Friday, February 14, 2014

Panther Company; Second Platoon

At long last, my computer behaves for enough consecutive minutes to let me finish up my photo editing! I am having quite a task making it behave, but sadly getting a new one requires funds I don't have at the moment...

Enough about that, let's talk about pretty models!

The 2nd Platoon is made up of late-model G panthers. They have the flame hoods, red oxide primer showing through, ambush camo, and lots of fun stowage. Here's the platoon leader:

As you may be able to recognize, the commander is the DAK radioman, with his webbing shaved off, and lower half delicately removed. Painted in black gear, the uniform is similar enough (at least the visible parts are), and it's certainly a 2iC worthy pose. I admit, once I saw him in the turret, I was very tempted to make him the CO, but I quite like the idea in my forces that while the CO gestures and orders, it's the 2iC doing the work to make sure it gets done right.

This tank has quite a bit of unique stowage. the bedroll-on-tracks on the turret is from a photograph, and the ladder off the side is as well. I am not certain they rode into battle with said ladders in place, since it seems they could be used by daring enemies, but it makes for a more interesting model. This tank also has the universal bucket, and a spooled up towcable on the hoods, and, for the fun of it, a wash basin attached to the turret side. This too is from a photograph and I knew I had to carve one for my company!

Tank 422 also has a ladder on its rear, again based on a photo I saw. I like the idea that this one ends on the flame hood: Any soldier trying to use this ladder while the tank is running is going to get a face-full of exhaust, and possibly some 2nd degree burns to boot! Another boom-box arrangement of wheels, and a full turret's worth of spare tracks makes this tank well defended in the crew's mind. I have also added more of the rear deck stowage bins on this one.

Tank 423 has an interesting conversion I had to try. The minor details are, of course, numbers crudely painted over the tracks on the right side, and a towcable slung oddly down the right flank of the tank. Most notably (and fully visible in the rightmost inset image) is another relatively rare crew conversion.

As the allied airforce became more dangerous, strafing and bombing, the Panther crews (allegedly) found their engine decks exposed to a possible telling hit from the planes' .50cal MGs and bomb shrapnel falling among the cooling fans, messing up the engine. To combat this, they cut up sections of Schurtzen, and welded them in place as a kind of covering, hinged in the case of the main fans, to help keep them clear.

They also would cut up and weld together plates to go on the top of the turret, to add extra protection from these attacks for the crew. It's not really something that would have provided much benefit, but it is a thing that looks fun to convert. (And, with all its difficulties, was quite fun!) I'm sure you can see now why so few of my tanks have Schurtzen anymore! The metal plates were far thinner than any material it was worth using on these, so rather than trying to suffer the degradation of paper or tinfoil, I just carefully beveled the edges of the thinnest plasticard I have, so that when painted, the light and highlight methods would help reinforce just how thin these plates were.

As with most of the rarer field conversions, there is but one tank in my entire company thus converted, as a way of saying "this did happen, at least once". Stowage-wise, I also have wooden beams for assistance unbogging the tanks in muddy going.

The final tank of the force, so far, is what I like to call the Cook's Vehicle. I know each tank crew was responsible for cooking their meals for the tank, but I like the idea of a panzer brigade's fast movement and tight knit group style having the entire company eating together where possible. To this end, the crew has attached a cooking pot and pan to the side of the turret. This tank also has a camo net (tinfoil) strung over a large oil drum (plasticard with liquid greenstuff ridges), some jerry cans, a spare wheel, and more wooden beams for unbogging. The left side of the turret is as much as I can manage a recreation of a specific tank, with the combination of stowage and beat up spare tracks.

And that's the company! I still have a bergepanther and a nachtjager panther that just today got spraypainted, and once I've amassed enough models to make an airbrushing worth it, they too shall join the ranks of the company, allowing me to relegate Barkmann to his proper hero status. In the meantime, I am eagerly painting a Viktorias crew for Malifaux as I finish up final kimono details on Misaki, Ototo, and Yamaziko. I am so eager to try that game!


  1. Good work. A lot of work went into adding the extra bits and stowage on these. What did you use for the pails?

  2. Ah! I entirely forgot to write about them: For the most part, they're model-gauge wire for the handles, and then the actual bucket is plastic rod. I first drill a hole to a decent-feeling depth (it doesn't have to be accurately thin or deep, just "this is hollow" deep.) Then, once I'm satisfied with the width and depth of the hole, I cut off the plastic rod at the appropriate length, taper the bucket, and smooth it. Then I glue the handle in to place, usually directly up so I can attach it by handle, and voila, accurate simple bucket.

    It's important to keep it to the rod while drilling out the inside: It's a lot harder to try to narrow the edges when you've already cut it to length!

  3. Fantastic Panthers! I really like all the mods you've done, they bring the models to life that much more and add that "personalised" touch.