Bear Necessities!

I think the order that I planned some posts in has got a bit scrambled, but so what!  Since I’ve just finished this model, it’s getting a post!  Subject is a German WW2 vehicle, the Sturmpanzer IV, also referred to as a Brummbär or Grizzly Bear (you see, that’s the sort of name a tank should have – it gets the “DON’T MESS WITH ME” message across)!

2018_0618_17420600This is the first Brummbär model I have ever owned!  It started life as the Easy Models 1:72 ready-built, pre-painted model shown above and up until a week ago I was happy to let it live out its life like that!  Brummbärs were usually allocated to Army-level formations, so it’s a relatively rare beast, but I’ve long planned to include some higher level assets (i.e. above divisional level) in my German army if possible, which is why I added my Tiger I not too long ago.  The Brummbär was developed based on German Army experience in Russia, which saw the need for a heavily armed and protected vehicle that could deal with enemy strongpoints at close range.

2018_0708_21031100With the warm weather in the UK at the moment, I’ve been building some tank kits instead of watching acrylic paint dry up way too quickly!  A couple of weeks ago I built one of the Plastic Soldier Company’s excellent late-war Panzer IV kits and was left with a pair of armoured side-skirts that I didn’t need.  Since the Brummbär was fitted with the same skirts I thought I’d add them to the Easy Models tank to make it look a bit meaner – this also meant a re-paint, but I’d gone off the original cammo scheme anyway!  For those of you wondering why I didn’t buy a plastic, resin or metal kit instead, it’s because I could see the quality I was getting and didn’t have to worry about poor-fitting or awkward flash lines!

I added plastic strip to the mudguards with super glue to provide a mounting surface for the side skirts – I then used plastic cement to fix the skirts to the strip!  Doing it this way round lets me juggle the side skirts into position before the glue sets.  I also used super glue to fix the flexible tracks to the roadwheels since past experience has shown that sometimes the tracks swell if they’re covered with an enamel-based wash!  Fortunately, that didn’t happen, but I painted and washed the suspension and tracks before adding the skirts, just in case!

2018_0713_19320400Rest of it was finished as per the Tiger, although without the red-brown camouflage.  I toned down the green and left one skirt panel in plain dark yellow, to represent a replaced panel.  Markings were just plain PSC crosses – I deliberately left off any numbers so that the vehicle could be used to represent one from any unit, since Brummbärs were reportedly also issued in small numbers to Panzer divisions.

2018_0715_19045600Decals we’re sealed with gloss and satin varnish and then the whole vehicle was brown-washed and drybrushed in sand.  Had to line in some of the fine panel/hatch lines but just left the rivets to be picked out by the drybrushing.

2018_0715_19035600I’m pretty pleased with the end result (and the small dust spec/hair you can just see on one of the skirt panels in the picture above has now been brushed off) and happy with the re-painted finish!

Despite the fact that this is a one off model for me, I don’t rate it as special at all, so I’m not counting it towards the Jewel Of July painting challenge!  Probably regret that, ’cause I’m rapidly running out of July to get much done!





  1. Nice finish. Did you do the cameo by brush? It always looks to rubbish when I try camo. Yours looks like you used a camo colour that was close to the original base colour. Maybe that’s where I go wrong. Using too different a colour…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, glad you like it! Everything’s done with a brush! Interesting comment on the cammo colours – on the Brummbär and Tiger (painted not too long ago) I mixed the base yellow with the green and brown to tone them down a bit and I think they look better! Since the green and brown were usually applied by tank crews in the field, they were diluted before application, so the toned down colours better represent this practice! Decades ago (!) I also made the decision to use Humbrol 84 for German overall dark yellow, since it is a duller shade and the normal brown and green overpainted shades look less stark! I’m going to have similar issues with 1944 Finnish and Hungarian tanks, so I’m intending to adjust some of the colours to get the right look! To be disruptive, camouflage tends to use contrasting colours, but a final mucky wash helps to tone everything down I’ve found!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. If you’re not going to count that as Jewel of July, can I claim it?!? ;P

    Seriously, really nice work. It also makes me feel a bit ashamed, because I’m painting a military themed Necromunda gang, but don’t have the talent to do camo on them. Which probably would have turned out beautiful (if done by someone other than me!). Totally awesome looking tank, and love the bits of backstory too! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, if you like it go ahead and claim it! Thank you for the kind comments! I never find cammo easy, and more difficult on figures than vehicles! I’ve found on historical figures, uniforms need to be shaded black, otherwise the cam hides the detail (which is what camouflage is all about). You might find if you give it a try, you’ll like what you’ve done!

      Liked by 2 people

        • Sounds good! I can help you out here – make a US Army M4 Sherman and base it in a narrow Normandy lane, then in December 2019, 75 years on from the Battle Of The Bulge, strip the hedges off the base and apply a liberal covering of that model snow that you’ve got a shed-load of! Job’s a good “un!

          Liked by 3 people

  3. I think it looks great – and you should definitely count it. As I said, this month is as much for the minor heroes as the major ones – and a Brummbär that looks as nice as this one is plenty valid. I mean, if I painted it, *I’d* count it.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Azazel! Since he asked nicely, I’ve told Faust he can count it towards the challenge though – it’s all about sharing! I’ll just have to get moving on something else (and damn quick)! But I do appreciate your kind comments!

      Liked by 3 people

  4. Great painting mate, the camouflage is really good on the tank, but what really got me exited was the old walls you have used, they look really good, and did you make them or purchase them ?. Likewise the German troops, great painting and just out of interest who made them ?.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Pat! The stone walls are from the old Mainly Military 25mm range, now sold by Caliver Books and on their website under Battleground Buildings. The high brick walls round the factory are from Hovels 20mm Battleground range, available still from them and in high or low, damaged or complete, along with corners and the brick stone-capped gate post/pier also in the picture.
      German infantry are ESCI figures, first painted in the 80s (!) and tidied up in the last couple of years! You’ll find them on the Plastic Soldier Review site if you want more detail!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks John I will look into these as I just feel they look so good ,normally I would scratch build but when some one makes a better job of it I’ll purchase theirs and the ones you have used look really good . The PSR as been like the bible for modellers to me, I can’t remember how I stumbled onto them five years ago when I resumed my interest in modelling ,top bunch of boys, saved me from purchasing some figures that look great but fit in with other sets in regards to size ,which you will appreciate, you can get away with one or two big guys but not an even split .
    Just checked out the Esci German lads ,so good ,love to do something with them but time is limited so I leave that with you mate ,keep up the good work .

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hope you can get some of the walls to fit in with your diorama plans! I used PSR last year to pick out the best American Civil War figures to use for my Paraguayan War project and it really helped a lot. If you’ve looked at the ESCI figures you’ll have realised I combined the LMG gunner with the radio operator to make the assault LMG team! That LMG gunner was also brilliant for putting into armoured half-tracks s a crewman! And thks for your kind comments!

      Liked by 2 people

  6. I always loved the Brummbar! I remember that the vehicle had a crane in the back to help load the huge ammo rounds. Definitely count this as a Jewel! Azazel, this is worth it! JNV this was so well done, kudos.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Mark, glad you like it! You might be thinking of the Sturmtiger when you mention the crane for loading the ammunition, although I can’t imagine there was much room in the Brummbär for handling 150mm rounds!

      Liked by 2 people

          • Armament Edit

            Sturmtiger in the Deutsches Panzermuseum. In the front is the main 380 mm caliber rocket-propelled projectile.
            The main armament was the 380 mm Raketen-Werfer 61 L/5.4, a breech-loading barrel, which fired short-range, rocket-propelled projectiles roughly 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) long. There were a variety of rounds with a weight of up to 376 kg (829 lb), and a maximum range of up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft), which either contained a high explosive charge of 125 kg (276 lb) or a shaped charge for use against fortifications, which could penetrate up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) of reinforced concrete. The stated range of the former was 5,650 m (6,180 yd). A normal charge first accelerated the projectile to 45 m/s (150 ft/s), the 40 kg (88 lb) rocket charge then boosted this to about 250 m/s (820 ft/s).

            The design of the rocket system caused some problems. The hot rocket exhaust could not be vented into the fighting compartment nor could the barrel withstand the pressure if the gasses were not vented. Therefore, a ring of ventilation shafts was put around the barrel which channeled the exhaust and gave the weapon something of a pepperbox appearance.

            Due to the bulkiness of the ammunition, only 14 rounds could be carried, of which one was already loaded, with another in the loading tray. The rest were carried in two storage racks. To help with the loading of ammunition into the vehicle, a loading crane was fitted at the rear of the superstructure next to the loading hatch. Even then, the entire five man crew had to help with the loading.

            It was intended that each Sturmtiger would be accompanied by an ammunition carrier built on the same Tiger I chassis, but only one carrier was completed.[1]

            At the loading hatch’s rear was located a 100 millimetres (3.9 in) grenade launcher, using bouncing mines, which was used for close range defence against both armoured vehicles and infantry in a 360 degree circle around the vehicle.


            Liked by 1 person

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