Flames of War US Armour – Infantry Crews

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The next part of the US Army tank project is done. This chunk contains the vehicles crewed by US Army infantry uniformed figures. I’m not enough an expert to know whether there was any difference in the organisation of said vehicles, but in Battlefront‘s kits they included crews come differently uniformed.

First up are the M3 Half-tracks. These were infantry transports, so it’s not a massive surprise that there are some infantry uniforms in there. Anyway, each vehicle comes with 4 figures: a driver, a gunner/commander and 2 passengers. In Flames of War, which vehicle is the commander can be important. So to demark this particular vehicle I only out 1 passenger in there and this is the only vehicle with the commander figure (instead of the gunner).

Again, I have to congratulate Battlefront on these miniatures. The M3 is a nice little kit, it’s got nice details and while there are a couple of unfortunately placed injector pin marks I think it’s a decent kit. I’d love to see a little more to the grate on the front (I do think that could be done better) and in a couple of places. But I’m still giving this kit a 9/10.

The crew figures are also really good. Battlefront have moved away from metal and resin and now do many of their human figures in hard plastic. The limitations of hard plastic modling (i.e. no undercuts) does limit the poses that you can do, but the ones I’ve seen thus far all looked pretty good and reasonable. The only thing I’d like to see is a couple of passenger options. As the kit stands it included a couple of single passengers. However, it’s pretty squisshy in the back of these things and so you can’t put these figures in adjacent or opposite seats. I think some alternate figure options with passengers molded together or tweaked so they could sit opposite each other would we great. Even better would be some fully stacked options that you could swap in and out during the game. Anyway, I’m going on. Just suffice to say these are great and do the job of making these open top vehicles look populated.

The other vehicle with infantry crew is the M7 Priest. This happy little things was a self-propelled artillery gun. Which is much more convenient than a big gun you tow around. But also much more complex and expensive. This is another open topped vehicle, as if your artiller is being shot at you’re doing something wrong and armour is – well – expensive.

Each of these vehicles has two crew: a loader and a guy with a clipboard. Presumably the chap armed with 100 grams of chipboard is in charge, and not the guy hauling a few kgs of explosives wrapped in a metal shell. To denote the command tank, I took one of the spare commanders from the half-tracks and added him in there. This lead to it being pretty full. I’m not sure how many crew these actually had (2 seems fairly sparse), but in how these have been produced it’s really full with just that many.

The miniatures for this crew were a little different to the half-tracks. They were cast in a soft plastic material and I’ve got to say they’re not as nice as the half-track ones. The material isn’t quite as nice to work with, the detail softer and the mold wasn’t aligned properly. Hopefully Battlefront shift to just the hard plastic for their figures as I’m not impressed with these soft plastics. Why can’t they just include them on the same sprue as the vehicles come on?

The colours on the vehicles were exactly the same as in my earlier post. The infantry used the following:

  • Skin: Vallejo medium fleshtone (VMC 70.860)
  • Skin wash: Vallejo sepia shade & Vallejo red shade (VGC 73.200 & VGC 73.206)
  • Shirt: Vallejo khaki (VMC 70.988)
  • Pants: Vallejo US field drab (VMC 70.873)
  • Webbing: Vallejo green grey (VMC 70.886)
  • Helmets: Vallejo brown violet (VMC 70.887)
  • Shoes: Flat earth (VMC 70.984)
  • Binoculars & goggles: Scale75 eclipse grey (SC-16)
  • Gun barrels: Scale75 black metal (SC-63)
  • Gun stocks: Vallejo German camouflage black brown (70.822)
  • Wash (everything): Vallejo sepia shade & Vallejo black shade (VGC 73.200 & VGC 73.201)

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