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Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) Summer 1942

Posted by MikeRC97 on 25 Oct 2015, 14:10

Hello All,

I wanted to share pictures of the project I’ve been working on for over a year now, wargame figures and vehicles representing Infantry Division (mot.) Grossdeutschland (and their Soviet opponents) in Summer 1942.

For anyone not familiar with Grossdeutschland, the Wikipedia page is a good overview: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer-Grenadier-Division_Gro%C3%9Fdeutschland

My primary resource for the project is the excellent book God, Honor, Fatherland: A Photo History of Panzergrenadier Division Grossdeutschland on the Eastern Front 1942-1944. There are many resources for GD on the web, this one is my favorite http://members.shaw.ca/grossdeutschland/

The figures are from Zvezda and organized for the Rapid Fire rules. The vehicles are a mix, but will be replaced later with Dragon Models (expensive but if you’re patient you can find them on sale). With a few modifications both forces will be usable for Battegroup Barbarossa or Battlegroup Kursk.

Rapid Fire uses a figure ratio of 1:15 (1:5 for guns and vehicles). The basic unit in RF is a battalion of 3 companies, each of 8 – 9 figures plus HQ of 6 figures. The Battlegroup rules, which are 1:1, use the same number of figures for a platoon (I suspect this was intentional).

Here is Battalion HQ (platoon command in Battlegroup). Clearly visible on the front two figures is the famous Grossdeutschland cuff title. I need to paint one more figure for this group.

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First company, 1 LMG as per a Battlegroup squad.
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Second company. Slight conversion on the running figure making him an ammo bearer (he and the squad leader make a nice mini-diorama).
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Third company. Note that the entire battalion is on foot; in 1942 motorized infantry rode in trucks but disembarked before marching into the combat area. In the GD photo history, there are pics of GD soldiers riding on StuGs in Summer 1942 much like Soviet tank riders.
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Support weapons. The tripod mount on the right has been converted to an upright position; the gunner is from the reconnaissance team AoT set. Grossdeutschland battalions had twice the number of MMGs and medium mortars of a standard motorized rifle battalion but for now I have just the standard amount.
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Infantry gun from the heavy company. This is a great little model from Zvezda, I love how the figure in the foreground interacts with the gun. Needs a Kfz 69 prime mover.
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Pak 38 from the heavy company. This is a kit bash of the Plastic Soldier Company Pak 38 and the Caesar Miniatures SdKfz 10 with 50mm Pak 38. The PSC gun is a nice model, but simplified, which is why I had the idea of kit-bashing it with the gun from Caesar (the SdKfz 10 will be the gun’s prime mover). The Caesar gun has a lot of detail but is way over scale. Some of the gun team figures have also been converted.
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The Soviet battalion HQ (platoon HQ in Battlegroup) including anti-tank rifle team. The Soviets stopped development of anti-tank rifles prior to the German invasion because they believed the AT rifles would be useless against the heavy armor they expected to face. After the invasion they began producing large numbers of AT rifles and by Summer 1942 each Soviet rifle battalion had an AT rifle platoon, the parent regiment had a company (x3 platoons), and the parent division has two additional AT rifle companies. This is what led to the Germans adopting side skirts in Spring 1943 as these were meant to protect the parts of the Panzer III and IV still vulnerable to AT rifle fire. I still need a 50mm mortar for this group.
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First company, I’ve painted the figures from the Zvezda big box to look like they’re wearing the m35 gymnastiorka without shoulder boards so that they are appropriate for 1942.
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Second company.
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Third company. Some of the figures are from the Zvezda small set 6179 but I have swapped most of the SVT40s for Mosin-Nagant rifles. In early 1941 the Red Army had plans to equip all riflemen with the semi-automatic SVT40 and there were large numbers in use during the German invasion but the weapon was difficult to maintain and therefore declined in use in 1942 while the number of PPSh-41 submachine guns gradually increased.
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For a Battlegroup platoon I will need a fourth rifle squad.

Support weapons. These all need to be rebased, I’m not happy with now they turned out. The problem with working on a big project like this is that after a while you get a little burned out and start to cut corners to try to get things done faster. Lesson learned, better to take a break and come back to it later.
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Next up, tanks. In 1942 Grossdeutschland had a Panzer battalion with one company of Panzer IV F1/F2s and two companies of Panzer III Js with the long barrel. I wanted to practice painting armor so I picked up some wargame kits to work on before I try painting the Dragon Models I have in my stash.

Fast build Panzer III Js by Italeri (two per box). These models have nice details for a wargame kit; the one negative is the lack of detail or guide teeth on the tracks.
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Panzer IV F1 from Plastic Soldier Company. Not a bad kit, but a lot of the details are simplified and some of the variants covered by the kit are missing key details (such as the single baffle round muzzle brake on the F2). Nice tracks, much better than Italeri’s. The turret decals here are from PSC, this model was just for practice. I have decals from Echelon with the unique markings used by GD on their Panzer IVs in 1942 that I'm saving for the Dragon models.
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There are three tanks in the box but only one pictured above. Initially I painted all three in panzer grey, but GD Panzer IVs in from June 1942 were painted in two tone camo (as were many vehicles in Southern Russia in 1942). I have a nice dual action airbrush but I couldn’t get the soft edge camo on the other two tanks to look right. I primarily airbrush with Vallejo Air, good for base-coating, but the overspray makes it tough to do soft edge camo. After repeated attempts I gave up on the other two, something to try again later using Tamiya.

Last (for now) a UM T-34 m1940 with F-34 gun, kit-bashed with the tracks and running gear from a Pegasus Hobbies T-34/76. I can’t recommend this kit – I got it on sale just to practice on a real model kit, but the details are a bit soft. Worse yet is that it is super fiddly to assemble and some of the parts just would not go together well. I got through the body and turret before I gave up on trying the length and link tracks and decided to use the parts from the Pegasus kit. For all the trouble it was to assemble, I think it painted up nicely.
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Next up - back to work on two tone soft edge camo for the Panzer IVs, this time with the newer Italeri fast build kit. Then back to Soviet armor from Pegasus and eventually the Dragon Models kits.

Beyond that, I have plans for units from the GD reconnaissance battalion and sturmpionier battalion. After that, on to Summer 1943 for Battlegroup Kursk.

Thanks for taking the time to read this very long post, any feedback is appreciated.
MikeRC97  
 
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Posted by Beano Boy on 25 Oct 2015, 14:44

Nice Topic MikeRC97. All painted,too. :thumbup: Very Good!
Thanks for showing those German Tanks,and the mention of the Makers concerned. They look quite good,and although you hope to replace them with more expensive ones giving better details,they might just suit my own needs in the near future. All the best on this your wargaming project. :-D BB
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Posted by Bramble15 on 27 Oct 2015, 01:53

Missed this one. Very nice collection of figures and tanks. looking forward to seeing more of this project.
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Posted by Panzer_Grenadire on 27 Oct 2015, 09:42

Wonderful work on these Zvezda figs, I like them a lot...:)
I also enjoy that you added the specific armband...;)
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Posted by panzerman on 27 Oct 2015, 15:32

Very cool battle groups. Nice to see them painted up so well. I like the German swinging the entrench in tool.
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Posted by T. Dürrschmidt on 27 Oct 2015, 18:40

Nice and clean painting. Great kit bashing. The weathering on the tanks is very good.

I always wonder about the pose of the machine gun being fired over the shoulder of another soldier. I know, there are evidences in photo and video but I wonder how often this was done in field. Having the nozzle directly near the ear........ "Autsch" (in German) :shock:
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 28 Oct 2015, 00:18

Thank you all for the kind words and encouragement.

@panzerman: the German swinging the entrenching tool is the assistant platoon leader (senior NCO), he is using hand signals to tell the platoon to dig in (clearly they are not paying attention). If this were a late war platoon, he would likely be the platoon leader.

For anyone interested in the organization and equipment of German, British or American WWII battalions, this is an excellent website: http://www.bayonetstrength.150m.com/. For Soviet Tables of Organization & Equipment I recommend the book The Companion to the Red Army by Steven Zaloga and Leland Ness.

@T. Dürrschmidt : I agree, the MG gunner firing over the assistant gunner is a dubious pose, but it is very popular, you see it in just about every scale. The same is true for the Soviet officer waving a pistol in the air (based on a well known propaganda picture) and the German officer wearing a peaked cap and breeches in the field. German platoon leaders wore the same helmets and uniforms as the rest of the men along with a dispatch case and binoculars. But I must admit, I prefer the "classic" German officer like the one in the Airfix set I had when I was a young.
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Posted by Peter on 28 Oct 2015, 22:31

Really nice bunch of painted soldiers and tanks! :thumbup:

Maybe the assistant gunner wanted a ticket to home! ;-)
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 15 Dec 2015, 01:54

Update: I mentioned in the original post that I tried (unsuccessfully) to airbrush two tone soft edge camo using Vallejo Air. I like Vallejo Model Color, the paints come in a wide range of colors, provide solid coverage and dry very matte. I use them for most of my historical figures. My experience with Vallejo Model Air has been mixed. They have the same advantage of a wide range of colors, but the viscosity and opacity varies from color to color, which matters a lot when airbrushing. When I tried to freehand soft edge camo using Vallejo Air there was a lot of overspray. Even when I tried to paint a straight line on practice paper the line was very fuzzy, if I lowered the pressure to get in close the nozzle kept clogging and if I thinned the paint to compensate for the reduced pressure the paint went watery right away. After multiple attempts I decided that I needed to try something different. I noticed that on scale model forums Tamiya paints were very popular and many of the modelers mentioned spraying Tamiya paints with lacquer thinner. While I wasn’t thrilled about spraying paints with a toxic thinner that has a strong odor, I decided to give it a try before the weather got too cold to airbrush with the windows open. The good news is that it worked as advertised, using the lacquer thinner I was able to thin the Tamiya paints down to a ratio close to 70% thinner / 30% paint which allowed me to turn the pressure way down to 10 psi and get in really close. On practice paper I sprayed thin lines that looked like they were done with a pen. There is some loss of opacity, but the paints don’t go watery (lacquer is a solvent) and none of the dry tip you usually get with acrylics.

So here is the result from my first attempt at two tone soft edge camo using Tamiya and lacquer thinner. The kit is the Italeri fast build Panzer IV F1/F2 kit that was released about a year ago. First my thoughts on the kit: I like it; it seems to be based on the Italeri 1/35 scale Panzer IV F2 kit. I say that because like the 1/35 kit, the fast build kit (incorrectly) includes the Bosch headlights that were introduced on the late ausf G. Other than the headlights (which I left off) it makes a very accurate ausf F2 including the ball shaped single baffle muzzle brake that was introduced with the F2. There are a few negatives, like the fast build Pz III the tracks have no detail and no guide teeth (the latter just seems lazy by Italeri). Also the turret side hatches have been molded in place with some loss of definition (on the Plastic Soldier Panzer IV they are a separate piece and look much better). My only other criticism is that the OVM tools look a bit under scale (the S hook in particular) whereas on the Pz III kit the OVM tools seemed to be over scale, which makes them easier to paint and they just look better.
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Getting back to the color scheme, the two tone camo is very visible in pictures of Grossdeutschland Panzer IVs from Summer 1942, but the pictures are in black and white. The common assumption seems to be that the camo is Panzer Grey and yellow brown (gelbbraun RAL 8000) which was used in Africa in 1941. These are the colors I went with, and you can see the results here. In some spots there is a little bit of overspray from the german grey, spraying thin lines on practice paper is a lot easier than spraying on a three dimensional object. On the scale model forums the guys talk about spraying with the airbrush pointed towards the inside of the camo edge, probably a lot easier on 1/35 AFVs and 1/48 aircraft than on 1/72 AFVs! As with all things airbrush - practice, practice and more practice.
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While I’m much happier with this attempt, I don’t love the color scheme, the contrast between the colors seems to strong. I’m going to paint the second tank in the Italeri kit in the 1941 DAK camo colors of yellow brown and grey green (graugrun RAL 7008), which is a viable alternative as there were tanks intended for North Africa shipped to the eastern front in early 1942.

As always, any feedback is appreciated. Also, if anyone has been successful spraying fine lines without overspray with Vallejo Air please let me know how you did it – I really prefer not to use toxic thinners as I don’t have a spray booth.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 11 Dec 2016, 22:58

It has been a while but I finally have some updates. First up is a new German command group using the figures from the Zvezda set 6133 along with one figure (on the far right) from the Zvezda big box set 8078. This group could be a regimental, battalion or kampfgruppe HQ for Rapid Fire or elements of a Battlegroup Kursk German Infantry Division HQ group (which I equate to Company Command).

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These three figures will be a Forward HQ for Battlegroup Kursk (I will be using most of the same figures from my 1942 Rapid Fire project for BGK).

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These two figures will be a Comms Relay Team for Battlegroup Kursk. Sadly this set of German figures (and their Soviet counterparts) are the only 1/72 figures Zvezda released in 2016. They're not even new - they were exclusive to the original "Art of Tactic" box game. Zvezda recently released their 2017 catalog and once again the only 1/72 figures will be HQ figures in winter dress that were previously exclusive to the Battle of Moscow box game.

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Here is the Battalion Command Group from my original post, I added the sixth figure (on the far left) required for a Battlegroup Kursk Grenadier Platoon Command Squad.
The new figure is from the big box set 8078; I gave him a white armband that marks him as an auxiliary stretcher bearer. The armband should have the word "hilfskrankenträger" on it but I couldn't get the text to look right, so I just left it white for now. I had the same issue when I tried to paint the letters on the Grossdeutschland arm cuff, I don't stress out about leaving out small details because in reality they wouldn’t be visible at this scale.

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The last new addition to the project (for now) is an assault pioneer company (squad in battlegroup) using the figures from Zvezda set 6110 along with a few figures from the big box set 8078. In 1942 Grossdeutschland had a motorized Sturmpionier battalion with three companies which could operate together as a single unit or separately as part of a battlegroup.

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Close up of the figure holding a Wien 41 mine-detector.

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Figure with wire cutters.

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Figure with Flammenwerfer 41.

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For the prone figure I painted a white stripe around the base of his grenade which marks it as a smoke hand grenade (Nebelhandgranaten 39). Smoke screens and MG covering fire were an important part of an infantry assault.

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Earlier this year I started using weathering pigments on the bases of my 28mm figures. It takes a little longer but I really like the effect, so I decided to use the technique on these new figures and add pigments to the bases of the existing figures - here is a good example from some of the figures in my original post.

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Since I had the camera and lights out I decided to take a few close ups of the support weapons from the original post (with updated bases).
Medium MG team from Zvezda set 6106, the loader is actually the same figure as the gunner with a right arm swap.

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A couple of shots of the converted MMG - the gunner's body is from Zvezda set 6153 German Reconnaissance Team with arms from the gunner in the MG set, the arm holding the MG is perfect for this body because it aligns the tripod MG sight to his eye.

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Medium mortar team from Zvezda set 6111. The two loaders are identical figures with some of the gear modified.

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Infantry gun team from Zvezda set 6156 with a second loader from set 6114 (Pak 36). I mentioned in the original post that I love how the gunner interacts with the gun; you can get a better sense of it from this picture.

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A close up of the converted Pak 38 - as I mentioned in the original post, the gun is from Caesar Miniatures set 7209 SdKfz 10 with Pak 38 and the rest is from the Plastic Soldier Company Pak 38. I didn't use any of the PSC figures as they are late war so the gunner is from the Zvezda Pak 36 set, the loader is the same pioneer figure with flamethrower pictured above (with a round from the PSC set) and the team leader is the ammo carrier from the Zvezda big box set 8078 with arms from the PSC set.

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In addition to adding pigments to the base I added some to the tires of the guns.

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Finally a shot of the entire Grossdeutschland force so far. This is the start of a 200 point Rapid Fire Battlegroup and a 500 point Battlegroup Kursk Infantry Division Battlegroup.

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Next I'm going to add a couple of units to the Soviet force - I'll post pics soon as they are done.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 14 Jan 2017, 19:25

Some updates to the Soviets. First up, a new command group – most of the figures are from Zvezda set 6132. This group could be a Rapid Fire Regiment or Battalion HQ and will also serve as elements of a Battlegroup Kursk Rifle Division Forward HQ.

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These three figures will be a BGK Forward HQ. The figure on the right is the NCO from the first Zvezda small set 6103 with a head swap. I really like how this group turned out, it looks like the two NCOs are trying (unsuccessfully) to explain to their Kapitan what the hell is going wrong.

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This command group from the original post will be a BGK rifle platoon command squad; the NCO in the center is the same as the NCO that received a head swap in the pic above. I swapped out the relaxed marching figure for a running figure which is a better representation of a platoon HQ messenger.

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The other new Soviet unit is a ZiS-3 gun team from set 6253. For anyone interested in this set, be aware that this is not really a wargaming piece, this is much closer to a scale model (albeit a “quick build” as the part count is not that large). The model includes some small parts and is fragile in places. It is not a snap fit like most of Zvezda’s grammatically challenged “Art of Tactic” range, it is hard plastic, but it takes plastic cement just fine. Once assembled it is a great model.

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In 1942 the ZiS-3 was issued to Soviet infantry division artillery regiments to replace the earlier F-22 and F-22 USV field guns. It was also such a good anti-tank gun that it was also allocated to independent “anti-tank artillery” regiments. The Zvezda model can actually be elevated so that it appears to be firing indirectly as an artillery piece but the crew is modelled as if they are preparing for direct fire.

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Once again Zvezda has done a great job of designing a gunner that interacts with the gun – in this pic you can see how he is operating the elevation hand-wheel while also looking through the gun’s sight. This is a two part figure - when assembled there is a nasty seam at the join all the way down his back, I used putty but not enough as the seam is still slightly visible, my modelling skills need some work.

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The loader is not from this set, I replaced him with the loader from set 6112 Soviet 45mm Anti-Tank Gun as the loader in the ZiS-3 set has a very obvious M43 gymnastiorka shirt without front pocket flaps and I had a left over loader from a spare 6112 set. I also gave him a Mosin-Nagant rifle from a Plastic Soldier Company set – in historical photos it is common to see Soviet anti-tank gun crews equipped with rifles or SMGs.

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As I did with the Germans I decided to add pigments to the bases of the existing figures, here’s an example of some of the Soviet figures in the original post followed by close-ups of the support weapons which all had their bases re-done.

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Maxim MG team from set 6104 with a third figure from the big box set 8077.

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Second Maxim MG team with a third figure from set 6135 Soviet Anti-Tank Team.

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Medium mortar team from set 6109 with a third figure from set 6112 Soviet 45mm Anti-Tank Gun. Great little model of the 82mm mortar from Zvezda.

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The M37 45mm Anti-Tank Gun (set 6112) – this was a licensed copy of the German 37mm Pak36 with a larger caliber barrel and spoked wheels (they are solid in the model). The gunner is actually from the mortar set 6109 pictured above, the figure works great with this set as it looks like he is opening the breech for the loader.

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Last for now, an infantry gun team from set 6145. The gun commander is from set 6193 Soviet Sniper Team. I liked that he had the pilotka sidecap like the figures in the infantry gun set – no cowardly steel helmets for these brave sons of Mother Russia!

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Finally a group shot of the entire Soviet opposing force, this is the first half of a 200 point Rapid Fire Battlegroup (the second half of which will be a T-34 tank battalion) and a 500 point Battlegroup Kursk Russian Rifle Division Battlegroup.

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That’s all of the infantry updates for the time being, it is time for me to return to the vehicles as I have put that off for too long.
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 11 Feb 2017, 18:45

I’m back with new pics, new models and a new camera! I replaced my crappy old Samsung with a shiny new iPhone 7. I don't know if the quality of the pictures is as amazing as the ads would have you believe, but definitely an improvement for me, here are a couple of pics of the new figures in my last post for comparison.

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Hopefully this pic shows the highlights and shadows on my figures, the old pics were washed out.

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On to the new models. First up is the second Italeri Panzer IV F2 from the fast build kit 7514, the first of which is pictured in an earlier post above. As I mentioned in that long-winded post, I had a lot of trouble airbrushing soft edged camo using Vallejo Model Air. I was much more successful using Tamiya paint with lacquer thinner, but I don’t like using toxic products in the house (I don’t have a separate room for painting). I recently got a copy of F.A.Q by Mig Jimenez and in the book he recommends airbrushing Vallejo Model Air at 10 psi using a 1:1:1 mix of paint, varnish and thinner. I tried it and it worked great, I was able to get in super close to the model which eliminated most of the overspray I experienced with my first attempts. I frequently had to wipe paint off the tip of the airbrush needle with a paper towel soaked with cleaner, but this is typical when airbrushing acrylics.

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There is another trick for airbrushing soft edged camo that I used for the first time on this model. After applying the Panzer Grey camo, I loaded my airbrush with the lighter basecoat color (DAK yellow brown) and thinned it using the F.A.Q mix above and lightly sprayed it on to the edges of the Panzer Grey camo to soften the transition. I then thinned this mix even further and sprayed a very light mist of the basecoat color over the entire model to reduce the contrast between the colors.

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I also used oil dot filters to fade both colors which helped to blend the camo further. I’m much happier with the overall result this time around and I feel like I accomplished something being able to airbrush soft edged camo with Vallejo Model Air. But for all the effort, I really don’t love the camo scheme. I think I will just go with Panzer Grey for the Dragon Panzer IV Fs that I have in my stash, it may not be historically accurate for GD tanks in Summer 1942, but I’m a big believer that you paint your toy soldiers and tanks however you please!

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On this tank I used the decals that came with the Italeri fast build kit and they are very good (especially when you factor in the price of the kit). Decals were not included with the older Italeri fast build kits such as the Panzer III, so this is a nice feature added to the range.

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But wait there’s more! I mentioned in the original post that the PaK38 pictured above is a kit bash of the PSC kit and the gun from Caesar Miniatures SdKfz 10 with PaK38, well here is the completed prime mover from the Caesar kit.

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First my thoughts on the kit – it is highly detailed and fairly accurate. I had trouble with the fit of some of the parts, and the tiny link and length tracks were a b#@% to assemble, but in fairness most of my modeling experience up until now has been fast build kits, so I don’t know how much of that is due to my lack of experience or a fault of the kit. I am confident that the rear road wheel on each side should be higher but the attachment point is level with the middle wheels, so instead of curving like a bow, the track run is flat except at the front.

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More importantly, there is a glaring error in the kit’s instructions which would have you install part A42 upside down! This part is the storage bin that separates the driver’s compartment from the crew compartment. I installed it correctly and added an ammo bin from the PSC kit.

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Painting was nice and easy after working on the two-tone Panzer IV, the only problem I encountered was with my selection of decals. The kit comes with tactical symbol decals, but the Grossdeutschland divisional insignia decals I have from PSC are too large for the front fender, so I placed one on the rear of the vehicle only. There should be a tactical symbol on the rear opposite the divisional insignia but the Caesar decal is so small the combination looked odd so I just painted over it.

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When I completed the weathering my initial impression was that I overdid the dirt and mud, but then I watched this video:



So overall I’m happy with how the SdKfz 10 turned out, but I think I want to pick up the MK72 version. Unfortunately these are currently unavailable here in the United States so I’m going to have to order from overseas. Does anyone have experience ordering from Tracks n Troops? They also sell the MK72 SdKfz 250 which I have wanted for a while as it never made it to any of the online hobby shops in the US.

As always any feedback is appreciated.
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Posted by Emperor on 11 Feb 2017, 20:18

Great job Mike on those figures. You painted them nice, clean and detailed. Great job on vehicles also. Now you can play Operation Barbarosa wargame. :-D
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 05 Mar 2017, 21:42

I’m back with some Soviet armor in the form of Pegasus Hobbies M1940 KV-1 and KV-2 (set 7665). I like this kit - it includes 3 options, the KV-1, KV-2 and KV-1E. AFAIK, the KV-1 and the KV-2 had the same basic hull so you can just switch turrets. The details are a bit chunky and lack the refinement of a scale model kit but all 3 options are very accurate and the kit goes together very well.

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I wanted to practice color modulation with this kit, so I followed the steps from an Adam Wilder article in FineScale Modeler. On the hull I lightened the center of the panels, which is very traditional form of highlighting, but on the KV-1 and KV-2 turret I left the darker shade color visible in sections of the turret that wouldn't actually be in shadow if highlighted from above as in traditional zenithal highlighting. You can see the shadow on the front of the KV-2 turret in the picture above and on the rear half of the KV-1 turret in the picture below.

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The Pegasus kit doesn't come with any decals, on the KV-1 I used a leftover decal from the UM T-34 kit in the original post. The decal is the insignia of the 116th Tank Brigade which was a mixed tank brigade that fought against Grossdeutschland during the drive to Voronezh at the start of Case Blue.

After airbrushing I hand-painted a very light shade of the basecoat on the hatches, external storage bins and on the edges of the turrets. It reminded me of the "edge highlights" I used on my Blood Angels Space Marines a decade ago. The highlights looked extreme at that point but after all of the weathering the effect is very subtle.

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I followed up the basecoat with a filter made with oil paints using the ratio of 95% thinner to 5% paint but I really couldn’t see any effect. In the article Adam Wilder says the purpose of the filter is to alter the color of the basecoat and tone down the contrast. My thought is it would just be easier to apply less contrast with a different shade of the basecoat and just skip the filter. I read a criticism once that many of the "modern" techniques promoted by modelers such as Mig Jiminez and Adam Wilder seem to be designed to sell their products (indeed in the FineScale Modeler article many of photos include a prominent product placement of one of the Wilder brand modeling products). In the case of the filter I'm inclined to agree but I'm curious to know what the members of the forum think about filters in general.

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The filter was followed by a wash applied to the details followed by an oil dot filter on just the KV-1E as I wanted to compare one tank with the oil dot filter to the other one without. The effect is subtle but definitely noticeable, in the photo below you can see the KV-1E has a warmer tint from the yellow ochre and burnt sienna oil dots while the KV-1 is a cooler green.

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I added scratches with a paintbrush and chipping with a sponge then mud and dust using pigments. I applied metal higlights to the raised sections of the tracks which lack any detail like most wargame kits but have accurate sag between the rollers.

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I applied rust colored pigments to the exhausts and added some smoke stains next to the exhaust using the Tamiya weathering set. I wanted to try a new technique on this kit, making mud splashes by flicking dark brown paint thinned with gloss varnish from the paint brush on to the hull of the tank. You can see the results on the rear of the hull in the photo below, I found it difficult to control where the paint went and it got on to areas of the hull I didn't intend (I'm sure this is much easier on a 1/35 tank). I like the effect so I want to practice more on future builds.

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That's all for now, I'm still working on various kits in my stash, figuring out which steps I want to keep in my painting sequence and which ones I can do without. As always any feedback is appreciated.
MikeRC97  
 
Posts: 93
Member since:
07 Jun 2012, 01:00

Posted by MikeRC97 on 02 Apr 2017, 21:52

Still working through vehicles in my stash, this time I’m returning to the Grossdeutschland battlegroup with the Caesar Miniatures Krupp Protze Kfz.69.

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This well-known 6 x 4 light cross-country towing truck is often associated with the Blitzkrieg years of 1939 – 1941 when it was used as the prime mover for the PaK36 37mm anti-tank gun. When that gun was replaced by the much heavier Pak38 (towed by the Sd.Kfz 10), the Krupp Protze remained in use as the prime mover for the leIG18 75mm infantry gun, which was previously towed by the Kfz.12 medium cross-country passenger car with towing device.

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The Caesar model is super detailed (over 100 parts, many ridiculously small) and went together without any issues, but assembly was very time consuming. At first I couldn’t understand why Caesar made it so detailed, in particular the engine and chassis as neither are really visible on the completed model. When I started painting, I googled examples of this vehicle and came across images of the Tamiya 1/35 version, and that’s when I realized why this version has so many parts and went together so well. Caesar just scaled down the Tamiya version, to the point where most of the images in the instructions of the Caesar kit are identical to those of the Tamiya kit. While it makes for a very nice display model, I don’t recommend this kit for wargaming, at some point during the painting I snapped off the driver’s side view mirror without even noticing it as the piece was so fragile. As I will need more than one of these, at some point I will pick up the Dragon version to compare.

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Painting was nice and easy as the details were not hard to pick out with a brush - all of the tools are separate pieces, one of the nice perks of a super detailed kit.

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I kept the weathering relatively light on this model.

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That’s all for now, any feedback is appreciated.

Also, I’m thinking of turning this little project into a blog, any recommendations on an easy to use (free) site for a blog noob? BlogSpot and WordPress seem to be the most popular. I’d love to hear from members of the forum with experience with either of these two (or any other) blogging platforms. I’m currently using Photobucket for image hosting if that makes a difference, but I’m willing to switch to a different site, for the past year or so uploading to Photobucket has become a chore as it is slow and freezes up constantly.
MikeRC97  
 
Posts: 93
Member since:
07 Jun 2012, 01:00

Posted by MikeRC97 on 13 May 2017, 19:33

Returning to the Soviet force and one of my favorite tanks, the legendary T-34. I obsess over this tank and all of the variants and differences between the factories. As with the T-34 in my original post, this is a kit-bash of UM and Pegasus Hobbies T-34s. In this case the UM kit is #329 T-34/76 1941. For the most part this is an accurate version of a T-34 produced in factory 112 in early 1942 (most sources refer to this version as the model 1941 and the version with the hexagonal turret as the model 1942).

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Some of the details that make this a T-34 produced in early 1942 are the new driver’s hatch, the armored cover for the hull MG, the new tow shackles and the circular engine access hatch on the rear of the hull. The factory 112 T-34s also had a new periscope, extensive tank rider hand holds and bullet guards (strips) around the base of a cast turret which had a distinct shape.

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There is an inaccuracy with this kit however, the road wheels should be the solid rubber rimmed wheels from the model 1940/1941, UM has included the rubber rimmed road wheels with 12 holes that were used as the outer wheels on T-34s with all steel inner road wheels. Factory 112 did not use the rubber rimmed road wheels with 12 holes, and even factories that did didn’t use five on each side as per the UM kit. I have replaced the road wheels and length-and-link tracks from the UM kit with the same parts from the Pegasus fast build kit (which comes with two tanks).

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The Pegasus T-34/76 is a really confused mix of T-34 variants. The turret is a very accurate version of the Stalingrad (STZ) T-34 1942 turret with sharp angled front corners and wedge shaped gun housing. AFAIK this is the only accurate plastic STZ turret in 1/72, Fujimi made the STZ T-34 in 1/76. The hull is the same as the one in the Pegasus T-34/85, which is the mid/late war hull with left side headlight and saw. The 1940/1941 style rubber rimmed road wheels don’t match the 1942 STZ turret (STZ T-34s had only the all steel road wheels) or the mid/late war hull. I saved the Pegasus turrets because at some point I want to make an accurate STZ T-34, but I will need to combine a couple of kits and after-market resin parts so that will have to wait.

Back to the UM T-34, UM’s kits are very modular as this allows them to accurately depict all of the small differences between variants, but this results in a large part count with a lot of little pieces. The kit is old school in that the lower hull has to be assembled from multiple pieces, as opposed to a single piece “tub,” which makes the lower hull much fiddlier to build.

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The tank rider hand holds are very delicate and several snapped on me during assembly, there should be more but I had to swap some of them around to replace the ones that broke. I suspect very few of those hand holds will survive even a light amount of wargaming.

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As with the other UM T-34 the gun housing just would not go together well, for me this is the worse part of these kits and one of the reasons why I don’t recommend them.

I skipped tank markings but the kit does come with decals that match photos of factory 112 T-34s. The nice thing about early war Soviet tanks is that most did not have unit insignias so you’re never wrong to leave them blank.

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As I was working on this tank I realized that I used the wrong sprocket and idler on the first T-34 I built as I used the ones from the Pegasus kit which don’t match the 1940/1941 variant. So I swapped those out with the ones that were provided with that UM kit (I did say that I obsess over this tank). The Pegasus road wheels are larger than the UM road wheels (which come with vinyl tires) so it was a very tight fit.

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Side by side of the front of the two T-34s, you can see the differences between the 1940/1941 and 1941/1942 models such as the driver’s visor, tow shackles and the and the armored cover on the hull MG.

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Side by side of the rear of the two tanks, the main differences being the engine air intake vents on the side of the hull, the shape of the engine access hatch and the rounded bottom edge on the earlier model.

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Well this was way more historical info on T-34s than was necessary but I couldn’t help myself as I love this tank. I have 10 of the Dragon kits in my stash and I think it is time to get started on those which will be a Rapid Fire tank battalion / Battlegroup Kursk tank platoon.

As always any comments are welcome.
MikeRC97  
 
Posts: 93
Member since:
07 Jun 2012, 01:00

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Posted by Beano Boy on 14 May 2017, 22:49

Hi Mike,
I just wanted to thank you for this latest posting,as you have certainly put extra effort into typing lots of information that is of interest. :thumbup: Well done. BB
Beano Boy  England
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Posted by MikeRC97 on 14 May 2017, 23:41

Thanks Beano Boy, I really appreciate the encouragement.
MikeRC97  
 
Posts: 93
Member since:
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