Monday, July 20, 2015

Repainted Lledo Days Gone By Vehicles

As I move further into 28mm WW2 and SCW, I've been on the lookout for suitable cars and trucks. These are all from Lledo's "Days Gone" collection that I bought as a lot for about $15 shipped. They were all unboxed and in rough shape, so I gave them a quick bath in Simple Green (just to remove the accumulated dust and grime) and removed the broken pieces. I then primed and painted them.

I added a WG Italian Para and BTD Italian Blackshirt for scale comparison. Some are a little out of scale, but great for the price!

The bus is probably my favorite. I wanted it to look like an ad hoc troop transport for use with my SCW militias and WW2 Hungarians, so I gave it tan and red livery, some new decals, and then a pin dot oil weathering and finished it with some broken windows.

The car is my favorite. It required extensive masking for the two-tone body , masking for the soft-top and luggage rack, and a new windshield. It's perfectly sized for the staff car of a higher officer and his ADCs.

The fire truck was originally bright yellow, so I repainted it olive drab and added some old US 15mm decals. Unfortunately, there was no way to shove a windshield in, unless I drilled out the chassis rivets and removed the body entirely, so I just left it without. This is the only vehicle that's slightly underscale, but would probably be perfect for undersize 28mm figures or 25mm.

Last is the "woody" station wagon. Another vehicle originally painted a garish yellow, I repainted the whole thing light green, handpainted the wood paneling, and added a Russian slogan to the sides - perfectly suited for a Communist vehicle in SCW or the Eastern Front. This is the only vehicle that is slightly overscale.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Konigstiger In Der Gotterdamerung, 1945

This will be the last of the 15mm German AFVs I work on for myself in the foreseeable future and it's quite a fitting end - this time a late production Konigstiger in Hinterhalt camouflage. It's inspired by no particular tank, though I had been reading Wolfgang Faust's excellent book The Last Panther, so was ruminating on the KTs that ran alongside his Panther in the final days of 1945. If you haven't read it, I thoroughly recommend it as it captures the utter futility of these final moments and the horror of many Germans as the Soviet tide washed over eastern Germany.

The Hinterhalt ("Ambush") camouflage scheme was surprisingly easy to do, once you figure out the "trick". Lay down initial color, mask for the hard-edged swathes of Rotbraun and Lichtgrun and paint. Once dry, use a small diameter piece of plasticard rod to dip in the paint and apply alternating colors of dots in each swath, as necessary. The "trick" is to lightly dab the rod on a spare piece of paper or cardboard to remove excessive paint. This keeps all the dots a relatively uniform size/shape and avoids the "bumps" that excess paint cause to the finish.

I enjoyed this scheme so much, I'll probably pick up a 1/56 late war German AFV to do it with. Auf Wiedersehen und danke für die Fritz!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Italian Beutepanzers & 10.5cm Artillery Battery

I'm coming up on the last few German platoons for Flames of War for the foreseeable future. This time it's a platoon of Italian P-40 "Heavy" tanks in Wehrmacht service. After the Italian armistice, the P-40's production facilities were taken over by the German authorities, who pressed this tank into service as the Pzfw. 40 737(i) in the Italian theater of operations. Unlike most other Italian tanks, the 737(i) performed reasonably well and was well-liked by panzer crews. Had it been developed earlier in the war, it may have provided the Italian tankers with a moderately successful medium tank design. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late for both the Italian and German armies.

I also re-did the 10.5cm Artillery Battery I had initially made to support Panzergruppe Guderian in Early War battles. While reasonably priced and versatile, I found myself rarely using it, opting instead for more AFVs in my lists. So I repainted the guns and added a Kubelwagen for use with my Grenadiers in mid- and late-war periods.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Jagdpanther Kampfgruppe

As soon as Nachtjager was announced, I've been working on this little KG focused around three Jagdpanthers. JPs and Wirbelwinds are BF minis, Halftracks are PSC. 

The Jagdpanthers are the second production line BF made, having resin hulls and plastic tracks/accessories. I converted these to Late Production Jagdpanthers by adding PSC Panther G exhaust fans, mufflers, and ridged front fenders. I used GS to sculpt the reinforced glacis plates, as well as some stowage. The umbrellas on the command JP are made from GS, using an archival photo as inspiration (scroll to the bottom).

The Wirbelwinds and halftracks are pretty much stock, except for some tarps I sculpted from GS. I also added a plastic ladder from a Faller HO kit and some metal BF guns to the Sdkfz 251s.

Painting is my usuall (new) Dunkelgelb mix, with soft-edged camouflage of VMC German Camo Brown and German Camo Green. The Jagdpanthers have a somewhat different look as I tried to drybrush a little DG over the finished camo scheme, like the camo paint had been worn down from the crew climbing on the tank and the Zimmerit flaking away.

"Just Stalkin' Shermans In The Rain...."

Monday, June 22, 2015

Panther Reinforcements

Added an additional three tanks to my Panther force, so that I now have a complete company. For the most part these are stock BF Panther miniatures, except for the "012" Panther Ausf. G to which I added anti-aircraft armor over the turret and engine deck. This was actually really easy to do - I simply used .40" plasticard cut to shape.

These are painted with the same new Dunkelgelb mixture I used on the Stuka Zu Fuss conversion earlier in the month, with Red Primer and German Camo Green hard-edged camouflage patterns.