Thursday 5 March 2015

First of the 8th Army

It has taken longer than I thought, but I final got my first unit for my 8th Army 1941 project complete. The reason for the delay was mostly the fault of my on-going Crusades project, as I decided my Crusaders army needed some more hitting power (for the play-test games) and so set-to painting up 2 more mounted Knight units. (Using the rather good Conquest games plastics, which I had stored in the ‘to-do’ box for the past 3 years). So, the 8th Army had to go on hold for a few weeks (plus I was waiting for an AB order to arrive from Australia, so I’d have the gun crew).

Well that order arrived (thanks to Nic at Eureka miniatures for casting up the gun crews), and I could get going. The first unit was the fiddly 25 pdr battery. I’m not usually a fan of on-table field artillery, the occasional gun as a stand-in AT gun is OK, but batteries of the stuff  (especially larger ‘medium’ guns and bigger) start to look weird at the ranges games are fought over.

But, for the desert, there are so many stories of artillery standing in as AT guns I decided my 8th Army battlegroup would have to have some. I’ve been careful and designed the guns so they can used on tow or deployed (no turntables and the seated gunner is removable), and the ammo limber is part of the guns loader teams. Each gun has a 4 man crew and a separate 3 man loader team, and the limber is removable for towing.

Well, it’s a start, next on the painting tray are the first Australian infantry and about 10 AB tank crew (for when I have bought the tanks to put them in - need to decdie which tanks first), a forward HQ group, comms relay team, an artillery forward observer team, and a few infantry support weapon teams like an AT rifle and 2” mortar. That will break the back of the infantry painting, but more will be needed to complete a platoon and a carrier section. The carriers (PSC's) are already build, with lots of stowage added, I just need more Australians so I can do head swaps on the crew to give them all bush-hats.  

As you can see, the 8th Army is now well on the way, and over the next couple of months I hope to get it finished (yeah right). I’m spurred on by the thought of getting in a first Battlegroup desert play-test game against my DAK.

 The battery deployed with loader teams behind, ready for action. Italeri guns, AB crew.

 Up closer.

 One gun on tow, with added dust, because it looks cool.


  1. Very nice! And, yes, the dust looks cool.

  2. Great job and beautiful pictures, love the dust too!

  3. I am reading Mark Urban's "Tank War" right now in which he says how the British forces tried to copy the Axis "Battlegroup" design. Formations would contain their 2pdr guns, but also 25pdrs for anti-tank use. It seems to have been quite common practice.

  4. Lovely looking models - and dust!

  5. Excellent. The dust looks great.