Donnerstag, 15. März 2018

Bring on the armour!

Having had a few days off this last week I decided I'd would probably make best use of it by painting up some of the armour, that was sitting unfinished on my shelf for months now.
While I generally like painting armour I need to be in the right mood for it, as firstly I actually quite hate airbrushing and secondly I'm always worrying about overdoing the weathering.

First off is a 'liberated' M8 Greyhound to be used (as all the other vehicles in this post in fact) with my Fallschirmjäger force. Sadly it doesn't count towards my points total as I already started to paint it during last years challenge.
I simply love to use Beutepanzer and Beutefahrzeuge (loot tanks/ vehicles) with my Germans as it gives you a chance to model something 'unique' and tailor it to your own force.
This model is from Warlord Games and is quite a nice kit. Only the suspension is a little fickly, which is the reasons why this model got a base. I cut off the skirts and swapped some of the original kits wheels for some from a Warlord Sd.Kfz. 222. 
I was quite sure to have seen pictures of captured M8's with exactly this modification, but alas I must have dreamed it. 
Be that as it may, I also added some stowage and a crew figure to further 'germanize' the vehicle. The original, rather thick antennas were substituted with thin broom bristles.

The M8 saw first action in 1943 in Italy. Only few of these vehicles were ever captured by the Germans and thus it never got an official German designation but was simply referred to as the Panzerspähwagen M8(a) - the (a) stands for american. Unlike other captured vehicles these seem never to have been officially issued to the specialized Beutepanzereinheiten (special units in which, for ease of maintenance, captured tanks and vehicles were concentrated) but instead directly used by those units which had captured them.
This gave me the perfect excuse to integrate one into my Fallschirmjäger force.

Next is an early production StuG III from Rubicon Models. Not much to say about this one, except that it went together nicely. The tank commander is from Perry Miniatures.

The Sturmgeschütz (assault gun) was originally developed as a close support vehicle for the infantry. Its task was to engage fortified positions and only to a lesser extent armoured vehicles. Despite this, due to Germanys desperate need for tanks, the StuG's found themselves ever more often employed in an anti-tank role. As the muzzle velocity of the original short barreled 7,5-cm-StuK 37 L/24 wasn't adequate for the task the StuG was up-gunned with the longer 7,5-cm-StuK 40 L/43 and later with the even longer L/48.

Next in the queue is a StuH 42 (short for Sturmhaubitze or Assault howitzer). This actually is a bastard made from a Warlord Games StuG III and the Rubicon StuG. It started life as a straight out of the box StuG III. I think it was during the one before the last challenge that I messed up the paint job that badly that I almost threw it in the bin. Some time last year, when I built the Rubicon StuG, I decided to strip it and give it another try.
During the stripping process I damaged some of the parts badly. As the Rubicon kit comes with quite some options I hadn't used I carefully disassembled the Warlord kit.
First the 7,5-cm-StuK 40/L48 gun of the stock kit was replaced with the 10,5-cm-StuH 42 with Saukopfblende from Rubicon. Later the roof of the fighting compartment was carefully cut away and replaced with the corresponding Rubicon part. I actually preferred that one anyway as it has the typical very late war remote controlled MG-34 and a Stahlabweiser (literally steel deflector) in front of the command cupola.
Next I cut up the Schürzen of the kit and re-applied them in a field mod common later in the war.
Last but not least I added the rear stowage rack from Rubicon.

As the StuG's with their new main armament weren't really suited for infantry support anymore the StuH 42 was introduced. It sported a 10,5-cm-StuH 42 cannon, which was a development of the 10,5-cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18, one of the standard light artillery pieces of the Wehrmacht. As the name suggests it was introduced in 1942 and 1317 were built until the wars end.

 Last of the vehicles is the Opel Blitz, which is a Rubicon kit again. Already owning a pair of Warlords Resin version of this vehicle I've got to say what a beauty the Rubicon kit is, both in ease of assembly and accuracy. I didn't really invest much time into painting the cargo bed as I'll add some passengers at a later point. Probably not during this challenge anymore. Maybe the next ;-)

The Opel Blitz was one of the (many) standard lorries of the Wehrmacht. It saw service on all fronts and was produced until the end of the war. As Fallschirmjäger units never (and I mean really NEVER!) were equipped with the far from ubiquitous Sd.Kfz. 251 or 250's the Blitz was issued as primary means of transport for these elite troops. I do have two more of these waiting to be painted finally.

Last but by no means least are some markers I built for Chain of Command. These are so called 'Jump off points' and in effect are the entry points for my troops to enter the table. They were built using various bits and pieces from the bits-box, but mainly Rubicon models American and German stowage kits.

These pieces are probably to small to score any points, but I wanted to submit them anyway.

Freitag, 9. März 2018

Soviet Tank Rider Squad

Who would have guessed? Three consecutive entries in just as many weeks. Seems like while the challenge slowly but surely is drawing to a close my hobby boat is finally taking up some much needed steam.
This week sees me back at a project I keep returning to time and again, but never quite seem to have the stomach to see it through. 

Freitag, 2. März 2018

Fallschirmjäger Support & Volksgrenadier with ride

Just a token submission today as life has once again got rather busy around here. I won't bore you with the details as I know you all will be familiar with such moments in your hobby lives.
After having just recently made the switch from Bolt Action to Chain of Command -and not having regretted it for a second- I felt the need for adding a few items to my Fallschirmjäger force.

Samstag, 24. Februar 2018

SCW Milicianas & Milicioanos

It's almost been a month since my last entry, which is a shame as I had the miniatures for this submission sitting almost finished on my desk, for the best part of two weeks.
Real life got in the way and thus I only came round to take pictures this week.

Samstag, 27. Januar 2018

Condor Legion 8.8cm Flak

We have a saying here in Germany: "Mit Kanonen auf Spatzen schiessen", literally translated as "To shoot with cannons at sparrows", meaning something along the lines of cracking a nut with a sledgehammer.
And that in my opinion sums up the 8.8cm FlaK, when used in an anti-tank role in a Spanish Civil War setting, nicely. Shooting high velocity armour-piercing rounds at targets with paper thin armour could be considered something of an overkill by some, but that's just what happened.

Mittwoch, 24. Januar 2018

Tropas Regulares de Marruecos

This entry definitely was a close run thing. Just as I type this I'm waiting for a colleague of mine to pick me up for work. I still have to pack my stuff for the week, so I better make this short.
Well, todays entry sees the first few Moroccan Regulars for my ongoing Spanish Civil War project.

Mittwoch, 3. Januar 2018

Reinforcements for la Legión

My first post in the new year and I'm back to a project from last years Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. Back then I started what was to become my main project for the whole of 2017, i.e. a force for gaming the Spanish Civil War. I settled on starting with the rather fetching Spanish foreign legion but it inevitably became two forces as I simply couldn't pass by all those lovely Republicans on offer from Empress Miniatures.
Still, I'm back to reinforce la Legión in order to finally get in some games using Chain of Command from the TooFatLardies.

Sonntag, 31. Dezember 2017

A hump for DaveD

At Crisis in November I had the chance to not only meet our honourable host Curt, but also had the pleasure to make the acquaintance of co-challenger, fine fellow and all-round gentleman Dave D. The state of the hobby was discussed, a few beers were had and all in all it was a wonderful time out.

From left to right: DaveD, RobP (behind), ChristopherS, JakeK, Jerry Miller and his wife Christine, myself , Curt and MikeF

Samstag, 16. Dezember 2017

Una ametralladora Hotchkiss para la legión

Pardon my Spanish. Actually I'm not even completely sure I didn't make any spelling errors but it sounds suitably "dramatic" don't you agree?
So what's this all about? Well, it has taken me a while but I'm finally back painting some reinforcements for my SCW Nationalists.

Samstag, 25. November 2017

WW2 - German marsh pattern painting guide

At CRISIS in Antwerp I, of course, couldn't withstand the temptation to get my grubby fingers on the new Volksgrenadier sets by Empress Miniatures. They're sculpted by Mr. Paul Hicks again and suffice to say they're lovely.
Also I haven't done another WW2 painting guide for quite a while, so I thought this might be the chance to cover yet another infamous German camouflage pattern.

The "Sumpftarnmuster" or swamp/ marsh pattern camouflage scheme was introduced in 1943. It was a variation of the older and more well known "Splittertarnmuster". It came in two main types namely the M1943 pattern with hard edged spots of red-brown and green, as well as the M1944 pattern blurred edge version.
After the war it was used by the Federal German Bundesgrenzschutz, in short BGS, from 1952 till the late 80's. It was exported to several countries abroad and for example some Libyan units wore it as late as 2007.

-Later BGS Sumpfteran variant-