The Definition of Madness (US Armoured Rifles Painting Challenge)

Hello All

From the title you may have guessed I’m doing another painting challenge. As I start typing this it’s the morning on the 30th June and I’m planning on painting an Armoured Rifle Company for Devizes Attack 2014 on the 19th/20th July. As I have no painted models for the army yet that’s 19 days to paint 1750pts of Mid War US! I do have two weeks off during the 19 days so I do hopefully have the spare time to be able to hopefully do it, but just to add a little extra pain to the whole thing I’m also painting up a few extra bits so I can do the army for Late War and as a standard infantry company.

Now you may ask why I would want to do this mad challenge, well that’s not an easy answer. I have always wanted to do US Armoured Rifles as I love the platoons being so big and being almost a complete combined arms force in themselves. Add to that I have come to the painful conclusion that I’m an infantry player and not a tank commander, I felt I needed a new army. The final reason was I wanted a reason to use the new plastic Armoured Rifles as they looked great on the Battlefront Website (the guy how painted them shuld have his hands cut off).

Fast forward to the 18th July and what a busy 3 weeks is has been! Firstly I will be honest I haven’t quite finished the army… I ran out of time to get the artillery done and I haven’t done the crews for the Half Tracks yet, but having said that I do think 5 platoons in 18 days is pretty good going.

This has also been an educational journey for me, I have tired out lots of different styles and products on the recommendations of Winner Dave and Adam (I know, I know I should never listen to Adam!). Adam had talked to me about painting using the Army Painter Quickshade after I saw a Soviet painting guide that I thought would be easy to convert to US infantry. There were many times I thought it was a mistake and if I’m honest until I had based and vanished the models I wasn’t sure about them at all (I even thought about getting new models to replace them!), but the overall effect is what I was looking for.

The vanish I used was the second product Adam recommend that I get, Testors Dullcote. Adam and one of the guys at Firestorm games called it the best spray vanish on the market, I thought it looked very small and a little pricey for the size, well I’m now a believer! The can lasts a surprising amount of time for the size and it is a brilliant dullcoat spray. Now I’m very happy how they have turned out! They aren’t the best army I have every painted but hell they aren’t the worst by a long way!

Winner Dave had recommend that I use the Vallejo Brown Earth Pumice for my basing as he had done for his Japanese Infantry. For me basing FoW miniature is about the most important part of modeling, the bases are so big compared to the men and are the main thing that stands out when you look at an army from the other side of the table, so I like to spend a far amount of time focusing on it. Having said that my normal style of using filler takes a long time… Going through the method Dave used on his infantry it sounded like it was a lot quicker and it was. Painting the models off the base and then putting the Pumice onto the base with no models on it was so much quicker and then just pushing the models into the Pumice meant I could get far more interesting basing positions that I every could with the old filler method as I didn’t have to worry about needing to paint the model on the base afterwards! After letting dry for a day I then painted the bases and used a real mix of turfs static grass and flock, again like the above I’m very happy with how these turned up, but unlike above I feel this is a big improvement on my old methods, both in speed and in quality.

So on to the models and I’ll start by talking about the Armoured Rifle Platoon (UBX41). I ended up getting three boxes of these guys so I have enough Half Tracks for the recon and 2IC, then spare 3 will probably end up being part of an Armoured Rifle Anti-Tank platoon. It also gave me enough infantry to turn these guys into 2nd ID if I wanted to and to be the infantry in my Recon Platoon.

The models themselves are very nice, the Half Tracks go together very quickly and with very little problems (just be careful with the back plate alignment) and the infantry are an improvement on the US Paras and German infantry from Open Fire, I’m saying the Open Fire sets aren’t good, they are but these are an improvement. The only problem I had with them was the LMG’s were a pain to put together, I think a couple of them bent when I was cutting them off the sprues which didn’t help but even so they were the one big problem in an otherwise great set. I’m happy with how they turned out and would recommend them to anyone wanting some US Armoured Rifles.

Next up the M10’s. I have painted a load of these before and I still love painting them. I don’t know if it’s the angles or the nice detail on the back but they really seem to fit my painting style and are very quick!

I’m looking forward to seeing what these guys look like in plastic, a set that is meant to be out at some point in the nearish future.

Finally the Lees, now I’m going to start by saying I’m not that happy with how these guys turned out, I can’t quite put my finger on it but they don’t look as good as I hoped they would. I didn’t do anything different from my normal US painting but it just didn’t seem to work for these guys…

So with the army done it was time to get some practice in. I played three games and so far have lost them all… well I make is sound worst than it was. I lost 3-4 to Robin Spence’s T-34 horde in No Retreat, but probably should have won the game after I kill 6 tanks and bailed a 7th with my M10 ambush, but I made a couple of mistakes and it ended up costing me the game, but I learnt from it.

My second game was against Steve and his German Motorized Grenadiers with 2 Panthers, I again lost 3-4 but was in position to take his objective when he won the game after killing his Panthers and Pak40’s. But I left one of my objectives almost uncontested and Steve go his infantry to it before I could react, well before I thought about reacting.

My final game was against Kevin “The Silver Fox” Perry and his British Motor Infantry with 5 Churchill. This is the one game I felt I got completely wrong… I did get a platoon off of him and had a chance to kill all the Churchill’s when most of them got bogged down but it wasn’t to be.

Still I learnt a lot from the 3 games and it’s better to make the mistakes here in practice than during the weekend when it counts, still the plane has been almost unless and I wise I could drop it…

Confident  Trained  Armored Rifle Company USA Mid-War
Platoon Qty Unit Points
Headquarters
Armored Rifle Company HQ  p.239
2
1
1
Cmd Carbine team
Jeep
M3 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
25
Combat Platoons
Armored Rifle Platoon  p.239
1
5
5
2
3
1
2
Cmd Rifle team
Bazooka team
Rifle team
M3 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
M3 half-track with AA MG
M2 60mm mortar
M1919 LMG team
255
Armored Rifle Platoon  p.239
1
5
5
2
3
1
2
Cmd Rifle team
Bazooka team
Rifle team
M3 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
M3 half-track with AA MG
M2 60mm mortar
M1919 LMG team
255
Weapon Platoons
Recon Platoon  p.241
1
1
2
2
Cmd Rifle team
M2 half-track with .50 cal AA MG
Rifle team
Jeep with AA MG
70
Divisional Support
Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Platoon  p.256
1
1
2
2
4
Cmd Carbine team
Jeep with .50 cal AA MG
Carbine team
Jeep with AA MG
M-10 3in GMC
445
Tank Platoon  p.237
4 M3 Lee with long M3 75mm gun 400
Field Artillery Battery  p.257
1
1
2
1
1
4
4
Cmd Carbine team
Staff team
3/4-ton truck
Observer Carbine team
Jeep
M2A1 105mm howitzer
2 ½ ton truck
170
Air Support  p.256
5 Limited Air Support P-40 Warhawk 130
Company Points: 1750


www.EasyArmy.com Source document: North Africa

Future Plans

I plan on turning the Mid War army into a Late War list very soon, I have already picked up 3 Pershings and a second set to make a Super Pershing, I also have 3 Easy Eights, a Jumbo and a normal M4A3 Sherman on the painting table to I can do the Blood, Guts and Glory and Bridge at Remagen options. I’m also running a One Day Late War comp in August which I plan to run 4th Armoured Rifles with Patton as it looks like fun! But I just hope I don’t get too distracted by the new FoW Great War stuff on my painting table!

Thanks for looking and until next time

Ben

Category: ChallengeFlames of WarMid WarPaintingUSA

8 comments

  1. Wow, that is a lot of painting in a short amount of time! Very impressive considering all the infantry too! The basing looks great on the infantry and really ties them together. A very nice force. I can't believe the amount of stuff you manage to get painted!

    1. Thanks Cameron,

      The dip really helped speed it up, I do wise I had done smaller amounts though. Painting the belts and wedding on 100 odd guys at the same time was almost soul destroying!

  2. Phenomenal output Ben! Great quality too, love the basing. I use Testors Dullcote too, it's an excellent product.The Armoured Rifles will serve you well. I'd be tempted by them but I can't face up to the painting! Best of luck for the tournament 🙂

  3. That is some seriously inspiring army painting. 3 weeks and all that finished is amazing! Very nice looking force overall! And having just bought the new plastic Armored Rifle Platoon box I can only agree that the quality has sure gone forward a lot. The only gripe I have with them is the choice to put so many duplicate poses on the sprue. The German plastic sprues have all the poses unique so why didn't they do the same on this too.

    1. I do agree (and did mean to talk about it) that it's a shame the Armoured Rifles didn't have a few more poses, but it;s a great set and I'm looking forward to getting the US infantry set to turn these guys into a Mid War infantry company as well as Armoured.

  4. Hi Ben, I’m just getting into flames for the first time and I’ve started with late war US. I’ve found the site a source of really encourage and it has been really helpful in learning more about such a great game. I’m struggling at the moment with colour schemes for my US tanks and I think the job you have done on your armoured rifles is great. I was just wonder what colours you used for them. Thanks and keep up the great work with the site.

    1. Hi Wayne

      firstly thanks for the kind words, too kind in fact.
      For US tanks (all tanks, bar Japanese) I keep it simple. paint it Vallejo Brown Violet (a couple of watered down layers) or spray it either PSC or BF US armour depending on yout preference (BF one is darker) and then a dry brush highlight of Green Grey and either a black wash or black lining.

      If you want any more info feel free to email me – Ben at breakthroughassault.co.uk

      Good luck. thanks Ben

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Article by: Mark Goddard