Monday, March 7, 2011

Panzerkamphwagen 35(t) Tanks

These are seven Panzerkampfwagen 35(t) tanks. This is enough to transform my German Leichte Pionierkompanie force into a Czech Panzerkompanie by using two of these Panzer 35(t) tanks as the company headquarters and the remaining five as one of the two main combat platoons of tanks. The other combat platoon will consist of the Panzer IIc platoon that I've recently completed.  Weapons platoons will be one Leichte Pioneer platoon and a Kradschützen (motorcycle recon) platoon that I have purchased but not painted yet. Support platoons will be selected from those that I already have which include Stuka air support, a Panzerjager I platoon, a Panzer IVd platoon, some 8.8 cm "88" AA/AT guns, a PaK36 AT gun battery, and a battery of 10.5 cm leFH18 howitzers. More than enough options for me to pick something nice from.

Adding the Panzer 35(t) tanks to my force allows me the option to field my early war Germans as a tank company in addition to the mechanized infantry (pioneer) and foot infantry (pioneer) lists I previously completed. I think that's a pretty good economy of scale for only adding seven new tank hulls. Hopefully I'll get to try these babies out this weekend at our escalation league game day. I'm anxious to see how they'll hold up to French armor and nervous how they'll hold up to British Matildas. For the latter I'm counting on my Stukas, AT and artillery that's for sure!

I looked through my references and scoured the Internet for period photographs of the Panzzer 35(t). From what I found the most common location for national markings seems to be located on the front portion of the hull as shown in the above photo. Although there are many photographs of painted 15mm models with large insignia on the turrets, the only photos of actual tanks (not models) I could find with insignia on the turrets are large all white crosses, which were abandoned quickly because they made for good target locations for enemy AT guns. The other common turret markings were small white tank numbers. In the end I've settled on the above photo as my inspiration for marking location. I've skipped the small tank number plate as it's just too small for me to paint on a 15mm tank model.

 While doing my research I did find that since these were captured Czechoslovakian tanks many of the crews displayed aerial recognition flags on the rear portion of the hull of the tank. With most of the tank looking so plain I decided to try my hand at modeling this on the commander's tanks. This was done by printing out tiny flags on my printer, soaking them in PVA glue and attaching them to the tanks. I'm pleased with the result, although if I do this again I think I'll spray both sides of the flags with matte lacquer and let them dry so the white glue doesn't cause the flags to become transparent in places if too much glue is used. These photos were taken about an hour after applying the flags so there's still hope they will dry out some more. 


Steven said...

Those look just great!

rhingley said...

Hi AJ,
Nice clean paint job on the models and the method you used for the flags seems to have worked. I used to do a fair bit of early war micro armour. Too late for me to change scales.

Beccas said...

Great looking unit.