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.

Ends of the roads

February 10, 2009

The roads are good to go…or be driven on…most importantly, ready for gaming. The colours have come up relatively well and using ‘Ardcoat for water or liquid effects has been suitable.

Here’s a first view, of the roads in action:


…and stupidly, I chose to use two vehicles without any mud on them! The schwimmwagen is far too clean (it was painted to represent having just come out of a water crossing) and the Sd. Kfz 11 was painted up with a heavy dust coat, as if it was mid-Summer! Oh well.

This next photo was to try to show the sparingly-used ‘Ardcoat to represent water and differentiate it from mud, which was such a feature of roads on the Eastern Front:


I mentioned that I had used Kayak Brown, then a mix of Kayak Brown with Vermin Brown, plain Kayak Brown and then ‘Ardcoat for water. This last shot is to show a section of muddy road without any ‘Ardcoat, so you can get an idea of the differences in colour.


The ‘Ardcoat was a cause for much nervous nail-biting on Thursday , Friday and Saturday. The ‘Ardcoat was not the newest – I think I had it for two years and what’s more, it was kept in a room that can get over 50 degrees centigrade on a hot day. It was applied well shaken, but towards the end of the pot, was getting stickier and toffee-like,  unlike its normal watery consistency.

The nail-biting commenced when I realised that the thickly-applied sections of ‘Ardcoat (where it was perhaps 2-3mm thick, filling puddles and pot holes) was still a bit milky in colour a good 24 hours after application. I went and bought more ‘Ardcoat and Chestnut Ink in case I had to re-do all of it, but decided to give it more time to cure/dry. 48 more hours (and Melbourne’s hottest day on record, 46.2 degrees) did the job – all the milkiness disappeared and I was left with crystal clear gloss.

So, even with older ‘Ardcoat that goes on a bit milky or cloudy, just give it plenty of curing/drying time – like the better part of a week.

On a related note, we’ve had the worst bushfires ever as a result of the incredible heatwave. Please give some money to:

Victorian Bushfire Appeal 2009

The Blitz is over

April 23, 2008

Last night, all glueing and assembly of the ESCI Opel Blitz was completed. I compared it to the Roden that I finished a few months ago. The ESCI was very easy to assemble and had good detail, but it lacked the extras that the Roden had – such as the wing mirrors; rests for the shovel and pick; no cab-mounted spotlight.

I wondered if I should have done it as an open-top – ie., that I hadn’t glued the tarpaulin over the tray. Too late now.

I wonder if the Opel Blitz re-released by Italeri has had those little bits of nice extra detail included? Maybe sometime in the future I’ll need a few more trucks. ..

I also have had a couple of nights working on the ESCI Hanomag. Plenty of good detail but still fast and straightforward to assemble. It is definitely being done without it’s tarpaulin – after all, the crew are all in shorts and short sleeves, so it makes sense. I’m tempted to do a mid 1943 camoflage scheme – stripes of Dark Yellow over the traditional Dark Grey. I’m not intending to have lots of Hanomags, so this one can afford to be a little more “unique” and time-restricted, since they will hardly ever be used in play.

It was New Year’s Day when I last updated you properly about the infantry I’ve been doing alongside the AFVs and vehicles. It seems like it’s taken forever to do them, but on the weekend I finally finished all the painting for 3rd Platoon and the Company HQ bases. Last night they were glued to bases and tonight the good old Kayak brown paint (also used for hill-making) was slopped on liberally. I also ended up with 3 times the same amount of painted guys who didn’t end up on bases, and now will have no home or love. What was I thinking?!

During the Easter extended holiday, I zoomed around a number of hobby shops looking for Woodlands Scenics T49, their Green Blend flock in a 50 cu.in. bag, which I’ve been using as grass on: bases for nearly all my figures (whether WW2 or not); hills; other bits of terrain…and found nary a pinch across all my favoured vendors (5 across metro Melbourne). So now I’m going to be in a holding pattern with finishing them and a hill I’ve been doing on the side, whilst I wait for new shipments of flock to arrive.

This means that I now have time to do the ESCI Opel Blitz and the ESCI 3-ton Half-track (Hanomag) I’ve got, as well as doing the 6 HAT Armourfast MG43 MMG (medium machinegun) teams to support the Infantry and three ACE PaK 38 anti-tank guns that were in the big order from HobbyTerra. Variety – the spice of life.