Italian Armor for North Africa

I have been really enjoying building armored forces for the tabletop war game What a Tanker©.  This, my latest group, rounds out my Panzer Army Africa forces with Royal Italian Army armor from 1940-1943.  This post will show these tanks and tank destroyers, as well as a German Panzer IVD that was left off from my last group that I previously detailed here.  These are all 15mm (1:100) tanks, which are very small (1-3″). 

My ultimate goal is to have an excellent game that I can run at conventions or club meetings.  I now have that, but will probably add some Marder III’s, M3 Grants/Lees, and M4 Shermans to be complete.  

I will share here both the Italian vehicles and the Panzer IVD – and some of their in progress photos.  Then, you will get a chance to view some eye candy shots!  Because I have been very busy seeking new employment (and it looks good on that front!), I was able to finish the tanks and run a couple of play tests before I could finish this post.  So there will be a few shots of the play tests I have been running with these tanks.  I also share the materials and research used at the end for those interested.  

Royal Italian Army Armor

The vehicles I assembled for the Italians make up about 2/3 of the list of the models in the What a Tanker© rule book.  I already had 5 Italian tanks from Wargame Models in Ohio that are very affordable (but not as nice as those from Battlefront Miniatures).  My current Italian Army consists of 12 vehicles:

M14/41 Tank

This tank is basically the M13/40 with a better engine and slightly better armor.

I used a painting scheme that attempted to match the one example in the Bovington museum.

7 M14-41 after decal
After applying decal and varnish, but before adding weathering powders.
8 M14-41 with photo of actual tank
The completed M14/41 tank model next to one in the book.

Semovente 47/32

In the WaT rules, this vehicle is interesting.  It is small (tougher to hit), low profile (tougher to acquire), fast (can move every turn), and a tank destroyer (can aim easier).  It also is, like the Panzerjager I, open-topped, so never buttoned (and more vulnerable).  Each blister had two vehicles, and I bought two at the 50% off sale!

3 Semovente 47-32 primed and base coated
The tiny tank destroyers primed and base coated.

Semovente 75-18

I had two of these, with one being a command model (carro comando), that had a range finder (called a goniometer).  I used a slightly different camouflage scheme with these and love the triangle vehicle marking decals that these got.  

6 Semovente 75-18 rear view after camo and decals
Hey, matching licence plates!
7 Semovente 75-18 with image
I used this color scheme, and went with the decals anyways.

Panzer IVD

My previous Panzer IVD did not make the last project group as it came with two left tracks.  Battlefront sent me a replacement, and I plan to use the defective one soon as a wreck project.

Italian Repainting

For my Wargame Model in Ohio tanks, I decided to give them a makeover with paint and decals so that they were less different than the newer Italian vehicles.  They are still not perfect, but I decided to stick with what I have done with them now.

2 Wargames Models of Ohio repainted
My repaint of the other Italians

I hope you liked the in progress stuff above – and now…it’s Eye Candy time!

Eye Candy

1 M14-41 front shot
Front view of M14/41.
2 M14-41 rear shot
Left rear view of M14/41
3 M14-41 side shot
Right side view of M14/41 on the road
4 Semovente 47-32 convoy
Little Semovente 47/32’s in a convoy
5 Semovente 47-32 front shot
Front left view of Semovente 47/32
6 Semovente 47-32 rear shot
Rear right view of Semovente 47/32
7 Semovente 75-18 side shot
Semovente 75/18 right side view.
8 Semovente 75-18 right side shot
Left front view of Semovente 75/85
9 Semovente 75-18 rear shot
Rear view of the Semovente 75/18 tank destroyer
10 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando rear shot
In comparison, here is the Semovente 75/18 Carro Comando version from the back
11 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando right side shot
Semovente 75/18 right side
12 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando left side shot
Semovente Carro Comando  75/18 right side.  Note the goniometer on the top in front of the crewman.
14 Semovente 75-18s
The two versions of the Semovente 75/18’s together
15 Pz IVD right side
Panzer IVD left side
16 Pz IVD left side
Panzer IVD left side
17 Pz IVD rear side
Rear view of the Panzer IVD
19 All Italian AFV's
Italian Group shot!

Lastly, I am thankful to Chris Rett, Ryan MacRae, Frank Ramsay, and Mike Morgan for helping me to start to play test the scenario and rules tweaks that I will use to make this work at HAVOC in April for up to 10-12 players.  Here’s a few shots!

1 Great Stories
At Great Stories in Uxbridge, MA – Chris, Ryan, and Frank have fun.  The Brits made a comeback and won here under Chris’ command.
3 Mike Morgan
Mike Morgan maneuvers his Brits to a narrow victory at my house.
3 Kill Rings
One of my innovations – Kill Ring Cards!

Thanks for looking – and I hope that you found this post interesting and fun.  As I add more tanks/tank destroyers, I will share them.  I also hope to add better pics from future games.

Please let me know your thoughts and feedback – as always – in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Citadel “Imperium Primer”
  5. Battlefront “German Camo Orange Ochre”
  6. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  8. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  9. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  11. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  12. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  13. Battlefront “Army Green”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  16. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  20. Battlefront “Black”
  21. Battlefront “Battledress Brown”
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  23. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  24. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  25. Battlefront “European Skin”
  26. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Flesh”
  28. Vallejo “Dark Prussian Blue”
  29. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  30. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  31. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  32. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ONCE MORE – ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK: Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would again easily recommend all of these books as really good resources for gamers and modelers.

Building a Panzer Army Africa Tank force for What a Tanker

January has been a busy hobby month.  After I had built a significant number of 8th Army British tanks for What a Tanker© games set in WWII North Africa.  Subsequently,  I really needed to build out an opposing and suitably-sized group of Panzer Army Africa tanks and tank destroyers.  This post focuses on my January efforts on German forces.  I will augment these with Italian tanks and tank destroyers on my next project.

OVERVIEW

I finished a total of 17 tanks/tank destroyers this month.  These were all 15mm scale and from Battlefront Miniatures.  Thirteen of these were for North Africa, while four would augment my forces for my France 1940 scenario.  The largest single number were nine Panzer II variants.  I had purchased a box of five Panzer II’s previously, and built one for France 1940, but the box was short one tank guns.  Battlefront made good on this, and sent me another entire box of five tanks!  This allowed me to convert an extra British A10 gun I had lying around into one for a Panzer IIC.  It’s not perfect, but should work on the tabletop.  I also had a Panzer IVD from Battlefront, and discovered that it had two left tracks.   Battlefront has done right by me on that too, and replaced that entire tank as well.  I will probably take the extra Panzer IVD and make it into a wreck later on.  So this post will review these 17 tanks I built and painted:

  • 2 Panzerjager I’s (one for France 1940 and one for North Africa)(15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE100)
  • 3 Panzer IIC’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for France 1940
  • 6 Panzer IIF’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for North Africa
  • 2 Panzer IIIE’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE030) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IIIH (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE031) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IVF2 (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE042) for North Africa
  • 1 M3 Stuart “Honey” tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR006) –  one captured by the Germans for use in North Africa 
  • 1 Tiger I (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE070) for North Africa 

I will review each briefly, and give bigger shots in the eye candy section.  Of course, I list the paints and other materials I used at the end for those interested. And there were 61 decals!

PANZERJAGER I’S

Images that I used for modeling.

In the end, I chose a camouflage pattern for my Panzer Army Africa version similar to what you see on the Marder II image.

PANZER II’S

There were nine Panzer II’s!

I modeled my Panzer IIF on this image.

PANZER IIIE’S

I had two unpainted Panzer IIIE’s left over from France 1940. They were not easy to put decals on – so that was minimal.

PANZER IIIH

Panzer IIIH assembled
After camouflage applied.

PANZER IVF2

After camouflage – Panzer IVF2.
I modeled this tank on this image.

CAPTURED GERMAN M3 STUART “HONEY”

The Germans did a good job of recovering all kinds of AFV’s in North Africa. This included enemy vehicles – so I decided that an M3 Stuart would be a good addition.

I saw this and had to give the Germans a little American-made steel.

TIGER I

The last tank that I will share here is the centerpiece of the collection – a true behemoth – the early Tiger I. I modeled this one on the famous #131, which was captured virtually intact by the British in 1943 in Tunisia. A lucky British AP round lodged in the Tiger’s turret ring, and its crew abandoned it. Today, it is the only functional Tiger I on the planet and is at the Bovington tank museum.

Assembly of this model was NOT easy. There were 21 pieces and no assembly instructions, which is amazing given that Battlefront has assembly instructions for much simpler models. I also had issues with getting the tracks to fit the hull as there were no slots for the detents on the metal tracks.

Turret close up after decals and crew added.
One of the three images I used to finish the model.
The second image showing the rear of the actual Tiger 1 #131.
The third image.

I wanted to install a radio aerial, but in the end I decided that it was impractical due to the size of the model and the likelihood of future damage. I also wanted to include this Tiger as my “centerpiece model” in the January monthly painting challenge that I participate in – run by Azazel (whose blog is well-worth following).

So now, its time for…

EYE CANDY!

Panzerjager I, right side
Panzerjager I, left side.
I completed two Panzerjager I’s – one obviously needs to get a paint job for North Africa!
Rear view showing the crews of this early tank destroyer.
The three Panzer IIC’s that will be for France 1940. The one on the far right has the converted gun.
The six Panzer IIF’s for North Africa.
Panzer IIF convoy.
Front close up of Panzer IIF.
The two Panzer IIIE’s.
Rear view of the Panzer IIIE’s.
Panzer IIIH, right side.
Panzer IIIH, left side.
Front view of Panzer IIIH, with nice view of DAK decal.
Panzer IVF2, right side.
And the Panzer IVF2, left side.
Front view of the Panzer IVF2.
Captured German Stuart “Honey”.
Other side of the German Stuart.
AND THE TIGER I!
Tiger I, left side.
Tiger I, right side.
Tiger I, rear view.
German motor pool! The 13 German tanks for Panzer Army Africa.
All 17 German tanks for January! Bigger motor pool!

This was a big project – and now on to the Italians (and my replacement Panzer IVD).

I thank you for looking and hope this was enjoyable for you. What tanks are your two favorites (I know the Tiger I will be a big favorite!). Please share your thoughts and any feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  5. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  6. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  7. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  9. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  16. Battlefront “Boot Brown”
  17. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  18. Battlefront “Black”
  19. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  20. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  21. Battlefront “European Skin”
  22. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  23. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  26. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  28. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  29. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  30. Battlefront “Rommel Shade” (shade)
  31. Battlefront “Bradley Shade” (shade)
  32. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK:Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would easily recommend all of these books as good resources for gamers and modelers.