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Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 1942

Posted by MikeRC97 on 23 Nov 2017, 13:55

Thanks Peter! It appears that yesterday the Photobucket links were working again - I'm could see my old pics on other threads I have here as well as on other sites. But today they're broken again. At least with the PB links fixed on the old posts those pics are now showing again so thank you for fixing those.

So if I wanted to change the links in the old post to the new pics I have on imgur can I send you a PM with the image urls in the exact order they should go? I realize that is a lot of work for you but I would like to improve the quality of the old posts with new pics.
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Posted by Peter on 23 Nov 2017, 18:23

PM send! ;-)
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Peter  Belgium

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Posted by MikeRC97 on 30 Sep 2018, 16:16

Hard to believe it has been almost a year since my last update but I’m finally back with some new models in the form of a Rapid Fire company of Panzer IVs.

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In Spring of 1942 the newly formed Grossdeutschland motorized infantry division received a tank battalion with three companies. The first company was made up of Panzer IVs while the second and third companies had Panzer IIIs. In the first company, the tanks of the first and second platoons were the new long barreled Panzer IV F2, while the third platoon fielded the short barreled Panzer IV F1

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These models are the original Dragon Panzer IV F2 (kit 7359) and F1 (kit 7321) and they are fantastic. In the past year Dragon released new Panzer IV models in 1/72 but those models are simplified fast build kits (at full Dragon prices of course). I picked up these older kits years ago before they became impossible to find and I’m glad I did - these models have tons of detail but are not tedious to assemble.

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The reason it took me so long to paint these tanks has to do with the color scheme. In some of the older posts in this thread I explained (in a lot of detail) my struggle to airbrush the two tone soft edge camouflage scheme of the Grossdeutschland tanks in Russia in summer of 1942. After many attempts, I finally got to the point where I felt good about the results I was getting with my airbrush, but I didn’t really like the color scheme. In the end I decided to paint the models in Panzer grey and I’m happy with the way they turned out

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I used aftermarket decals made by Echelon Fine Details specifically for the unique markings used by first company of the Grossdeutschland tank battalion. Instead of the usual German three digit vehicle markings, the GD first company used vertical bars to signify platoon number and a single digit for tank number within the platoon.

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I went light on the weathering, particularly the chipping. When the division made its combat debut in summer of 1942 during operation “Case Blue” the tank battalion was a newly formed unit - most of the tanks were the latest model Panzer IIIs and Panzer IVs fresh from the assembly line.

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There was one issue with these kits – the DS tracks. I prefer one piece tracks to link and length and the Dragon styrene tracks are really excellent both in terms of detail and assembly (they can be glued with plastic cement). On one end of the tracks there is a small tab that lacks details – unfortunately the tracks are so short that the tab is visible where the tracks meet, creating a gap. I placed the join on the top of the return rollers just beneath the fenders so the gap isn’t that visible. The tracks and road wheels are suitably dirty but not caked in mud; the photo history shows a hot dry summer in Southern Russia in 1942

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That’s all for now, any comments or feedback are appreciated.
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Posted by Wiking on 30 Sep 2018, 16:51

The numbering system is for sure unusual.

I agree fully with you the actual Dragon output is on the lower end.
And on top:
MikeRC97 wrot:
... models are simplified fast build kits (at full Dragon prices of course).

:eh:

Look very nice done and paint, the grey steel wall.
Nice that you paint for contrast the wooden parts not in grey too.
And real handles on the turret roof! Not like the very often seen mold on things.
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Wiking  Germany
 
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 21 Dec 2018, 03:19

I'm back with a small update. Back in 2014 the Zvezda catalog included an upcoming "Art of Tactic" set number 6182 German Anti Tank Team 1939-43. This unreleased set was removed from the 2015 catalog but then surprisingly reappeared this year with a new set number 6216.

I didn't need an anti-tank rifle for my Germans; by 1942 the 7.92mm Panzerbuchse 38 was obsolete. I decided to convert the AT rifleman to a prone bipod MG gunner, which is a pose that Zvezda never produced. Here is the converted figure along with the unmodified assistant from the same set.

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The machine-gun comes from the Dragon set 7374 7.5cm PaK 40 + 3.7cm PaK 35/36 with Gun Crew. This set includes an awesome crew of multi-piece figures and two sprues of 1/72 weapons and equipment. On each weapon sprue there is one MG34 and one MG42 (which I used here), neither of which includes an ammo belt so I added a scratch built ammo drum. I also repositioned the hand holding the stock as the stock for the Panzerbuchse 38 is much larger.

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The only negative about the Dragon MG42 is that both sides of the barrel jacket are identical. The left side should be completely open as this was the side where the gun barrel was removed and replaced when it over-heated. On the Dragon model the left side of the jacket barrel is vented like the right side. I'm nitpicking here but given that the MG42 is the arguably most famous weapon of World War II Dragon really should have gotten this detail right.

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Close-up of the other figure, as usual Zvezda has produced beautiful figures with tons of detail such as the folds in his trousers. This set was a nice surprise in 2018, but bittersweet in that the beauty of the figures make me sad that Zvezda has moved away from producing 1/72 figures.

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That's all for now, as always any feedback is appreciated.
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 21 Dec 2018, 05:46

Should the assistant gunner have the spare barrels and toolkit and a sidearm instead of a rifle?
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by Bluefalchion on 21 Dec 2018, 05:47

And, I should add, I really like your conversion. And the painting, too. Zvezda, come back!
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Bluefalchion  United States of America
 
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 21 Dec 2018, 15:00

Bluefalchion wrote:Should the assistant gunner have the spare barrels and toolkit and a sidearm instead of a rifle?


You are correct, I did not modify the second figure as single based figures are always useful for "making change" when playing wargame rules with casualty removal but at some point I do need to convert a prone assistant gunner.
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Posted by KenzoSato on 21 Dec 2018, 16:10

fantastic, good job
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 06 Jun 2020, 21:59

It has been a while but I finally have an update, a Rapid Fire company of Panzer IIIs. As I mentioned in the post about the Panzer IVs, in the Spring of 1942 Grossdeutschland received a tank battalion with three companies - one company of Panzer IVs and two companies of Panzer IIIs.

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The Grossdeutschland photo history has many pictures of the GD Panzer IVs from the Summer of 1942 but only one picture of a Panzer III and unfortunately it is of the rear of the tank so it does not give any indication of the variant. Based on the fact that the newly formed GD Panzer battalion received the newest model of Panzer IV I assumed the same was also true of their Panzer IIIs. In the Spring of 1942 the newest model of the Panzer III was the Panzer III J with the long barreled 50mm cannon (as seen in the original post of this topic).

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The long barrel was not the only improvement made to the Panzer III in early 1942, the other change was the addition of vorpanzer (spaced armor) to the front of the hull and the turret mantlet. From what I have read the mantlet armor plate was not widely available in the Summer of 1942 so many of the tanks only received the mounting frame (there are many pictures of Panzer IIIs in 1942 with the mantlet frame missing the armor plate). I wanted to model the mantlet that way but in the kit the armor plate and the mounting frame are a single piece so I decided to just keep it as is.

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Beginning in the Spring of 1942 the side vision ports were removed from the turret of Panzer IIIs on the production line. The Grossdeutschland Panzer IIIs probably had turret side vision ports but I used the Dragon model of the Panzer III L (kit 7385) that does not have them because I wanted a kit that included the spaced armor. As it so happens the Dragon model of the Panzer III J (kit 7372) is the exact same kit with the vision ports included on the frame. Oh well, at least the smooth surface on turret of this model made it easier to apply the decals.

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The kits went together easily but there was one issue and it was the same problem I had with the Panzer IVs, the Dragon Styrene tracks are too short. Once again I tried to hide the gap by placing the join just beneath the fenders but it is really annoying that Dragon makes the tracks too short when it would so much better if the tracks were too long so you could either trim them or model them with sag.

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With this company of tanks I have completed a 250 point Rapid Fire battlegroup (using the revised RF point system from 2015). And best of all, Zvezda has some new "Art of Tactic" sets coming out this year so there will be more to come but first I need to finish four more T-34s to get the Soviet battlegroup up to 250 points
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Posted by C M Dodson on 07 Jun 2020, 07:41

Excellent work.

I love the dusty running gear.

Best wishes,

Chris
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Posted by T. Dürrschmidt on 07 Jun 2020, 10:10

Very good work. I think you could use some additional drybrushing in light grey over the edges. It helps to define.
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T. Dürrschmidt  Germany
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