10 most favouritest WW2 German vehicles I have painted
Over the years I have had loads of German WW2 stuff pass across the painting desk, mainly in 28mm but also in 15mm. German commissions outnumber all the other nations by at least 2 to 1 and there are few vehicles I havent painted. Some are obviously repeat offenders and I wont be including the Panzer IVh, the Puma, the Stug IIIg or the Panther here. Instead these are my favourite vehicles by looks, rarity or oddity.
They are in no particular order as there are no real criteria for judging other than I like them better than some others!
Desert Tiger tank
Who doesn't like a Tiger Tank? I have done many a European theatre Tiger but only one in desert colours. I believe about 30 were deployed to Tunisia in an attempt to halt the imminent collapse in 1943 which seems a bit of a strategic error to me given the conditions at play in North Africa by this time. Once in place they seem to have had the same experience as Tigers everywhere in that they knocked out lots of Allied vehicles for little direct loss but then suffered the usual mechanical problems made even worse by being in what what effectively a besieged state with few parts or recovery facilities.
When painting this I wanted to try and get the colours reasonably correct as I have seen many Afrika Korps vehicles painted in a harsh "desert yellow" which seems to have its basis in Airfix kits. There is some debate on exact colours and camo forms but I settled on a monocolour RAL 8000 Gelbbraun colour from MIG Ammo. This was modulated and weathered into this shade which I really like.
Below a famous photo showing an abandoned Tiger in Tunisia, hatches open but no further details on whether it was broken down or actually knocked out.
223 Armoured Car command vehicle
Staying in the desert but with a completely different vehicle and one of my favourites the command vehicle version of the 222 armoured car with the big radio antenna. These were used in the recon elements of the DAK and popular history to date has emphasised the superiority of German recon over the British in the desert though I am not convinced that that this is not just part of the whole "the Germans were better at everything" mythology that grew up post war/cold war.
Regardless this is such a cool design and is painted in the earlier 1941/2 shades which is less green than the tiger and was applied over the original panzer grey unlike the Tigers whose paint was the factory applied "tropical" finish. The extra jerry cans were necessary as it was a bit of a gas guzzler for its size which presumably was a bit of a disadvantage in the petrol lite conditions of the DAK.
This is the Rubicon version which is infinitely better than the Warlord kit in this case as it has much sharper edges and has several versions
Another Early War vehicle the 38t taken into German production by the Germans after the invasion of Bohemia/Moravia in 1938 during the appeasement period. Over 1000 of these were built and used in front line service until 1942 and despite looking like it was assembled largely from rivets was an excellent tank for its period with a level of reliability unknown in German AFV at that time.
As an aside when I was growing up the general feeling about appeasement was that it was a shameful episode in British history and Britain and France should have stood up to Hitler in 1938 to stop war in 1939. More recent scholarship which has the benefit of emotional distance from the events has shown that this was in fact impossible for a variety of political and military reasons. Having missed the opportunity to stop Hitler in 1935 when it might have been possible it would appear that whatever his faults on the domestic social and economic fronts (especially his callousness towards the Northern unemployed) Chamberlain had little choice to play for time with appeasement.
An excellent work on this is "Britain's War 1937-41" by Daniel Todman which despite the title does cover the early 1930s
This is i think the warlord resin kit which unlike the 222 is really good!
When a Tiger wont cut it you need a Sturmtiger! I'm pretty sure these see little use in most games of Bolt Action despite being 11 out of 10 for cool. In reality less than 20 were actually built, all in 1944. It was built in two parts which is what I have attempted to demonstrate here in what is probably a historically fanciful manner.
The hulls/engine etc were standard Tiger tank hulls constructed in one factory then shipped to a second where the superstructure and 380mm rocket gun were added. I am pretty sure the hulls would not have already had their Dunkelgelb finish added before shipment but the opportunity to contrast with the metal red primer and chalk inspection marks was too great and so this anomaly of an anomaly was created!
Rainmarks on the superstructure added for interest using AK interactive rainmarks paint
Not one of my favourite vehicles but an enjoyable paint job with it being a winterised version of the standard 3 colour camo. This tank is meant to be near the end of winter with the whitewash faded and worn and is painted according to the method here https://www.firstcommissionpainting.co.uk/single-post/2019/11/14/winter-camo-t34
Not really a lot to say about the King Tiger to be honest. I have no idea what the German thinking here was at this point. Whether it was just lets build really big master race tanks or whether it was a rationalisation of the fact they could not outbuild the allies in standard tanks so outmatch them in quality.
This is literally the coolest truck ever built. A half track truck is just such a great concept and the fact it is a normal truck with tracks added is just brilliant. Like the King Tiger above this is a winterised Maultier using the Italeri kit sold by Warlord ( which alternatively builds the Opel Blitz seen below). Its a good kit apart from the windscreen....
The windscreens/windows are a pain in the arse to cut and glue in place and doubly so if like me you paint over the clear plastic to get a mucky window effect!
Hetzer AA version
About 2400 Jagdpanzer 38t 'Hetzer' were built in a rapid production burst from April 44 and 99% were the standard 75mm anti tank version. This would suggest they were useful and value for money by reusing the proven engine/suspension technology of the now obselete 38t tank. A tiny amount, probably a handful appear to have been converted to this 30mm anti aircraft version available from Rubicon in the usual excellent standard.
This one requested by a customer is done in late war hard edged 3 colour camo and is probably the kit with the smallest production run I have ever come across and i would definitely want no matter how useless in my Late War German Army alongside some Volksturm and an 88mm manned by Hitler youth.
The Hetzer itself must have been of some use to be built in such numbers but this video by Lindybeige raises questions about whether you would want to crew it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tn87w8pal9M&t=604s
Sdkfz 250/9 Neu
Late war version of the baby 'Hanomag' 251. I like to think of this as the sporty GT version. Again the Rubicon model this time the 20mm armed version with the flat back to save metal. These were used in recon companies as while not as fast on roads the half track had much better cross country performance especially useful on the Eastern Front.
Painted in a two colour camo rather than standard 3 colour I like the sublety here and the yellow recon waffenfarbe worn by the commander. There is some minor chipping as with all the vehicles i paint but I am a fan of less is more with weathering, especially with vehicles still in front line use.
Panzer II Luchs
Another recon vehicle created from the Early War MBT Panzer II. The PzII was obviously useless in front line combat by 1941 and was repurposed as a recon vehicle on the Eastern Front and later in the war a specific 'luchs' recon version was produced in small numbers, probably no more than a hundred and used on both Eastern and Western Fronts.
To be honest I'm not sure which this one is but really like the whole aspiring to be a tank vibe it has. It's like the kid at school who hangs around with the harder kids but legs it if you actually seem likely to fight!
I'm also puzzled just how 3 men fit in here - it must be some form of Tetris inside there.
Finally, still a vehicle but not a road vehicle...
German Armoured Train
I know next to nothing about German Armoured Trains other than they used a few on the Eastern Front. Whether this was captured from the Poles or Red Army I dont know but clearly they would be more use in the spaces of the East rather than becoming a juicy target in the West.
This armoured train was made by Battlefront in 15mm some years ago and it may not still be available and i imagine has limited gaming value even if it is. However it is very cool and would look cooler had I the track to photograph it on.
This quad flak is my favourite part as anything with a quad flak gun is just inherently cool.
That concludes my top 10 German vehicles though there are some missing from the list simply because they havent crossed my desk. Obviously the quad 20mm Mobelwagen would be straight into the top 10, as would a 28mm scale Bergetiger and a Nashorn. Sadly I suspect I will be waiting a while as they do not seem very popular in the average German Bolt Action list - unlike the bloody Puma!