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!

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

What a Tanker! Armourfast T34/76

I've been helping my son with his GCSE exam revision this week, so haven't had much time in the evenings to work on the What a Tanker! project. The only thing I've managed to get done is a single Armourfast T34/76 model, which took a bit more time than normal as it is actually quite detailed for a fast assembly kit. It looks the part, however, and will soon be joined by a second T34/76 and the Valentine recce tank which arrived in the post today. I'll be adding at least a couple of T34/85's as well, when I can locate a kit at a reasonable price. The Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV's have also arrived but they are at the back of the queue after the Tigers and Panthers have been finished.

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

What a Tanker! Bases


I like to base my vehicles and AFV's as it protects them a bit from knocks and adds a bit of a visual boost. I'm using mdf rectangles with rounded edges from Warbases for the purpose but only have ones that fit the Shermans at the moment, so have been limited to a single model. The base was quickly textured with acrylic artist's paste, spray undercoated with Halfords Ultra Matt Camo Brown, then given a couple of wet and dry brush coats of Foundry Bay Brown shade and Bay Brown. It's basic to say the least but does the job!

Monday, 14 May 2018

What a Tanker! Tiger Highlights

I've lightly dry brushed the raised surfaces on the Tiger with Foundry Boneyard to pick out the details, not that you can actually see much of a difference in the photos. The top photos are under natural light while the bottom one is on the workbench, just so you can tell I'm not making it up! This means that I'm now ready for the tracks to be painted before I move on to the camouflage. I've been gathering together some reference pictures for winter camo schemes, most of which will allow me to have some of the Panzergelb yellow showing through, so that my layering and highlighting won't be completely wasted?


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