Russian Civil War Interlude – Hardly Mechanised at all.

 

RCW Cavalry and Garford Armoured Car

No, not that unit … the other one over there!

In a very welcome return to hybrid face-to-face wargaming, YesthatPhil, Trebian and I met up at Shedquarters for a game of the Russian Civil War. This is a game of Trebian’s in development, so I was less interested in the rules as in the setup and mechanics of running a Zoom wargame from the umpire’s end. The main takeaway lesson that came over loud and clear is that players need signposting clues on the ground.

Red Cavalry pass a scratchbuilt Garford armoured Car (one of YesthatPhil's) at the gallop.

Red Cavalry pass a scratchbuilt Garford armoured Car (one of YesthatPhil’s) at the gallop.

Ex-military types have little trouble talking section fire on to the “red hats ten o’ clock left of the burning armoured car on the road junction twelve inches to their front”. Civilians , alas are prone to saying “fire at that infantry unit by the wood, no not that one, the other one over there”. My time as a toy pusher passed agreeably, with much wry amusement. Coffee, cake and chocolate was involved for those in meatspace.

They've got a Cave Troll - The Garford squats down on the key road junction.

“They’ve got a Cave Troll!” – The Garford squats down on the key road junction in the centre far, far distance left of the village.

The game was splendid, with Trebian doing most of the sums, of which there seemed to be a lot. There was a proper Dr Zhivago cavalry charge across open fields and a satisfactory amount of to and fro-ing with infantry in a key village at the crossroads.

Red and White cavalry get properly stuck in!

Red and White cavalry get properly stuck in. Urrah!

Treb has put a lot of work into getting the period feel right, and it is paying off.  He threw four armoured cars into the battle to see what would happen. They did not overpower the game, although a burning model T Ford probably wished that they were elsewhere.

The Garford was soon renamed Garfield. It was close-assaulted by infantry and went WOOF!

The Garford was soon renamed Garfield. It was close-assaulted by infantry and went WOOF!

Is it safe to come out now?

“Is it safe to come out now?” Discretion proved to be the better part of valour for the White armoured cars.

Richard Lindley officered the Whites and claimed a victory. Steve Churchus and Will Whyler ran the Reds and also claimed victory, because of self-evident historical inevitability. Trebian claimed the last chocolate square, and deserved it for putting on an excellent playtest. Wins all round ūüôā

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NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 20) – Second BRYANSK

The Railhead at BRYANSK, where 2 Armee Headquarters was located, on the River DESNA,  was a scene of frantic activity. Trains bursting with infantry and ammunition were pulling in to the rail-head, disgorging their loads and returning full with casualties and non-essential technical specialists. Palls of smoke marked sites around the headquarters, where confidential documents were being burned. Civilians were being pressed into digging defences. BRYANSK was a city under siege

The infantry of IX Armeekorps, retreating from STALINOGORSK to the north, and LIII Armeekorps withdrawing to the west from KURSK  were being thrown back into the line as soon as they reformed. To the west of this area was where the Panzer divisions of 2,3 Panzerarmee and Heersgruppe Mitte were poised for a counterattack, as soon as the moment was judged to be correct.

2SSPz and 47 PzGren Divisions Assemble for the counterattack

2 SS Panzer and 47 Panzergrenadier Divisions Assemble for the counterattack.

XX Armeekorps with the veteran Prussian 258 and newly raised 292 Infantry Divisions. Had scarcely reformed at GOMEL before the lead elements of 16 Tank Corps, 2 Tank Army were probing their defences.

258 Inf Div halt 2 Tk Army

The veteran 258 Infantry Division halts the lead elements of 16 Tank Corps, 2 Tank Army. Note the dug-in marker.

The Corps, at the end of its supply line did not press the attack, but withdrew out of contact to await the rest of 2 Tank Army.

16 Tk Corps from 2 Tk Army take casualties and halt

16 Tank Corps from 2 Tank Army takes casualties and halts.

IX Armeekorps,  although a Korps in name, 7, 78 and 252 Infantry Divisions amounted to little more than a single division as they traveled east by rail to reinforce the defences of BRYANSK.

General Weise,  of XXXV Armeekorps defending the east bank of the River with 262 and 293 Infantry Divisions was hanging on to the east bank of the River DESNA but was aware that the west bank had fallen in the south of the city.  He counterattacked but failed to make significant progress against the bridgehead.

The Soviet Commander of 61 Army was pressurising his exhausted divisional commanders, expecting progress in the north that proved to be slow in coming against VII Armeekorps  with 16, 17 and 387 Infantry Divisions.

28 Rifle Corps comprising 132 and 211 RDs in the first wave of 70 Army in the south made good progress, set back by counterattacks that slowed, but failed to dislodge the bridgeheads. 2 Tank Army, continued to press forward with 9, 16 and 19 Tank Corps until their progress was halted by the veteran dug-in 258 Infantry Division.

47PzGren Div attacks

47 Panzer Grenadier Division attacks.

The Germans had not been idle :  2 SS Panzer Division and 47 Panzergrenadier Division hit the burgeoning Soviet breakout in flank with a well-timed counterattack. Dispersing the attack, the Panzers did not halt but pressed on to the southeast to meet up with a southern pincer comprising three Panzer divisions, 14Pz, 16Pz and 22Pz east of KURSK.

2SSPz and 47PzGren take heavy casualties but press on to KURSK

2 SS Panzer and 47 Panzergrenadier Divisions take heavy casualties but press on to KURSK.

Following on behind them, were such infantry divisions that could be mustered to reinforce BRYANSK. Casualties were not all one-sided though, the independent Tiger battalion being reduced in fighting strength to negligible levels through a combination of battle casualties, lack of fuel and ammunition, and breakdowns.

The Disordered remnants of 2 Tank Army pull back to the River DESNA

The Disordered remnants of 2 Tank Army pull back to the River DESNA

At the same time, to the north of BRYANSK, the infantry of 3 Panzer Army¬Ļ were preparing to counterattack to recover lost ground to TULA and beyond.

… to be continued.

Footnotes:

  1. A Panzer army in name only.
Is your tank big enough now Tovarishch

Is your tank big enough now Tovarishch?

Post Game Notes.

1. My Stuka zu Fuss had its first outing and performed better than expected for a short-ranged heavy engineer unit. No-one had told them that heavies normally roll low!

2.  My scruffy Airfix US Marine rubber dinghies are back. In compensation, I have some spiffy dug-in markers from Peter Pig.

3. I was resigned to fighting this phase as a solo game, but YesthatPhil arrived unexpectedly with doughnuts! Phil took the Germans this time. If there is only one player, I try to offer them the side that will be most interesting to play, unless they express a strong preference for one side or another. We spent rather longer than planned discussing Ian Lowell’s novel “Rein Bow Warriors” Ruleset, after a playtest on Tuesday night. Trebian has written it up if you like armies that¬† gallop around in wicker baskets on wheels and chuck spears at each other.

4. Again, liberties were taken with scale to bring activity that should more properly have been well off-table into view. In particular the distance from BRYANSK to GOMEL was ludicrously compressed. Hence, the German Panzers apparently popped out of nowhere onto the tabletop.

5. Ignore the T-34/85s, which were not in service yet (first production Dec 1943 according to Zaloga (1984) and so probably not reaching units in significant numbers until Spring 1944). They are supposed to be T34/76s Models 1940-43.

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Style

You need to thin your paint Luke. Your eyesight will improve.

This post was prompted by a recent exchange that I saw on a Facebook group. Someone had painted a figure in a recognisable Old School style, with lustrous glossy block colours, and the following exchange occurred:

“You need to thin your paints, so your painting will improve.”

“I’m quite happy with my painting style, thank you.”

I can imagine that Picasso or Turner would have responded similarly. What appears to be going on here, is that an artist is submitting his work, and being critiqued by a practitioner of the current orthodoxy. The critic assumes that his own preferred style equates to competence, and that the exhibitor doesn’t have it, so for fun I have listed as many styles and techniques as I can think of. Knowing and using the currently fashionable style(s) will win you praise and prizes.¬Ļ

Feel free to add to the taxonomy. Please do note that none of this post is intended to be a value judgement or critique of your own personal preferences. It is, of course, possible to apply more than one style to a model, and many sub-variations of these techniques exist.

AIRBRUSHING: This tool made thin successive layers of paint popular. It can allow the artist to paint a scale model to a better surface finish than the original modelled object – German WWII tanks being an obvious example (and yes, I know that the Germans also spray painted their tanks). Modelling guides to German WWII tanks provide many examples of this style, with zenithal highlighting, weathering and chipping all in evidence.

 

ARMY PAINTER, (or PAINT-BY-NUMBERS): Usually applied over a black spray base coat, three shades of ready mixed colour are used, with the main tone being applied over a dark tone then highlighted with a lighter shade. All four layers are distinctly discernible. Very effective at scale and distance, but a bit cartoonish close-up. The attraction of this method is that by recording the paints used, you can add to units many years later and still match the shading. Bad luck if they stop making Snot Green though.

BATTLE-READY: Undercoated, based and with the bare minimum number of colours present to allow the model onto the competition table. The unstated assumption that you will go on to finish the piece some time in the next thirty years is what distinguishes this technique from Impressionistic!

COLOUR WASHING or INKING: Layers of thin colour or ink, previously often applied over a white gesso base with oil glazes, but currently ready-mixed usually over zenithal highlighting. Superb at its best, fussy at worst, this technique takes all the hard work out of defining shadow and is currently popular for 28mm figures that have a lot of detail on them, with commercial ranges of colour washes available to support the technique e.g. Contrast Paints.

DRY BRUSHING: Successive layers of paint from an almost dry brush are dusted over a model. Especially useful for showing dust on a model. Taken to excess, this technique is sometimes known as “ash and soot”. Works well on grubby WW2 and modern vehicles. Currently somewhat out of favour amongst figure painters.

EDGE HIGHLIGHTING: This was, and may still be, a prize-winning technique employed by the Warhammer community. Sometimes taken to excess with comic results, when no regard is given to where the light is coming from.

GREYSCALE: The figure is painted as if it were an old black and white, or sepia photograph. Sometimes the face and hands, or some other detail, is painted in colour to emphasise the artistic nature of this technique.

IMPRESSIONISTIC: Dabs of colour to give the impression of detail – handy for very small figures or rapid painting; sometimes thickly and rapidly applied. Ian Lowell produced a very effective, largely scratch-built French WWII army using this technique.

JUST NEEDS VARNISH: This one’s for you, John! In my case, a misguided belief that I still need to put more paint on at some stage in the next thirty years prevents me from sealing the deal. Matt varnish is currently fashionable, for durability often applied over a gloss varnish. Satin coat is their sophisticated sibling and “Magic Dip” combines ink or stain to allow shading to be applied at the same time. Wargames magazines were the main driving force towards matt finishes, as they are much easier to photograph, as the two pictures below demonstrate.

Magic Dip

Magic Dip

Gloss Varnish

Gloss Varnish

LINING: Used to define the border between two colours. Charles Grant Senior was a master of this technique in black ink.

You used to look much younger! Is it the moustache?

 

OBJECT SOURCE HIGHLIGHTING: Shaded as if the light is coming from a point source such as a camp fire or a lantern. This is one of the better tutorials.

OBSERVED: Painting what you see rather than following style conventions. Can be realistic or impressionistic. Concrete and rocks are rarely grey, windscreens are not blue, unpainted wood is not brown, boots are not glossy black except on parade. None of these troublesome facts should stop us from enjoying our favourite painting style(s).

OLD SCHOOL: Block colours, with no, or little shading. Often lined, often with plain green bases.

REALISTIC BLENDED: usually applied over a white gesso base with oils, gesso or acrylics, whilst the underlying layer is still wet. Popular with judges in painting competitions. The fast drying nature of acrylic paint has led to the Army Painter technique, which is popular with wargamers.

SATURATED: Bright colours are used to make detail easier to discern. The phrase most often heard is “to make it pop”.

Popping for England

Popping for England (or perhaps Planet Ninja Turtle)

SHINY TOY SOLDIER: As Old School, with a couple of layers of gloss varnish to give durability to the figures and a deep gloss to the colours. Face are often painted with black dots for the eyes, red or pink lips and sometimes pink cheek highlights to give the figure a ruddy, doll-like face.

Only Majors and above may use makeup on campaign.

WEATHERING AND CHIPPING: The use of salt, latex masking fluid, or baking powder over a layer of paint representing rust, followed by the top coat, which is then brushed or sanded away to give the impression of a battered model. Kow Yokoyamahe, the Japanese creator of Maschinen Krieger ZbV 3000, (MaK) helped to popularise this technique. Previously, chalk, artists crayon, thinners and ink were used for weathering, especially by the model railway community. Ready-made powders are now available for cash-rich, time-poor modellers.

Are you sure it’s passed its MOT?

 

WET PALETTE: A tool to keep fast drying water-based paints wet enough to paint with. Make one with moist non-waxed baking paper in a shallow plastic container. Tin will rust. Your paints will be thin.

ZENITHAL HIGHLIGHTING: Spray the base figure black or grey from below, then white above to give an impression of outdoor light falling on the figure. Usually followed by colour washes over the top.

 

“Temp√™te de Neige” expos√© en 1842 de J.W. Turner
Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth making Signals in Shallow Water, and going by the Lead

“You need more than just undercoat on your ships, Turner. Try using zenithal highlighting;  your painting will improve.” ūüôā


1. Not with Sotheby’s though. It did help me win a prize for a best-painted AK47 army. Judge for yourself.

 

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NQM Soviet Spring Offensive 1943 (Part 19) – Second BRYANSK

BRYANSK looking south.

Warning, although this battle was fought to a conclusion in three hours, the write-up ties in a lot of loose ends from previous posts at this stage of the campaign. Casual readers are advised that it is perfectly acceptable to skip most of the text and look at the pictures.¬† ūüôā

West bank of the BRESNA looking north

West bank of the DESNA looking north.

BRYANSK’s importance to the Wehrmacht was as an army railhead and defended city in the direct path of the closing Soviet pincers. It was also where 2 Armee Headquarters was located. Even today, the city is relatively low rise (four story apartment blocks) and sprawling, with open streets, sitting on the River DESNA. It was not an easy city to defend, so to reflect this, I made the built-up area much larger than has been customary for cities of this size. The first NQM battle for BRYANSK in March 1942 can be found here.

The Luftwaffe on a preemptive strike looking south

The Luftwaffe on a pre-emptive strike looking south.

With the fall of ORYOL, TULA and KURSK, if BRYANSK were to fall before the infantry of IX Armeekorps, retreating from STALINOGORSK to the north, and LIII Armeekorps withdrawing to the west from KURSK, then a potential catastrophe could unfold at BRYANSK. To the west of this area was where the Panzer divisions of 2,3 Panzerarmee and Heersgruppe Mitte were mustering for a counterattack, but were not yet ready.

28 Rifle Corps HQ forming up to attack south BRYANSK

28 Rifle Corps HQ forming up to attack south BRYANSK.

In addition, units were streaming through the city to avoid being surrounded  as the Soviets closed in from the north and east. Amongst these formations were XX Armeekorps with the veteran Prussian 258 and newly raised 292 Infantry Divisions. Both had suffered heavily in the retreat from MOSCOW and were at half strength. The remaining division in the Korps, 183 had fared rather better and was close to full strength. All had withdrawn well to the rear around GOMEL before the battle began.

293 Infantry Division in southeast BRYANSK

293 Infantry Division in south east BRYANSK looking west.

IX Armeekorps had been equally roughly handled by the Soviets, and although a Korps in name, 7, 78 and 252 Infantry Divisions amounted to little more than a single division regrouping around GOMEL. The remaining 35 Infantry Division had lost all its heavy equipment in the retreat, so had been sent to France to rebuild, being reduced also to regimental strength.

BRYANSK Map April 1943 Copyright Dormouse.

BRYANSK Map April 1943 (Copyright Dormouse 2021).

General Weise, the newly appointed commander of XXXV Armeekorps defending the east bank of the River with 262 and 293 Infantry Divisions clearly understood that BRYANSK must not fall.² His Korps had been roughly handled at ORYOL but had managed to break contact and recover to BRYANSK, collecting stragglers on the way and absorbing reinforcements from other retreating divisions. The Korps was under no illusion that another retreat would be tolerated, and set about fortifying their position as best they could.

On the west bank to the north, VII Armeekorps  with 16 and 387 Infantry Divisions had conducted a successful fighting withdrawal from KALUGA, pursued by 10 Army. They had brought with them the Bavarian 17 Infantry Division, and together they held the northeastern quarter of the city, masked by forest on the northeastern bank.

VII Armeekorps with ferry points in the north of BRYANSK.

VII Armeekorps with ferry points in the north of BRYANSK looking west.

The three divisions were well supported by heavy artillery that had been massing there ready for the planned counteroffensive, but in infantry strength they only amounted to a single full strength division. Pioneers had been preparing the main bridges in the centre of the city for demolition.¬Ļ in addition, each division had ferries and pontoons ready to allow infantry to cross the river for logistics and reinforcement.¬≥

Opening shot of new heavy artillery. subsequent rounds were more effective.

Opening shot of Phil’s new heavy artillery. Subsequent rounds were more effective.

The attack began as planned for the Soviets, with desultory recce results doing little to impede or delay the deployment of 61 Army ( in the north and 28 Rifle Corps comprising 132 and 211 RDs in the first wave of 70 Army in the south. 2 Tank Army, in accordance with its orders, found a river crossing well to the south of BRYANSK and lost no time in throwing 2 Tank Army comprising 9, 16 and 19 Tank Corps across the River DESNA with 3 Tank Corps held in reserve to protect the river crossings.

2 Tank Army overrun a logistic dump

Lead elements of 2 Tank Army overrun a logistic dump.

As the leading Soviet divisions on the open ground to the east of BRYANSK came within range of divisional artillery, they began to dig in, returning fire with their own guns. Although less effective than the Germans, the weight of fire began to mount against the defenders.

To the north, by taking advantage of heavily wooded terrain, the leading divisions of 61 Army were able to close with the German advanced positions on the east bank of the DESNA. There were also lakes that I did not model in this sector, as I am still coming to terms with the limitations of squares.  356 Rifle Division was repulsed by the reduced 17 Infantry Division that had been reduced to battalion strength before the Soviets withdrew, with 50% casualties inflicted on the Soviets, mostly by artillery and close tactical bombing from a well-coordinated Luftwaffe.

Heavy fighting around the north of BRYANSK.

Heavy fighting around the north of BRYANSK.

Despite this, 336 Rifle Division bridged the DESNA and swung south to attack the positions of VII Armeekorps.

Soviets bridge the River DESNA and attack the north of BRYSNSK

VII Armeekorps hangs on by the thinnest of margins in the north of BRYANSK

VII Armeekorps hangs on by the thinnest of margins in the north of BRYANSK

To the south, the BRYANSK garrison commander tightened his perimeter upon seeing sizeable columns of Soviet armour streaming west to cut off his lines of communication.

Lead elements of 2 Tank Army bypass BRYANSK to the south

Lead elements of 2 Tank Army bypass BRYANSK to the south

So far, his only losses on the east bank had been from artillery fire, but these had been significant, and he pulled his infantry back to spare them further casualties.

More waves of Stormoviks appeared over the city centre. This time, the objects of their attacks were the bridges over the DESNA.

Stormoviks attack Desna bridges

The Luftwaffe broke through the Soviet fighter cover and managed to cause damage sufficient to prevent full third of the Il-2s reaching their target. The bridges had held, but only just.

Stormoviks attack DESNA bridges (1)

The anticipated swing north to attack the city with tanks did not materialise, but the previously static 28 Rifle Corps had finished its preparations for a river crossing, and capitalised on the light defences remaining as they swarmed over the river.

With reinforcements massing on both sides, BRYANSK was becoming the focus of a much larger battle. If the Soviet armour managed to sever communications behind the railhead, then the fall of BRYANSK would become a certainty. If however, the Soviets overreached their own supply lines, then they may have placed their own heads into the jaws of a trap.

… to be continued.

Footnotes:

  1. Shown on the table top by a single bridge with three strength points. All had to be destroyed before the bridge became impassible.
  2. Contrary to expectation, his predecessor had not been shot. Generalfeldmarschall von Kluge was short of good generals at this stage of the war, and had buried the bad news in a welter of even worse news, in his reports to Little Hitler’s daily conference
  3. Phil has some rather nice river crossing markers that are far superior to my scruffy Airfix US Marine rubber dinghies.

Post Game Notes.

1. I was joined for this game by YesthatPhil, together with his rather splendid new horse-drawn infantry support units and heavy guns. They fought as heavy in this game, rather than the very, extra or super heavy guns that they are built as.

2. The Germans were cast as being able to withstand or initiate four assaults rather than the two that the Soviets were capable of, before being forced to either fight disorganised or withdraw to reorganise properly. This mechanism allowed four German infantry divisions to hold their own against eight Soviet rifle divisions in a tense game. The liberal use of heavy artillery and air attacks meant that the casualties were heavy on both sides.

3. Phil was able to switch key units on internal lines to stave off a heavy attack to the north of the city despite having nothing in reserve. The Soviets followed their orders of encircling the city rather than assaulting it in a head-on attack, using their armour to bypass BRYANSK, rather than becoming enmeshed in some very uninviting street fighting.

The follow on will prove to be interesting, as the Germans have reserves massing, and the Soviets are pushing retreating German units into the area.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Axis War Diary, Eastern Front, NQM Squared, Soviet War Diary, Theatres of War, WWII

Review: Paint & Glue Miniatures 1:100 Scale (15mm) Sd Kfz 251/1 “Stuka zu Fuss”

Sd Kfz 251 1 Stuka zu Fuss (1)

This beautiful STL is a little resin 1:100 scale gem, printed with a couple of minor flaws on the frames and left hand side of the idler wheels, that in no way detract from the model. A string of contact adhesive bridged the two gaps on the frames, and the wheel flaws are obscured by the frames. I continue to be impressed by the fineness of detail modelled, with undercuts that would not be possible in cast resin. Garry at PGM is also meticulous about removing supports. I have never had more than one or two left in place, and those usually only come to light when the undercoat is sprayed on, so fine are they. So another model added to my collection that I am very happy with, and my first 251 Ausf√ľhrung D. I painted mine to fit in with my 1943 and later Panzer division. As ever, it is battle ready, with shading and markings to follow before the war ends.

Sd.Kfz_._251_1_mit_28_32_

The “Stuka zu Fuss” equipped the Panzer Pioneer Kompanie of a Panzer division; initially the third platoon, and was used as a relatively short-ranged (about 2 Km) area demolition weapon¬Ļ. https://www.worldwarphotos.info/gallery/germany/halftracks/sdkfz-251/ gives a crew of 7. This link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60oHeCZHtvI&ab_channel=MilitaryHistoryVisualized is a useful overview of employment for the Sd Kfz 251 but has nothing to say about use of the 251/1. The vehicle probably filled the same role as the Churchill AVRE,¬† but with a bigger bang delivered less accurately when the assault pioneers needed to knock something down or out that was holding up the Panzers, such as a defended position. The picture below of a 251/1 in Poland 1945 makes it clear that the unit was being used from a static position, evidenced by the large pile of discarded frames to the right of the picture.

Sd Kfz 2511 firing during the Warsaw Uprising 1945

One of the many model kits in 1:35 showed a trailer, but of all of the contemporary photos that I have seen, none show trailers. It would seem restricting to be towing something if you needed to reverse away to reload, having unloaded ordnance from close range in a built up area: All supposition on my part of course. The rockets were fired electrically from a safe distance, and if the next photo of a 253 does not show firing on exercise with a couple of range safety staff, then it may be that  Sd Kfz 253s were used as firing vehicles. Only 285 of these were built according to Wikipedia, so just enough to go round SP artillery batteries,  with perhaps a few spare for the Panzerpioneere?

Sd.Kfz_._251_1_mit_28_32_

The next photo shows the pretty crude sights, basically two white sticks on the front of the vehicle. I have not bothered to model these but may do later. If your rocket is big enough, then “fairly close” will do, and the system survived pretty much unchanged throughout the war.

SdKfz_251-1_Stuka_zu_Fuss

  1. This, And the Flammwagen, were why German pioneers fight with heavy dice under NQM rules.

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Review -Shades of Grey- Paint and Glue Miniatures 15mm 1:100 scale Bergepanzer III

Bergpanzer III Paint and Glue Miniatures

Some of the pieces that I have been working on for the last month have finally made it through the paint shop. This includes a rather nice resin Bergepanzer III to replace my old RoCo model. In contrast to the Scammel Pioneer, this STL has no issues with it, and the print is up to Garry’s usual high standard. Crew are Plastic Soldier Company with the ever-useful “Universal Carrier Brit lounging” sporting a Peter Pig head. I added stowage and extra wheels on the rear deck from the bits box. The Bergepanzer III appeared in the Panzer divisions. for NQM Corps Scale Orbat (CSO), I can show it at Armeekorps or Divisional level, depending on the game, as I only have one at the moment, and the Panzers have been a bit thin on the ground recently in the campaign. The Wehrmacht is up to something! It might be amusing to make a Bergepanzer I with a couple of horses pulling it out of the mud.

Resin 1:100 scale 15mm Bergpanzer III Paint and Glue Miniatures. Not Quite Mechanised

Also finished are the Panzerjäger I from Command Decision and the Sanitätspanzer I, which is FDM rather than resin. It is the painting and conversion that are rough, rather than the print. Crew are Peter Pig Рyou cannot see the driver, but he is in there.

Pz I Sanitatswagen Ausf B. Paint and Glue Miniatures 1:100 scale (15mm) Not Quite MechanisedPz I Sanitatswagen Ausf B

The Flakpanzer I has found a thin seated gunner from Command Decision, so his spotter is happy.

Flakpanzer I. Paint and Glue Miniatures 1:100 scale (15mm). Not Quite Mechanised.Flakpanzer I. Paint and Glue Miniatures 1:100 scale (15mm). Not Quite Mechanised.

Grey is in fashion at the moment, but the Panzerjäger I will be heading off to DAK as soon as it gets a coat of desert yellow. Crew are Forged in Battle and Command Decision.

Panzerjager I. Paint and Glue Miniatures 1:100 scale (15mm). Not Quite Mechanised.Panzerjager I. Paint and Glue Miniatures 1:100 scale (15mm). Not Quite Mechanised.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Anti-Aircraft, Artillery, Modelling, Tanks

Pz I Variants – Sanitatswagen conversion from Flakpanzer I

PZ I Ausf B Sanitatswagen LHSThe Pz 1 Sanit√§tswagen armoured ambulance initially was a simple Panzer I hull with the turret removed and the ring plated over with a two-part hatch (Ausf√ľhrung A). The Ausf√ľhrung B as modelled here, had the original superstructure removed and replaced by an open-topped compartment to give more space for wounded passengers. My model was converted from a Flakpanzer I by the simple expedient of cutting out the original hull to make a larger interior compartment, then building up the simple superstructure from 10thou Plasticard. Tissue paper, the bodger’s friend, covered stowage on the rear deck. Carrying stretchers was still a precarious enterprise, and the Sd Kfz 251 must have been much better suited to this role.

Panzer I Ausf B Sanitatswagen LHSPz1 Ausf A Sanitatswagen

Pictures found on the web of the Sanit√§tswagen are reported to have come from page 54 of ‘Blitzkrieg: Armour camouflage & markings 1939-40‘ by Steve Zaloga, and¬†¬† page 56 of ‘Mai 1940: La Ruee des Panzers‘ by Jean Robert Gorce (https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/missinglynx/pzkw-i-as-armored-ambulance-t22684-s10932901680.html) Accessed 1/9/21.

I still have the bit between my teeth regarding numbers and variants, so this page https://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=149629&view=previous drew my attention to the “Laube (Arbour)” Munitionsschlepper, which appeared to be a field modification. Panzer 1 Laube Munitionsschlepper

Pz 1 Laube mit 2cm Flak 38The picture above suggests that the Laube shown ended up as the prime mover for its Flak 38, perhaps when the original self-propelled chassis for the gun broke down or was destroyed.

Panzer I Laube with crew from the Flakpanzer I

Carrying on down the rabbit hole took me to here: http://www.rumodelism.com/sunduk/kit008.shtml#Pionierpanzer.IA,_%D0%BE%D0%BD_%D0%B6%D0%B5_Bruhenleger_auf_Panzerkampfwagen_I_Ausf._A  , which shows all the identified versions of the Pz I, including what must be a trainer, as it is a Pz III turret on a Pz I chassis! My guess is that the Nevington Blog credited in the last post used this as the source for most of its uncredited pictures.

Most intriguing though, was the photo from this site two below, which to my eyes looks to be a 5cm or 4.7cm Pak on an up-armoured Pz 1 chassis. It does not look like either of the 4.7cm variants and is certainly not the 5cm prototype – Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1a 5 cm PaK 38 auf Gepanzerter Munitionsschlepper, of which reportedly only two examples were built.

Panzerselbstfahrlafette 1a 5 cm PaK 38 auf Gepanzerter Munitionsschlepper

Although it bears vague similarities to the Belgian T13 B2, the running gear and front lower hull look like a Pz I, so is likely to be a field modification. Who doesn’t enjoy sighting a rare beast in the undergrowth and the ensuing hunt?

Pz I field modification with 5cm Pak

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Review – Paint and Glue Miniatures Flakpanzer I in 1:100 scale (15mm)

Pz I 2cm Flak resin 3D print by Paint & Glue Miniatures

Another resin gem printed by Paint & Glue Miniatures, teamed up with an excellent FDM print of a 2cm Flak single axle trailer [Sonderanh√§nger (1 Achs.) (Sd Ah 51)] that, embarrassingly, I can’t remember who supplied. A FiB crewman from the Sd Kfz 10/4 2cm Flak 38 is waiting for a gunner who is thin enough to sit in the seat. My rapid throw-the-paint on style does the model no favours, redeemed by the slightly arty grain that my rubbish photography has imparted to the model.

Pz I 2cm Flak resin 3D print by Paint & Glue Miniatures

Kraftzeuge der Wehrmacht (see Reference Sidebar) tells us this:

Based on the Panzerkampfwagen I A (Sd. Kfz. 101), all in total 24 self propelled anti aircraft guns for the 2 cm Flak 38 were converted in 1941. All vehicles were deployed by the Fla.Btl. (mot.) 614. The unit was destroyed in Stalingrad.”

Inquiring minds will want to know what happened to the rest of the Pz I fleet after they became obsolete. Wikipedia gives 1,659 built as light tanks in addition to:

Training vehicles – 445. Basically an open topped hull with a windscreen. I have seen a figure of 700 for these and surmise that damaged or surplus tanks were converted in addition.

Command tanks – 184.

Special conversions Р145 in total?  This cannot include the Panzerjäger Is, of which Wiki cites 202 examples.

Engineering – Bridging tanks were tried , but the chassis and engine were not up to the extra weight. Both of them would have looked adorable though, like little mushrooms!

Leichte Bergepanzer I – light recovery vehicle. Given that the engine could hardly drag itself out of bed in the morning, let alone another tank, the Is were soon superseded by heavier recovery tanks and half-tracks. 164 Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B ohne Aufbau were built according to Wikipedia with open topped superstructures before being relegated to training, presumably as Fahrschule (training) tanks.

Armoured Ambulances – I have found no information on numbers, but would suggest possibly as few as 20, given the total number of special conversions claimed by Wiki. 1 Panzer Division had some https://www.nevingtonwarmuseum.com/pz-i-b-ambulance.html

Armoured munitions carriers (Munitionsschlepper) – 51 built, with 24 survivors converted to Flakpanzers?

(S)turmbatterie 660 was the only unit to have them in France in 1940.
(Given with an incomplete, unverifiable link)

https://archive.armorama.com/forums/265024/index.htm accessed 25/08/2021

This Link gives further detail and pictures, but still with a lot of supposition, suggesting that the Flakpanzer Is may have been accompanied by a “Munitionsschlepper Laube (Arbour)” that carried the gun crew when not in action (my own supposition based on the pictures of crew¬† in the Schlepper, and the fact that an arbour is a shady spot for resting in!).

 

The Nevington Museum gives, without citation:

Munitionsschlepper auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A

  • Ger√§t 35¬†(Sd.Kfz.111) ¬†Ammunition carrier based on Ausf.A chassis.

Given the designation SdKfz 111, the Munitionsschlepper (ammunition tractor) was built to provide Panzer units with an armored (sic) tracked vehicle for front-line re-supply of tanks. 51 examples were converted from older Ausf A tanks in September 1939.

Flammenwerfer auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf A
A simple field modification, the¬†Flammenwerfer had a portable flamethrower with enough fuel for about 10 seconds of firing at a range of up to 25 m mounted in place of one of the machine guns. … The conversion was not permanent, and was only reported to be used in the Battle of Tobruk by the German 5th Light Division.”

Mine Clearing Equipment
Minenraumer I Ausf B – mine clearing vehicle (50 produced in 1938) ” I have been unable to find any contemporary photos of this vehicle.

“Sturmpanzer I Bison (Sd.Kfz.101) – … 15 cm sIG 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B . Main article: 15 cm sIG 33 (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B . … The heavy resulting weight of 8.5 tons overstressed the chassis; the vehicle was not a great success. 38 were converted from Ausf B tanks in February 1940. They served with six heavy SP infantry gun companies, with survivors in service into 1943.”

15 cm sIG 33 (mot S) auf PzKpfw I Ausf BSturmpanzer I. Author’s collection, built and painted by Phil Steele.

Panzerjager I – … 4.7¬†cm PaK (t) (Sf) auf Panzerkampfwagen I Ausf B
Main article: Panzerjäger I (This is another link to Wikipedia that gives 202 built with two versions)

Author’s collection. Command Decision PzJ√§ I with Forged in Battle crew

 

https://www.nevingtonwarmuseum.com/panzer-i-variants.html 

Accessed 25/08/2021

 

One Flakpanzer model is enough for the whole of the Wehrmacht in NQM, and it should only appear in 6 Armeekorps. That’s not going to stop me putting it onto airfields if I’m short of Flak though, especially given¬† the paucity of solid, easily available information online. (Updated 1 Sep 21)

 

 

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Review – Paint and Glue Miniatures Hanomag SS-100 LN Prime Mover 15mm 1:100 scale

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and Glue Miniatures Hanomag SS-100 LN review by Not Quite Mechanised

This 15mm 1:100 scale model from Paint and glue Miniatures is a superb  resin print of the Hanomag SS-100 LN prime mover (Gigant). Best known as a tractor for the V2 rocket, the SS-100 was widely used by the Luftwaffe, and to a lesser degree the Wehrmacht, as a prime mover for aircraft, fuel trailers and AA guns Рparticularly the 8.8cm and 12cm Flak pieces. Pictures found online show them in use mostly around airfields and on roads. Both two and four door versions were built, this model being the four door version. It would not be uncommon on airfields to see them towing two or even three trailers. Panzerserra has posted a very useful piece on the SS-100, from which I have taken these dimensions:

Length 5.040m
Width 2.480m
Height 2.420m
Wheelbase
Road clearance

3.000m
220mm

I was initially surprised that the model was not larger. The road clearance figure above is suspect, as the model measures 5mm from running board to ground, and contemporary pictures show the Gigant’s running boards sitting at least level with the wheel hubs, confirming that the model is correct. It may be that there is a sump cover or transmission shaft hanging about under there! The larger than life pictures highlight a couple of minor printing flaws that I had not noticed looking at the raw resin print. Bear in mind that this is a 1:100 scale model that is only 5cm from nose to tail.

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and Glue Miniatures Hanomag SS-100 LN review by Not Quite Mechanised

Something odd is going on visually with the unpainted model, because although the dimensions are all spot-on, there appears to be insufficient space around the fuel tanks, due to the filled in space inboard of the running boards, which gives a false impression of the width, and somehow makes it look lower to the ground than it actually is. If I really cared, then a fine drill and burr would clear the supporting struts away. I expect that painting will solve this, and it does not detract from a superb print. I am very pleased to be able to add this model to my collection. I suspect that rather like Tom Cruise, it appears bigger on screen than in real life.

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Review – Paint and Glue Miniatures Scammel Pioneer in 1:100 scale – part two

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and Glue Miniatures Scammel Pioneers with Italian front and Caunter Camouflage. Review by Not Quite Mechanised

Scammel Pioneers with Italian front and Caunter camouflage

After the initial cut-and-shunt bodge of the first Scammel Pioneer model, I had a closer look at the second print. Taking a more considered view of where to perform surgery led to the front and rear assemblies being removed. The rear wheels came off as a pair with their trans-axle assemblies. Cutting inboard of the trans-axle spared the rear mudflaps, which remained in-situ on the main body. Then the front two wheels were razor-sawed off. Next, the front axle came off with the track rod. A further two cuts removed the front towbar. They can be seen disassembled in the picture below. Apologies for the blurred photograph.

Scammel wheels front axle and towbar removed

Scammel wheels front axle and towbar removed

The first bodged Scammel was pulled apart at the same time to remove the front axle assembly. The height of the Pioneer was 2.97m, which is 3cm at 1:100 scale, assuming no-one can see the difference of a third of a millimetre. The model as printed sits 4mm too low, which is noticeable.

Scammel Pioneer camouflaged forItaly

Scammel Pioneer camouflaged for the Italian front

After looking more closely at the rear wheels, I realised that they have the flat segment taken out of the TOP of the wheels, not the bottom as I originally thought. This is only revealed when the wheel assembly is cut away from the main body, and is clear evidence that the designer couldn’t make the wheels fit properly on his STL. Cutting card to 15mm for the rear wheel assembly and 10mm for the front allowed me to prop the model up to the correct height, prior to glueing everything back together again¬Ļ.

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and and Glue Miniatures Scammel Pioneer shims in place prior to refitting wheels. Review on Not Quite Mechanised.

Scammel shims in place prior to refitting wheels

Once the shims were firm enough to bear weight, I glued the front assembly back on, rotated through 90¬ļ so that the track rod was visible. The rear wheels were glued to the outside of the shim, upside down so that the cutaway segment was not visible. Scrap rod replaced the headlamps that I knocked off during surgery. Overall, the quality of my work doesn’t do justice to the original print, but I now have two models that work for me. The cabs are still rolling about like drunken sailors ashore, so that’s fine!

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and Glue Miniatures Scammel Pioneer front axles reassembled. Review on Not Quite Mechanised.

Scammel front axles reassembled

I would not consider this to be a tutorial, more a cautionary roadmap of the potholes along the road that I took towards producing something that I was happy with. More to the point, the STL now does justice to the care that Garry has taken with producing the print.

15mm 1:100 scale Paint and Glue Miniatures Scammel Pioneers with reset suspension. Review by Not Quite Mechanised

Scammels with reset suspension. I’m happy now!

 

  1. Sensible people will use superglue or hot melt glue for this sort of thing. I use contact adhesive, because I have used it professionally for 15 years, manufacturing prescription orthoses, so I’m comfortable with its peculiarities, and because I recycle and rebase models as the hobby, and my ruleset evolves. This is much easier with contact adhesive.

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