Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther and Cpl Overby conversion kit wip4

Base builds ….

Final assembly of the Ersatz M10s and getting close to base painting. Still have some pin holes to fill and a few lifting eyes to replace and will box on once some new fine drill bits arrive on shore …. a little more modern and some PSC PzIVs and 251s up next.



Xmas and New Years Wishes – plus bonus E75 and T90 wip pics :)

Xmas and New Years Wishes ….

Firstly Xmas and New Years Wishes to both regular visitors and those who occasionally drop in or stumble in here by accident! I’d like to especially thank those who took the time to comment, I know it’s not easy to do so when browsing blogs and time is short but I do really appreciate it. Have fun over the next couple of weeks and equally importantly – stay safe, wherever you are located and especially if you are in harms way somewhere.

And yeah, same I guess to the ones I can’t shake off (family, friends close enough to insult me, pets and the Spawn of Flick (my kids) etc etc ).

It’s kinda fitting that the couple of pics posted are both Project ’46, which is a real passion that unfortunately I didn’t devote enough time to this year and 28mm Combined Arms Moderns, which has taken us in a new direction and at speed. The E-75 has had a few more details blue-tacked on and I crayoned some tac numbers onto the T90, both as a little xmas pressie to myself today.

Both of these projects should get a decent push next year along with some overdue customer stuff that my health very regrettably delayed for far too long and not to forget hopefully a few new/interesting projects thrown in also. So looking ahead 2017 should have a little something for everyone to look fwd too ……. have fun, stay safe and like and subscribe … oh wait … that’s utube ….

Brent / Q





Modelcollect E-75 zug – Project ’46 wip3 Motorpool hull conversion

Me day …..

While waiting for some bits to dry on the Perry AT Portee I decided to waste a day on myself and do a little work on my “so long ago it feels like it was abandoned” E-75 project.

I’d always been a little unhappy with the details on the engine decks, in fact it’s pretty mediocre, and had chased down some Motorpool replacements. The “conversion” kit is designed as a direct drop in replacement for the Modelcollect hull and comes with; a full replacement resin hull which features an improved rear deck (with corrected hatch locks and latches, sharper and better moulded vents screens, corrected fan covers), much improved armour mortice joints, optional ball mg mount, notek ight, drivers periscope rain cover, commanders mg mount and mg, IR scope, open driver and radio operators hatches, IR battery box and flame dampening exhausts.

So the main issue was to wrestle the Modelcollect upper hull off the chassis as I’d glued it down and with my usual generous quantity of cement. After many tense minutes of cutting and prising I managed to separate it without slipping and removing a finger in the process or damaging the already assembled running gear. The replacement upper hull was pretty much a neat fit and required no massaging, glueing straight in place.

All in all it looks very sharp, is a big improvement and I can’t wait to splash some paint on …..



Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther D and Cpl Overby conversion wip3

Base paint …..

Finally decided what latch details to add to the new turret hatch (no detailed pictures show the locking mechanism) and laid on a base coat of green, my version of Olivgrun 6003. Various US technical documents on the M10 conversions state the colour was US Olive Drab but I suspect that is rubbish, with neither the German supply system being able to husband and supply stocks of US paint but also GIs being unable to see the wood for the trees and viewing all greens as “Olive Drab”.  My view is that the conversions were most likely painted with the predominately available German green at the time, RAL6003.

Anyway enough detail, the base colour is mixed with GW acrylics and brushed as normal. I’ve started the lightening process with a basic highlighting and streaking, nothing too obvious yet, again just my standard painting process.

Also I’ve included a bonus pic of some other 20mm “stuff” that managed to fall under the rattlecan for priming …..



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A wild herd of primed 20mm ……

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E-35 Hetzer II development – Project ’46

E-Series Hetzer II ….

Another of my explorations into German E-Series development. I’ve always liked the Swedish S-Tank partially from the concept/tech solution side and partly because it always reminded me of the German Jagdpanzers, especially the Hetzer and small E-Series ones (E-10 and E25).

So I spent some time last year trolling the interwebs and looking at the S-Tank history and development. I liked the autoloader as a solution to mounting a bigger weapon on the smallest chassis possible and it fitted well with the German proposals. In addition to that the E-10 was proposed to have hydropneumatic suspension levelling, a system also adopted in the Strv 103 and the US MBT70 prototypes.

And so through the wonder of Photopaint here’s my concept for a Hetzer II 35ton E-Series Jadgpanzer. The plan is to combine a Trumpeter S-Tank (Strv 103c) with bits from a Revell Tiger II and a dash of gizmology thrown in ….


Hetzer II v3

Hetzer II v5

SABOT – Fur Gaming table

Teddy Bear Fur Gaming Table ….

SABOT 000 Table  1600

As mentioned several times in posts about our gaming we recently picked up the fur we’ve been looking for to upgrade our gaming table. Craig (my brother and partner in gaming madness) managed to scam some time off work and as I’m still been too sick to do any sort of modelling, came up to stay and under my direction trimmed and joined our fur, managing to create both a useful gaming faux grass matt and a large family sized throw rug.

First steps involved trimming the fur down, removing the artsie-white bleached ends and getting it down to more of a scale length. For the trimming we used a trusty Wahl Chrome Pro (TM) hair trimmer which I must say performed the task admirably. The fur was trimmed roughly in one direction then cross cut and scummbled in the opposite direction to remove both the residual white and any pattern shaved into the surface. A vacuum was used to pull the trimmings off the blade as it cut and frequent stops were made to oil, clean the blade and cool the motor down. We were so impressed with the cutters performance that we contacted Wahl with a glowing testimonial to use in their advertising in exchange for some gaming sponsorship funds but so far haven’t had a reply. Joking aside it has ground, self sharpening blades and a heavy duty motor, both features that I suspect kept it cutting over the 4 days of shaving and from bursting into bright and hot flame ….

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SABOT Fur trimming 002 1350

There’s still some touching up of the join area required and I may yet still cut some random sections down a little lower to add some more variety but basically we’re pretty happy with the result. Of note also during the project we pioneered a new system of extremely useful and versatile measurement, the Craig. We measured the length of the fur mat and indeed our cutting progress in “Craigs”, with approx 7m being equal to 3-3/4 Craigs. Imagine our quiet surprise when we realised that the “Craig” can be used to measure everything from the height of rooms to the length of the driveway – all very useful for planning future home improvement projects.

The “Craig” (pat pending) measurement system in action …

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New Gaming Table goodness …….

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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 ……. 🙂


Modelcollect E-75 000  1300 Modelcollect E-75 002 1024 Modelcollect E-75 003 1024 Modelcollect E-75 007 1024 Modelcollect E-75 010 1024 Modelcollect E-75 011 1024 Modelcollect E-75 013 1024 Modelcollect E-75 014 1024 Modelcollect E-75 015 1024 Modelcollect E-75 017 1250
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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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m26r 030 Super_Pershing

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m26r 034 super-pershing-4

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 ……


tr t26e4 -001 m26r 001 Tiger Face M46 m26r 002 Pershing Naktong m26r 003 US-tanks-korea m26r 004 m26pershing m26r 005 m26korea
m26r 007  USMC m46 Korea m26r 008  m46korea m26r 009 M26-Pershing-Korea m26r 010 usmc patrol north korea m26r 020 m26_pershing_05_of_14 m26r 021 m26_pershing_07_of_14 m26r 022 m26_pershing_11_of_14 m26r 023 m26_pershing_13_of_14

M4A3E8 Shermans Trumpeter 1/72nd – Project ’46 and SABOT Tank vrs Tank gaming wip1

Trumpeter M4A3E8 Shermans …..

Recently we’ve been working on another of our rulesets called SABOT designed for Tank vrs Tank skirmish gaming. Based around a home written WWII ruleset which we’ve been using since …. um …. paper was invented, but updated with some newer ideas and game mechanisms. It uses a first principles vehicle generator that allows us to create vehicle stats, tables and relative points values for everything from WWI MkIV and A7Vs to the ultra-modern M1A2 Aim/Sep/Tusk and T14 Armata.

Anyway enough blathering as the point is it’s given a long term plan plan to update our 20mm collection a much needed dose of impetus. A major part of the game-play involves deploying platoons and so we’ve adjusted our building plan to suit, which is a major change from the sporadic building of single vehicles based on pretty much a whim 🙂

So here’s one of our first platoons under construction 4x “1946” M4A3E8s, 1/72nd Trumpeter kits with some conversions using some left over Dragon kits.

Surprisingly these are the first Trumpeter kits I’ve ever assembled and wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall detail is very nice, sharp and fine. To offset this the kits have some basic features, all tools are moulded on and the lifting hooks and loops are all moulded as solid pieces and will have to be replaced. I was most worried about the tracks though as I’d heard some horror stories about “ungluable” Trumpeter tracks but fortunately I found no problems fitting or gluing them.

Two Trumpeter hulls have been cross-kitted using Dragon hulls from the spares box. One now has open drivers and radio operators hull hatches and a large split loaders hatch on the turret. The other vehicle has been modified to use a cast hull, which I think looks pretty gnarly.

And a few pics, including some inspirational ones filched from the net (for discussion purposes only of course).


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And some inspirational M4A3E8 HVSS Sherman pics …..

ref M4 with 76mm Toeven Holland1945

ref sherman-tank-old-baldy

ref congo m4

ref congo m4 -2

ref sher0022

ref kel01

Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures' FURY.

Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt, centered) and his men Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) in Columbia Pictures’ FURY.

Ersatz M10 Panzer Brigade 150 – Dragon 1/72nd Panther D and Cpl Overby conversions wip2

Ersatz M10 progress . . .

Managed recently to make a little progress on the 1/72nd Dragon/Overby Ersatz M10. It’s now been primed and waiting on a decision as to which colour green to paint it. While it’s often reported they were painted with stocks of captured US Olive Drab personally I think that was a little unlikely as the captured vehicles required by Panzer Brigade 150 couldn’t be forwarded or made ready in time it’s unlikely the supply of paint would get much priority.

Anyway I’ve added a little detail to the front drives and radio operator hatches and fitted the deck screens in place (using the Excellent Voyager set). I have a little more research to do on the locking mechanism for the inside of the open TC hatches yet and will definitely add some sort of gizmology. In time (after most of the painting is completed) it’ll get the bow MG added, front headlight and cable, aerials, tow cable and a suitable German/US command figure.


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A Bridge Too Far – Warlord Games, Blitzkrieg Miniatures and JTFM 28mm Bolt Action project wip2

Arnhem Bridge 28mm …..

Amongst other commission projects I have is a 28mm Bolt Action gaming project for the vehicles from the 9th-SS Hohenstaufen SS-Aufklärung-Abteilung (Recce Battalion). We’ll be using about 14 kits mostly from Warlord with a few from Blitzkrieg and JTFM thrown in.

So as usual for my bigger projects now I’ll start with some suck-eggs basic historical background.

The Hohenstaufen ended up in Holland and the area north of Arnhem recovering after the mauling it and it’s sister Division the Frundsburg received in the Normandy Battles. The unit was in the process of entraining for Germany to re-fit when the first Airborne drops were made on 17 September. Kampfgruppe Harzer was formed with approximately 2500 men and precious little heavy equipment. General orders were received to recce the Nijmegan / Arnhem area, secure the bridge and wipe out the airborne landings west of Arnhem in the Oosterbeek area.

The 9th-SS-AA (Aufklärung-Abteilung) was located in the area of Hooenderlo where most of the divisions still mobile armour, SPWs and A/Cs, had been concentrated into 3 companies. Rapidly mobilising it was ordered South and drove though a deserted Arnhem and over the Neder-Rijn highway bridge, reporting it clear, having just missed the advancing 2nd Battalion of John Frost. Failing to leave a blocking force at the bridge (a major mistake) it continued on and into the Nijmegan area.

On the second day the 9th-SS-AA returned from Nijmegan as units from the Frundsberg had arrived to hold the area and the road bridge there, having crossed the Neder-Rijn by ferry (a slow and tricky process that would continue for most of the battle).

This set the scene for the now infamous dash across the bridge, an action made famous by the movie A Bridge Too Far. Leaving a small group of SPGs in Elst, at approx 9.00am an over confident SS-Hauptsturmführer Viktor Gräbner led his units in a dash across the bridge and straight into the fire of a prepared and dug in opponent. Several vehicles made it through the surprised British lines before 6pdr AT, PIAT and small arms fire decimated most of the remaining column, losing around 20 vehicles and the commander himself who went missing presumed KIA.

And some reference pics (from web sources and included here for discussion purposes only)

The Highway Bridge over the Neder-Rijn at Arnhem photographed shortly after the ill fated attack by the 9th SS AA. Note the houses surrounding the bridge have yet to suffer the destruction later suffered in the battle to defeat John Frosts 2nd Battalion.

bft ref 010 Arnhem bridge 19sep bft ref 012 Arnhem bridge2 18sep
SS-Hauptsturmführer Viktor Gräbner

bft ref Grabner
Various SdKfz250s from the bridge and surrounding area.

bft ref 015 ssAA9 Hohenstaufen Rijnbrug bft ref 016 ssAA9 Hohenstaufen KO bft ref 017 250Drejienseweg bft ref 018 HalfTrackDreijenseweg
Troops identified as belonging to the 9thSS

bft ref 020 9 SS-Aufklärungs-Abteilung at Arnhem bft ref 021 9thss 78
Stugs from Sturmgeschutz Brigade 280 which blocked the advance of the British 1st and Third Battalions into Arnhem and towards the bridge. Of interest is the “waffle” pattern zimmerit and the camouflage with field applied ambush dots on the side skirts.

bft ref 023 StGeshBgd 280 bft ref 024 StGeshBgd 280 bft ref 025 StGeshBgd 280 bft ref 026 StGeshBgd 280

Movie scene from the shooting of Grabners attack for the movie A Bridge Too Far

bft ref 029 shooting bridge to far
The scene at the bridge after the battle. Compare this devastation with the first reference picture!

bft ref 070 rijnbrug

The last word goes to Sean Connery playing Major General Urquhart in the Movie A Bridge Too Far ;

bft ref bridge to far 2

So for Bolt Action Gaming purposes the 9th SS Panzer Recce Abt unit (and with a little historical licence) will comprise;

1x Humber A/C – Grabners Humber
1x Schwimmwagen – Recce/command (4 troops)
1x 251/8 – Medical (2 medics, 2 troops )
1x 251/7 – Engineers (9 troops)
1x SP Flak – Opel Blitz and SPAA Quad20mm

AC Platoon
1x 222 – 20mm light a/c
1x 232 – 20mm heavy a/c

Recce Platoon
1x Luchs – 20mm recce light afv
1x 250/1 – SPW (5 troops)
1x 250/1 – SPW (5 troops

Heavy Support Platoon
1x 250/7 – 81mm Mortar
1x 250/8 – 75mm SPG

Infantry Platoon
2x 251/1C – 20 troops
1x Opel Blitz – 10 Troops

And yes, some actual modelling coming soon …… Q

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

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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Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip3

A little detailing …….

Added a few details to add some interest. Made up a hydraulic ram and hoses for the front mounted spade and added hoses to the rear lifting jib. I also made up two large equipment stowage bins for the sides, adding some strengthening ribs using fine wire donated from broken IPod headphones. I fitted the kit exhausts then made two Flammvernichter cowlings by bending sprue and hollowing out the ends.

Still to do are some extra tools and jack, tow cables, the locating marks on the hull to fill in, an aerial mount on the top of the rear jib and AA ring and MG to the commanders cupola. Apart from choosing a suitable driver figure that’s probably all to do before priming it and selecting camouflage.


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Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip2

Tracks ….. really!

Yup, managed to get the roadwheels and the Revell link n length tracks on today. On the whole it went pretty well. The tracks look good although I feel the Dragon DS ones are a little bulkier and look better because of that, plus the DS ones are a breeze to fit. What I really want for my Tiger projects are some of the new OKB late TigerII single link tracks.

Anyway, it’s on to the detailing next ……


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Track sag, my version of the natural Catenary curve …..

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OKB kgs73/800/152 late single link TigerII tracks

KTB 038 tracks

Project ’46 Tiger Bridgelayer – Brückenleger auf PzKpfw VI wip1

An old build revisited …….

One of my first attempted Project ’46 conversions was a bridgelayer based on a Tiger2 chassis, the Bruckenleger auf PanzerKampfwagen VI (Bridgelayer on TigerVI).

I originally used a Dragon Tiger2 as a base but made a mistake during building that caused me to abandon the build and in fact eventually break it up for parts. It was one of the early Tiger kits with the black tracks and they were too short and resisted glueing. SO after much pain and superglue I finally got them on, it was late at that stage (about 1.30am) so I went to bed feeling pretty happy that I’d won the track battle. When I looked at it the next morning I realised I’d managed to set the tracks too far to the outside of the roadwheels, with the guidehorns to the outside.

Not much of an error you say? Well it was to me, I was really steamed that I’d made such a noob error. So I tried to prise that tacks off. Carefully. Tried cutting them, managed to cut the track. Working and pulling at them managed to break off the tip of a roadwheel that was more attached to the track than to itself! Apparently I’d used a lot of superglue and it’d reacted with the vinyl tracks to create some sort of superbond. NASA should employ me as a chemist …..

Finally I decided (after repairing the cut track and broken roadwheel) to carry on and see if I’d still notice after paint. One of my “issues” is that I’m very picky with my own builds, especially as I don’t get much of my own stuff completed compared to builds I do for others (I’ve painted around 500 vehicles and countless historic figs). So I laid in the paint and got it to the basic camouflage and shade stage …. and yeah, the tracks still bugged the crap out of me. I stuck it on a shelf ….. and the tracks still mocked me with their …. trackiness. And so to cut a long and by now tedious story short – one day I broke it up for parts.

In my defence I’ve always wanted to build it again, and better. I think both my painting and detailing has improved and I should be able to make a better job. So when in a roundabout way the offer of a spare Tiger2 hull came up in conversation (many thanks to DaveL via the Missing-Lynx forum – you’re a true gent) I’ve finally got the opportunity to attempt a rebuild ……


And so the “new” Tiger Bruckenleger takes shape. I’m using a donated Revell Tiger hull and it’s the first time I’ve built one so I’m interested to compare it to it’s Dragon opposition. The Brdegelayer parts come from the old build and are originally sourced from the Revell Leopard “Biber” Bruckenleger kit. These bits are a bit “used” by now but will have to do as the price of a new donor kit would feed me for a week lol.

Below is the Revell hull with the center section cut out with a fret-saw. To be honest this is a pretty easy conversion with the replacing of the center hull sections being the only bit requiring some care and accuracy. I marked out the section with a pencil, cut close to the line with the saw the squared and adjusted the fit with a file.

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Here’s the centre bridge lifting section in place. the gap on the front join with be hidden with a “weld” bead made from greenstuff. As I wanted to add some better detail this time I’m going to drill out and fit a replacement drivers hatch. I figured aligning the bridge would be a tricky job so the driver would most likely have his head out of the hatch.

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I then fitted the bridge lifting arm, rear lifting jib and added the greenstuff weld beads. They’re a bit over-scale but will do the job under paint I think. Although difficult to see in these pretty average workbench pics, I also hollowed out the solidly moulded periscopes.

I’m going to have to make a decision before fitting the front spade. As the Tiger has it’s final drive mounted in the front (unlike the Leopard which is rear drive) the spade hydraulics can’t be fitted in there under armour and would require external rams. So I may run an armoured cover up the front hull and into the area where the MG kugelblend mount is, the theory being the hrydraulic powerpack replaces the bow mg and gunner. Then fit some rams and hoses to the jib …. or do it easy like I did the first time and just fit the spade as is ….

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Finally here’s some pictures of my previous build so you can see where I’m heading with all of this …..

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And it’s real modern day namesake …..