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).
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.
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.
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.
Once again, a couple of pics above to show the four sides of the camouflage pattern applied…
…and an “aerial” shot.
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.
So here they are, deployed as the full three-tank HQ as well as two three-tank troops.
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.