Beyond Normandy Assignment Berlin Download Itunes
www.ww2incolor.comBy far one of my favorite period to play Flames of War in is the Vietnam war. I suppose this is in part due to my Father’s service in Vietnam, but even more so I think is because Flames of War Vietnam is just so different than “standard” WW2 Flames of War gaming. Well, Battlefront has pushed the envelope even further away from “standard” Flames of War with the introduction of Brown Water Navy and its riverine combat actions. So I was keen to volunteer to review any products for Brown Water Navy and was lucky enough to nab this assignment.
To let players get started on riverine operations in Vietnam quickly, Battlefront has made available the "Kelley's Heroes" boxed set.
The set cost $120 (US) and is available in the online store: Kelley's Heroes (VUSBX11) - Flames of War
The "Kelley's Heroes" boxed set will allow you to field a full Riverine Assault Force, with HQ, three boats, and a full US Rifle platoon. This will come in at 605pts total if using all the upgrade options like 40mm Grenade Launchers and the 90mm Recoilless Rifle attachment for the US Rifle platoon.
So let's get to the "unboxing" shall we?
After priming I cut out templates of magnetic sheeting. I store all my Flames of War miniatures in metal boxes and have magnetic bases on everything...so these boats would not escape that rule!
And with that it was of to painting.....
I used my airbrush with Tamiya XF-58 "Olive Green" with a touch of Tamiya XF-66 "Light Grey" added to apply the base coat to all the boats.
The hardest thing about painting was taping off the helo pad on the ATC(H). This was the first time I've ever tried masking with my airbrush.
Not too bad! The Tamiya XF-2 "Flat White" sprayed well and I got the basic look I needed with only minor touch up needed.
In the end I was really happy with the ATC(H)'s look. I decided to add a US Flag and radio antennae to finish it off properly. The flags were downloaded from Warflags.com and mounted on pins. My antennae are nylon bristles from a small hand broom. I just drilled antennae holes into the roof of the pilot house to match the photos I've seen for them.
The ASPB also came out great! I dry brushed all the boats with a mix of Vallejo Dark Cameo Green and Light Grey. The ASPB also got the US Flag and antennae added. The mounts for the later are already modeled on the front of the pilot house.
And finally the finished Monitor. Note the starboard bow repair is not even noticeable, which kind of disappointed me as I was kind of hoping for a more banged up look! I really like the "Star" on top of the 40mm turret.
The whole "Kelley's Heroes" Riverine Assault force ready for the table top!
My only problem now was that I really did not have a lot of "River" terrain pieces...but then it occurred to me to just roll up my grass base mat and use my GEO-HEX terrain system on top of bare Masonite board o represent the "Brown Water!"
So...here's my "Kelley's Heroes" making their first trip "Up River!"
And...here's my little 605pt task force making it's first assault landing.
Finally, I could not close this review without showing "The World's smallest aircraft carrier" in operation!
I'm really pleased with the "Kelley's Heroes" set and highly recommend it. I realize at $120 for just 605 points of stuff that it may be a bit of a luxury. But for doing what I really love about Flames of Wars Vietnam, letting me play in some really different Flames of War games, this is a very hard set to let pass by. I'm all pumped up to get some games going and post some "Up River" AARs here on WWPD!
Miniatures, except for the UH-1, provided by Battlefront
Tom has been playing wargames since the late 70’s, and Flames of War since 2007. He maintains a gaming website www.battlevault.com for the BattleVault Gamers of Kentuckiana and posts and moderates WWPD as Iron-Tom.
The set includes enough infantry figures for a US Rifle platoon with 90mm Recoilless Rifle team. There were almost enough M60 gunners to let you field this force with MG teams vice M16 teams using the option to drop the LMG teams. However it appears my blister was one M60 figure short of letting me do this. Additionally, you get the CO and 2IC teams for the assault force along with a medic team. The figures are the better US Rifle figures and I had no issues with these.
The smallest of the three boats is the Assault Support Patrol Boat which is about 5.5" long. Very cleanly cast for a big piece of resin.
The ASPB assembled very easily. Much easier than any tank model I ever had from Battlefront! The only let down was that no magnets were included for the turrets on this model or any other of the boats. This is purely an aesthetic thing. In game terms these boats work a lot like the WW1 tanks in Great War, so turret facing is not important. But I still wanted to be able to rotate turrets for those dramatic action photos while clearing the river banks of the VC! So I added magnets to all of my boat turrets.
Next up was the Assault Transport Craft (Helicopter) or ATC(H).This model comes in at about 6.25" long and is an impressive hunk of resin! I'm really glad Battlefront added the ATC(H) rather than the "Ragtop" ATC to this set. The ATC(H) can be either a combat platoon transport or an "Aid Boat" as a Weapon's platoon choice.
Assembly of the ATC(H) was a snap and the model includes the 40mm Grenade Launcher turret option as a full separate turret allowing you to switch back and forth from the options as needed.
Finally we had the "Battleship of the Mekong," a 7" long Monitor. This included the parts to build this as a Command Control Boat (CCB) or a Zippo boat with flamethrowers mounted on each side. It also had the extra 40mm Grenade Launcher turret.
Unfortunately there really was not good way to model the Monitor so that you could switch back and forth from CCB, Zippo, or regular Monitor. I chose to just permanently model mine as the more common basic Monitor. A friend of mine is doing his as a Zippo boat.
The only let down from the ton of resin casting in this set was a bit of a miscast on the starboard bow of my Monitor. Battlefront would easily replace part this if I asked, but I wanted to get these models done and this review out quickly. I opted to drive on and smooth it out with "Green Stuff," which I was already planning to use to fix some of the gaps.
All assembled and ready for priming!
The "Green Stuff" fix on the Monitor seemed to be fine. A little bumpy maybe, but I figure the bows on these things would be dented and such from collisions with logs or other obstacle on occasion. So I was happy to have a bit of a battle worn look here.
Though the box contents did not list them, my set came with three decal sheets. You really need no more than two, so you'll have a lot of spares. That was a nice surprise as I almost ordered decals when I found out I'd be getting the set to review.
Hey gang, Matt Varnish here, and let me admit something straight off the bat: I am a lazy S.O.B when it comes to painting without a deadline. So I have to self-impose a deadline in order for me to get my DAK project up and running, and you guys get to come along for the ride!
You see, since Historicon in July, I have done exactly zero painting, probably because I got a little burnt out doing my 21. Panzers Late War. For those not in-the-know, these are the guys with all the looted french vehicles with PaK-40s and 15cm Howitzer welded to the back. To get back into the swing of things I decided to embark on this project for a couple of reasons.
That's what I call 'camo'
1 Early War. For whatever reason, our gaming group was in the midst of Mid-War and just getting started on Late war when Blitzkrieg hit, so Early War never got off the ground here. While I have some Desert Rat British, most of the equipment is Mid War, so my DAK will be my primary Early War army. Next year's Historicon in VA is slated to be Early War too.
2 But why DAK? Why not the "new hotness" that is the Japanese? I won't lie, I had about 500 dollars in my wallet at Historicon this year, and Bruce and the Battlefront lads had the new stuff there. I balked though. I've always had a soft spot the desert war. Rommel called it "The war without hatred" as there was a camaraderie between the combatants. If a patrol was lost, one side would literally radio the other to see if they had been captured, or to continue looking out for them. Besides, we have no deserts in Canada, plus the DAK are a natural VS army for my Brits, so the DAK makes tonnes of sense.
3 Impetus. As I said, I need deadlines or else nothing gets done. (Leveling my planes in War Thunder and progress in GTA V doesn't count!) Bonus is, it gets a few of the local guys into Early War too.
So that's fine and dandy, but what is my plan? I already have most of the stuff sitting in boxes, and while I want to make an Early War army, it of course will also be a mid-war army. Since I have the 21. Panzers in Late War, it makes sense to continue the tradition and go with them as well, rather than the other divisions.
I want to be able to field an Infantry, Mech and Tank company from both Hellfire and North Africa books, and I'll probably look into Stutzpunkts as well. I plan on posting my progress every 2 weeks, including bat reps, list ideas, all the way until Historicon in July. I'm sure I will get distracted by new shinies, such as anything Fate of the Nations related (great more desert stuff!) but what the hey, it'll be fun.
Lets start off with what I have, model-wise. Too much in boxes, not enough built!I have the following Armour:
5 Pzr III's with the short guns (not sure of model letter) assembled, basecoated
7 Pzr IV's again with the short guns, assembled basecoated.
4 Pzr II's, one of which is a finished test model
4 Pzr I and 1 Pzr II command tank
Problem here is the Pzr I and IIs. They are Old Glory and Zvezda respectively. I will PROBABLY replace them with BF models, as the big tournament ought to have mostly their models right?
Mechanised forces. A big reason to do the DAK is to give me a reason to field stuff I would never otherwise, such as hordes of scout cars and bikes.
3 units of Light Panzerspahs (so 221's and 222s)
2 units of 8 rads
1 unit of heavy 8-rads with the 7.5s on them x3
1 command 8 rad sdkfz 263.. this is an old discontinued BF model, Early War 8-rad with the huge aerial (Picture at head of article) Rather than the plain jane '250 with the aerial, I'm going to run this thing. Besides, it has the same armament, just MGs!
2 YES TWO platoons of Kradschutzen. I know this is going to be the bane of my existence.. but the 21st panzer had more than 1000 bikes in the desert.. so they will be my infantry in my Panzerspah company. I have the matching 2 infantry platoons for when dismounted or running Schutzen.
4 Marder IIIs (Mid War)
Wespe Battery (MW again)
On foot, I have the aforementioned 2 platoons, with either the light mortar and AT rifle add ons or the mid war style add ons of the Knackers and if need be, I have 2 each of the spZ-41 gun or the 8.8cm Puppchen
battery of 4 10.5cm arty
battery of nebs (MW)
2 x 88s which will be firing from the carriage. Youtube it, its crazy, they fired them while on the wheels and everything! Hit 1:36 ish for the 88 action, and turn that ridiculous music off. Cooking eggs on a fender near the end too!
Airpower: I have a Stuka which will be the AT gun variant, because my bomb plane will be a 1/144 scale HE-111, painted with the finicky desert colors.
All the above I already have, so you can kinda see why I didn't drop for another army at Historicon!
Test model, Zvezda Pz II, with PSC stowage, "dirty look" I think the tan is too bright.
Stuff I need to get still:
a few more bikes, as the other platoon commands seem to be on bikes.
some Dianas, because, why not?
some AT guns, PaK38s, maybe some PaK40s for MW
4 x Panzerjager Is. I will wait to playtest these a bit with my Marders, not sold on them as my AT in Early war.
Still need to decide: Which color scheme to go for. Anyone with a Hellfire and Back book, you know the page where they show all the tank variants, you see the two distinct painting styles.. my test model is done in the dirty style, but the tan is a bit too bright for my liking. I need to do a test model with the green-brown basecoat, and see which I like best. Also, need to do infantry test figs. Of note: I have real Sahara sand for my basing, as my brother was in the middle east and got me some sand!
My homework assignment for next post is:
1) Test models of infantry, as I need to nail down the procedure I am going to use for all gun crews, Schutzen, and the bike riders.
2) Test model of vehicle using grey as a base coat, and leaving the grey and markings on. I need to get some green-brown from Vallejo for this I think.
3) Assembly of other stuff if I have time, especially the infantry.
I'm excited to get started and figure out my colour scheme. I'll catch you guys in 2 weeks!
Matt Varnish, plays Flames of War up in Canada with the lads from www.dicedevils.com. Surprisingly, I don't even have a Canadian army............ yet!