Sunday, December 18, 2011
Panzer IV H platoon
With my WW2 interest thoroughly re-invigorated, I have set to with painting projects to get my existing forces re-inforced. You may have see the prior post to this one with my newly arrived commando section? Not to be out done, the forces of the Wehrmacht have been bolstered aswell.
Having found that the Plastic Soldier Company have released a range of hard plastic kits in 15mm scale that, from the reviews I had read, match very well with Battlefronts range of figures and vehicles, I couldnt resist the temptation to buy a pack of Panzer IV's to help my beleagured German grenadier force.
The kit comes with several variant options, allowing you to field the short barrel early varieties, aswell as the longer barrelled later variety. It was the late version 'H' that I was interested in, with the longer barrel, and side Schurzen armour plates.
The kits were very easy to make, and aimed at the gamer rather than modeller, so you can get your tank force quickly into action. Of note the tracks are the same hard plastic, and glue on easily with the same glue you make the rest of the tank with. Unlike prior Airfix kits I have had the dubious honour of making where you make the whole tank and all the dang fiddly wheels, only to find the tracks are some horrible soft plastic that no glue known to man will stick (despite asking Airfix via email drectly and getting no response, surprise surprise...)
Once assembled, each tank taking maybe 15-20 minutes, and with them being in a dark yellow (dunkelgelb?) colour, I sprayed them straight away with the new sprays from Battlefront. I didnt bother to black undercoat first. Once dry I painted the tracks and added the camo markings. Then I washed the whole tank in in my 50/50 mix of vallejo brown and black wash. Once dry they were drybrushed with 'dark yellow' - I could have used the Vallejo middlestone colour but I think I actually used a matching Foundry shade that I had. After that, I detailed the commander, and tools on the deck, redid the exhaust and air intake tubes in a dark copper colour and washed these in black. Finally added some dry-brushed on mid-brown to give a muddy appearance to the tracks and lower area of the tank.
The last bit then to do was add some decals. I had some spare from the StuGs I made a while ago, so used these. They simply show the black cross of German forces and a vehicle identification number.
Other than the decals, I have not varnished the tanks. I find that plastic figures seem less in need of it, as they are less susceptible to being chipped, and the paint adheres very well to the plastic surface.
The Panzer IV H, by Late War standards was a medium tank, and very similar in the game to the Allies Sherman, although it has a slightly better main gun, and the side Schurzen armour affords it a little extra protection against infantry fired anti-tank weapons.
The Panzer IV was widely used by the Germans, both in defending Fortress Europe from the Western Allies in Normandy and Italy, and also on the Eastern front against the Soviet threat, so no doubt my small force of Panzers will get regular use against all comers!
And just to re-iterate, these tanks are NOT contributing towards Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, which is another reason I pushed along to get them finished before the 20th December kick off!