17 Dec

Zvezda´s Sturmtiger Kit Review and Painting worklog by WarStuft.

Development

Sturmtiger (German: “Assault Tiger”) was a World War II German assault gun built on the Tiger I chassis and armed with a 380 mm rocket-propelled round.

The official German designation was Sturmmörserwagen 606/4 mit 38 cm RW 61.

Its primary task was to provide heavy fire support for infantry units fighting in urban areas.

The few vehicles produced fought in the Warsaw Uprising, the Battle of the Bulge and the Battle of the Reichswald.

The fighting vehicle is also known under a large number of informal names, among which the Sturmtiger became the most popular.

The idea for a heavy infantry support vehicle capable of demolishing heavily defended buildings or fortified areas with a single shot came out of the experiences of the heavy urban fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad in 1942.

Concept

The Sturmtiger was based on the late model Tiger I, keeping its hull and suspension.

The front of the Tiger’s superstructure was removed to make room for the new fixed casemate-style fighting compartment housing the rocket launcher.

This was located directly at the front of the vehicle, giving it a boxy appearance.

Compared to the Tiger tank, the Sturmtiger was much shorter overall, only 6.28 m (20 ft 7 in) compared to the Tiger’s 8.45 m (27 ft 9 in), due largely to the fact that it did not have the long main gun of the latter which protruded far in front of the hull. It also was slightly lower than the Tiger at 2.85 m (9 ft 4 in) compared to 3 m (9 ft 10 in).

Armament

The main armament was the 380 mm Raketen-Werfer 61 L/5.4, a breech-loading barrel, which fired short-range, rocket-propelled projectiles roughly 1.5 m (4 ft 11 in) long.

There were a variety of rounds with a weight of up to 376 kg (829 lb), and a maximum range of up to 6,000 m (20,000 ft), which either contained a high explosive charge of 125 kg (276 lb) or a shaped charge for use against fortifications, which could penetrate up to 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) of reinforced concrete. The stated range of the former was 5,650 m (6,180 yd).

A normal charge first accelerated the projectile to 45 m/s (150 ft/s), the 40 kg (88 lb) rocket charge then boosted this to about 250 m/s (820 ft/s).

History

The Sturmtiger was intended to serve as a heavy infantry support vehicle, rendering assistance with attacks on heavily fortified or built-up areas.

Only 19 were built.

By the time the first Sturmtigers were available, however, Germany had lost the initiative, with the Wehrmacht being almost exclusively on the defensive rather than the offensive.

Three new Panzer companies were raised to operate the Sturmtiger: Panzer Sturmmörser Kompanien (PzStuMrKp) (“Armored Assault Mortar Company”) 1000, 1001 and 1002.

These originally were supposed to be equipped with fourteen vehicles, but this figure was later reduced to four each, divided into two platoons.

PzStuMrKp 1000 was raised on 13 August 1944 and fought during the Warsaw Uprising with two vehicles, as did the prototype in a separate action, which may have been the only time the Sturmtiger was used in its intended role. PzStuMrKp 1001 (commanded by Captain von Gottberg) and 1002 (commanded by Lieutenant Zippel) followed in September and October.

Both PzStuMrKp 1000 and 1001 served during the Ardennes Offensive, with a total of seven Sturmtigers.

After this offensive, the Sturmtigers were used in the defence of Germany, mainly on the Western Front.

During the battle for the bridge at Remagen, German forces mobilized Sturmmörserkompanie 1000 and 1001 (a total of 7 units) to take part in the battle.

The Sturmtigers were originally tasked with using their howitzers against the bridge itself, though it was discovered that they lacked the accuracy needed to effectively hit the bridge.

During this action, one of the Sturmtigers in Sturmmörserkompanie 1001 near Düren and Euskirchen hit a group of stationary Shermans tanks in a village with a 380mm round, resulting in nearly all the Shermans being put out of action, and their crews killed or wounded.

After the bridge fell to the Allies, Sturmmörserkompanie 1000 and 1001 were tasked with bombardment of Allied forces to cover the German retreat, as opposed to the bunker busting for which they were originally designed.

(Info obtained from WikiPedia)

The Review

  • Product: Plastic kit S
  • Scale: 1/100 (15mm)
  • Parts: 19
  • Price: Approx 5-8 €
  • Manufacturer: Zvezda
  • Website: www.zvezda.org.ru

Category 1: Kit quality.

The parts of this new Sturmtiger kit are moulded in a light grey hard plastic.

There are 19 separate parts to the kit, which includes a plug-in ‘unit flag’ intended for use in conjunction with Zvezda’s own ‘Art of Tactic’ game system.

Construction starts with the lower chassis and an internal ‘frame’ (parts A10 and A11), which the upper hull will attach to.

As with all the kits in this series supposedly no glue is required for construction, however modeller have to do tend to glue this type of model together, and with this specific kit It´s a must have.

The tracks are moulded as one with the road wheels, it’s interesting to note that Zvezda have designed the road wheels to resemble late production Tiger steel wheels.

The upper hull is next, and the ball mount for the stubby main gun needs care in its construction if the finished gun barrel is to elevate and depress.

This 15mm Sturmtiger will prove popular with wargamers, an ideal miniature bunker-buster and  is the only fully plastic kit of the Sturmtiger available in 1/100 scale in the Scenne.

Modellers  & wargaming players will be pleased with the finished result.

Zvezda´s SturmTiger Asembly guide. Symply and clear !!!

Category 2: Wargaming suitability. 

 

 

 

  •  Hull-mounted Guns

Some tanks mount weapons in the front of the hull instead of in a turret to save weight or to make them easier to produce.

A hull-mounted weapon mounted in the front of a vehicle has a 180-degree Field of Fire covering everything in front of a line drawn across the front of the vehicle. If the weapon is mounted at the rear of the vehicle, the Field of Fire covers everything to the rear of a line drawn across the rear of the vehicle.

  • Overloaded

Super-heavy tanks and heavily-laden assault guns often overload their engines and suspensions, making them very poor at crossing obstacles.

When required to take a Bogging Check to cross Difficult Going, an Overloaded vehicle becomes Bogged Down on a roll of 1 or 2, rather than the usual 1. An Overloaded vehicle must re-roll successful Skill Tests to cross Very Difficult Going.

  • Awkward Layout


Some tank designs have such an awkward internal layout that it is difficult for the crew to fire on the move. In the Archer, for example, the gun recoils into the driver’s position, requiring them to vacate before firing.

Tank teams cannot shoot any weapons with Awkward Layout in their own Shooting Step if they move in the Movement Step. They may still shoot at Aircraft in the enemy’s Shooting Step (see page 181 of the rulebook).

  • No Saves from Big Guns


Some weapons are just so powerful that there is no chance of surviving a hit from them. These heavy guns are often mounted in tanks and self-propelled guns designed to break through enemy defensive lines.

Infantry teams, Gun teams, Passengers, and Unarmoured vehicles automatically fail their Saves when hit by a Breakthrough Gun or a Bunker Buster. This does not apply to Artillery Bombardments.

  • Rocket Assault Howitzer


The 38cm RW61 assault howitzer of the Sturmtiger packs a powerful punch, but has a low ballistic speed when compared to a high velocity gun.

A 38cm RW61 assault howitzer has a minimum range of 8”/20cm.

Any Armoured vehicle hit by a 38cm RW61 assault howitzer takes an Armour Save using its Top Armour rating rather than its Front or Side Armour rating. Do not add an additional +1 to the target vehicle’s top armour if the range is over 16”/40cm.

Any platoon hit by a 38cm RW61 assault howitzer is automatically Pinned Down.

  • Bunkerfeuer


Instead of using the normal shooting rules, a Sturmtiger may use the Bunkerfeuer rules when shooting its 38cm RW61 assault howitzer at Bunkers, teams in Buildings, or Gun teams.

To shoot at a Bunker, a team in a Building, or a Gun team, roll a Skill Test. It the test is successful the Sturmtiger has Hit the target.

Unlike other teams, a Sturmtiger can target Bunkers from ranges over 16”/40cm.

  • Shooting at Buildings


In addition to the normal Bunker Buster rules, if a 38cm RW61 assault howitzer Hits a team in a large building with multiple rooms, all the teams in rooms adjacent to the target team’s room and those rooms above and below the target team’s room are also Hit.

 

Category 3: Conv. capabilities & upgrades.

Zvezda´s kit has not a great upgrades options.

Some stowage can be added, or tanks chains can be pasted easily to give them extra armour like other german tanks did during the fisnish of WW2.

You can paste a piece of strand to simulate  the same that Battlefront kits have.

Hatches can be modelled and laid them open, including also some tank commanders from other brands.

Modeller can modiffy chasis adding battle damages,…etc

 Category 4: The kit in the market & value. 

Zvezda kit can be found at shops whith a prize betwen € 5-8., not expensive and we can build a Sturm Morser Platoon expending not more than €.10-16.

Others  models from the Scenne are Battlefront (Resin cast and Metal) and Skytrex  (Metal), booth of those come  with Zimmerit modelled  instead Zvezda´s one.

Otherwise, booth models are more expensive than the russian one!!!, € 8-12.

In BF you can find a kit of two Sturmtigers whith a  cool scennic objective, but the prize will  be near €20 or more!!!, because those kit were discontinued.

 

Booth brands stuff have more crisp details like the smoke exhaust, the removable amunnition hatch (Battlefront), Zimmerit skirts, Tank Crews (Battlefront), stowage, … p.e.

Category 5: My summary.

Great Sturmtiger model who might be interesting for beginners and intermediate modellers as well.

In one box you get plastic which is easy to assemble and detailed enough for such scale.

Moreover, it should be engaging to paint and weather such tiny model. The only thing required from you – imagination and proper paintwork.

Advantages

  • Unusual subject
  • Great molding quality
  • Easy to assemble
Disavantages
  • Decals would come handy
  • Not removable hatches
  • Not included Tank crews
  • Poor detail in tank chain and exahusts.
  • Not included painting references

 

Painting  Zvezda´s Sturmtiger worklog.

The initial idea was painting those monster using tritonal camo wiht ambush dots.

The first coat of primer is useful to verify quality of assembling because make uniform used materials, make in evidence defects, fixes some imperfections and cement all small details. In this step I used  White Skull, Games Workshop  by Citadel Colours.

I use an Harder&Steimbeck Ultra, double action airbrush, with 0,8-1,5 bar exercise pressure. It’s very important to find the right pressure and colours diluition to obtain the necessary fine and fluid erogation with no stops of the nozzle.

First background color is the DunkelGelb Modulation Set from Ak Interactive; I started from the darker to the lighter tone.

To make the tritonal pattern I used blue tack, it´s cheap, easy to find and very effective as masking stuff.

I applied with enthropy in whole surface of the SturmTiger blue tack, the second layer of tritonal pattern, was ready to be painted!!!.

I used for those  step Resedal Grun from AkInteractive. Then I mixed Resedal Grun with Dunkelgelb Highlight for desaturation effect, all diluited with  Ak Interactive Thinner.

For a light modulation effect I sprayed the Resedal+Dunkelgelb Highlight mixture added, for highligting.

The moment of third colour is come; the Brown Tritonal tone so characteristic of this kind of german camouflage.

For those layer, I used Chocolate Brown From Ak Interactive, after placed new layers of blue stuff to cover the green patches.

Once the brown layer is applied. Then I mixed Chocolate Brown with Dunkelgelb Highlight for desaturation effect, all diluited with  Ak Interactive Thinner.

For a light modulation effect I sprayed the Chocolate Brown+Dunkelgelb Highlight mixture added, for highligting.

 

Once, the paint is dried, its time to remove the blue stuff, to shown the tritonal pattern,  be care with the small parts of Blue Stuff, not removed.

Now its , time to paint the small dots  of  ambush pattern, yelow ones I did with Dunkelgelb highights, and green and brown dots with Resedal Grün and Chocolate Brown respectively.

It´s a very dificult job, a sharped brush and tons of pattience will be need.

Tracks and exhaust I painted with Flat brown from vallejo it´s a color who matches perfectly with rusted surfaces.

The Nozzle of the Gun I painted of RotBraun using Gunze stuff.

After Camouflage was done we spray over all a gloss varnish, I used Vallejo Acryllic Urethane works fine for me. This make easier next steps and make more real and “alive” surfaces.

Whith the glossy surface will be more easy apply the decals, I placed BalkenKreutz and numerals, (those ones are not historical, a little license apologize if you like to be historically accurate).

At  those step, Microset & Microsol Stuff will be your best friends!!!.

To avoid silvering effect and protect the decals I applied two layers of glossy varnish to protect the decals, of the wheathering process.

Decals are wheathered with a very thin layer of Nato Vehicles Filter From AK Interactive.

Don´t forget to make a pin wash with Nato wash from Ak Interactive in all recesses or shadow areas, excess can be cleaned with White Spirit, better if it´s odourless!!!.

Once washes are dried it´s time to add some scratches  and chipping, mixing Black wash from Vallejo and Flat Brown whith one bit of sponge I did the chipping areas. Scratches with a sharped brush.

Highlitghts I did with Iraqui sand from Vallejo.

Rust streaks  are added Whith Ak Interactive Stuff too!!

Now, with the  airbrush we paint the  down chasis with earthy colors, to simulate dust and dirty..

I used Vallejo´s Model Air Stuff & Model color ones,… Brown Sand, Sand Yelow and Iraqui Sand respectively.

I highlighted the tracks with a graphite pen, to simulate polished metalic surfaces.

Finally, I added some dust effects over the exposed surfaces, track wheels, and areas suitables to have dust over.

I applied with white spirit and then a pigment fixer from Ak Interactive.

Job is done, just apply two layers of mate or satin varnish to protect the miniature.

Thanks to alternative brands such as Zvezda, we will be able to complete our game lists, despite other brands of the scene. From WarStuft, we encourage these initiatives to have continuity and thus grow the catalog of available units.

Отличные товарищи по работе! (Great job, mates!).

 

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