This is the Italeri Churchill Mk. III, which turns out is the re-boxed ESCI kit from 1988. The kit has been updated with glue-able tracks, but still retains some ejector pin marks in bad locations. Markings are from the kit decal sheet and represent a British Army Churchill serving with the King Force Detachment at El Alamein, November 1942.
The Revell StuG IV is actually a re-boxing of the Matchbox kit from 1994. It is a bit basic by today’s standards. This translates to a reasonable parts count and easy assembly, but some clunky components and simplifications. Some parts are easier to fix than others, my build features plastic card Schürzen but retains the kit’s simplified tracks. The model is painted as a vehicle from 394 StuG Brigade in Normandy, June 1944.
The Jagdpanzer IV L/70 was a tank destroyer built on the Panzer IV chassis mounting a 7.5 cm 70 caliber gun. The model is based upon a profile in Kagero’s TopColors 32, Pz.Kpfw. IV Family, with some liberties taken by yours truly.
Construction post here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/06/10/dragon-jagdpanzer-iv-l-70-build-in-1-72-scale/
Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 654 was the first unit which was equipped with the Jagdpanther, receiving the first two vehicles in March 1944. In June it was deployed to Normandy, having only eight vehicles in total. Their first combat action occurred on 30JUL44 near Saint Marting Du Bois. Three 2. Kompanie Jagdpanthers engaged British Churchills of the 3rd Tank Battalion (Scots Guards), destroying eleven Churchills. Another column of Churchills managed to flank the Jagdpanthers, disabling two and a battalion command tank. The model represents a 2. Kompanie Jagdpanther from this engagement.
I started this kit as a quick project while awaiting a box of modeling goodness from Hannants. It’s not really a quick build though. IBG has modeled every component of the Scammell Pioneer without regard as to whether it will be visible on the finished model or not, and many of these components are reproduced using photoetch. This cuts both ways. On one hand the model is very detailed, on the other assembly is complex and there is a constant issue with alignment. My personal preference is for simplifying detail and combining parts to ease assembly, especially if the parts are in a location where the simplification can never be seen.
The instructions have a large number of steps but a relatively small number of parts used in each step. There is also a finished render in each step to show how everything is supposed to fit together. Still there are some areas which can be confusing, I think my trailer decking is mounted a bit too high. There is still a little room for modelers to add to the kit, particularly if you find a bit of scratchbuilding preferable to fiddling with PE.
I found the kit fiddly to build but liked the subject, I have a soft spot for tank transporters. It is not a “box shaker”, but if you can push through the assembly stage it makes for an eye-catching model.
Completed photographs here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/07/26/ibg-scammell-pioneer-tank-transporter-in-1-72-scale/
More completed photos here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/07/14/dragon-jagdpanzer-iv-l-70-in-1-72-scale/
Spearhead: An American Tank Gunner, His Enemy, and a Collision of Lives in World War II
Authored by Adam Makos, Narrated by Johnathan McClain
Audiobook, 13 hours and 33 minutes
Published by Random House Audio
The Spearhead was the U.S. Army’s 3rd Armored Division. Specifically, the author follows the story of the Division’s 32rd Armored Regiment and 36th Armored Infantry Regiment as they fought their way across Europe and into Germany. They are the units which were immortalized in the famous newsreel film of the tank duel in Cologne, and the report of that fight from a young war correspondent named Andy Rooney.
The author relies heavily on interviews from the actual participants, and allows the story to unfold in their own words. There are several perspectives from the American side, and even a few from the German. The reader gets a ground-level narrative of armored warfare and combined arms assaults, along with the terrible attrition as units remained in the front lines day after day.
There is no sugar coating the assault on Germany. The American tankers were fighting with inferior equipment, and they knew it. There is open distain for the Sherman tank whose gun could not defeat the frontal armor of many German tanks, and whose armor could not protect the crews from the German’s guns. The Panther was a feared opponent, and could only be defeated if the Shermans were able to survive long enough to maneuver for a side shot. In the last few months one of the American crews was issued a new Pershing which evened the odds, but most of the Regiment finished the war on the Sherman.
The German story is represented as well, from the perspective of Gustav Schaefer, a Panther crewman. The Germans faced a deteriorating war situation against overwhelming odds. Shaefer’s tanks was one of the few which survived to defend Cologne against the American onslaught, the reader is shown the battle for the city from his perspective.
This book is treasure for anyone wanting to study armored warfare on the Western Front. The American way of war is the combined arms assault, the Germans employed a fluid defense in depth. Each battle is the clash of these doctrines in detail from the viewpoint of those involved. This story is well told and engaging, highly recommended.
More finished pictures here: https://inchhighguy.wordpress.com/2022/07/12/revell-sd-kfz-173-jagdpanther-of-abteilung-654-in-1-72-scale/