Saturday, 27 November 2010

Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind - The low flying nightmare

Now I present one of my older 1/72 scale models, when I played WWII with this scale, before I found the fantastic 1/144 scale.
Have fun!
 Hasegawa 1:72 scale kit
Wirbelwind and Ostwind were fitted with very similar (especially designed) open-top (Wirbelwind's turret had 9 side panels and Ostwind's had 6 side panels) turrets mounted in the place of standard turrets. Ostwind's turret was nicknamed Keksdose - cookie tin. Main difference was that Wirbelwind was armed with quadruple 20mm Flak 38 L/112.5 guns while Ostwind was armed with single 37mm Flak 43 L/89 gun (both could be used against ground targets as well). 20mm Flak proved to be less effective than 37mm Flak and was eventually replaced by it. Both were produced by Ostbau Works in Sagan, Silesia in limited numbers due to the material shortages and the fact that Ostbau Works moved to facilities of Deutsche Eisenwerke in Teplitz and Duisburg due to danger of being overrun by the Soviets. Overall from May to November of 1944, only 87(105) Wirbelwinds were made, contrary to only 44(43) Ostwinds produced from July 1944 to March of 1945. Both vehicles were issued to Flugabwehrzug (AA platoons) units of Panzer Divisions. There were never enough of them to equip frontline units, which were in the need for adequate mobile AA defense. Both proved to be very effective against low flying aircraft. The interesting fact is that prototype Ostwind was combat tested by 1st Waffen SS Panzer Division "Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler" during the Ardennes Offensive (December 16 to 22 of 1944) and returned to factory undamaged.


Friday, 26 November 2010

"Acht komma Acht" - Flak 36 88mm

My best German A/T gun, are this two beautiful "88" miniatures casted by WGS.
Both gun and  crew are made with fine detail and accuracy, I just love them!
Front view
Wargames-South Kit - 1/144

After the battle at Halfaya Pass a member of Rommel’s staff overheard a captured British tank driver under interrogation expressing his indignation: "In my opinion," said the Englishman with an unfriendly glance at a near-by 88,"it is unfair to use ‘flak’ against our tanks."
A German artilleryman who was sitting on his haunches near by, listening to the interpretation, interjected excitedly, "Ja, and I think it most unfair of you to attack with tanks whose armour nothing but an 88 will penetrate."


Thursday, 25 November 2010

Tank vs Dice - Part II

And the saga continues, just love when i throw a "six".
Have fun...
T26 Light tank ( late model ) - WGS kit 1/144
The T-26 Light Tank was produced in greater numbers than any other pre-war Soviet Tank, and was the most numerous tank in Red Army service in June 1941. By then the T-26 was a ten-year old design, based on an even older British design, and the vast majority of the 11,000 T-26s in service were quickly destroyed.

The T-26 was based on the British Vickers 6 ton E Light Tank. This came in two versions – the model A, with two side-by-side machine gun turrets, or the model B with a single gun in a larger turret. The first T-26s were licence-built copies of the Vickers “E” model A, but the majority of T-26s would carry a single Soviet-designed turret on the Vickers chassis.
I. A. Khalepsky of the Directorate of the Mechanization of the Red Army purchased the first Vickers E Light Tanks on 28 May 1929, and they reached the Soviet Union during 1930.

Soviet tank designers were then given the chance to produce their own modified versions of the Vickers tank. Two prototypes – the TMM-1 and TMM-2 were built – but neither was as good as the Vickers design, and it was the Vickers E that was put into production.

On 13 February 1931 the Revolutionary War Council decided to put the T-27 tankette (itself based on a British design) and the T-26 into mass production. They were thus contemporaries for the German Panzer I and Panzer II. The T-27 was to carry out battlefield reconnaissance while the T-26 was to provide direct support for the infantry during the breakthrough stage of a battle. The Red Army’s “Deep Battle” plan was very similar to the German Blitzkrieg, and planned for the close support tanks to break the enemy line before the faster exploitation tanks (the BT series) broke out into the enemy’s rear area, causing chaos and confusion.

Responsibility for the production and development of the T-26 was given to a design team created specifically for the purpose at the Bolshevik Factory in Leningrad (renamed the Zavod Nr.185 (S. M. Kirov) in 1935). This team, the Opytniy konstruktorsko mekhanicheskiy otdel (OKMO) or Experimental Design Mechanical Section, was led by N. Barykov and S. Ginzburg, and had the job of modifying the Vickers design for Soviet production.

Sherman "Firefly" - WGS kit 1/144
During World War II, the United States has agreed to lend its mass-manufactured M4 Sherman tanks to its Allies. The British commonwealth is one of these allies and used these tanks extensively during the course of the conflict. The mediocre Sherman was no match for the raw firepower and armor of the German war machine, and as a desperate attempt to up-gun their existing Sherman tanks, they mated their QC 17-pounder anti-tank guns with the chassis of the Sherman. And this variant is called the Sherman Firefly.

The firefly uses the destructive QC 17-pounder anti-tank gun from the commonwealth, instead of the M3 75mm gun that a standard Sherman uses. This upgrade turns the less-than-threatening gun of the standard tank to a tank that can go toe-to-toe with even the Third Reich's finest and most powerful tanks, mainly the Tiger and the King Tiger. Its armor can deflect several shots from anti-tank fire and absorb some damage, while bullets will harmlessly bounce off it. To defend itself against infanty, it has a coaxial M1919 Browning .30 caliber machine gun.

Although signifiantly slower than a standard Sherman due to its extensive upgrade, it makes up for being highly effective against heavy and super-heavy armor. To even make up for this, it can be upgraded to have a tank commander giving increased visual information to the tank crew, increasing their overall firing range. And if the Royal Engineer Support is active, then this tank can use the "Hull Down" ability to plant itself to the ground, increasing its armor on its flanks, but essentially turning it into a stationary tank turret.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Tank vs Dice - Part I

A few weeks ago, I bought on the “Dice Shop” ( some die with the logos of the WWII armies.
They look good next to my miniatures and they look stunning on any table game, do you agree?

 Marder III - Dragon kit 1/144
In the summer of 1941, Germany's invasion of Russia was unfolding favorably for the Wehrmacht. However, German authorities began to notice the inferiority of their tanks and anti-tank weaponry to those of the Soviet army, such as the T34. To cope with this disparity they decided to: improve the Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV tanks; develop new tanks; and increase production of the 7.5cm anti-tank cannon. Finally, as an interim solution, it was decided to improved captured Russian 7.62cm anti-tank cannons and deploy them for Wehrmacht use. These fearsome cannons could penetrate 83mm armor plating at a range of 1000m, but after improvement, could penetrate up to 122mm, and were renamed 7.62cm Pak36(r) gun. Until the new tanks were ready for deployment, 7.62cm Pak36(r) guns were to be mounted on the chassis of obsolete Pz.Kpfw.II and Pz.Kpfw.38(t) tanks for the creation of a stopgap tank hunter. The 38(t) tanks were based on the LtVz.38 tank, which was developed for use by the Czech company CKD (later BMM) for the Czech army in 1938. In 1939, with the annexation of Czechoslovakia, this tank went into production for the Wehrmacht. The base this Czech-made tank was combined with the Soviet 7.62cm Pak36(r) gun, resulting in the creation the Wehrmacht's fearsome tank hunter, the Marder III Sd.Kfz.139. The turret base of the Pk.Kpfw.38(t) was removed and a 16mm steel plate was attached in its place. The Soviet 7.62cm Pak36(r) gun was mounted on that plate, 11mm armor plating installed to the front and sides, and massive stirrups immobilized the gun.

 M10 TD - WGS kit 1/144
The first Tank Destroyer Battalions entered combat in the North African campaign in November 1942 equipped with the M3 Half-track mounted with an exposed 75mm gun.  This clumsy expedient was quickly replaced by the M10 Tank Destroyer.  The TD was purpose built as a fully tracked tank armed with a flat trajectory long barrel 3 inch main gun.  Using the American M10A1 motor carriage, the M10 went into production in 1942.  This was the same chassis used in the M4 Sherman tank.  Mounted on this chassis was a fully traversable open-top turret housing this 3-inch high-velocity gun.  Over 6,000 were built in the USA by war's end.  The British version was called the Wolverine. In 1944 the 3-inch gun was replaced by a more powerful 76mm gun.  This improvement made the weapon capable of destroying late model heavily armed German tanks like the Panther and Tiger.