Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Showcase: PSC Panzer IV J platoon

Today I have a 15mm Panzer IV J platoon that I have finished painting. The models are from The Plastic Soldier Company, but have a few small conversions to turn them from Panzer IV Hs to Js. I painted these models in a late war factory applied hard-edged camouflage pattern that is similar to my silly putty tutorial and the Panther G I recently painted. I still have another platoon of these and the command for my Ardennes Panzer Lehr panzer company.



Panzers on tour. Note the three return rollers instead of four.
As I mentioned in the introduction, I converted the Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV H models into Panzer IV Js. Later this week I will post a tutorial on the small changes I made and how I did it. The major differences you can see on the finished models are the changes to the exhaust. I modified two to have the late war vertical exhaust. Two have the earlier horizontal Panzer H exhaust that still appeared on some Panzer Js. I removed the turret motor on all of them. Other changes include removing some pistol ports on the hull and turret and changing the number of return rollers from 4 (H) to 3 (J) on the models where the rollers are visible. Unfortunately I didn't have a sturdy way to make mesh schurzen for models I plan to game and travel with.
Late production J style exhaust.

Earlier production style exhaust. Turret motor removed on all of them.
These models were a little harder to assemble than the Plastic Soldier Company Shermans and Panthers I had previously assembled. The tracks were a bit tricky to get to fit tightly. Fortunately, it sounds like the simplicity and ease of assembly is improving with each new release. I'm looking forward to seeing the future of Battlefront's new WW2 plastic models in the coming months. I much prefer plastic models to resin and metal.
Looks like a rainy day.
I painted each of these models using the same steps as in the dunkelgelb colour modulation tutorial I posted a few weeks ago. 

I also played around with using pigments a bit more. I am still not getting the results I want with pigments. I keep having difficulty sealing them.

In the Ardennes forest.
I also finally found some MiniNatur leaves and added some foliage to these models. I ended up using a mix of three different colours as I couldn't settle on any of the colours.


I enjoyed painting the tank commander, even if he does look a little funny. I tried to paint splinter camouflage on his hat. Kind of tricky to get some of the distinctive shapes on the small area. There are splinters painted. And eyes. But they are hard to see.
I didn't have any Flames of War tank commanders, so I cut up an Open Fire Grenadier officer and painted him as a tanker in dress uniform.
Panzers run into a patrol of US paratroopers in the Ardennes offensive.

The colour of the brown turned out more red than usual. I discovered after painting that I had Vallejo Model Air Mahogany alongside the Burnt Umber on my desk and may have accidentally mixed it in at some point. They are a little more Mahogany than I wanted. I do like this desaturated green though.


I'll post a short tutorial on how I converted a few parts to get some plastic Panzer IV J models (I don't think anyone makes 15mm plastic PzIV Js). I have a few more posts in the pipeline. I have two Shermans (my command ones finally) that are nearly done. I have two more stands of US paratroopers that are nearly done. I also have a post on my new photo booth and scenic base set-up that I will post in the next week or two. Finally, I built a 4x6 playing surface today and will post some pictures of it soon. Thanks for visiting and check back in the next few weeks for more posts!

12 comments:

  1. Nicely done! I love the Panzer IV, my favorite German tank. What a workhorse it was.

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    1. Yes, I just found out the other day on a documentary that it was designed before the war as a support tank. Very versatile chassis.

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  2. Splendid! I particularly like the commander...

    Are pistol ports what I think they are? - If so, that's pretty cool!

    A little less sure about the scaling in the 'Ardennes' pic mind - those trees look a wee bit more like sequoias!

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    1. Thanks. The pistol ports are the little hatches on the side of the turret itself and the front of the hull. Both are mostly hidden by schurzen, hence why they were removed or welded shut on later models.

      The ardennes trees are a little large... It is surprisingly difficult to find good pictures to use for this. If you find any good ones, send them my way!

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  3. These look fantastic. Your attention to detail is impressive sir.

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    1. Thanks Dai. I'm a little obsessive with the details. I'm trying to take my time with the Germans and paint them all as well as I can. Highlighting the brown, green, and dunkelgelb camouflage separately is a little time consuming though. :-)

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  4. Stunning! I thought they were 28mm!

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    1. Thanks. They are pretty small. In some ways it is easier to paint 15mm armour than 28mm as the panels aren't quite so huge so the blending is a bit easier.

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  5. Really impressive work and some great photography!

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  6. Nice work on the conversions for your panzers. Weathering and chipping is solid, if you find a good solution for the pigment problem feel free to give me a heads up. I even use pigment fixer and it still mostly disappears with a varnish. I'm not 100% on the foliage, but that's being picky I guess. The extra time on the highlighting is well worth it, looks great.

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    1. I've been struggling with the pigment problem for a long time now. One person on the FoW forums suggested varnishing and just sealing with a pigment fixer afterwards. I've just ben using turpentine as I haven't found a good pigment fixer at the hobby stores. Just the vallejo one with is like a resin mix or something. I have a few ideas I want to experiment with.

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