Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Road To Panzerschreck (2016) The Marines Hit Early War

Originally this article was posted on the Flames Of War website back in 2016...

Next month is the annual Studio trip to Panzerschreck with the team jumping in a van and having an epic road trip / lads weekend away. This year I was planning on having a relaxed weekend and heading down to play some Team Yankee games with Evan. Thanks to a last-minute change of plans for Phil (James’ partner in crime for the event) I found myself subbed in to join up with James’ British Armoured Regiment.

No doubt you are all aware of the famous battle somewhere in North Africa where a small Marine Expeditionary Force briefly found themselves siding with a Vickers Mk IV light tank company…

Originally I was in two minds about what to take as I have a French Early War army that I really enjoy playing and need an excuse to finish painting up some Lorraine 38L Carriers. At the same time I have been plugging away with a US Marine Amphibian tank company for Gung-Ho and I saw this as an opportunity to push the army back to the front of the painting queue. After a couple of minutes thought the Marines (easily) found themselves promoted as it is hard to not go with something shiny and new, even if I do have to do a lot more painting to get it ready. Working out an army list that looked achievable on the painting front and fun to play I settled on: 

The core of the force is obviously the LVTs with 10 of them crawling across the table, hopefully shooting up everything in front of them. This should pair nicely with James’ Light Mk IV tanks which will be light enough to respond to any threats as well as threatening enemy objectives. If I am being honest the AA and Rockets are really there to get me to four platoons, but it will also give us some decent AA coverage (as James’ also has some Bofors guns) and rockets capable of thinning out the enemy ranks of infantry.

After the experiment with the dark sand (in the previous article) I decided to go back to pain grey vehicles and to make them look a little more interesting I decided to put beach markings on the sides of the hull (the two red vertical stripes you can see in the photos). These were to help the LVTs stick together and get to the correct landing zone – in this case Red Beach 2 during the Battle of Saipan. The theory being that you just followed the vehicles with the same markings as you. 

Next I chose to go to town on the decals and whilst I was inspired by historical markings here I chose to go a bit overboard to help them pop on the battlefield. I chose tank numbers from a spare NVA T-55 decal sheet I had, as well as US stars, serial numbers and names from the US Late War Decal Sheet (US941) I think these really help to make the models look interesting on the table.
As you can see from the pictures below I still have a way to go to finish the army up but with a couple of weeks to go I think I am in good shape.  

The HQ Platoon
I've only painted the 75mm turrets for my HQ, but I plan to paint up the 37mm ones later to make sure I can swap these around easily.  

LVT(A)4 (75mm) Platoon
Other than a targeted wash, these just need their crew painted and machine-guns highlighted.

Above: Most of the army are still waiting for a shading pin wash, so they are currently shiny with gloss varnish. I've used the number '13' 75mm tank to test the oil wash, and I'm happy with the finished result.

LVT(A)1 (37mm) Platoon
These are currently missing the machine-gun turrets, which will make them look a little more dynamic thanks to the crew sitting inside operating them.

Below: To do the red markings on the side of the hulls I made a mask using some low-tack hobby masking tape, then carefully attached it to a model, airbrushed the red and carefully removed it again. Rinse and repeat 32 times as I decided to do the markings on all my LVTs and not just the ones for Panzerschreck to keep everything consistent.

Hopefully this gives you some inspiration for painting your own LVTs.

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