This week I've decided to paint something slightly different in that today's AFV hasn't been painted for use in my Normandy games. I bought this last year for use with What a Tanker! but never got round to painting it until now. To be honest, over the next few weeks I probably won't be painting much for Chain of Command. Instead, I will be working hard to prepare for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge which starts in a few weeks time. Former participants will know that you can prepare your figures in advance of the start date so long as you don't apply any colour (other than Primer). So for the last week or so and probably the next couple I will be cleaning up and preparing models ready for the start of the challenge on the 21st of December. I booked a couple of weeks off over Christmas (pretty much the only holiday I've had this year) and I'm looking forward to having some family time and getting a bit of painting done.
Painting a Panzer IV Ausf F2 gives me a chance to try a different paint scheme. It is a much earlier vehicle than the Normandy tanks I normally do, so I've decided to paint it with one of the many mid-war camo schemes used by the Germans. So this vehicle has a base of German Grey with patches of Middlestone. This model is from Peter Pig and is 'battle-hardened' which basically means it has got some pieces of equipment and stowage on the decks as well as items like track welded on the front and the turret. The model probably won't see the games table in a Chain-of-Command game but will be ideal for some What a Tanker action, which is what I originally bought it for. I have even got a Russian T34 somewhere so it might be fun to paint that up just as a something different. Don't go getting any ideas, I'm not about to switch my interest to the Russian front, at least not in the foreseeable future ... never say never! So on with something about the Panzer IV F2
We're gonna need a bigger gun
The original Ausf F1 version started production in early 1941 but after encountering KV1's & T34's in Russia it was decided that a bigger gun was needed. Krupp was given the task of trying to adapt the existing PAK 40 L/46 gun into the turret and the result was the 75mm KwK 40 L/46. This could penetrate 77 mm of armour at a range of 1,830m and would be very effective against Russian Armour. The downside of this weapon was its significant recoil, so the barrel was given a muzzle break and this combined with the longer weapon made the tank rather front-heavy, reducing its manoeuvrability. Three months after production started, and with a few minor improvements, the vehicle design was redesignated as the Ausf H. That version came with side Schurzen plates but this model is the slightly earlier F2.
I'm probably not going to get anything else painted this week so my next post will be Sunday when the next episode of The Quarantined Wargamer will be discussing my well developed (some would call excessively developed!) four coat varnish method.