About this time last year my boss, StuG, had his first proper wargame. A WW2 game – he hosted, provided all the figures, vehicles and scenery, and promptly lost! An example of experience beating enthusiasm, combined with good tactical use of a StuG III on my part (which does not happen often)!
Anyway, this time round it was my turn to host a wargame, since StuG was planning on spending a couple of days working from my normal workplace (he normally manages me from a good distance away, a mutually satisfactory arrangement)! So I thought best get the WW2 armies out now I’ve made some progress on them and pick some troops!
We both like tanks, so me as Germans against StuG as Russians seemed a good bet, particularly since I’d made good progress with the infantry for these combatants last year. So after locating the right boxes and getting the stuff out, “Quelle horreur” I exclaimed (French for “WTF”), there were a couple of vehicles with unpainted crew figures! The worst part of it was that the vehicles were painted 30-ish years ago!
So, thought I’d better get ’em painted, not wanting to let StuG think I’m more of a slacker than he already thinks I am, particularly since my annual performance review is due! The two vehicles in question were a Fujimi 1:76th T-34/85 tank and a Cromwell Models 1:76th SdKfz 251 half-track, both needing one crewman painting. Although the painting standard of the vehicles leaves a bit to be desired by my standards today, I don’t want to get into re-working all of the old ones just ’cause I can do better now, so just the crew were getting painted!
Relatively easy for the T-34 commander since he’s half hidden by the hatch and cupola. The figure is just the plastic figure that came with the kit! I think I took the easy way out with vehicle tactical numbers 30 years ago, since the numbers I used don’t tally with Russian tank brigade organisations! The T-34/76 in the heading picture is the old Matchbox kit with a scratchbuilt 1943-style turret.
The 251 crewman was an ESCI Afrika Korps mortarman stuck in place to man the machine gun. Since this vehicle represents the support company in a Panzer Grenadier battalion, I’d replaced the pintle MG weapon with a scratchbuilt sustained fire mount, although in those pre-internet days I’ve no idea where I found a picture of that! Again, the gunner was hidden to some extent by the vehicle round him, so I just had to do a reasonable job on his top half. The MG looked a bit faded, so I painted that at the same time. I think if I made this vehicle again I wouldn’t put stowage across the rear doors!
And the best part! My boss has cancelled his visit, so no game anyway! He claims other business priorities were responsible, but I just think he doesn’t want to get defeated again! Or someone tipped him off that I’d got an Easy Models 1:72 Jagdpanther in my Amazon wish list and Prime delivery was available!