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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Product Review: Battlefront's Sampans from Resistance (VPABX12)

By Jeff "SonBae" Flint

In the new-ish Brown Water Navy book for the Vietnam Era of Flames of War the Local Resistance forces get some interesting new watercraft. Notably, Brown Water Navy adds Sampans to the Organization chart for the Local Forces. To help new players they have updated their old VPABX10 Local Forces with a new Local Resistance box set VPABX12 that includes all the land based Resistance teams, but also adds a Sampan option for each team.

Now if you're a new player this is great; all your Resistance options are there in one box. However, if you're on your 2nd tour of the Nam you already had land based teams from VPABX10.  Insert sad panda mode....but STOP right there mister (or miss)!!!! I will share two little tricks that can help you maximize your purchase. First, you can sell half the Sampans with the land based figures and make some of your money back, because in a river fight you can never go full Sampan. The other method is to modify your Sampans with some extra figures or, like I did, just cut the rice/straw bundles off of the land figures and add them as cargo to the Sampans

I mean the Sampans have to be carrying something...right?
This review will focus on the Sampans in VPABX12. I covered the land based teams in a this article.  Since those figures are exactly the same, I wont cover them again.

Ok, lets talk about these troops.

Sampans add mobility to your Resistance Teams.  Any time a land based team enters an impassable water feature it can become a Sampan team and gains some mobility (they move the same as land based teams, up to 6 inches based on a die roll, but can now cross impassable water) and the option to slow down any Western watercraft (the Western boat now move as if in Slow Going).  Other than that they have all the same rules as Resistance Teams.

Accuracy:  Battlefront really nailed these boats. They look spot on from many reference photos I saw. For example:

Looks like Battlefront nailed it here, you can even put the crew member with the paddle in the front for variety.

Rating: 10/10

Quality:  Quality here was superb, just a minor bit of flash on the motor prop and a little flash on the motor shaft, and I mean minor. These are new sculps so that flash should be very minor. No chips or breaks on the resin...these are very chunky models.

Rating:  10/10

Versatility: 2 different boat styles and 2 different operators and even 2 different placements (fore or aft) for the paddle dude give you a decent amount of options

Rating: 9/10

Paintability:  High marks here. The model has GREAT depth of detail and takes paint very well.

Rating: 10/10

 Overall: 9.75/10.  Top notch sculps. These were  joy to assemble and paint.

A word on assembly, you WILL need to pin the pebble into place by drilling a little bit of wire into one foot.  These models are a great way to practice some of those long lost modeling skills, or discover some new ones! You can get away with just gluing him down, but that will be a break point just waiting to happen.  This isn't a negative - just a fact of life when assembling figures with no base.

I painted these very similar to how I did the rest of my Local Resistance except I went more civilian casual on the clothes. Pictures I have seen show a lot of reds, whites, and blues along with the black shirts and pants.

Skin:  Base coat of 982 Cavalry Brown, 1st layer of 1:1 mix of 912 Tan Yellow and 880 Khaki Grey followed by a highlight of a 2:1 mix of 847 Dark Sand and 918 Ivory.

Straw hats and light colored straw: Base of 872 Chocolate Brown and highlight of 847 Dark Sand. 

Rope across the straw cover on the Sampan: 872 Chocolate Brown Base then 988 Khaki highlight

Green straw:  979 German Camo Dark Green then 969 Flat Green highlight

Sampan hull:  872 Chocolate Brown

Sampan Hull Trim:  875 Beige Brown

Sampan deck:  872 Chocolate Brown Base then 872 Beige Brown highlight

Trick....base coat the entire Sampan in 872 Chocolate Brown and build up from their
Now flood those canals and rivers with Sampans and stop the Imperialist Running Dogs... or at least slow them down

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time gamer and painter and runs a semi-active 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. Follow him @wwpdSonBae on Twitter

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