E-75 Jagdpanther II development – Project ’46

E-series Jadgpanther II ….

Just playing around with a decent design for the mythical Jadgpanther II development vehicle. When doing my own designs I like to have a little bit (as much as you can with what-if scenarios) of practicality to them and as much as I like the E-50 and 75 series tanks some of the armament ticks the coolness box but wouldn’t work in practise. The E-75 12.8cm gun tank being a case in point as you just couldn’t fit the proposed weapon in there and have reasonable operating room.

And so fitting the 12.8cm into a Panzerjager type chassis makes sense, if it’s also laid out in a way that the weapon and mechanicals make sense. Most Jadgpanther II designs have a superstructure that is too narrow and short, having a similar cubic space as the TigerII turret fitted to the E-75. They also do things like pass the exhaust through to the back which is ergonomically a waste of space and are constrained by keeping 2 traditional driver and radio operator stations in the front hull. I think the radio op position would be better served for storing ammo or machinery in a revised layout.

So in my design the upper hull has a length sufficient to fit and man the weapon, the driver sits semi-reclined in the front left hull and the engine and transmission is front mounted. removing the radio op and reclining the driver allows the drive train to be lower reducing front hull height. There will be a remote mg mount of the upper superstructure and a ball mount on the upper rear hull for self defence.

Overall I think the volume is good although perhaps a little too high still and I might be able to get it half a meter lower yet once I try it on an actual model …


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SABOT Tank vrs Tank skirmish wargaming rules – part 1

SABOT Tank rules …..

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Though I’d do a quick (ish) post and give a little background on part of the reason behind the revival in our tank replacement and production program. Sounds a bit like a 1930s re-armament program when put like that doesn’t it ….. 🙂

For really deep background we’d have to start with our 20mm collection which was/is mostly made up of models over 20years old (and that’s the assembly and painting, not the kit/mould age lol) and generally in pretty poor shape. Some time ago we decided to retire our old collection and sort of start with a new broom as my building and painting had somewhat improved over time. Actually we thought it’d be nice to have vehicles and troops as good as the stuff I was building and sending out to my customers. But as in all things other projects jumped in and apart from some Project ’46 stuff our 20mm replacement program really went nowhere.

Recent Motivation

Advance to today, well recently anyway and the major thing that got us moving again was finally locating faux fur with the right density to cut down and use as a gaming table cover. This has been on our “badly want” list for a long time and was another factor stalling our 20mm gaming. The fur once trimmed will allow proper grass cover for our whole table, with HD foam formers underneath creating undulating terrain and using place-on buildings, woods and roads etc. The great thing about the fur base is that it’s equally good for all scales, from 20mm through to 28mm and 1/48th, and maybe even 1/35th . . . hmmmmm.

So that fired us up to get back into 20mm gaming and to get our collection updated. After a bit of thought (unusual for us) the quickest bang for a buck collection wise was to focus on vehicles and the best way to use them would be for me to get my Tank vrs Tanks rules sorted out.

And so after all of the above this is why we’ve been working on tank platoon building, for use with our SABOT rules.

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And so what is SABOT?

Well basically it’s the core of our standard WW2 ruleset but expanded and focused on Tanks. The goal was to have a set of rules backed up by a first principles vehicle generator system which would allow us to create relative stats for any AFV from the WW1 A7V to the latest ultra-modern T14 Armata, and everything in between. Opposing forces can then be selected using roughly comparable AFVs and then with points values so that balanced forces can be fielded.

SABOT has optional RPG elements to it also and you can take your AFV crews through a campaign or series of battles, improving their skills and their chance of survival and success as you go. Of course crew losses have to be replaced which is done using battle experience points gained from battles. Don’t have enough EXP? then your replacement driver is going to be “Green”. Crews cost points which is added to the base AFV cost so that the total force points cost is a combination of crews and AFVs. The fun is in seeing whether your veteran crew can really make enough of a difference to win against superior numbers ….

But at it’s core we really wanted SABOT to have a Tank only – WOT feel, but without the match fixing and behind the scenes result adjustments you get in WOT. Here good tactics and a little luck rolling the dice will determine success and you can instantly feel elation rolling a lucky 12 or pain coming on with a roll of snake eyes …..

Rules Mechanisms

In SABOT each vehicle is moved individually with activation alternating between the two sides (or players if it’s a multiplayer game) and each activating one vehicle at a time until all have performed actions or been “passed over”. Each vehicle/AFV has three activation points which can be used in any way the player wishes, ie the AFV can move for 3 AP, or it can mix other actions such as move 1AP, halt 1AP and spot a target for 1AP. Vehicle characteristics such as mobility, rate of fire, gun accuracy, range-finding equipment, turret rotation speed, optics quality and others all help determine what actions can be attempted and how effective they might be.

Crew skills (fixed for the basic play version) are determined by the level of experience and training. A “trained” crew makes all it’s activation dice rolls and tests with a base value of 7 on 2d6. The system is also a “roll equal to or higher” for success as we feel it’s more natural when rolling dice to try and roll high. So when attempting to shoot a target for example, the base to hit roll required is 7 and this is then modified by both the firing vehicles actions and the targets range and actions.

The effect of successful hits is determined by both players rolling dice (2d6) with the firer adding his roll to his AFVs weapon penetration. The target player adds his dice roll to his AFV armour value, which is dependant on the location of the hit (front, side, hull down/turret, rear, top/bottom). These dice rolls allow a measure of real-world variation to the results, so a weapon of penetration lower than the target vehicles armour value still has a small chance of causing a damaging hit. This represents that lucky hit which finds the gap in the armour belt, the drivers vision block or smashes the gun tube. Likewise there is a remote chance that a smaller vehicle could bounce that potentially crippling 8.8cm hit …. for a turn at least.

Gameplay example

The best way to illustrate the gameplay flow and the use of the 3AP is (hopefully) with one of our gameplay examples;

sab gameplay

And some random pages below showing where we’re headed with the SABOT system …. still very much a work in progress 🙂


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M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip3

Trumpeter Pershings ….

And the Pershings are now at the same stage as the Easy8 Shermans, basic assembly is complete and now it’s replacing the solid moulded on lift rings and adding most of the details, leaving the final fragile stuff to be added after painting.

I’m also contemplating making a few improvements to the pilot model vehicles, a couple easy, a couple not so. Firstly the pilot models had thinner fenders, cut back to the width of the stowage boxes, easy to do. They also didn’t have the pistol port fitted on the left hand turret side, again easy enough to sand off.

One of the harder things to change is that the turret used had the split loaders hatch. As I don’t have any spares in the stash box I probably wont be able to change those. And the pilot model used the standard shorter turret and had a temporary stack of weights strapped mounted at the back to counterbalance the heavier gun weight and help turret rotation. This requires cutting off the production extended bustle and a fair bit of filling and faffing. If I had split loaders hatches it probably would be worth it but at present they will likely stay as is ….


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M4A3E8 Shermans Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

Trumpeter Easy8s . . .

I’ve got the Sherman builds to the point where they’ll probably wait for stowage before progressing much further, we’ll before paint anyway. I’ve got the lift rings to cut off and replace and some of the small details can be added although MGs, open hatches etc will be left off until most of the paint is done.


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Modelcollect E-75 zug – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

E-75 build action …

Some actual build progress this time. So what are my impressions? I’d have to say I’m both impressed and a little disappointed. The moulding is high quality and they build easily. The DS tracks are very easy to work with (although mine were a little long and I trimmed off a few links) and the brass gun barrel and PE really adds some bling to the kits. In other areas though they’re sort of an “almost” kit with simplified moulded on details.

The rear deck louvers for example are pretty poor and at odds with the rest of the crisp casting. They are covered by the supplied PE vent grilles however (something all German Tank kit manufacturers should supply) so maybe they cut a few corners thinking they weren’t going to be seen. The 3 access covers over the engine air-cleaners also have incorrectly positioned latches and handles, I think Modelcollect copied someone else’s effort/kit here without understanding how the hatches work lol

The suspension would be a little fiddly and fragile for some builders I suspect. The arms that most manufactures would have moulded solid are separate possibly due to moulding limitations. The weakness isn’t helped by the E75s (and E50s) single roadwheel configuration on the first and last suspension arm stations. One thing that niggles at me is when kit wheels don’t sit flat and pull up because they aren’t strong enough to support the tension of the track. So after building the first chassis I glued scrap sprue “stiffiners” underneath the suspension units making sure the first and last arms were braced. Once set solid they stayed firm when fitting tracks to the other three vehicles ….

All tools including the prominent tow ropes are moulded on. While crisp they are undersized and a but spindly. A slightly thicker moulding would have helped them stand out and allow them to be undercut with a scalpel blade. Basically for me this feature is a no-no and I removed the lot, to be replaced with wire and left overs from other kits. In a similar trend some other features seem a tad undersized but might not be noticeable under paint.

The spare track links for mounting on the turret have good detail on the side which wont be seen. The mounting lugs are moulded into the track link and look … basic. I’m going to try adding an external vertical piece (hard to explain but I’ll show what I mean in the next post) to make them look a little more “separate”. The drivers and radio operators hatches are moulded shut and this is another area where Modelcollect could have scored brownie points as I like ot have the option for open hatches, even if I end up gluing the dang things shut lol

So that’s my view on things. Nice kits which will really look the biz when painted but could have been so much more with just a small extra amount of effort. Oh almost forgot, there were a couple of minor moulding defects. The front edge of the 12.8cm mantle was short shot moulded on three of my four kits so may be quite common and the rear drive wheels on two kits had unusual stress bends which I think came from not ejecting from the mould properly. Minor niggles aside these are a must for any 1946/Paper Panzer builders and I’ll be getting a few more as I’ve a few conversions in mind ……. 🙂


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PSC Panzer IVs – Plastic Soldier Company 1/72nd quick builds wip1

PSC PzIVs . . .

Picked these up recently for a build to replace some old Britannia Panzer IVs that unfortunately needed a bit too much work to make the old girls look presentable. These guys are certainly quick, made this one in about an hour, approx the time it took to assemble one Sherman or Pershing suspension set.

I haven’t really done anything to this guy apart from drill out the muzzle brake and thin down the turret shurzen. I’ve got a unit of 6 to make (for an Ozzie friend) and they’ll probably all get slightly different detailing, enough so that they look different but still have that unit feel. Anyway if you’re after any quick wargaming reinforcements (x3 to a box) and don’t like building full kits these guys would fit the bill nicely and as a plus they should take paint nicely …..


ps a shout out to PSCs customer service, these blokes turned up about a week and a half after ordering !!!!

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Modelcollect E-75 zug – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Gnarly E-75 zug . . .

And yes, more tanks. This time a Modelcollect E-75 platoon (or more correctly “zug”) of two 12.8cm vehicles and for a bit of variety two 8.8cm L/100 vehicles. Ever since Modelcollect announced it’s “E” series tanks (and there’s an E-100 on the way too) I’ve been wanting to get one to have a bash at it. Prompted by the SABOT game project, instead of one E-75 my brother “gifted” me a platoon of four to assemble!

Firstly a bit of history (yes I can hear the groans over the interwebs). So keeping it brief, the E series was a proposed streamlining of German tank design allowing more commonality of parts , simplified designs where possible with they goals of improving protection, armaments and streamlining production.

The proposals included;
1 E-5
2 E-10
3 E-25
4 E-50 Standardpanzer
5 E-75 Standardpanzer
6 E-100

The E-75 was to share as many components as was practical with the lighter E-50 and both designs were visually similar to the Tiger II. A unique feature as proposed was to have rear drive so as to reduce drive train vunerablity and improve both weight distribution and maintenance/access. This feature presented many technical difficulties and the Modelcollect E-75 uses the standard “Tiger II” front drive and automotive layout. This layout is most likely to have been used as an interim solution until the rear drive technical issues could be solved.

Interestingly French postwar tank design was heavily influenced by German designs and also assisted by German Engineers. The AMX50 utilised rear drive in a format very much like that envisioned for the E50/75 series tanks. The resulting design was longer at the rear to accommodate both the engine (a Maybach design) and the transmission. The few existing original German WWII era design proposals do not allow sufficient length to allow rear drive in practical terms and it is likely that the final E50/75 series may have looked significantly different from most designs found on the web today.

Another key feature was the adoption of externally mounted suspension, the resultant space gained by removal of the torsion bars used to increase internal storage, lower the vehicles and would have allowed for floor mounted escape hatches. The system proposed used “Bellville” or stacked conical washer like springs and was intended to reduce both the complexity and un-sprung suspension weight while retaining the load bearing qualities of the larger interleaved torsion bar system. The Belleville Spring Washer system was used on the post war Swiss designed Panzer61 and is still used in some Formula 1 suspension applications.

E-Series Belleville Conical Spring Washer suspension

e75r E series bellview-conical suspension

e75r E50 conical suspension ga

E50 and E75 hull designs with rear drive.

e75r E50-E75-2

e75r AMX50 rear drive

Common impressions of what the Heavy E series tanks would have looked like.

e75r E-75 seb nast

e75r WOT E-50M

And a teaser of the project

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M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip2

Some kit building action …

Firstly why M26E4s and not the other more common Korean War or WW2 variants? Basically it’s because I prefer to model and game using my alternative war Project ’46 scenarios and vehicles.

For several reasons but primarily because it frees up my modelling allowing variations in camouflage and designs that can’t be picked at by “specialists”. If I want camo on Pershings I’ll add it. If I want to use early Centurions along with Shermans I can. And of course I’m free to convert and construct my own alternate designs. So the E4s (of which only 25 were modified) easily fits into my Project ’46 framework. As a bonus the E4 was fitted with the impressive T15 gun (90mm T15E1) and gives the medium weight Pershings some much needed firepower against the German heavies …

And so like with the Shermans I was a little unsure what to expect from the Trumpeter Pershings. In box they look good having nice sharp moulded detail. They suffer from solid lifting rings like the Shermans but they’re easily replaced. The TC hatch is open but no other so at a later date I’ll pick up another one to take the platoon numbers upto 5 and I’ll open all the hatches (scratchbuilding replacements) and fit a full crew.

Assembly went without issues although some care is required to align and level the suspension arms which are separate pieces. I fitted them first allowed the glue to almost harden attached the wheels and then adjusted them by bending until everything sat level. They were then put aside overnight to harden up.

The tracks were fitted using my normal method of bending/stretching and attaching in stages with superglue. They went on easy enough but watch the front/first roadwheel which is a reasonably weak unit and can be bent easily …. turret finishing next 🙂


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M26E4 Pilot Model

I decided to convert two of the Pershings to the pilot-model produced in WW2 and with the distinctive additional armour and gun balance cylinders. While the turret isn’t strictly correct as it should be a production M26 with additional counterbalance weights stacked on the rear, it’ll be close enough for me lol

Pics of my quick conversion (measurements, shapes and sizes done by eye) and a few pictures of the real thing …. (from various web sources and for discussion only)

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M26E4 Pershings Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Trumpeter M26E4 Pershings …..

And yes there’s another unit for use with our SABOT rules on the way, 4x M26 Pershings (2x M26E4 and 2x M26E4 Pilot Models). But before the styrene pics we have some inspirational M26 pics (from Web sources and posted for discussion purposes only).

And yes, I know some vehicles pictured are M46s, but as they’re the son of the M26 so I think they still count. So what is the difference between the M26 and the later M46? Basically the M46 is an improved M26. The visual differences are engine deck, fender mounted exhausts and fume extractor on the muzzle brake end of the gun tube. The big chance was repowering the M26 (underpowered for it’s entire production run as it used the same Ford V8 as the Sherman) with the Continental AV-1790-5A V12, air-cooled Twin-turbo gasoline engine and a new transmission. They look so similar that many Korean war pictures captioned as M26s are actually M46s ……


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