Wednesday, 29 October 2014

471 - Flames 11AD Infantry Company (4KSLI) FINISHED AT LAST!

Yup - the title says it all: I've finally finished my Flames of War LW 11th Armoured Division Infantry Company (4 King's Shropshire Light Infantry) with attached support for Op. Market-Garden. Yay!

For once in my misbegotten life, I actually tried to set up something approaching some decent lighting in my kitchen - the least dimly lit corner of my damp and dingy cottage - but it didn't really work, so I've used the dreaded 'autocorrect' on some of these pics, I'm afraid. Sorry! Anyway, onto the pics (many of which are larger than usual, if you'd like to open them in a new tab)...
[above] - "Group hug, everyone!"
[above] - By the left...
[above] - the centre...
[above] - ...and by the right. Now onto the composite units.
[above] - the converted Carrier Platoon and the Anti-Tank Platoon (6pdrs; (late))
[above] - 1 Platoon (previously 3 Platoon but better painted)
[above] - HQ, 2i/c and the slightly frosted (grrr!) 2 Platoon.
[above] - 3 Platoon. Actually, I've just thought that I might in fact swap 2 and 3 Platoons in future. It makes no difference, of course, other than in my head!
[above] - 3" Mortar Platoon
[above] - And so, onto the back row. This is the 4.2" Mortar Platoon, courtesy of  2 MG Coy, Royal Northumberland Fusiliers  
[above] - 1 Troop, A Squadron, 3RTR
2 Bofors 40mm S-P Anti-Aircraft Guns from 75th Light AA Regiment
[above] - 2 Troop, A Squadron, 3RTR
[above] - a Gun Troop of four [ridiculously underpowered] 25pdrs from 151 Ayreshire Yeomanry, RA
[above] - Look to the skies! An RAF Typhoon and an Army Auster AOP (scratchbuilt to scale before I realised that planes aren't usually to consistent scale in Flames...)
[above] - The Thin Olive-Drab-and-Khaki Line
[above] - "Er...Charge?"
[above] - "Yup - CHARGE!"
Hobby-wise, I could scarcely be happier - thanks to those of you who've followed me through this long and drawn-out process - especially for all of the reassuring and encouraging comments along the way!

Next stop: NORTH AFRICA*!


- Drax.
[*Actually, that's not true. the NEXT-next stop is actually painting up some new Shermans to replace the Yankee ones you'll see in the pics above (they will be shipping to North Africa) and so that I can field an Op. Overlord list for 11AD. But that's a detail, right?]


  1. So nice big Army.
    Good continuation

  2. Fan Frikken Tastic mate! Many congrats on a fully painted, very good looking army.

    Hope you get to play it soon too!

    (Plans to give those PBI a transport section in the future?)

  3. Thank you, Dai!

    Honestly, I'd LOVE to get them some trucks, but until I find some cheap models, that just isn't going to happen.

    Talking of such things, are you aware that the Plastic Soldier Company is now selling plastic 6pdrs WITH Loyd Carriers! oh, sweet temptation: I love the look of Loyds...

    Out of interest, have soft-skin lorries got any useful place on the gaming table itself?

    1. Yeah, those 6pdr/Loyd kits do lookpretty cool. Especially like the covered Loyds. Have you seen their Daimler Dingos too? Cheap and Cheerful to say the least.

      Trucks usage is infrequent in the tournaments I've played in because they are so flippin fragile. Regular small arms fire can take them out and the poor sods crouching inside only get a 5+ save to survive the inevitable explosion. Still, when getting a lift on your tanks isn't an option, the 5 points for a platoon transport section could be the difference between your lads being where they need to be (With careful placement behind intervening terrain, etc) or not. My Canadians get Ram Kangaroos - armoured transports with a front armour of 5 and a .50cal for shits and giggles. Have had loads of fun with those things. Alternately, I think 11th gets halftracks? PSC makes a VERY nice M5 kit and they make your boys far more survivable than being truck-bourne.

    2. I have some trucks painted but haven't used them. I like the idea but feel that they will be too fragile. 4 teams in each unarmoured vehicle is a pretty easy target. It is pretty brutal if your platoon is destroyed by a tiny bit of machine gun fire. Half-tracks are better but the motor platoons are too small. The only way I can see trucks surviving is if your have too many other threats on the attack. I use panzergrenadiers behind my attacking panzer ivs and in the last 4 game tournament they were not even shot at a single time because I always had more immediate threats and kept them concealed. With the unarmoured transport and the 5+ passenger save you are probably better off with just riding on tanks. In Market Garden I think you get the 3+ passenger save rule too.

    3. Mmmm...Dingos. Do you happe to know of a list for any theatre that has Dingos at its core? - I love the look of Dingos and I'd quite happily build a light recce-type force for that reason alone. That reason and how cheap they are, of course!

      11AD (in Market Garden) gets the 'Platoon Debus' rule - 3+ sv whilst tank-riding - and the motor platoons get those sweet half tracks, but I'm not sure how much of a point there is taking Brits in half-tracks: it's like putting a bunch of clowns into a Jaguar. The car looks beautiful and functions well but at the end of the day it's still full of (not very well armed) clowns.

      NOT that I think clows should be armed...

      I do have Ram Kangeroo envy, mind.

    4. Cheers, Cameron.

      Hopefully, if ever I do get trucks, they'd be fun for a more narrative game. I like playing those...

    5. Command Decision rules set seems to make trucks more viable too or so I've read.

      I think there's a New Zealand (Or some other Commonwealth ally nation) Early War list that uses Dingos primarily? Sadly, can't think of it's name off the top of my head.

      You should have Roo-envy, those things are amazing to play with and look SO cool!

      One thing most 1/2-track lists offer is a mobile .50 cal platform. These things chew up infantry and light armour nicely. But yes, overall LW motor companies are shite for us Brit players..... :(

  4. Superb! Well done on not only finishing an army but doing a great job of it as well. Excellent work. Should be quite a competitive force too, even with that crazy 5+ firepower on the 25 pounders. I look forward to reading of their exploits :-)

    1. Why, thank you, Paul! with luck, I'll be able to get a couple of games in this side of Christmas...

  5. wow, that is mad. So awesome. First off, it is a stunning group of models and secondly, the thought of finishing a group like this is beyond my comprehension. Congratulations and well done Drax.

    - Also thanks for the insight into FoW that yours and other blogs (like Dai's) have given us non FoW folk. :)

    1. The pleasure really is all mine...I love our cosy wee corner of the blogosphere!

  6. Those look fantastic - excellent work, mate!

  7. A lovely group photo, that's some very inspirational work. Also liking the detail shots, can see you've put loads of effort into the individual chaps as well. How did you do those bases? They look very swish.

    1. Thanks, matey.

      bases-wise (newer ones at least), they're fine builder's sand sprayed black then sprayed English Uniform (more-or-less Graveyard Earth), then drybrushed Bleached Bone before being flocked with 2 colours of static grass and - more recently - clump foliage (set with PVA). Edges are Graveyard Earth.

      Annoyingly, the 25pdrs were flocked with the wrong shade of static grass...

  8. Replies
    1. Huzzah indeed!

      (and many thanks for your recent kind words)

      *smiles broadly*

  9. Fantastic collection! Nice to see a army all laid out like that! As for the Sherman II's, there was a british armoured brigade used them in NWE. 4th Armoured Brigade of the 7th Armoured Division (desert rats) I think... Just depends if that unit is relevant to you I suppose. I also converted some of those Sherman II's (M4A1) into Sherman I Hybrids. Then they re-released the model for the hybrid firefly!!!

    But great job!!!

    1. Ooh - very interesting: thanks! I had a feeling that such might have been the occasional case, and kind of banked on that on the offchance of meeing any aggressively picky rivet-counters, but it's good to know for certain. As I say the three of them (from the old Open Fire set) will soon be heading to North Africa anyway - doubtless every bit as incongruously!

  10. Great job. Congratulations on completing such a large project! They look great. Very cohesive and a nice historical force. Maybe you will get a chance to use it all together sometime...?

    If you add 2 more Shermans you would have a tank company too... Just saying!

    Congrats again!

    1. Thank you, Cameron -I've appreciated your support throughout!

      Top tip about the Shermans (although I'm not sure how successful a variation tht could be: 11AD CV Sherman/Firefly platoons are sooooooo expensive in points that there wouldn't be anything else that I could include!

      Also, (on a more sensible note) what benefit might running this lot as a tank company offer? Off the top of my head, all I can think of is (a) the chance to field some Stuarts (not that I own any at the moment!) and (b) Making it proportionately far more likely that I'd be on the attack (which, with my sluggish infantry and the tanks' 'indirect fire' I'm always loathe to do...

      Any thoughts?

      I'm not being snippy or negative, by the way: I'm genuinely interested!

      Now's a good time for me to work this stuff out, because I have 5 new PSC Sherman/Fireflies primed on the sprues and waiting for construction, but at the moment they're all due to be Shermans (3 to replace the US versions, as I noted above, and 2 in order to field 3-Sherman-1-Firelfy Platoons for the Normandy (FAAAR cheaper, CT-rated version of 11AD...

    2. I'd suggest running the tank variation simply for the sake of variety! A tank company has a totally different play style than an infantry company.

      I played my 11th AD exclusively for about a year or so. I played three tournaments with them and finished 4th/10, 5-6/12, and tied for first out of 22. Overall they won probably about 50% of the games so in my opinion they are decently competitive (but not as good as US tank lists imo). I ran 2 sherman platoons with fireflys, UCs, turretless stuarts, heavy mortars, and US paratroopers from Market Garden. You could build a nice list with your Shermans, British infantry, carriers, and heavy mortars.

      I found the list tricky to run. Generally, the games I won were by focussing my entire force on breaking an enemy platoon on an objective. The fireflys are great for anti-tank. They need to focus on taking out tanks before yours are destroyed as Shermans are not very good against tanks. I then tried to get the Sherman platoons, 1iC and 2iC, and paratroopers in place to assault onto an objective. The stuarts would whizz around and 50 cal platoons of opportunity, harass observers, assault artillery, and generally be a nuisance. Heavy mortars mostly just smoke and make infantry spread out. Paratroopers assault infantry or hold objectives. Carriers lift gtg and stop ambushes.

    3. Wow - thanks!

      Frustratingly, te first thing I (immediately) thought upon reading the term "US paratroopers" was 'Yay! Another reason added to the pile for getting the Open Fire set.'

      Seriously though, thanks for the insight: I don't think I'll do too much in the way of tourney play (as ever) but just for the sake of fluffiness, the sake of collection and the sake of copying your turretless stuarts, it'd certainly be a fun variation to build!

    4. I don't think my list is really optimal or anything. It was based on the models I had and had painted as much as anything else. Here is the list foundation I would build a list around if I were building up a Sherman company from your models (for a Market Garden list):

      HQ: 2 Shermans (both with .50 cals)
      2 Shermans 2 Firelfys (.50 cal on Firefly)
      2 Shermans 2 Fireflys (.50 cal on Firefly)
      1 patrol of UC carriers (add .50 cals if you have extra points)
      1 platoon of British rifles (perfect for assaulting with, you don't really need their rifle fire)
      1 platoon of Heavy Mortars or 25 pounders (for smoke and making things spread out, they won't really destroy anything)
      Another platoon to round out the points. Another infantry platoon or artillery depending on the points. Turretless Stuarts are tons of fun and PSC has a nice Stuart box now too.

    5. Also, the Sherman models in open fire are brutal. The paratroopers are nice and the German models are nice. The Shermans were a lot of work to assemble and look a bit sloppy. They are perfectly fine as gaming models though.

  11. Fantastic work! Isn't it AWESOME finishing an army!?


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