Hob-e-tac and Panthers

February 20, 2010

I’ve commenced my next Hob-e-tac experiments a little early – last saturday I started a non-WWII project that is being done concurrently to my Panther tanks (like that’s not ever happened before!) and today I was up to the glueing stage.

Today is very warm (33.8 degrees centigrade as I’m typing this) so it was perfect for glueing. I applied to Hob-e-tac thickly to felt (and gave it almost two coats) and then left if for an hour (instead of the recommended 15 minutes). After the hour I applied flock and static grass and pressed them firmly into the Hob-e-tac with the heel of my hand.  Tomorrow afternoon (I’m giving it 24 hours to cure, as has ben done previously) I’ll be able to see how well the terrain materials adhered and if the glue is still tacky.

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The camouflage for the Panthers was completed last weekend – dark green disruption stripes over DunkelGelb.

Now it’s up to the fiddly detail, which is probably why I’ve been procrastinating with these kits lately. Spare track links have been done today as were towing cables. The tools shouldn’t be much of a problem and the extra stowed items (tarps, barrels, jerry cans, buckets) should be pretty simple.

What I need to get right is the shadowing I do around hatches and the forward MG ball mount. I use Citadel’s Black Ink watered down to only 25% and with a fine brush (10/0 or 20/0) just put a thin line around hatches and joins in the metal to provide depth through shadowing. Usually I make mistakes and the ink spreads too much and I have to go back and redo the colours underneath. I should really just bite the bullet and do it all tonight and let it dry overnight so I can continue with the other easier detail all tomorrow.

Some time ago I started serious work on Italeri’s “PaK 40 AT gun with servants” kit.

Since that post I had finished painting the four guns in DunkelGelb in Spring and left the crews to the side, as I was also going to do some crews for IG-18 field guns (7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18) at the same time. Well, being a wargamer, I fall victim to regular bouts of “start something else on the side” disease and so decided to get these PaK 40 guns & crews painted, based, flocked and in play before July 2010.

I took off the sprue and removed all flashing from all six crew and then settled on four (as that’s what the Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules mandates for a gun of that size). Then I started painting.

Now, please click on this link to see all six crew that you get with the kit.

From the top row, I’m using #1 and #3 from the left. On the bottom row, I’ve chosen to paint up three of #1, all four of #2 and one of #3 from the left.

If you look closely, you’ll see that they are all warmly dressed. Bottom row #1 is in greatcoat and top row #3 has a balaclava or some sort of woollens around his neck. That means that I have to paint them as if all are in snow or a cold climate.

The crew whom aren’t in greatcoats are wearing a parka or jacket of some sort. Since I’ve already done troops in the reversible ‘mouse” suits, I wanted these later -war soldiers to have cammo. I decided to go and look at re-enactor suppliers and also my history books. Richard A. Underwood Militaria has this. Epic Militaria has this, which is great, but then there is also this. My book seemed to indicate that often it was the latter of Epic Militaria’s cammo smocks that were worn…ones without hoods.

You can’t see it clearly back on at Plastic Soldier Review, but these figures have smocks or parkas with hoods and also with distinctive drawstrings. So, it seems I’ll be painting my Splinter Camouflage uniforms with white drawstrings, as this best fits the Winter clothing Italeri has dressed these chaps in. Even though those winter outfits were reversible to snow white, I’m having all-cammo-out, because I can. Hah!

It’s nice that one two of the figures have greatcoats. Variety is a grand thing. Sadly, the picture I have in a book which I think Italeri has based this kit on doesn’t feature anyone in greatcoats…they are all in the reversible parkas, some with matching leggings and some not. All have reversed their clothing so the snow white side is on the outside. All wear the 1943 field Cap too (Einheitsfeldmütze).

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Paul has concluded (for now) his Opel Blitz review and he has selected the leading product for wargamers to assemble, paint and use. Read his decision here.

…but my Jagdpanthers do.

The Revell / Matchbox Jagdpanthers are nearing completion. That means that they now have a completed camouflage paint scheme / pattern on them and I’m just doing the little details like painting stowage and overpainting  errors.

I did some reading to see what sort of camouflage patterns and colours were used on these tank hunters. I found a drawing of one that had been with GrossDeutschland, but it was just in DunkelGelb (Dark Yellow) with a partial coat of whitewash, as winter camouflage. The other drawings all had many different patterns (as well as another with just plain DunkelGelb) but stripes of colours (in parallel, mostly on an angle) was the majority of patterns I found.

I have found extremely little on how long GrossDeutschland may have had Jagdpanthers…my guess at the moment is that probably as little as two or three months. (Those out there who know – I’m happy to be corrected). Now, it wasn’t going to be fun to have plain old DunkelGelb vehicles…that’s already being done with my StuG III’s, will be done with those Horch FlaK heavy cars and to some degree with my as-yet-unpurchased Panzer IV’s.

So, I selected a scheme for a vehicle that was operating on the Eastern Front but labelled as “Unit unidentified” and decided to paint a platoon of them. It had parallel stripes on an angle,  similar to this vehicle. However, the difference was that the colour stripes didn’t simply alternate between green and brown, but instead had a repeating pattern of green-green-brown with one green stripe being bigger than the other.

This also gave me a chance to try out the new-ish Citadel ‘Foundation Paints’. I can recommend the Orkhide Shade! It makes a nice alternative to using Dark Angels Green for green camouflage.