Plastic Soldier Company/Battlefront 15mm Panzer III Company – Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War

Plastic Soldier Company/Battlefront 15mm Panzer III Company - Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker 1:100 1/100 scale

These models were the next step in the armouring-up of my DAK force for Flames of War. The ubiquitous Panzer III. Looking at the list, I wanted to keep it pretty straightforward and concentrate on using models I’d already found that I owned – I had a couple of boxes of PSC’s PZIII F/G/H kits, which turned out to be ideal for (slightly leaning to the earlier) Afrika Korps, so I built them as Ausf.G models with the short 5cm guns. Not the most powerful, but these lists are being made to facilitate a fun game – not total historical accuracy nor powergaming. The only real thing I did in terms of asssembly was an attempt to vary the stowage a little between individual tanks using what I had from the few kits I had opened, and the odd tarp stolen from the Shermans and Fireflies from my old FoW Open Fire starter sets.

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Panzer III Company - Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker 1:100 1/100 scale

There’s quite a lot of flexibility in the FoW list, going from 3-5 Panzers in each platoon, and since I had two boxes of these kits with 5 models in each, I decided to hold a few models back for later projects and build the minimum I’d need to field them legally if I ever decided to play FoW with a stranger in a club or a shop or at a tournament or whatever. See, my philospohy towards army lists in wargames is that while I perfectly understand and agree with the “your mans” philosophy (as in, they’re your toys, do whatever the fuck you want with them as far as force composition, paint, etc goes) I prefer to use a “legal list” as a good starting basis while completely ignoring anything egregiously stupid (like Primaris Space Marines can’t travel inside a Rhino because buy the new Primaris-specific transport model kits, bitches!)

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Panzer III Company - Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker 1:100 1/100 scale

Two Panzer Zugs of three each is a good place to sit, and allows plenty of space for expansion of the Panzer II aspects of this force down the line if I decide to go in that direction. Plenty of other things to worry about building and painting first, though!

Battlefront 15mm Panzer III Company - Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker 1:100 1/100 scale

So anyway, legal lists, while keeping small and what models do I have here? For the Company HQ, I had two of Battlefront’s Panzer III tanks – one from the El Alamein Boxed FoW starter set I’d picked up a few years ago, and also a second one from the Tanks! expansion set. So the slightly larger Battlefront models would be my HQ. The Battlefront models also feature different options to the PSC ones, so I went for the uparmoured Panzer III with the long 5cm guns. (Ausf.J, but BF don’t call them that in V4 – just “uparmoured”, but whatevs…) This gave me a Panzer II Company that’s pretty close to the minimums for legal play, but built with the models I already owned, and as an appendix to the existing infantry and support models I’d already painted. And of course, my armoured wing wasn’t just going to be a few Panzer III and a pair of Tigers…

Plastic Soldier Company 15mm Panzer III Company - Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker 1:100 1/100 scale

Painting used the same simple and straightforward techniques as the Tigers in the previous post. I was actually super happy with how these models looked while “clean”, with the final drybrush having picked out all of the sharp edges of the tanks very nicely, but after a discussion with Marouda on whether I should chip the paint or not to weather them, I did go with the sponge method and some grey to show some chipping. I think it worked out well, though it does make the models visually read a little more busy in photos and in hand. I’d have preferred to use red numbers, but they’re scarce as hens’ teeth, so I used outline numbers from a PSC set I purchased for this project (the kits once again did not come with numbers). Applying them to the Panzers was an absolute bitch, due to the lumpy viewports on both sides of the turrets. I’ve since found that some units in the DAK/PA used different, simpler variants of the numbering scheme, but too late to worry about that now!

As with yesterday’s Tiger I models, these were painted in August, and so technically qualify for when Dave Stone’s Season of Scenery Challenge as he flexibly allowed vehicles into the challenge, since they are often used as terrain, though I was by this stage really starting to feel like I’d kinda sidestepped the intent of the challenge, if not the letter…

16 thoughts on “Plastic Soldier Company/Battlefront 15mm Panzer III Company – Deutsches Afrikakorps/Panzerarmee Afrika for Flames of War

  1. Those are really nice! 🙂 I took the easy route with my early war Panzer III and IV and left the numbers off, since the first attempt to get them over the vision blocks just went horribly wrong! They also remind me that I still have a PSC 1:72 Panzer III to build. I think I tend to agree with your views on force composition as well, having probably gamed enough to know that I don’t need to be spoon fed everything. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Cheers, John. I later found that one of the main panzer units in Afrika just used fewer numbers at one stage which would have been an easy out for the turret number issue, but naturally it was after I’d done all of them, so even if/when I do some more I’m now committed!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Good stuff – they look great. A number of Pz.III kits seem to feature a diagram of someone easily applying turret numbers to a flat surface then when you come to do it yourself you realise there is a weird lump there and you have to cut the decal (or whatever….) very strange!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, I guess it’s easier for the model makers to just be like “yeap… decal goes riiiight here. Goodluckwiththatbye!” which is fine until one of us poor bastards has to actually apply the things!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The weathering/chipping put these tanks over the top for me. They look realistic with that extra bit of wear and it adds a bit of visual interest as well. I’d say Marouda didn’t lead you astray! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks mate – I’m happy with how the chipping ended up looking, even if it can look a little heavy. I’ve got a 28mm (1:56) Panzer or two lurking around somewhere, so I feel like I should build and paint at least one of those while I’ve been on this WWII kick lately and see how the chipping and weathering work out on those. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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