Tuesday, 24 November 2015

1/72 PSC Panzer IVH (Part 2) The Camo

The PSV MkIV H gets the "three tone" hide me treatment courtesy of the traditional Tamiya Dark Brown, Olive Green and Desert Yellow trio. A colour combination that stretches back to my childhood and the start of a deep yearning for ESCI kits that was never quite fulfilled. Each base colour is highlighted to give more depth to the overall pattern (see below, side view facing right):

The long barreled 75mm gets a Vallejo Dark Shade wash with a Vallejo Gun Metal Grey highlight, with the Panzer commander getting the German tank crewman black [basic Airfix black acrylic 33, with a tiny touch of Vallejo Game Color Stone Grey to lighten it] treatment (see below, side facing left):

The tank exhaust is highlighted up from Vallejo Game Color Dark Flesh by adding a touch of Tamiya XF-3 Yellow in a couple of shades. The jerry cans receive  grey highlight also (see below, facing rear):

Finally "Panzer Pete" is touched up with grey/white and red piping/insignia (see below, front facing):

I enjoyed that but hiding away in the loft are another five, all with air filters in the wrong place. For skirmish purposes I am finished but I will have to come back to the rest in the New Year if I want to complete a CD III company.

Next: A Sexy 'Big Cat'

Friday, 20 November 2015

1/72 PSC Panzer IVH (Part 1) The Basic Yellow

Working up from the Airfix Grey undercoat the MkIV H is washed with Vallejo Dark Shade Wash to get that harder shadow edge feel (see below):

Tamiya Yellow Sand XF-60 is then used as a base layer, leaving the Dark Wash to pick out the recesses (see below):

There are times when the Internet comes to your rescue. With the best of intentions I had put together the six PSC Pz IV H's well over a year ago. In my haste I had made a dubious choose of "rear engine" arrangement. The more I looked at other people's versions of MkIVs the less and less I became confident that I had done it correctly (see below):

Thanks to the blogosphere there were answers aplenty. My rear engine housing was really an 'air filter' that should really go on the side (see below):

From the other side (see below, with the classic spare rollers on the side):

Once fixed we can put the skirts on (see below):

Many thanks to the following blogs for their help and inspiration (see below):
Next: Three tone camo (again)

Monday, 16 November 2015

My 1000th Post is "Pimp my Panzer IVH" (The classic Esci/Italeri 1/72 kit)

In my previous Chain of Command battle AAR I stated that I was slightly embarrassed with the models I put on table for just having the basic paint scheme. Good enough fo the purposes of a tabletop wargame but privately I have always wanted to do justice to the Panzer IVH (an original Esci, but now released by Italeri) as I think of it as the "Normandy Classic", so hot from the tabletop I gave it a basic German late-war "three colour camo" scheme (see below):

Painting Guide Notes: Original base coat Tamiya XF-60 (Desert Yellow), brown patches Anita's Acrylic Earth Brown(11014) and Tamiya XF-61 (Dark Green)

In a parallel build I also primed one of the Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV H's in my favourite Airfix 01 "Grey Undercoat". I had already assembled some, gulp that is very lazy of me, some year(s!) back. It will be interesting to see them side-by-side for comparison (see below, more of this PSC fun to come in another post):

Meanwhile I toned up the Green, Brown and Sand Yellow patches with lighter hues.
  • The Green went from Tamiya XF-61 (Dark Green) mixed with XF-62 Olive Drab, to pure XF-62 then I added XF-3 Yellow to highlight. 
  • The Brown went to Tamiya XF-52 (Flat Earth) and as I highlight I mixed in Anita's Acrylic Lemon Yellow (11055) [done more as an experiment rather than plan, my other option was to add white]
  • The Sand Yellow XF-60 was repainted to chase away some of the wandering wash errant flood areas then [as it was too hand] Anita's Acrylics Lemon Yellow (11055) to highlight and if memory serves me correct I probably drooped a little White Anita's Acrylic (11001) as a final highlight.
In addition I made plentiful use of Vallejo Wash (73201) Black Shade with a fine brush back into the corners and shadow areas. I used a new trick on the tracks. The tracks got a base coat of Vallejo Game Color [sic] Dark Fleshtone (72044) as the factory 'rust primer'. I then used the Vallejo Black Shade Wash, leaving it to dry before highlighting in Vallejo Model Color Gunmetal Grey (70863). The paint trick in the book was the classic Panzer IV exhaust tube was painted Vallejo Game Color Dark Fleshtone (72044) and highlighted with Tamiya XF-3 Yellow (see end product below):

Panzer IVH "pimped" 360 degree treatment - Facing Left: 



Side View: 

Quite happy with the results on this 'old timer', no immediate rush to put the decals on (no change there then) especially since it now represents a "wreck marker" in Operation Martlet for the first scenario ;)

Next: By way of comparison the PSC Panzer MkIVH

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Normandy Mini-Campaign (Operation Martlet Part 4): Chain of Command

Down by his prise panzer (alas "Panzer Pete was no more) the German Commander knew he had to pull something out of the bag. He had but one trick left in the bag his 81mm mortar battery. He needed it to come in quickly and so rather than chancing losing the initiative he brought his barrage without a spotting round. There was a deafening roar of cannon fire and a whoosh of splintering hard rain ... somewhere far, far off table. As per the "wants of the game" his command dice meant hat he kept going and got a flip-flop so could have another go. To the despair of the British Commander (me) and the utter delight of the German Commander (Mr K.) the got it picture perfect. I had concentrated too much into too little a space and hung aroung too long. A cardinal sin against a veteran player (see below, Mr.K is seen rushing in with his tape measure in ungentlemanly haste):

Innocuously looking but it is covering my whole platoon (see below):

Not so innocuous now as the "shock" and "kill" markers mounts up (see below):

There was nothing to do but pull back. I had not enough Chain of Command points to influence the turn and the German Commander (Mr K.) had accumulated more 5's so could counter any end of turn gambit I could play. All I could do was hope for an absurd triple or quadruple roll of 6's to hit the 'strange but true' event table. That wasn't going to happen. In retrospect I endured two rounds (I should have bugged out after one in hindsight) as I took a massive thirteen casualties, four the first turn and a massive nine the next. Too much, even if I get some converted to wounded to return to action later in the campaign (see below):

My Nemesis (see above and try and spot him), was a German Artillery FOO with Martian style telescope, hidden in the "White Barn's" roof. My tank on table was the only thing that could fire on him but needed infantry and an NCO nearby to point out hidden enemy infantry targets. Hence I had to "bug".

Despite this drubbing I am eagerly awaiting the next crack at the "Martlet Campaign" to be continued over teh sam egroung (with the new addition of a wrecked German tank as extra German cover..tune in next time for "Go again Sir?" or more sinisterly "Anymore casualties like that Sir and we will have to 'frag you' mate!"

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Normandy Mini-Campaign (Operation Martlet Part 3): Chain of Command

To my horror (as the British Commanding Officer: First Lt Spencer) "Panzer Pete" stirred into action. I was also not chuffed to know I was facing the 12th SS Panzer Division. Things were looking "slightly sticky" as the long barrelled 75mm gun barked out some HE at the occupants of "Grey House" (see below):

Kaboom. The Bren team was a team member down. With no PIAT in play I was in no possition to retaliate, I would have to just sit there and take it like KGL at Waterloo (but hang on that was a different strong point). Meanwhile "Panzer Pete" was grinning like a madman and ramming another of HE into the breach for his next go (see below):

Then, down the end of the road came a most pleasant sight to the beleaguered Tommies, Royal Engineer XXX Churchill Spigot armed tank. One of Hobart's funnies still finding gainful employment off the landing beaches. Despite its unassuming appearance and aging paint job [circa the last century ... at a guess 1995 or thereabouts] it still packed a "Chain of Command" punch throwing a dustbin sized charge of HE about (See below)

Even better "Panzer Pete" completely unaware of its existence as he had lined me up with a perfect profile shot (see below):

The small black dot got larger and larger and larger. The Panzer crew stood transfixed in horror as the equivalent of a Barnes Wallis "bouncing bomb" piled into their venerable Panzer IV framework, which despite various upgrades, was no match to something that was the equivalent of naval gunfire in its devastation. The result was inevitable as it was spectacular (see below):

With a sight of relief the British Commander (me) sat back relieved, the German aghast (Mr. K). However the cunning German had another ace up his sleeve.

Next: Hard German 81mm Rain Falls

[Addendum: "Chain of Command" rules review and clarification. After the battle so to speak, when the clamour of the dice and the sweat and perspiration subsides (something that fills every game of Chain of Command and is associated with the indecision of decision) comes the realisation that we must have done something wrong. The Churchill AVRE seems something of a superweapon - only two less AT (10d6 v 12d6) dice than a 17pdr armed Firefly and an incredible 16 (1d6) HE factor. It can hit anything on the table and reload as per a normal tank. Or can it? I had asked in my pre-game support assignment because I knew I had to kill a Panzer IV. So it was a choice of a Sherman and Sherman Firefly combination or a Churchill AVRE and some mortar supports (2" and 3" battery). The latter gave me more AI punch too so that is why I opted for it. But no, the Spigot is externally mounted so reloading is a pain in the bum, it can only be done once per TURN as opposed to activation and its range is limited to 30" tabletop, one of the few range limitations in the charts. So in short an "impossible kill" for the Churchill. Musing afterwards we reinstated the kill (the overall effect did not change the outcome of the game for the Brits, deciding had I know the rules the Sherman/Firefly combination would have been used. Instead of being brewed by a lumbering Royal Engineer's "Funny" the Royal Armoured XXX had chalked up their first Panzer IV kill)]

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Normandy Mini-Campaign (Operation Martlet Part 2): Chain of Command

Despite the disadvantage of the British 25 pounders hammering the French farmland, the Germans were directed to the frontline by a [suport purchased] -Adjudent. That was a well spent support point as it allowed three M42 teams, an artillery observer and a Medic to get quickly in place. My newly painted acquisitions were soon facing me across the table (see below):

Not only that but "Panzer Pete" turned up in the form of a Panzer IV. This is an old original ESCI kit given to me (unmade) several years ago by Mr K. himself. Now he was getting to use it against me! It was as if he knew it'd destiny and it was all part of a cunning plan. I am slightly ashamed of it as it is just out of the "primer" stage, with a black wash looking very grimy. I had planned to do it in a "three tone cam" but it will do for now (see below):

"First Blood" goes to the Brits as a SS MG42 gunner team member gets caught by my sustained Bren team fire from my mini-Hougomont in "Grey House". As these German MG teams were seriously under strength I saw (or rather got fixated by) the opportunity to reduce its effectiveness and score a 'quick win' (see below):

Fearing the 'open fields of death' to the left and again wanting to eliminate the damaged MG42 team I deployed my whole platoon along a strong hedge line. Dangerous as it was putting all my eggs in one basket, especially as there was a (grimy) Panzer IVH on the loose. Mr K. also saw the opportunity as denoted by the mortar target spot [aka white circle] placed close to them (see below):

Next: "The Risks You Take" and "The Proce You Pay"

Wednesday, 11 November 2015