Tag Archives: Fuel tanker

Soviet Winter Offensive Jan 1943 Desantny

The Soviet Winter Offensive taxed the Luftwaffe to the limit, with servicability dropping as ground crews struggled in atrocious conditions to keep airframes ready for operations, and airstrips clear for flying.

Tante Ju

One such airfield (Flugplatz Lotti) near VELIKIE LUKIE, was thought to be safely beyond the reach of the enemy. It contained four Geschwäder : JG 54 (Bf 109), KG76 (Ju 88), StG 1 (Ju 87), KG zbV 102 (Ju 52) and a NaGruppe with Uhus.

Flugplatz Lotti

See Phil’s blog for his thoughts on the use of Soviet desantny forces. The two regiments that he deployed brought with them T-60 tanks and the spearhead of the tank and mechanised corps that had broken through from VYSHNY VOLOCHYOK.

The Outer Defences of Lotti are Assailed

Although the Airfield was defended by two reduced regiments of well-armed Luftwaffe ground troops, their morale was simply not up to the task of holding the airfield. An undignified scramble of aircraft and logistic units exiting the base was observed as the unlucky defenders desperately hung on to the perimeter

Logistic Units Scramble for Safety

Before long, Soviets were swarming over the airfield. They have been doing that a lot of late. Casualties were heavy

Game Notes

YesThatPhil got the chance to showcase his new Peter Pig Soviet Scouts. I gave my rebased Luftwaffe field division its second airing. It behaved commendably badly, as one might epect. The air base was laid out in advance and Phil’s brief was:

“commit what you think that you need to take the airfield.”

He finished the job in about an hour of playing, which enabled the whole scenario to be finished from start to finish in about two hours. Coffee, chocolate, cheese and biscuits stopped anyone from starving.

I rated the Luftwaffe division as conscript and the Soviets as veteran.



Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Air Forces, Axis War Diary, German Airforce, Land Battles, Soviet War Diary, Wargames, WWII

15th and 21st Panzer Divisions Muster


Now that the Plastic soldier Company additions to the DAK have been assembled, a small parade is in order. Work remains to be done, but the divisions could drive out into the desert tomorrow if required. The look that I went with was of mud, or hastily applied dark desert tan, over the original panzer grey. I was struck by the way that  grey showed through in contemporary photographs on the top edges of vehicles where crew had hung on for support, or scuffed the wearing edges climbing into the vehicle, as seen on these examples above.


The grass bases look incongruous and will need fixing somehow. I will probably just replace them with new and reuse the originals somewhere else. 15th Panzer is on the left, and 21st on the right above.



Seen in with the other armour, particularly the PzII, the 1/87 Roco Pz IV looks overscale, but it will do until a suitable replacement arrives. The panzer grenadiers have not been added yet. It looks as if the Germans have overrun an airfield and captured a Dodge fuel bowser!

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, DAK, Modelling, tank, Wehrmacht, Western Desert, WWII

Dodge/Chevvy Tanker – sort of


Last week has been spent filing and chopping Phil’s articulated Poundland tanker to make something that looks vaguely like a WWII 3-ton tanker.  It looks a bit like a Chevvy or a Dodge, so the Desert Airforce gets this one. I reckon that there are at least three more tanker bodies to be had out of the two semitrailer mouldings. The weakest part of the toy is the hotwheel, so I may yet add some better wheels if I can find a cost-effective source, or the patience to mould some out of Milliput. For now though, the conversion is passable enough to go onto the table.


The background shows all the Sdkfz 251s needed for DAK. Yes, that’s four! I already have 4 metal models, but they are on grassy bases and the Plastic Soldier Company offerings are too good to resist.

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Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, 8th Army - British and Commonwealth, Logistics, Modelling, RAF and Commonwealth AFs, Trucks, Western Desert, WWII

Trains to Tankers

The cake decoration train sat on my workbench for a week as I scratched around for a ‘look’ to disguise its origin. At first it looked a bit like a Radschlepper Ost as the wheels that I found were proportionately oversized for the body. No RSOs ever made it out to the Western Desert though.

Radschlepper Ost copyright http://www.saharahobby.pl

But a bit more rummaging located some 1/72 Airfix 88mm trailer mudguards, which have proved useful before for wooden trucks, so the final product looked more Italian than German. 30 Corps will probably end up using it as a captured tanker anyway.

The end result is closer to the Camioneta Fiat Modello 42, without being in any way an accurate likeness. It’s the sort of thing that the Fiat designers might have come up with if they only had an old cake decoration to start with!

Camioneta Fiat Modello 42 uncredited on the Axis History Forum

Undercoat on the Fiat Torta Decorazione Treno Carburante Petroliera (snappy name, no? ).

A few coats of paint are what’s needed now. I should keep it simple, but the scheme on the Camioneta above looks rather alluring! It’s funny how the unpainted patches that the eye misses always leap out in photos.

Commonsense prevails. Simple desert scheme it is! the three tanker types in the fleet to date.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Logistics, Modelling, Trucks, Wargames, Western Desert, WWII

Tanker Rollout

Heartened by previous favourable comments, the tankers have moved through the paintshop in Tripoli faster than a fat girl racing for the last pie on the plate. Having said that, the tankers look a bit Morris-ey now.

A simple khaki undercoat was followed by desert sand (Humbrol 63), a bit of grey for the tyres and windows, followed by some black lining .That’s it now until they have been played with for a few times and picked up some character. My detail brush is in the foreground. The black lining is done with a superdetail ‘0’.

The train-into-tanker conversion isn’t looking promising yet, but it’s early days. The Barbie pink will have to go!


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames

Not Quite Two-Star

Inspired by Phil Steele’s Zis-5 (BZ)  Tanker  conversion, I did some enthusiastic rummaging around in my bits boxes (Suzanne calls it “the garage”) to drum up enough wheels for 3 trucks. These tankers will fill some of the holes in divisional orbats. The thought and planning phase has occupied two months, but all three models were built in an afternoon.

The models are deliberately “Not Quite” anything so that they can stand in for whoever happens to need tankers. My fleet now stands at five, but I think that I will probably need around a dozen eventually. The Zvezda The Zis-5 And Junior General Truck Chit were kept handy to prevent scale creep, which can happen all too easily. As I was building, a pernicious thought crept into my head;

“That train boiler looks a bit like a tanker body”. Hmmm.

Unlike Phil, I went for the “as cluttered as I can get” look to draw attention away from the fact that these scratchbuilds are essentially the parents of scrapwood, paper and cake decoration wheels with a bit of plastic girder thrown in. The advantage of using paper for the mudguards is that they are close to scale thin-ness, (not that I actually care, given the liberties that I have taken everywhere else!)

Pictures of the painted tankers to follow.


Filed under 15mm Miniatures Wargames, Logistics, Modelling, Trucks, Western Desert, WWII