Friday, 12 May 2017

"The Most Numerous British Cruiser Tank In The Desert War Was The Crusader..."

"...which entered service in 1941."
This 15mm scale plastic model of a Crusader II tank is made by “Battlefront Miniatures”, and is one of the three British armoured vehicles supplied as part of the company's "Battle of El Alamein: War in the Desert" starter set. Assembled to represent the cruiser's two-pound gun variant, this "fast mechanised cavalry" unit relies more upon its speed than its armour in "Flames Of War", and has so far proved rather ineffective against the firepower of the two German Panzer tanks which accompany it inside the game's box.

Initially primed with a double coat of "Vallejo" Dark Sand, the miniature was washed with "Citadel" Reikland Fleshshade and then dry-brushed with more "Vallejo" Dark Sand. Partially using the camouflage painting guidance given within the pages of the "Desert Rats: British Forces In The Desert 1942-43" Army book, I then used some Black Green to 'draw' some "cloud-shaped patches" on predominantly "the lower parts of the tank" and shaded these areas with "Citadel" Biel-Tan Green.
Necron Raiders WIPs - The skeleton robots have all been primed and washed
Having 'picked out' the vehicle's tank tracks with Abaddon Black, and 'dusted' the entire model with a very light dry-brush of "Vallejo" Dark Sand in order to suggest the miniature's "disruptive camouflage" was battered and worn in places, I applied some tactical markings to the tank using a decal sheet taken from the "Battlefront Miniatures" Monty's Desert Rats boxed set. Disappointingly, these 'transfers' don't offer much in the way of choice regarding geometric symbols, so the Crusader II had to carry the red square of B Squadron on its turret, as well as carry its "divisional symbol of the left-hand mudguards, and a regimental number of the right."

Sadly, my enthusiasm for "Flames Of War", or rather "Battlefront Miniatures", has somewhat soured after I experienced some incredibly poor customer service whilst at the company's stall during this year's "Salute". True, their customer service department have since offered me a free copy of "Battle of El Alamein: War in the Desert" as 'compensation', but that was over two weeks ago, and I've heard nothing from them since. In addition, I find it hard to support any manufacturer who attends a wargaming show and charges £15 more for their own product than a neighbouring retailer...
Boromite Gang Fighters WIP - The majority of these alien miners have had their leg armour finished
Fortunately, the excellent Dave Stone of "Wargames Terrain Workshop" has recently demonstrated to me (yet again) just why his company have such an excellent reputation within the hobby community, and he himself is viewed as a tip top chap. I wasn't actually planning on painting up more than five of my old Second Edition "Warhammer 40K" Necron Raiders for this month's 'Oldhammer 40K" painting project. But Dave has put paid to such thinking by very generously sending me some additional "Games Workshop" miniatures from his personal collection and resultantly added to my modest goal. Indeed, I've even managed to make use of a couple of his mutilated models, by re-basing them as rusty objective markers.

Finally, I am slowly working my way through the ten Boromite Gang Fighters I require as the 'backbone' to my 500-point Scouting Force for "Beyond The Gates Of Antares". These "Warlord Games" sculpts are incredibly detailed, with all kinds of devices and pouches attached to their armoured girdles, and are therefore proving a real challenge to progress in any great number whatsoever.

38 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear the Flames of War bug may have waned as this looked like a cracking start.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Michael. I don't think picking up the latest version of "Blitzkreig Commander" at "Salute" probably helped either. But I am not a fan of "Battlefront Miniatures" at all these days.

      Delete
  2. Yeah sad about the FoW guys being poor, especially as I just got some Team Yankee stuff, but to be fair I got it from Troll Trader at Salute! A lot cheaper too....

    The tanks look nice but those necrons look awesome, can't wait to see them finished Simon. Dave is a real chap and his work is excellent, my post on Monday is pretty much dedicated to his stuff!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. **real NICE chap**

      Tsk, tsk, tsk......

      Delete
    2. Andy, I too went to "Troll Trader" at "Salute" having been made to wait to pay for my goods at "Battlefront Miniatures". I'm so very glad I did too and put all my "FOW" boxes back on their shelves, as each box was £15 cheaper at "Troll Trader"!! So I made a huge saving :-)

      Delete
    3. "My post on Monday is pretty much dedicated to his stuff!" - Dave is a tip top chap, Andy, so I'm very much looking forward to seeing what you've done with his stuff on Monday.

      Delete
  3. Ouch! oh man it sounds like you had a poor experience with those guys. I feel for you, as I know what its like to have those kind of experiences happen to you through no fault of your own. It sours the experience doesn't it. But don't let it mate. Flames of War is a good system, just separate the game from those ass-h***s selling it, and re-generate your initial love for the game you obviously originally fell in love with. Your Crusader II is looking great (really accurate camouflage), and hey, lets show those two pesky German Panzers what a well crewed Crusader with its 2 Pounder Gun can do on a good day - with a fair wind lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Dave. I still have quite a few "FOW" tanks yet to paint, so I'm sure they'll be more coming soon... and perhaps a BatRep will help focus my attention. As you say though, my poor "Salute" experience has really rocked my enthusiasm for the game's manufacturer.

      Delete
  4. Great job on the tank Simon, it's a shame on the service you got as this can bring the hobby down as a whole. Glad you had a use for the Necrons and bits. Back from my hobby days when everything was conversions the legs made great bionic arms. They have been sat in a box for over 8 years doing nothing so good to see them being put to good use.
    Good progression on the Boromites, I find if you focus on one or two models at a time when doing the details it becomes a little quicker than trying to do them all at once.
    Thank you Andy for the kind comments and look forward to reading your post

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Dave. The Necrons are very much appreciated and, rather sadly, I'm delighted I have the opportunity to paint some as rusty objective markers.

      The Boromites continue to progress and the next WIP shot should show some rather noticeable difference in a few of the minis.

      Delete
  5. as for Dave`s terrain. I DO have my eye on a few of those excellent looking pre-painted futuristic cars. I will place an order for a few soon I`m sure.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave Stone's terrain comes very highly recommended, Dave, and I certainly don't think you'll be in any way disappointed.

      Delete
  6. I stress what`s already been said, don`t let a bad experience spoil the game for you Simon. The Crusader II is looking really good, please do show more of this game unfolding... I for one am massively interested in seeing the painting unfold with this one; and ultimately, a few AAR games, yeah?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Steve. I must confess that the wind has been taken completely out of my "FOW" sails currently. But plans for a BatRep or two might help spur me on...

      Delete
  7. All looking good. The battle lines are drawing up, regiments of finished models are taking up positions on the parade ground. Soon the cry of the brave will echo through the valleys.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Hils. I'm afraid the British tanks have been well and truly 'brewed' during my games using the starter set's opening scenario. Perhaps things will play out differently when I've enough of them painted to post up a BatRep.

      Delete
    2. what was it they called them back then "pot boilers?" due to them catching fire so quickly and so readily when ever a German AP shell hit one.

      Delete
    3. Sadly, WW2 tanks is not an area I know much about Hils. But I believe the M4 Sherman tank's nickname was the Ronson (cigarette lighter) because it "lights up the first time, every time" when hit, and the Germans called it the "Tommycooker".

      Delete
  8. everything on your groaning table is coming on nicely and apace Simon. I think the tank is a departure from the norm for you. I really like it. I truly believe that to achieve the most out of fantasy, you ideally need to have a solid grounding in the historical as well, the two complement one other like summer and winter. One without the other would soon become very one dimensional. The old Pagans knew a thing or two **wink**

    Your sour experience with that stand at Salute, and your subsequent dealings with that company sounds very unpleasant and must have creates a bitter mental residue. I know how such things can leave a terrible aftertaste which is somehow hard to shake. It actually taints the thing you once enjoyed, so you end up (in my case) actually giving away most your things in that subject.. well that`s what I did when I had my unpleasant occurrence. I distanced myself from my lovely things as fast as I could, because it all felt ruined and unwholesome. It was sad, and I wish I had had the ability to overcome it.. as all that ended up happening was a total loss of a game I loved until that moment. and so I would probably mirror words already said here, don`t let this ruin your enjoyment of that particular game. The game is nothing to do with the ignorance you had to witness. Its like me, I love Michael Jackson`s music, but I don`t love the man: to enjoy one, I have to separate the other from my mind.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Tarot. I certainly won't be going so far to shipping my "FOW" stuff off. But I am currently struggling to paint anymore of the tanks up at this time. Hopefully the mojo will come back, but for now I'm being taken away from the Desert War to Beyond the Gates of Antares ;-)

      Delete
  9. Sorry to hear about your battlefront disappointment, still the crusader looks great, I also like the progress you've made on the Boromites, but the star of this post has to be the Necrons, love the "disabled" versions, as I like the idea of these half destroyed "scrappers" not giving up.

    Cheers' roger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roger. I always like to try and cover as much as I can with my posts. The Necrons should be rusted up this weekend, so hopefully the first few finished minis will be seen soon.

      Delete
  10. Beware of rappy retailers. Very much the GW of WW2

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Martin. That is certainly the impression I'm starting to get tbh.

      Delete
  11. Great stuff. I particularly like the old school Necrons. I must have been out from the GW bug when they they came out, I don't recall them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Martin. The old metal Necron Raiders weren't around for long as memory serves, so unless you were a real "GW" fanboy during their first appearance I can see why you'd miss them; and why I'm so grateful to Dave for sending me his spares :-)

      Delete
  12. What a very kind and surely much appreciated gesture from Dave. He is indeed, a hero whose customer care is beyond reproach. I don't remember seeing these particular Necrons before. Way back then, when I was regular customer at my local GW, the manager, whom I was very friendly with, gave me a rare Necron Scarab on an autopsy table. It would make a superb objective token.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Spot on Bryan. I must dig out all my 'Oldhammer' "Blood Bowl" minis at some point, as your wonderful story has reminded me of the old 50p sales my local GW manager used to run. Great times. That scarab autopsy table sounds ideal for an objective marker imho; perhaps for your "Judge Dredd" campaign?

      Delete
    2. Completely forgot about that one, just hunted through the vast bits boxes to find I have a spare one, would you like me to send it to you Simon ?

      Delete
    3. Dave, I'd be absolutely delighted to own one, so yes please :-)

      Delete
    4. Nice one, Dave! Simon, it's a cracking little model and I'm sure you'll love it. Those old school Necrons may very well make an appearance in my JDMG campaign.

      Delete
    5. No problem Simon will have it in the post Monday for you

      Delete
    6. "it's a cracking little model and I'm sure you'll love it." - I've managed to find a couple of tiny pics of it, Bryan, and it certainly looks awesome imho :-)

      Delete
    7. Thanks Dave. That's very much appreciated :-)

      Delete
  13. Great looking Crusader. Sorry to hear of your woes. I guess its best to shop around in future. Saying that though I know a couple of makers whose stuff is cheaper than buying direct. But I think its meant to encourage playing the game in Brick and Mortar stores for that one.

    Its a bit like GW model where everything is full price. Direct but you go elsewhere and its 20% cheaper.

    Your force for GoA is coming along nicely mate keep up the good work.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Simon. In some ways I'm actually grateful to the poor service at the "Battlefront Miniatures" store, because if they hadn't kept me waiting to pay for so long, I wouldn't have put the stuff back and found "Troll Trader" selling it £15 cheaper per box :-)

      The "Beyond Gates of Antares" are a little more progressed now too, as hopefully my next WIP will show :-)

      Delete
  14. How BF have changed in the few years since I last ordered from them. Shame.

    Your Crusader though looks top notch though. Maybe you'll get the FoW bug again in the future, not like it's going anywhere any time soon.

    Working on 10 at a time will beat you down mate. Cut that down to more manageable size chunks and I bet you'll get along with it far more easily?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm definitely not a "Battlefront Miniatures" fan these days, Dai, and as you say, they've badly changed since the early days of "FoW", imho. I'm sure more "FoW" will come, as I have too much El Alamein stuff to give up on it forever.

      The Boromites are badly beating me down, Dai, so don't be surprised if I soon revert back to just painting one or two, along with something far simpler. Its the way which works best for me, but I like to try my hand at batch painting from time to time to see if I still don't like it... and I don't :-)

      Delete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.