Project ’46 Background – 1

Thought the blog might be a good place to try and keep some of the background and ideas behind our Project’46 stuff in the same place as the models. Below are a couple of design briefs I put together some time ago to provide a framework for some of the modelling and our gaming.

We roughly planned for four classes of vehicles which would be allocated to different arms-of-service dependant on battlefield role.

1) The Infantry would convert all motorised units to semi-tracked to improve battlefield mobility and were to replace their 4×2 and 4×4 trucks with the SdKfz251 family of half-tracked vehciles.

2) The Fallschirmjager and Heer Jager units would recieve the family of air-transportable light armoured vehicles based on the excellent Panzer 38(t) chassis.

3) The armored reconnaissance corps or Panzeraufklärungstruppe would recieve addional vehicles based on, and to compliment, the existing 234 8rad chassis. The corps would recieve fully eclosed infantry transport and support vehicles fully based on a unifed chassis, both simplifying maintenance and improving capability.

4) Finally the Panzergrenadiers would recieve a family of fully tracked and enclosed APCs based on the PzIII/IV “Hummel” chassis. These vehicles would finally provide the service with the capability to keep up with the Panzers under cross country conditions and provide superior overhead protection for the troops and weapons systems.

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Project ’46 1/35th SdKfz350/3 3cm M.K.103 Zwilling FSV – 3

Did a little more work on my project today. Managed to get most of the new superstructure sorted. I roughed up the edges to look flame cut, my rational being the FSV is a conversion of a standard ‘350 along similar lines to the Luftwaffe field fitted “Rüstsatz” modifcation packs with the plating being scrounged from varying sources and retrofitted at Corps level workshops.

I also wanted the turret to be raised slightly above the roofline to improve the ability to engaged ground targets as the system is envisaged as fufilling a dual Ground/AA role, so I abandoned the idea of using the PzIV upper hull and turret ring. I made an upstand for it by cutting up an acrylic jar but at the moment I’m undecided whether to leave it at this height or raise it a 3 or 4 more mm.

So next it’s the rear plate and access door and then waiting for the tracks. All the extra fittings and bits n pieces have to wait until the tracks are fully fitted and most of the rough handling is completed. I havent been glued the rear idlers yet so I can vary their position to get the correct track fit and sag ……

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Project ’46 1/35th SdKfz350/3 3cm M.K. 103 Zwilling FSV – 2

Made a start on the FSV/Hummel conversion tonight in anticipation of the tracks arriving early next week. Just a pretty straight forward assembly of the running gear. Left the drivers hatch open in anticapation of fitting the IR gear to it and having the open hatch provide an extemporised rain shield. Fitted a bulkhead inside to seal off the driving compartment and painted it black as a compromise as I’m not fitting a driver or r/op figure. The turret’s (obviously) just sat there for show and to make sure the Kugelblitz ball doesn’t foul the kits interior bulkhead in it’s approximate final location. Can’t wait for the tracks to get here, they’re metal Ostketten from Spade-Ace Models, a bit of a gamble as we couldn’t get Fruils ….

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1/48th Hobbyboss Shermans – 9

Decals all on and detailing finished. Applied the decals over a localised brush coat of Humbrol satin varnish and set with a couple of applications of Solvaset. Finished off the details, gave the spare tracks a little more love and it’s now beginning to look like a Sherman me thinks … now it’s out with the Queeg(Tm) weathering powders to finish off the hull and tracks.

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1/48th Hobbyboss Shermans – 8

Almost finshed the “test” Sherman. Added tow rope, mg and faffed about detailling the stowed packs with extra straps as an experiment (copied the idea from Pat Johnsons Pershing) – purely for cause it looks cool. Decals next, a few additional details that I forgot – tow hook, extra spare track holder, turret periscope brush guard, then it’s the track and lower hull weathering and it’ll be all done ….

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1/48th Hobbyboss Shermans (and other wips) – 7

A little more progress, at the stage with the Shermans of deciding on final camo and weathering. Went a bit further on a test vehicle adding disruptive black and starting the basic fading. The other projects, Dragon 1/72nd Jagdpanzers and Tamiya 1/48th Stugs are alos at the camo selection stage …..

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1/48th Hobbyboss Shermans – 5

Undercoat/key coat on. Nothing special just a light spray coat from a Tamiya can, just something for the basecoat to key on. The fact its not completely smooth handily adds a little texture to the armour as well. It also works well having an enamel base as everything from now on will be acyrilcs. US Olive drab is one of teh few things that I don’t use only GW acylics on as my OD is a mix of Vallejo Olive Drab and GW Catachan Green ……

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Project ’46 1/35th Jagdpanther – 4

Just a quickie, slapped some paint on the IR gear, more for my own interest than anything productive ….. and yeah I know, green lenses. Wasn’t sure how dark to tint them and wanted something arty, this is a “what if fantasy” project. And yeah, I know they should be dark/black with just a hint of red …..

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20mm D-Day Funnies, 79th Armd Division Sherman Crab and Churchill Crocodiles

A pic break is needed I think from all that stressful 1/35th wip. So here’s a bit of past 20mm commission wargaming armour, a Sherman Crab, Churchill Crocodiles and a Petard armed Churchill AVRE, all Milicast resin kits. The Crab has PE flails, AB crewman (actually a Russian but he makes a great British looking officer) and added stowage. The Crocodile fuel trailers were fitted with brass rod so they can be removed and the Churchills used as gun tanks. As usual, all were brush painted with GW acrylics and weathered with home made pigments. Decals are from various bison sets.

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Project ’46 1/35th Jagdpanther – 3

A little more progress made tonight. Filled in the mounting holes on the superstructure for the tool racks and fittings and sanded smooth. Assembled the IR units and trial fitted them. They still have PE to be added, wiring looms, a rain and light shield extension for the drivers visor and a few fittings for the MG42 mounting. And there’s a rumour that the PE parts shown in the post below are about to be ordered to add some bling ….

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Project ’46 1/35th Jagdpanther – 2

Finished the basic assembly today. Now to decide whether to bother with PE or just add the tool racks and paint it. What I’d like to do is get a PE set with the late stowage bin on the upper rear hull and relocate the tools from the hull sides. If I do that I’ll need to fill in all the mounting indentations on the superstructure so it’s really a go-no go descision ….. grrrrr why are PE sets soooooo expensive! Of course I still have the infrared set to fit yet …

And below are the PE sets I’d like to fit …….. which will cost more than the two donor kits combined! Oh god, now I’m going to digress into a mini rant. I just realised why I don’t “do” much 1/35th. It’s because of the damn cost. The kits themselves aren’t tooo bad, although I don’t buy them at the LHS. But if I purchased the two donor kits at the LHS and put on metal tracks, and a metal gun barrel, a couple of Alpine crew members, a 2-station IR kit and the three PE sets I’ve highlighted below there wouldn’t be much change out of $500 large …. and people (including myself) complain about GW prices! At least there isn’t all that “must have” aftermarket stuff for them, without which no one will look at your kit in the “serious” modelling fraternity. Mention that your build is OOB (out of the box) and it’s the kiss of death in a forum, unless of course you have the scratch building skills and the three weeks to make it all yourself. Anyway, back to the PE bits that I “must have” …..

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And here’s how she looks at present …. almost there.

Project ’46 1/35th Jagdpanther Ausf F mit Infrarot-Nachtsichtgerat

Well …… for someone that doesn’t model 1/35th there is an awful lot of suspiciously large kit-building going on. As I’ve decided to model for myself on weekends and I’ve been good and completed two assembly projects the week, 3x 1/48th Shermans and 3x 1/72nd Jagdpanzer IVs (both groups will be put up for sale when completed), I started another spur-of-the-moment project today.

I’ve always wanted to build a ’46 version of the Jagdpanther with steel wheels, late exhausts and infrared equipment, something in-between the late/last production models and the fantasy x-tanks. In a perfect world this would have been a 1/72nd project but as I had the nescesary doner kits on hand in 1/35th scale and I was also looking for some large scale painting practise before working on the Hummel/FSV, it seemed like a good idea at the time …..

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Construction so far has been a breeze. It was interesting to work on a big Tamiya after assembling Hobbyboss and both small and big Dragon kits. Tamiya often gets a slagging in the model fraternity but for my money their engineering (fit of parts, flash level, ease of assembly) is usually first class. When I began this morning I was really only going to see how feasable fitting the late steel road wheels from the Sturmtiger kit would be to the Jagdpanther chassis but, it all went so well so I boxed on with assemebly.

I had to perform some mild surgery to mate the Tiger road wheels to the J-panther. I used the Tiger torsion bars to ensure the road wheels sat square and shortened them to seat them properly into the JP hull. The JP front final drive housing armoured deflector, had to be cut back top and bottom to fit the Tiger final drive housing properly, again this was chosen to ensure correct alignment of drive sprocket and road wheels. The rear idler arm required a bit of filling again just to align the idler correctly with the track centre line.

You also really get a sense of just how big the 8.8cm L/71 is when you see it with the breach outside the tank! Next …. the indy tracks, the only bit I wasn’t keen on.

Ahhhh, Turns out I needn’t have worried, There’s only about 200 links req in all. Surprisingly they went together fine and look pretty good too I think. I managed to get good aligment and a representative sag ……. and I do so love a good track sag. So next is to add the rest of the kit bits, and as I’ve decided I want to add PE rear stowage bins and maybe gun cleaning tube and tool fittings, I’ll have to order some and wait for them to arrive …..