A Cold East Wind!

in 2022 I only managed to paint two vehicles in 20mm scale, which is extremely bad by my standards! So I thought that the best way to start this year was by getting some vehicles painted that could be included in the Paint What You Got community challenge!

So first off is a German WW2 anti-aircraft tank, the Ostwind (East Wind). They were built late in the war to provide tank units with short range anti-aircraft protection, with most using the hulls of re-conditioned Panzer IV medium tanks returned to depots for rebuilding. I like the big, angular turret, which gives it a very characteristic appearance (the earlier Wirbelwind was a similar concept).

The model is a resin 3D print from Syborg and is a very nice, crisp model (Chris over at NQM continues to be a bad influence on me, since his blog is where I first heard of Syborg). To match my old German vehicles it’s painted in overall yellow with thick stripes of red brown and medium green, both of the latter mixed with overall yellow to give them a more muted appearance (these two colours were provided to vehicle crews in the form of paste which had to be diluted before it could be used, so the colours could vary in practice. I then gave the vehicle a black/brown thinned enamel wash that was removed with a damp brush to leave a grubby/shaded finish. Last paint applied was a sandy drybrush highlight.

I had trouble with the overall yellow base coat. I normally use Humbrol 84 Mid Stone but this time round I’d got an equivalent acrylic match, but this did not cover well over the Vallejo primer coat (I opted to coat in acrylic for a change, since some resin materials don’t react well to enamels). When I tried a colour patch of enamel 84 it looked too dark, so I decided to paint the whole vehicle in Enamel 83 Ochre, which is a lighter colour than 84). This covered well, nice and matt, but I thought it looked a bit too light! So I then tried the acrylic 84 again over the enamel and it covered well, so I repainted the complete vehicle! One other change I made was to paint the tracks and suspension in Dark Earth before putting the black/brown wash on and this made these bits easier to paint for near enough the same overall mucky running gear look.

Up until this point the only close range AA protection my German forces had was provided by an SdKfz 7/2 37mm-armed half track (shown above with the Ostwind and some tank crewmen for comparison – it also shows how big the half track was). This model was converted from the Airfix SdKfz 7 tractor. Originally, back in the late ’70s (honest) I built it as the unarmoured version with a flat rear platform and scratch built 37mm gun, but in the early ’80s I added the armoured cab from plasticard and repainted it in the form you can see in the picture. I originally had two of them but gave one away when I scaled down my WW2 wargames forces when I got married. I’ve also got an optional quadruple 20mm gun to mount in place of the 37mm gun to let me field the SdKfz 7/1 variant.

While I was taking the pictures I thought I’d get my other Panzer IV models and variants out for a group shot, since there aren’t many and they don’t get out much (see picture above)! The Ostwind is the left hand model in the back row. Next to it is a Brummbar, the only other vehicle in this picture that was painted since I started this blog in 2016 (you can see it here). The vehicle rear right is the old Matchbox kit of the Jagdpanzer IV tank destroyer, another ’80’s model. Front row are my Panzer IV medium tanks, all scratchbuilt in cardboard in the early ’80s (so probably 40 years old now)! They’re showing their age but they’re quite robust models and I’ve got no intention of replacing them since they’ve been through a lot in their lifetimes.

Shows how times change – back in the ’80s I used to scratchbuild the vehicles I needed, now I can get nearly every one as a kit or a 3D print! They’ve all still got to be painted (and varnished) of course!



  1. Excellent work, John! Love the Ostwind, and as always, I’m in awe of your scratchbuilds. A good reminder that I really need to get back to my WWII stuff and finally finish the last models for my DAK!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ Nice to get old stuff out and have a look at it once in a while! Whereas I gave away a lot of trucks, half tracks and artillery pieces when I scaled back my armies I made sure I kept hold of my Panthers and Panzer IVs – you can never have too many tanks!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Dave! πŸ™‚ I have actually exceeded last year’s number of vehicles finished but the Ostwind’s the only one that’s managed to get varnished. I think I used to have too much time on my hands so I used to scratch build a lot! I for one am happy to have 3D printed models filling gaps in my collection, although it’s maybe worrying that there are gaps still to fill! πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Smart of you to get started on one of your goals at the start of the year! Maybe that should be a challenge, β€œPaint that thing you always say you’re going to paint Challenge”! Haha! I must say that’s a nice looking vehicle and the camo job is stellar! I’m curious why the top is open like that, but I guess it has something to do with it being Anti-Aircraft?

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Faust! πŸ™‚ Painting more vehicles than I did last year wouldn’t be much of a challenge now, since I’ve got some extras done that still need to be varnished and posted. But “Paint what you said you’d paint!” sounds like a good idea for a challenge.

      Most WW2 self-propelled AA guns were open (I think only the British Crusader/Centaur AA vehicles and German experimental Kugelblitz were enclosed, but there might be more). If I had to prioritise I’d think an open AA vehicle will enable the crew to more easily locate targets, since the commander’s and loaders’ eyes are also available as lookouts. There also tends to be more room available for the crew to handle ammunition and better ventilation in the turret to prevent the build up in gun fumes. These aspects can be traded off against reduced crew and vehicle protection.

      With the advent of jet combat aircraft in WW2 and afterwards, the shift in self propelled AA guns has been towards fully enclosed, radar controlled and power-operated turrets, since manually operated systems become incapable of tracking and engaging close and fast moving targets.

      The trend in self-propelled artillery went from open-topped, limited firing arc guns in WW2 to the fully enclosed, turreted systems in use today, both to provide protection against hostile counter battery fire and more flexibility in engaging targets. Most of the early AA and artillery systems developed in WW2 also made use of existing tank chassis, which might have been overloaded by the addition of heavy fully enclosed turrets.

      Sorry it’s a bit of a wordy reply, but some “simple” questions can have quite complicated answers! The above are, of course, only my opinions!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You’re off to a good start in 2023, I’d say, John! You always do a great job with vehicles and these are no exception. The group shot really illustrates this well. I completely agree that 3D printing has changed our hobby. I stay away from it only because I feel like I’d never get anything accomplished and would have too big of a backlog but I really like how it empowers us as hobbyists to build and paint what we like.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks Jeff! πŸ™‚ I seem to display almost no prejudice as far as the materials my backlog of stuff to paint is made from – metal, plastic, resin and 3D prints, they’re all there! The good thing about 3D prints is it seems to be easier to get models in the scales you want, or request models in those scales if they not yet available!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I really like your painting of the Ostwind. But what’s really impressive is your fleet, especially the ones that you scratch built. With the market and 3D printing availability of all vehicles today – to see some excellent stuff that has lasted since the 80’s (like we have – oh hell let’s say the 60’s) is wonderful John.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. First off, I can’t believe the Panzer IVs are homemade from cardboard! To me they look like store-bought models, or 3D prints. Amazing work on those! Anyway, I really like the Ostwind and the camo scheme is excellent, nicely muted despite the yellow. The camo on the half-track looks amazing too, how did you manage to do that on such a small model? Nicely done, and when are these Germans going up against the Martians? LOL!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Matt! πŸ™‚ I think maybe the Panzer IVs look better in a bunch from a distance mind you! The half track is relatively large so it was just a case of getting a fine-ish brush and letting it wander about a bit! Back in the ’80s I spent more time modelling and gaming so I didn’t really mind painting different camouflage schemes.

      The Germans will not be facing the Martians, but worth you keeping up the pressure! I may have made progress on a Martian game, or maybe not – I’m thinking of changing the rules I use for “colonial” games so I’m going to try and fit Martian forces in with that and sort units stats out all together!


    • Thanks Chris! πŸ™‚ I’m with you on that! I used to enjoy making plans of vehicles from basic dimensions and photographs and then making them from cereal packets, cocktail sticks and paper (cocktails ticks are spot on for tank guns)! I tend to scratchbuild less now, but still enjoy it, mainly scenery because you can sort of make it up as you go along!


  6. Like the other guys I cant believe you built those tanks, but Forty years ago I feel we could achieve such things, youth and determination because as you said there was a lot less available. I remember having the Half track with the 88 mm flack gun but I cant remember the 37mm , oh well it was along time ago for me!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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