Wednesday, January 1, 2014

From Greg: 15mm M51 IShermans and Israeli Infantry (80 points)

Greg finally gets some traction with this great entry of Arab-Israeli War armour and infantry.

From Greg:
Some more 15mm IDF troops.  Up first is a group of M51 "IShermans" from Battlefront.  These were "released" by Battlefront several months ago but thanks to the company's system of using some combination of floating bottles and Victorian balloons for shipping, they did not arrive around here until the late fall and I was finally able to finish them over the Christmas break. 

The Old Glory M51s had been pretty nice, but I had really been looking forward to these models from Battlefront. The main components of the castings were beautiful, but I was disappointed with the casting quality on some of the extra bits - the crew castings were weak, the MG castings were really weak, and the combination of a narrow mounting point made from resin and a bad casting on the .50 cal MGs makes for some very precarious modelling.   Only a couple of the tanks have the .50 cal MGs up "high" as intended - I cut the posts down and drilled my own mount into the turret for the balance of the MGs. On the plus side, the casting on the running gear, gun barrels, turrets and hulls was crisp and very nice.  And you get magnets with the tanks! The turrets would not stay on without them. 

I tried some new (to me) painting techniques on these tanks, after reading a great online article on the Battlefront website. Battlefront recommended using Vallejo's "Grey Green" to try and get to the elusive IDF "Sinai Grey".  I followed this with a "pin wash" of GW Devlan Mud, and then a sponge-chipping of GW Stormvermin Fur. I'm very happy with the results of this new approach, and glad to have found a more "real" look for the IDF Sinai Grey. 

These IDF infantry are a product of Khurasan's "Year Of The Next Few Days" in which the company spammed TMP with computer-generated renderings of products coming "soon" from countless different scales and settings.  The time period involved with Khurasan's notion of "soon" is highly and frustratingly elastic (from days to months), but they have kicked some 15mm Arab-Israeli stuff into the market.  I'm sure Battlefront's entry spurred this along - competition is good!

I was excited to see these castings arrive - my prior 15mm IDF troops are from Peter Pig and needed head swaps, very annoying! And they were incomplete - no guys with Uzis, for example.  Khurasan products are generally of very high quality, and promised to offer a complete and accurate line of figures for the period.  What could go wrong?

So it was a let-down to see these castings up close. They are messy - the figures have incredible detail in some respects, and they suddenly go soft - right on the same figure!  The infantry rigging is visible on one part of their backs, and then the straps are suddenly gone.  Some of them are very, very thin, bordering on flat.  And there is only one LMG figure in the line, and he's prone (aaargh! I hate prone figures).  
While these are still a lot nicer than, say, QRF castings, these are not as nice as Khurasan's other products, and they eat the dust of Peter Pig. Head swaps are a pain in the ass, but for those searching for 1973 IDF infantry I would still recommend a head swap Peter Pig infantryman over these, and use the Khurasan stuff sparingly to add dudes with Uzis, the "super" bazooka team and other elements to round them out.
Of course, Battlefront has some guys too - I hope to paint them if they every show up…

Beautiful work Greg! I really like your new approach to painting Israeli tanks. I think I'm going to steal some of your methods for my Indochina French armour. Too bad about the Khurasan figures. You've made them look fabulous but your description of their overall quality is troubling - this is espcially agravating when they tout them for months and they come off rather flat (literally).

This group of armour and infantry will give Greg 80 points. Well done, my friend!


  1. Great looking troops and tanks - I always liked the look of Super Shermans - the huge gun and high profile of the body really made it look unique. Best, Dean

  2. Smashing stuff all found Greg. Pity about Khurasan though, I was under the impression all of their products were very good, though I've only a few bits myself

    1. Thanks! Yes, the quality on the Khurasan sculpts was a disappointment. Their stuff is generally excellent.

  3. Nice work indeed, I stuck around for all of it and I'm not a fan of post WWII


  4. Very nice Super Sherman's.. Top notch.

  5. Very nice if you didn't say they were 15 mm i would have thought they were 28mm they are so well painted

  6. Indeed those tanks look good. Good job on those infantry. Hard to to paint them as well as this when you start not liking the sculpts.

  7. great work the tank look stunning
    Peace James

  8. Those tanks look like they've seen some action. Well done!

  9. Just my cup of tea. Splendid!

  10. Great work! The Super Shermans look spot on. It's a shame about the Khurasan figures though.


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