Saturday, 11 August 2018

Finished: 15mm German Brummbärs

Hi folks,

Getting back to my German armour painting efforts with the completion of 2 Brummbärs. These have been on my desk since before I went on holidays in June. Hot weather, lack of motivation and work on my LCT really delayed completion of models that were almost finished.

I had planned to have all my planned German armour done by July, but I'm not into August with 5 Panther A's, 3 StuGs, a radio truck and some Kubelwagons still to do. The radio truck I will complete this week, but I think the other vehicles are going back to the storage depot for now. I've hit a wall with regards to painting German tank camo for now (which is scary given the number of half tracks I have to paint...). i figure it is better to get something else on the table rather than have more delays due to my lack of motivation with these models just now. Back to painting plain green for a bit I suspect, or maybe some Necromunda models. I've also ACW limbers to finish off...

Anyway, these two vehicles represent part of Sturmpanzer Abt 217, who were assigned in August 1944 to support the 89. Infanterie Division and who were therefore involved in Operation Totalize as the Canadian, Polish and British units moved through the area south of Caen. As a result, this unit lost several of it's Assault Guns to direct tank fire as it's positions were overrun.

There are not a lot of pictures out on the internet of these vehicles in Normandy, so I've just done my best to make them fit in with the rest of my collection. I decided that the side skirts made them look odd, and the pictures I found of destroyed examples showed no sign of the side skirts being in use, so I modelled them without. I've gone for some light foliage cover, but other than that the two vehicles are pretty plain.

One of those vehicles that's so ugly it's kind of cute...

Also of note is the fact that one of these vehicles came to me via Lee a while ago, and this is me just getting round to fitting it into my force - it does take a while, but I do get there!

In FoW, these Assault Guns can only fire directly and with a short range. However, my reading of their role and placement with the 89. Infanterie Division was to provide indirect fire support, which I understand the guns were capable of. As such, I think in my games I'll be letting these use the same stats as for the 15cm Infantry Guns in an indirect fire/bombardment role. Shout up if there is a particular reason you think this is wrong!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

15mm LCT Scratch Build - Finished

Hi folks,

A couple of weeks ago I posted some pictures of my WiP 15mm scale LCT, for use in Flames of War and other such games. Since then, I've been busy painting, and then repainting, the built model. However, this week I've got it to the point that I am happy for now, aside from getting some crew figures sorted.

Unfortunately, I had been so keen to get this painted, that I jumped in with both feet and didn't check colours or references. This resulted in me having a complete paint job, which was wrong:

Reference to some D-Day images, and then the shipmakers models for the LCT's, shows that the colour was basically white with a dark blue camo pattern on D-Day. So I repainted the dark grey a lighter grey - but then decided it was still too dark, so went with off white, which seemed to do it. The camo colour is 2/3rds Dark Bluegrey Pale and 1/3rd Prussian Blue (roughly). Upper hull surfaces are London Grey, while the hold is Luftwaffe Uniform. I just used a selection of reds for the markings, and light browns and khaki for the lifeboats.

Weathering was done using stone grey, beige brown (for rust) and a very light grey wash.

So here she is, in all her glory:

I'll be replicating the paint scheme for the smaller craft I have and will be keeping an eye out for some more smaller craft to pick up in the future.

As for making more... well, when I finished this one I had the urge to try an LCI... but with enough deep breaths the madness subsided. For now. I think I am still going to pursue some other options, so who knows!

Sunday, 22 July 2018

15mm LST Scratchbuild

Hi folks,

Very slow on the blogging front of late, mainly due to lack of any painting or other work. However, last week I decided to re-focus my lack of painting mojo at the moment and do something constructive with my time.

Since I've managed to get Dave D and Martin into the whole Normandy FoW thing, Dave in his usual style jumped in with both feet and broadened the scope... He picked up some DD Shermans and some landing craft for his Yanks, and has been doing some coastal defences as well. Doing the landings is always something that's interested me, but was something of a future project - possible tied in with my distant idea to do the Rhine crossing (Operation Plunder). However, Dave's enthusiasm was infectious, and while on holidays I thought how cool it would be to do a 'proper' landing battle - not just with dribs and drabs of stuff, but have the whole thing be properly busy. There was also an idea for possibly doing a convention game at some point. I thought a big landing craft would look properly cool, but no one seems to make 15mm scale LST's (Landing Ship, Tanks).

Having seen the work the Mark has done over at House of Hengist, I spoke to him about scratch building a LST and he gave me some pointers. Last Saturday I took myself to Hobbycraft in Teeside Park with a bare bones idea, and came back with an expensive load of balsa wood.

As of today, this is what I've gotten done:

Now, let me say that this is a bit of a 'gaming token' as far as LST's are concerned. It's no specific mark or model, more a composite of a couple of different designs adapted to fit my based tanks and vehicles designed to look like an LST. So while I've tried to keep it to an LST style, it's not going to win any awards for accuracy when it comes to model boat building. I did the sizes by eye and the rough shape from looking at pictures online. I know that might offend some people, but to highlight this is the first scratch build I've ever done, and the first model I've ever built using wood and plasticard!

To give an idea of scale, here it is with a Battlefront LCA (Landing Craft, Assault) in the hold:

And here it is with a selection of my tanks:

So it's a big model! About 15" long and 5" wide. I started with some hand drawn plans:

Which, with some building experience, I would alter slightly before trying again! I then cut out the base and built up the shapes I needed:

Before using some wood filler to cover up my poor woodworking skills:

Once this was sanded down, I started on the detailing:

Which eventually lead me to the idea of doing the railings... we'll see how long these survive for!

And finally, with a bit more filler to smooth out some of the rougher areas, we have today's model ready for a coat of PVA and some spray paint:

I used all sorts of bits from my bits box to add some details, such at the ladders and such. I had nothing to try and represent the 20mm guns with, so I picked some of my larger plastic .50's, added a German half track gun shield and build up with plasticard. Various other spares went into the model, including tank exhausts, pioneer bridges, Cromwell deep wading exhausts and panther rear hull sections. The railing is pins and beading wire, the smoke stack is a cork wrapped in plasticard. The mast is various gun barrels...

At the moment, I don't know that I'm going to do much more modelling wise. A coat of watered down PVA needs applying to harden up the wood and prevent the paint being sucked in. I also want to look at converting a couple of crew figures, but I will see how I do with that!