Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron – British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War

Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War, 1:100, 1/100, Battlegroup, What a Tanker

The next of my Commonwealth 8th Army units, we have my Brethren from across the ditch – some models representing the 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade in Africa.

Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War, 1:100, 1/100, Battlegroup, What a Tanker

The Kiwis also notably ran quite a few Shermans in WWII, though I’d already painted a half-dozen Shermans as my first models for the 8th Army. Also from my research, it seems that the NZ forces didn’t begin using their mud grey/blue-black camouflage until they hit Italy, before that time period their tanks were simply painted in the pale desert buff shade – so essentially what I’d been using as my base for the British Commonwealth forces to this point. Since using Honeys and leaving them bare of camouflage appeared to be the only way I could include the Kiwis with a reasonable accuracy for the late ’41-mid-’43 time period my force is set in.

Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War, 1:100, 1/100, Battlegroup, What a Tanker

Being rather light tanks for this period of the war, they’ve been given diamond decals (well, squares applied on an angle) to represent the Recce vehicles being part of the Regimental HQ. NZ decals aren’t exactly easy to come by, if they do happen to actually exist, so I spent a few hours in Photoshop one afternoon putting some Silver Fern regiment decals together so I could run them through my printer.

Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War, 1:100, 1/100, Battlegroup, What a Tanker

These tanks also represented a bit of a first for me – the first time I’ve used milliput to add stowage to models. Bedrolls and tarps and duffel bags. Basically with these tanks being smaller than any of the other British tanks I’d done to this point, the official clip-and-glue stowage (aside from jerry cans) seemed a bit large and awkward. I did nick a couple of small crates from another kit, but if I wanted to add any more differentiation to what is otherwise a pretty samey group of tanks, it would have to be via milliput! I also used a mixture of the two upper hulls provided in the kits – I couldn’t really find a specific difference in my limited research on the additional stowage, though I did make sure to use the turret variant associated with British use – though most sources I found online don’t really distinguish between the M3 “Honey” in British/Commonwealth service and the M3 Stewart in U.S service.

Battlefront 15mm M3 Honey Stuart Armoured Squadron - British 8th Army 4th New Zealand Armoured Brigade for Flames of War, 1:100, 1/100, Battlegroup, What a Tanker

Finally, I realised last night that two of the three commander models for these tank troops have moustaches! Possibly a bit of a stretch, but I’m thinking this might qualify those two tanks models at least as something for Roger’s “Mo’vember” painting challenge!

October 2021 – Personal Painting Round-Up

Flames of War, British 8th Army miniatures, 15mm, 1:100, 1/100, Battlefront Miniatures, What a Tanker, Battlegroup

It’s time for October’s monthly Round-Up. Sadly, in a lot of ways, my hard focus on painting 15mm WWII and the fact that I barely thought about blogging or blogs for some time in that period meant that I completely blanked on the community painting challenges of the month that I usually enjoy participating in. So no Zombtober, no Orktober or anything else in 2021. I’m sure I’ll still get some of each done before too long. I still owe Wudugast 5 more Orks from last year! I guess sometimes the hobby butterfly settles for a little while…

Flames of War, British 8th Army miniatures, 15mm, 1:100, 1/100, Battlefront Miniatures, What a Tanker, Battlegroup

Regardless of all that, when I look at what I managed to get painted from built (in September) to completed and ready for anything on the tabletop, I can only consider the time spent to be worthwhile. Aside from just having painted a bunch of models, I now have a very respectable, historically and theeatre-appropriate opposing force to face off against my finally-painted Afrika Korps force that I started in the early oughties and then only finished painting – and then started to upgrade recently.

Flames of War, British 8th Army miniatures, 15mm, 1:100, 1/100, Battlefront Miniatures, What a Tanker, Battlegroup

So while it’s not exactly a well-rounded force at this stage, in that there’s a complete lack of Infantry, Artillery and everything else (I’m wanting on my new desert mat, which I’ll set their bases to match) – it’s still a very decent and solid armoured force. And let’s face it – as I (re)learn how to play FoW, keeping it to one kind of unit (vehicles) is just going to make it easier, then with some more games under our belts, infantry and then artillery and then air power can be added in. I’ve got a bunch of 1:100 planes stashed away in boxes from those days as well that can finally see the light, regardless of what BF’s “official” aircraft scale happens to be.

Flames of War, British 8th Army miniatures, 15mm, 1:100, 1/100, Battlefront Miniatures, What a Tanker, Battlegroup

These models also give me a versatile force that can also be used for any other WWII game, so that’s a nice thing as well. Of course, I’m not finished with Commonwealth armour, so there is more to come for the 8th Army for awhile yet. Not looking forward to those Universal/Bren carriers, though!

Flames of War, British 8th Army miniatures, 15mm, 1:100, 1/100, Battlefront Miniatures, What a Tanker, Battlegroup

Time for the tally now – 9 Crusaders, 6 Shermans, 4 Priests with 8 individually painted full-model crewmen, 9 Churchills and 12 Grants. I don’t count any of the 14 extra turrets as additional models, though. In total that gives me 48 models for October, which helps to make up for the lack of completion in September – but then again – in September assembled and base coated so I could spend October painting. (November has been a more normal mix since I’ve not had to spend three weeks waiting for a spray paint order to arrive!)

Adding these 48 models to the 355 I had completed at the end of August/September gives me 403 so far for 2021. And you know, two newly playable armies that I didn’t have just a few short months ago – thanks to Dave Stone, I have to say!