D-Day: British Live Launch Round-Up

Spotlights
Working With Thermoplastic
Bocage Country Mission Terrain Pack
D-Day: British Rotations 
D-Day: British Spotlight

Forces and List Building
Back In Time for Tea and Medals
We’re Paratroopers- We’re Meant to Be Surrounded
The Fox’s Mask
Churchills On The Horizon
Slow and Steady – A New D-Day: British Force
Updating My Desert Rats in Normandy

Modelling and Painting
Pete the Wargamer Paints D-Day: British
Building an SBG Bridging Churchill
Radhošť
Thermoplastic 101

 

Back In Time for Tea and Medals: Jumping Into Normandy with the British Airborne

with Chris Potter, Battlefront UK

Those who have followed previous Live Launches, will have probably seen my articles on list building, and army choices before. When the D-Day: American book came around, it was a super easy choice on what formation for my US army I would take – Paratroopers. Specifically, I built a full
formation choice in the book and platoons of Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne as they were on the ORBAT going into Normandy on 6 th June 1944 – complete with Lt. Winters, Spiers, Nixon and the Toccoa Sergeants from real life and also immortalised in the HBO Series Band Of Brothers.
This force was reliably backed up by my absolute favourite tank of the war – the M4 Sherman, in all its glorious forms. For the project I took loads of 75mm variants, a smattering of 76mm Shermans and also a platoon of 105mm too. In total I managed to paint almost 400points of US models for my army. Then, during the Hobby League Campaign, I managed a rather respectable 7 wins to just 2 losses and a draw. Not bad considering I’m known in the office for my poor dice rolling! Also during the Hobby League, I put together a D-Day: German Panzergrenadier Force, with Panzer IV and
Panthers which I really enjoyed using, but there is something about the Airborne formations that always draw me back. So at the same time I managed to put together an 80pt Fallschrimjager Force to swap out with the Panzergrenadiers as I desired.

It was as soon as the D-Day: British book landed on my desk, that I knew in my heart of hearts which formation I was destined to put together. A D-Minus 1 British Parachute Company – with as much AT as I could muster onto the planes and within the list.

For a start, the new plastic sculpts for the British Paratroopers are probably my favourite plastics we have produced to date for infantry. I love the attention to detail on the helmets, smocks (including buttoned up ‘pull through’ at the back) the folds on the Denison smocks, as well as the variety of weapons each bloke is armed with – you have the ubiquitous SMLE rifle, Sten gun, Bren Gunner, as well as a plethora of officers and NCOS with Webley revolvers, moustaches and most importantly, berets.

I literally jumped at the chance to grab some of the plastics from our resident man of mystery sculptor Tim Adcock, and feverishly put them together. Soon I had enough troops for three full platoons, complete with PIATs and 2inch mortars, and I even managed to scrounge together some
6pdr AT guns as well as crew from my bits box that are perfect for making a mini diorama for the force.

Combined with the options for taking a Desert Rats Cromwell Armoured Squadron in support complete with embedded Firefly and I’ve got myself a well rounded army that is vicious in assaults, able to hold its own against most tank armies I will encounter with the AT of the 6pdr and the PIAT,
as well as flexible enough to be able to fulfill a variety of roles that I might face in a game. Further, I can see the army being repurposed for further Late War projects that I have my eye on in creating scenarios for, that involve bridges, Armoured rushes up long highways, and rear-guard actions involving umbrellas and hunting horns.

But most importantly, is the command cards for the British. I got a sneak peak at them, and suffice to say that I will be taking Mr Joe Ekins and a Lt. Col of the 6 th Airborne to tease victory for my games of Flames Of War.

We’re Paratroopers- We’re Meant to Be Surrounded

with Tama Mascelle

The release of the D-Day: British list book is upon us, and for me personally I am excited to play with one formation in particular; Late War British paratoopers. Not only because this is the only formation I have fully based and painted, but also because of the versatility within the formation and the great history behind the men of the “Red Devils”.

The other big benefit is that for a newer player like myself, or at least a player that doesn’t get to game every weekend like he would like, the Airborne Formations provide a great deal of variety and have a huge range of tools, so they have a lot of options for different weapons and cope well with different play styles.
On June 5th, 1944, the eve of the greatest and most ambitious amphibious assault in human history; thousands of men flew in the dead of night with the goal of dropping behind enemy lines and taking key objectives to halt the German response to the D-Day landings. The Red Devils, along with their American cousins, the 101st Screaming Eagles, were young pups in comparison to the veteran American para division the 82nd Airborne, which had already made one Combat drop into Sicily and taken part in extensive fighting both on the island and mainland Italy. Both divisions had a lot to prove in their maiden jump, and this can be seen in the Parachute
company’s stats. Their Fearless Motivation indicates that you can be sure that no matter the objective, the men of the 6th Airborne would stop at nothing to secure it. The Trained Skill rating of British is reflective of their relative inexperience, but brings with it the benefit of being able to fit more into your force.

This stat can be the make or break of any battle, as infantry caught out in the open and pinned down by artillery can quickly be torn to pieces by an infantry platoon or MG team, having the ability to quickly unpin your men and keep the momentum of an assault swinging in your favour can often be the key to victory in a battle. It’s also worth noting that this stat is spread across the board with all airborne troops and support weapons.
In terms of support the Airborne boast a level of versatility that you’d realistically expect from a unit that has been dropped behind enemy lines and has to wait an unspecified length of time for relief. While 6 pdrs are cheaper and more numerous, if you’re wanting to put up any sort of resistance to the heavy German armor you’re likely to encounter, I recommend taking the more powerful and deadly 17pdr. For decent fire support at a relatively low cost you could do a whole lot worse than the Airlanding 75mm howitzers, with decent range they can be a real thorn in
Jerry’s side.

Check that Anti-Tank

 

 

 

 

Finally for your direct infantry fire support we have the option to take up to four teams of the trusty Vickers HMG, alongside providing area denial to fragile areas along your battle line, the Vickers HMG also has the ability to fire an “artillery barrage” with a range of 120 centimeters, essentially having your HMG teams act as secondary (very light) arty for your formation.

Now even with all that variation, coming up against panzer formations can be extremely difficult and daunting. That’s why I like to pair my Parachute formations with a tried and tested Sherman Armoured Squadron from the 11th Armoured Division, made up of a Sherman HQ consisting of 2x Sherman 75mm, and two large Sherman Armoured troops, made up out of three Sherman 75mm and one Sherman Firefly each.

This added formation usually should give you both the mobility and firepower to deal with what can sometimes be overwhelming German Armour. Although you must be careful not to waste your Shermans as they have poor front armour (6) and dismal side armour (4) leaving them vulnerable to pretty much any large calibre gun the Germans are able to field.

To recap, my go to Parachute/Sherman list is as follows:

This build is excellent for someone like myself, who has yet to master either Infantry or Armour tactics and prefers not place their eggs all in one basket. Having the Paras support your Shermans enables you to move freely without fear of being overwhelmed in an infantry assault and also gives you an added option of assault Anti tank positions with Infantry. Likewise having Shermans support your Paras gives added fire power to assaulting heavily fortified infantry positions and also against a determined German armoured counter attack.

The other bonus is that every feature of this force is part of a Formation, so my opponent has to break two Formations to rout me entirely, and while there are certainly other options I might take with a little more potency, the buffer of having two Formations is valuable for less experienced players (like me).

Building an SBG Bridging Churchill

with Larry O’Connor

Some would say the British Small Box Girder (SBG) bridge is descended from the famous Bailey Bridge.

“I take it you mean that glorious, precision-made, British-built bridge which is the envy of the civilized world?”

That’s the one.

Hello chaps and ladies, let’s talk AVRE Small Box Girder (SBG Assault) bridges and how to make your own to help liberate Northern Europe from Jerry.

About a dozen years ago while visiting family, I found Flames Of War through a dear friend and shipmate who had an FLGS in Augusta, Georgia (Norman Schwartz at Arsenal Games – now closed.). But at the time the game really didn’t catch my fancy, I’m a Navy guy. About the same time, after a close call with cancer, my bride found an FLGS (Texas Toy Soldier (TTS) in Dallas) and she strongly encouraged me to pick up a hobby to rejoin the human race. A group of great guys at TTS play Flames Of War and I got hooked.

I chose the British Forces as virtually no one else here played them as a primary army. A few months later, the group at TTS were planning to do their annual D-Day game. I was intrigued, and being a student of WWII history for decades, I wanted to play using General Sir Hobart’s “Funnies”, particularly the AVRE and its assault bridge. I wonder often if General Sir Hobart’s funnies were used as he was General Bernard Montgomery’s brother in law. Hmm? Nevermind. Alas, I was told I would need an SBG mini. “No mini, no bridge on table”. At the time, no one here knew of a commercial source for a model so I decided to make my own. Heck, I served in two Seabee units for several years, how hard can it be? Two notes. There is a bit of fiddliness to this process and those with OCD (CDO) will either hate or love the process.

Right. So the Small Box Girder (SBG) assault bridge was a British project which in short order was copied with different tweaks by other nations. But in essence a SBG is mostly a metal bridge carried/mounted on an armored vehicle to cross obstacles – either man made or a feature of terrain, to be deployed under fire. SBGs can either be solid/fixed or fold in half. I chose to recreate the kind that fold, both for more drama (eye candy), utility (such as seawalls of different height) and it’s more dynamic.

Note, these bridges are not going to be something slapped together quickly. These are the items I use, but various substitutes should be generally available most places in hardware, hobby stores, and many are likely in your work area.

  • Hobby Knife
  • Safety Razor
  • Some medium (hobby) sandpaper
  • Tweezers
  • 2-4 Clothespins (the wooden ones with springs)
  • A metal ruler
  • Something to cut plastic, with precision and control. I use a scribing tool but, there are other options including some power tools. A scribing tool is super sharp and when drawn with pressure against plastic it cuts a fine narrow groove by removing a thin line of plastic.
  • Small metal hinges (1 per bridge) {1″ x 1″ / 2.5 x 2.5 cm}
  • Plastic toothpicks (TPs)[18 per bridge]. Flat wooden ones can be substituted, but have drawbacks. My preferred are called pic-a-pic plastic toothpics. * One curious thing about these, is at certain angles they have a resemblance to girders/I-beams.
  • Some small bits of plastic rod or sprue (4x 5mm long)
  • polystyrene cement and/or a super glue.
  • and the secret critical component, surprisingly, is the top cover of a CD case: one per bridge. You need the relatively older thicker kinds where the top cover side have grooved sides.

In many of the accompanying figures, I use a previously made SBG as a visual reference. Let us begin.

 

First cut the sides from the CD case cover. I cut from the inside, first removing the annoying small half-circle discs. You want to preserve the smooth outside edges of the case. These are what I will call side rails. Do not throw away the CD case yet.

 

 

 

 

Second, parallel to one side where the side was removed, cut of a full length piece of the case,1 and 5/16 inches wide (33mm). This will be the primary span. This measurement was calculated based on:

  • scale to historical example
  • the width of minis that would be using the bridge
  • size of the hinges I chose.

 

Next, on the other side of the CD case lid, cut out a small 1.5″ square. (The more proper square the better, but some slight variance can be accommodated during construction.) Then cut the square in half, but it must be (or close enough) 1 4/16″ wide (31mm) – just a wee less narrow than the main span (by the width of two toothpicks). This will become a shelf below the bridge on which the hinge will be super glued. Score (scratch up) one side of these shelf pieces with sandpaper.

 

Shelf Hinge sub-assembly. Now score (I use an old screw driver) the sides of the hinge that fold towards themselves. Centering them, glue the small shelf pieces with the wide parts butted against the hinge but avoid getting superglue in the hinge. After the hinge has dried, glue 5mm long bits of plastic rod/sprue (to be pylons between the hinge shelf and spans) on the opposite side of the hinge, in the holes which screws would be used in normal use. Then glue toothpicks parallel to the sides. One end flush with the shelf edge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, let’s sort out the main spans. Mark off the ends (with the CD case hinges) with a marker- the same length as the main span. Cut off the ends of the sides of the CD case. On the bottom of the CD case/center span there may be an angled ridge which helped to keep the CD case close. I preserve that to help bridge placement during gameplay. That ridge will also help as a reference as it faces down. Measure the half way points of the side rails and main span. They should be the length of a toothpick (TP). Mark and cut them. Glue a toothpick to the outboard side on the underneath sides under the smooth edge.

Score up the sides on the main spans, where the side rails will go, with sandpaper. Also score up the side rails on the smooth side. Then glue/cement the side rails (ridge sides up) on the sides of the main span, smooth sides outboard, flush with the toothpicks. You may want to gently apply clothespins/clips in lieu of squeezing with fingers until set. But too much pressure can damage your work. Now, glue a toothpick lengthwise on the inboard side of the side rails

 

Next you are going to make two Xs on each span on the ends away from the hinge.

 

 

 

 

 

Start by cutting and taking the middle third of toothpicks and glue down ‘girders’ at the halfway and quarter points. You can use the other thirds to make the diagonal girders.

 

 

 

 

When all parts are set, temporarily tape the two main spans back together lengthwise with painters tape or similar easy removable tape. Mark the tape on the bottom side to show where the hinge barrel is

 

 

 

 

Now comes the trickiest bit of assembly.

You are going to glue/cement the 4 (styrene/sprue rods) pylons to the underneath of the main span(s). Score patches on the bottom side of the spans. Apply glue/cement to the rods, then carefully center the shelf sub-assembly so each pair of ‘pylons’ will be glued to the span pieces. I find p/s glue is more forgiving in this step while centering on the multiple X and Y axes. Hold in place with gentle pressure. After 30 seconds or so, you can gently wrap the painter’s tape around to the hinge area to hold pressure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Set aside to get a good bond. (I usually let this set overnight.) When set, glue the trailing toothpicks down to the corners of the main span. Important – Rushing this step can unset the pylons.

Right. Last bit of assembly. One last toothpick per bridge side. Cut a toothpick in half. Start at one bridge half. Glue the thicker side of the toothpick to the bottom edge of the span near the hinge, gluing it down to the out side of the bottom toothpick on the hinge shelf. When dry, cut the toothpick off flush with bottom of shelf. Next take the same piece, dry fit, then snip off a tiny corner as necessary, and glue it from the top back to the shelf to make a W.

 

Repeat. WW Now do the same for the other side. You may of course make more Ws, but the party is in 3 months and you want 2, maybe 4 of these beasties. Tidy up by trimming off excess bits.

 

 

 

 

 

Ok. Done. Well, one last OPTIONAL step. Find a bit of sprue or similar to make a hook on your bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

Glue it to one of the down facing sides of shelf hinge.

 

 

 

 

 

You can field your AVsREs with their SBG’ tee-pee’d on their decks or you can do something a bit more dynamic. The idea is to use a loop of thread or dental floss around your tank hooked on the bridge. You’re an engineer now, you can sort that out. For your officers, tell them to make a loop of dental tape, thread, hobby ‘cable’, etc 9 and 1/2″ long. Loop your ‘cable’ around the hook, through the hinge/pylons, around your tank lengthwise, go under, over the bow and hook the cable back on the hook of the bridge.

Now, it is just a matter of priming, painting and detailing your bridges. I use a rattlecan of green to prime, then base coat with whatever I use on my Brit armour – usually Russian uniform. Then I use flat black on the insert areas. A bit of a wash will enhance the ridge bits on the side rails. Now, for me, a big X to denote this is my 10th bridge I’ve made. I guarantee your mounted SBGs will be the belles of the beaches. Remember, the bridge is deployed during the shooting step after movement. Good Luck!If you’re after more Funnies inspiration, you can of course check out Adcock’s Funnies…

The Fox’s Mask

with Adam Brooker

The 8th Armoured Brigade were one of the most experienced British Armoured Brigades in WW2. They had initially been formed in July 1941, from parts of the 6th Cavalry Brigade in Iraq and Syria and began training with Honey tanks. In 1942 they were brought up to strength with more Honey Tanks and Grants, only to have then taken away just before the Battle of Mersa Matruh in June 1942, and given as replacements to more experienced units. They were joined by the 3 rd RTR Lt Col “Pip” Roberts, and then in August sent to join XXX Corps as part of the 10th Armoured Division.

Their first action came at the end of August, at the at Bir Ridge in the Battle of Alam El Hafa, against Rommels abortive attack on the right flank in the prelude to the Second Battle of El Alamein. They took part in this battle as part of the 10 th Armoured Division and in Operation Supercharge, and had at the time 24 Crusaders, 57 Grants and 37 Shermans. They also were involved in the Allied push into Tunisia and the Mareth Line in early 1943 with XXX Corps as part of the British 8th Army. The Order of Battle in October 1942 was as follows:

3rd Royal Tank Regiment
Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry
Staffordshire Yeomanry (Queens Own Royal Regiment)
1 st Battalion Buffs (Royal East Kent Regiment) – Infantry
1 st Regiment, Royal Horse Artillery
97th (Kent Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

They fought the remainder of the Axis forces in Africa until they surrendered on the 13th May 1943. Interestingly they were involved in some of the first battles against the Tiger I, in the Battle of Wadi Akarit, around the 6th and 7th of April. They had been fighting almost constantly for almost a year and at the end of the fighting in Africa, they were one of the
most experienced Brigades in the British Army.

The Brigade then made their way back to England in December of 1943, and after a period of extended leave, they were told they were going to be involved in the Invasion of Normandy, soon after the New Year. The high level of experience that they had gained during their Africa fighting, contrasted with many of the other units that were earmarked to be involved in the Normandy Invasion, many of which, had not seen any fighting since the Battle of France in 1940.

To spread the experienced units out to the other Armoured Divisions and Brigades, two armour Regiments from the Brigade were exchanged out. The 3rd RTR was exchanged with the 24th Lancers from the 29th Armoured Brigade in the 11 th Armoured Division, and the Staffordshire Yeomanry was exchanged with the 4th / 7th Royal Dragoon Guards from the 27th Armoured Brigade, another Independent Armour Brigade. There was also a new support regiment of artillery with the new self propelled 25pdrs (Sextons) and an attached Motor Rifle Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

Sexton self-propelled gun of 147th (Essex Yeomanry) Field Regiment

The Order of Battle for D-Day 6 June 1944 was:
4th / 7th Royal Dragoon Guards
24th Lancers
Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Rangers) Yeomanry
12th Battalion – Kings Royal Rifle Corps
147th (Essex Yeomanry) Field Regiment, Royal Artillery

They were once again under XXX Corps on D-Day and would be involved in the assault on Gold Beach, an 8km stretch of beach between the Omaha and Juno Beaches. Gold Beach was defended by elements of the 716th Static Infantry Division and the 352nd Infantry Division. The assault on Gold Beach was made the by 50th Northumbrian Division (TTs), the 56th Independent Infantry Brigade, and was to be supported by the 8th Armoured Brigade.

The 8th Armoured Brigade had worked closely with the 50th Northumbrian Division in Africa, so it made sense they would help them in the assault here. Two Regiments of the 8th Armoured Brigade had been training with special DD Sherman (Duplex Drive), amphibious tanks, with the tanks designed to lead the assault onto the beaches and to provide cover and support fire for the assaulting infantry. Unfortunately there was not enough Sherman DD tanks available in time for D-Day, for the whole Brigade, and the 24th Lancers had standard Sherman tanks issued. As such, they could not join the battle until the beaches had been secured.

The Primary Objectives on D-Day for Gold Beach was to seize the town of Bayeux, the Caen-Bayeux road, and the Port of Arromanches; the Secondary Objectives were to make contact with the Americans landing at Omaha Beach to the West and the Canadians landing at Juno Beach to the East.
The DD tanks of the Nottinghamshire Yeomanry (Sherwood Rangers) supported the assault on the Jig Green section of Gold Beach with the 231st Infantry Brigade and followed by the 56th Infantry Brigade. While on the King section of Gold Beach the 4/7 Royal Dragoons helped support the attacks of the 69th and 151st Infantry Brigades.

As the water was very rough and choppy on D-Day, the Sherman DD tanks were released only a few hundred yards out of the shore, instead of the 2 miles out as first planned. This turned out to be very lucky for both Regiments involved, as even that close to shore, tanks were lost to the rough seas. The 4/7 Royal Dragoons lost 5 tanks, and the Sherwood Rangers
lost 8. If they had been released 2 miles out to sea as planned, it is very likely most would not have made it onto the beach.

This unexpected armoured assault on the beach surprised the German defenders, as they had not expected any Allied armour on the beaches until at least 5 hours into the invasion. Throughout the day both Regiments had all three squadrons committed continuously, and all objectives were obtained by the end of the day.

Sherman VC Firefly of 24th Lancers near Saint-Léger, 11 June 1944

On the 7th of June (D-Day +1), the 3 rd Regiment of the Brigade landed, the 24th Lancers, as well as their other supporting units. For the next 25 days the Brigade was involved in supporting many infantry divisions (50th and 49th ), in successful assaults on German positions around Bayeux, Tilly-sur-Seulles, and Villers Bocage. But the fighting was very heavy, with
the British facing the majority of German armour in Normandy, as well as hand held anti tank weapons like the Panzerfaust, and anti tank guns like the Pak 40. Over 25 days, 146 tanks were lost or put out of action, while claiming 86 German tanks and self propelled guns knocked out over the same period.

The 8 th Armoured Brigade would continue fighting through France and into the Netherlands and Belgium and finally into Germany in 1945 until the German surrender on the 4th May 1945. Having fought from one end of Africa to the other, and then chased the Germans from France and all the way back to Germany, and were involved in almost all of the major
battles along the way.

 

The crew of a Sherman tank named ‘Akilla’ of 1st Nottinghamshire Yeomanry, 8th Armoured Brigade, after having destroyed five German tanks in a day, Rauray, Normandy, 30 June 1944.

So how am I going to represent this on the tabletop? Well as this is for the British D-Day book release, I should probably start there! So it would seem picking a Formation would be the first step. As this Brigade was involved with the Landings on D-Day, picking a Sherman DD Armoured Squadron Company would seems apt. As in the early days of the D-Day battles this was exactly how this Brigade was organised, and it was not until July 1944 they moved back to standard organisation. Also, I need to be a bit different, so I chose the 24th Lancers, that is because they were a bit different too ……

The squadron had a strange unit organisation, as there was not enough available Sherman DD tanks, they had standard Sherman III and Firefly tanks, but still had the Sherman DD tank organisation. So they had as standard troops of 3 Shermans, but kept their Fireflies as a separate Troop of 3 Firefly tanks. This was different to how most other standard Sherman equipped units would operate, as they would typically attach one or even two Fireflies per troop (later in 1944) in case they ran into heavy German armour that their normal 75mm guns could not penetrate. They also had a Firefly attached to each Squadron HQ unit, so a full HQ for the 27 th Lancers would have 3 Shermans and a Firefly (12 pts + 5 pts) for 17 pts.

Also I thought I could take this opportunity to use up some old models from the metal/resin British Sherman kit (BBX08) that had the wonderful stowage and other things like track lengths modelled onto it, and to make them even more different, I was going to get special decals made up to match their historical markings. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I really love building a force like this, as I then have to do extra research to find out what markings the Formation and support tanks have. Luckily as you can see above, in a previous article, they have done a lot of the hard work for me. So if I chose B Squadron, of the 27th Lancers they would have a yellow square, on the side of their turrets, a red and white 995, for their
arm of service flash, and the yellow and red Fox Mask for their unit symbol. Similarly it has the information for any attached Motor Platoons (475) and the Sextons (1147) that historically supported the 8 th Armoured Brigade. See below the Command Cards for using Sextons and M5 half tracks that the Motor Platoons of the Kings Royal Rifles would have used to keep up with the Shermans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also in another attempt to be different, I really felt that I “needed” Humber IV armoured cars, and Humber scout cars in my Force. As the Brigade did have Humber Scout cars as communication vehicles between the Scout Stuart tanks and the Squadron HQs. I mean don’t we all “need” these…… In game the Humber scout car and Dingo scout car would almost the same, stat wise, and the same for the Humber IV and the Daimler. So I converted
up some Humber IVs by using the Mid War Humber kit and cutting off the 15mm Besa MG, and adding a bit of plastic and the spare 2pdr gun barrels from the MW Valentine kit, and viola! A Humber IV armoured car! Add a Humber Scout Car, and you have a Humber Armoured Car Patrol, for 2 pts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

So let’s have a look at a 100 point list using this force…. I will say that the HQ is not strictly legal, but I’m sure in friendly games with reasonable opponent, if you explain what you are trying to do, most will let you re-create an historical force like this. Especially if you have gone to the effort of researching and modelling everything, just don’t expect to be able to take something like this to a tournament.

Sherman DD Armoured Squadron
Sherman DD Armoured Squadron HQ – 3 x Sherman (75mm), 1 x Firefly – 17 pts
Sherman DD Armoured Troop – 3 x Sherman (75mm) – 12 pts
Sherman DD Armoured Troop – 3 x Sherman (75mm) – 12 pts
Firefly Armoured Troop – 3 x Firefly (17 pdr) – 16 pts
Stuart Recce Armoured Troop – 3 x Stuart (37mm) – 6 pts
Crusader AA Platoon – 2 x Crusader A/A – 3 pts

Support
Humber (Daimler) Armoured Car Troop – 2 x Humber IV, 1 x Humber Scout Card – 2 pts
Humber (Daimler) Armoured Car Troop – 2 x Humber IV, 1 x Humber Scout Card – 2 pts
Sexton Field Troop – 4 x Sexton (25 pdrs) – 14 pts
Motor Platoon – 4 x Bren Gun Teams, 1 x PIAT, 1 x 2” mortar – 7 pts
Typhoon Fighter-Bomber Flight – 2 x Typhoons – 8 pts

Command Cards
M5 Half Track Transport – 1 pt
Sexton Field Troop

So from the list above, I have plenty of points in my Formation, with some versatile 75mm Shermans and also some Fireflies to take out any really tough armoured targets. Some of the lovely new plastic Stuarts to spearhead and harass light armour, and some Crusader AA tanks, to just hoon around and look cool! I am really looking forward to the new plastic Crusader AA Troop, I think it will be a blast to make and also to use on the field. I really do like self propelled AA for some reason……

We have the Motor Platoon to either quickly hold or take an objective, and two units of my new favourite Humber Scout cars to either block off/limit an opponents spearhead, and generally just harass enemy light units, and make infantry think twice about getting out of their foxholes and advancing.

I also have the Sextons, which with their 25 pdrs can be a reasonable anti tank unit in a pinch, but also give me mobile artillery and smoke options, and the cheaper cost compared to the Priest, allowed me an extra Armoured Car Troop.
Also another of my favourites is the Typhoons! I am also really looking forward to the new plastic kits that Battlefront will be bringing out for their planes.

I have painted up a test Sherman, to see how the custom decals went, and also how I like the paint scheme I “borrowed” from Chris and his Big 4 of Late War British- Pretty happy with it …. now to paint the extra 20 or so models…

I hope to have an update for you soon with some more units painted and also some info on the other units the 8th Armoured Brigade would have had in support!

Radhošť

with Alex Nebesky, Battlefront NZ

Over the last few months I have been learning to speak Czech with the only guy in Auckland who responded to my email blast looking for tutors, and who gives up his Sundays to teach me. It’s been really great.

Coming from a Czech family, but having never been taught the language, it has been something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time and I’m thoroughly enjoying the process. Of course, on top of fulfilling a decade-long aspiration of mine to give learning Czech a proper swing, the last few months of reading, listening, and speaking has inspired my hobbying as well.

I’m currently working on a D-Day: British force based on the Czechoslovak Independent Armoured Brigade, and part of that is building an objective.

Through my research on images to inform my modelling decision, I came across a picture of a CIAB Cromwell named after the Czech mountain Radhošt. This is the perfect image for re creation as an objective piece.

The crew on top have proven to be something of an issue in finding guys who match, but a little jiggery pokery and some creative license and I think I can capture the general look and feel of the photograph.

Mock-up pictured above. I’ll need to snip off bases, weapons, and webbing, and replace the helmets with berets, but overall I’m looking forward to giving this project a crack.

Might have to run an objective competition on the Flames Of War Facebook page so I have somewhere to enter this bad boy…