Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Showcase: FoW 11th. Armoured Division Sherman Platoon

I've finished painting the first Flames of War models for my 11th. Armoured Division. This platoon is a platoon of two Sherman Vs and two Firefly Vcs for the British 11th Armoured Division during Operation Market Garden. These are my first actual Flames of War and 15mm models. All of the models are from the excellent new Open Fire starter set.

When I began this project I thought that a British Tank Squadron would be pretty quick to paint up. As usual, I got a bit carried away with the details and blending and it ended up taking me a lot longer than I expected. The decals alone took me about an hour and a half to apply and many hours of research. All of the decals are from the excellent Dom's Decals. I'll talk more about the decals and markings in another post though.

Painting in the 15mm scale was a new challenge for me. Some of the things I am used to doing at a larger scale did not work as well. I found that in some areas I could not highlight with quite as much high contrast as it would not make sense for the scale. I also found that in some areas, like the uniform on the tank commander, that I had to use a higher contrast than usual to get the details to "pop". I really wanted to add more highlights to the tank commander, but I restricted myself to just some washing and a single highlight as I didn't want the highlights to be too extreme on the skin.

I did all of the base colours with an airbrush. I based it with Vallejo Model Air (VMA) German Grey, airbrushed shadows with VMA Olive Drab and the built up some highlights using Vallejo Model Colour Russian Uniform and then a final highlight of 6:1 Russian Uniform:VMA Sand. I then did some line highlights at the tops of the panels using the Russian Uniform and Sand mix. I then added the decals. After I painted the tracks and stowage and things I washed the model with thinned down Devlan mud to add some depth to some of the smaller details.

The jump into historical gaming has been a bit of a shock. I've found that people are extremely helpful but a lot of people are also pretty picky about the historical accuracy of the details. I got a bit of criticism for modelling sandbags (apparently they were mostly used by American tanks) and for painting the hull machine gun silver (it should be green and black).

You can see the airbrushed gradient on the side here.

I really enjoyed painting and weathering these models. I am excited to see how the whole squadron will look together on the tabletop. I am a bit nervous about the variations in the green colour that I am likely to get though. I have lots of ideas for some new reviews and tutorials to share. If there is anything you are interested in knowing about these models then I would be more than happy to share.

With a lot of local gaming opportunities for Flames of War, I should be getting plenty more of these models finished soon. I have another four Shermans assembled on my painting desk. Thanks for visiting.


  1. Picky about details indeed! Magnet horrors happened (Not due to alcohol affiliated modelling, promise ossifer...) and so I have a Sherman turret on a Firefly chassis and visa versa. I was able to play, but there were derisive comments made and so I think I'll be hunting down some cheap replacements in the near future. :)

    Your own Shermans look fantastic. Really nice shading and highlights. Can only hope my own turn out as nice.

    Am currently working on some Universal Carriers myself and soon some 6pdr Anti Tank Guns too (Have been having a hell of a time with German Panthers and Tigers! >_<). 15mm is damned fiddly!

  2. Very nice work! Love the weathering

  3. They look pretty good to me. I am in the process of putting together my open fire box Sherman tanks and will watch your progress with much interest.

  4. Dai-I feel your pain! My local group is pretty relaxed about things (at least from what I have seen so far). That is pretty tough about the firefly chassis, as it is really just the box on the back and a tiny difference in length. Is it just a reversed magnet you could change somehow?

    Deathkorps-thanks. I was a bit nervous about doing weathering at this scale. I had to though once I accidentally smeared some black paint over a section of airbrushed highlights...

    Vitor-Do you have a blog? I would love to see them. Despite the huge number sold, I haven't seen many pictures of painted Open Fire models. The Shermans are a bit fiddly. I trimmed the lower rail on the right track and trimmed the part at the back that overlaps the rear track and that made it much easier to fit together. They look better painted than I expected. It is a pity it seems impossible to perfectly line up the edges of the hull to have a nice sharp corner.

  5. You have done a great job for your first foray into historical gaming!

    Don't stress over the "Button Counters" that you meet in Historical gaming. It is still wargaming and if they want reality so bad they can join the army and go to a real 2 way firing range and enjoy the reality of a sucking chest wound as far as I am concerned - lol

    I play in a primarily historical gaming group once a week (when I can get there) and we love the different periods from Ancients to WW2. We don't button count and have a blast. There are some great guys out there as well as the other ones. You will find them and have a great time gaming when you do. I had the same problems when I moved from playing 40K and WHFB into playing Historicals as well. Avoiding the TMP forums helps too. Some great guys but their are more Trolls than any other historical forums I have seen.

    Your painting is excellent and the Decals work is outstanding. I really like the way the weathering is over the top of the Decals as well. Sand bags may have been a US thing but I am sure there was at least one British tanker who said, "That is a bloody good idea! I will use that".

    The hull Machine Guns should be an easy fix but I would not hold it against you ;) The Ball part of the Hull MG should match the hull colour and maybe a few black ink washes of the MG barrel would fix that part.

    Would you mind sharing how you did some of the weathering on the tanks?

    I am restarting my Late War British Armour as well with some Plastic Soldier Company Shermans. I am looking forward to seeing more Historical figures from you.

    Happy Gaming!


  6. Thanks a lot for your kind comments Allan.

    The weathering was a number of steps. I basecoated the tank and details and added the decals. I then used a thinned Devlan Mud wash over everything (really thin, like 50% water). I then weathered areas by stippling really dark brown on some areas using an old brush and a sponge. I then added a little metallic colour inside of that. I also used a pencil to add some exposed metal on some high use areas of the tanks. I added the streaks using vallejo smoke painted on with a fine brush. Finally, I dusted the lower parts of the tanks with Vallejo Model Air Dark Earth through an airbrush to get a dusty look to the lower parts.

  7. Thanks for the headsup on the weathering. I will definitely be using it in a few of my projects!

  8. Apologies for the apparently indecent comment, I won't be back here to offend again. Good luck and all the best

  9. Minutiaeofwar-I'm sorry. Why do you feel that I thought you had made an indecent comment? I am a bit cconfused.... I feel that I have offended you and I am not sure how? Was it my comments about my challenges with historical accuracy?

  10. I had wrote a rather large comment encouraging you to continue painting in your style while ignoring the people who are obviously being offensive on the forums. That you should try to only get more advice from those who are genuinely trying to assist. It appears that that the comment got removed, which I could only assume was you. If it wasn't then I apologise, perhaps the comment got spam munched. That or I lost the battle to prove that I wasn't a robot!

  11. I definitely didn't delete any. I checked the comment spam folder and it is not there either. The new spam detector things are pretty ridiculous. I can't.read a lot of them.

    Thanks for the thoughts. I feel like there is a bit of an obligation to aim for historical accuracy to an extent as we are honouring historical events. I've just found it very intimidating as I venture into a new genre. You make a good point that it is important to take advice from the right places and to stay true to what you want to do yourself.

    Glad the misunderstanding has been cleared up!

  12. Sensational job. I really like them. Makes me want to drop my current projects and make a start on my Open Fire box. Like you I went through a transition to 15mm WW2 historical and found the same concepts. Increase in contrast, lighten colour for scale and so on. Don't worry about the historical accruacy overly...once the dice start rolling it fades away to insignificant. As far as sandbags on tanks I recall reading that many tankers placed tarps, sand bags on them when they didn't know better. Veteran tankies stopped as they figured out that these types of items would often burn on the tanks.

  13. Thanks The Kiwi. Post up some pics or a link once you paint your open fire tanks. I have really enjoyed painting them (I enjoyed assembling them rather less).

  14. Hello Cameron, fantastic job on the Sherman's. please could you tell me where you managed to acquire the sandbags and stowage etc as my Cromwell are in desperate need of some tlc. thank you in advance.

    1. Hi,
      The sandbags are made from greenstuff (I have a post in the tutorials). The other stowage came with the open fire shermans. Good luck!


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