Just a quick note for those who might not have seen it yet, but Battlefront have a 40% off sales on their Vietnam, Arab-Israeli and Great War ranges at the moment. Postage and Packing is also capped in what must be considered a great deal. Sales lasts until the end of October.
As those who visit this site regularly know, although I don't play FoW, I do like the Battlefront miniatures: I just find them a little pricey and, sometimes, a little lacking in the quality control department, although this last seems to have improved quite a bit over the last couple of years.
Click on the pic to go to the FoW site.
A 40% off sale, therefore, is an ideal time to stock up on stuff that you wouldn't normally buy because of the price. I don't happen to need any more Vietnam stuff, and don't currently collect any Great War kit, but have just taken advantage of the sale and dropped quite a bit of cash rounding out my Arab-Israeli Six Day War collection.
Now all I need is for them to extend the sale to their WW2 Poles and I'm a happy man!
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.
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!
Now that the infantry and armour are all sorted, it was time to add the other support weapons to my UAR/Egyptian force for the Six Day War. Top of the list had to be anti-tank guns.
Looking at my orders of battle (available here) I could see that the vast majority of Egyptian AT guns were ex-Soviet 57mm Zis-2 pieces (around 300 of them), followed by ex-British 6-pounders (about 100 of them), followed by a smattering of ex-Soviet 100mm BS-3 guns (maybe 70 of them). Off to the Battlefront website to do some buying.
Interesting...the only pack of anti-tank guns that Battlefront has for the Six Day War is a mixed pack of two 82mm recoil-less rifles (which you get as part of the company HQ anyway), one Zis-2, and two BS-3s. Yes, it's technically a three gun platoon, but why use the least common anti-tank gun as the mainstay? Another Battlefront mystery!
So I decided, by buying the two-pack of Zis-3/Zis-2 WW2 Soviet guns, to get two platoons of towed anti-tank guns: one of three Zis-2s, one of two BS-3s. Here is the first off the production line: the Zis-2s.
The crews are a mix of the crews included in the pack with the addition of spares from the helmet-heads within the Peter Pig Modern Africa range (a very useful range indeed for filling in the gaps in any Soviet-equipment-using force).
I decided to give my guns five crew members each, rather than the usual four, as I have a feeling that I might need every man I can get to turn back the eventual Israeli tide!
My research tells me that in the Six Day War, the UAR (Egyptians) had access to ex-Soviet Maxim machine guns to support their infantry. Now Battlefront don't provide an HMG platoon as part of their UAR 6DW range, so I needed to improvise.
A quick rummage in the bits box turned up one WW2 Soviet gunner and gun, and a shout out to the Lardies with an offer of swapsies led to Jason Ralls kindly supplying the other two needed.
In the meantime, I also bought two Battlefront UAR anti-tank sets, each of which comes with three anti-tank guns and two recoil-less rifles. As I already have some RCLs in my Company HQ, their crews in the AT sets have now been assigned to the HMGs, along with some from Peter Pig bought to bulk things out.
Here they are, and you can see the rest of the Company, and supports, by clicking here.
A quick bit of painting finished: the company HQ for my Six Day War UAR/Egyptian army.
That's all of the core troops done, but I do need to add the HMG platoon and some towed AT assets...and to make things even more complete, I could add the tanks that accompanied the non-mechanised infantry: T-34s and IS-IIIs.
In the meantime, here's the company HQ: two Big Men and a couple of 82mm Recoil-less Rifles.
That's just about it for the Egyptians now: only the company HQ to go now, and that's only eight figures, including Big Men. Be good to mechanise the little blighters but, as I've said before, I'll wait until the next sale before buying loads of trucks!
Must be time to start on the opposition now. Figures are bought: I just need to work out how best to represent the rather unique colour of Israeli tanks.
I'm gradually getting to the end of that section of the lead mountain devoted to the UAR or Egyptian forces for the Six Day War. Here's the second infantry platoon, leaving only one more infantry platoon, the Company HQ, finishing the recon tanks, and then what odd bits of support I decide that I need.
The only real pain is the transport for the infantry company. Getting enough of the right sort of truck is going to be expensive: so I shall have to wait until the next Battlefront 40%-off sale!
Anyway, here's another twenty-six infantrymen, painted as before:
Now that I had broken the back of the vehicles needed for my UAR (Egyptian) force for the 6DW, it was time to start on the infantry. Platoons of twenty-six figures: three squads of eight plus a two-man Blindicide team.
These were standard Battlefront 15s, and painted up very nicely. Undercoat in Army Painter Skeleton Bone, then wash with GW Agrax Earthshade, then highlight with Foundry Raw Cotton (helmets); Vallejo Sand Yellow (Uniforms); with webbing in two shades of grey from GW.
Only another two platoons and the Company HQ to go!
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 not-for-profit website mostly dedicated to the company-sized wargaming rules produced by the TooFatLardies, but encompassing my other gaming interests as well.