3mm Madness – DAK Panzers
I was looking back at some of the research I had done for the Historicon Opearation Battleaxe 3mm game and realized that I had read the dates wrong for the German paint colors and that the tanks should have the earlier darker scheme for Operation Battleaxe. So I repainted the battalion that I had already finished…
The March 1941 regulations called for the vehicles to be painted in Gelbbraun with a disruptive pattern in Graugrun over 1/3 of the surface. So off I went to try and paint camo patterns on my 3mm tanks.
I found some references for Vallejo paints that were close and created a mid tone and highlight version of each that were mixed with increasing amounts of white as you need to lighten the paint as you work in smaller scales. The pattern was supposed to have feathered edges and the pictures I found typically had a number of medium size blobs of the Graugrun. However, trying to do that in this small scale would just make it blend together, so I used a smaller number of larger patches , still aiming for the proscribed 2/3 to 1/3 ratio of the sand color to the grey. I did a base coat of the gelbbraun, a wash, then a couple of layers of drybrushes with the base color, mid tone, and highlight. The camo went on as blotches of the base graugrun (which is pretty much grey) followed by a couple of drybrushes with the mid tone and highlight colors. I finish these off by painting the tracks and hull MGs, then going back in and touching up and adding additional highlights with my highlight shade then finished it off with a light drybrush of tan for dust.
Overall I’m quite pleased with the result as I think they have the right look. I now have two of the three Panzer battalions finished and the third on the painting table.
I’ve also completed two of the mixed batteries of antiaircraft guns that were assembled from the guns of the 33. FlaK Regiment and sent out to support the German troops. These two batteries each had four 88mm FlaK 36 and eight 20mm FlaK38. These were painted in much the same way as the armor, but minus the disruptive camo. The crew are done in a light green with sand colored helmets. I left these guys uniforms fairly green as they were relatively new to the theater, but I plan to sunbleach the infantry unitforms of the 5th Light Division.
The tanks are fairly easy to base as I can prepare the whole base and then glue on the tanks. The guns are a bit trickier as they have a cast on base that needs to be blended into the base as a whole. This is definitely a trickier operation than say doing the same thing with a 28mm figure and it’s really easy to glop basing material over some of the details. The second one I did came out much better, so at least I’m learning how to make it work.
Next up are the first of the British armor: the Matilda IIs of 4th RTR and a squadron of the 3rd Hussars in Vickers Mk. VI. The plan is to do these in the iconic British caunter scheme, which will certainly be a challenge but will look really great if I can pull it off.