German Reinforcements for Flames of War

Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been adding some reinforcements for my Flames of War late war Germans. Since starting the game last year I’ve been using basically the same list based on the D-Day starter box: a Panzer IV company with an included Tiger platoon, supported by Panzergrenadiers and Hummels.

Assembling the PSC Panthers. The kit includes parts for Ausf. D, A, and G. I assembled mine as Ausf. G, the variant produced in the last year’s of the war.

So, I wanted to expand the options a bit, first with a D-Day Panther Company (five Panthers, two Tigers, three Panzer IVs, and 2 Möbelwagen. The Panthers are from Plastic Soldier Company, whose kits are more affordable if a little less detailed than those made by Battlefront; they’re also very slightly smaller, but not to a noticeable degree on the tabletop. The Möbelwagen are from Battlefront and are decent kits, but personally I’m less a fan of metal vehicles (plastic beingy material of choice with a background in scale models and Warhammer).

The main base colours completed prior to weathering

I basecoated the vehicles with Vallejo German Dark Yellow acrylic primer (not ideal for the metal parts on the Möbelwagen as there’s a risk of it peeling, but what I had to hand). I always airbrush the main colours on vehicles as it retains detail and provides an even coat, making the miniatures look more like tiny vehicles than painted models. For these I used paints from Vallejo’s Model Air range, from their handy ‘German Colors 1940-45‘ set, using a couple of good reference books: German Armor in Normandy by Yves Buffetaut and Wehrmacht Panzer Divisions 1939-45 by Jorge Rosado and Chris Bishop.

Panthers deal with some pesky Greyhound armoured cars on their way through a wheat field
…only to find themselves surrounded by American tanks

I got them painted to a decent enough battle-ready standard for a game against a larger American force. This was a good learning experience; having not fielded so many heavy tanks before, I divided my forces when I should have used them all together to punch through the numerous but much weaker Shermans to take an objective. The result was the early loss of my Panzer IVs, and of three Panthers which became surrounded by 12 or so Shermans and 3 Priests. The Panthers held their ground for a turn or two, taking our several US tanks before being picked off. At least I know for next time…

This gave a good excuse to add some weathering and battle damage to the models, shown above. The paint chipping effect was achieved by sponging on Vallejo Deck Tan followed by defining scratches by brushing on Dark Rust. Various Vallejo weathering materials and Forge World powders helped add to this, including rust on the exhausts, oil spillage on the engine deck, and mud and grass on the tracks and underside of the hulls.

The current German ‘to-do‘ pile

I have a few more reinforcements to paint up for this army, including some more Panzer IVs, Tigers, Wespes, anti-aircraft, and Hornisse tank destroyers, and perhaps also some more infantry. Once these are done, for Flames of War I’ll start work on my British 7th Armoured Division, focusing on a Desert Rats Cromwell company, plus some Typhoons.

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