Though my guards may sleep and ships may rest at anchor,
our foes know full well that big guns never tire
Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition
Yeah, I know, it's a 40k quote for a Flames of War post but I've always loved it. Plus, todays post is about some really, really big guns...
These are British 17 pdr anti-tank guns. The 17 pdr was one of the best guns of the war and was fitted to some of the Sherman tanks used by the Brits to create the excellent Firefly variant. The most remarkable thing - for me at any rate - was that these monsters and the 15 cwt trucks that towed them and hauled the ammo were... airlanded. Yep, these monsterous machines were loaded into the massive Horsa gliders and dropped right into enemy held territory. These and the 6 pdr guns were an essential tool in preventing the panzer divisions from just rolling over the otherwise light paratroopers. Oh, and the difference between a 17 pdr and a 6 pdr? Check the next picture:
Same scale! Anyway, enough history, on with the painting. I've said quite a bit about painting the Flames of War lads in previous posts (just click on the Flames of War tag at the bottom of the post) so I won't go on about it in great depth. Instead I'll pick out the interesting bits from this one! The first, obvious, thing to note are the bushes at the front of the bases. These are almost insultingly easy to achieve. Just get a pinch of something called clump foliage and PVA it down to the groundwork. Then, to make it a bit more game-proof soak it in watered down PVA and leave it to dry. I use a dropper and sort of "inject" the bushes with the PVA. Really soaks it through.
One hazard of painting FoW stuff realistically is that they can sort of disapear into the groundwork in photos! You can avoid this by doing the very harsh Battlefront studios style highlighting but I don't like that. Note the red and white pole on the inside of the left trail. This is a ranging pole and was used to pre-spot artillery targets. They would be hidden from view of approaching troops but the gunners knew that once they reached the marker then the already dialled in elevation would hit the target perfectly.
For the HQ I used some of the bits that came in the Paratrooper upgrade pack to give them a more measured look than the heroic advancing look of some of the others. While I was glueing the table down I thought how nice some tactical maps would look on it and had the foresight to take photos as I went. Thus I present the PVP guide to painting tiny wee maps!
First, cut a few tiny rectangles of just normal white paper. Just a few millimeters across. Using watered down PVA soak the maps and shape them to the table, try having one overlapping the edge of the table as it looks more plausible somehow! I then used Seraphim Sepia to put some initial shadowing along the overlapped edges. When you zoom in remember just how small these are! I then started adding some water features using Drakenhof Nightshade. I'll be using shading washes for all of these stages as the translucent quality makes it look like printed paper rather than painted paper.
Next come the woodlands marked out in Athonian Camoshade. Look at real world maps so as not to use too much or too little on your maps! Built up areas are marked in yellow so Casadora Yellow. Use straight lines here as the built up areas aren't natural features and will look better with a straight line or two. Roads are then added in red - Carroburg Crimson.
I used Agrax Earthshade to firm up the shadowing around the map edges and then used Nuln Oil to paint tiny thin lines of longitude and latitude to give it that "map" look. Do not use too many here, 4 or 5 are more than enough. And there you go! A bunch of guys standing around a map! Might have to add an enamel tea mug at some point...
So with that I am getting surprisingly close to finishing my first Flames of War army! I've got plans to expand this one with the transport jeeps and trucks, some hurricane typhoons and a small Commando contingent to represent the Royal Marines coming up from the beaches. It'll be groovy. For those expecting Titan updates today, it's now been washed of all its mold release agent and dried over the day. Tomorrow I'll be priming it and starting the painting process all over again!