SS Hauptsturmfuhrer Viktor Gräbner is perhaps most famous for his part in Operation Market Garden and the Battle of Arnhem as depicted in the film A Bridge Too Far, where he led a charge across the bridge in an attempt to break through British airborne lines.
Veteran account vary as to what model humber he drove, but largely it seems the Humber IV is depicted in wargames, and Bolt Action is no exception. If the model of vehicle is in doubt, then the paint scheme would too be little known or remembered. So, some poetic license was applied to my version of the model. One of the key considerations to the scheme was, if I were driving a captured vehicles, how would I ensure I didn’t get shot in a blue-on-blue incident. Gräbner was also leading a reconnaissance battalion, so some element of camouflage seemed appropriate. Finally Viktor was a resourceful commander, having listed many of his vehicles as “unserviceable” to avoid having them re-assigned to the 10th SS “Frundsberg”, and ultimately shipped back to Germany for a rebuild.
I figured that a commander this resourceful will have found a way to get hold of some brown & dungelb paint to make his vehicle distinctive from a British variant. In addition, rather than use a reflective green I painted these colors over the original British green. The result is a similar pattern to a German camouflage scheme, but retaining elements of the original scheme.
Improvised three tone field camouflage
- Airbrush on a base coat of Russian Uniform (70.924)
- Airbrush wavy Middlestone (70.882) stripes
- Airbrush wavy Chocolate Brown (70.872) stripes so they overlap the middlestone, but leave some of the green still visible.
- Drybrush the whole thing with Russian Uniform. This gives the appearance of wear on the paint on the edges of the vehicles
Following on from the three tone camouflage I’ve completed the commander in Autumn Oak Leaf camouflage to match the rest of the force. Then the whole vehicle has been weathered. As I started this model well before I had tried the salt paint chipping method I had to hand apply chipping. I am still happy with the result. I just stuck with the Hull Red for this, though I am unsure how British vehicles were undercoated. In any case it looks effective and will fit in with the rest of the armies vehicles. .
I added some antenna as the base model doesn’t come with any. This really gave me a center piece to my 9th SS Hohenstaufen force. In game we just count this as an armoured car choice, paid for at the same points as a British veteran Humber IV, with no other options available. The fact it is commanded by a SS Hauptsturmfuhrer has no real game effect.
No stage shots for this one I am afraid. As it turns out it’s taken me some three years to finally get around to finishing the model, even though I finished it off in a couple of hours! Much to be said for not putting things off!