Hey gang, Matt Varnish here, and let me admit something straight off the bat: I am a lazy S.O.B when it comes to painting without a deadline. So I have to self-impose a deadline in order for me to get my DAK project up and running, and you guys get to come along for the ride!
You see, since Historicon in July, I have done exactly zero painting, probably because I got a little burnt out doing my 21. Panzers Late War. For those not in-the-know, these are the guys with all the looted french vehicles with PaK-40s and 15cm Howitzer welded to the back. To get back into the swing of things I decided to embark on this project for a couple of reasons.
That's what I call 'camo'
1 Early War. For whatever reason, our gaming group was in the midst of Mid-War and just getting started on Late war when Blitzkrieg hit, so Early War never got off the ground here. While I have some Desert Rat British, most of the equipment is Mid War, so my DAK will be my primary Early War army. Next year's Historicon in VA is slated to be Early War too.
2 But why DAK? Why not the "new hotness" that is the Japanese? I won't lie, I had about 500 dollars in my wallet at Historicon this year, and Bruce and the Battlefront lads had the new stuff there. I balked though. I've always had a soft spot the desert war. Rommel called it "The war without hatred" as there was a camaraderie between the combatants. If a patrol was lost, one side would literally radio the other to see if they had been captured, or to continue looking out for them. Besides, we have no deserts in Canada, plus the DAK are a natural VS army for my Brits, so the DAK makes tonnes of sense.
3 Impetus. As I said, I need deadlines or else nothing gets done. (Leveling my planes in War Thunder and progress in GTA V doesn't count!) Bonus is, it gets a few of the local guys into Early War too.
So that's fine and dandy, but what is my plan? I already have most of the stuff sitting in boxes, and while I want to make an Early War army, it of course will also be a mid-war army. Since I have the 21. Panzers in Late War, it makes sense to continue the tradition and go with them as well, rather than the other divisions.
I want to be able to field an Infantry, Mech and Tank company from both Hellfire and North Africa books, and I'll probably look into Stutzpunkts as well. I plan on posting my progress every 2 weeks, including bat reps, list ideas, all the way until Historicon in July. I'm sure I will get distracted by new shinies, such as anything Fate of the Nations related (great more desert stuff!) but what the hey, it'll be fun.
Lets start off with what I have, model-wise. Too much in boxes, not enough built!
5 Pzr III's with the short guns (not sure of model letter) assembled, basecoated
7 Pzr IV's again with the short guns, assembled basecoated.
4 Pzr II's, one of which is a finished test model
4 Pzr I and 1 Pzr II command tank
Problem here is the Pzr I and IIs. They are Old Glory and Zvezda respectively. I will PROBABLY replace them with BF models, as the big tournament ought to have mostly their models right?
Mechanised forces. A big reason to do the DAK is to give me a reason to field stuff I would never otherwise, such as hordes of scout cars and bikes.
3 units of Light Panzerspahs (so 221's and 222s)
2 units of 8 rads
1 unit of heavy 8-rads with the 7.5s on them x3
1 command 8 rad sdkfz 263.. this is an old discontinued BF model, Early War 8-rad with the huge aerial (Picture at head of article) Rather than the plain jane '250 with the aerial, I'm going to run this thing. Besides, it has the same armament, just MGs!
2 YES TWO platoons of Kradschutzen. I know this is going to be the bane of my existence.. but the 21st panzer had more than 1000 bikes in the desert.. so they will be my infantry in my Panzerspah company. I have the matching 2 infantry platoons for when dismounted or running Schutzen.
4 Marder IIIs (Mid War)
Wespe Battery (MW again)
On foot, I have the aforementioned 2 platoons, with either the light mortar and AT rifle add ons or the mid war style add ons of the Knackers and if need be, I have 2 each of the spZ-41 gun or the 8.8cm Puppchen
battery of 4 10.5cm arty
battery of nebs (MW)
2 x 88s which will be firing from the carriage. Youtube it, its crazy, they fired them while on the wheels and everything! Hit 1:36 ish for the 88 action, and turn that ridiculous music off. Cooking eggs on a fender near the end too!
Airpower: I have a Stuka which will be the AT gun variant, because my bomb plane will be a 1/144 scale HE-111, painted with the finicky desert colors.
All the above I already have, so you can kinda see why I didn't drop for another army at Historicon!
Test model, Zvezda Pz II, with PSC stowage, "dirty look" I think the tan is too bright.
Stuff I need to get still:
a few more bikes, as the other platoon commands seem to be on bikes.
some Dianas, because, why not?
some AT guns, PaK38s, maybe some PaK40s for MW
4 x Panzerjager Is. I will wait to playtest these a bit with my Marders, not sold on them as my AT in Early war.
Still need to decide: Which color scheme to go for. Anyone with a Hellfire and Back book, you know the page where they show all the tank variants, you see the two distinct painting styles.. my test model is done in the dirty style, but the tan is a bit too bright for my liking. I need to do a test model with the green-brown basecoat, and see which I like best. Also, need to do infantry test figs. Of note: I have real Sahara sand for my basing, as my brother was in the middle east and got me some sand!
My homework assignment for next post is:
1) Test models of infantry, as I need to nail down the procedure I am going to use for all gun crews, Schutzen, and the bike riders.
2) Test model of vehicle using grey as a base coat, and leaving the grey and markings on. I need to get some green-brown from Vallejo for this I think.
3) Assembly of other stuff if I have time, especially the infantry.
I'm excited to get started and figure out my colour scheme. I'll catch you guys in 2 weeks!
Matt Varnish, plays Flames of War up in Canada with the lads from www.dicedevils.com. Surprisingly, I don't even have a Canadian army............ yet!