måndag 5 november 2012

Preparing for Operation Supercharge, part II

Well, we had a playtest a couple of weeks ago, and it was a blast. Literally. The desert was littered with burning little tanks with the survivors racing around trying to squash the enemy guns beneath their tracks.

One of the tank battles during El Alamein. Visibility is extremely long, but identifying friend or foe is very hard.
Now all I have to do is finalize the scenario details, write them down before they escape my mind, write briefings, and paint the rest of the models! No mean feat, indeed.

So on to the models. As a switch from tanks I decided to paint up the infantry company's anti-tank platoon, consisting of three 6-pounder portees and two 6-pounders towed by universal carriers. These are all 1/285 scale models from GHQ and insanely detailed.

The two guns deployed with their tows.
In IABSM each gun and support weapon has a crew of five men. In reality they were more and probably did travel in more than one carrier per gun, but some level of abstraction is necessary at this scale. Besides, I have better things to do than paint extra carriers.

The guns and crew limbered up and ready to move.
GHQ's pack composition is not ideal though. In a pack of six-pounders you get two limbered guns, two deployed and two 15cwt trucks to tow them. You also get some crew which consist of five figures huddled up in a small bunch. Besides being for the european theater it doesn't look as good as indiviual figures. So I ordered a pack of desert artillery figures, which contains some 60+ figures. I cut up some of the artillery figures to fit as crew inside the carriers, which I had originally bought for some 1944 scenarios in Normandy.

The platoon HQ, as either a lvl 2 or lvl 3 man, and it's carrier. Round bases denotes leaders, "Big Men".
You used to get eight carriers per pack, but without any crew at all in them. Now they have a driver and gunner in them but you only get five carriers in each pack. I'm not sure it's worth the downsizing of the numbers of carriers, especially since you hardly use up all the artillery figures you get.

The three 6-pounder portees. Only one truck so far has crew.
On the other hand you get a lot for your money in the 6-pounder portee pack. Only three vehicles, but each vehicle consists of a heavy lorry, a complete 6-pounder gun and a photoetched frame with extra armour plates. The instructions shows the gun placed facing rearwards but I have seen more pictures of real vehicles with the gun mounted forward really, and the cabin wall behind the driver has a convenient bend for the barrel to rest in. I guess that it could be mounted either way depending on wether you were on the offensive or if you anticipated a fighting withdrawal.

The canvas supports are supplied as a photoetched brass piece.
I'm not sure what it's really called, so I will just call it the frame. It's the supports for the canvas superstructure which I think would still be in place in reality, but it makes for a dull model so we just get the frame. In honesty it would have been perfectly fine without it, but I'm a masochist at heart so I went ahead and mounted the frames on all three trucks.

Glue the frame on one side, making sure the supports line up correctly.
I might add some tissue paper on the roof on the models later though. This was not only to shelter the crew from the sun, but to disguise the gun from the enemy, making it look like an ordinary lorry from a distance.

A six-pounder portee camoflagued as a real truck.
Anyway, I will let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

The frame is carefully bent over the bed of the lorry...

...folded down and fastened with glue on the other side.

An armour plate is glued on each side.
Now all they need is some paint and they will hopefully give Rommel a nasty surprise. Although the scenario is mainly about the mad charge by the british tanks, having some softskins and transports to protect will make a nice dilemma for the british players. The AT-guns will also be needed to defend against the inevitable german counter-attack.

4 kommentarer:

  1. Very productive, I see! Keeps me in the mood for painting desert forces. Soon, the british will have their turn, and I will use your posts as good reference and tips.

    Thanks, and keep up the fantastic work!

  2. If you are not already following my mate Jocke at you should do so. He also has a soft spot for the Italian campaign and is building the Italian part of the forces which will face my brits.

  3. OK, assembly done, now get painting!

  4. Wow... The level of Detail is unbelievable...
    Why exactly am I doing 20mm stuff again? :D


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Wayland Games