mercredi 13 septembre 2023

Panzer IV F2 in Africa

 While waiting to receive a few more elements to create my diorama with the Tiger II, I participated in a Group Built on a forum whose theme was "Africa".

I had a very nice Dragon Panzer IV F2 in stock that I wanted to display on a desert diorama. And now, voila !

Kit list:

 - Panzer IV F2 [Dragon Model]

- Tracks [Frat Frog]

- Some photoetched parts from Voyager (the kit really doesn't need it because it's enough in itself)

- Kubelwagen [S-Model]

- DAK Figures [Mig Productions]

-  Some scracthbuilt

Work in progress and first try for diorama :

And the final result :

jeudi 29 juin 2023

"Survivors" - King Tiger Porsche turret, Hungary end of 1944

I present to you my next project, a Tiger II with Porsche Turret, having finally been able to find the Dragon model with zimmerit that I have been looking for for a long time.

The first decoration of the model proposed by Dragon is the King Tiger Anneliese of the 503rd Abteilung.
this tank is interesting because it is one of the first model, with a Porsche turret, and it survived to take part in the fighting in Hungary at the beginning of the winter of 1944 as you will read below.

I try here a small summary of what I could find in books and on the internet. For this, we must also necessarily speak of the 503 PanzerAbteilung.

History :

This battalion was created and trained in April 1942 and it was not until the end of the year that it received its first Tiger I. From that time, and until it was severely decimated during the Soviet offensive in the spring of 1944, the 503 fought on the Eastern Front.
In May 1944 the remnants of the battalion were withdrawn from the front and sent to Ohrdruf for reconstitution, so that by early June it was back to its standard strength of 45 tanks. Of these, the 14 of the first company were Porsche-turreted Tiger IIs (+ 1 Henschel) and those of the second and third companies were Tiger I.

The battalion was the only such unit available to the Wehrmacht that could be used against Allied troops landing in Normandy. Thus, the 503 was transported by rail to the new Western front, reaching the region of Caen on July 7.

Over the next few days, the unit's tanks carried out their first actions, achieving success against some Shermans, without suffering combat losses. However, the massive aerial bombardment prior to Operation "Goodwood" on 18 July decimated the battalion, especially the third company. In the fighting that same day, the three companies were involved and, at the end of the day, the battalion had lost 13 tanks (including 10 from the third company), claiming however the destruction of 40 allied tanks.

In the following days, the battalion withdrew to the east, repelling various attacks. The 3rd company yielded its only 4 surviving tanks to the 2nd and withdrew to the Mailly Le Camp training ground at the end of July to re-equip itself with 14 new Tiger IIs, all equipped with Porsche turrets except for two Henschels.
During this time, the 1st and 2nd Companies, withdrew in the valley of the Orne towards the Seine but none of them will succeed in crossing this river. Tanks that have not been lost in combat will be destroyed by the crews.

At the end of August, the remains of these two companies, the men and some wheeled vehicles, were transported to Germany.
The first elements of the reconstituted Third Company began their movements to Paris by rail on 11 August, being loaded onto trains at Mailly le Camp. Only two damaged Tiger II Porsche Tiger turrets remained on this training ground.
In the fighting around Paris, all the tanks were destroyed, mostly by Allied air action, so the only tanks the company had on August 24 were the two damaged Tiger IIs at Mailly le Camp. These two “survivors” were hastily transported to Germany and on September 11, what remained of the battalion was assembled in Paderborn, with their only two tanks, the 2 Tiger IIs of Mailly le Camp.

Again, the numbers of the battalion were reconstituted with the arrival at the end of September of 45 Tiger IIs, all with Henschel turrets since the Porsche one was no longer manufactured. Thus, curiously on these dates, the 503 had 47 tanks, two more than the theoretical strength.

One of these two veterans is the Tiger II 314 "Anneliese", probably named by one of the crew members in honor of a wife or girlfriend.

In mid-October, the battalion was once again transported by rail to Hungary. After entering Budapest to help put down the coup against the pro-German Hungarian government, the battalion heads to the front. There he would face the Red Army again in fierce fighting over the following months, especially around Debrecen and then Lake Ballaton.

There are very few photos showing the two Porsche Tiger IIs of the battalion at this time. The only ones that can be clearly identified (we distinguish either the "314, or the nickname "Anneliese") were taken in the sector of the Hungarian town of Sarkeresztes, around which the 503 operated from the end of December to the beginning of January 1945. And these photos show a Tiger II adorned with whitewash, the snow being very present at this period.
From this beginning of 1945, the 503 was forced into a slow but inexorable retreat through Hungary, Austria and finally Germany. There, the survivors tried to surrender to the Americans in May 1945, but as the latter did not accept their surrender, they would simply be handed over. Nothing is known of the fate of Anneliese or her other Porsche turreted counterpart.

Note that the 503 was renamed "Feldhernhalle" by an order from the Wehrmacht headquarters on January 4, 1945 and that during its long history, the battalion was the heavy tank unit which claimed the most enemy tanks destroyed : more than 1,700, and more than 2,000 guns.

My idea is to represent 314 Anneliese before its whitewash, at the beginning of winter 1944, end of October, beginning of November.

Interogation about camouflage :

And there, the subject becomes complicated because it is difficult to determine what camouflage this tank could have.

The options that may arise, according to what I have read on the internet, the subject still being debated, anyway, a priori, without formal proof, all these options may be possible:

1 – The tank has kept its green camouflage with yellow edging like the series of known photos of the tanks “on parade” at Mailly le Camp

2 – The tank after repair, and therefore probably before or after returning to Germany, received a full coat of Dunkelgelb.

3 – The Dunkelgelb layer is completed with a large patch of green.

4 – The tank is completely repainted in 3-tone color to be in the same camo as the 45 new Tigers received at the end of September.

The trend among specialists seems to be more for the Dunkelgelb altogether.
And me, a Dunkelgelb camo with big green spots is rather my preference, artistically speaking.
All the while knowing that I also came across this photo which proves that the crews carried out the camouflage of their tank themselves and that therefore it opens up the field of the possible.

The diorama will therefore be somewhere in the region of Debrecen, at the end of October 1944, early in the morning before leaving for new combat. The diorama will feature another vehicle, I don't know what yet.

The workbench

King Tiger with Porsche turret and zimmerit DRAGON
Tracks  FRAT FROG (For testing, as a replacement for DS tracks, and to compare with OKB's)
Figures  WHITE STORK and probably others, dépends on second véhicule of the diorama

See you soon for working photos.

jeudi 1 juin 2023

Laffly S15R

 A long time ago, I came across this image and I always said to myself that I would make this model. But only here, the Alby model was not found. 

But only here, the Alby model was not found. But recently I was finally able to find it and make the project a reality.

So here is the basic model is from Alby, the machine guns from Firma 49. Some accessories from Firma 49 and Zona 72. The bags and blankets are in scratch. The figurine is a DDay Miniature with a French tank head (And its specific helmet). Custom decals are from BrailleStrike

The base of the diorama is a personal manufacture, the floor was made with AK product. The label will soon be modified by a metal plate.

The portrait photos are unforgivable and I see that I have some faults to correct like the brown stain on the hood and the yellow representation of the very ugly headlight bulb.

mercredi 31 mai 2023

Come back from Saumur Model Expo 2023

 Back from the great Saumur Model International contest.

A very nice edition this year under the sun.

I had the honor of being rewarded in the category "Vehicle only" and "Diroama" at Master level.

Congrats for all my Braille Scale friends


Silver for my M32 :


 And Bronze for my little diorama "Crevés" :

lundi 20 février 2023

lundi 6 février 2023

Sd.Kfz 234/4 Part.07

The mini diorama is almost finished.

It lacks a few small accessories to complete the scene and especially all the dust part to be made with the pigments.