Thursday, 24 May 2018

Pegasus EZ-Build King Tigers

I wanted to have at least one Tiger II in the late war German tank arsenal and was resigned to gluing together the Italeri re-release of the old Esci kit, with all it's numerous road wheels and individual track link sections, when I stumbled across the Pegasus EZ-Build version. This wasn't a cheap kit but, as you get two tanks in the box, it wasn't that bad and cheaper than a resin or metal equivalent. 

The kit plastic is that shiny slightly soapy looking stuff but the detail looks fine enough and the kit has the advantage of integral track units with add on outer road wheels. I think I'll only put one of them together for the moment and paint it up in full but basic winter white camouflage, rather than attempt any three tone wavy edge nonsense. A matt grey basecoat should be a good starting point with some judicious wet and dry brushing to follow up.

I may even assemble one tomorrow as I'm off work but also want to get the second Armourfast Panther built so that I can paint it alongside the Jagdpanther and Panther that I've already assembled. I am slowly creating a mini Blitzkrieg of quick build plastic base coated armour on the shelf above my workbench but there is some logic in my madness, as I'm going to do a production line in tank painting over the holidays.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Taking a Day Off

My daughter and son have an INSET day on Friday, so I've arranged to take the day off to look after them, which is something I can do now that I'm an educational gun for hire and not chained to the chalk face. This means I will be able to set up a game of What a Tanker! to run through the rules and can rope in the kids as 'volunteer' panzer commanders.

They are usually up for this sort of thing and don't need any persuasion, although the lad is now more interested in his X-Box than miniature gaming, which is a shame but I'm sure he'll realise the error of his ways when he grows out of it. Anyway, I'm looking forward to finally getting in a game or two using my 1/50th scale Corgi diecast tank collection. Roll on Friday!

Monday, 21 May 2018

What a Tanker! Panther Wash


So, rather than do a drybrush and wash over the Halfords Ultra Matt Khaki basecoat on the Panther and Jagdpanther, I thought I'd cut a corner and just wash them both in my Future based brown ink wash, in order to provide a base for the ambush pattern camouflage. I think the Halfords khaki shade is a pretty close match to the pale sand shade used on late war German AFV's, which bears little resemblance to the darker yellow Dunkelgelb shade that I've used on the Tigers, so a direct over wash seemed like a good idea.

I'm planning to do a variety of typical disruptive camouflage patterns on the Panthers using a combination of Vallejo Panzer brown and greens which, if it looks good, may not even get an overcoat of whitewash winter camouflage. I don't have an airbrush so this will all have to be done by hand, which could work well or could be a total disaster? If it doesn't work, I'll just slosh and stipple white paint all over the buggers and pretend that was the plan from the outset!

Sunday, 20 May 2018

What a Tanker! Panther Basecoat

I've decided to overspray the Humbrol Sea Grey basecoat on the Armourfast Panther and Jagdpanther with an alternative basecoat of Halfords Ultra Matt Camouflage Khaki. I wasn't really sure about the grey to start with and the Halfords Khaki is much cheaper and easier for me to get hold of, so that I can use the same approach on the rest of the German tanks without running out.

The Halfords Matt Khaki is also a good match for late war toned down 'ambush pattern' camouflage colours, as shown on the Armourfast Panther Ausf G box art, for example. In the process of painting they will get overbrushed, dry brushed and ink washed, then covered in snow camouflage, so it doesn't really matter what colour I use. Either way, I think it looks a lot better than the bog standard grey.

Armour (not so) Fast Panther Ausf G

I was hoping to get both of these assembled today but car washing and GCSE revision scuppered my best laid plans. This one was also a bit longer in the production line than usual, due to the extra detailing bits that I added using the very handy Early War Miniatures accessories set. I left off the turret mounted machine gun and the side skirts but added just about all of the remaining bits of kit.

It certainly makes a difference and, at a distance, you wouldn't really know that this was a basic wargaming model. I will be gluing together the other Panther over the week, if I can find the time. I haven't done any more painting this weekend, even though I intended to get the Tigers finished, but have a week of holiday coming up in which I will be able to paint all of the models that I have assembled and perhaps add a few more, if the postman delivers on time?

Saturday, 19 May 2018

Pimp my Jagdpanther

I decided to put together the Armourfast Jagdpanther today, as it's been looking at me from the shelf above the workbench. I added some detailing bits from an old Revell Panther kit that I bought cheap when Modelzone closed down a few years ago, together with some white metal track links from EWM.. This meant that it took a bit longer than usual to assemble but I think it was time well spent. As I have run out of Humbrol Matt Dark Earth spray I used Matt Sea Grey instead, which I'm hoping will be a good basecoat for an overall white winter camouflage scheme. 

Friday, 18 May 2018

Filling the Gaps

So far, I've been raiding my existing stockpile of Italeri and Armourfast quick build kits, adding some new models for the Germans via eBay. I've thought about building some 'proper' 1/72nd scale kits from the stash in the loft but have shied away from this option, as I don't really have the time and don't fancy gluing all the fiddly bits together. I don't think they would look great next to the quick build stuff either.

Anyway, an option I've been looking at for those 'one off' missing AFV's that you just have to have at least one of, is the Early War Miniatures range of 'Blitz Build' plastic resin and white metal models. These look pretty good and aren't too expensive compared to normal injection moulded model kits. They also fill in a lot of the blanks, are quick to build and include some pretty neat early and mid-war AFV's.

For my purposes, however, it's the late war German tank destroyers that caught my eye, specifically the Hetzer, Nashorn and Jagdpanzer IV. I may well send off for one of the latter when I've ploughed through more of the existing back log of  plastic quick build models. The Russians need to be wrapped up first anyway before I can tackle any more of the Panzers!

Tankcraft Tiger I and II

I'm hoping to finish off the two Italeri Tiger I's this weekend, in between revision for the lad's GCSE exams, so thought I'd do some proper reading on the theme. This series of military modelling books is excellent, especially the one on British Shermans which I already own, so a digital copy of the Tiger I and II book seemed like a good idea. I'm also going for a rummage in the loft for old military magazines to see what I can find...I may be some time.

Thursday, 17 May 2018

Engines of the Red Army

I've been gathering painting reference material for the What a Tanker! project and have uncovered this webpage, which has some brilliant profiles of Soviet WW2 armour. I'm slowly adding more tanks to the Russian horde and will begin painting them this weekend, so any colour images of winter camouflaged AFV's are really handy:

The other very useful website that I've been dipping into is the online Tank Encyclopedia, which has entries on just about every single AFV you could think of and includes technical data, combat history, video clips, photos and colour profiles. It's a great resource for would-be wargaming tankers:

Of course that won't stop me from buying more magazines and Osprey reference books!

Armourfast Stug IV's

I've had a busy weekend followed by an uphill first half of the week, so decided to give myself a boost toward Friday with a final addition to the Late War German tank force. This is a pair of Armourfast Stug IV's which I've had my eye on for a while. I really like these low slung tank destroyers and they will go nicely alongside the far less common Jagdpanther as the basis of a three AFV unit in What a Tanker!


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