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

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