Wednesday, May 7, 2014

15mm IDF Halftracks - Yom Kippur War

IDF halftracks from Battlefront
Some more Yom Kippur painting as we prepare for Prairiecon 2014! In this post are a pair of Israeli M3 halftracks.  The models are from Battlefront - the halftracks themselves are from their WW2 range, but they are tricked out with upgrade bits from their really, really awesome "Fate of A Nation" expansion for the Six Day War.

Mix of resin, plastic and metal - all in one little 15mm APC!

The US M2/M3 halftrack was the main APC of the IDF armoured infantry battalions during the Six Day War.  The IDF was in the process of replacing the M3 with the M113 by the time of the Yom Kippur War in 1973, but as is so often the case when bringing new kit to your armed forces, the IDF still relied on the tried and tested M3 as their reserves mobilized to meet the surprise attack by the Arabs.

Covered in soldiers' kit...I like the look - makes them look "lived in"

As with the venerable M51 Sherman, the M3 saw service with mobilizing reserve formations and saw action in both the Golan Heights and against the Egyptians in the Sinai peninsula.

Battlefront offers these models for their Fate of a Nation supplement.  The model is (of course) the US WW2 M3 halftrack with a conversion kit.  The pieces in the kit let you have the halftrack festooned with spare kit and bags, as these vehicles often seem to be when seen in photos from the Arab-Israeli wars, and also add the little ball-turret .30cal MG in place of the right-side front vision port. The air-recognition decals are also from Battlefront. 

Details were done on the hull by pin washing with GW's Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade

The Battlefront APC itself is a mix of old and new trends in gaming model design - the hull is resin, with plastic accessories. While overall the kit is very good, I'm not totally wild about the quality of the Battlefront has an odd, rigid quality to it and not as much detail as the metal parts. Gamers often clamor for more and more plastic, and I worry we will regret this...

The .50cal MGs are plastic...and not inspiring plastic...but overall these are still real beauties to work with

And yet, even with my grouchy-old-man-style bleating, these are fun kits.  I am very much enjoying Battlefront's entry into 15mm Arab-Israeli wars as it is overall providing us gamers with some great stuff! The only problem here is that I should have finished four of these halftracks - not two - in order to mount the entire platoon.  I sort of ran out of bases...I hope to get the other two done in time for Prairiecon! But if the bases don't get sorted in time, we'll just add some M113s :)

We will be test driving the Prairiecon scenario at Dallas' place this week.  Looking forward to getting these on the table!


Dallas said...

Greg - I found a tiny metal bit on the floor after our last painting night that looks like it could be one of those ball-mount .30s... are you missing one?

ps the models look awesome!

tarnished epaulettes said...

great work, inspiration for putting some paint on mine! keep them coming!


Moiterei_1984 said...

Awesome work again! One day I'll do some myself... I hope :-)

Curt said...

Wonderful work Greg. I love their hull sides all festooned with gear - very evocative.

Stan M. said...

Your IDF is looking great. May I ask, did you follow the BF paint guide or did you have your own formula?


Greg B said...

Thanks very much guys!

@ Stan - my IDF vehicle formula is very much inspired by Battlefront's helpful guides. I have found getting "Sinai Grey" looking somewhat correct to be the hardest part of this whole project.

For IDF vehicles, I use a black base coat/primer. Then I use a base coat of Vallejo's "Green Grey", as recommended by Battlefront. At first you will think it is wrong, but stick with it.

I then "pin-wash" using GW washes; I use GW "Agrax Earthsade" for some of the subtler spots - say, the inside of a fendery, or the joint between driver plates and the hood. I use GW "Nuln Oil" for darker spots/clearer "breaks", like the seams around the hood over the engine, or around the "windows", or the doors.

I put the decals on, then use a sponge to "chip" a darker grey colour along some spots to show some wear and tear.

The final step is to use some weathering powders to make it look messier/lived in.

Hope that makes sense!

Stan M. said...

Hello Greg,

Thank you very much for the painting low down, it is greatly appreciated. I will give a go very shortly on a couple of Isherman's, and post the progress on my blog.

Thanks again,