I’ve recently stumbled across some YouTube work by a user named yolkhere. Yolkhere makes videos by joining electronic music to historical footage. My favourite is the video for the BT-7:

– that music is fantastic to listen to when assembling model kits, when painting model kits or when playing World of Tanks.

The three other notable videos are –

the KV-1:  ;

the T-34/76 (model 1942/43):  and the T-34/76 (model 1941/42):  .

I went and made all four into a playlist, I was so impressed.

I hope you enjoy them, too.

***

Peter and I did have a game last friday night. AAR to come this weekend or so, OK?

 

This was brought to my attention through my daily news service.

Let There Be Light (1946) – Produced by the U.S. Army in 1945, it pioneered unscripted interview techniques to take an unprecedented look into the psychological wounds of war.

Shows them dealing with shellshock/PTSD sufferers.  Watch it online for free!

A few weeks’ back, YouTube suggested (for no discernable reason) I have a look at this video:

Wow! In colour! And you can see the camouflage (камуфляж) schemes so clearly too!Very useful for modellers and wargamers…

There are  a couple of StuH-42 (Sturmhaubitze 42, Sd.Kfz 142/2) in the first part of this sction of footage and later on the StuG III. Thanks to DShK127 for making it available.

I’m not finding so many useful videos now, but thereare some searches I have not tried yet.

Here are three that I have found worth mentioning:

GERMAN PROPAGANDA video newsreel film Film ID:  1129.04 .    Much of it is footage that I’ve already pointed you to through earlier posts…but right at the end is some (so far unseen by me) footage of Russian light tanks and armoured cars in action.

TIME TO REMEMBER – OPERATION BARBAROSSA ( 1941 ) – reel 2 video newsreel film Film ID:  2247.02.    There are some snippets of film you’ve already seen, but also some interesting other segments.
A Panzer II accompanied by German bicycle troops (attention all recon force people!); a long pan across an attack on a small Russian village or small kolkhoz (letting you get an idea of how the main buildings are arranged in a kolkhoz).

RUSSIANS LIBERATE A VILLAGE – 1942 video newsreel film Film ID:  1625.01.   Russian BA-series armoured cars in winter camouflage; a KV-1 in winter camouflage; a T-34/76 in the winter camouflage used around Moscow (mostly white but with bands of cross-hatched green); Russian infantry with a M-1910 Maxim machine gun and its Sokolov mount that have been given winter camouflage by wrapping them in white cloth.

 

Here are four more useful-for-wargamers-and-modellers films that you can view directly for free on the British Pathe website, including my own notes about content:

ILLUSTRATED COMMUNIQUÉ FROM RUSSIA  Film ID:  1075.12 – It’s 1943. Lots of different Russian artillery in action! Lots of winter warfare footage – Russians in their white snowsuits. Footage was probably vetted by the Russians so nothing too ‘restricted’ could be seen by West.

ON THE DNIEPER  Film ID: 1350.24  – 1944. Lots of shots of Russians under heavy MG and artillery fire as they advance in actions around the Dnieper. Lots of Russian artillery in action. See combat engineers in action. A German tank knocked out comes under heavy small arms fire as its crew try to bail out.

ON THE MOSCOW FRONT  Film ID: 1314.15  – Early model T-34s and also a smaller tank going into action in the snow. Lots of different types of fortifications – barbed wire fences, anti-tank ditches, anti-tank gun emplacements in the city. For Soviet armoured train model enthusiasts…there’s plenty of footage here, close-ups and medium distance shots from multiple angles as well as the train’s guns firing as part of artillery barrages.

RED ARMY SUCCESSES  Film ID: 1085.10 – Like ILLUSTRATED COMMUNIQUÉ FROM RUSSIA above, lots of winter warfare footage. An SU-122 going past. Footage of Kursk after its liberation.

While doing various searches for information to recreate scenarios for games of Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist, I’ve been extremely fortunate to stumble across British Pathe’s film archives.

Four films of footage recorded by German cameramen during Operation Barbarossa have lots of great material for both wargamers and modellers. Here they are, with my notes:

GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA Film ID: 1669.02 –  Great footage of towns, bridges, rivers as the Germans fight forward or advance forward. Plenty of town shots, both of outskirts and inside them too. The Horch heavy car! Panzer IIIs and a Panzer IV short-barrel.

GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA Film ID: 1669.03 – towards the end you can see PaK 36’s, IG-18’s and Flak 88’s all being used against ground targets.

GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA Film ID: 1669.04 – StuG IIICs or some other early models in action! Converted AA flak trucks engaging ground targets! Infantry flamethrowers! German psychological warfare infantry team with portable AV equipment calling for Russians to surrender from the buildings they are defending!

GERMAN INVASION OF RUSSIA Film ID:  3259.07 – Camouflaged 88mms in action; 50mm infantry mortars in action; field artillery (not sure of what they are) ,  SdKfz 11 towing Leichte Feldhaubitze Mundungbremse 18 artillery piece (105mm artillery piece).

Some have sound, some don’t.

In the words of Fred Moriarity from “The Goon Show”, “There’s more where that came from!”

So this post is the first of a series.

I was sent this via e-mail by a mate.

The text that accompanied it went as follows:
“This Video shows the Winner of 2009’s ” Ukraine ’s Got Talent”,
Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated
sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German
Invasion during World War II. Her talent, which admittedly is a
strange one, is mesmeric to watch.
The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience
to tears and she won the top prize of about $75,000.
She begins by creating a scene showing a couple sitting holding hands
on a bench under a starry sky, but then warplanes appear and the happy
scene is obliterated.
It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives and
the woman smiles again. Once again war returns and Miss Simonova
throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears.
She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before
the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier.
This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is
looking out on the monument from within a house.
In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside and a man
standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying
goodbye.
The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine , resulted in one
in four of the population being killed with eight to 11 million deaths
out of a population of 42 million.
An art critic said:
“I find it difficult enough to create art using paper and pencils or
paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art,
especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings
some audience members to tears. And there’s surely no bigger
compliment.””

I personally cannot testify to the veracity of all that text (especially the comment by the art critic) but it is an impressive and extremely important work by Kseniya Simonova.

Since it deals with the Eastern Front (OstFront), naturally I’ve included it here.

The Ukraine was a particularly precious prize to both the Germans and the Russians. Whatever conflict happened there was always going to be bloodier than usual. A grim reminder of why we should always exhaust all avenues of   “jaw-jaw” and leave “war-war” to be the absolute last resort (thanks to Winston Churchill for “jaw-jaw”-“war-war”).

I did some research about what camouflage scheme (if any) I should paint onto my GrossDeutschland Panther tanks. I had seen a photo once of a column of Panthers moving forward on the Eastern Front (OstFront), painted only in DunkelGelb…no green or brown (or both) camouflage paint at all. Very simple – and given that the camouflage green and brown pastes didn’t get as widely distributed in quatity and completeness as on the Western Front (WestFront),  I think probably pretty common.  I was tempted to do all like that. However, since that is what I’m doing for many of my Opel Blitzes, Horch 108s and 251/1’s,  changed my mind, wanted some cammo and undertook a serious hunt to find out if GrossDeutschland’s Panthers had any camouflage scheme/s and what they were. The outcome was simpler than I thought: Panzer Colours III had both a black & white historical photo and a colour illustration of a GrossDeutschland regimental commander’s Panther that had a base coat of DunkelGelb and then a camouflage scheme of Dark Green mottling.  This is what I’ve decided to do for my 7 Revell Panthers.

Considering what is recommended on instruction sheets and commonly seen on the Internet and TV, certainly the more popular Panther camouflage (for modellers) is a scheme in Dark Green and Red-Brown that seems to be common in use and pictorial evidence on the Western Front (WestFront).  You can see a restored Panther in that camouflage scheme, here on YouTube:

While doing all this current research, I stumbled across a source of camouflage schemes (as colour illustrations) seen on actual WWII serving German vehicles that I had forgotten about using for well over a year or so…Dragon Models Limited’s instruction sheets! You can see a good number of these on Henk’s website, Henk of Holland: Plastic Manufacturers – Dragon.  For a great variety of different camouflage schemes, have a look at the scans of the instructions for Kit 7223 – SdKfz. 251/1 Ausf. C (about 1/5 down the page)  and for Kit 7225 – SdKfz. 251/1 Ausf. D  (just two kits later). These are a useful online information source to add to a WWII modeller’s and WWII wargamer’s repertoire/toolbox/collection/favourites/bookmarks.

Since starting to play “Panzerfaust: Armoured fist” a few years back until 6 months ago, I’ve had thoughts niggling away in the back of my consciousness about making my own wargaming smoke. I used to have about four litres’ volume of wargaming smoke, a hand-me-down from Stephen at Nunawading Wargames Association. I can’t remember now if I sold it when I was having financial dificulties, gave it away or chucked it – but whatever I did, it wasn’t worth it. His wargaming smoke clouds were made from cotton wool and the ink from parcel markers/whiteboard markers, somehow extracted using Turpentine or Methylated Spirits. They were a perfect mix of dark greys, fluffy but not peeling apart, could be squashed up or pulled apart a little and could serve to show a brewed-up AFV or a wall of smoke from smoke shells or a smokescreen from  smoke dischargers. I haven’t seen any other smoke as nice as that stuff of his.

6 months ago, I decided to finally act. I asked Stephen about how to make smoke like his old smoke puffs / clouds, but he couldn’t remember how it was done and wouldn’t recommend trying it again, as he said it stank; was too much effort and could be done more cheaply nowadays. I’d have to come up with a method myself. I began experimenting with various materials to see what might work and, when my day job permitted, searched the Internet for recipes from others.

I didn’t find much! It seems that very few wargamers are interested in documenting how they made their smoke – if they had even progressed beyond just using white bits of cotton wool (which can be purchased as is). I found a YouTube video that offered a possibility, which I did try, but I finally found sensible advice at Gabriel Landowski’s wonderful e-book, “Miniature Gaming, Volume I” which features his own wargames rules, called “Rules of the Damned Human Race”.

His recipe was refreshingly straightforward – use artifical pillow stuffing and darken it. I purchased some siliconised polyester stuffing from a cloth & craft shop and set to work.

I wasted half a bottle of valuable original (and now extinct) Citadel Black Ink dyeing a sample tuft. It took too much time to dry and left small congealed lumps on individual fibres which looked a little odd. This was going to be impractical. I tried the YouTube method, and sprayed Citadel’s Chaos Black spraypaint directly onto a second sample tuft. This worked well until you picked it up and tried to manipulate it, when the white fibres underneath became visible leaving a very unusual and unrealistic effect (and also staining my hands black).

I wondered about the pillow stuffing – perhaps this was the wrong type of material to use? As a fish-keeper, I had plenty of much thicker polyester filter wool sitting around. I wasted the other half of the Citadel Black Ink dyeing some filter wool. It turned out a marvellous  uniform medium grey, but had hardened the wool considerably – it would not be easily teased apart and was no longer “fluffy” at all. No good.

Here are the three sample tufts, after the experiments detailed above, in order from left to right: Smoke - tests

I went to an art & craft shop to enquire about suitable paints or dyes for dyeing the pillow stuffing. Although they could’ve sold me expensive clothing dye for about $50 (I was willing to try it), I bought a simple bottle of basic black acrylic paint and experimented with it. I watered it down to a consistency of 50% – 50% and thoroughly impregnated a sample tuft with it.

Next day, once the tuft was dry, I tested it to see what it would be like if I needed to pull it apart a bit to make a smokescreen – and found wet paint in it’s core! I wrung it out and let it dry over a few more days. No problem. I quickly established an assembly line and now I have great-looking wargaming smoke for an extremely cheap price, with little effort or risk. Here’s a good-sized cloud comprised of a few tufts: Smoke - final

and here’s a ‘group photo’ of the major test tufts and components: Smoke - all together, the winning result lying between the paint bottle and the spraycan.

PS. you’ll definitely want disposable rubber gloves, old clothing you don’t mind getting splashed with paint and a work area that can be easily cleaned up and doesn’t matter if not all paint can be removed…alternately, lay some plastic groundsheets / dropsheets / thick layers of newspaper around the place. Getting the wet paint into the fibres got a bit splashy and messy!

Over a year ago I discussed general principles of camouflage on vehicles in this post. This post also introduced some of you to the wonderful Lone Sentry website, a great place for primary documents.

In my discussion, I quoted a section about the failings of camouflage painting (or perhaps that a well-painted camouflage scheme alone cannot solve all problems). The section prior to that which I quoted discusses using natural materials to aid vehicle camouflage (and is called, not surprisingly, Natural Materials).

All this was thrust back to the foreground of my modelling thinking a few days ago, because of a YouTube video I found serendipitously after trialling a another video which was Recommended for me at login. The video is called Restored Jagdpanzer Hetzer:

It’s the first eight (8) seconds that interested me. The Hetzer begins in the shade of some trees before driving out into full sunlight. The disruptive camouflage paint scheme in combination with the clumpy shade from the branches overhead really help to break up the silhouette and shape of the Hetzer.

It’s a lovely example of how a camouflage scheme can contribute greatly to concealment – I hope you enjoy it as I did, and learn from it (or have the theory neatly illustrated by it).