Mike pursues, only to face Ethan’s Panzer IVH…
7a Sherman chases, Pz IVH shows up
Mike’s Sherman is attacked on two sides, and is knocked out (but the crew survived!).
8 M8 hides from Marder III and Panzer IVH
Mike Morgan took an M8 Greyhound after his Dingo got destroyed – and it tried to run by the Marder III.
8 M8 takes on Marder III
The Greyhound did not escape either.  Note the undiscovered potential position “K”.
8a Marder chases Stuart
Now the Marder III hunts an M5 Stuart.
9 M8 and smoke screen
Crossroad of carnage and smoke.
10 Tiger I
And then Ethan got a Tiger I.
11 Artillery smoke and burning vehicles clog the crossroads
Allies dropped smoke rounds to try to save another Greyhound.
12 The Sdkfz 233 burns after being taken out finally - it did a lot of damage under Chris' command
After inflicting a lot of damage, the SdKfz 233 is hit and burns.
13 M10 and Firefly work together
A Firefly and Mike Paine’s new M10 attempt to cross the board.
14 Panther arrives and torches the M8 Greyhound
They both run into a Panzer IVH and a Panther D.
15 Firefly vs Tiger I
This Firefly is attempting to gain an advantage on the Tiger I.
16 Firefly vs Tiger I , Don't poke the Tiger...
It did not work – the Tiger dispatches the Firefly.
17 Another Firefly knocks out a Panzer IVH
The other Firefly knocks out the Panzer IVH.
18 StuG III knocks out M10 Wolverine, Firefly seeks vengeance
Lastly, a StuG IIIG took out Mike Paine’s damaged M10.

These shots are indicative that there was a LOT of action.  I plan to run this game again with more vehicle choices, probably at least at BARRAGE.  Thanks very much to the players!

The vehicles shown here were posted previously  – if interested here are the posts:

The next Mass Pikemen gaming session will be on July 27th at 2 PM at 110 Pleasant Street, East Brookfield, MA.  Join us!

If you have any feedback or questions about this post, please share them in the comments section – thanks!

 

 

 

Dingoes and Greyhounds for Normandy

In my last painting post, the Germans got some recon vehicles.  For my Normandy Breakout scenario for What a Tanker!©, I wanted some American and British scout cars.  I have some rules modifications and Bonus Attack cards for my games to up the action a bit – as well as to create a more rounded scenario – and recon is one of my additions that I will discuss and share in my next post.

I put some new edits to this post in blue!  Mea culpa and read on please!

Back to gathering the models – I ended up with American M8 Greyhounds and Daimler Dingoes.  It was difficult to find suitable 15mm/1:100 scale models.  From Noble Knight Games, I found a couple of 3 Dingo blister packs of Battlefront Daimler Dingoes (#BR310 – now out-of-production).  I got these a few days before I was scheduled to run the Normandy Breakout game – so time was not on my side.  I built one pack for Normandy and will save the other one for North Africa.  As for the M8 Greyhounds, I ended up buying a three-vehicle bag from Old Glory of Command Decision models (#CD207).  All of these arrived the week of the game.  Tick tock….

1 Daimler Dingoes
This Daimler Dingo blister is OOP.

The Dingo trio came with bendy metal machine guns to mount on top, but I did not see these surviving tabletop play – or even being easy to mount.  I think the Dingoes work well as I completed them.  If I ever get a few Daimler Armored Cars, or any Humber Scout Cars, they would be easy and fun to add to the British forces.  The Dingoes’ crews of two were not very detailed, but I tried my best.  The Old Glory M8 Greyhounds did not come with crew, and I saw afterwards that you can buy crew separately from them;  however, by then it was too late for my schedule.  The M8’s also had machine guns, but these models are all metal.  The 37mm guns on the M8’s were spindly enough, so for the same reason as the Dingoes, I left off the large machine guns.

1a Daimler Dingoes
Dingo kit components – lots of wheels to mount.
2 M8 Greyhounds
My M8 Greyhounds just out of the bag.  One of the turrets has been placed on the bottom M8 for comparison.
3 Primed scout cars
I decided to prime the components and then assemble, especially with 12 Dingo wheels.  I used the Vallejo “Russian Green” primer – and that looked off.  I eventually painted them the proper olive drab.

CORRECTION:  I assembled the Dingoes incorrectly and fixed them – see notes in blue and at the end of this post! 

4 Finished Cars
I used some Battlefront decals for ease of tabletop identification on the Dingoes.  I am unsure as to the units – but they are indeed British/Commonwealth and super small.  All vehicles got some mud to weather them.

Normally, I set up my completed minis on a tabletop, but given that my game was coming up, I decided to take some shots of them in the sun on my deck railing (yes, the deck needs paint but will be replaced soon I hope!).  This is after all Massachusetts – stuff weathers naturally!

5 M8's on the deck
The three M8 Greyhounds.
8 Dingoes fixed
The three Dingoes (now with crews in correct position).
8a Dingoes fixed
OK, the Dingoes have a stubby front!
8b Dingoes fixed
My crews originally faced this way – and went into tabletop combat for one game like this.  To an American, this looked like the front, but it’s the back.  I got fooled by the view ports in back and the long back of the vehicle that looked like a hood to me.
8d Dingoes fixed
Side view of a proper Daimler Dingo.
8c Dingoes fixed
Now this is better!
7 All Scout Cars
All my Allied recon for Normandy in one shot.  Except these have the crews in backwards!!  Compare with previous shots.

The biggest challenge with these was their size, followed by the US stars on the M8’s for aircraft ID.  It was different for sure.

My next post will detail these vehicles’ experiences in their little battle last Saturday!  There was some action for sure.

Thanks for looking!  Any favorites?  Comments?  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. E6000 epoxy
  3. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  4. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  5. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Russian Green”
  6. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “US Olive Drab”
  8. Battlefront”Black”
  9. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  10. Battlefront “European Skin”
  11. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  12. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  13. Vallejo “Light Brown”
  14. Vallejo Game Air “Satin” (varnish)
  15. Battlefront “Battlefield Brown
  16. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  17. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  18. Microscale Micro-Set
  19. Microscale Micro-Sol
  20. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  21. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  22. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  23. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  24. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish

CORRECTIONS!

Well, I am a bit embarrassed to say that when I built my Dingoes I put the crews in backwards. 

Yes, backwards. 

We even played with them last weekend and none of us, being Americans, knew they were wrong.  I should have paid better attention –  but I was able to correct the problem – luckily I had used E6000 epoxy to mount the crews instead of Gorilla Glue so they were easier to remove.  I did have to repaint them a bit and reapply varnish.  I have changed the pics above to reflect that!  My apologies to the British Army and the British Empire!  It was not a 4th of July joke!

 

 

 

 

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”

 

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”