I picked a box of these up some time ago in one of the many Battlefront sales, but hadn't got round to painting them. A delay, however, in an order of Poles gave them the window needed to get onto the painting table and, once there, they were quickly finished.
It's a platoon of three IS-3M ex-Soviet main battle tanks now in UAR service for the Six Day War.
Something else for the Israeli's to blow to, er, Kingdom Come!
As an alternative to the reconnaissance platoon featured yesterday, the Israelis can field a platoon of anti-tank jeeps. These are basically a jeep with a 106mm Recoilless Rifle fitted on top of it.
Now this seems a little crazy to me. I can understand sticking a RR on top of a jeep in order to give your infantry a bit of bunker-busting support, but to actively promote said jeep as an anti-tank vehicle? Well, as I said, I think you'd have to be very, er, brave, to take on a UAR T-55 tank, or even one of the ex-Soviet WW2 vehicles, in one of these!
A platoon of four anti-tank jeeps. Figures are from Battlefront.
Another Saturday morning battle with the Benson boys...but what to play?
Well, my usual default here is to have a look at what hasn't been on the table recently (if ever!) so today's game must be Six Day War and must involve the Battlefront ruined fort. Add on some "tail" that's never been on the table, and Bob's your uncle: one quick scenario written!
A column of Israeli recovery vehicles has strayed too close to the front line. As they pass a ruined fort on top of a hill, they spot a force of Egyptian tanks heading towards them.
Having promised myself I'd concentrate on the Poles, I immediately took a quick break from early WW2, and smashed out a platoon of T-34/85s for my Six Day War UAR/Egyptian army.
I got these via the Battlefront 40% off sale, which I think is still on for the next couple of days, otherwise I would have gone for plastics again...but these are nice models: suitably hefty.
I've painted them the way I painted the other ex-Soviet WW2 kit in my UAR army: just the same as a more modern tank, but then covered in one of the Games Workshop technical washes to give them a real "twenty years old and a tank the Soviets don't want any more" look.
One thing to note: one of the models (the one on the left, furthest from the camera) came with one side of the hull broken off. You can see the left hand track is very visible, and is visible all down the side of the tank.
Now I do love Battlefront vehicles (I have literally hundreds of them, possible even a thousand) but their quality control sucks! Yes, I could have e-mailed in and got almost an immediate replacement but, as I've said before, that's not the point: get it right first time!
I'm still waiting for the gun barrel that was missing from my Polish AT guns: that's been four days and they have missed their slot in the painting queue! That's four Battlefront purchases painted this week, with two needing a replacement part. Not very good, to say the least!
As it happens, this wasn't a problem for me: the tanks were supposed to be battered, and this one is just more battered than most...still not the point, though!
As regular readers of this blog will know, I have been avoiding finishing my third and final Israeli infantry platoon for a couple of weeks now.
I don't know what it is, but sometimes your painting mojo just escapes you, and no matter how hard you try, you just cannot pick up a brush and go back to those figures that, only days before, you couldn't wait to complete.
So it was with my final platoon of Israeli infantry. They got to the half-way stage, and then no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't face finishing them. First I ran out of black paint, then I decided to clear a couple of backlogged big items from my painting table, then I just had to paint my new Ironclad Miniatures terrain: the sorry tale goes on!
Finally, however, they are done: completed in between waiting for the undercoats and basecoats and basing on the windmill and chapel to dry!
That's a complete infantry company done now, along with all the armour I need for the moment: just the support weapons to go!
The last of the armour for my Israelis for the Six Day War: a couple of French-built, AMX-13 light tanks.
These are more of the extraordinary vehicles that the Israelis seemed to have used. Here, you take a light tank chassis, with its associated thin-as-paper armour, and you put the biggest gun you can possibly fit in the turret. Definitely a case of hoping you get the first shot off!
Here they are:
As usual, these are Battlefront models from their "Fate of a Nation" range. One thing to note: all the pictures on the BF site have the road-wheels as having tyres (i.e. should be black rubber). Looking at photos, however, I can see almost none where the road-wheels are a different colour to the rest of the undercarriage. So, as a compromise, I have painted the tyre onto the spare road-wheel on the front deck, but left them off those in position: the rubber has obviously been covered in paint or dust or something!
Nice looking models that go together and paint up well. Recommended.
I seem to be unusually committed to finishing my Israeli force for the Six Day War!
Here are three Magach "Battering Ram" tanks i.e M48 Patton's in Israeli service.
Lovely models: the only pain was cutting the decals in half to fit either side of the handrail on the turrets.
If anyone's interested, my interpretation of Six Day War Israeli tank colours is to undercoat in black, then block paint in GW Death World Forest, heavy brown wash, the dry-brush in GW DWF, then Vallejo Green-Grey.
Having spent the last few months building up my forces for the Six Day War, it was time to get the figures onto the wargaming table. For the first game, I decided to keep things relatively small and relatively vanilla: the Israelis would be attacking a UAR/Egyptian force defending a pumping station of some sort.
More 15mm Israeli troops hot off the production line: finished earlier this week just in time for today's game.
First up, the Company HQ: two Big Men, two 60mm mortar teams; two LMG teams and a two-man Forward Air Controller team.
Then I had a spare Patton tank. Not really a gripe, but why, when Israeli tank platoons are three strong, do Battlefront sell tanks in boxes of two?
Anyhoo, as it was a spare, I modelled it not as a standard Magach 'battering ram' tank with the 90mm cannon, but as the up-gunned 105mm version. The Israelis had converted about a company's-worth before the start of the war.
The next tanks for my Six Day War Israelis to roll off the production line are the M51 Ishermans:
Now these really do look slightly ridiculous! Not the models, they are great, but the enormous gun mounted in the equally enormous turret.
As a response to the heavier Soviet tanks gifted to the Arabs, the Israelis mounted cut-down French 105mm guns (i.e. the guns were originally even longer!) onto heavily modified M4A1 Shermans with the HVSS suspension. The turrets had to be up-sized, and the tank's weight increased by some 20% as well.
Again these are Battlefront models from their Fate of a Nation range.
So now that my decals have finally arrived, here are the first of the Israeli tanks for the Six Day War to roll off the production line.
They are a couple of M50 Sherman tanks:
These are Sherman Easy Eights up-gunned with the French 75mm CN-75-50 gun from the AMX‑13 light tank in a modified 75mm turret. By the start of the Six Day War, the Israelis had about 180 of these "French" Shermans available.
The models are from Battlefront's Fate of a Nation range, bought in their 40%-off sale. The only pain is how to mount the company indicator on the toolboxes on the side of the main body: even with decal softener these took some time to place. Nice models, though.
Here's the second platoon of Israeli infantry finished for my Six Day War mechanised infantry company.
It's always a hard slog through the main infantry element of any new force: a minimum of about a hundred 15mm infantry is always going to take time...but that's two of the three platoons done now, so given command, weapons platoons etc, I'm about half way through.
Now that the UAR/Egyptian forces are just about done for the 6DW, it is time to start on their opponents: the Israelis.
I've actually painted six Israeli tanks of various types, but haven't been able to get the decals needed to finish them off, so the honour of being the first Israeli unit finished goes to the first platoon of a mechanised infantry company:
These are Battlefront figures, undercoated in a light desert colour, washed with a dark brown ink, and then highlighted with various shades of flesh and greens. It's an effect that looks a bit rough and ready up close, but works really well on the tabletop and in AAR photographs.
Only another two platoons, the weapons platoon, and all the support weapons to go!
The first lot of anti-aircraft guns for my Six Day War Egyptians. These are ZPU-4's: four HMGs mounted together on a towed trolley.
Figures and guns are Peter Pig, from their Modern Africa range (a very useful range for anyone looking for Soviet equipment from the Sixties and Seventies). The guns don't come with any crew, so I used standard "helmeted crew" for the chaps who are standing up; and one of their "seated in helmets for the gunner himself. The gunner actually has a Kalashnikov flat across his lap, but painted black and with all the gun-stuff, it looks like some kind of trigger mechanism...and, anyway, who's going to notice on the tabletop!
The pic above doesn't actually do the little blighters justice. For some reason I decided to use a slightly different technique on these AA guns than I did on the AT guns I've posted previously. Here I sprayed them black, dry-brushed in the colour I wanted, used black ink as a wash, and then dry-brushed again. Looks great on the tabletop, but a bit messy in close-up.
You'll note that I have mounted two guns in AA mode, and two guns depressed for shooting people on the ground. That's because a platoon is four guns-strong, but I can't really see me ever fielding four guns at a time, so now I can field one or two, and swap models dependent on what angle the Israeli attack is coming from!
I have updated the UAR/Egyptian briefing for the Six Day War, largely as a result of looking at the AA assets available in more detail.
All that's changed is a clarification of what AA assets are available, and the addition of separate stats for some of them.
To re-cap, the briefing contains an OOB and arsenal for the following forces for the UAR/Egyptians in the Six Day War:
A Mechanised Infantry Company
A Rifle Company
A Tank Company
Vis Lardica is a website devoted to wargaming and military history, with a special emphasis on the company-sized rulesets produced by the TooFatLardies: I Ain't Been Shot Mum (WW2); Charlie Don't Surf (Vietnam); and Quadrant 13 (science fiction)
Welcome to Vis Lardica, a website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.