Wednesday, November 6, 2013

German Panzer IVs in Winter - 15mm

Some 15mm Panzers for winter action on the Eastern Front
More winter stuff for the 15mm WW2 table. Here are a pair of Panzer IVs done in winter paint. One is a Panzer IV-F2 from Battlefront, and the other is a Panzer IV-G (I think) from Plastic Soldier Company. Both sport the potent long-barreled 75mm gun. 

Plastic Soldier Company Mark IV-G on the bottom, and a Battlefront Mark IV-F2 at the top of the photo

I think tanks of this vintage would have seen action on the Eastern Front in the winter of 1942-43.  There are a lot of really interesting aspects to that campaign which would make for great scenarios - the rush to cover the retreat of the German army groups from the Caucasus, the attempted counter-attack to relieve the trapped German 6th Army at Stalingrad, the battles for Kharkov etc.  In all of these actions the Germans would have relied heavily on the few Panzer IVs available to their mobile divisions at any moment.

Pigment powders used to add soot to the engine decks and exhaust

I am unsure about the use of the numbers on the turrets - this is based on a few references I have seen in some different books where German Panzer divisions sometimes just put a single number on the turret to denote a company, even as the three-digit numbers were starting to be used. I thought it looked interesting, a little different from the usual three-digit approach.

I forgot to leave the areas around the crosses "grey" on this tank...

I really like weathered tanks for WW2, vehicles that look like they are seeing some serious action on the front and not on a parade. So once again I went a little overboard on the weathering. I imagined these tanks as having been hastily white-washed by their crews during a short break between Soviet attacks, and then in constant action through the winter, being exposed to snow, rain, ice, then more snow, then some rain, all while driving through mud, forests, built-up areas etc. while getting shot at with the heaviest stuff the Soviets can bring.

The white wash is wearing away from continuous action and exposure to harsh winter elements
I just feel like that kind of environment should really mess up your paint job, so I tried to do a lot of "chipping" with a sponge, and stippled different shades of white on different areas of the tanks.  I used weathering powders over the engine decks and muzzle brakes, and put washes of GW's Devlan Mud on the running gear.

The detail of the stowage on PSC models is not quite as crisp as I would hope...but you can't beat the value
The models were fun to work with, although I prefer Battlefront to Plastic Soldier Company as the details on the hull & stowage are a lot crisper. Your experience may be different, however, and certainly you can't beat Plastic Soldier Company for price and flexibility of their kits (you can make many different Mark IV variants with each sprue).

Those long 75s will come in handy against the Red Army's T-34s
Fun as it is to mess the tanks up, I need to get towards a "less is more" with that tendency, so I hope the next tanks won't look quite so worn out.

Ready for action on the table
Mark IVs are fun, but the most common Panzers at this time would have been Mark IIIs, so I have a few of those under way on the painting table. Hope to have them done before too long!


paulalba said...

Nice PzIV's Greg, I have always liked the roughly applied winter cammo myself. Rubbed off here and there. They look great.

Curt said...

Brilliant work once again mon ami. If you can, bring one of these along this weekend... (do you have one unbased waiting in the wings?)

David Larkins said...

I don't think you overdid the weathering at all. I once read some sage advice that, when it comes to Eastern Front tanks, it's really impossible to make them too dirty.

warpaintjj said...

Winter camo & weathering is just about the toughest nut to crack on tiny toys - you just did it! JJ