Daily Archives: June 1, 2019

A Preponderance of Panzers

Mark A. Morin

For May, I was hoping to complete a diverse German 15mm/1:100 scale armored force to use for a What a Tanker© game D-Day scenario.  Last month saw my completion of a good-sized US force – and I already had an 11-tank British contingent of Shermans and Fireflies.

As for the Germans, last year I had bought and assembled a 5-vehicle Plastic Soldier Company StuG III kit that could be completed as either F8 or G variants.  I assembled and primed them, but put them aside, as they did not fit in with either my France 1940 or North Africa scenarios.  From Battlefront Miniatures, I had bought several resin and plastic models to include a Marder III, 7 Panzer IV’s (E, F2, and H’s), 2 Tiger I’s, and a Panther D.  Additionally, I was able to acquire a Battlefront Ferdinand/Elefant from Chris Rett in my gaming club – which was fortunate as this model is now out of production.  This made 17 tanks/tank destroyers available to assemble and paint, but too big a force for just a Normandy scenario.  Plus, from my research, the StuG F8 was more of an Eastern Front vehicle.  So, I decided to proceed to complete these 17 for two different scenarios, some for the Eastern Front and some for the Normandy scenario.

Researching the camouflage patterns for these two groups showed me very different patterns of painting – and in each case I would need to expand my skills and tools to be able to achieve a good historical representation of each vehicle.  In particular, I needed an airbrush that could do the finest lines and make these tiny tanks look appropriate.  I found a solution in an Iwata Micron B airbrush.   This was not inexpensive, but in the end turned out to live up fully to my expectations.  As an aside, I had been struggling to have enough time to finish all of these tanks in May.  Work this month had been hectic, I attended HUZZAH in Maine (more to come on that in a future post), Memorial Day ceremonies, and the Boston Bruins have been in the Stanley Cup playoffs (and now the finals!!) so my hobby time has been constrained somewhat,  Unfortunately I got a bit more time as I was unexpectedly laid off this week!  I am sure that if I did not have a job, I would not have bought the new Micron B airbrush, but who knew that would happen?  Not me, but at least I was able to finish these in time to be my second entry in Azazel’s “Mechanismo May” community painting challenge.

Given that I was so busy, I took fewer WIP photos than normal – so I decided that this post I will go through some points on assembly, then share in turn the Eastern Front vehicles, the Normandy vehicles, and lastly the paints and materials that I used.  This means the eye-candy shots will be interspersed this time throughout the blog.  As always, let me know your thoughts and feedback – and which one you like the most, if you are so inclined of course!  There are links on the headers and elsewhere if you want more background, albeit from Wikipedia.

Notes on Assembly

2 TigersTiger I kit innards3 Tiger and washersI wanted more heft in my tanks – so I added steel washers to the Tiger’s. I filled the hulls afterwards with PVA glue.6 Panzer IVH with ball bearings and BB'sI remembered that I had some ball bearings from Jeff Smith and some BB’s – so the Panzer IV’s got these and PVA glue on top as ballast.4 Assembled grouping less Pz Iv's and some StuG'sSome of the tanks, some primed, some not yet.  The Elefant in front had been given an Elefant trunk and ears with green stuff by Chris Rett’s daughter.  I did my best to remove the excess kneadatite before repriming.

Eastern Front

Here are the vehicles I built for a future Eastern Front scenario.


1 StuG F8 base coatedStuG IIIF8 base coated2 StuG F8 painted redI made three F8’s for the Easter front.  Two had the two-toned reddish/brownish camouflage.3 StuG F8 painted 3 colorThe third F8 I experimented with the Iwata Micron B to make a three-toned camouflage pattern.4 StuG F8's in wheat fieldThe three StuG IIIF8’s completed deployed in a wheat field.5 StuG F8's in wheat field left side viewLeft side view of the StuG IIIF8’s6 StuG F8's in wheat field rear viewRear view of the F8’s.  I used the Vallejo “Thick Brown Mud” on my Eastern Front vehicles to simulate the effects of Mother Russia.

Panzer IVF2

This model was a resin/metal combination.

4 Panzer IVF2 complete right sideCompleted Panzer IVF2, left side.5 Panzer IVF2 complete left sideRight side of the completed Panzer IV F2.

Panzer IVH

3 all 3 Panzer IV H'sI painted one Panzer IVH in a reddish/brown two-tone, and the other two in a two-tone yellow/green pattern.  Here they are with different decals.  I tried Armorcast decals in addition to my Battlefront ones – and the sizes of theirs (crosses) work better for small areas like you see here.  Give them a look if interested.4 all 3 Panzer IV H's in a fieldPatrolling a field.5 all 3 Panzer IV H's by a wheat fieldLeft side of the Panzer IVF2’s.  I also varied adding crew or leaving the tank buttoned up to make it easier for tabletop identification and play – in addition to the different decal numbers.

Tiger I

4 Tiger in wheat field left sideEastern Front Tiger I, left side, crossing a wheat field.5 Tiger acquiring targetThis was a fun model – and the weathering products worked well.5 Tiger in wheat field frontal viewAcquiring a Soviet target.5 Tiger in wheat field rightsideRight side shot.6 Tiger in wheat field rearRear angle on the Tiger I.

These are going to be fun to use and see used in future games.  I previously had built a Battlefront resin Tiger I for North Africa, and I must say that the plastic ones are really nice models too (less weighty of course – which is why I added ballast).  Of course, I was primarily focused on getting ready for the 75th Anniversary of D-Day.  So let’s get to those AFV’s!

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Eastern Front scenarios that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Eastern Front2 Group shot 2 Eastern Front

Normandy Campaign

Here are the Normandy Campaign tanks and tank destroyers I built this month.  These all have three-toned camouflage pattern, though I tried to be true to the examples I found in my research.

Marder III

This was a resin and metal model.  I painted the crew separately before adding them to the model.

4 Marder III complete right sideMarder III in ambush position.5 Marder III complete left sideLeft side view.6 Marder III rearRear view showing Marder III crew.


This version had the “schürzen” spaced armor – which was also on the Panzer IVH.  All these are plastic models.

2 Stug G's by wrecked buildingAdvancing past the ruins.3 Stug G's in fieldMoving into ambush position by the bocage hedgerows.4 Stug G's advancing down roadMoving up.

Panzer IVE

This model is the least powerful of the Panzer IV’s I built for Normandy, but it was deployed in Normandy and in good numbers.

3 Panzer IVE by buildingThe Panzer IVE by a building near a Panzer IVH – the Vallejo “Crushed Grass” worked well along with the “European Thick Mud” and the European “Splash Mud” for weathering.

Panzer IVH

I built two plastic Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.  The side armor (schürzen) were not easy to affix, and made painting a challenge on both these and the previous Eastern Front versions.  Their camouflage patterns were slightly different.

1 Panzer IVH's and Panzer IVE in fieldThe two Panzer IVH’s and the Panzer IVE (for comparison) on the right in the hedgerows.2 Panzer IVH's facing frontFrontal view of the Panzer IVH’s for Normandy.2 Panzer IVH's turn cornerPatrolling the ruined village.


I really enjoyed bringing this monster tank destroyer model back to the tabletop.  It is out of production, so I was very happy that Chris sold it to me for a song.

4 Elefant in fieldElefant right side.  5 Elefant facing frontNice view of the front – the crewman was already mounted when I got this model.  I prefer to paint them separately, but this worked out fine – they are just so tiny.6 Elefant rearGood look at the rear of the vehicle – I liked that it had the zimmerit on it too.

Panther D

I’ve been wanting to build a Panther since I saw the Panther A at the American Heritage Museum last year.  This is 30 miles from my house!

15A PANTHERBeautiful restoration of this Panther

Mine is a Panther D, and it was a resin/metal model.

Note the road wheel on the turret.  It came in the kit, and I put it there as there was a nub to hang it.  Unfortunately, it interfered with the turret being flush on the hull.  Luckily, I was able to remove the road wheel.  As I had an extra track section, I was able to affix it over that space on the turret.  The model was also missing on of the two exhaust pipes – an iconic part of a Panther.  I was able to drill the resin hull and build a replacement with a cut-down paper clip.

3 Panther in fieldPanther crossing an open field.4 Panther left sideNice left side view showing the muddy tracks.5 Panther right sideRight side view with track section on the turret.6 Panther acquiring targetTarget spotted!  Schnell!  Feuer!

Tiger I

I think you’ll be pleased with this one!

3 Tiger in field left sideLeft side of the Tiger I for a Normandy scenario.4 Tiger in field rear sideTiger I rear view.5 Tiger in field right sideRight side view of the Tiger I.5 Tiger in open acquring targetNice frontal shot.

Group Shots

Here are some group shots all of the German AFV’s for Normandy that I did this month.

1 Group shot 1 Normandy Germans

2 Group shot 2 Normandy Germans

3 Group shot 3 Normandy Germans

Thanks for looking and I hope that you found this interesting !  I have more to do now – next up:

1 Next models

D-Day is only 5 days away!


  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. Testors Plastic Cement
  3. Elmer’s white glue
  4. Steel washers
  5. Ball bearings
  6. BB gun BB’s
  7. E6000 epoxy
  8. Aleene’s poster tack
  9. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  10. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  11. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  12. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  13. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  14. Battlefront “European Skin”
  15. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (wash)
  16. Polly Scale “WWII German Armor Dark Olive Green”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Olive Green”
  19. P3 “Bootstrap Leather”
  20. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  21. Polly Scale “WWII Luftwaffe Uniform Gray”
  22. Vallejo Model Air “Panzer Dark Grey”
  23. P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter “Military Shader” (wash)
  26. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Yellow”
  27. Vallejo Model Air “German Red Brown”
  28. Vallejo Mecha Color “Olive Green”
  29. Vallejo Game Air “Black”
  30. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  31. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  32. Army Painter “Strong Tone” (wash)
  33. Vallejo Model Air “USA Olive Drab”
  34. Army Painter “Soft Tone” (wash)
  35. Vallejo Model Air “Rust (71.080)”
  36. Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
  37. Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
  38. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  39. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  40. Microscale Micro-Set
  41. Microscale Micro-Sol
  42. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  43. Appropriate decals from Armorcast
  44. Vallejo “European Mud” (Thick Mud)
  45. Vallejo “Brown Mud” (Thick Mud)
  46. Vallejo “European Slash Mud” (Splash Mud)
  47. Vallejo “Crushed Grass”
  48. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”


from Mark A. Morin https://markamorin.com/2019/06/01/a-preponderance-of-panzers/
from Tumblr https://harfordhawks.tumblr.com/post/185298747278


Expanding the French Revolution Project, Part 1

Rob Dean

The origins of my French Revolution project are now lost in obscurity.  I originally bought a set of the 40mm Nuernberger Meisterzinn molds for the purpose of adding some expansion units to Chris Palmer’s French and Indian War project.  I started thinking about what else I could do with them, and realized that the different heads included covered a number of French Revolution types, and somehow the idea that a Scarlet Pimpernel-based scenario would give me another use for the molds as well as provide an excuse to put a marching band on the table in a game pushed this over the edge, from thinking to doing.  That also tied the time down to 1793-4.
My main resources for painting were the Funcken Uniforms of the French Revolution book, and the Haythornthwaite book on the same topic.
In the initial scenario development (and I have the notes around here somewhere…) the idea was that each player would have one unit, each of which would have its own separate victory conditions.  We also had a suggested set of variant victory conditions, so that we could run the game multiple times and playing previously would not be a spoiler, because the hidden information could be different each time.  What stayed the same is that the Austrians were more-or-less working together to take a military objective (a bridge), and the French national guardsmen (or Les Bleus) were tasked with defense of the objective, and a special order to capture the Scarlet Pimpernel.  One of the other five French factions (regulars, cavalry, mounted police, band, and civilians) would not be what they seemed, but would be the Pimpernel, his assistants and some French nobles attempting to escape.
Each mounted faction was built with eight figures, and each foot faction was built with twelve.  We ended up with a few extra civilians as well.  As always, Ross Macfarlane decided to pitch in and help with the painting (and more, as will be shown).  
Ultimately, we played this a few times in 2007-8, and it got shelved with a mental note that the rules I was using needed some work, and that not all of the factions were fun to play.  It was close, but not quite there.
When I got A Gentleman’s War (AGW) last month, I realized that it might be just what I was looking for to get the French Revolution back on the table, although as a small battle game rather than a skirmish.  The presence of an extended section on “cameo roles” gives something to do with civilians, bandsmen, and the Pimpernel.  I discussed the idea with Ross, who was very enthusiastic, and recommended a couple of sources on the 1793/4 campaigns in Flanders.  
Part 2 will be more about where this might be going, but here’s a quick review of what there is:
First up are the Paris mounted police.  I have a feeling that finding a battlefield role for these guys may be difficult, but perhaps we can just slide them in as a French cavalry unit without drawing any particular attention to them.  I’ll mention here that the mold collection has two horses, but I have only been able to regularly cast the horse that comes with cuirassier body successfully.  All of the mounted  police were built using the “hussar” body, with the cast-on lapel lace filed off.
Paris mounted police, from Funcken

Close-up of one mounted policeman

The Austrian cuirassier uses the same bicorne head as many of the French.  As “toy soldiers” I compromised and painted the backplate cast on the figure, although the Austrians historically only wore breastplates.  My general goal has been to save metal file work for when it is really needed.

Austrian Cuirassier, from Haythornthwaite

The French chasseur a cheval uses one of the two standard helmet heads included in the various molds, and the hussar body without modification.

French Chasseur a Cheval, from Funcken

The marching band turned out to be more difficult than expected.  The marching band mold has a figure with his arms extended, which would require various levels of re-posing to hold the instruments included.  He turns out to be incredibly difficult to cast, and I could barely get enough to do the drum section.  Fortunately there is a fifer mold, which casts very reliably, so the band was filled out with fifers, plus a standard bearer and a regular officer “armed” with the conductor’s baton from the band mold.

French Marching Band

The French National Guards were the most fun to paint.  I did some light conversions with file work and putty to give most of them non-uniform trousers, and then painted them with patches, faded coats, and so forth. I used a mix of bicornes, some with plumes lost, both sideways and fore-and-aft, plus one bare head pulled in from the civilian mold.  As I expand, I am probably going to do a second equally ragged unit, painting a couple of figures at a time between regular units as a treat for making progress.

French Garde National

The old French regular infantry wear something close enough to one of the helmets included in the mold set that I just used them as is.

Old French regular army

The Austrians were a pain.  The Austrian casket hat from the 1793 period is not included in the molds, so I attempted to file something down from Seven Years War grenadier mitres.  As my tolerance for filing diminished, I finished them up with a couple of bare heads.

Austrian infantry
Early on, the civilians stalled me.  Chris Palmer tried a couple of civilian conversions for me, the fellow in the green coat with a spike club, from a Meisterzinn SYW officer, and the guy with the pitchfork, from a Meisterzinn 16th century halberdier.  Ross, in a burst of enthusiasm, decided to sculpt a couple of civilians and make molds, so the rest of the men are from one of those two masters with varying amounts of conversion. The women are straight out of the Meisterzinn civilian mold, with both possible heads included.  

Civilians, some rather militant
I did one of the male civilians from the Meisterzinn mold up as a Representative on Mission, as a wild card for the Scarlet Pimpernel scenario.  He comes with the roll of paper clutched in his left hand, here undoubtedly representing a blank death warrant.

A Representative on Mission

That, then, is where the expansion starts, with five reasonable combat units (National Guards, regulars, and light cavalry for the French, infantry and cuirassiers for the Austrians) for AGW, a number of cameo roles, and some left-over cavalry to expand into six man units.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/06/expanding-french-revolution-project.html
from Tumblr https://harfordhawks.tumblr.com/post/185294691198