It took me a while, but I have my first unit done for my Big Four Of Late War German force. I really enjoyed painting these Panzer IV tanks, and had a bit of fun modifying a few of the Schürzen plates. The haphazard spray-gun squiggly line camouflage applied by the 2. Panzerdivision tankers was an interesting challenge, but I think it has come out OK.
I painted these first with a Dark Yellow airbrushed basecoat, then a black magic wash (a mix of water, floor polish, and Indian ink), then airbrushed the flat panels with the base colour again, leaving the darker areas around the details. The green and brown camouflage colours were then applied with my airbrush as thinly as I could. The details like tools, tracks, and tyres were painted, decals added, before each tank was given a drybrush of Vallejo Model Color Buff.
Next, I’ll paint my the second Panzer IV Platoon. It will get the same treatment.
The Big Four have been working on a secret (or not so secret in some cases) project to get armies ready for this weeks Panzerschreck tournament. Panzerschreck is the longest running Flames Of War tournament in the world and this year it has been hijacked to run a Team Yankee doubles event.
The Big Four paired up along traditional lines, with Wayne and Victor (Bratwurst and Bagels) and Casey and Chris (Chalk and Cheese) each joining forces.
Wayne had most of his army already painted having taken his West Germans to a number of events over the past couple of years. His Panzergrenadier Company has a mix of Panzergrenadiers (no surprises there), Leopard 2 tanks and some support vehicles.
Victor painted (most) of his rather homogeneous force as part of the Oil War launch, having just completed the extra stowage and tank commander this week to complete the Company. He is bringing 11 Merkava 2 tanks to the battlefield and expects to be leading from the front, thanks to their heavy armour.
Casey, finally, finished his first Soviet army for Team Yankee after a couple of years – he did paint a pretty massive Soviet army for someone else during the time as well. His force consists of 15 T-64 tanks, as well as anti-aircraft launchers, anti-tank launchers and some recon.
Last, but certainly not least, Chris has been gagging to do a Czechoslovakian force for some time now and has used this as a chance to get the first part of it finished and ready for battle. Of course, his pile of T-55 tanks, support vehicles and infantry only come out to 35 points, so he has quite a bit more work ahead of him (once he has finished his Big Four project) to complete it as a stand-alone army!
Stay tuned to the Big Four Instagram feed over the next few days to keep up with all of their progress and road trip activities!
It’s been a “Fury”ous month of painting for me, but there’s nothing like finishing a whole new army ready to hit the table.
I’ve achieved my goal of having 100 points finished in time for the launch weekend, even if I’m tactically using the more expensive Veteran formation, and soaking 5 points into command cards… and most importantly I still have the enthusiasm to paint more!
I’ll putting the force to the test against Casey tomorrow to celebrate the release of D-Day: American.
With these two platoons completed, I now have all the units for my first 100 point list. These were both a nice change of pace from painting tanks.
The techniques and colours for these was the same as with the tanks, but the Priests offered the chance to do some crew.
For the observer I decided to leave the camo off, to make him little different, and maybe he’s an older tank they had kicking around. I used the early transmission cover as well.
With the M10’s I used the roof that comes with the kit, as a way to speed up painting time (no crew or machine-gun) and because I quite liked the look. After completing them though, it does make me want to do my second platoon later with open tops. I like the way the Priests turned out so I’m not so scared of doing crew now!
Progress on my force has been going well, and now I have my third unit complete. These M5 Stuarts are my third combat platoon, so I only have the support left to do; M10’s and Priests.
It was a nice change to work on some smaller vehicles, and also something with hard edges (compared to the rounded Shermans). It’s tempting to do 7 more of them to make a formation out of them, but for now I’m committed to getting my 100 point list finished by 5th July.
My second platoon is now finished, giving me a Sherman company with 2 platoons. I only did 4 more 76mm Shermans to join my test model to make it a platoon of 5.
Painting for these was exactly the same as with the 75mm’s, but instead this time I used the camo template I found to copy. In some ways this was easier as a had something to copy, but also it was nice having the freedom to put the camo patches wherever. Going forward I think I’ll do a mix a strict to template, and free form, to give my force variety.
Looking through the contents of the British Starter Force I quickly zeroed in on the Stuarts and M10s. This was for the simple reason that I could paint a single, discrete unit that I could use to test out my painting and ensure I was happy with the plan for the army. It was also a good opportunity to sort my decal plan!
I’ll write up some notes on how I painted the tanks at a later date, but it was fairly straight forward, largely using some basic techniques. The hard part was figuring out the colours that I wanted to use. Luckily a quick chat with the rest of the Big Four and a flick through Colours Of War gave me some good ideas.
With one platoon down, I am really happy with how the army is (probably) going to turn out. The green looks good, the decals really add some nice colour and it is a pretty quick and simple paint scheme to replicate. Time to knock out some M10s!
It’s always great finishing a platoon, where you can see all your work come together across a small group of vehicles. It always motivates me to crack on with the next unit. These 75mm Shermans give me my formation HQ and 1st platoon. I really enjoyed working on them, especially the decals which give them the finishing touch.
M4 Sherman Company HQM4 Sherman (75mm) Platoon
Above – a close up of Victor’s Formation Command tank.
Left – Victor couldn’t resist the opportunity to add shoulder patches to his Formation Commander.
Four Nations. Four People. Four Army Deals. Welcome to the Big Four Of Late War…
Victor “el Presidente” Pesch is the ring leader of Big Four, having come up with the entire concept of embarking on the Journey alongside our players. Known in the Studio for his painting prowess he spends his days wrangling Photoshop and InDesign working as a Graphic Designer, whilst his nights are spent working on whatever new project takes his fancy. He has his eyes set on an American force filled with Sherman tanks. For now…
Wayne “the Veteran” Turner is one of the longest serving employees in the company, having worked in almost every department of the company from Game Design to Production. These days he finds himself primarily working on Team Yankee, but a return to Late War has him excited to return to World War II and the chance to build his first Panzer IV based German army.
Casey “Comrade” Davies has built more Soviet models than anyone can count, with an astounding seven complete Strelkovy Companies to his name. After some debate he grabbed the new Soviet Army Deal whilst making noises about wanting to try his hand at building a new Hero Company. Like Victor he spends his days creating the books, cards and imagery that you see whenever you play a game of Flames Of War (or Team Yankee).
Chris “The Magpie” Townley is always looking forward to the next project, even before he has finished whatever is currently sitting on the painting table. He spends his time pouring over spreadsheets and planning documents, all the while looking over the writers shoulders trying to noodle his “next big project”. For Chris, the Late War Journey is a chance to finally build that British Sherman company that he has been planning for almost 10 years…
To follow their individual progress you can click on the handy icons over on the right hand menu, as well as checking out the groups Instagram feed to see plenty of behind-the-scenes activity. Over the next few years there will also be plenty of great content coming from the rest of the Battlefront family so don’t forget to keep an eye on the Flames Of War website for this, as well as all the latest news and information on what is happening.
On June 6, 1944, thousands of men were nervously waiting in landing craft, transport aircraft and bunkers as the fate of the world rested on their shoulders. The liberation of Europe was about to begin.
75 years later, across the world, thousands of gamers are preparing to embark on a journey of their own as Flames Of War returns to Late War. Starting with Fortress Europe and the D-Day series of books Battlefront will spend the next four years extensively covering the fighting in Europe through 1944 to 1945.
For gamers this is an amazing opportunity to grow a new army from nothing, starting by choosing a nation, a theme and then selecting the models that they want to use as the basis for their army. Then, over the next four years as each new theatre is explored, they will be able to add new units to their force, just like the real armies of World War II.
At the beginning of the journey, the humble Sherman will be fighting head to head versus the dreaded Tiger tank, whilst as the war progresses the King Tiger, Pershing and IS tanks will change the shape and nature of the battlefield. These changes will make the shared journey through Late War that much more interesting and dynamic as we, the commanders of the battlefield, pick the best forces available to us on the day, whilst looking forward to the next “wonder weapon” that will ensure that we will be victorious in tomorrows battles.
Collectively we (the “Big Four” – more on who we are later) have been playing Flames Of War for around 50 years and we think that the Late War Journey is the one of the most exciting things to happen to the game since its original release back in 2001. Now, with people all around the world taking their first look at Late War and building new armies, we wanted to come on the journey with you and take a fresh look at our favourite period of Flames Of War.
This will be like no “Tale of Four Gamers” series of articles that you might have seen in the past. Instead it will be an epic journey (one with Tanks instead of Ringwraiths) that will take part over four years…
Starting with the release of Fortress Europe we will be creating armies using our new Army Deals as the basis, building and painting from scratch, and then getting them on the tabletop to play some games.
During the course of the first year, we (just like you) will be able to access new units and Formations as the D-Day series of books is released. This will give us the chance to tweak our armies by selecting new organisations or building and painting new models. On the Big Four Of Late War website you will be able to see our finished efforts, as well finding out what we are planning on working on next.
If you want to keep up with what we are up to on a day-by-day basis you can also follow our Instagram feed where we will be showing off progress photos as we build and paint the models.
At the conclusion of the Journey we will have built entire new armies, filled with great new models, as well as having played a pile of games as we try to find out who is the biggest of the Big Four.
We look forward to you coming on the trip with us…
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