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)!
This 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.
With 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!
Rest 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.
Decals 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.
I’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!