GASLANDS Game at Mass Pikemen

Last Saturday Jared Burns ran a very fun game of GASLANDS at the February meeting of the Mass Pikemen gaming club. For those of you not familiar with the game, it involves an apocalyptic race/gladiatorial battle using Matchbox cars. The cars are armed with different weapons such as rams, machine guns, and armor, and in the scenario they were racing through three gates with the first car to finish all three as the winning car.

Each of us had two cars. Jared brought his car collection which he had very effectively weathered. Also, Scott Howland brought his cool GASLANDS cars, so we had a nice selection. Jared had also made some very nice dashboards which made play much easier.

1 gaslands feb
The game set up – it was nice as several of us were able to contribute terrain to make a fun tabletop.
2 gaslands feb
Scott Howland made a couple of very cool billboards that were very fun – including this Johnny Cab one from “Total Recall” and…
3 gaslands feb
…this one showing spaceship service to Mars.
4 gaslands feb
These are the two cars that I had in the game. The cab (from Scott) had a ram and a machine gun. The rusty car (from Jared) had a machine gun and a limited ammo mortar.

We all started at gate one, with no firing weapons to be active until we crossed the first gate. Several cars, including my cab, never made it through that first gate. My rusty car did, and turned back to attack Jared’s similarly-armed orange car. I rolled well, and Jared did not, with the result being I destroyed his car. Unfortunately, his ammo sympathetically detonated and both of my cars took damage from that blast.

5 gaslands feb

The first kill – but the ensuing explosion damaged both of my cars.

At the same time, Mike Morgan had been sidelined due to a starting box collision that left one of his cars just getting going. His other car was speeding dangerously towards the stadium wall (the edge of the tabletop), so he was not being engaged. Scott and Jared were both heading to the second gate and taking shots at each other along the way. Scott’s other car was in front of my rusty one, so I shot at it, and the dice were with me again. Boom.

At the top of this shot you see Scott’s (silver car) and Jared’s (blue car) doing a NASCAR run while heading towards the second gate. Mike’s cars are on the far right and far left trying to get back into the fight.
7 gaslands feb
Jared, Mike and Scott ponder their next moves.

Unfortunately, the act of shooting Scott’s car also caused an explosion that wrecked my rusty car, leaving me with only the cab.

8 gaslands feb
My rusty car, a victim of its own murderous aggressiveness!

This left Mike with two cars, and Jared, Scott and I with one, and mine could only ram. I saw them headed for gate two, so I headed there.

9 gaslands feb
My cab goes at the two survivors.

I did damage to Scott’s silver car, causing it to flip and hit the post, and explode. Both my cab and Jared’s blue car were caught in the explosion. This action took all three out of the game, leaving Mike with the only remaining cars and victory!

10 gaslands feb
The mashup that took out three cars.

The game ended and I think we all had a blast (pun unintentional) even though I inadvertently succeeded in destroying my own cars. Thanks to Jared for running a great game.

Our next session is on March 2nd at 2 PM during which we will be playing What a Tanker in North Africa!

Italian Armor for North Africa

I have been really enjoying building armored forces for the tabletop war game What a Tanker©.  This, my latest group, rounds out my Panzer Army Africa forces with Royal Italian Army armor from 1940-1943.  This post will show these tanks and tank destroyers, as well as a German Panzer IVD that was left off from my last group that I previously detailed here.  These are all 15mm (1:100) tanks, which are very small (1-3″). 

My ultimate goal is to have an excellent game that I can run at conventions or club meetings.  I now have that, but will probably add some Marder III’s, M3 Grants/Lees, and M4 Shermans to be complete.  

I will share here both the Italian vehicles and the Panzer IVD – and some of their in progress photos.  Then, you will get a chance to view some eye candy shots!  Because I have been very busy seeking new employment (and it looks good on that front!), I was able to finish the tanks and run a couple of play tests before I could finish this post.  So there will be a few shots of the play tests I have been running with these tanks.  I also share the materials and research used at the end for those interested.  

Royal Italian Army Armor

The vehicles I assembled for the Italians make up about 2/3 of the list of the models in the What a Tanker© rule book.  I already had 5 Italian tanks from Wargame Models in Ohio that are very affordable (but not as nice as those from Battlefront Miniatures).  My current Italian Army consists of 12 vehicles:

M14/41 Tank

This tank is basically the M13/40 with a better engine and slightly better armor.

I used a painting scheme that attempted to match the one example in the Bovington museum.

7 M14-41 after decal
After applying decal and varnish, but before adding weathering powders.
8 M14-41 with photo of actual tank
The completed M14/41 tank model next to one in the book.

Semovente 47/32

In the WaT rules, this vehicle is interesting.  It is small (tougher to hit), low profile (tougher to acquire), fast (can move every turn), and a tank destroyer (can aim easier).  It also is, like the Panzerjager I, open-topped, so never buttoned (and more vulnerable).  Each blister had two vehicles, and I bought two at the 50% off sale!

3 Semovente 47-32 primed and base coated
The tiny tank destroyers primed and base coated.

Semovente 75-18

I had two of these, with one being a command model (carro comando), that had a range finder (called a goniometer).  I used a slightly different camouflage scheme with these and love the triangle vehicle marking decals that these got.  

6 Semovente 75-18 rear view after camo and decals
Hey, matching licence plates!
7 Semovente 75-18 with image
I used this color scheme, and went with the decals anyways.

Panzer IVD

My previous Panzer IVD did not make the last project group as it came with two left tracks.  Battlefront sent me a replacement, and I plan to use the defective one soon as a wreck project.

Italian Repainting

For my Wargame Model in Ohio tanks, I decided to give them a makeover with paint and decals so that they were less different than the newer Italian vehicles.  They are still not perfect, but I decided to stick with what I have done with them now.

2 Wargames Models of Ohio repainted
My repaint of the other Italians

I hope you liked the in progress stuff above – and now…it’s Eye Candy time!

Eye Candy

1 M14-41 front shot
Front view of M14/41.
2 M14-41 rear shot
Left rear view of M14/41
3 M14-41 side shot
Right side view of M14/41 on the road
4 Semovente 47-32 convoy
Little Semovente 47/32’s in a convoy
5 Semovente 47-32 front shot
Front left view of Semovente 47/32
6 Semovente 47-32 rear shot
Rear right view of Semovente 47/32
7 Semovente 75-18 side shot
Semovente 75/18 right side view.
8 Semovente 75-18 right side shot
Left front view of Semovente 75/85
9 Semovente 75-18 rear shot
Rear view of the Semovente 75/18 tank destroyer
10 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando rear shot
In comparison, here is the Semovente 75/18 Carro Comando version from the back
11 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando right side shot
Semovente 75/18 right side
12 Semovente 75-18 Carro commando left side shot
Semovente Carro Comando  75/18 right side.  Note the goniometer on the top in front of the crewman.
14 Semovente 75-18s
The two versions of the Semovente 75/18’s together
15 Pz IVD right side
Panzer IVD left side
16 Pz IVD left side
Panzer IVD left side
17 Pz IVD rear side
Rear view of the Panzer IVD
19 All Italian AFV's
Italian Group shot!

Lastly, I am thankful to Chris Rett, Ryan MacRae, Frank Ramsay, and Mike Morgan for helping me to start to play test the scenario and rules tweaks that I will use to make this work at HAVOC in April for up to 10-12 players.  Here’s a few shots!

1 Great Stories
At Great Stories in Uxbridge, MA – Chris, Ryan, and Frank have fun.  The Brits made a comeback and won here under Chris’ command.
3 Mike Morgan
Mike Morgan maneuvers his Brits to a narrow victory at my house.
3 Kill Rings
One of my innovations – Kill Ring Cards!

Thanks for looking – and I hope that you found this post interesting and fun.  As I add more tanks/tank destroyers, I will share them.  I also hope to add better pics from future games.

Please let me know your thoughts and feedback – as always – in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Citadel “Imperium Primer”
  5. Battlefront “German Camo Orange Ochre”
  6. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  7. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  8. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  9. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  11. Battlefront “Monty Shade” (shade)
  12. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  13. Battlefront “Army Green”
  14. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  15. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  16. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  18. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  19. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  20. Battlefront “Black”
  21. Battlefront “Battledress Brown”
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Rust Wash” (wash)
  23. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  24. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  25. Battlefront “European Skin”
  26. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Flesh”
  28. Vallejo “Dark Prussian Blue”
  29. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  30. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  31. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  32. Vallejo “Desert Dust” (pigment)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ONCE MORE – ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK: Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would again easily recommend all of these books as really good resources for gamers and modelers.

Building a Panzer Army Africa Tank force for What a Tanker

January has been a busy hobby month.  After I had built a significant number of 8th Army British tanks for What a Tanker© games set in WWII North Africa.  Subsequently,  I really needed to build out an opposing and suitably-sized group of Panzer Army Africa tanks and tank destroyers.  This post focuses on my January efforts on German forces.  I will augment these with Italian tanks and tank destroyers on my next project.

OVERVIEW

I finished a total of 17 tanks/tank destroyers this month.  These were all 15mm scale and from Battlefront Miniatures.  Thirteen of these were for North Africa, while four would augment my forces for my France 1940 scenario.  The largest single number were nine Panzer II variants.  I had purchased a box of five Panzer II’s previously, and built one for France 1940, but the box was short one tank guns.  Battlefront made good on this, and sent me another entire box of five tanks!  This allowed me to convert an extra British A10 gun I had lying around into one for a Panzer IIC.  It’s not perfect, but should work on the tabletop.  I also had a Panzer IVD from Battlefront, and discovered that it had two left tracks.   Battlefront has done right by me on that too, and replaced that entire tank as well.  I will probably take the extra Panzer IVD and make it into a wreck later on.  So this post will review these 17 tanks I built and painted:

  • 2 Panzerjager I’s (one for France 1940 and one for North Africa)(15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE100)
  • 3 Panzer IIC’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for France 1940
  • 6 Panzer IIF’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GBX108) for North Africa
  • 2 Panzer IIIE’s (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE030) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IIIH (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE031) for North Africa
  • 1 Panzer IVF2 (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE042) for North Africa
  • 1 M3 Stuart “Honey” tank (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#BR006) –  one captured by the Germans for use in North Africa 
  • 1 Tiger I (15mm/1:100 scale), from Battlefront Miniatures (#GE070) for North Africa 

I will review each briefly, and give bigger shots in the eye candy section.  Of course, I list the paints and other materials I used at the end for those interested. And there were 61 decals!

PANZERJAGER I’S

Images that I used for modeling.

In the end, I chose a camouflage pattern for my Panzer Army Africa version similar to what you see on the Marder II image.

PANZER II’S

There were nine Panzer II’s!

I modeled my Panzer IIF on this image.

PANZER IIIE’S

I had two unpainted Panzer IIIE’s left over from France 1940. They were not easy to put decals on – so that was minimal.

PANZER IIIH

Panzer IIIH assembled
After camouflage applied.

PANZER IVF2

After camouflage – Panzer IVF2.
I modeled this tank on this image.

CAPTURED GERMAN M3 STUART “HONEY”

The Germans did a good job of recovering all kinds of AFV’s in North Africa. This included enemy vehicles – so I decided that an M3 Stuart would be a good addition.

I saw this and had to give the Germans a little American-made steel.

TIGER I

The last tank that I will share here is the centerpiece of the collection – a true behemoth – the early Tiger I. I modeled this one on the famous #131, which was captured virtually intact by the British in 1943 in Tunisia. A lucky British AP round lodged in the Tiger’s turret ring, and its crew abandoned it. Today, it is the only functional Tiger I on the planet and is at the Bovington tank museum.

Assembly of this model was NOT easy. There were 21 pieces and no assembly instructions, which is amazing given that Battlefront has assembly instructions for much simpler models. I also had issues with getting the tracks to fit the hull as there were no slots for the detents on the metal tracks.

Turret close up after decals and crew added.
One of the three images I used to finish the model.
The second image showing the rear of the actual Tiger 1 #131.
The third image.

I wanted to install a radio aerial, but in the end I decided that it was impractical due to the size of the model and the likelihood of future damage. I also wanted to include this Tiger as my “centerpiece model” in the January monthly painting challenge that I participate in – run by Azazel (whose blog is well-worth following).

So now, its time for…

EYE CANDY!

Panzerjager I, right side
Panzerjager I, left side.
I completed two Panzerjager I’s – one obviously needs to get a paint job for North Africa!
Rear view showing the crews of this early tank destroyer.
The three Panzer IIC’s that will be for France 1940. The one on the far right has the converted gun.
The six Panzer IIF’s for North Africa.
Panzer IIF convoy.
Front close up of Panzer IIF.
The two Panzer IIIE’s.
Rear view of the Panzer IIIE’s.
Panzer IIIH, right side.
Panzer IIIH, left side.
Front view of Panzer IIIH, with nice view of DAK decal.
Panzer IVF2, right side.
And the Panzer IVF2, left side.
Front view of the Panzer IVF2.
Captured German Stuart “Honey”.
Other side of the German Stuart.
AND THE TIGER I!
Tiger I, left side.
Tiger I, right side.
Tiger I, rear view.
German motor pool! The 13 German tanks for Panzer Army Africa.
All 17 German tanks for January! Bigger motor pool!

This was a big project – and now on to the Italians (and my replacement Panzer IVD).

I thank you for looking and hope this was enjoyable for you. What tanks are your two favorites (I know the Tiger I will be a big favorite!). Please share your thoughts and any feedback in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  5. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  6. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  7. Battlefront “Panzer Gray”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “Base Grey”
  9. Vallejo “Neutral Grey”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Green Brown”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “German Green Brown”
  13. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Cam. Grey Green”
  15. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  16. Battlefront “Boot Brown”
  17. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  18. Battlefront “Black”
  19. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  20. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)
  21. Battlefront “European Skin”
  22. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  23. Vallejo Game Air “Moon Yellow”
  24. DecoArt “White Pearl”
  25. Army Painter Quickshade “Mid Brown” (wash)
  26. Army Painter Quickshade “Strong Tone” (wash)
  27. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  28. Vallejo “Light Slate Grey” (pigment)
  29. Vallejo “Light Sienna” (pigment)
  30. Battlefront “Rommel Shade” (shade)
  31. Battlefront “Bradley Shade” (shade)
  32. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  33. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  34. Gorilla Glue
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  36. Microscale Micro-Set
  37. Microscale Micro-Sol
  38. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  39. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  40. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish
  42. Aleene’s poster tack
  43. Sponges

Thanks for looking and for sharing your feedback!

ON MY RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • One by Jean Restayn:WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK:Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would easily recommend all of these books as good resources for gamers and modelers.

More 8th Army tanks – A10’s, an A13, Valentines, Crusaders, a Grant and a Churchill!

This week I was able to finish off my 8th Army tank force for What a Tanker© games.  The group was composed of 9 Battlefront/Flames of War 15mm scale tanks – two A10 Cruiser Mark IIA’s, one A13 Cruiser Mark IVA, two Valentine tanks (a II and a III), two Crusader tanks (a II and a III), one M3 Grant, and one Churchill II.  These would add to my previous two A9 Cruiser Mark I’s and my two M3 Stuart “Honeys” tanks that I finished in November (those are discussed here).  Including a  couple of prepainted Matilda II’s that I had bought from Wargames Models in Ohio, my 8th Army force now has 15 tanks.  Noticeably absent from this group of course are the Sherman tanks that arrived in time for the British push at the Second Battle of El Alamein, but I am sure I’ll get to adding them eventually.  I wanted to have a group of earlier war tanks ending with the Grant and Churchill for now, as most folks are less familiar with them.

I did not take as many pictures in the assembly and painting processes this time as I wanted to get these done.  I need to move onto the Germans and the Italians!  My goal is to run these in What a Tanker© games at gaming club meetings and at local conventions.  I do feel that these, as well as my last tank project attempts, have been fun and have stretched my hobby skills a good bit.

I’ll cover each of the types individually, then some eye-candy shots at the end for your (I am hopeful) enjoyment.  Of course, I will list my paints and materials at the end for those interested.  I used my airbrush and standard brushes on all of these.

A10’s and A13

I finished three more cruiser tanks –  two A10 Mark IIA’s and one A13.

I find that cleaning, filing, and general preparation of these models does take a bit of time.  I know that washing the resin parts is very important.  My last step in cleaning the resin involves a gentle brush wash/application of isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol to some of you) to it.  This has been helpful I think – you just need to let that dry before handling or you may leave fingerprints on the resin.  I also added radio antenna aerials with 24 gauge wire if the model would withstand the drilling and mounting process structurally.  Sometimes, I just could not add one without damaging the model.

3 a10 final with book (2)
One of the two A10’s as completed.  I went with a sandy look compared to the Caunter scheme I used on the A9’s, mainly for tabletop identification.  This is what I was aiming for, but of course I add pigments and dirty up my tanks!  Note that either the book or my model has a different skirt, possibly because mine were A10 Mark IIA’s.

During the war, compared to the A10’s, the A13’s were much faster due to the Christie suspension and a better engine.  Combat wise, they were not much better, and are not better in the game rules either.  They are adequate foes for Panzer II’s and some Italian light AFV’s.

On all of my tanks I tried to use different FoW decals that seemed to make sense – they are so small! Of course, getting the decals to look sand-worn was important, and the pigment helped.  Getting the decals to conform to the curved surfaces took many slow applications of Micro-Set, Micro-Sol, and Liquid decal film. Our hobby blog-guru Azazel mentioned using barely-moist sponges to lightly apply pigments, so I gave that a shot, especially on the decals.  While I think I got a darker look, it did made the decals look less out of place, and I liked the effect.

1 a13 final with book
My A13 and the painting scheme that I went with, minus the remnants of the blue Caunter camouflage pattern  – as I thought that bluish tinge would be nearly impossible to see at 15mm scale.

Valentines

I picked up the two Valentine infantry tanks on sale at two different hobby shops.  The track treads were a bit different.  Of note, the Valentine II needed significant reinforcing with green stuff to come together as it was either poorly designed or not well made.

For the Valentine II, I chose a Caunter camouflage scheme that was more bluish than what I had done previously with the A9’s or the Honeys.  That would help on the tabletop as well – and the biggest difficulty was masking the appropriate parts of the tank for airbrushing the blue.

5 valentine ii prepped for caunter
Valentine II masked for airbrushing the blue Caunter camouflage scheme.

I am not sure how effective the blue scheme was in WWII combat, but as the British abandoned it my guess is not very.  Still, it does look striking and different.

6 valentine ii final with book
My Valentine II versus its model in the book.  The red and white markers were too small for me to mask and paint, so I went with decals.  Also, the sides of my model differed a bit as well.  I chose to have a lighter blue – it was tough to bring myself to paint that bright of a blue on a tank!

For the Valentine III, I went with a camouflage scheme that was more brown and sand.  I also added two aerials to this one.

7 valentine iii final with book
The Valentine III and the paint scheme I emulated.  Once again, my pigment use darkened it, but in the eye-candy section below, you can see it better.

Crusaders

I definitely wanted to have a couple of Crusader cruiser tanks in my force.  They do look good, though in combat their armor was not effective enough against their Axis counterparts.

I decided to use two different painting schemes here as well.  The earlier Crusader II would get a sandy look, while the Crusader III would get a brown camouflage pattern.

4 crusader iii ready for camo
My Crusader III awaits the airbrushing of the brown camouflage.  Poster tack works great for this kind of masking.

5 crusader ii final with book
The finished Crusader II and the book version.

6 crusader iii final with book
The Crusader III was for me a mix of two images – first this one…

7 crusader iii final with book
and secondly this one.  Again, I want dirty tanks that look like they have been driving in the desert and not off the show room/museum floor.

M3 Grant

The British were not happy to get American tanks at first.  They did invent the tank after all in WWI, and they were proud of them.  They wanted the US to build British designs, but with the risk of the UK losing the war early on, we Americans balked and said we would only build US designs.  That way, if the British lost, we would not have our factories tooled for non-American designs.  One of these was the light tank M3 Stuart, another was the medium tank M3 Lee.  To placate the Brits, a different and more rounded turret was made than that of the American M3 Lee, and that is the major difference between a Grant and a Lee.  So, my tank is a Grant.  In doing my research, it was interesting to learn that the sponson-mounted 75mm gun was more prized (eventually) because it had an HE round.  That meant that the Grant 75 was far better able to deal with anti-tank gun crews, like the dreaded 88mm, than a solid shot AP round would have been.   In the turret, a 37mm gun was the main anti-tank weapon (though certainly the sponson gun was used in that role as well).

If the chassis looks familiar, yes, it was used as the basis for the M4 Sherman as well.

3 grant final with book
My Grant with its model – the light green was interesting to apply – better pictures in the eye-candy section below.

Churchill Mark II

The Churchill infantry tank made its unhappy debut in the costly Canadian forces raid at Dieppe (these were Churchill Mark I’s).  The Churchill Mark II was first used by the “Kingforce” detachment (6 Churchill II tanks) in North Africa in October 1942, and Churchills were used in that theater and in Western Europe throughout the rest of the war.

1 churchill ii in blister
The Churchill in the blister – I chose to make it a Churchill II as the Mark I was only at Dieppe.

2 churchill turret mounting
How I started painting the turrets – I later transitioned my approach to using drill holes in wooden blocks instead of styrofoam.  That approach worked much better.  The #14 2″ screw held a magnet and a steel washer, and the magnetized turret stayed on top for painting.

I then masked this big behemoth (for 15mm).  The effort on this tank took some doing – I needed a lot of poster tack.

3 before camo
Churchill tank awaits its desert camouflage paint job.

4 final with book
What I was going for – and again more dirty on mine.

Now my force was – as you Brits out there might say – “proper” in terms of game-worthiness.

1 lots of tanks
All of the 8th Army tanks I painted since November.

That concludes the history/what-I-did section – now for the…

Eye Candy

2 a10's right side
Right side view of the two A10’s.

3 a10's rear
Left rear view of the same A10’s approaching the village.

4 a13 side
The A13 patrols a village.

5 the 5 cruisers
Just for fun, I lined up all of my early Cruiser tanks in a convoy.

6 valentine ii by the well
The Valentine II, with its blue Caunter camouflage scheme, guards a well.

7 valentine ii by the wall
Opposite side view of the Valentine II.  I do like the muted appearance of the blue.  The decals were practically microscopic to work with!

8 valentine iii left side
The Valentine III with its brown camouflage pattern approaches a road.

9 valentine iii front facing
Head on view of the Valentine III.  For perspective, the front of this tank is little more than an inch wide, so this image is 3-4 times the size of the model.

10 the two valentines right sides
My two Valentines (soon to be a romantic comedy perhaps on the BBC?).

11 the two valentines facing front
Nice view of the fronts of the Valentines.  I had a bit of a concern with the tracks of the Valentine II on the left .  As you can see they are a slight bit off – and this was the one Valentine that I needed to reinforce during assembly.  Again, these are the things you notice when your picture is 3-4 times the size of the model!

12 crusader ii
Crusader II right side view.

13 crusader ii rear left view
Crusader II left rear view.

14 crusader iii side view
Left side view of my Crusader III with its camouflage scheme.

15 crusader iii rear view
Right rear view of the Crusader III.

16 two crusaders in front of the dune
The two Crusaders, not caped like Batman and Robin though…and this is not Gotham City…

17 grant in front of wall
Frontal view of the M3 Grant.  As a nod to its possible Canadian forces use and/or manufacture, I gave it a Canadian unit marking.  Many of the Grants were made in Montreal, at a locomotive plant.  AND I did this as a Bruins fan (its a hockey thing)!

18 grant side view
The light green camouflage is a little more visible here.  I did not want it to be overwhelming, but it is tough to photograph.

19 grant rear view
Entering the village.

20 churchill right side
My Churchill II, left side.

21 churchill left side
Right side of the Churchill II.  The camouflage painting on this and the others was fun.

22 churchill front side
Front view of the Churchill II.

23 traffic!
For even MORE fun, I convoyed all of my painted 8th Army tanks.

24 parking lot
Is this a motor pool or what?  Nice group shot – my Matilda II’s did not make the shot, but I only touched them up so they hardly deserve to be in this shot.  Still like them though, but they are kind of adopted…

Now it’s onto the Germans and Italians – which I hope to finish soon.  But never soon enough…

Thanks for looking, and I very much hope that you enjoyed seeing these.  Any favorites?  Feedback?  Winning lottery numbers?  Please leave me your thoughts in the comments section!

PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, AND FLOCKING USED ON THIS TANK GROUP:

  1. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  2. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  3. Vallejo “Surface Primer – Black”
  4. Testors “Universal Acrylic Thinner”
  5. Citadel “Imperium Primer”
  6. Battlefront “European Skin”
  7. Battlefront “Skin Shade” (shade)
  8. Vallejo “English Uniform”
  9. Battlefront “Crusader Sand”
  10. Vallejo “Desert Sand”
  11. Battlefront “Worn Canvas”
  12. FolkArt “Champagne”
  13. Battlefront “Black”
  14. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  15. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  16. Vallejo “Dark Sand”
  17. Battlefront “Dry Dust”
  18. Battlefront “Wool Brown”
  19. Battlefront “Boot Brown”
  20. Battlefront “Rommel Shade” (shade)
  21. Battlefront “Bradley Shade” (shade)
  22. Battlefront “Dark Gunmetal”
  23. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  24. Battlefront “Oxide Red”
  25. Battlefront “Tommy Green”
  26. Gorilla Glue
  27. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  28. Tamiya masking tape
  29. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Gloss Varnish”
  30. Microscale Micro-Set
  31. Microscale Micro-Sol
  32. Microscale Liquid Decal Film
  33. 1/8″ rare earth neodymium magnets
  34. Appropriate decals from Battlefront
  35. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  36. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sky Blue”
  37. Aleene’s poster tack
  38. Vallejo Model Air “Blue Grey”
  39. Secret Weapons Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
  40. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  41. Sponges
  42. Army Painter Quickshade “Light Tone” (wash)

Thanks again for looking and for sharing your feedback!

RESEARCH MATERIALS

As for research materials, I used the same ones as I cited before – but for completeness here they are in case you are interested (you can find them on Amazon):

  • Two by David Fletcher:
    • British Battle Tanks: British-made tanks of World War II
    • British Battle Tanks: American-made World War II Tanks
  • One by Jean Restayn:
    • WWII Tank Encyclopaedia, 1939-45
  • One by the Smithsonian/DK:
    • Tank: The Definitive Visual History of Armored Vehicles
  • One by Michael Green:
    • Axis Armoured Fighting Vehicles of the Second World War (Images of War)
  • One by Robert Jackson:
    • Tanks and Armored Fighting Vehicles Visual Encyclopedia

I would easily recommend all of these books as good resources for gamers and modelers.