Jonathan's British Armoured Squadron

Iron Maiden

Years of hobby have made Jonathan evolve...


Iron Maiden

Jonathans’s Iron Maiden British Armoured Squadron

Part 3: 20 October 2016
Getting Decorated: Painting the Army

I’m taking a bit of a risk by having the infantry all glued down to their bases prior to painting, especially as I’ve never painted 15mm models before, but time is of the essence and rather than having to paint 34 infantry models, I only have to paint ten infantry stands - it’s a subtle mind-trick but one I hope works.

Now, my first attempt at painting the tanks didn’t quite go to plan; and neither did the second to be fair. I was trying to paint the Worn Rubber (302) camo pattern by hand, which was proving tricky thanks to the hard edge lines of the Chieftain tank. No matter how carefully I applied the brush-strokes, the edges knocked the bristles sideways making the pattern splotchy (it’s a word!).

So a quick trip to the nearest discount shop in town during lunch and I came back armed to the teeth with Blu-tack.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

For nearly two hours, I carefully applied strips across the chasis, turrets and bodies of the choppers, while fully covering the gun barrels.

To save time, before I started on the epic Tac’ing session of ‘16 I gave all the infantry a heavy wash of Ordnance Shade (492). I was going off-plan from the official paint guide but only temporarily. This would darken down the Chieftain Green (348), meaning that when I came to give all the infantry a drybrush of Maverick Khaki (346), it would instantly create deep shadow, which at 15mm scale can look very good.

With the wash done, I took all the vehicles outside on a spray board and gave them several thin blasts of black spray. As you can see, once dry and the Blu-tack removed you’ve created instant camo patterning, without all the heartache of stubbed brushes and constant cursing.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron
I’ve also given the infantry the drybrush of Maverick Khaki (346) and painted in the flesh using a darker tone from the Army Painter range. Again, this will create a deeper shadow when I apply European Skin (385) (at a later stage).
Before After  

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

A point I want to quickly make is that I’m painting these as fast as I can to get them to what I call gaming standard. That is, there won’t be any fine detailing done or decals added at this stage. This is just to get the foundations down ready for a game. Once done, I can go back when I have more time and add those extra details.

Here (left) you can see a before / after shot of one of the Chieftains - the same techniques to paint the tanks applied to all the vehicles and I painted each section on all of them before doing the next. Remember, assembly-line thinking to get an entire army done in just a few days.

I followed the guide in the Iron Maiden book at this stage, completing each before moving on to the next. It took about five hours in total to do all the vehicles.

And above, there’s the Chieftains all finished to gaming standard with some weathering applied. Once I have time I’ll go back and bring out the detail you can see there by targeted washes of Ordnance Shade (492) plus add the decals and some battle damage.

Thanks to a last minute change to the overall British Army list for our mega battle, the four Lynx choppers I’d built as TOW Helarm now needed to be changed back to transport Lynx. This meant cutting off the missile racks at the sides and changing the LHS canopy.

This took about three hours to do as I had to cut off the canopy, trim the edges so they were neat and then attach the new canopy making sure it matched and fitted flush. Despite the extra work at the last minute (these were completed the night before the event) I’m pretty happy with how they turned out - even the painting of the glass, which again is something I’ve never done before.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

And let’s not forget the Mechanised Platoon. Some people prefer to paint their infantry as individual models before fixing them to the bases, but I found painting them attached helped speed up the process. I’ll certainly try again when I do my next army - (which is going to be a heavy Infantry based West German force).

You can't quite tell in the picture here, but I painted the camo pattern on the infantry models and it didn’t look too bad. The FV432 APCs are all done as outlined above.

So all in all I’m pretty happy with how the army turned out - and all in nine days as well. For a first attempt at 15mm models I’m pleased with the overall look and I’m excited to add more details to these models as well as grow the force with some new additions.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

 Part 2: 13 October 2016
Getting Stuck In: Assembling the Army

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

 So, this is what 91 points of British forces for Iron Maiden looks like unassembled. A total mish-mash of sprues and metals.

It's actually quite an imposing thing to behold when you pull everything out from their respective boxes and lay them out in one big pile in front of you - my immediate thought was, 'Crap, the boss is going to be gloating over me not finishing this for months!'

Building an entire army at once is probably not the best course of action to take. In fact, when I used to run hobby shops of my own many a moon ago, I wouldn't recommend doing what I was about to do, as having so many models at once can have the opposite reaction and turn people off the entire project, leaving a pile of un-assembled, unpainted models in the To-Do box rather than being used on the battlefield. 

However, I was up for the challenge and dived right in!

(for this article I will use the Chieftains as the example, as the stages I go through are the same for each different troop type).

Assembly-line Hobbying

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

The key to building an entire army in a few days is assembly-line thinking. Rather than working on one individual model at a time, cutting all the bits out, cleaning them up individually and gluing together before moving on to the next model, I prefer to work on one section at a time for all of the models – in this case the Chieftain tank.

Once the components are all cleaned of mold lines, a quick dry fit to make sure everything connects correctly helps prevent any mishaps later.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

Happy with that, I then start gluing the tracks to the chasis, making sure they are level and don't rock once assembled.
Jonathan's Armoured Squadron
As the first parts dry, this gives me time to cut out the top chasis section plus side skirts, again cleaning away any mold lines.
Jonathan's Armoured Squadron
With those sections now drying, its time to cut out the main turrets, gun barrels, hatches.
Jonathan's Armoured Squadron
And all the tanks assembled and ready for painting.
Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

And the same gets done with the infantry:

  • All cleaned up removing extra flashing and mold lines (of which there were very few)
  • All bases and base plugs cut and cleaned.
  • Models arranged by Team
  • Models glued down

It took a while sorting out which models were which teams, mainly due to my unfamiliarity with the game.

But thanks to help from Anders and Matt, it didn’t take long to have everything all sorted and organised.

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

Jonathan's Armoured Squadron

And there’s the finished force, all assembled and primed with Chieftain Green spray ready for painting, which will be the focus of the next article.

Part 1: 8 October 2016

With the imminent release of IRON MAIDEN, the second supplement for World War III game Team Yankee, the sales office has gone into overdrive preparing armies for a mega-battle event next week. Not one to shy from a challenge, I’ve committed to assembling, painting and finally gaming with a brand new army - in 9 days!

My first task was to decide exactly what kind of force to collect. Being relatively new to historical wargaming and Team Yankee as a whole, my list won’t be as slick as some of the other guys in the office who have been playing Flames Of War (the WWII big brother to Team Yankees Cold War gone Hot WWIII setting) for many years.

In fact, this will be my first ever game and the synergies between the squadrons and units I choose may not be the best. However, that is all part of the fun and long term appeal of such games: trying new combinations, seeing how they fare on the battlefield, and painting new models to try out.

Iron Maiden

Choosing The Army

Sitting down with the IRON MAIDEN rulebook and a cold drink, I read through the army lists and looked at what models were being released first. In every game system I play, I always go for themed, story driven forces as opposed to best combination armies, or most powerful units. I guess I’m one of the “fluffy” players; a narrative gamer, not competitive.

This works well for me, as I’ve never been one to be able to trot out game stats on the fly, or discuss the merits of one weapon over another. If I like the models and can spin a yarn about why I chose them, they’re in.

Choosing an army in Team Yankee is pretty straight forward. The books detail several formations for each of the different armies (Team Yankee rulebook has US and Soviet armies; Leopard has the West Germans and Iron Maiden the British). These formations are comprised of different Troops or units, some being compulsory.

For example in my Armoured Squadron I have the following options:

•1 Armoured Squadron HQ
•2-4 Chieftain Armoured Troops
•0-1 Swingfire Guided Weapons Troop
•0-1 Scorpion Recce Troop
•0-1 FV432 Mechanised Platoon
•0-1 Abbot Field Battery

The best way of starting an army in Team Yankee is the army deal box. For the British that is Charlie’s Chieftains.

This comes with 5 Chieftain Tanks, enough for a HQ unit and two Troops of 2 tanks, but that doesn’t seem nearly enough so I went with two army boxes: TEN tanks and 4 Lynx Helicopters (which I’ll talk about later).

Iron Maiden

That gives me Commander Nathaniel Rush in his HQ tank and three full Chieftain Armoured Troops, easily fulfilling the compulsory two slots.

If I equip all the tanks with Stillbrew armour, they get increased armour to the front but it makes it slightly harder for the tanks to cross difficult ground - a worthy sacrifice I think, especially as the newbie in the group, I expect to take a lot of hits. That’s 70pts spent already, on just ten models!
Lynx Airmobile Company HQ
1x Chieftain Stillbrew

7 points 
Chieftain Armoured Troop
3x Chieftain Stillbrew

21 points
Chieftain Armoured Troop
3x Chieftain Stillbrew

21 points

Chieftain Armoured Troop
3x Chieftain Stillbrew

21 points
Total 70 points

Iron Maiden

Next up I wanted to add some infantry. I’ve always like the look of 15mm Flames Of War infantry models, so getting some British foot sloggers was a priority. In this instance it would be a Mechanised Platoon, with 4 stands of GPMG teams with 66mm anti-tank; 3 stands of Carl Gustav anti-tank teams and 1 stand of 2” mortar team, all with their FV432 transports.

My tactical thinking was pretty much “they’ll be able to secure and hold objectives, or clear out any villages” - plus I like the idea of seeing their FV432 APCS trundling down the road, amidst barrages of explosive artillery fire.

Matt kindly gave me the models for two Milan teams (we’d split the box of Mechanised Company between us) meaning I could add them to the Platoon and use the remaining plastic FV432 for another 2 points.
FV432 Mechanised Platoon
4x GPMG team with 66mm anti-tank
3x Carl Gustav anti-tank team
1x 2" mortar team
2x Milan missile team
5x FV432

9 points
TOW Lynx HELARM Flight
2x TOW Lynx

6 points
TOW Lynx HELARM Flight
2x TOW Lynx
6 points
Total 21 points

That’s 9pts spent - 79 total so far.

Now to add some support elements, and this comes in the form of the 4 Lynx Helicopters from the army boxes. Support forces are chosen from those available to the formation, and I’m allowed up to 2 flights of Lynx Helarm Helicopters. 12 points nets me 4 of these, which I’ve decided to split into two flights of 2, allowing me to target multiple objectives in a single turn, perhaps harassing enemy positions down the flanks.

Adding these to my tally brings the total number of points spent to a grandly 91 points.

I’m a little short of the 100pts but those nine points could be filled out as:
  • FV432’s Mortar Platoon (4) +2 points
  • Scorpion Recce Troop (4) +4 points
  • Abbot Field Battery (2) +3 points
That would give me a total of 29 vehicles and 10 Infantry stands to paint. First though: I need to assemble them all, and that’s what this weekend is all about.

Iron Maiden