Monday, September 03, 2012

Ni shagu nazad!

It's sort of sad, what happens when you a) trust someone like me with a nine-year-old who loves wargames and then b) send said nine-year-old away and leave me to my own devices. You get this;
Between refinishing the bedroom floor and hanging the gutter outside Missy's room I found the time to assemble and paint these little models; a Soviet SU-85 assault gun and a German Panzerfeldhaubitze 18M auf Geschützwagen III/IV (Sf) Sd.Kfz. 165, better known as the "Hummel".
The artillery piece has always been part of my favorite war-stories. Hummel means "bumblebee" in German. The Nazi cannon-cockers named their SP artillery after bugs; the 105mmSP was tagged "Wasp" (Wespe), the 150mm with "Bumblebee", and the 88mm SP tank destroyer with "Hornet" (Hornisse).
Well, apparently Hitler found out about this in the case of the Hornet and had an absolute hissy; Schickelgruber didn't want his all-conquering artillery named after no Götterverdämmt bugs. He ordered that the tank-destroyer be renamed the "Rhinoceros" (Nashorn).
Well, when your Leader is a carpet-chewing loony with a homicidal disposition, you pretty much do what he says. So the Hornet became the Rhino. But the other two guns were still called "Wasp" and "Bumblebee".

Just very quietly.

Anyway, it was fun channeling the 15-year-old me, the wargame nerd. I'm ready to take on the kiddo when he returns, and that can't be too soon for me.


Ael said...

The wiki article says that Hitler demanded that they drop the name "Hummel". Of course, official names only go so far. Any Warthogs fly by lately?

FDChief said...

Like I said, he was PISSED about the bug thing; the Heer was supposed to change all the bug names to something more manly (or animal-y, or something). ISTM that Der Fuhrer should have been worrying about, say, how the Sovs were kicking his ass but, then, that's just me. I think we've all worked for guys like that.

Anyway, the stories I've read say that the deutsche rotebeinen, like most troopies, hate when officers pester them with crap like this, so while they made a big deal over re-naming the tank destroyer they just kept the other two on the down low.

My guess is that it was probably just one of those things that wasn't a big deal to the landser. In my time we tended to use the official name as just part of the identity of the vehicle;

"You need to take the #52 Goat down to Venado DZ at 0400."


"Who was driving the HQ-17 truck (rig, quarter-ton, etc.) past the flagpole yesterday with the tailgate down so I can ream him a new asshole..?"

So my guess is that wing-wipers probably refer to their aircraft as "that #715 'Hog" for an A-10...

Leon said...

What kind of twat (but history tells us exactly what kind) doesn't want a weapon system named after a wasp or hornet? Them buggers sting and it hurts like hell. Plus the bumblebee was the symbol of Napoleon due to their industriousness. And the whole stinging bit too. I know I'm going to go out on a limb here and offend some people but I got to say: Hitler was an asshole. Sorry about the language Chief but I felt it had to be said.

If you like's painting up mins, I'd take a look at this guy's blog. It's like crack for miniature gamers. He paints them up fast and they look gorgeous (from a mass miniature viewpoint):

Here's his breakdown of how he paints:

Syrbal said...

Oh, all that itsy bitsy painting makes my eyes hurt to consider! (btw...labrys of HerlanderRefugee here, on moving more Google or blogger, gonna be now!)

Lisa said...

Thank you, Leon.

FDChief said...

Leon; I am humbled by your gamer guy. Wow. That's some serious production line work, and the detail is lovely.

Labrys/Syrbal - I have to wear reading glasses now for everything, anyway, so the little detail isn't that much of a stretch. Plus it's fun trying to get all the small details correct.

Leon said...

It tends to depress the hell out of me being as I take 6mo to do 5 figures and he seems to crank them out in 5 min.

Plus I can't master that style of painting. I hate my style of painting which never seemed to evolve from my teenage geek years to something more professional.

FDChief said...

Well, I am impressed by his output, but I'm not sold on his style. That "deep shadow" minifig painting seems to be a Brit thing, and while it does a nice job of contrast I think it produces a much better effect on fabrics than it does on vehicle metal.

For example, for the SU-85 I went with a base coat of dark olive over primer and then just drybrushed an earth tone over the top. Add some dry-brush soot/black around the exhaust and you get a much more scale appearance; less dramatic, but more like what the vehicles look like at full size.

One thing that helps surprisingly is wearing reading glasses. I normally hate the damn things, but they perform the same function as a magnifying lens without the headache of the cord and stand.