I am slowly building out my American forces for Flames of War and decided to add in the Sherman Crocodile. While this is a very specific tank that cannot be used in a ton of lists, it does fit right in with my 29th Infantry Division theme for my US Infantry. Why the Croc? Well, at 280 points for Confident Trained tanks, I think there is some significant value in this unit. Steven and I are particularly fascinated with units that have significant drawbacks that push their points down, but allow for some really good advantages when played properly.
- The Flamethrower - This tank has a flamethrower and a trailer, which mitigates the major drawbacks of having a flame tank - it explodes easily (re-roll FP against). At ROF 5 with a 6" range, this platoon is deadly against infantry and gun teams.
- It's a Sherman - Even though the flamethrower is the focus, this is still a Sherman tank with a full compliment of guns. This includes the .50 cal AA MG, Hull MG and more importantly the M3 75mm gun with Stabilizer and Smoke.
- At 280 points, these are a bit more expensive that CT Shermans in other lists that run 255 points.
- The side armor of the tank is only 3. This likely represents the more fragile machinery and the fuel trailer.
- Always Attacks - When I take this with the 29th, it makes me attack everything. I listed this as a disadvantage, but some (Steven) would take this as an advantage.
- Lose a Slot - When you take this platoon, you are not taking something else in the force diagram. In the 29th list I am running, it occupies the same place as Tank Destroyers. USTDs are great, and not being able to take them is certainly a disadvantage.
As far as I know, these are only available in blisters. The hulls are significantly different than normal Shermans, as they have all of the fuel lines in an armored compartment that runs on the outside of the tank. The firing nozzle is also unique to this model of tank, and can be seen on the right-front of the tank.
The model comes with the standard Sherman sprue, which is very nice. Make a note of the fuel nozzle (pictured in the upper left) as it is small and could be lost. The trailer looks exactly like the one provided in the Churchill Crocodile blister. I love the plastic tracks and it is always good to get some spare parts. Keep these parts! I often find models missing hatches and barrels for a discount and use my spares to fix'm right up on the cheap.
One of the trailers had lost some detail in the manufacturing process, but I judged it "good enough". I would think this mold is fairly old by now, so I am not surprised. I could have gotten a replacement, but no one would likely notice unless I pointed it out.
I followed my normal process for painting US tanks. First, I base coat everything in cheap black spray paint. Next, a coat of Krylon camouflage on the hulls. After that, brush on two coats of Brown Violet for the main hulls and hit the tracks with a brush to fill in the painted parts. Next, dry-brush a couple of layers of greys on the tracks. I did a very light dry-brush of Iraqi Sand on the hulls to pull out some highlights. After that, paint all the hull details and glue on the tracks. Next, it is time for CGR Magik Mudd for a wash. Gloss, decals, then matte and we are good to go.
All finished. I think these turned out quite well. For some reason, my dust and mud never shows up in pictures. Oh well, you can see them in person!
I think this will be an interesting addition to my army and I am looking forward to playing them. I really loved my Churchill Crocodiles and I think I will love these too! Flame ON!