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Friday, November 25, 2016

Building the British Airborne - Part 1

Chapter 1 - July 2016

"I'm awfully sorry, but I'm afraid we will need to occupy your house" - Col John Frost - A Bridge too Far

"This is....Everything, 2 .30 cal machine guns, 11 Hawkins Mines, 17 grenades, two bazookas but we only got 8 rounds left, and assorted small arms.  We had a 60mm mortar, but an arty round took it out.  Might as well be spit wads if we run into some tanks." - Saving Private Ryan

I've always been fascinated by the British Airborne's campaign during Operation Market Garden.  The ambition of it, the audacity, the courageousness it took to hang on that long.  All the books I've read, documentaries I've watched, have made it a life's goal to visit the sites in Holland and see it some day.  And I know it is a relatively competitive force in Flames of War. So I went about collecting it all. But I didn't want to start assembling it or painting it before I was ready to do it justice.

So to paraphrase the quote is everything....

My wife asked me if I was selling  I am not selling them.  I am finally, after 4 long years of collecting them, going to begin painting them.  The snarky among you might point out that simply by typing this I'm procrastinating some more.  And you'd be right.  But a project this ambitious has to be chronicled, failure or success, so come one come all and enjoy the show.  I'll be posting as I complete steps, and try and walk you through a tutorial of what I have finished.

I have all the heroes, and plan on modeling them appropriately. Frost will be an Urban base, but Ukrhardt will be rural or behind a bush.

The Parachute Company will be the centerpiece, and will be entirely in Urban Rubble bases.  I have some of the pieces needed, and will need to do a lot of preliminary painting on those bases with my additional rubble before I add in my figures which will be painted separately to ensure I can get into all the cracks and crevices.  I'm even thinking on adding some definition to the faces with a layer of highlighting.  I'm debating which other pieces to do in Urban Rubble, and I think a platoon of 4  6 pdrs is definitely on the menu, as well as the Machine gun platoon.

But I'm not sure about the mortars, or the pack howitzers.  I have the field engineers prepped to be done with rural bases, and I want the artillery to match both sets of paratroopers.

If I wanted to be a lunatic, I could pick up a second box of paras and do that one as rural, so I could run it as 6th Airborne.  Is that stupid? truly insane?

As it stands, I will be spending a lot of time cleaning mold lines, washing away factory dust, and prepping the bases themselves for priming.  Pictures sometime next week hopefully.

Comments, Suggestions, and resources appreciated.

Chapter #2 - August 2016

So Far this project has been a blast.  I think I have a plan that will work well. I carefully cleaned the flashing off of all the airborne figures.  all 104 of them.  The fact that they only show as 4 to a base helps leave me room for basing interesting things. I also decided to go white with the primer so as to have brighter colors. Time will tell if that works out in my favor.  I will also be doing black for the bases.

But since the bases are fairly complex, I am covering them with rubble first, then priming them black. My plan is to do most of my painting prior to putting the fully painted figures on th base, then adding  the figures, fixing the gaps, and finishing by painting the small spaces left white by the gap filler.

I may be making this more complicated than it is, but I won't know until the end how it fits together.

Here are the in progress pictures.

I also decided to start making use of the large bases I bought to design objectives.  I have 3 in progress. A burned out Jagdtiger shell, a blasted house, and a destroyed tank deck's rear end. I plan on making the jagdtiger with a triumphant para on top of it. In the burned out shell, a wounded para will be added.  and in the house, a paratrooper carrying his wounded comrade to shelter.

They are looking good right now, and I'm looking forward to taking the next step and priming, followed by painting them.

I am also planning on opening up Frost's blister so I can get at the para dropped objectives for modification.

Tom Mullane (aka: Captainecho on the forums) lives in Danbury CT and plays with the Ordo-Ineptus club in New Milford CT, he has been playing flames of war since 2011.

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