Colouring the PzKpfw II

The Panzer II was the common name for a family of German tanks used in World War II. The official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen II (abbreviated PzKpfw II). Although the vehicle had originally been designed as a stopgap while more advanced tanks were developed, it nonetheless went on to play an important role in the early years of World War II, during the Polish and French campaigns. By the end of 1942 it had been largely removed from front line service, and production of the tank itself ceased by 1943.

This one was on display at the Bovington Tank Museum.

PzKpfw II

When they first appeared, in 1936, the Panzer IIs were regarded as platoon commander’s tanks. They were also employed to give fire support to the Panzer I in combat with enemy tanks. However by 1940 they had been outclassed and were relegated to the reconnaissance role. This exhibit, an Ausfuhrung (or Model) F featured improved armour and was introduced in 1941.

This tank was captured by British forces in North Africa but it is shown in the markings of 1st Panzer Division at the time of the invasion of France in June 1940.

That was something I didn’t know until a few years ago that the German tanks in 1940 were painted grey and brown, I had always thought they were just grey. I personally blame Matchbox  for this.

Matchbox Panzer II box art

It was only after Blitzkrieg was released back in 2010 by Battlefront that I noticed the grey and brown camouflage scheme.

As recently as ten years ago the overwhelming consensus regarding early war German AFV paint schemes was that they were all painted in uniform overall panzer grey (Dunkelgrau – RAL 7021 – formerly RAL 46). However, in 2002 Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle published an article based on primary sources stating all German vehicles at the beginning of World War II were painted in a two tone camouflage scheme of panzer grey with one third of the vehicle painted in a disruptive pattern of dark brown (Dunkelbraun – RAL 7017 – formerly RAL 45). The order to move to an overall panzer grey scheme was not signed until the end of July 1940.

Back in 2011, I blogged about finding the 15mm Zveda plastic model kit.

Though you can buy a resin version of the Pz II I was plesantly surprised to find a plastic 1/100th scale kit of the Pz II in a model shop for just £1.25. Bargain!

Made my Zveda, a Russian firm… I did manage to pick up three of them. I am going to make them up as PzKpfw IIs for the Western Desert.

Note that the cover art of the box is all grey too… but by the time of the invasion of Russia, all German tanks were grey.

Flames of War Rolls Royce Armoured Car

So there I was flicking through the most recent copy of Wargames Illustrated when I noticed in the Hellfire and Back battle report a wonderful looking Rolls Royce Armoured Car.

Flames of War Rolls Royce Armoured Cars

I believe that this is a new model for Flames of War and hasn’t been released before by Battlefront.

Flames of War Rolls Royce Armoured Cars

I’ve always liked the Rolls Royce Armoured Car and though this is a desert version, wondering if it wouldn’t take much to convert it for Home Guard use. I would need to convert the turrets back from the open ones used in the desert to the older closed ones. Of course it would be nice if a non-desert version of the Rolls Royce Armoured Car was sold as part of Blitzkreig, but I am guessing it won’t be.

I like the Morris CS9 model too.

Flames of War French Reinforcements

On the 23rd July, my French Blitzkreig forces will be able to get some reinforcements with some new releases for them for Flames of War.

The FRX05 All-Terrain Towed 105mm Artillery Battery.

The FRX06 Self-propelled 75mm Anti-aircraft Platoon look like relics from World War One. Old lorries with 75mm AA guns on board, just the thing to attempt to shoot down the odd stuka or three.

The final release for the French is the FR201 Lorraine 38L Armoured Carrier.

Used as a supply carrier, many were later used by the Germans and converted in self propelled artillery.