Thursday, February 06, 2014

Panther Company Done at Last!

It is finished! I finally have the tanks at a state where I am not frustrated with their look! (As always, there's something to tinker with forever...)

There's enough photos, and they're taking long enough to edit, that rather than doing one post I'll split it up roughly by company. To start with, a group photo!

Astute eyes may notice a plethora of different paint schemes. I decided that, since these are likely the only 10-or-so Panthers I'll paint, I would have fun and try all sorts of different ones, minus the few truly bizarre, single-battle schemes. I did roughly split the scheme by platoon, however, helping to identify which tanks belong to which platoon.

I am a huge fan of the late-war ambush camo scheme, so the late-model Panther G platoon got that as their mock-up. The slightly-older Panther G variant gets a more standard brown/green/gelb, but one has the more snake-line pattern, while the others have a more blob-like appearance.

And now, for the by-model breakdown. First up for your viewing pleasure, the 2iC, Barkmann!

I left Barkmann's model mostly alone, conversion-wise. The sch├╝rtzen, being the easily-warped pewter version, got a bit of worrying, as well as the two mudguards at the front. Other than that, I added an extra wheel on the turret rear, a custom ammo crate, and bedroll. The most frustrating part of this tank is that rear hatch crewman. He's not especially difficult to paint, but God is he easy to overlook!

Even though he breaks the standard number scheme of my company, I kept Barkmann to his historical tank's number of 424. Eventually I will replace him with my nachtjager panther, and would then want to be able to play him as his special character self.

Following swiftly on the treads of Barkmann, my company CO:

My tank commander is meant to double as a possible panzer ace, and as such I gave his tank a bit of extra loving. He's got a modified location for the barrel cleaning rods (a rare, in-the-field upgrade), a bucket in the 'standard' position hanging off the back middle, extra fuel cans, flame hoods, an mg34 on the turret for his personal use, and, on the hopefully rare occasion he is forced to disembark, a 'borrowed' panzerschreck to claim vengeance!

Now with it painted, you can see my liquid greenstuff zimmerit works fairly well. I try for a realistic paintscheme, so I haven't really accentuated the folds, but they are deep enough to catch washes, and sharp enough that drybrush highlights work quite well.

I have painted the tracks hung on the sides in two different ways. Often tanks would be hung as extra armour from the turrets, and then overpainted with the rest of the tank. For this purpose, the camo patterns and tank number (401) are on the tracks, but they've been hit with a 'rust wash' as well to show the lack of priming done for them.

The command figure in the turret is from the Kfz. 251 crew kit purchased from Battlefront. I carefully removed the legs, shaved him to fit, and knew at once I had a good strong commanding figure. Other stowage is either custom-made (the crates), or is from the PSC 251 kit, cast and used. Helmets are painted in late-war Heer splinter camo net style, or left as their standard panzer grey. Here you can also see how the mud mix was applied to the tracks to hide mould lines, and on the lower rear of the panzer itself, from splatter.

If you have any questions regarding particular elements of the conversion (or painting) don't hesitate to ask! I'll hopefully have the rest of the company up, as soon as I can edit and upload the photos.

It's finally done! It feels so good to have them off my desk.

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