This week sees more DAK Panzers joining my Panzer IV Specials from earlier in the Challenge. First up - a platoon of Pz IV F1s: Panzer Marsch! Their short barrels limited their effective range but the 75mm guns were capable of ripping the heart out of any Allied tank in the early desert war. Mercifully for the 8th Army, they were always in short supply throughout and thus saw heavy and constant action. As befits their operational usage, I have painted them up as well worn desert veterans. These models are PSC plastic kits. As Battlegroup Torch takes the Desert War to Tunisia I can now field the Tiger tank, which was in operational use there from Dec 42. The thick armour and brutal 88mm gun were a lethal combination which, while far from unbeatable, established the concept of "Tiger Fear" amongst Western Allied tank crews. I'm really thrilled with how crisp I managed to get the Tiger's finish As a newcomer to the theatre, I have done this Tiger as looking new and an unbattered example.
Well it's been a long time in the waiting but finally the kingsleypark Desert Rats arrived at the sleepy wadi known as Hel-Me Boab, somewhere in the Western Desert. Their long R & R was about to come to an abrupt end, however, when the Dastardly Afrika Korps decided to break their duck and challenge the gallant Brits for the right to be top dog in the Cabin.Except we weren't in the Cabin. Neil, Gary and I had decided to sally forth and set up battle in the home of the Angus Wargames Club, Forfar. Stevo should have been there as well but he was ill (apparently) so whilst Gary was left to fight a surreal German Civil War with his late War Germans against Lindsay's Early War Germans, Neil and I set the scene for a more historical match up. Except Neil's D.A.K aren't painted yet (well not his infantry) so I had to bring my D.A.K along to bolster Neil's vehicular contribution of his Panzer IV G, 2 trucks and a turretless Puma which he had to masquerade as a truck as his truck pusher (Kev) had failed
A challenging week but I was determined to submit something - anything really - to keep the mojo engaged and the run rate ticking. So here are a couple of long barrelled Pz IV F2/G models. Pz IV 'Specials' after the battle of El Alamein Dubbed Pz IV 'Specials' by the Allies, the high velocity L/43 gun with muzzle break significantly increased its anti-tank capabilities and made a big impact in the desert war. As a result, any long barrelled enemy tanks became priority targets for Allied crewmen. However, the German supply lines could never muster them in large numbers, though some were present at El Alamein. These are from the PSC Pz IV boxed set, and crewed with Battlefront tank commander figures - I really like the casual pose on the commander of Panzer Hull #3. Painted up using my habitual 'way too many layers and washes that you can't even see' method :-) https://thepaintingchallenge.blogspot.com/2019/01/saturday-ready-from-paulog-panzer-iv.html
My second submission this week was a grab bag of DAK specialist and support vehicles that I have enjoyed researching and collecting. I am building options for force lists and these help me both in the early years in the desert as well as and expanding into Tunisia and the Operation Torch era. SdKfz 265 Panzerbefehlswagen - modified from a Pz I Ausf A, this was a Command Tank variant with dedicated radio transmission equipment and operator. Here it is accompanied by a SdKfz 250 Halftrack, for use as the Luftwaffe Air Liaison Officer to control Air support (this has a tabletop control function in Battlegroup rules) SdKfz 254 - Produced as an artillery tractor by the Austrian Army between the Wars and prior to Anschluss, it has a unique and adjustable system of tracks and wheels. The Wehrmacht used it as a Forward Observer vehicle. Its such a cool and distinctive vehicle that I had to have one. This Battlefront model has the options to model with the wheels either eng
A couple of Painting Challenge entries this week, lead by my Kradschutzen Platoon entry for the first of this year's Bonus Round, themed for Reconnaissance. The Motorcycle borne troops of the German Army were critical to the effective implementation of Blitzkrieg doctrine - searching out the enemy, seizing opportunities and using their mobility to conduct wide flanking manoeuvres. They are the essence of a force purpose built for this Reconnaissance Bonus round. In the desert they came into their own, so naturally I need some in my 15mm DAK force for use with Battlegroup Tobruk and Torch! Presenting my 15mm Reconnaissance Platoon, comprising: - 3 Kradschutzen rifle groups of 6 men each, - 3 Kradshutzen LMG teams, - Kradschutzen ATR section, - Kradschutzen 81mm mortar team, - Motorcycle borne medic, - Pak 36 AT gun and Kfz70 tow, and - 75mm Infantry Gun and Kfz 70 tow (Not shown: Plt HQ which will be mounted in a a Horsch Heavy car that I completed last challenge) While I am really happy with how
The obscure SdKfz 254 Artillery FO vehicle Recently I have been considering my options for the upcoming AHPC Season IX. I have a number of bits and bobs to do but I always have a central theme. I also have a penchant for buying and prepping figures, and then completely ignoring them during the challenge as new projects begin and new interests are kindled. Oh well... SdKfz 250/10 Command Recce vehicle sporting a 37mm anti-tank gun This year I am hoping to bulk out my fantasy force a bit (and because they are left over from a previous AHPC) but my main push is my 15mm Afrika Korps, both for Battlegroup Tobruk and the later Torch period. During AHPC VIII, I concentrated on the recce and light armour forces - this year I will add the heavier (its all relative in 41-42!) Pz IVs and a range of specialist vehicles. I have enjoyed finding the less common ones to really round out the force and give me a myriad of options. WIP: SdKfz 251 Ausf C Platoon HQ vehicle But before all that comm
Back in the 70's when I were a whipper snapper, I was fascinated with history and anything related to soldiers, strange eh?I had a massive collection of books that I used to copy and draw soldiers from. I'm not that good at drawing but used to love it....
Finally, after much faffing about, my Deutsche Afrika Korps army for Flames of War is done...As you might expect, painting a tank company to this standard isn't particularly time consuming (each tank took about as long as one of my Dark Angels space ma...
Time for a new project: Introducing the Deutsche Afrika Korps, 21st Panzer Division. This means a new game system, Flames of War which will be my first foray into historical gaming, and a new scale to paint (15mm). I can't wait to get started...A frien...