Panzer Lehr Expansion Set - Panzerschreck

What heavy weapons expansions would you like to see for the Panzer Lehr?

  • Was inspired by the great machine gun expansion sets WGA is working on for their WWI French and Germans.

    A great expansion for the Panzer Lehr would be a Panzerschreck team for the following reasons:

    1.  There are no 28mm Panzerschreck teams available in plastic.  It is a weapon that would greatly benefit from being modeled in plastic.  See the current valiant, yet substandard attempts to capture the spoked rear of the Panzerschreck tube in metal or resin.  

    2. It would seem the Panzer Lehr Division was liberally equipped with Panzerschrecks.  At least two different game systems allow Panzer Lehr Division forces to take more than the normal number of Panzerschrecks.  It is their signature weapon if you will.

    3.  Kurowski's book "Elite Panzer Strike Force: Germany's Panzer Lehr Division in World War II" has an amazing account of a Panzer Lehr Soldier employing a Panzerschreck and then handgrenades to defend a position against armor.  (The book is a decent read overall, but the description of that fight really stands out).  There's a small map and the whole action would be a great scenario.

     



  • I don't know - I think I'd have to go with the Sd.Kfz 303 Leichter Ladungsträger "Goliath" - I could think of a lot of other things I could do with that in sci-fi, as well as its historical use.

    If I didn't have a proper Panzerschreck and had to improvise, I think I could cook something up easily enough with a bazooka or other shoulder-fired rocket launcher, or a length of sprue and some plasticard, if nothing else. Of course, a proper model is always nicer to have than a kitbashed or scratch-built item, but this isn't a very complicated item to improv, if it came down to it. It would also be really easy to add Panzerschreck into a larger kit of e.g. command and heavy weapons items, as it doesn't really take much space to add the arms holding the launcher and rockets that could be added to bodies from the main set.... 

    In fact, if it came down to it and a Panzer Lehr accessory sprue were the most that could be done, I think that you could cover several of these sorts of items on a single srue:  a handful of flamethrower arms, a handful of Panzerschreck arms, some StG-44 arms, some G-43 arms, and maybe a few alternative heads or bodies (WWII style gas masks or goggles or coats or something), which I suspect could still leave enough room for one or two heavier item....

    A "Grognards Command and Heavy Weapons"-style kit could easily contain all of those items, plus bits for officers and radio operators, ammo boxes, some scoped sniper rifle arms, a machine-gun team or two, a PAK-36 antitank gun, an LG-42 team, a Granatwerfer 42 team or two, a Goliath, and probably more.

    If I had to get picky, though, and pick just one or two for a focused kit that historic gamers might get the most from, it seems to me like mortar and anti-tank gun teams would make the most sense.


  • Good ideas 


  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    The Goliath is a great choice for the Panzer Lehr.  The Panzer Lehr Division used them in the fighting in Normandy.

    That being said it is not too difficult to use one of the available 28mm metal or 1/48th plastic Goliaths with the standard plastic WGA Panzer Lehr miniatures.

    Scratch building a Panzerschreck is a bit more involved than one might think.  To start they are a great deal bigger than a Bazooka or Piat.


  • This gentleman does some incredible conversions with 1/48 Panzerschreks:

    http://iagsmgm.blogspot.com/2018/05/panzerschreck-team.html?m=1

    It's the route I'll probably take if WGA doesn't come out with a kit.  But as one can see the chopping, fitting, and green stuffing of arms, torsos, and hands is a bit more work than most want to do.  

    It's worth noting that many would probably pick up the kit no matter what particular German 28mm force they were using in order to convert with the arms and Panzerschrecks.  


  • @JTam - True, but at 28mm scale and proportions, it's not going to look very different.  The grips and shield are a little different, but not difficult to scratch-build.

    I'm not a great sculptor, but I was surprised how easy it was for me to build an ogre-sized 28mm chainsaw from plasticard, polystyrene rod, random Iron-Core greeblies, and leftover sprue!  Took an hour of work.  I'd rate that a medium-difficulty scratch-build, and that Panzerschreck tube, shield, and grip look like an easy scratch-build... the wiry bits around the back would be beyond my skill-level to include, but I could live with that. 

    As for the bazooka - the grips are placed slightly differently and look very different, and it's absolutely a Your-Mileage-May-Vary thing (as is scratch-building), but add a plastic-card shield, and I wouldn't notice the difference in a 28mm tabletop game.

    But, don't let that discourage anyone from producing some - I guarantee that some 28mm Panzershreck bits will find their way into sci-fi builds as well as historic ones (I can see them being used in Death Fields and Iron-Core armies pretty easily!), and I don't see anyone being disappointed in seeing them being made! 

    Just saying that if I had to choose one of the poll options, I'd choose something harder to scratch-build. 

    I'd be satisfied to use some modified small-scale tank models as "close enough" stand-ins for a Goliath (there are some 1/144 scale WWII tanks that might be pretty close in size to what a Goliath would be), but that would be an even less accurate improv than my bazooka-schreck stand-in would be!  And a proper German flame-thrower would be beyond my scratch-building ability....


  • Some ideas for the set:

    Just Panzerschrecks: Prone Panzerschreck body, prone assistant gunner with rocket, kneeling gunner, and kneeling assistant gunner for four bodies.  Two Panzerschrecks with arms for the two gunners and a third Panzerschreck slung upside down attached to a right arm.  The third Panzerschreck adds versatility and could be used with the normal Panzer Lehr bodies or indeed any 28mm plastic German.


  • Panzerschreck and MG42 in heavy mode (with tripod):

    One kneeling Panzerschreck gunner with prone AG.  One kneeling or prone (using optic) MG42 gunner with prone AG.  Extra set of arms with binoculars.

     

    Panzer Lehr Heavy Weapons box:  

    One stop shopping.  Panzerschreck team.  Tripod mounted MG42 with crew.  One set arms with sniper rifle.  One set arms with binos.  Plastic Goliath and arms with remote control.  Plastic flamethrower tank and arms.    Sounds like a lot but the flamethrower, sniper rifle, and even Goliath don't take up a lot of room on  the sprue.  

    Extra Bonus Points if you can fit in an extra MG42 in light mode being fired off the AG's shoulder.

    (Aware these are MG34s below....)


  • Very true:  a lot of these options really don't take up very much room on sprues.  The Goliath might take up a little more sprue real-estate than it seems, but most of this equipment surely takes up about as much room combined as WWI heavy machine-gun teams apparently do, and certainly less room than the contents of the Grognard command/heavy set does!


  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    All above true.

    But really a Goliath isn't much bigger than a person.

    One company casts their 28mm Goliath as one chunk of metal.


  • I was actually writing up a more detailed post where I broke down the size of the Goliath and its crew, and decided not to post it as I was in danger of getting carried away:

    The Goliath might have been the biggest question for me, but here's what Wikipedia says about the specifications:

    Length 1.5 m (4.9 ft)
    Width 0.85 m (2.8 ft)
    Height 0.56 m (1.8 ft)
    Crew One remote operator

    Considering the complexities of casting in plastic vs. white metal or resin, I suspect four pieces for the Goliath itself would work - top, bottom, two sides each sculpted as one-piece sections of tracks/wheels/suspension/sides.  Those four pieces would each take up as much room, I believe, as four torso-plus-legs bits, which is to say, not much room at all, considering that's the equivalent of toros+legs, and no multiple heads or arms.  The one-man operator doesn't really require much of anything fancy, either - I imagine any of the regular figures from the original Panzer Lehr set could stand in.

    The gist of the message I didn't post was that the real problem with the Goliath is that only a few thousand were deployed, compared to a large number of some other heavier weapons, some of which haven't been mentioned so far in the discussion:

    At a glance, a few thousand Goliaths were built, compared to...

    • 20,000 PAK-36 anti-tank guns (2-5 crew)
    • 60,000 Flammenwerfer-41 flamethrowers
    • 75,000 Granatwerfer-36 mortars*
    • a couple hundred thousand Panzerschrecks*
    • about 1.5 million Schiessbecher rifle grenades
    • 6.7 million Panzerfausts (only two per sprue were included in the original Panzer Lehr set)

     

    * I believe these were deployed in 7- to 10-man squads:  one to two officers, three gunners, and three-to-five riflemen to carry ammo and provide supporting cover; I'm assuming much the same thing was probably true of many of these sorts of special small arms, such as heavy machine guns, mortars, rocket launchers, and the like.

    As much as I like the Goliath for its possible uses in a sci-fi context, there were more commonly-encountered weapons that might make more sense having at least three copies per Goliath, or a box that includes three copies of more common weapons but excludes the Goliath in favor of a more common heavy weapon, like the iconic PAK-36 anti-tank gun.

    That said, I have a feeling PAK-36 models are much easier to come by than Goliath models, and the larger crew might take even more room than the Goliath would....

    It's not as easy a decision as it seems at first glance, especially since, as a sci-fi/fantasty/horror gamer, I'm not the target demographic for this sort of historical kit.  If it were up to me and I could ignore the historical gamers, I'd go for a boxed set that includes two sprues, each containing only the parts for a Goliath and a motorcycle with sidecar and crew, plus as many small accessories as could be fit in the remaining space (sidecar-mounted machine gun, ammo cans, field telephones, whatever.)

    If I were a historical gamer, though, and looking at it strictly objectively, I think I'd include one PAK-36, a couple Flammenwerfer, three each of Panzerschreck, Granatwerfer, and Schiessbecher, and maybe some extra Panzerfaust, plus a 5-man crouching PAK-36 crew, and a 7-14 standing soldiers to act as crew and officers for the other weapons, miscellaneous ammo box bits, and, as space allows, a couple extra bodies for officers with appropriate costumes and hats and miscellaneous command/communication bits (radios, binoculars, first aid kits, that sort of thing.)

    In the name of saving space wherever necessary, perhaps a limited selection of heads compared to the original Panzer Lehr set, as anyone buying theis sort of expansion will probably have a bunch of spare German heads from the original set!  The standing soldier bodies are probably redundant:  these could be sourced from the original Panzer Lehr set easily enough, so these can be easily sacrificed from an expansion if space is needed.

    I couldn't tell if the MG-42 on tripods was ever really deployed in enough numbers to justify its inclusion, especially since (like the Panzerfaust) a couple of MG-42s without tripods were included in the original Panzer Lehr set.  (But man, just looking at those photos of MG-42s being fired off those poor guys' shoulders make my ears ring!  There seem to be enough photos of that, though, that it has to have been a thing!)


  • Rubicon models already have a 1/56 scale Goliath in plastic. They are sold individually with two crew members,in plastic, or  together with the 1/56 Kettenkrad and infantry trailer,in plastic.

     


  • @Yronimos Whateley 

    The production numbers don't matter so much as the equipment present at the place and time we are attempting to game. 

    There may have been 20,000 Pak 36s built , but by late 1943 when the Panzer Lehr Divison was formed the Pak 36 was obsolete.  There may have been some still knocking about with some German forces in the Balkans, but the Panzer Lehr didn't have any.  

    There were few Goliaths built but the Panzer Lehr was one of the few units that did have them and used them in the Normany fighting.  That's half the joy of fielding the well equipped Panzer Lehr Division on the table - being able to use all the best "toys" like  Pumas and Goliaths guilt free.

    The Panzer Lehr Division was well equipped with Panzerschrecks and Panzerfausts.  Those weapon systems had largely replaced the antitank gun (like the Pak 36) as the German Infantry's organic antitank capability.  There were still antitank guns about but they had grown so large and so heavy they were impractical for Infantry formations.   

    Flamethrowers are way over represented on the game table.  They should be a fairly rare sight in the ETO.

    The MG42 in heavy mode aka on tripod was very widely fielded/used in the German Army.  Every Rifle Company had a heavy machine gun squad with two.  Every Rifle Battalion had a Heavy Machine Gun or Heavy Weapons Company with six to twelve MG42s with tripod.  So if a platoon was the company main effort it might be supported by two.  If a company was the battalion main effort it could theoretically be supported by fourteen. 

     


  • @Mark Hoffman 

    I saw that Rubicon kit for the first time this morning while Googling 1/48 Tamiya Goliaths. It looks like a nice kit.  That being said if I could get a WGA kit with several German heavy weapons in it for 35 dollars or the Rubicon kit with two Soldiers and a Goliath for 10 dollars I know which one I would prefer.  

    I was Googling the Tamiya kit to see how they broke it up on the sprue.

    The Goliath is the upper hull, two track pieces, and lower hull you see in the lower left quadrant.  

    Tamiya is model maker, not a miniature maker if you take my meaning.  I wonder if you could get it down to two pieces - left and right, or maybe top and bottom?  

    So "Panzer Lehr Division" Goliaths were operated by the 316 Funklencompanie, which was attached to the Panzer Lehr Division, but technically not part of it.  So the question is did the Goliath operators wear the distinctive assault gun wrap like most of the Panzer Lehr Division Panzergrenadiers?  I can't find any definitive answer.  Knowing Soldiers it's about 50/50 that the 316 Soldiers were able to lay hands on the wraps.  It was a desirable and distinctive garment and Hans wants to look good for the Franceleins.  Does anyone have any thoughts/proof on this one way or another?

     

     


  • Panzerschreck and MG42 in heavy configuration (tripod) have the lead in the poll.

    For my own amusement put together this Panzerschreck and MG42 sprue mockup.  It's a half-sprue like the Death Fields Upgrade Sprue.

     


  • I definitely think you could get away with having all these options in one box. Would be an awesome kit for WW2 28mm gamers ingeneral as no one offers any of these options in plastic.


  • Again, for my own amusement a mock up of a Sniper, Flamethrower, and Medium Mortar sprue.

    Again, it is a half sprue like the Death Fields Accessory Sprue.  Obviously, it can be combined with the Panzerschreck and MG sprue to make a full sprue.


  • @JTam these 2 concept sprues plus one of those micro sprues they used for the grognard head options with Goliaths and this would litterally be the best box for plastic support options. yes the lehr models might not be the fav but most people are more about getting plastic MGs and mortars cause the metal ones arent as easy to kitbash with warlords plastic.


  • @Cole Lassell 

    I think a 28mm WW2 German plastic heavy weapons set would be genuinely significant in the hobby.

    Sometimes I prefer one or two piece metal or even resin miniatures over plastic for Infantry.  But plastic wins hands down over metal or resin for equipment (like heavy weapons).  Plastic gives you the perfectly straight lines you need that you can never quite achieve in metal.  That fit between parts is perfect, without filing needed.  The finished plastic heavy weapon is far stronger in practical terms than a superglued together metal heavy weapon.

     


  • Another half sprue:

    Goliath and light machine gun. The machinegun crew is doing the classic German gunner firing from the AG's shoulder pose.  The sprue also allows one to build the Goliath operator bodies as a prone machinegun crew.  


  • Maybe the Goliath and LMG sprue above is too packed.  Maybe remove two prone bodies, four arms, and a machinegun in order to have more room for the Goliath parts.  Sprue would consequently build either a Goliath with operators OR two guys rocking the MG42 (AG holding the bipod on his shoulder).


  • @JTam

    Actually if it’s more of a big upgrade sprue (ie, maybe 1 crewmen body at most on the sprue), you could probably fit most if not all the options mentioned in the survey on 1 sprue.


  • J Tam, i am waiting for my new Panzer Lehr figures to arrive and it is great news that you have come up with some designs on weapons packs. I purchased some French WW1/WW 2 figures and they were excellent. The only thing i can see that is missing from the Panzer Lehr are breadbags, spades cannisters and zeltban rolls. If it is a possibility these kit items could be added to the weapon packs. Regarding the Goliath and other pak weapons, at this point in time there are plenty of options and good availabilty. The other support weapons Panzershreck, MG42, Mortar would fill a niche market especially the Panzershreck. Looking at the quality of the designs shown, really looking foreward to a realease date for those.

    Regards

    Aidan Donaghy


  • @Aidan Donaghy 

    I sincerely hope WGA does come out with some expansion(s) / weapon sets for the Panzer Lehr.

    As you noted there are several German heavy weapons unavailable in plastic from anyone.  

    If there are new bodies in the weapons sets even better.  It would really add variety to a Panzer Lehr army built from WGA plastics.


  • Thanks to @Geoff Maybury I finally found a 1/56 plastic Panzerschreck for conversions. 

    Of course it's $16 for I believe two.  And you will still have to do a mess of hacking and green stuffing to get the arms kind of where you need them. 


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