Welcome back to my series of assembly and painting posts for the Open Fire! Starter set from Battle Front Miniatures. This is for their 15mm tabletop miniatures war game Flames of War.
You can take a look at the entire contents of the starter kit here: Open Fire! Starter kit.
The Stug III assembly and painting tutorial can be found here: Stug III G
Today we’ll take a look at the steps I took to paint up the Sherman V’s and Fireflies for the British 11th Armoured Division.
There’s 8 Sherman’s altogether in the box, which are really simple to put together. They’re a little more involved than the Stug III’s because they have articulating turrets and the gun mount is in three pieces, but nothing serious. I chose to make two Fireflies and six Sherman V’s, so I could have an HQ Platoon of two V’s and then two platoons of a Firefly and two V’s each. The detail is great, and I actually had no problems with gaps or anything unseemly in the molding of the models.
I based coated the tanks in ‘Chieftain Green’ from a rattle can and let them dry over night. As you can see below I did the turrets and bodies separately to ensure the paint would cover the whole surface and there’d be no unsightly plastic showing near the turret as it pivots.
I used ‘Athonian Camoshade’ from Citadel and applied liberally over the whole model. I then wiped the excess off the flat surfaces with a brush. I did it roughly, and it wasn’t perfect on all of them, but really I just wanted to make them look weathered and dirty as well as shading them. After that I used a light olive colour dry brush over the entire model to highlight and give contrast to the shadows. I actually used the same green that I used for the camo on the Stug III’s.
I was very happy with the results and it looks great in the light. Having done that I used my favourite ‘Pavement’ dark gray from Walmart 99cent paint line on all the tracks, road wheels and tools. On top of those grey areas I used ‘Nuln Oil’ black wash to give them definition and depth. It also darkens the grey on the tracks to make it look more like the rubber they were made from. I didn’t take much care doing this, because I already planned to do heavy weathering and dirtying which will mask my mistakes in the end.
Here’s the first layer of weathering done. I used a very dark brown that has a high density pigment from the MSP line of paints from Reaper Miniatures. The high density pigment is good for thinning paints, but on this occasion I wanted to slather it on neat in order to get a very dark, cakey mud/oil look. Once it dried I was very happy with the results.
On the front of the tank I made sure to use upwards brush strokes and then some stippling in order to create a flecked on and natural dirt look. Warning: This will trash your brush. Accuracy doesn’t matter all that much, so I keep a packet of $2 synthetic brushes from the kids craft section in Walmart to use to just go to town on these kinds of projects. Don’t use a brush you care about with this technique.
After that I applied the water-slide decals to the tanks. I used the yellow squares for B Squadron, and the red 52 means Second Regiment. The infamous yellow bull of the 11th Armoured Division is on the front too. All in all they look great. I might do another light brown dry brush of dirt to make the decals look a little more natural, but other than that they’re table ready!
I’m very happy with how they turned out. The decals are a must on these (and most other Allied models) as they’re just too bland without them. I’m a very lazy painter and set these up in a production line, and used simple, broad brushed techniques as much as possible.
I’ll do a few posts of other models in the set in the near future, including infantry, so watch out for more soon!