Blackwolf again, presenting the second FOW company I've finished and gamed with. This time its the mighty beasts of Schwere Panzer Kompanie 'Hummel', using the Tiger tank list found in Hammer & Sickle.
Being a bit of a history nut (There's a lot of us out there!), I like to base all the force's I collect on actual unit's. These can either be units of convenience, like my 9.SS-Panzer Division Grenadiers, or units that fascinate me for a particular reason. Schwere Panzer Kompanie 'Hummel' is definitely a unit that fascinates me. First off, Tiger tanks.... need I say more? ;) Secondly, a Tiger unit that fought during Operation Market Garden was a good fit, as our gaming group focussed on this battle when we started out. Thirdly, and most importantly, were the specific vehicles that made up Kompanie 'Hummel'. For the brief history of this unit, visit here. But let me go in to a little detail about the vehicles used...
Kompanie 'Hummel' was rare in that a mix of Tiger 1E types could be found within it ranks of 14 vehicles, including hybrid's! There were 3 different production variants of the Tiger 1E, generally referred to as the Early, Mid, and Late. Hybrid Tigers occurred when early production vehicles were sent back to Germany for extensive repairs, and while there, had their early type road wheels replaced with the late production type. Other upgrades occurred of course, but from a visual stand point, this is the big one. Along with Hybrids, there is photographic evidence of Early's and Late's being used in Kompanie 'Hummel'.
Excellent! What an interesting modelling project, as Battlefront doesn't make a hybrid version, I'd have to convert them myself. And this couldn't have been simpler. You just take an Early version Tiger hull, stick a set of Late version tracks and road wheels on it, and jobs done! You can then take those Early version road wheels and that Late version hull left over and combine them to create a Mid version Tiger! (Which Battlefront also does not make). So out of the 10 Tiger's I made for this company, I have 4 Late's, 2 Mid's, 2 Earlies, and 2 Hybrids. A decent mix.
As I said, I have 10 Tiger's for the company so far, I will add the last 4 Tiger's at a later date, and field the whole company in a recreation of the battle around Elst, when they were ambushed by infantry from the 43rd Wessex Infantry Division. Can I change the outcome of history? (During this engagement, the company lost 5 Tiger's to bogging as they slipped off the high embanked road reversing away from the British guns!)
Anyway, as well as the Tiger tanks, I have some self propelled anit-aircraft guns and a Panzergrenadier platoon (from Kampfgruppe 'Knaust') to help support my Tiger's.
And here is Schwere Panzer Kompanie 'Hummel', please feel free to comment, whether its to let me know how I could improve my painting, or just to say you like it... Its all welcome :)