Peter’s new KV-1’s

June 18, 2014

Hello all, yes, a rare post from the Eastern Funker.

Peter’s been working on a new company of KV-1 heavy tanks.

He’s been experimenting with a weathering powder. I think the experiment has been a huge success!

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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?

 

Trainee Funker was not obeying any orders for a while during last saturday morning and I nearly didn’t get to go to Bayonet Military Model Club’s modelling competition & swap ‘n sell YET AGAIN…however, he finally responded to discipline and so I was able to hit the Western Ring Road and Princes Highway down to Werribee.

The trip is worth it for the B-24 Liberator alone. Here are my photos – approaching the restoration hanger (the competition and swap ‘n sell is inside, along with the plane):  , and now inside, looking at real, restored history:  ,  ,  ,  ,  , some of the business purposes of the vehicle –  , great campaign pitch  – hard to say ‘no’ to that!,  ,  , “pilot to gunner!” –  ,  ,  ,  , again the business reasons –   , their contact details on their advertising trailer if you want to find out more:  .

I scored pretty heavily at this swap ‘n sell:  .

  • 2 T-34/76’s (in 1:76 scale, though) to add to my existing 8 which gives me a complete company;
  • 2 250/9’s which added to my existing kits now gives me two platoons and a spare of these recon vehicles;
  • 2 recovery KVs for particular scenarios;
  • 3 KV-2’s which, if I add to my existing 3, gives me more than a company. But the first three KV-2’s I assembled and painted weren’t painted very well, so I might just give them to Trainee Funker when he’s older and start afresh with these;
  • 3 ISU-152s to add to my existing three which gives me a company plus a spare;
  • a total of five KV-1’s (there is no real difference between these two kits) which is a whole company straight off. I already have a whole company of KV-1’s, in the same situation as my KV-2’s. Two companies? Or one for me and one for the Trainee?

Pretty darned good, if you’ll agree. Plus, all those PST kits were a paltry $5 each, all sealed and in perfect condition. So, $65 bought 13 kits. All the above cost a total of $99.

Here are ‘drool’ photos of some of what was available:  (a fair whack of this stuff can home with me – this was taken upon my arrival at the venue);  ; wow, 1/ 6 scale stuff!:  ;  ;  ;  ;  ; even 1/1 scale stuff for re-enactors…  .

A great way to spend a morning. See some real history and buy some small-scale plastic replica history. Thanks for organising it, Bayonet Military Model Club, and I hope to attend every year from now on!

2 weeks back Peter and I met for our third game of the year. The period was Autumn, 1942. The scenario was Breakthrough, with Peter’s Russians attacking (breaking through) my defending Germans. The sky was clear and there were light winds. Here’s the map: … a crossroads with hamlets and houses nearby.

No-one had any aerial forces, so we got straight into it.

Turn 1: The Russians call down a smoke barrage on the wrecked T-34 at the crossroads, neatly obscuring the vision of the PaK-40 I had dug-in behind it. Some recon forces came on to the table:  – T-34s were proxying T-70’s.

Turn 2: The T-70’s continued to probe forward: .

Turn 3: Now all the Russians came on to the table. T-34/76’s and KV-1’s. The smoke barrage was continuing: so my central PaK-40 couldn’t see them. They rumbled down the main road but also through the fields and trees beside it: – my PaK on the left flank found a T-34/76 going right into his bore-sighted path, so it fired and knocked it out of action .

Turn 4: The scouting T-70 on the far right sights the PaK-40 I placed over there. As the KV-1’s on that side break through the treeline, that PaK-40 knocks out a KV-1, which happened to be a Platoon Commander’s vehicle! Good! But over on the left, the T-34/76’s let rip with their hull MGs and my PaK-40 there is out of action. My mortar section try to rain death onto any tank riders, but their aim is off.

Turn 5: The Russians have to grind on if they are going to break through. One body of vehicles pushes past my dead PaK: .

Since I wanted to get my central PaK into action, we had a look at the rules about traversing infantry guns during a game. We were surprised to see some infantry guns could be fired whilst their crews were trying to shift them into new positions! We had to clarify the rules there and then for traversing mid-game: for a size B gun, the first 30 degrees of traversing is free…you can movie it and fire it without penalty. If you traverse it between 31-45 degrees from the original position, you can fire it but you suffer -2 penalty to hit. If you are trying to move the gun more than 45 degrees from it’s original  position you can do so but cannot fire it that turn.

So, back to the game; my right flanking PaK-40 hits a KV-1 and Stuns it, but is LMG’d to death by the rest of the KV-1 company. My mortars on the left flank wipe out a squad of tank riders through some accurate aiming. My infantry kill a few more. My remaining PaK-40 – the middle one, who was trying to traverse so that they could be useful – have to check Morale due to the losses of my other AT guns and fail, so they surrender to the Russkies.

Turn 6: Soviet movement is strong . They push hard and run over the dug-in Germans. All the Germans can  do is try to kill tank riders and weaken Russian morale. For the central force of Germans, their AT Rifles are useless against these medium tanks’ side armour so all that they can do by is pick off Russian infantry riding on the passing tanks. The Russians lose another squad as the Germans do so, but their Morale holds and the tank MGs cut down German infantry.

Turn 7: A lucky German infantryman kills the Soviet infantry company commander who’s riding on a tank: . The Russian Infantry check their Morale and are affected -they are now Shaken. But they are on the backs of tanks, so Shaken effectively means nothing for them. The Russians grind on to their breakthrough point and begin to exit the table  – they’ve won . My infantry are unable to stop them. Another victory to Peter.

~~~~~

It was also scenery-making night at the club that night. Here’s a mate making terrain for Stalingrad and the Eastern Front…burnt-down Russian hovels, where only the chimneys remain… .

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.

 

Painting the two BZ-35s has commenced…finally.  A front wheel fell off one just when I thought all glueing was finished so I had to do more glueing of axles and I also decided to use to Tamiya Putty (Basic type) to really lock down the wheels on the rear axles.

The finished product is nice to look at, though. Definitely a worthwhile PST kit to get if you want to game the Eastern Front (or Ostfront)…sadly, it seems PST has gone very quiet of late and so you may have to hunt around hobby shops and/or Ebay to get them. It’s really a shame, because I’ve also assembled and painted their Soviet KV-1s and KV-2s (in 1:72 scale, of course) and they turned out very well.

The silly title for this post is because while working on assembling the front of each refuelling truck, the instruction sheet said I had to glue on the radiator caps.

Yes, glue on a tiny radiator cap.

On the sprue, was indeed a tiny little radiator cap.

“Well”, I thought, “that’s detail for you. They could have easily included the radiator cap fixed in place as part of the mould, but to show you how much external detail this kit can have, they’ve given me a radiator cap to glue on”. It goes right where there is a bit of flash that actually looks like a radiator cap already, which just makes it seem even stranger. (Yes, even the kit assembled two years ago also had this radiator cap-shaped piece of flash on it).

I clipped the radiator caps off and glued them in place, which was a little trickier than I expected – the top of the radiator gently curves, so they initially won’t sit flatly.

***

The small hill was finished last sunday, the glue holding the coarse turf on the big one hadn’t fully dried in some patches so I had to re-do it during the week. Today I sprayed it with Scenic Cement to seal it and added some more flock and coarse turf to try to cover up the less successful patches. Tomorrow night I’ll have a look at it – I’m keeping it in a warm room to speed the drying.

Also commenced painting up a shelled house!

On thursday night, Peter was hosting Jason M. from Far North Queensland and a longtime player (and playtester) of Panzerfaust: Iron Fist. Naturally, a game was going to be played. Jason and I agreed to lead a company of Germans in an Encounter scenario against two companies of Russians. The German forces were as follows:

  1. Platoon (4 vehicles) StuG III G
  2. Platoon (4) Marder III(h)
  3. Platoon of Panzer Grenadiers with early Panzerfausts, in 4 Steyr 1500A heavy cars
  4. Single Sd.Kfz 251/17 AA vehicle

The Russians had:

  • Company (5 vehicles) KV 1, 1942 edition
  • Company (7) T-34/76, 1941 edition with 2 platoons of Infantry with SMGs and a MG Platoon in GAZ-AAAs.

The year was 1943 and the objective was to take the small ridge on the big hill in the centre of the table. Here’s the table:

Adding in some weather effects, Gale force winds were rolled for, heading South East. Those two rolls for winds wiped out the possibility of Germans relying on smoke shells and smoke launchers!

TURN 1: Both armies advanced toward the objective, the Germans trying to get the Marders there first, as their guns would tear apart any Russian armour. Peter’s KV1 company was placed in a corner and could see the Steyr 1500As through a thin firing alley. Those that could let fly with direct area fire. The direction of travel for the Steyrs was my decision and already my tactics were looking poorly conceived. Miraculously, none of the Steyrs was hit.

TURN 2: Stupidly I decided to abandon my plan of directing the Steyrs and the 251/17 forward to cover one end of the hill, and instead turned them left toward the security of the nearby forest. I also decided to have the StuGs turn right and deal with the KVs, while Jason would best place the Marders forward. The KVs could still see the Steyrs and 251/17 and chose to keep firing at them, even though they could now also see Marders. Out came all the measuring tapes to judge ranges and lines-of-sight.

Peter rolled to hit. The results of his rolling technically ended the game there, as the direct area fire of the KVs blew up my Company HQ in their fleeing Steyr, even though the other vehicles were unscathed. For Jason’s benefit, this outcome was changed – another Steyr was destroyed instead. They passed their Morale check but the only way for them to be safe was to continue to retreat into the forest – a retreat without a Retreat from a failed Morale test. *Sigh*.

TURN 3:Jason’s tactical synapses were busily snatching back victory while my synapses floundered. With 6 pips to use for actions this turn, we could reposition all our armour as we wished. Still, the Russians destroyed the final infantry Steyr causing a further Morale check. Jason ‘tracked’ a KV and got it out of the game but lost a Marder in the process. The StuGs hit the KVs but didn’t penetrate the heavy front armour of the KVs.

TURN 4: The T-34s and the infantry had gained a toehold on the hill and now moved to secure the objective. Jason and I elected not to move our forces much and concentrate on knocking out the KVs. Fire was exchanged but to no effect.

TURN 5: It was now past midnight and effectively the end of the game, so Peter sent his Russians over the hill and a few around its side. My StuGs ‘tracked’ two KVs, one being a Platoon Commander. Jason’s Marder that had reached the objective was in trouble. Red infantry was almost on it and so they let rip. Now, the Marder III(h) had an open rear, so it’s crew only gets Soft cover versus infantry fire, the infantry also gaining +4 for shotting from behind. That Marder died and another two ended up Stunned for 5 turns. The last one, whom had been in support of the others, used direct area fire to kill four infantry bases – the other two infantry bases now surrendered to that Marder. The flanking T-34s and my flanking StuG had no real effect on each other. End of game – the Russian T-34’s held the objective and far outnumbered the Germans.

Only a five turn game? Many of the games I’ve played with Peter have gone to twelve, and most games should go for at least ten. On reflection, I should have kept pushing the Steyrs to their original destination. My decision, made during panic, to instead hide in the forest got a lot of men killed and prematurely ended the game. Nothing kills like bad decisions.

Yesterday, I washed and undercoated a set of sprues for one each of the UM Marder III H tankhunters and one of the Roden Opel Blitz trucks. Why only one for each? So that I can see what are the most effective ways to assemble and paint each one, in order to make the work on the rest as quick and simple as possible.

Both look like very nice models to make. I have an unassembled ESCI Opel Blitz kit too but I’m leaving that until last, so I can compare it to the Roden kit.

On Friday the captured BZ35 was varnished and completed. Photos of it are here and here. It’s the first time I’ve weathered a WW2 vehicle – I didn’t do it to my Russian KV I or II’s. The weathering involved slopping some brown ink around, doing the mud splatters as normal but then drybrushing on patches of dust. Since it’s my first time, I went conservatively with adding the dust, but overall I’m happy with the results. I’ll put more dust on an Russian-owned refueller, rather than a captured one ^_^

Platoons 2 & 3 have not laid about on the tabletop idly, either. Here is a comparison of the improved paint schemes (see my disappointment with Platoon 1 in a previous post). The differences between uniforms are evident here and here. Now the green in the normal uniform is more bold, so hopefully the distinctions between the two uniforms are even more evident. I’ll put up photos showing the final based, flocked and varnished versions for you to consider, though.

I’m doing up some FAO bases too. Scouts with horses. Neigh!