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.

Q

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LAH Kampfgruppe – wip4 final painting

Finishing and detailing ……

Base colours are completed on the halftracks. All are subtle variations of the late factory scheme although evidence for the use of the dot or Hinterhelt scheme on 251’s seems scant. The 251/9 Stummel is a bit artistic licence and just to provide some colour relief and the AA halftracks got older style single colour disruptive camouflage.

The actual colours I used are hand mixed and although hard to tell there are actually 2 different shades of olive-green (Olivgrun) and 2 shades of red-brown ( Rotbraun also sometimes called Schokoladenbraun) on the 251s. I’ve had a few criticisms in various fora on my choice of shades for German camouflage, particularly the brightness of the olive-green I tend to favour. Apart from the massive variations in shade and density to be found due to the different effects of application, thinning medium used (everything from thinners, to petrol, sump oil and water) and effects of weather, I often chose my colour shades based purely on the final look and whether it’s pleasing to the eye or not.

I also have an extensive collection of book scanned and web sourced pictures, as I’m always on the look out for new information and interesting tones and camouflages. Included below (I believe from the collection of Mr Mirko Bayerl and posted here for discussion purposes only) is a genuine surviving Panther side skirt plate. Of particular interest are the shades of the three colous in evidence and alos the vibrancy of the olive-green.

Panther side plate - Mirko Bayerl

And back to the builds. After laying on the base colours which takes several coats with acyrlics, I lighten the camo by adding a little cream to the colour and drybrush/stipple into the centre of the solid colour. This lightens the middle areas and leaves the edges darker, all to help build up colour variations and add interest to the final look.

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Ref from Duel in the Mist (copyright here for discussion only)

Late camo ht DITM 2

The next stages start with blocking in any details, tools, the interior seating and any stowage/weapons. Then pin washing (lining) the edges and hatches. I used oils for this (Van Dyke Brown cut with a little Raw Umber). Next the first round of streaking is applied. Usually I do 1 pass with white/cream, let that dry then one pass with browns. I use very thinned paint for the first passes as the plan is to build up the effect by layering rather than a few harsh streaks.

Everything is then sealed with matt varnish (Testors Dullcoat rattlecan). Decals go on next. I apply a small amount of satin varnish only onto the area where the decal is going to be positioned. I prefer this to clear-coating the whole vehicle and then trying to matt the finish down again.

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With the base weathering, detailing and decals complete the halftracks are ready for the final stages of weathering (not shown here, finished pics will be posted in the next instalment). Here pigments and some dust is applied to the lower hulls and running gear. The decals are blended into the finish with a little thinned Desert Yellow and a final round of streaking is applied. Another varnish and they are complete.

And with the haftracks finished the tanks get their final finishing. I applied a light pea green filter to the yellow – Dunkelgelb areas on the TigerII purely to get a slightly different finish to the Panthers (read artistic faffing about).

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The first stage weathering on the tanks involves a subtle blending of the camouflage with a very light and careful drybrush. You don’t want to introduce any uncontrolled streaks at this stage so it’s important that the brush is very dry. You should see a “clouding” of the camouflage finish and nothing more.

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From here the process follows the same steps as with the halftracks. The tanks get alternate white/cream (I use acrylics for this) and tan/brown (oils) streaking, allowing each pass to dry before making another and building up the finish. Note at in these pics the detailing of the tools etc has not been done. Usually I would have completed that earlier but as you can see there’s some flexibility in that it they can be blocked in at any stage prior to the very last round round of pigment weathering.

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Here the Panthers are ready for decaling and final pigment weathering. Note the tools and details have also now been completed !

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An AB Miniatures figure was selected to command Panther 151. I chose it for the resemblance to the famous picture of Sturmbannführer Werner Pöetschke during the battle of Stoumont, where he dismounted from his Befehls Panther to “encourage” his troops during the stalled attack. The possibly apocryphal version told by Joachim Peiper after the war was that Poetschke threatened to fire a Panzerfaust at his own stalled Panthers! Maybe it was even the one he is seen running to retrieve in this picture ……

Poetschke in Stoumont

Poetschke - AB miniatures

LAH Kampfgruppe – wip1 Panthers

Apologies for the long drink between updates, we had some unexpected R/L things to deal with. I’m back modelling and posting regularly again so it’s time to get this blog back on track ….

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Enough waffle – I recently finished the last bit of an Ardennes themed LAH Kampfgruppe and instead of posting the finished stuff I thought I’d take the time to put up the wips pics first. The whole thing is 11 vehicles, 3x Panthers, 1x TigerII, 4x 251’s, a couple of AA haltracks and a Kubel. The kits are mostly Dragon with the AA tracks being from Hasegawa and ACE and the Kubel is an old Nitto offering.

The rough plan …..

One of the requirements was for the three Panthers each to have a different type of late camo, “std” factory finish, Daimler-Benz “dot” or ambush and M.A.N. “disc” camouflage. Additionally one Panther was to be all steel wheels and another was to represent the Befehls or command Panther G 151 of SS-Sturmbannführer Werner Pöetschke, the commander of I./SS-Pz.Rgt. 1 of Kampfgruppe Peiper during the offensive. So this meant some juggling of schemes, tank numbering and a dash of artistic license to meet these requirements.

Panther 151 was the easiest as it had to have the std factory scheme. There were no steel wheel machines with disc camo and the only commonly identified disc machines were in the first company. Also the few steel wheelers the LAH were supplied (only approx. 22 were produced) seemed to have been issued to the platoon and company leaders. So the steel wheel machine got dot camo and was numbered 232 and the disc Panther got numbered as 131.

The halftracks had no requirements so I chose to finish the 251’s in varitions of late factory camouflage and the AA halftracks which were earlier vehicles (the SdKfz10/4 20mm in particular is a very old survivor) got more general schemes. The TigerII also got a more artistic finish in that I wanted to try a scheme with a more greenish hue to the dunkelgelb inspired by another modellers finish.

Befehls Panther G 151 of SS-Sturmbannführer Werner Pöetschke destroyed and abandoned in La Gleize after running out of fuel, a fate that awaited many of the Kampfgruppes vehicles towards the end.

Panther 151 in La Gleize

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Panthers and Tiger assembly

All pretty straightforward builds with only a few typical issues. Two of the Panthers (Gs) are metal hulled offerings and the fit of the rear hull plate in particular needs attention to get it right with trial fitting and filing required. The DS tracks are easy to work with but the “black” vinyl tracks are harder to glue and stretch to length if required.

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Basic assembly completed, Panther 151 gets the extra aerial mountings and the co-ax mg port plugged. As Panther 232 is a late build it gets the ost-kompass mounting plate in the top center of the turret and the three gas detection panel mounting plates added to the turret top also. Some solid handles were also replaced with wire at this stage.

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And I primed a solid green base colour on the two vehicles that will have the “std” late and “dot” factory camouflage. Because I brush paint, the “Disc” camo Panther will require a different approach and will have a plain “dunkelgelb” or tan/yellow base …

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Q

note : some pictures have been taken from available web sources and/or scanned from books and have only been posted in this topic to support the discussion . Should any pics by your own copyright and you wish them removed please contact me and I will do so.