Escalating Tensions Part 11: December Draw Down

As mentioned last episode, the game plan for December was to finish the ground element of the 1985 British force, namely more FV432, including mortar carriers, and the derived chassis; the FV433 Abbot Self propelled gun.


As always the first step after assembly was to hot glue everything to nails or baton blocks for handling.  I kept the crew figures on their resin sprues and glued the sprue to the block.  Similarly, I kept one end of the FV432 AA MG attached to the plastic sprues and glued the sprues on to blocks such that the guns were sitting level with the ground (see below).

Compared to the Desert Brits, the 1985 Brits have relatively lightly loaded vehicles to reflect that they are operating on much shorter supply lines in a defensive fight.  As such, the only real prep required was to add copious amounts of rolled and semi-deployed camo netting.  For this, I followed the methodology I have been using throughout the project, as described here.


I split the painting into two blocks; the crew and AA MG were the first block, the AFV themselves were the second.

Abbot, APC and Mortar Crew

There isn’t much to go into detail with here as I largely followed my revised DPM method as covered back in part 7.  The only real modifications was that I remembered to add a light wash of Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) “Luftwaffe Uniform” to the lower part of the face for stubble. I also painted the beret on the FV432 commander black with VMC “Military Green” highlights to give the dark green look of the Green Jacket’s beret colours.


Whilst painting generally followed the same lines used in the previous stages, there were a couple tweaks.

After priming in Vallejo Surface Primer Bronze Green and then base coating in VMC Russian Uniform, I dry brushed VMC Green Brown all over, as I had done previously.  Next came the AK Masking Putty (other brands with less idiotic marketing are available).  Previously I had masked all the vehicles in one go.  This generally took all evening which meant I had to spray the VMA Black Green the next night, by which time the masking putty had shifted and dripped.  This time, I did the vehicles in three batches (Abbots, Mortars and APC) masking and spraying each in turn, saving the putty from shifting.  This worked much better, even if it did effectively lengthen the process by an evening.

The other change was on the camo netting.  rather than basing the netting with VMC Olive Drab and working up through VMC Brown Violet to VMC Green Brown via drybrushing, I instead based in the VMC Brown Violet, applied a broad wash of Citadel Agrax Earthsade then dry brushed on Brown Violet and Green Brown which achieved a better effect, quicker.

After that, it was back to the tried and trusted techniques which got me through this project I started this time last year!

Painted Models

FV433 Abbot SPG Battery

FV432 Mortar Battery

FV432 APC section

Fully Mobilised

I was curious how the force would look if I fielded everything I had painted over the year.  A quick play around on Forces came up with this:

Nearly 190pts of Brits!  I should note that this adds six Lynx AH Mk.1 which are currently on the painting table, hence why I said this finished the ground component.

There’s not a lot to add at this point as that is a pretty solid selection of units.  M109 would be in the 1985 remit but somewhat redundant.  Warriors, MLRS and MCT are all a little out of the timeframe.  Challengers could be added but 3RTR didn’t get them to much later and I don’t think anyone in 4th Armoured Division had them at this point so it would involve some mixing of Divisions.  Honestly, once the Lynx are done, I’m calling this complete.

2020 – The Retrospective

I started the year with three armies on my to do list; 100pts of 1985 Brits, 100pts of WW2 1944 USA and 100pts of Six Days War Israelis.  Only one of those was accomplished so do we consider this a failure of a year?

Duncan had put together a list of what he had painted in the year so I thought I would list everything I had done.  Let’s take a look.

Written down like that and suddenly things look a lot better, especially when we add December’s work on to.  That’s basically:
A 165pt 1985 Brit Force
A 114pt 1991 Brit Force
A 129pt mid-late 80’s Soviet force.

I may not have stayed on target but I smashed my 300 points target for the year!

2021 – The Plan

Those who listen to the podcast will know that Duncan, Eddie and I have set ourselves the challenge to get as far into 2021 without spending any more money on new toy soldiers as possible.  Something of a mini arms race sprang up as we all tried to build up our hobby stashes before the 1st January rolled around and I made use of the buy 2 for 3 deal to get some Challengers (to do a full 1991 squadron – 14 Challenger ROMORs or 182pts!), M109, Bradleys and Humvees.  I also got some of the new releases for the Soviets from my recently reopened FLGS; Dice Saloon.

Eddie had also listed out all his potential projects which made for…impressive(?) reading.  I decided to list out mine, all of which are sitting on my shelf:

  • 1985 Army Air Corps (six AH Mk.1)
  • 1980’s Afghansty (6 SU-25, 12 Hinds*, one full strength Afghansty Company with all the trimmings)
  • 1980’s Soviet Support assets
  • 1991 Challenger Squadron (plus M109 battery and FV432 Mortars)
  • 1991 US Armoured Cavalry Troop
  • 1991 US Bradley Mechanised Infantry (though the infantry and some Bradley are on backorder)
  • 1985 US IPM1 Armored Company (likely done in desert camo)
  • 1982 Israeli Mechanised Company (plus Pereh, Chapperals, VADs, M109)
  • 1980s West German Leopard 1 Company (PSC Leopards plus mortar halftracks)
  • 1960’s Israeli Sho’t Company (plus halftracks for the infantry)
  • 1982 Syrian force (T-62, T-72 and BMP)
  • WW2 1944 US Armored Company
  • WW2 1944 US Armored Rifle Company (just the halftracks and support assets)
  • WW2 1944 British Armoured Company (made up of the original Open Fire plastic Shermans – bleh)
  • WW2 1944 British Churchill under-strength company (PSC Churchills) in Italy
  • WW2 1945 British Comet Company (half strength)
  • WW2 1945 SAS Jeep Squadron
  • British LRDG Trucks and dismounts
  • WW2 1944 German Puma Company
  • WW2 1944 German self-propelled artillery (Mobelwagons, Grilles, Hummels and Wespes)
  • WW2 mid-war German Halftracks (lots and lots)
  • WW2 JagdPanther Company (five BF JagdPanthers)
  • WW2 King Tiger Company (five Zvezda KT)
  • WW2 Ferdinand Company (six Zvezda Ferdinands)
  • WW2 mid-war Panzer IV Company (F1 and F2 – all PSC)
  • WW2 mid-war Panzer III Company (J’s – all PSC)
  • WW2 Soviet bits and pieces (mortars, IL-2, BA-64, 10 more T-34)
  • Plus, as an aside, a whole Titan Legio with Knights for Adeptus Titanicus and some Avengers and Vultures for Aeronautica.

Yes… there’s quite a lot to get on with without buying new models…

So, the 2021 target is to paint at least two complete forces of a combined total of no less than 300pts.  My aim in the first three months is to knock out the first three bullet points.  Then take a break on some Titanicus stuff (at least four Warhounds), then knock out all the remaining Gulf War British stuff in two months.  After that, its dealer’s choice!

Well, best get cracking.  Not like I can waste time playing games anyway…