Friday, 29 August 2014

WW2 in 28mm (1/56th scale) German Armoured Platoon 1944-1945 TANKS

The Panzer IV ausfH circa.1944-1945,

The Panzer III ausfM circa.1944-45.

Continuing with my World War Two 28mm collection I decided to create a German armoured platoon of 1944 -1945 European Theatre of War, the proposed infantry platoon needed some armour for the 1944 Normandy to the battle of the Bulge and Defence of Germany scenarios. So I picked up a Panzer IVausfH complete with 75mm gun for some extra fire power, also a Panzer IIIausfM.

Both these tank types were part of kampfgruppe 'Knaust' at Arnhem Holland 1944 fighting against British Airborne forces especially 2 PARA namely 2x panzerIV-H and 6x panzerIII-M. I used contemporary photographs of the battle for reference, both panzerIV were knocked out, it seems the panzer III were kept on the opposite side of the river to the British forces.

Die Waffenkammer make a really nice Panzer IV - H bought through Great Escape Games at
Panzer IV ausf H
Panzer III ausf M
 The tracks are separate but come fitted to the hull by the manufacturer so that a perfect effect is ensured.
A superb clean model, I followed the manufacturer's instructions and did wash it with detergent to remove any release agent that might be left on the model from the manufacturing process. The kit includes schurzen, extra sheets of armour around the turret and hull and extra stowage, tarpaulins, jerry cans etc. I'll show these at a later stage.
panzer IIIM and IVH workshop
Then I primed with a tan leather matt enamel paint., followed by tan mixed with burnt umber oil paint.

first sheet of schurzen reinforced with 1mm thick plasticard straps.
Green was mixed with yellow and tan carefully to keep the same contrast in colours, a burnt sienna brown was used for the browns camouflage , but it was a surprisingly quick job. Then adding a water-slide transfer decals bought from Warlord Games, then a weathering effect was brushed over the whole vehicle.

airbrushing would make a better job of the camouflage but isn't really necessary.
The 75mm gun has a blackened muzzle, the 'schurzen' armour on the turret has its doors left open on the starboard side to effect an escape route for the crew when bailing out. 

German Tank Number Markings (basic guide).
Most German tanks had a three digit number sequence on the sides and rear of the turret, to use the example pictured below, the first number '5' decal shows the company number of the Tank Regiment, in this case the 5th company, the second number indicates the Platoon number '1' and the third decal indicates the tank number of that platoon '4'. 
Panzer tank regiments had 2 battalions each of 4 companies numbered 1 to 8 so the example below shows a tank of the second battalion (5th company). Each company consisted of a platoon HQ and 3 to 4 platoons, each platoon had 4 or 5 tanks.
Command tanks would use R for regimental HQ e.g. R01,R02, the first battalion I01,I02 and the second battalion II01,II02, individual company HQ tanks prefixed with the company number followed by 00,01.

The most common colours used to denote the various numbers were: red numbers with white outline, black numbers with white outline or just white outline(as example below)

National markings - the 'Balkankreuz', 1943-45 a black cross with white outline could be used. 
5th Company 1st Platoon 4th Tank
The rusty exhaust was painted in black, burnt umber and burnt sienna, the sooty mark on the hull is where the exhaust outlet is.
Panzer IIIausfM Warlord Games German Tank commander complete with cigar and binoculars.

Die waffenkamer provides a lot of extras with their model, stowage, separate tracks and a tank commander, on both tanks I have a Warlord games tank commander. I'm saving the Die waffenkamer tank commander for a Panther (Panzer VausfG) to be purchased at a later date.

An aerial was added using some 5 Amp fuse wire and painted in black enamel paint.
The bailed-out panzer crew are Warlord Games 28mm miniatures.
Next will be the panzer-grenadier infantry platoon and a British Airborne platoon.


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