Cats! Part 1 "Memory, all alone in the moonlight"

A different sort of Blog this week as I thought I would do a bit of a Pantherama. A run through some of the Panthers I have painted in both 28mm and a few 15mm (at the end). This is a obviously only a selection. As one of the iconic WW2 AFVs it is a rare German Army that comes to me Pantherless.

If nothing else it can be a camo resource showing some of the myriad schemes available other than the usual 3 colour wavy lines common in Normandy in 1944.

First up we have a couple of Panthers in Late War 3 colour.

The first 124 is in the basic 3 colour camo sprayed on. Dunkelgelb base then the green and brown sprayed over in large patches. I tend to use Vallejo colours and find Flat Brown and Reflective green to be pretty accurate representations.

This second Panther is from even later in the war when I suspect that due to shortages and transport problems standard camouflage was disappearing if it ever existed and it was a less formal "come as you are" type of war for Germantanks. It is an attempt to follow the December 44 instructions for a dark green base with dunkelgelb and rotbrown hard-edged over the top. There is a tank like this still on display in the Ardennes.

This next camo was requested by a customer using a contemporary photo possibly from Czechoslovakia in 1945? though memory fails. It reminds me of the Dazzle camouflage of British WW1 ships which was not meant to hide the ship but to confuse the enemy gunnery by breaking the outline into confusion. Again It has the green base which I think is called resedegrun and available from AK interactive and Mig Ammo.

Next I have a pair of Panthers both in the Factory applied "Ambush camouflage" applied for a short period from September to October 1944 in the actual factories. Again there were paint shortages and that is reflected in the two examples below.

The first is the "standard" Ambush using Red Brown and Olive green over dunkelgelb with dots applied. I believe this camo was to reflect the strategic and tactical defensive nature of the German armour by late 1944 whereby they would be lying in wait in dappled woodland waiting for the Allies to attack. Maybe.

The second ambush camo has replaced the olive green with Resedegrun which here is noticeably lighter in tone and has a slightly less busy ambush effect.

In 15mm the Panther below is again in a variation of Ambush with fewer dots than normal but in this case it is because when painting 15mm the key is not to overdo things. Contrast is really important and more then usual the camo becomes representational as a realistic version would look messy.

This Panther is that of Michael Wittman the Panzer Ace of Normandy fame after the events of Villers Bocage. One of several German tank aces who have become "celebrated" by some. While I can understand the reasons behind the celebration of German tanks and aces in the context of cold war memoirs and some popular authors I personally am not a fan and i suspect there are as many Allied tankers in 'inferior' tanks such as in the video below who show themselves the equals and simultaneously the not all German commanders were great...

Finally, when your cat breaks down "who you gonna call?" Bergepanther! This is a 15mm version as I suspect even if available in 28mm there would be little call for a Bergepanther in the average game of Bolt Action. As an aside for several years I wrote this as Berg instead of Berge indicating that the vehicle was a Mountain Panther instead of a Recovery Panther. One missing E and the whole scenario changed!

All the Cats of Cats part 1. Next time I will look at either Tigers or the Big Cats.

"Burnt out ends of smoky days

The stale cold smell of morning

A street lamp dies

Another night is over"