And now back to the tanks! I’ve finally gotten some time to take a few photos, and so I’ve got some tanks for the European Theatre this time – a platoon of Panzer IIs in the Early War to Early Mid-War Panzergrau paint scheme. As with my DAK Panzer IIs, these models are again from Zvezda (using my stockpile – I feel like we won’t be getting restocks of these models …ever?) I decided some time ago that aside from painting forces for the North African theatre of war, I also wanted to play games set in Europe. No big surprise there, of course. But the question there became – which forces and which front(s) to paint? Being me, I went with “yes”, and so the next force I’ll; be working on (as I try to finish up my DAK, and get to the later stages of my Desert 8th Army will be my Grey Germans. Sure, I’ll do late-war camo schemes and have fun with all of that later on down the line, but I wanted to follow the DAK with something similar and even compatible – so grey Germans it is! Also, because grey Germans is such a classic scheme that harkens back to my early interest in WWII – and with so many of the photos being in black and white, there’s something about them that just looks “right”.
Adding in a fair bit of brown weathering via Green Stuff World’s liquid Pigments also worked well to give them a dirty appearance that also has a bit of a nod to the brown used in the early Grey & Brown scheme used by the Heer’s armour. I don’t pretend that these models would hold up to someone especially knowledgable about the specifics of units and markings and all the rest, but they look the part to a more casual student of history like myself as well as the amount of time I’m willing/able to spend on what is going to be another significant batch of models…
As with the similar Panzer II platoon I put together for my DAk force, I also painted an extra for use as an artillery spotter. This time distinguished by an open hatch with a commander using a pair of biniculars and a different style of tank number. As the Zvezda turrets are one-piece castings, I took the commanders from Plastic Soldier Company german kits, drilling out holes where the hatches are, cleaning them up with a scalpel and then adding in thin plastic card open hatches.
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 for both the platoon commander and individual artillery spotter. The army I’m building with these will primarily be an early Eastern Front force, around Barbarossa in early 1942, though I’m sure I’ll also be able to vary the models to use in earlier situations and even early war Western Front/France. Technically, these models all fit into the remit of Dave Stone’s Season of Scenery Challenge as vehicles can obviously be used as terrain in a lot of games, though in this case, we’re really going by the letter rather than the spirit of the challenge. I will (or do plan to) have some actual proper scenery and scenic pieces complete soon for the challenge, so that’s something else to look forward to….