Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther D and Cpl Overby conversions

New Project Ardennes Ersatz M10s . . .

A new project (among a few that I have to get around to posting) is 3x Ersatz M10s from Panzer Brigade 150 which were deployed as part of Operation Greif during the Dec ’44 Ardennes Offensive. We’re using 3x Dragon Panthers Ds and 3x conversion kits from Cpl (Ken) Overbys Motor Pool.

First a bit of pertinent history, not too much though as I’d only be regurgitating stuff that can be easily found with basic Googlefu skills.

Panzer Brigade 150 was Commanded by Otto Skorzeny of the Gran Sasso Mussolini rescue mission fame and was to be made up of three Battalions. The very short notice and the secrecy with which orders for the forthcoming Ardennes Offensive were being transmitted led to delays and shortages in rounding up the required men and equipment. Eventually about two battalions worth of men (2,500 or so) and a motley collection of captured US and British equipment was assembled at Grafenwohr in Bavaria. In the end German equipment was substituted for shortfalls with the captured equipment planned to be used in the battlegroup “spitz” or spearpoint units.

In the end three Kampgruppen (X,Y and Z) were assembled. Among the equipment issued were 5 modified Panthers (some sources say 10) with sheet metal additions to resemble the distinctive US M10 Tank Destroyers. A number of Sturmgeschutz IIIs also received some sheet metal mods but this is pretty odd considering that the US had no fixed gun Tank Destroyer equivalent to cause recognition issues with.

The battleplan (like many) turned to custard very early on in the offensive as the leading 1st and 12SS Panzer groups were slow to breakout and there were massive traffic jams on the few usable roads. The result was Brigade couldn’t be passed through and set free as intended. It was eventually combined and given orders to take and hold Malmedy on the 21st of December.

Reference pics (lifted from Web Sources and posted here only for discussion)

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Further reading and references

Jeff Dugdale – Panzer Divisions, Panzergrenadier Division and Panzer Brigades of the Army and Waffen-SS in the West, Autumn 1944-February 1945
Kurt Mehner – Die Waffen-SS und Polizei 1939-1945
Jean-Paul Pallud – Ardennes 1944: Peiper and Skorzeny
Jean-Paul Pallard – The Battle of the Bulge Then and Now.

Reference material on this unit

Jean-Paul Pallud – Ardennes 1944: Peiper and Skorzeny
Michael Schadewitz – The Meuse First and Then Antwerp
Michael Schadewitz – Zwischen Ritterkreuz und Galgen: Skorzenys Geheimunternehmen Greif in Hitlers Ardennenoffensive 1944/45

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And on to the model itself. As mentioned above we decided to use the newish Dragon Panther D as a basis for the chassis, mostly because it is one of the few Dragon Panthers available in the shops now and can be found relatively cheaply. The other part of the project is the conversion kit from Ken Overby.

The Dragon hull assembly was basic with no issues. The Panther D has a plastic hull which is a vast improvement over the old metal hulls when assembling, it also has “fast assembly” wheels with the inner joined together. Many people have issues with this but in reality they can’t be seen at all after assembly.

Fitting the hull to the Overby conversion set was a little trickier. Note this would probably be much easier with a G or Ersatz M10 kit as a donor. The stepped hull sponson of the D required trimming to nest into the conversion hull properly. Also the front of the glacis plate on the conversion set had to be thinned and trimmed, as did the inner top of the Dragon hull. All in all about 3mm of material were removed to sit the top hull down correctly.

The rest of the conversion set required the standard cleaning up as with all resin kits. Some parts were broken in the bags (turret hatches, most of the track guide teeth and three of the drivers hatches all had short shot holes in the same location which I’ll try to fill but might need replacing. Anyway no biggy, just standard modelling skills required.

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All together barring some fine details to be added later, aerials, deck screens and a few grab handles.

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cheers
Brent

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4 comments on “Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther D and Cpl Overby conversions

  1. Nice work. I’m in the process of tackling 3 x conversions of Matchbox Panthers with the Vacu-cast resin packs (resin nightmare resulting in a vertual scratch build), and the pics you have found are very helpful.
    Cheers,
    Kevin C

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