Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Updating the US Army

I've have had a few weeks off painting, post my big push to get my 8th Army project finished. But, as a creature of habit, the urge to get the brushes and paints out never goes away for long, and tele is mostly utter rubbish in the evenings. I have, like most, a list of 'stuff' I'd like to do as long as my arm, but I restrict myself to one major project a year, which I try to actually get finished and gamed with. Only then do I allow myself to be distracted by the many other shiney things.

So, looking through the plastics/lead/resin mountain, what should I do now my major 2015 project was complete? Well, every few years I like to go back over my older armies, to rejuvinate them, update the models, fix the broken stuff, re-paint the rough stuff(!), add a few new units for the missing stuff and generally spruce it up with more stowage, etc. Both my American and Russian WW2 20mm armies are looking a bit battle-worn. They bear the marks of being dragged to many wargames shows and 'away day' games. Paint chips, bent barrels and broken wheels, etc aplenty. So, with 'BG Wacht am Rhein' looming large on the horizon I decided it would be worthwhile giving my US army some TLC. The Russians will have to wait.

So, auditing the existive US forces, I have decided the old Airfix half tracks have now done 20 years tabletop service, and that is long enough. They aren't bad, but the models are small. I should replace them with nice new PSC ones. The old passengers and stowage could be salvaged and reused, with some new ones added too. In all, I have 6 to do, before moving on to other M3s variants, like my radio half track, supply half track, M21 mortar carrier and M16 AA. First, the basic troop carriers, enough for an armoured infantry platoon (4), an extra squad and an engineer squad.

Following that, I'll look at retouching all the infantry that jump out of them, with a bit of re-basing too. I also want to add a Sherman Calliope for late war battles and a 90mm AA and M4 tow (I think only Milicast make one of these) as ad hoc anti-tank defences in the Ardennes. There actually isn't much my US collection doesn't already have. Maybe a few British allied tanks, like a Crocodile, for Fall of the Reich games - oh yeah, a big flamethrower would be sweat.

I've been working on the replacement half tracks this week, and they are now done. Here they are, fresh from Detriot and ready to roll.

 The first three, pigments brushed on.

 'Pudgy', the platoon command vehicle (marked by the aerial) and the guy with binos spotting.

 The second three (they are actually different).

 Platoon MG section's track, marked with an extra .30cal

 Squad transport, passengers are from all sorts of places, SHQ crew, PSC plastics, others I don't even remember any more. In all, 48 blokes to crew these.

What they are replacing, one of my old Airfix kits, now being retired (and sold at a bring and buy at my next show). Perfectly presentable just not as good as the new ones. 


  1. I should really get around to selling some of my older figures that have been replaced or just not used much.

    Nice work on the new figures btw.

  2. Nice job. Are the PSC ones a lot bigger than the Airfix?