The chaps have their armies, so its time to get cracking on the first 33-ish points!
Lee – Three tanks? This doesn’t seem so hard…
July is air/trade show season at work so I had been unable to hook up with Fez to get the bits, offset by getting to watch expensive pieces of military hardware turn hydrocarbons into thrust and noise. Thankfully, I was able to do some trading on “M60 futures” with the local community and, enacting my own Operation Nickel Grass, was able to get three M60 (one partly assembled, two on sprues).
Three M60 is a massive 36 points so I blew slightly over the month’s allowance in only three hulls! But my priority was to get the M60 painted so I could get some 60pt games done by the end of the second month,60pts being *checks notes* five M60 tanks. I also had two M3 TCM-20 AA half tracks that I had acquired outside of the “Fate of Four Gamers” effort so decided to add them to the paint list (generally going first at each stage to act as a guinea pig).
I will cover the exact process of “Israelifying” the base M60 model in a future post, but to summarize I clipped off the smoke grenade launchers and built up the M60 with the tall Cupola Weapon System (CWS) cupola.
The Platoon HQ tank also received an additional .30 machine gun to its cupola, copying a picture of a field upgraded M60 I had found.
Finally I added some choice bits of stowage from the bits box, mainly bed and tarp rolls (various sources), rucksacks (for the original Open Fire Sherman and the old BF stowage sprues), road wheels (BF M1 kit), Jerry Cans (various Team Yankee kits) and Track Links (BF Leopard 2 kit, trimmed down from three links to a set of two and one links).
I had planned to try airbrush modulation but the airbrush was spluttering more than an MP on Question Time. Instead, I spent most the evening doing a teardown and deep clean of the brush to no great avail before realizing that the tip of the nozzle had a crack in it. The deep clean did get it working sufficiently well to apply the base coat but it was back to dry brushing and washes for this army!
BF advise “Greatcoat Grey” from their range for the tank colour. Given I planned to use the airbrush to do most the work, I tracked down a Vallejo surface primer for “IDF sand 61-73”. I ran that through the airbrush to cover all five models.
The Vallejo take on Sinai Grey is a more Khaki colour than the BF suggested Grey-Green but a quick google image search suggested that both were valid takes on the colour – BF were not kidding that it seems to vary with the light.
I was a little unsure which way to go with the dry brush. BF suggested “Worn Canvas” (“Stone Grey” in old money) but that was with a greener colour. I tried a light drybrush of buff on one of the half-tracks and instantly thought it too stark. I briefly considered Iraqi Sand but went to Stone Grey and, sure enough, it worked fine.
I then picked out the vision blocks, MG barrels and stowage in Black, as well as painting two circles on each driving light block for the the driving lights. Finally, I applied some chipping to the hull and turret (avoiding the mantle as it was covered by painted canvas) using a torn packing sponge and Black Grey. Normally I’d use Black-Brown for a rusty look but the dry arid environment of the Sinai made a straight black grey seem the better choice.
(I noticed after this photo that the airbrush had left some of the luminous green plastic showing in the recesses so went back and added watered down Sinai Grey to fix)
Not a bad opening week! The plan for the next week is to base and highlight the stowage (mostly shades of Khaki and Olive Drab), freehand paint markings and then gloss varnish for washing.
Duncan – Warm up first, nice and easy… nice and easy…
Hello one and all and welcome to my first update on the Fate of Four Gamers challenge; there is no sugar coating it… it’s a bit of a rough one. Not #PrayForFez rough but let’s just say mistakes were made!
Mistake 1. Going on holiday.
Yep don’t go on holiday and torpedo the first week of a time-sensitive challenge. That’s a stupid thing to do.
Mistake 2. Ordering the wrong stuff.
So mistake 1 is forgivable; these things happen after all. This is a bit less excusable. I ordered ZSU-57/2 instead of ZSU-23/4 Shilkas. I don’t know why I did but I did. So until sort out that pickle, I’m leaving them alone at the moment.
Mistake 3. Ordering the right stuff that is not in the country.
Knowing that the T-62 and IS-3 are not in the UK at the moment I ordered them and then thinking that I can take it easy having missed a week by painting up 10 tanks and calling it done is really stupid.
So after this triumvirate of stupid errors what did I decide to paint for my first 30pts? Thunder, Thunder, THUNDERBOLT Company! Pretty much my only reasonable way to tackle the first month was to take on the largest, most time-consuming part… oh goody.
Saying that I’ve made steady progress over the weekend assembling everything and applying the magic that is Winsor Newton Medium Grain Gel so I remain hopeful of not facing a potential mocking from my peers at the end of this month. I just need the weather to dry out again so I can do some undercoating!
I decided to only mount 4 figures on each of the Sagger bases as I felt with 6 and their launchers that they were very crowded and it also made it very easy to distinguish between the Grail AA missile base and the Saggers quickly which could be useful.
Unfortunately, I’ve just discovered the below and now feel compelled to add some camo to the Thunderbolt Company helmets… I mean it’s got to make differentiating the two companies easier right – I mean I really need two companies, don’t I?
Fez – Thirty-One tanks? Doesn’t seem so hard?
So I thought I would get the biggest mental hurdle out of the way and set aside month one to paint the T34/85 company. That’s 31 hulls. It took an entire day to assemble, but at least I’ll have a legal army at the end of it (Planning on playing Lee’s three tanks to have a giggle). It was a little stressful getting them together, but not as painful as I thought as you could see the real progress with each ‘finished’ tank.
I say ‘Finished’ as they still need the last mould lines trimming and the AA DShk’s adding to the turrets before I spray them yellow. I also nearly used an entire pot of plastic glue!
I hope to spray them tonight, then it’s tracks, chipping and figuring out what markings I want to apply to each platoon to differentiate them. I’ve opted for one open commander hatch per Platoon, although I might open the loaders hatch on the Commander as well to make him stand out. I think the painting will be tricky, as each step isn’t as obvious a progression as ‘un-built’/’built’.
It’s been interesting to see the discussion these photos created on the FoAN facebook page, especially when Phil Yates chimed in defending the kill-ability of a hoard of tanks. Personally, I did these for the spectacle and challenge, but I think I’ll need to buy more flaming wreck markers…..
Ben has been swamped with work and Soviets. We’ll be picking up with him in the next week’s episode.