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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


... T34s. I've finished the two renegade T34/76s, and managed to photograph them spectacularly badly, but you can see the general idea here:

The commander's coupla and the outsized balkenkreuz, along with the three colour finish certainly makes a difference, although it must still have been a pretty hairy task to take one of these into action.

The 'Mickey Mouse' version (i.e., no coupla added) has, it seems to me, an even more changed silhouette thanks to the stowage bin and the side skirts. From a distance, it actually has something of the look of a desert Crusader about it, which struck me as odd. The 'Mickey Mouse' was so-called (by the Germans) because when both hatches were open, the famous mouse's ears appeared. How strange that such a cheerful fellow should have been so popular in terms of mascots (I can think of German, Romanian, Italian, as well as US and British kit adorned with the mouse) of war and killing.  What did that mean?

According to the various internet sites that I've looked at with regard to German (and Italian) use of captured T34s, somewhere between 600 and 700 were taken into the Axis ranks. To put that into perspective, the Italians only produced 710 M13-40s, according to Nicola Pignato's Italian Armored Vehicles of World War Two (Squadron/Signal, Carrollton, 2004). The Germans were, of course, masters of recycling captured kit - the NSKK, for example, reconditioned 4,500 British lorries that were abandoned at Dunkirk. It strikes me that wargaming armies for the Germans, especially on the Eastern Front, should contain much higher numbers of foreign and captured kit than they, typically, do. In fact, I can only think of 21st Panzer on the Western Front in 1944 as an example where wargaming the Germans with foreign kit is the norm.

On other fronts, the extra Armourfast PzIII that I had left over from adding to the T34s is nearly ready for Rommel:

Next up - the Su76i, and the Elefant.


  1. Splendid tanks and interesting facts.Keep up the good work sir!

    1. My thanks, Your Grace. 'Interesting facts' - that's the ticket for us all.

  2. They turned out pretty good.

    1. Thanks, Dan. They look better in the flesh as it were, but I can feel the pull towards an airbrush (at my time of life!).