Thursday, 22 December 2011

Panzer People

In yesterdays post I showed the crew of the Tiger I have just completed.

Well today's post is about puting a name to a face. OK so they are not actually the real people but this is a model representation as is everything in miniature so use a bit of imagination!

Starting with the aimer/gunner, this is SS-Unterscharführer Karl Wagner, SS-Sturmmann Günther Weber as loader, SS-Unterscharführer Heinrich Reimers is the driver and SS-Sturmmann Rudolf 'Rudi' Hirschel is the missing crewman, obviously either inside listening to the radio or gone for a wee!  I will be adding 'Rudi' soon to complete the crew.

These men were all part of a crew which had an amazing record which was brought to an abrupt end through a shell of a Canadian Sherman.  This knocked out the tank but it is not certain if this killed the men inside or just stunned them.  Either way, a few seconds later, the main fuel tank, which was probably ruptured by the first hit, exploded and set off most of the stored ammunition in the tank.  This blew off the turret and it landed not so far from the tank but left all of the crew dead inside.

This was in tank 007 which was one of Wittmann's main command tanks but he did swap to others (like 222 in my model) when his were unservicable.

Around 1300 on 8th August 1944 5 men of outstanding skill and bravery perished inside one of the most efective machines of the war but the legend of one of the greatest Panzer Aces of WWII was born.

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Back on the Prowl

1/35 Tiger tank with crew

I'm Back! Well for now.  Christmas is always mad and waiting for a baby to be born while I write this is making it all the more hectic.

But it is with great pleasure that I can say I have actually finished a model!  Yes that is correct it is actually done!  And I am very pleased with it as well.

It is based on a late version Tiger I of the 101st Regiment of the  1st SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler".  The tank, 222, was commanded by Michael Wittmann for a time in Normandy and it is said to have been used in one of his daring raids on Brirish columns.  It also includes figures of Michael Wittmann himself along with the aimer (standing lighting a pipe on the roof of the tank), the driver (sitting above the driving position) and the loader (leaning on the front of the tank).  These all wear the later uniforms including the Pea Dot camo which takes around 2 hours per figure to apply!  The figures are from the Tamiya and Zvezda tank crew kits (available here  The kit used for the tank itself is the Tamiya Late Tiger I (available here with Eduard etched brass zimmerit coating, Dragon numeral decals and a Tamiya MG42 on the AA mount on the turret.

I will cover the weathering of the tank in a future article (dont wait up!) but for now have some pictures of it.
The crew at rest waiting for more orders
The tank itself, a slightly modified Tamiya kit

Worms eye view!

Additional to the instructions, I have added the extra track links to the front.

The Plainer side of the tank

Rear of the tank with late exhaust guards fitted

More 'busy' side with track pulling cable and spare links on the turret

Loader, driver and Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann, the commander.

Main gun aimer