Saturday, 28 July 2018

Rapid Fire! Sdkfz 263 conversion from the Airfix Sdkfz 234

This post happens after a massive entering of requests for me to show how I made the Sdkfz 263 of last post (thanks Macota for asking...).
The basis is the quite strange Airfix 243 without the long mudguards of the later version. As you have a relatively useless vehicle you can use the 75mm PAK and scratchbuild the true version on a surplus Matchbox hull or try a Sdkfz 263 (or both...).
The general idea is simple: you start from the bottom of the hull piling up plasticard vertical small structures in the turret area (the one that really matters) until you are satisfied.
Then you add details:  on the original mudguards, on the turret, etc, up to the level you want. I always prefer thicker and sturdier details than flimsy if more accurate ones.
The turret should have been some two millimeters thinner at the top. The pick and shovels, lights and Mg are scratchbuilt.
The extra wheel is Atlantic and the main antenna is Matchbox coming from the Sdkfz 261. The star antenna is scratchbuilt.
The end result is good enough for me. As a one go model you can built it easily and correct some faults in the process. Hope it helps, Macota.
Next: Pz Lehr for Mortain as I told you before.

Friday, 27 July 2018

Rapid Fire! Operation Lüttich (Mortain Counterattack) 1944 in 20mm, Part 5 - 17th Pz Gren. Div. Götz von Berlichingen

The 17th Pz Grenadier Division was a shadow of itself in the begginning of August 1944 with its forces gathered in Kampfgruppe Fick. Only ten of the StugIV of SS Panzerabteilung 17 remained from the original 42 and all units within the division were as depleted.
As I have 7 StugIV for this division, that I showed you in an older post, I used 6 of them (equals to 30 in RF! terms) to give a bit more colour to this faded group that ended in Mortain under the orders of Pz SS 'Das Reich' division.
The StugIV are Revell with one Altaya in the middle.
Another anti tank asset of this division was the 17th PzjägerAbt. I found conflicting references to the kind of Marder in this unit, wether Marder I or Marder III. I ended up by alocating these two Marder III from Altaya with plastic crew to this also depleted unit.
 This division still had a battery of IG18 at Mortain. The models are Britannia. The 120mm mortar must still have existed by then also.
 The 17th SS Flak Abt. had 88mm guns and Sdkfz 7/1's. The 88mm and crew are SHQ.
And the Sdkfz 7/1 is Hasegawa with crew from Atlantic.
The Rocket battery had three sections of Nebelwerfer NW41 and NW42.
The Nebelwerfer models are old Esci and one Altaya. The tow is an Esci Sdkfz 11 with Hasegawa and Atlantic crew.
I equipped the leftovers of the artillery with ex-Russian 122mm model 1936 as this division had some in replacement of the FH105mm. The 17th Pz Gren. Div. didn't have SPG's in its artillery.  Crew and guns are Irregular Miniatures.
The much depleted SS Pz Aufkl.Abt 17 is represented here by a Skytrex Sdkfz 231, a Britannia Sdkfz 250/1 and a converted Sdkfz 263 based on the strange Airfix Sdkfz 234. Not sure if this one was in this division though.
No SS infantry as I'm finished with it for the moment. Instead a battalion of Fallschirmjäger Reg.14 (from 5th FJ. Div.) is supporting the SS troops as it happened in Mortain.
 The figures are mostly Esci with a few Revell. I converted a few in order to have LMG's and Panzerschreck teams. The arms holding the Panzerschreck are Valiant.

Finally a deadly SS Sniper from Britannia is lurking in the middle of the bocage... but no problem as you are seeing it.
Next: The end of this series with the remnants of the once mighty Panzer Lehr.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

Rapid Fire! Operation Lüttich (Mortain Counterattack) 1944 in 20mm, Part 4- 1st LSSAH.

The 1st LSSAH still had some very powerful teeth at the beginning  of August 44. Its main problem were the youth of its soldiers and lack of good NCO's after dreadful casualties in the Eastern front and the lack of trucks, a typical problem of the German late army war. This division was also famous for its war crimes in Russia, Italy, France and Belgium and for its notable genocidals like Joachim Peiper.  
The 1st SS Pz Reg. 1 was still very powerful with its usual Panthers and Pz IV. The models are  Hasegawa, Altaya and Esci for the Panthers and Armour and Altaya for the Pz IV. The
This camouflage of this Hasegawa Panther is one of the best known of the Leibstandarte division.
Another Hasegawa Panther is the battalion's leader with the famous 1.4 meters universal antenna.
This is my sole Esci model the survivor of a group destroyed by the anti-tank batteries of a dog I had called Breque.
Two Pz IV from Altaya in different camouflage styles as they are from two separate collections. Only the basing and bushes are my intervention.
Another pair of Die-casts this time from Armour.

These Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind are Armour and Altaya Die-casts  with plastic crews.
More Flak protection in the form of these Britannia Sdkfz 10/4.
In the Mortain Counterattack the LSSAH had a company of engineers represented here by an Sdkfz 251/ 7.
The SP Art.Reg. with the usual Esci Wespe and Hummel. The second Wespe is Matchbox as I'm finished of 1/72nd scale Wespes. The OP Kubelwagen is Hasegawa with the regular Atlantic crew.
The LSSAH Flak Abt. had the Sdkfz 7/1 and 2, models from Altaya, and also the 88mm, gun and tow from Hasegawa.
This Altaya model has a quadruple 20mm gun from Esci with PSC crew.
The SS Aufklärungabteilung 1 with Schwimmwagens from Hasegawa with crews from all available hard plastics, Sdkfz 234/2's (later called Puma) from Altaya, Sdfkz 222 from Britannia, Sdkfz 250/9 from Esci and Sdkfz 231's from Frontline Wargaming.
An SS Mechanized Infantry Battalion with transport from the usual Hasegawa, Altaya, Matchbox and Frontline Wargaming. The Bison is Britannia.
A few conversions made in the infantry that you probably will recognize.  
The other Battalion is Valiant. They may be big but I love these guys!!
The SS Sturmgeschütz  Abt. with its leftovers, two Stug III, one Altaya one Esci.
Generalmajor of the SS Theodor Wisch and its sucesssor, SS Brigadeführer Wilhelm Mohnke in a Frontline Wargaming staff car. The figures are Atlantic and Hasegawa.
Next: 17th Pz.Gren. Div. Götz Von Berlichingen.

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Rapid Fire! Operation Lüttich (Mortain Counterattack) 1944 in 20mm, Part 3 - 116th Panzer division

The 116th Pz Div. was still in a good shape around the time of the Mortain operations. It still boasted  around half of its Panzers and SPG's and, in spite of a big shortage in trucks, was considered 'Kampfwert I'.
The Panther battalion was on loan from 24th Pz. Div. as the division's Panthers were still training in Mailly-le-Camp. The models are all 1/76th scale and a mixture of Nitto/Fujimi, Frontline Wargaming and Matchbox. The far away Bergepanther is another Altaya model. Due to the shortage of trucks in the Pz. Gren. Regiments I placed the 2nd battalion of Pz. Gren. on foot. Another reason for this is my own shortage of model trucks...
The Panthers from 116th Pz. Div. had camouflage on most of its areas. Another distinctive characteristic were the spare wheels placed at the rear of the turret. The division's symbol is of course the one from 24th Pz Div. This model is Matchbox with EverGreen side protection and extra tracks also for protection.
The Pz IV battalion is also 1/76th scale with models from Airfix and Skytrex. Leading the Panzer wedge is an Esci PzIII which the 116th still had a few.
The Mechanized Infantry battalion has Esci, Altaya and Frontline Wargaming Sdkfz 251's with a Sdkfz 251/9 from Hasegawa. The Grille SPG is again an Attack model.
The 116th Pz Div. was one of the few to have the Möbelwagen. The base for this conversion is the Ostwind from Hasegawa. I used the hull and the 37mm gun and build the box superstructure and the gun shield in EverGreen plastic card.
Another AA asset for this division is this Hasegawa Sdkfz 7/1. Flak-Abt. 281 had no guns in Normandy so its better to give this unit some AA protection.
The Pz. Aufkl. Abt. 16 had the PzII L Luchs in its ranks. As I don't have any I used two Attack Pz 38t recce tank. The Sdkfz 232's are Frontline Wargaming.
The Art. Reg. 146 has an Esci Hummel and two Matchbox Wespe. The OP Kubelwagen from Hasegawa has a crew from Revell and Atlantic.
From the original 21 Jagdpanzer IV the Pz Jäger Abt. still had 15 on the 30th July so 3 models according to RF! The models are Esci again with darker colours than other divisions with the camouflage green being the main colour.
A Fujimi General von Schwerin is seen here in a Frontline Wargaming Staff car surrounded by Atlantic and Hasegawa escort and staff.
A few more plastic card Panzerfaust conversions using (L/R) Esci, PSC, Hasegawa, Revell and hard plastic Matchbox and soft plastic Matchbox figures. On the rear the already showned Hasegawa Sdkfz 251D has Britannia and Matchbox crew.
Next: 1st SS Panzer Division  'Adolf Hitler'.