My latest entry to the Winter Painting Challenge is a little more substantial than the single figures I have submitted so far (and about time too I hear you cry!). I started putting together a Lehr Panzegrenadier Company at the beginning of 2012 but by the end of the year had only completed two Combat Platoons and the HQ Platoon. The Third and final Platoon remained based and primed but unpainted on my desk for several months. I'll be honest, my motivation had taken a down turn and I was looking for something new. And that was when I 'discovered' 6mm and decided to start work on my North Africa 1942 project. The poor old Panzergrenadiers never stood a chance and subsequently got boxed up and put in storage never to be seen again.
Never to be seen again... until I decided to take part in the Challenge that is. This was the motivation I needed to get this final platoon out of storage and complete the Company I had started so long ago. And now that I have finished them I can safely consider my Normandy 1944 project complete, at least for now. The only downside to this long completion time is that each platoon has been painted slightly different to each other, despite having detailed colour notes and a 'formula' to work to. Next time I paint a company in 15mm I'll do all the platoons together (maybe something for next years challenge!).
I've modelled and painted these as Lehr Gepanzerte Panzergrenediers which means each of the three squads has two MG teams of four Grenadiers plus one tank hunter (Panzerfaust) team each. Three of the SdKfz 251/1 D's half-tracks are equipped with the standard MG42's and the fourth has been upgraded to an SdKfz 251/10 D armed with a 3.7cm PaK 36 gun.
I'm rather chuffed with the way the camo pattern has worked on these. I don't own an airbrush but I wanted to try and replicate the soft edged camo designs I'd seen elsewhere. I achieved the look I wanted by 'dry-stippling' the colour onto the model (the technique may have an official name, but this is what I call it). Basically I loaded an old brush with the paint I required, wiped most off like I would for regular drybrushing but instead of running the bristles across the model I repeatedly tapped the brush tip first onto the surface. Very little paint is deposited on the model but repeated stippling creates a solid area of colour with a 'soft' edge around the outside. Its a slow process but the results look very similar to airbrushing and is certainly good enough for the tabletop.