I’ve begun assembly of 7 Panzerkampfwagen V “Panther” (Sd.Kfz. 171), known by their nickname of Panthers. These are the Revell kits, #03107 however most were bought as the combi-sets with accompanying figures (those of Fallschirmjäger). I’m only in the early stages, glueing road wheels onto the chassis and partially assembling the turrets.

My main tank kit assembly order nowadays is as follows:

  1. Lower chassis
  2. Wheels onto lower chassis
  3. tracks
  4. Paint lower chassis and tracks
  5. Join lower and upper chassis
  6. Turret
  7. Remaining mandatory chassis details as well as any crew figures or wire aerials
  8. Any kitbashed field modifications (me using bits of other kits to add on stowage etc.)
  9. Painting

The detail on this kit is pretty good. I’m going to assemble them as A types and have selected an acknowledged and photographed Infantry Regiment Großdeutschland camouflage for them, of green mottling over Dark Yellow. To see the black and white photographic evidence (and then a colour illustration of how it would look), get a copy of Panzer Colors III: Markings of the German Army Panzer Forces 1939-45 by Bruce Culver (and look Ma, I’m using LibraryThing again!!!).

I’m assembling 7 so that I have a platoon on 5 plus an HQ of 2. Panzerfaust: Armored Fist is written with German ad-hoc companies in mind…my recommendation is to always buy a platoon of a major vehicle and then the requisite number of HQ vehicles of the same type, in case you want them to be the HQ too.

So, there they are. The left and middle vehicles have a more ‘typical’ scheme (if such a thing can be said), whitewashed wavy lines representing tree trunks and limbs to help break up the blocky outline.

The right vehicle is more of an experiment. In gathering online information for the Soviet forces I’ve acquired, I came across this Soviet Winter camouflage pattern. You can see a very similar paint scheme on the same type of vehicle (a SU-76) in the Bovington Museum collection in Britain. I also have, in one of my reference books*, the following colour plate:

and the camouflage scheme in that plate is described as an “unusual” camouflage pattern for Soviet forces (even in 1945).

I began painting that camouflage scheme on the Maultier before re-consulting these two sources, so it came from my “mind’s eye”. I think it looks good, if perhaps a little too uniform…it should have been more random, with more bunches of spots and bent or angled lines as well as short, straight ones, like you’ll see at the Bovington SU-76. Oh well, too late now.

* Zaloga, SJ, Kinnear, J, Aksenov, A & Koshchavtaev, A 2002, Stalin’s
heavy tanks 1941-1945: the KV and IS heavy tanks
, Concord, Hong Kong.

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Trey Partin has a new stop-motion film up, this time using 54mm miniatures…

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Been having a play with VuFind at work. It’s a step towards seamless, one-stop-shop search and retrieve. It’s feature that lets a user search by tags is a good innovation, but how does someone affix a tag to an item, and are tags controlled or edited by the library? Otherwise someone may just put lots of obscenities as tags…did I just give anyone ideas?!

(One quibble about the demo – I didn’t like the fact that so few items have been tagged. If you do a search and that search word hasn’t been used as a tag yet, then you get all items returned as having that tag, with a tiny note saying that tag doesn’t exist. Shouldn’t it just return zero results?)

Here in the National Library up in Canberra, they’ve implemented VuFind. Comparing the old catalogue (still in action) to the new, 1) being able to narrow a search and 2) checking your search history, are very helpful. Commercial databases allow these, so should all OPACs. Search by…Occupation is unusual – but obviously useful to certain institutions.

Examining one result about prisoners in Changi, I was offered a link to go examine LibraryThing! I’ve commented last year on LibraryThing. While searching for material about the European theatre of the War, the results returned (about Polish memories) brought up the option to assign an RSS Feed to this search.

Some valid tools for my work.

Over at LibraryThing, I’ve not only listed my 6 most useful books for this project, but also joined the Second World War History group.

Oh yes, and as two asides, I’ve put a Live Bookmark on fellow WordPress blog Wargames: Painting and Modelling, so I’ll now when Issue 3 of his free magazine is out! I’ve also subscribed to the The Battlegames Blog, which is also here on WordPress, just to see what the difference is between subscribing and RSS feeding. Yes, both of these are on my Blogroll, but sometimes I can’t always check…

There is no worthwhile way DIGG could contribute to this project. This project doesn’t need the latest news or news-related items. It needs hobby information, research information and the like. Hence the course of action taken above – subscribe to useful blogs and websites where that information is published.

Right. Computer off, back to painting and assembling…