Sunday, July 17, 2011

Oberscharführer Ernst Barkmann

Ernst Barkmann [1]

Ernst Barkmanm (25 August 1919 — 27 June 2009) was one of the greatest Panzer Aces of the War World II. He is also available in the Battlefront's Flames of War game (FOW) as a warrior in 2nd and 12th SS Panzer Divisions.

There are many books and web sites presenting comprehensive information about that heroic tank commander (including two Battlefront books [3, 4]), so I will try to focus on some basic information and less know engagement he participated in, also providing references to other sources at the end of this post. I hope that after reading this entry you won't complain again about his special rules in FOW, when you meet him at battlefield next time ;)

Early Service

Ernst Barkmann was born in a farmer family in Kisdorf which lies near Hamburg. His career in SS started in April 1939 when he was admitted to SS-Verfügungstruppe (the precursor of Waffen-SS), and finally he was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of SS-Standarte Germania.

He saw action for the first time during the campaign against Poland in September 1939. He served as a machine gunner in the 9th company of the regiment. He was wounded and awarded the Wound Badge in Black. He continued to fight during the Fall Weiss campaign and earned Infantry Assault Badge.

During the Barbarossa campaign, his unit changed title from “Verfügungstruppe” to “Deutschland”, and soon after that to “Reich”. He was again wounded in July 1941 during the fighting for the Dnjepr crossings at Dnjepropetrowsk. After he recovered, he was assigned to instruct volunteers in Holland.

Panzer III Gunner and Commander

Barkmann's service as a tanker started in 1942 when he volunteered to the tank battalion of the Division “Das Reich”. He was sent to the Eastern Front in winter 1942/1943 where he became a gunner of the PzKpfw III Ausf J/1 tank commanded by SS-Rottenführer Alfred Hargesheimer. He was soon promoted to the rank of SS-Rottenführer and given the command on his own Panzer III with the tactical number 221. He was finally promoted to SS-Unterscharführer.

Franc Kurowski [2] describes the action that took place on the morning of 4 February 1943. The task of the 2nd company was to attack and take the village of Olchowatka. Barkmann's Panzer 221 was ordered to cover the left flank of the wedge formation. During the approach to the village Barkmann's crew easily took out the Maxim machine gun with a single round, but soon they were attacked by Molotov cocktails. One of the bottles exploded on the frontal armor of the tank. Barkmann jumped out from the hatch and wiped out burning liquid with his jacket. Soon after that he spotted an anti-tank gun which was only 30 meters away and firing to the remaining German tanks. He ordered to roll over the gun as the crew of AT gun started to rotate the gun to face his Panzer. Under the heavy fire from AT rifles and desperate shot from the AT gun, Barkmann's Panzer destroyed the AT gun [ehh, they had them on 4s and still missed in the defensive fire? ;)]. Soviets retreated leaving the village to the Germans. After the assault only three tanks (including the 221 tank) were still fully operational. They were ordered to return for fuel supplies. Barkmann was not pleased because one of the more experienced SS-Rottenführers was assigned to his tank as a commander. Barkmann took the role of gunner instead. During the way back at night and in deep snow the new commander lost contact with the remaining tanks and Panzer 221 bogged down in the snow [hmm, someone rolled 1 for the bogged down check ;)]. The crew was not able to free the tank.
At dawn the tank was spotted by Soviet bombers, but they didn't manage to destroy it. Soon, Soviet infantry supported by the horse-drawn AT guns appeared. Barkmann ordered to engage and defend the vehicle. After a heavy fight they destroyed three guns. By the time they had only 10 rounds of ammo left, they managed to contact incoming German tanks. They destroyed one more gun when one of the remaining 7.62 guns hit the tank and penetrated the rear deck. Barkmann ordered his men to bail out [upss, a failed fire power test = a consolation prize for Soviets ;)]. Under the fire, they were able to retreat. When they met the incoming tanks Barkmann claimed that he has to return and recapture his tank... Unfortunately for him and his crew, the Panzer III tank burned out by the time they reached it.

Panther Ace

Although, Barkmann proved to be a gifted commander and gunner before, he is mainly recognized as a commander of the Panzer V Panther tank. He became a commander of the Panther D tank after the failure of the Operation Citadel, when he was transferred to become a commander of the 4th company. He successfully fought on the Eastern front until January 1944, and he was awarded both classes of Iron Cross for his service.

Early in February, the division was ordered to France. At the beginning of the Overlord Operation in June 1944, the Das Reich Division was initially held in reserve, but when it became clear that Allies would not launch additional landings, the division was directed north to Normandy.

Fighting in Normandy was something new for Barkmann, who was more familiar with the epic-scale battles of the Eastern front. Difficult terrain of bocage forced tank commanders to fight at close ranges in small tactical groups (typically not bigger than platoon). However, Barkmann quickly adjusted to new conditions. On 8 July, his 4./SS-Panzer-Regiment 2 advanced against the US forces north from San Sebastian. Franc Kurowski [2] describes the engagement that took place in the following days. It started from knocking out a Sherman tank by Barkmann's Panther. Soon after, Barkmann's company bogged down in the artillery fire. For the next couple days the company took part in the counterattack.

On 12 July, Barkmann's Panther destroyed additional two Shermans and immobilized additional one. After that, Barkmann prepared an ambush hiding his tank and waiting for the approaching US armor forces. An they did approach on 13 July – six tanks. Firing from the concealment they managed to knock out three Shermans, while the Yanks unsuccessfully tried to fire back. Three remaining tanks disappeared trying to get to the rear of Barkmann's Panther. The Panther changed its position and engaged incoming infantry supported by AT guns. Barkmann's crew managed to destroy one gun, while the second hit the front of the Panther's turret causing fire. The crew bailed out [again the fire power test failed ;)]. Barkmann managed to pull the unconscious gunner from the turret. After a while, they decided to get back to the tank. They managed to put out the fire.

Next day, while the crew was waiting for their Panther 424 to be repaired, they were ordered to get back to the front lines and free four tanks that were cut off. The crew was given a reserve tank (which had fresh signs of the fatal fate of its previous crew). Three Panthers where able to reach the encircled tanks and breakthrough the enemy lines while knocking down three Shermans. Next day Barkmann's “temporal” Panther was damaged by artillery, but the crew managed to get it back to the workshop. Meanwhile, their 424 Panther was repaired, so they switched back tank again. Unfortunately for Barkmann, his Panther was soon attacked by US fighter-bombers, and again badly damaged. Again his crew was able to extinguish the fire. The workshop personnel worked hard for the whole night to repair the vehicle. Although they managed to that, the time required to repair it, left the Barkmann's Panther cut off from the rest of his company.

The following days in which Barkmann's crew made their way back to the remaining German forces made them famous. The action that took place at the crossroad near Le Lorey (junction with the road N172) on 28 June was further called Barkmann's Corner. You can find the description of the engagement in the Battlefront books [3,4], so I will only limit myself here to the short summary. As the Panther 424 was approaching the crossroad, it was welcomed by the German infantry reporting about incoming column of US vehicles. Barkmann sent two of his men Heinze and Corth to check the situation. They confirmed the report (Heinze was also wounded during the recon). Barkmann's Panther attacked the column from the concealment destroying two leading Shermans and supporting ammo and fuel vehicles. Soon, Panther 424 managed to destroy additional two Shermans that tried to go around the blocked road. Americans called for air support, however, the fighter-bombers didn't manage to cause greater damage. Using the cover , Shermans were able to flank the Panther. Barkmann's crew knocked out two of them until Shermans started to hit the Panther. Two rounds hit the 424 tank damaging tracks and ventilator (making real hell inside). The Panther's driver Wilke was wounded and trapped in the forward part of the tank. Although, the ammunition was running out they managed to knock out another Sherman. The Panther 424 managed to escape leaving wrecks of Shermans behind them, and towing two immobilized Panthers. It was obviously not over. Going back to the German lines took Barkmann couple of days, during which his crew managed to destroy additional tanks reaching the total number of fifteen tank kills over the course of the two days [2]. Finally, Barkmann's men didn't manage to get back with any of the three Panthers. For that action Barkmann received Knight's Cross to the Iron Cross. It is worth to mention that information about the engagement is not confirmed by the American sources. If you are interested in the topic you might read the thread at Axis History Forum [5]. 

Barkmann continued to fight during the Ardennes Offensive in his new Panther tank with number 401. At the end of the WWII he fought against Soviets in Austria and destroying T-34 tanks. On 12 April 1945 his Panther was knocked out by friendly fire from the Panzerfaust. Barkmann was injured, as well as his new gunner who was blinded in both eyes, and the driver. With the crew replacements, he tried to continue fighting despite the destroyed intercom. Finally, the tank bottomed out in a shell crater and had to be destroyed with Panzerfaust. All in all, together with his long-time gunner Poggendorff, Barkmann managed to travel 1000 kilometers to reach Schleswig-Holstein [2].

Career Record

During the war he destroyed or disabled 82+ enemy tanks, 136 miscellaneous AFV's and 43 AT guns [6]. He received the following awards and decorations [6]:
  • Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross
  • Iron Cross 1. Class
  • Iron Cross 2. Class
  • Wound Badge in Silver
  • Wound Badge in Black
  • Infantry Assault badge
  • Panzer Assault Badge

Barkmann in Flames of War

Battlefront introduced Barkmann as a warrior in the Cobra book [3], and further in the Earth & Steel [4].  They also provide a box set containing  Barkmann's Panther A and field workshop (GBX21). 

In my opinion, Barkmann is one of the most interesting warrior characters in the game, because of his special rules. There are many characters who have "typical" special rules, e.g., re-roll failed motivation and skill tests, missed shots, etc. For Barkmann guys from Battlefront had really interesting ideas. They tried to emphasize the main abilities of the Oberscharführer:
  • Ace: Barkmann was a gifted gunner when he served in Panzer III, and when he became a tank commander he also had a great gunner - Poggendorff. Barkmann always gets to re-roll misses with his Panther's 7.5 cm KwK42 gun.
  • Stalker: Barkmann had a tremendous ability to use terrain features to conceal and protect his tank, what he proved many times. If Barkmann is shot at the is counted as Gone to Ground if he is Concealed and did not move in his own turn, even if he did shoot in his turn
  • Escape Artist: even in critical situations Barkmann was able to calm down his crew members and motivate them to save the tank at all costs (as you could read before). For instance, after bringing his 424 to the field workshop, he was given another Panther from reserve, and he went back to front lines. This inspired guys from Battlefront to introduce a field workshop and a special rule for Barkmann. If Barkmann is destroyed while commanding a Panther tank, place his Panther tank adjacent to the Workshop instead of remaining where it was destroyed.
    His platoon may appoint a new Platoon Commander team using Mission tactics special rule as usual when they lose their Platoon Command team and continue to operate without him.
    In each Starting Step when you would roll for Reserves to arrive, if there are no enemy teams within 4'' of Barkmann's Panther tank or the Workshop, roll a die. On a roll 5+, his vehicle is repaired and is ready for battle. It is no longer Destroyed. Remove the Workshop when Barkmann is repaired. Otherwise, the repairs are still progressing.
    If the Workshop has been removed or captured, Barkmann is removed from the table when he is Destroyed.

Barkmann's Workshop

Barkmann's Workshop behaves a little bit like Objective. At the same time as Independent teams are deployed, place a Workshop in your deployment area. The Workshop must be in German hands for Barkmann's Panther tank to be repaired. If the enemy take the Workshop (in the same manner they would take an Objective), they capture it and the Workshop is removed from the game. 

It is a nice resin model with some white metal parts like a Panther A engine and personnel member. 

Modeling Barkmann's Panther

Barkmann's Panther is also one of the most beautiful models of Panther available from Battlefront. I've seen people using it as a regular Panther in their companies, just because it is so nicely sculpted. 

Below you can see mine version. I didn't add much damage (although probably I should). Maybe, I will do this another day. I especially like the picture on the left, which shows the scale of the model in comparison to a regular pen ;)

Barkmann in Action

Barkmann is a lethal weapon, but it takes little time to learn how to use his Panther effectively. I have only some experience in taking him as a support unit for my infantry company. If you have experience in using him in SS Panzer companies, please leave your thoughts as a comment - I'll try to update the list of hints.

When you use him within SS-Panzergrenadier company, it will cost you 275 points. If you compare it with 240 points for the full SS Panzergrenadier Platoon with two Panzerfausts, it is quite clear that you have to make good use of his ability so it pays off. I would recommend to consider the following issues:
  • Tank Sharpshooter - Barkmann is extremely effective in taking out single tanks. You can consider using him to hunt for Company HQ or Platoon HQs. The first one is more important when you are fighting against numerous trained tanks, e.g., Soviets. Sometimes the only option to win the game is to take down the Company HQ and then destroy more than half of the platoons. Of course knocking out independent team is not easy because it can join a platoon, so you need to position Barkmann in such a way that it can see only the tank you would like to destroy. Then, with the re-rolled missed shot, you are really close to kill the enemy.
  • Area Denial - when you place Barkmann in concealment and with wide range of fire, most of the commanders will try to avoid him and choose another place to attack. You will stop most of the heavy tanks (maybe instead of King Tiger).  
  • High-risk missions - I think that you should risk much more when using Barkmann than you normally do (I'm still failing to do so in many cases). It is very likely that Barkmann will survive most of the hits, and if not, well, he will be back sooner or later. If you are agressive, your opponent will attack under pressure.
  • No silver bullet - What Barkmann definitely can't do is to defend your infantry against the hords of enemy platoons. You have to help him with AT guns or couple of Panzer IV or StuGs. I played couple of missions when I destroyed many tanks with Barkmann waiting for StuGs that never came from reserves, and as a result being overwhelmed by massive enemy. 
  • Smoke catcher - you can consider keeping Barkmann far away from other forces, when your enemy has artillery. In many cases he/she will try to smoke the Barkmann. If he is isolated, you will be forced to move, but rest of your forces can operate easier. 
  • Air-attacks magnet - If your enemy has air support in most cases he/she will use it against Barkmann. Great for you! You will probably keep Barkmann's Panther in concealing terrain and in Gone to Ground position, so it is a very difficult target. What is more, even if your enemy will be able to destroy it, still it is quite probable that not for long. 

  1. Ernst Barkmann in Wikipedia,,
  2. Franz Kurowski, Panzer Aces III, German Tank Commander in Combat in WWII, Stockpile Books, 2010.
  3. Steven Ptak, Phil Yates, Ken Camel, Michael Haught. Cobra: The Normandy Breakout. Battlefront Miniatures Ltd., ISBN: 0-9582755-6-4, 2008.
  4. Wayne Turner, Steve Bernich, Alessandro Fasolo, Rich Hamilton, Todd Powell, Ken Camel, Michael Haught, Phil Yates. Earth & Steel: The German Defence of France June-September 1944. Battlefront Miniatures Ltd., ISBN: 978-0-98645140805, 2010.
  5. Axis History Forum,
  6. Ernst Barkmann at,
  7. Ernst Barkmann at,

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

HMG Nests and Field Fortifications

Panzergrenadiers of both 2nd and 12th SS Panzer Divisions received in the Earth & Steel book a possibility to take field fortification as a combat platoon instead of a heavy platoon. Taking fortification is an interesting option, however, as usual it has some good and bad points. I decided to try fortifications because I wanted to play 1750-point games, but I didn't have enough miniatures to man such army.

If you go for fortifications you can actually spent as many points as you want on them. You can take trenches, minefields, barbed wire, or gun pits. All of them seems useful in some situations. However, the key point about SS field fortifications are HMG nests. You have to take at least two and up to four of them (each costs 40 points). With each of them you can take one segment of trenches. And this is in my opinion the main trade off. Trenches are extremely cheap (only 5 points per section) and more than useful (especially in fair fight battles). The benefits from taking HMG nests depend mainly on the type of forces you are fighting with, and the type of player you are facing. There were battles when they played a key role, and there were some when they stood in silence like monuments.

I've experimented with many sets of field fortifications. I've played with a bunch of minefields, barbed wires, and four nests. I've played also with minimalistic fortifications like two nests and two trench sections. I would like to share with you some thoughts about how to use them.


First of all, you have to remember that field fortification will not make a real defensive line. You will not have tons of trenches and pillboxes. Your line will be rather soft and will not hold enemy for long. However, what you can achieve is to prevent the enemy from attacking the places we don't want to defend. If you go for a minimalistic approach with two nests and two trenches, you will be able to fortify only one objective.

You have to deploy fortifications before our opponent will place the first objective, so you have to guess which place is worth to fortify. I will discuss it on the example of hold the line or no retreat missions. In these missions you will place the first objective, so you can easily fortify it.

Usually, I start from determining which side of the table has a better forward position to defend. I assume that that side of the table will be able to defend itself without the trenches (good terrain + prepared positions). Then I place my objective marker far on the other side of the table and place the trenches in such way that they enable transferring forces between the left and right flanks.

Such placement gives a dilemma to the opponent:
  • place the second objective on the left side – it would be great for you to defend two objectives in the same vertical axis. In such situation you can leave your back objective not defended until reservers appear (or defend it only with HMG nests and independent teams).
  • Place the second objective on the right side – you will defend the better part of the table! Moreover, trenches will give you a possibility to transfer forces from the left flank if enemy launches a strong attack on the forwarded position.

If you take minefields you could use them to guard flanks – especially if you play against some nasty Stuarts or other fast moving tanks.

But where to place your HMG nests? Of course it depends on situation, but you have to consider at least these issues:
  • a single platoon – your nests will count as a single platoon on the table, so you don't want to place all of them at the same flank to give your  opponent easy points (yes, they are fragile...)
  • smoke'em – remember that nests cannot be ranged in by artillery, so enemy cannot smoke them with bombardment! However, if you place them near infantry, enemy can put smoke on the infantry also reducing visibility for the nests...

  • defensive fire or not? - yes this is a problem. If you would like to use nests to support infantry with defensive fire, it will be easy to smoke them (a kind of trade off).
  • 180 degrees – remember that nests can hit all the bases within 180 degrees. Your opponent can sometimes forget about it. Remember to place your nests in such a way so they have the best area of fire.

  • 24'' range – nests have long range, so you can consider placing them in the second line to fire above gone to ground infantry. In such case opponent will not have possibility to knock them out (to do so they will have to stay near our lines exposing themselves).
  • Line of sight – remember that nests will also block LOS for other nests and potential ambushes. 

Who Is Your Enemy?

Because HMG Nests cannot hold objectives, they will be usable only against infantry. If you are facing armor forces you can use them to block small passages between woods. Even when they are destroyed they still remain as impassable terrain for tanks. However, again remember to place them far away from each other to prevent destroying the whole platoon.

If your enemy has bunker busters, it is a better idea to hide the nests from the direct fire.

Always Defend Rule

If you take field fortifications you will always be a defender in the defensive battles (unless your opponent will also have forces with the always defend rule). This is a nice feature when you play a single battle. However, it didn't work for me during the tournament battles. Why? If you spent many points on fortifications, you don't have a punch to attack. If you have a passive enemy, it will lead to a draw in most cases. This is why I decided to replace fortifications with additional mobile platoon in the future (probably panzer pioneers).

Modeling HMG Nests and Fortifications

For the trenches and minefields I use the markers provided by Battlefront.

I've modeled HMG nests according to the great tutorial provided by Justin at Model Dads Blog

If you like to share you thoughts about the field fortifications, please leave a comment. 
I will try to update the list of issues ASAP. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Flexible Platoon Markers

When you are playing infantry, you have to control which base belongs to which platoon. Moreover, you probably quite often make attachments, or if you are playing Germans you form a Kampfgruppe.

Markers before the lamination
To indicate different platoons, players usually paint the corners of bases with different colors. This approach has two drawbacks. First of all if you would like to try something new and experiment with the roster, you will have to repaint the markers. What is more, you can't mark attachments and kampfgruppes with that approach.

To solve the problem, I decided to make my own system of markers. I prepared a small markers indicating the division, rank, weapons, and of course the platoon. To make markers more resistant to damage, I used a pouch laminator to protect it. Then I attached the markers to the bottom sides of the bases with a transparent tape. The advantage is that your opposing player can easily recognize not only the platoons but also whether the base has a special weapon like panzerfaust.

The only drawback of that approach is that such bases require a little bit more space than the regular ones. Normally it doesn't make a problem, but when you place a base in the building, you will have to place it adjacent to the wall with the side without the marker.

7.5cm Pak 40 as attachment
Infantry bases with markers
If you are playing 2nd or 12th SS feel free to use the markers if you like them [pdf].

2nd SS Panzer Division - Panzergrenadiers

After playing one more battle with couple of additional StuGs that I borrowed, I realized that the real fun comes from playing 1500 / 1750 battles.

I've started to look for a suitable company. In all of the computer games I've played, I tend to choose armor forces. This time I wanted to try something new, so I chose infantry. In addition, I've always preferred quality over quantity (although the history shows that the quality of quantity is usually a better option). Therefore, I ended up with two options – either to choose Fallschirmjägers or Waffen-SS.

I started from going through different rosters of paratroopers. They are really strong with all the support options they have. However, they seemed to be a one way ticket to limit all of my future choices to infantry. So I decided to choose Waffen-SS, because they offer much more flexibility. If I liked to start collecting a tank company, I would have supporting infantry platoons ready for action.

OK, but which SS division should I choose? Additional criterion was that I wanted to have at least one Panther tank. I've always admired its silhouette. However, I didn't want to go for the whole platoon of them, because it would consume too many points destroying the balance of the company by leaving infantry as a support unit for tanks. I wanted go in the opposite direction.

I found two companies that fulfilled the criteria - 2nd and 12th SS Panzer Divisions together with Ernst Barkmann and his Panther (both from Earth & Steel book). Although the special rule of 12th Division seemed more useful, I wanted to reuse my StuGs, thus I ended up with the 2nd SS.

I started from buying two boxes: a SS Panzergrenadiers Company (GBX18) and Oberscharführer Ernst Barkmann (GBX21). Together with my StuGs, they gave a quick option to man my first 1500-point company.

I played a couple of battles with my first order of battle [pdf]. After couple of months, I am still collecting new additions to the core force and adjust it a little bit. Because of that I haven't managed to finish painting all the bases (although they are all in state that enables playing).

Sunday, July 10, 2011

StuG Batterie vs. T-34 - 600 points

The first and the last battle of my 600-point StuG batterie was a duel with a company of T-34 tanks (mixture of 76mm and 85mm versions) belonging to my colleague Konrad. Unfortunately, we played the battle a couple months ago, so I don't remember the details. Still I thought that it would be worth to write about it.

We played a custom scenario, which was a little bit similar to hold the line – two objectives, ambush, but there was a turn limit for the attacker to get at least one of the objectives.

My two platoons met a company of 10x T-34 (5x 85mm and 5x 76mm) plus 1x T-34 85mm as a command. I have to admit that the enemy seemed a little bit overwhelming at the beginning. It was also funny, because my opponent had only one platoon and placed it in ambush, so I fought against the invisible enemy.

The first mistake I made was to place the Tiger in the hull down position waiting for the enemy to appear on the left flank. And it did appear with 12 shots from the 85mm guns. Luckily Tiger survived without a scratch.

I decided to conduct a regular hide and shot battle on the left flank while flanking the objective on the right side with the StuGs. It was a reasonable plan, because the right flank was guarded only by T-34 76mm.

The StuGs managed to reach the objective on the right side, however, the enemy was able to stretch the line nearly through the whole battlefield. Unfortunately, the time was running out...

I knew that the StuGs won't survive incoming T-34 85mm, so I decided to start approaching to the left objective with the Tiger. The only T-34 on that side of battlefield was bailed out. Just when my kitty was reaching the objective, the T-34's crew decided to get back to the tank... With little luck they smashed the Tiger.

The StuGs stood still, but the time ran out, and I lost the battle... Still it was fun :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Modeling StuGs and Tiger 1E

After choosing a StuG Batterie: 189. Sturmgeshutzabteilung as my first small company, I've decided to buy and assemble the models. At this stage I though it was an optimal choice to buy a platoon of StuGs (GBX25) and a single blister of Tiger 1E with Zimmerit (GE071). I knew that my adventure with FOW won't finish on collecting a single 600-point company, so I opted for the most universal forces I could collect at that stage.

I bought a StuGs platoon box that contained 5 individually sculpted StuGs with 3 different options to model barrels (5 standard, 5 saukopf (pig's head) mantlet, and 3 StuH42 10.5cm). OK so which one I was supposed to choose? I knew that I need one StuH, but I didn't know whether I will need it in a long run (not all rosters give you an option to replace StuGs with StuHs). To solve the problem, I've decided to model guns using small magnets, which makes it easy to replace the barrels when needed. It worked really well!

Then I thought about customizing my “individually sculpted” vehicles, so they are really unique (yeah everyone has them, so they are not so individual anymore ;). I've added some meshes and munition belts. I've also added some damage to one of the schurzens.

The modeling of the Tiger 1E was rather standard. Easy to assemble – nice looking tank as it is obviously beautiful art of warfare.

The next step was to apply the base coat. I used the Army Painter German Armour (SP04) for that purpose.

The following step was to pain the camo with Vallejo Chocolate Brown (MC149) and Reflective Green (MC090). I have to admit that I was to precise while painting the patches. I definitely should put less patches then I did, and apply them with the mixture 50/50 (paint / water). Then I applied gloss varnish.

Finally, I tried to wash the models a little bit. Unfortunately, I didn't have dedicated wash paints for that purpose, so I did it with the diluted black paint. At the end, it turned out that It wasn't a great idea, because after a while heavier paint went down to the bottom leaving water above. At the end I used Vallejo pigments to weather models with matt varnish.

Lessons learned
  1. Don't apply to many patches while painting German camo on vehicles – it won't look great from the distance.
  2. If you are applying varnishes they will make your model darker, so apply highlights (drybrush) model with a lighter color before (don't worry that it will look too bright).
  3. Use dedicated wash paints for that purpose.
  4. For the StuGs it is easy to make exchangeable barrels with magnets giving you a nice option to choose between StuGs and StuHs whenever you like.