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Patch's Hobby League

Phil's Hobby League

I've chosen to build a US Light Tank Company with lots of M5 Stuart light tanks!

It has always amazed me that the US Army persisted with light tanks right to the end of the war. Over a quarter of their tanks were M5 Stuart and later M24 Chaffee light tanks. I figure it's time to put some on the table and see what they were on about.

Mike Haught's love of the light task forces that raced across Brittany and the Loire after the breakout from Normandy has inspired my to build a light tank company from a cavalry recon squadron backed up with a platoon of armoured infantry, a platoon of tank destroyers, and some P47 Thunderbolts. They don't have much heavy firepower, but it will be interesting to see how they perform against a variety of opposition.

My first 50 points will be 17 M5 Stuarts and three M8 Scott assault guns for fire support.

Phil's Hobby League

It's been a quiet week for the task force, with lots of training and waiting for promised equipment to arrive. We're now up to full strength and washing off the cosmoline, painting unit markings, rearming and refuelling - well, starting mass production assembly anyway! I managed to get hold of some M4 MMC mortars, so I assembled them while I'm waiting.

Patch's Hobby League

It's been a busy week, so progress is still slow. In line with my mass-production philosophy, I've assembled all of the vehicles for my whole 100-point force, and started painting the M5 Stuarts and M8 HMCs.

Following Casey's tip, I've left the tracks off most of the vehicles (I got excited with a few and fully assembled them to see what they look like), and I'm base-coating them separately. Most of the tracks are half-done and a handful of the vehicles have their base coat camouflage and their tracks glued back on ready for the next stages (more on that next week!).
I grabbed the camouflage templates that Victor found for the M5 Stuart as the base of my camouflage patterns and I'm trying to follow them as closely as I can. Most of the vehicles were camouflaged in bulk by special depots set up for the job, so I figure that they'll all be the same (American mass production in action again!). One of the interesting features of the template is the way that the central stripe on the right-hand side doesn't match up with anything on the top view. This isn't that uncommon in WWII-era camouflage templates, and the troops doing the work had to work out a solution that sort of matched the template and was physically possible to do on a real vehicle. I went with a literal interpretation of the template with the side strip just stopping at the top of the side rather than wrapping around on to the top of the vehicle.
This weekend I hope to get my first 50 points completely base coated, ready for the next stages (fingers crossed!).
Phil's Hobby League
Phil's Camo

It's been a busy week, but I managed to get a little painting done. I'm remembering just how big a painting challenge thirty two tanks is - and there's still a big platoon of armoured infantry and two Thunderbolts to go for the next stage! 

Almost all of the thirty two have their basic painting done, there are just five more M5 Stuarts left to camouflage. Once that's done, it will be on to the highlighting and detailing. I don't know it that's just the more fun part or whether it actually goes quicker, but I'm looking forward to churning them out. The crews will wait until I paint the infantry since they are wearing the same uniform.

I'm really looking forward to getting the whole batch into action, and a game against Alex is on my to do list. I've managed to defeat two tank forces, so now it's time to tackle some infantry! 

Phil's Hobby League

Phil's Hobby League Phil's Hobby League


This week, I'm working on my aircraft, two lovely big P-47 Thunderbolts! 

I've always had a thing for the Thunderbolt. it's big and chunky, and carries more bombs than most bombers did at the start of the war. It's an amazing progression in technology from the small, light fighters at the start of the war.
The key question is: how am I going to paint them? I know that the Thunderbolt had two basic colour schemes over its life: olive drab over grey changing to polished bare metal later. So which do I want? I think that some research is required.
A bit of digging later, I have my answer. The colour scheme changed officially in March 1944, a few months before D-Day, although some aircraft trickled through the system in the older olive drab scheme for a while after that. The aircraft is a late-model aircraft  with the bubble canopy (rather than the earlier razor-back with a traditional framed canopy). That suggests that the bare-metal scheme on the box art is probably the better choice, but as there are pictures of bubble canopy Thunderbolts in the olive drab scheme that could also be an option.
I like the olive drab scheme, so i think I'll go with that. Here's a great picture of both schemes together.
They've got a nice simple scheme that shouldn't be too hard to do, with red noses, nose art, and odd patches of bare metal for a bit of interest.

Now to see how my version turns out.

Phil's Hobby League

Phil's Hobby League

Last Updated On Friday, October 4, 2019