Monday, October 21, 2013

I'll Marder You!

Here we have a Fallschirmjager Tank Hunter Platoon consisting of Marder II's to go with the 1st Fallschirmjager out of Cassino.  

These are one of several units I completed over the past few months but are far and away one of  the longest in the making.  I had intended to run them during Infantry Aces when Cassino first came out but ended up just running more infantry and support instead.  Being Fearless they make a pretty interesting unit selection for this support choice in the company diagram.  You can also select Pak40's for this slot in the force diagram but I really like having the mobility of them in play.


Among Marder's, I think the Marder II is one of the best.  Having front armor 1 gives a good measure of protection compared to the Marder III M with Front armor 0.  The AA MG, as opposed to the hull mounted MG's of some variants, is great against infantry and has a shot at air.  I've never used it for anti-aircraft duty but the capability is there.  Having the 7.5cm PaK40 gun with AT12 makes them an excellent choice for much anti tank work.

From a model perspective I like the look of them quite a bit more than the other Marder's.  It has a lower profile than the Marder I and unlike the Marder III has the gun mounted mid hull giving it a very tank like look.  The Battlefront model quality was good but lacked the AA machine gun.  I had to order some of the machine guns from the special order catalog.  I couldn't get the half-track AA MG's to work to my liking so I just used regular MG's and glued them to the hull at two places.  They won't be going anywhere.  Having them modeled correctly will help remind me and my opponents that I have machine guns.  I glued the barrels to the gun shields and magnetized them to the hull.  While completely unnecessary, I can now remove the guns and store them in smaller sized foam spaces.

Since this was a Fallschirmjager platoon I did some work on the crew to make them look the part.  I did head swaps on several of them from spare panzerknackers I had.  I cut off the shoulder epaulets and painted them in late war splinter camouflage.  To add variety I swapped out a couple crew with extra guys from a mortar platoon I had previously done.

For the vehicle paint scheme I decided to go with something that would go with the battle worn look of one of the combat platoons for 1st Fallschirmjager..  I wanted the unit to look as if it had been retreating all the way since Tunisia.  Using this paint scheme I felt like it would work pretty well for mid war and late war.  The crew and crew camouflage may be off but I think they will work well enough for all action in the Mediterranean, Fallschirmjager or Heer.

Using Battlefront's guide German Tank Colours: Africa I drybrushed V879 Green Brown followed by V819 Iraqui Sand for the main color.  I then used the torn blister foam chipping method with V995 German Grey for the wear.  This is the first time I have tried weathering and I found the technique to be quite easy.  I was however, not entirely happy with the result because I think I over did it with wear.  I think less is more and if I do this again I will do less chipping.  I used pencil on the chipped parts to try and show through to the metal but I don't think it does much.  Next time I would use metal paint.

I also discovered on these lighter painted models my normal method of black lining using a technical pen was unattractive.  I think it works well for US or Soviet armor with their much darker bases but with Middlestone or these lighter colors it's too bold for my liking.  I ended up using a watered down black wash sparingly.  Less aggressive dry brushing would probably help achieve a better result, again, if I ever do the scheme again.

All in all a fun unit to model and paint giving my paratroops some badly needed AT.

Stay tuned for some more next week.

Private Snafu

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blogging Failure

Two Years since I last made a post!  That's nothing to be proud of, oh well life sure gets in the way of gaming sometimes.  I couldn't be more blessed though with a wonderful wife who supports my hobby, two healthy children, and a new house (one year old to me) with a great game space.  Now that the madness of moving is mostly over I can spend some time on hobbies.  It's not easy moving a family and house full of stuff after being in the same one for 11 years.

I've stayed with Flames of War in spite of a few setbacks over the years.  I've continued working on my US forces and added a lot of German stuff since I started this weak excuse for a blog.  I intend to somewhat catch up the blog with some recent stuff over the next while and make an effort to have some regular content. 

I have been making a few posts of my painting efforts over at WWPD on my personal painting log and in the terrain building section.  Though I do appreciate the medium they do provide I would like to adapt my reporting more along the lines of Anatoli, where he posts a quick preview and links to the full article on his site.

So in contrast to reporting on my painting efforts I'll just share one quick photo on some things I nabbed that are pre-painted.  

Both of these Battlefield in a Box sets are out of production to my knowledge so I think they were a rare find.  I can't wait to do Normandy again next year and I am now well equipped with fortifications to revisit Cassino when Battlefront releases their forthcoming late war Italy compilation.  I also have enough dragons teeth now to do some Siegfried line stuff for the Battle of the Bulge or the next western allies push into Germany book.

Until the next, Cheers!