Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mit Den Panzern in Ost und West - WIP

Last year for the Early War FOW tournament at Adepticon, I ran French Fusillier-Voltigeurs and happily won Best Painted Allied Army. This year I thought I'd join the dark side and run an Axis army. Since I love the Blitzkrieg book so much, I chose to assemble a Mittlere Panzerkompanie - Medium Panzer Company - based (rather loosely) on Guderian's 2.Panzerdivision. I keeping with the 2.PZ theme, I also decided to add some Mid-War elements for play using the Eastern Front book Mittlere lists.

To start out, I bought the massive and rare 8.8cm Flak18(Sfl), AKA the "BunkerFlak". This is an excellent model from Battlefront but there are a few problems that had to be fixed. First, the armored cab needed to be extended on the right-hand side of the fighting compartment and a flip-up weapon mount added.

I also got rid of the poorly cast rivets on the armored grill, added latches to the headlamp covers, added more struts to the rear ammo crate rack, as well as a license plate on the rear-left fender. I also correctly extended the Flak gun shield downwards with plasticard, and replaced the poorly cast shell hopper and recoil springs.

Below, are the Command PzIV D, as well as 2 PzIV Ds from the Mittlere Platoon, made by Zvezda. They are nice enough models, however they lacked some major details. Using plasticard, I had to add the driver's armored shutters, the gunner's armored visor, headlamps, the glacis plate tow-hooks; as well as replacing the hull machine-gun. To the Command PzIV, I added a whip antenna.

Ah, here's my favorite - this is a PzII by Zvezda, modified to the Ausf. B "Beobachtungsturm". This was, as far as I can tell, a very rare command PzII with an observation cupola mounted on top of the turret.

I cut away the turret hatch and formed the cupola from plasticard, as well as adding armored vision slits to the cupola and over the driver's position and an antenna rack on the left fender.
A whip antenna made from guitar wire completes the vehicle's hardware.

Below are my two Panzer II platoons. The Zvezda model is actually pretty nice and really only needed armored visors over the driver's position on each tank. Otherwise, there are a couple models with the large stowage bin on the right fender (again, made from plasticard) and each command tank has an antenna rack and whip antenna. I also made some jerry cans from plasticard (I do not recommend trying this) to start stowage, and will be added more when I get to the sculpting stage.

Last for today but not least is another Zvezda model; this one a wholesale conversion. I needed to make an Opel Radio Truck from the normal Blitz model. This required removing the flatbed and building the radio cabin out of plasticard. I cut several holes for windows, added the roof, and then attached all the little gribblies to the exterior. The radio mast is made from copper tubing and 20g copper wire. I also added a stowage rack over the cab and headlamp covers.

Well, that's all for today!

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