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Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Battlefront's Local Force Battalion HQs (VPABX11)

by Jeff Flint

Finally! Now we have the final pieces to be able to run a Local Forces Battalion in Flames of War.  The recent PDF at Battlefront's website gave us the organization and now we have the actual figures to complete the force with the addition of the Local Forces Battalion HQs (VPABX11).  The box set I am reviewing I bought from my FLGS, The Foundry in Huntsville, Alabama.

The figures are very close to the rest of the figures in the Local Force line and the review I did on the Dia Phuong Quan (Local Force) Company (VPABX10) holds true for these figures as well.  Bottomline, these guys are great. I used the same paint scheme on these guys as I did for my previous force (as listed in the review above)

There are several new sculps...mainly the HMG, Recoilless Gun and Mortar crews as well as a few leaders. Using the 9.25/10 overall score for company box set as a base, this Battalion HQs set raises the score to 9.5/10.  The detail on the Leaders and NCOs brings the score up another 0.25.  We'll talk about the new additions as we go over the pictures.


Notice the scarf on the team's leader on the right?

Close up on the scarfs (very well sculpted btw) on the CiC team...stay tuned on what those are

HMG Options:

You get 3 HMG teams, the AAMG option and the HMG Bunker option in the box set.

The lone AAMG (so glad they included this) with unique sculpts

Notice the scarf on the gunner?  More on this later.

Hmmm...more scarfs (center team NCO)
These HMG Bunkers are the same design as the ones in the NVA box sets.
Included in my box were 3 separate MG barrels and receivers (the same ones you get with the HMG teams).  You can chop those barrels off and glue those inside.  Instead, I added some clump foliage to show the muzzle blast of a firing MG.  I wanted to try a little Objective Source Lighting around the muzzle blast, but didn't go dark or bright enough...lesson learned

The edges can be a little brittle and get chipped

Recoilless Gun Teams:

Mortar Teams:

A minor miss on the Mortar teams is the lack of a separate assistant gunner.  Most mortar teams have an NCO, a guy dropping a round into the tube and a guy handing a round to the gunner.  A sculpt for that last guy is missing  :-(

New sculpt NCOs:

I love these 2 NCOs.  Again notice the scarfs.

 The one thing missing in this set to give you EVERY option was the lack of snipers.  Not to fear!!!!  Snipers can be made for the low, LOW cost of 3 small bases.

Can you see the sniper?  DAMN! is he hidden well.  All these are are small bases with a LOT of ground clutter

This guy in a spider hole was easy to build.  I built up a base with my Vallejo pumice (or your favorite basing materiel) and once dry, I cut a square hole in the center.  I took an extra figure from the box and cut the legs off and glued him inside the hole.  I made the hatch with a piece of plasti-card I had laying around

Again...great box set...a 9.5/10.  It would have been a 9.75 if the snipers were included.  One thing I loved was the inclusion of the sculpts with scarfs.  Scarfs were awarded to soldiers for certain acts and the color determined the type of award.  The black and white scarf was given to tough fighters for acts of bravery.

Having so many scarfs on support units just doesn't "feel" right to me.  If I had this set when I built my 2 Local Force Companies, I would have spread those sculpts out across the force to give it a more balanced feel.

As always, a special thanks The Foundry for allowing me to use their tables and terrain to take these pictures.

Coming up soon is the last piece to by Local Force Battalion....a unit from the Special Tasks Company!

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time gamer and painter and runs a blog at Journey Back To The Table where he posts photos of his work, reviews, BatReps and the “Painting Miniatures Declassified” modeling and painting tutorials.

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