A Flames Of War Newbie

A Flames Of War Newbie

A Flames Of War Newbie
with Patch Bowen

I’m new to the Flames of War game and tabletop miniature gaming in general, so the concept of building a gaming model was completely foreign to me. I was lucky enough to be given a US Combat Command box set and upon opening it was shocked by the amount of plastic and individual parts that this relatively small box had inside. 

That shock was immediately turned to intimidation when a colleague chuckled “that’s the smallest hobby glue pot I’ve ever seen!” Had I purchased the wrong items? Had I failed my foray into miniature gaming before I had even begun? “It’s just like Lego”, I told myself and began building my M26 Pershing.

Quickly I found that this was nothing like Lego. It was much more intricate, the pieces smaller and more delicate but the challenge a whole lot more rewarding. In my ignorance, I hadn’t purchased a pair of clippers with which to extricate the model components from their plastic sprue, something that I didn’t realise I needed until I was offered a pair from a colleague. Never before had I felt like such a noob.

A Flames Of War Newbie

With the online assembly guide open in front of me, it was time to start gluing pieces together. Glue never came into the picture when I was making my Lego Star Wars Tie Interceptor, so at this point, I was a little bit nervous. Quickly I became aware that I would never make a great surgeon. My hands were shaking as I was working on this M26 Pershing. This was something I hoped would get better with experience. I placed the glue where the instructions told me and was worried about whether the bottom of the hull had stuck. In my worried state I let it sit there for about 10 minutes waiting to see if it had set, turns out it had set about 9 minutes before. The first step had been completed, on to step two. A smaller piece, the rear plate needed to be glued on. As I tried to add glue to the hull my high confidence from completing step one, almost immediately diminished. The glue didn't seem to want to come out so I squeezed harder and glue went all over the base of the tank. Delicacy has never been a strong suit and I was finding this challenging.

This lack of a delicate touch was reinforced as I tried to pry a tiny front gun from it’s plastic case, immediately snapping it in half. I didn’t think there would be components so small, but this tiny machine gun was a testament to the great level of detail that these models go into. Nervousness turned into frustration as the real possibility of ruining this fine model set in. The further I went, the smaller the pieces became. Tweezers would have helped. I hadn’t purchased everything I needed to begin with and was starting to consider myself my own worst enemy. Fortunately my colleague lent me his tweezers as well.

A Flames Of War Newbie

Now I was starting to get the hang of it. My glue was used enough so that it flowed easily and I managed to control how much my hands were shaking. A colleague of mine came to have a look and said “wow, you managed to keep it quite clean.” Swiftly followed by, “oh no you’re still trash,” after noticing the many glue marks on my now half built tank. My confidence didn’t waver, I could see the model coming into its own. It was now time to assemble the turret.

Everything was going well and progress was moving along quickly when all of a sudden, I hit a huge roadblock. A track piece, optional yes, but no less important to me, maybe about 2mm in size fell to the floor. Seemingly lost forever, I knew that no one would notice, but I would know. and that was frustrating and I only had myself to blame. I had to put it in the back of my mind and continue assembling.

It was a truly momentous occasion as I glued the turret together. I could see the tank in my minds eye. The further I got the more excited I was to complete the model. I pressed on gluing and cutting as fast as I could, eager to reach the final product. With the gluing of the machine gun, the turret was complete. It was now time to attach the turret to the hull.

This was  a moment to be immensely proud of, and it took all of 3 seconds. Either way it was done. I was proud of what I had created, much more proud than a lego.

A Flames Of War Newbie

I think I understand the love for the hobby and I’m now keen to get stuck into some more.

Next challenge, painting.

*My intention was not to belittle Patch’s efforts, for he has done exceptionally well with his first model. My intention was simply to ensure that he didn’t get it perfect first time around otherwise he wouldn’t enjoy the hobbying journey I have, travelling from not good at all onwards to halfway decent, and maybe in the future even to good. I’m sure you all understand. ~Alexander