Andy Singleton of VolleyFire painting services has been inspiring us all this winter with his work on Otto Skorzeny’s Panzer brigade 150 for the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes 1944. Here Andy looks at converting another ‘Ersatz’ vehicle used by Kampfgruppe Y the StuGIII AusfG;
Andy: With the recent release of the resin Ersatz Panther/M10, I’ve been struck by making a few more vehicles to round out the Ardennes themed Panzer brigade 150. So far I have the disguised Panther (Ersatz M10), as well as a captured M8 armoured car which you can see in this previous article. The other most notable converted vehicle was the Ersatz StuG.
Panzer brigade 150 was a force supposed to deceive allied forces by using either captured allied equipment or heavily converted German equipment along with English speaking troops to slip through the lines and cause havoc in rear areas. This plan was hampered by Germany’s failing logistical situation and as such the force was well under its planned strength, and some drastic measures had to be taken in converting German armour to look like something allied.
The Ersatz M10 is relatively successful in this, however the Ersatz StuG seems to have scraped the barrel for ideas. As a StuG fan, I had to have one in my collection.
To make the model I used one of Warlords resin StuGs with the Saukopf (pig snout) curved mantlet. The conversion was relatively simple, as all that was required was to make a few side skirts and a few panels to alter the outline of the superstructure.
I started off cutting two rectangles of plasticard 9.5cm long. I then cut wedges at approximately a 45 degree angle at the ends, using the shape of the fenders to adjust the angles as needed. These were then superglued to the model. I also carved in some panel lines at roughly equal distance along the lines of the new skirts.
The wedges added to the engine deck were made from another rectangle about 2 cm long, cut from corner to corner and simply glued to the hull.
The model was painted dark green, but I used some Russian Green rather than Olive drab to paint the StuG, reasoning the Germans would be struggling to find actual olive drab paint, and that was it done! Very simple build, but a very characterful model too! Now onto those winter grenadiers….
Check out these great articles on the M10/Panther and the M8 Scout car here:
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