I finished two models today - both open-topped self-propelled guns based on the 38(t) chassis. OK, I still need to paint up some crew figures, but the vehicles themselves are done.
The first is a UM Grille M. It's a pretty detailed kit and comes with etched brass part, including the fold-into toolbox you can see on the left side of the hull. I left a lot of details out as the crew compartment is really cramped and I won't be able to fit any crew figures in if I put the ammunition in.
It was a difficult model to build as the track-and-wheels assembly is not separate from the upper hull, which is usually the case in AFV models. This meant I could not paint the wheel separately, or assemble the tracks with ease. The link-and-length was a struggle to put together, and as you can see I botched it up.
The second model is an MMS Marder III M which Martin passed to me. This was also a difficult model to build as the instructions were unclear. The wheels-and-tracks pieces were also poorly cast and the spaces between the rear running wheels and roadwheels were filled with metal which I could not remove without risking destroying the whole pieces, so I just hid it with extra mud.
Again, the crew compartment is small and I left the ammunition out.
I bought the Grille model as a proxy for a 15cm sFH auf Lorraine Schlepper for the "Kampfgruppe von Luck" campaign Martin and I are planning to play this year - it mounted the same gun and was made from a "captured" chassis, which pretty much describes the Grille. The Marder would proxy for a Pak 40 auf S 307 (f), which mounted the same gun and was also a captured chassis.
I painted both models in the same two-tone camouflage and gave them the same unit markings to reflect the fact that they are from the same unit, but the effect is somewhat ruined by the fact that while the UM model is 1/72 in scale, the MMS model is 1/76. The difference is quite obvious when the models are placed side by side.
With the vehicles done, I have pretty much all the figures and models I need to play the campaign (after the crew figures are done - but I only need to paint four of them because that's how many I can squeeze into the crew compartments). I do need something in the order of 40 actual feet of brick walls though to play the campaign, something which will take one or two full days of hard work to do. Well, no one said miniature wargaming was an easy hobby...