Tuesday, May 27, 2014

WW2 US Armored Force

One easy way to avoid the question of what dunkelgelb really looks like is to paint US forces instead. We were in and out of the house doing various things over the long holiday weekend, but in moments of down time I was able to make great progress on my small pile of "in process" and "not started yet" US tanks and other vehicles. You can never have too many Shermans, and none of my jeeps and trucks were finished yet...

All of the vehicles shown below had either been assembled and primed olive drab, or were still in their packaging as of Friday. Step 1 was to get everything primed and ready to go so I could paint them in assembly line fashion as much as possible. My intent was to do basic paint jobs, quickly, without lavishing too much attention on them; just get them done to a decent gaming quality.

All of the models are Battlefront Flames of War, and really are exceptional little pieces. Because they are such nice models, I ended up spending more time on them than I had anticipated, but they were well worth the extra effort. The models have a lot of character, with a number of different variants of molded-on stowage, and stowage bits that could be glued on to make each vehicle different. After I got all the basic painting done and began picking out the detail, I began to realize just how much detail there was on these tiny guys. [As an aside, all of these are either cast resin, or resin with some plastic components; none are the newer all-plastic models that they are coming out with now - I also assembled newer FoW kits this weekend with 5 German tanks and 4 German halftracks in all plastic, and they are amazing...]. In addition to the 10 tanks, 6 jeeps, and 8 trucks shown below, I also painted 5 anti-tank guns, but I will photograph them later (when they have crews). 29 vehicles and guns over a 4-day weekend is prodigious painting output for me.

A US armored task force with motorized infantry support and recon elements begins moving out from their rendezvous point in a Norman field:
Armored onslaught

Jeeps for recon and command elements.
Six Jeeps

Light trucks for towing anti-tank guns in towed tank destroyer units, or for miscellaneous transport duties.
Four Dodge 3/4 ton trucks

Heavy trucks for motorized infantry, or for supply hauling duties.
Four 2.5 ton trucks

Early model M4A1 cast hull Shermans with short barreled 75mm guns. These early model Shermans continued to see use until destroyed or rendered mechanically unfit for duty. Many pictures show these old workhorses in action in Germany right up until the end of the war.
Five M4A1 75mm Shermans

Later model M4A3 welded hull Shermans up-gunned with 76mm guns in larger turrets. Much better for facing enemy armor...
Five M4A3 76mm Shermans

The weekend's worth of painting. Lots more vehicle options for Fireball Forward! games now...
The assembled troops

I haven't finished the bases on the jeeps and trucks yet because I haven't decided exactly how I want to do them. Other than that, all these need is a clear coat to protect them.

Next...I'm not sure. Although I do have 5 assembled Panzer IV H's and 4 251/1 halftracks to deal with.

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