This week I have finished a new platoon for my Flames of War Armii Karajowej (Polish Home Army) Force: a Kedyw Tank Platoon consisting of two captured Pz. V 'Panther' Tanks.
I've been looking forward to adding these metal monsters to my line up for some time. The main reason I wanted to add them is because I have a thing about captured tanks. I just think its really cool and interesting. Also, while I'm not the most competitive of sorts, but these Panthers will add a great deal to the fighting capacity of my my force: their long 75mm guns adding some much needed heavy support.
The models themselves are both from the official Battlefront Flames of War range. One is the Panther from the special 'Barkmann' character box set and the other is a standard Panther strait out of the blister.
Both are really nice models, up to Battlefront's usual high standards. My only quibble is that Battlefront is in the process of replacing their metal components with plastic ones, and by sheer bad luck, one of my Panthers came with a metal and bobs, whilst the other came with plastic ones. This is not really a problem, but it irritates the hell out of me that they don't match properly. I don't think anyone other than me will notice though, so its all good.
This is the Panther out of the blister, the one with metal components. Like its brother it has been painted to closely resemble one of the tanks captured by Polish resistance fighters during the Warsaw Uprising.
This is the special 'Barkmann' Panther Tank, adorned with plastic components. Other than some special chaps poking their heads out of various hatches, it is identical to a regular Panther. One fun thing though - I removed the hull machine gun to resemble the Panther in the Warsaw Uprising that had had it's one removed - and possibly even replaced with a home-made flame-thrower!
There is one good thing to come out of this though. Id actively been avoiding buying any Flames of War kit that came with metal components, because I'm an old stick-in-the-mud and have long been of the opinion that plastic is a horrid material to work with, and gives models a nasty 'cheep' feeling. The plastic Panther has gone a good distance towards changing my mind about this. Battlefront's plastic is far studier than most plastic that I have worked with, and the improvements in detail they have made in during their transition to plastic have been remarkable.
I really rather like the tanker leaning out of the back of the 'Barkmann' Panther.
The models were a bit of a faff to put together due to lots of small bits (but that's only because the Panther is a complicated machine) and a pleasure to paint. I did make the mistake of paining dark yellow over a black undercoat, but that was my own stupid fault. Should have under-coated them grey. The real joy doing these was doing the free-hand ad-hoc Polish markings - actively trying to make freehand look scruffy must be every painters dream.
So, yeah, great models, I had a good time putting them together and am looking forward to throwing them down on the gaming table next time my opponent is in town.
The entierity of the AK Armoured Corps as it currently stands. I plan to replace the armoured cars with some new ones that look less out of place.