Battlefront 15mm Churchill Armoured Squadron – British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

Continuing the theme of British Commonwealth 8th Army units, we have something a little bit different in terms of paint scheme and unit origin. These models represent the North Irish Horse – also part of the 8th army in the Western Desert, but not strictly speaking Desert Rats (7th Armoured).

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

I selected this unit for representation in my force for a few reasons – the first was that I did really like the look of the brown-on-sand camouflague scheme as depicted in the Armoured Fist sourcebook, and it also fit nicely into my increasingly wanting to represent a diverse set of unit in the force. If I were painting the Priests a bit later, I’d have likely given them the White Rhino badge of the British 1st Armoured Division rather than the Desert Rat. I suppose I could go back and change them… hmm… I’ll see how I feel later.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

Despite having some numbered triangle decals – and enough to feasibly set up the Squadron HQ as well as two Armoured Troops (3 and 4), I went with a few “blank” triangles as well. This was in order to afford me more flexibility in the way I deploy these, as I’ll show a bit later.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

I painted up nine of the Churchills, and went with some variation on the front track guards. From my reading (and photo viewing), some units had them, others didn’t and others yet removed them once they became damaged or simply because they were a headache. This continued throughout the war, even into and through Normandy. so I felt a bit of this non-uniformity was good to make the models a bit more interesting to assemble and paint.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

Once again, a couple of pics above to show the four sides of the camouflage pattern applied…

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

…and an “aerial” shot.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

As noted, I wanted to allow myself to deploy these in more than one way, so I painted alternate turrets for the “Churchill CS – Close Support” tanks, allowing me to run them as standard Churchill IIIs (if you squint and ignore the hull gun). I also started to run out of the finer-detailed Plastic Soldier Company tank commanders, but at least the Battlefront ones don’t look too bad on these larger tanks.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

So here they are, deployed as the full three-tank HQ as well as two three-tank troops.

Battlefront 15mm Churchill III Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War, Battlegroup, What A Tanker, 1:100, 1/100

And here in a different configuration on the other extreme – with a single-tank HQ unit and four smaller 2-tank troops. Obviously I can also go with various combinations in between the two, so it’s a set of models that should offer a good amount of flexibility in getting onto the table.

18 thoughts on “Battlefront 15mm Churchill Armoured Squadron – British 8th Army North Irish Horse for Flames of War

  1. Very nice! 🙂 That is a lot of Churchills, in fact I think the most I’ve seen in one collection. Experience shows that if you use them in a game you need to use them right form the start so that they’ve managed to get into action for the end of the game (they’re tough but slow)!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks John – I’ll just run them right up the steepest hill on the table as early as possible so they can end up flanking from an unexpected angle at the end of the game when they get back down! 😉

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Very nice, the Churchill was built by the company I work for (Vauxhall) during the war but not at the plant I work at but the one down south (Luton).

    Little historical note for you there who say you don’t learn anything in this hobby! 😉

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha very cool, Roger. Do they have one on display somewhere? Speaking of learning, aside from my reading while figuring out how to paint all of these, I’ve been binging many hours of YouTube the last couple of months – lots of Mark Felton’s stuff – as well as Bovington’s YouTube Channel and quite a few quality others.
      Started watching The World At War again, with full intent of finally getting through the whole thing!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. While it is extremely unlikely that I’d take up a WWII wargame, you’ve convinced me that I should choose a desert theater because the tanks and their color schemes just look cooler in the desert. Excellent job painting these up, mate! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Nice Churchills! Of course, you must add that it was a round from a Churchill that lodged in the turret ring of Tiger 131 in North Africa that forced it’s crew to abandon it – hence Bovington’s gain. The camouflage is your usual excellent work and I like the CS turret swap capability you did.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Cheers Mark – you know, that fact didn’t stick in my head – and I’ve watched a few videos from the Tank Museum’s YouTube channel on 131 as well. I’ll use the fact that I was watching them back during the time I was working on the Tigers and Panzers as my excuse! 😉

      Like

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