Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Death on the Danube: Hungarian Hetzer

The second-to-last unit for my BA Nationals force is a Rubicon Models Hetzer (Late Production). This was a wonderful model to assemble and paint, especially when compared to other earlier Rubicon models. My one gripe (and it is minor) is the provided remote-controlled MG34 was not to scale - being too small - so I used a plastic Warlord MG34. 

I was inspired by this 1/48 Hetzer done several years ago by a scale modeler. The Hetzer is a very interesting little tank destroyer. There were several production models with relatively minor cosmetic differences....but parts were very often interchanged. For example, it's perfectly reasonable to see a "Late Production" Hetzer with a "Mid Production" gun mantlet, so on and so forth. Like many late war German AFVs, camouflage was factory-applied to later models, consisting of a hard-edge three-tone scheme. You may then ask - "why is the there no camo on the gun mantlet?"

The answer is because, oddly, the Skoda factory applied the factory camo before the gun mantlet was added. Why they did this, I don't know. My assumption is because the gun and gun mantlet were assembled in another part of the factory and, to reduce production time, the more labor-intensive gun assembly line simply sprayed a base of Dunkelgelb over the primer coat and called it a day. 

The most perceptive of you probably caught the three odd black rectangles painted around the driver's viewport on the glacis in the picture above. At first, I couldn't figure out why this was done...until I realized the Mid Production model had a simple flip-up viewport that looked like a black rectangle from afar. To confuse enemies who wanted to shoot the driver, Skoda painted the deceptive black rectangles around it. The Late Production model had a bullet resistant glass viewport so I did not paint them on mine.

Hungary received 75-100 Hetzers and they were assigned to the Assault Artillery branch. Most retained the German Balkenkreuz and were assigned a three-digit numerical designation, sometimes beginning with the letter "T". Mine is painted in VMC Middlestone/German Camo Beige, Testors Acryl Rotbraun, and VMC German Dark Green. Decals are a mix of Mad Bob and Rubicon. With this model, I moved away from the gloss sealant I've been using before doing the oil dot wash, instead using a flat sealant. I have to say I like this method better as it gives me much more control over the oil paint and it seems to dry faster.


Michael Ovsenik said...

This looks amazing! I love 38t and all the variants =D

Anonymous said...

Thats super cool. Great pics

worrywort said...

Really beautiful tank and great paint job !

Thank you for the informations.

Pete. said...

Great work- always been one of my favourite AFVs. It will look great on your table top.



tyler buenaflor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tyler buenaflor said...

Your models are amazing! I build hungarians myself and they are addiciting! My friend showed me a picture of your models from adepticon and they are really awsome!I'm building a defence of the carpathian Mts to the siege of budapest forces. Eventually will try getting around to early war, anyways awsome stuff and if I ever have a question I will come straight to you!!!