After all of those British tanks done in October and November, it was time to work on something else besides British tanks. While that has included a couple of fantasy models and a few other things I’ve yet to show (soon!) It did of course include more tanks – though thes eones are German. So.. variety!
These ones are Panzer IIs, though not from Battlefront (they only offer a metal and resin version) or Plastic Soldier Company, but Zvedza, who have a pretty nice range of inexpensive push-fit kits. Since these models would have turned up in Africa with the first Germans, I decided to do the whole “overpainted” thing with the desert yellow, showing the early balkenkruz and palm on panzer grey in their little unpainted “windows” within the overpainted yellow.
In addition to the Panzer Platoon itself, I also painted an extra PzII to act as an artillery spotter. Since the turrets of these simpler Zvezda models are one piece, I drilled and cut out a small hole in place of the 2-piece hatch and added in a PSC commander, and used a couple of small rectangles of styrene to represent the opened hatch.
I thought a scale shot would work well here – these things are tiny! Apparently the Zvezda PzIIs are a little undersized compared to their equivalent Battlefront models, but it’s only by a couple of millimetres, and it’s not like it’ll make a meaningful difference on the table. They were also particularly quick and easy to assemble and then paint, so these were an unusually pleasant hobby experience.
The next of my Commonwealth 8th Army units, we have my Brethren from across the ditch – some models representing the 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Africa.
The Kiwis also notably ran quite a few Shermans in WWII, though I’d already painted a half-dozen Shermans as my first models for the 8th Army. Also from my research, it seems that the NZ forces didn’t begin using their mud grey/blue-black camouflage until they hit Italy, before that time period their tanks were simply painted in the pale desert buff shade – so essentially what I’d been using as my base for the British Commonwealth forces to this point. Since using Honeys and leaving them bare of camouflage appeared to be the only way I could include the Kiwis with a reasonable accuracy for the late ’41-mid-’43 time period my force is set in.
Being rather light tanks for this period of the war, they’ve been given diamond decals (well, squares applied on an angle) to represent the Recce vehicles being part of the Regimental HQ. NZ decals aren’t exactly easy to come by, if they do happen to actually exist, so I spent a few hours in Photoshop one afternoon putting some Silver Fern regiment decals together so I could run them through my printer.
These tanks also represented a bit of a first for me – the first time I’ve used milliput to add stowage to models. Bedrolls and tarps and duffel bags. Basically with these tanks being smaller than any of the other British tanks I’d done to this point, the official clip-and-glue stowage (aside from jerry cans) seemed a bit large and awkward. I did nick a couple of small crates from another kit, but if I wanted to add any more differentiation to what is otherwise a pretty samey group of tanks, it would have to be via milliput! I also used a mixture of the two upper hulls provided in the kits – I couldn’t really find a specific difference in my limited research on the additional stowage, though I did make sure to use the turret variant associated with British use – though most sources I found online don’t really distinguish between the M3 “Honey” in British/Commonwealth service and the M3 Stewart in U.S service.
Finally, I realised last night that two of the three commander models for these tank troops have moustaches! Possibly a bit of a stretch, but I’m thinking this might qualify those two tanks models at least as something for Roger’s“Mo’vember” painting challenge!