|The Schwarm Tiger out for some preliminary maneuvers on the dining room table|
Up there with the French Old Guard Grenadiers and the British 95th Rifles of the Napoleonic era, and any 40k faction(s) involving input from Gav Thorpe, the Tiger tanks of the German WW2 panzer lineup are one of the great paradoxes in wargaming. There were not very many of them, and compared to the other weapons in the arsenal, they saw very little action. Yet every wargamer seems to have them, and every rules system that makes an accommodation for them bestows them with a table-dominating prowess that belies the numerous actual problems and challenges that dominated the day-to-day action they did see.
Left to their own devices, I'm sure many hard-core Flames of War gamers would roll with an "army" where the King Tigers are so prevalent they might as well be staff cars, and the non-Tiger support choices are all direct-firing Hummels with a few Jagdtigers thrown in for variety. They would smile and tell you it's all good, because they "paid the points".
I like to laugh at this, but in truth I am a hypocrite. I am as stuck into it as any gamer. I may not do the "all King Tiger army", but I still like to roll with the heavy kit. Big guns are fun. I've got a Death Wing force for 40k (although ironically this not actually powerful on the table, but anyway). I have super heavy tanks for my Imperial Guardsmen in 40k. We've played spearhead scenarios pitting the big cats against the Soviet hordes - and in one funny instance, they didn't even need to engage. We've also used the King Tiger in the odd 28mm WW2 game, either as an objective or as a participant (last stand in Berlin - that was a fun game, although I recall Brian H knocking the King Tiger out with a bit of an iffy shot that left me doing a bit of a sulk).
These are fun games, and as long as the scenario is sensible, you avoid an actual 40K-i-fication of a historical encounter. Pushing tanks around is fun - and using the toughest tanks with the biggest guns out there is lots of fun. Knocking them out of action is even more fun (well, for the other players)!
And so the Gün Schwarm. The Güns already have Panthers, and a pimped-out Hetzer. In this context, the Schwarm Tiger will fit right in. Besides, we face the deadly T-640. Time to embrace the enjoyment of the big tanks and big guns, and get one for the Güns.
Hobbymaster had put out a 1/48 Scale King Tiger, so last year I acquired one on EBay and took the old hatchet, some tank sprue bits and tried to see what I could come up with.... then I moved, etc. etc. blah blah delay etc. I finally found the thing last week, and thought "what the heck, let's see what I can come up with..."
|"Before" - a Hobbymaster 1:48 scale King Tiger tank|
I mounted the requisite absurd smooth bore cannon and a co-axial laser. I hacked off the cupola, and replaced it with a cupola from a Space Marine Predator/Rhino kit. I wanted the model to have a bit of eminence, so that called for a tank commander in the hatch. I opted for a Death Korps tank commander and heavy stubber combo from Forge World. I popped a couple of technical-plate looking things from assorted GW kits on the odd open spot - and there were not too many because the model already has a beautiful bunch of stowage, cables etc. A heavy bolter went to replace the MG on the hull.
|The GW tank search light is mandatory on all SpaceKrieg vehicles, no matter the faction|
|Gün Grenadiers on propaganda maneuvers with the Schwarm Tiger|
|Rust splotches courtesy of Forge World pigment powders|
|I imagine that the environment on FuturKom worlds would be hard on paint coats|
Why don't I like airbrushes? To me, adding a mechanical element with all sorts of variables to painting just seems like a big pain in the *ss, and minimal value for the effort. But now was the time to be bold! So off I went...
|The Hobbymaster vehicle had great stowage already on the model|
The results were uneven, to put it mildly. The brown and the green worked out OK, but I found that I had covered too much of the yellow. So I tried some Tamiya yellow-green, and I think it had too much thinner, so it went on kinda funny. And the whole time I was not really protecting my tank commander from the paint, so he was acquiring many layers of paint for no reason. My summary of using an airbrush - @#$@#$@#$@#$!!!!
|I tried to put a lot of rust coloured pigment powder on the vents and exhaust|
|The Templar decal serves as an air identification marker for the tank, to try and keep the SchwarmWaffe from strafing its own side on the battlefield...|
|The suitably absurd-sized main gun; advanced tech on the turret prevents decapitation of the gunners due to recoil on the gun mount...|
|Propaganda maneuvers with Panzer 2050 Ausf. F|
As for the airbrush, at least I've tried it. Like anything, I'm sure it will get a bit better with practice. But I remain envious of those folks that know how to make them work properly.