Some things:

My photo
I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

03 February 2015

King Force (Part 1 - One down, two to go)

King Force was a unit of 6 Churchill Mark iii British Infantry support tanks that were sent over to North Africa in October 1942 under the command of Major Norris King and deployed within the 7th Motor Brigade. This was the Commonwealth's first time trying out Churchill tanks in action since the failed Raid on Dieppe in August of the same year. Unlike in Dieppe, King's Churchills performed admirably and proved very durable against German Anti-tank fire and although they were deemed too slow to join in chasing Rommel into Tunisia, their example lead to the Churchill seeing service through the rest of the war and beyond. 

In my Mid War Flames of War Motor Company list for North Africa I am able to field two platoons of these. (One with 2 tanks, the other a full 3.) But they are super expensive points-wise, so I've stuck to the one platoon of 3 tanks in my 1650 list. (This is the points level for the next tournament I intend to attend next month) In Mid-War desert, they are only really afraid of Pak40's, Semoventes, 8.8" Flak36's and Panzerfausts - and even then they have a fair chance at saving when hit by AT rounds. 

Modelling-wise, mine are by The Plastic Soldier Company and were a great kit to put together with crisp detail and (mostly) clear instructions. As you can see in the picture above, I've also attempted to model the canvas "screen dodger" across the front that was utilised to deal with the mass amount of dust and sand that would get thrown up and into the driver's face as the tanks rumbled on through the desert. It wasn't a very good solution to the issue and post 2nd Battle of El Alamein the crews instead resorted to removing the front fenders altogether which proved a far more successful fix. (Hence why supposedly most pictures of any Churchills in Tunisia are seen sans front fenders - though I've not researched this bit very much to date.)

I tried to match the camo that I was able to find in Google searched photos from 1942. Some sources claim the darker colour painted on was left over from when the tanks were originally delivered and then the crews would slap on the desert "pink" on top. Other sources I have read would have us believe the darker parts are instead brown or dark blue even. I feel the green makes most sense.

Here is the first of my squadron - done aside from some weathering and dust to be added. Another thing I researched was the almost total lack of unit markings on these. Aside from a strange and otherwise little accounted for a tiny "Cluster of black grapes" symbol on their front right/back left fender Kingforce Churchills supposedly had no other Regimental markings. I neglected to add this onto my tank as what little I've seen of the grape marking are that they are tiny and I really don't have the patience to try to replicate the look. 

The Screen Dodger canvas skirt. I have painted this probably darker than the originals actually were, but felt a darker colour stood out better.

Imposing beast of a tank. 
A little stowage made out of greenstuff. Looks better in person mind.
For those interested, here's a small comparison of the Churchill next to a Crusader iii tank to give a sense of the size. 

Crummy picture, but you get the idea. Big bugger.
I'll hopefully have the 2nd and 3rd tanks of the platoon finished by the weekend. 

*Which, btw also signals the start of the 2015 Six Nations Rugby Tournament! Wales versus England will be the 1st game and I am pumped! Cymru am Byth!*


  1. Oh, beautiful!

    I really really really want to put together Kingforce when I finally start my North Africa shizzle...but I really don't want to put together a Rifle Company, and from what I can discern their supporting options don't share a lot of choices with that of my planned Light Tank Company.

    Still, they do look absolutely gorgeous!

    Interesting about the markings...

    1. Thanks for the kind words Drax.

      You won't need to, but we already talked about that.

  2. Very nice Dai, I'm starting on my three Crocodiles soon. Really enjoyed painting my AVsRE Churchills before. They just seem to be a nice model to work on, and yours are no exception! Love the converted skirt at the front.

    1. I agree mate, these models have been surprisingly pleasant to work on.


  3. Great paint job, and I appreciate the history lesson. When I look at the FOW minis, I really gravitate toward the desert paint schemes, but do worry about limiting myself to the North African theater.

    1. You really need to look at it as more of a situation of collecting and playing what you want and to heck with everything else.

      But as with anything gaming related, it helps to confirm what others in your area are playing before you commit to a new collection/army.

  4. Looking great Dai. The PSC Churchill is very nice, quite crisp detail and I like your extra touches. They can be a real handful in MW. Oh, and come on Wales! Us kiwis support the All Blacks and anyone playing England ;-)

    1. I'd buy you a beer for that comment Paul. :)

      Thanks mate.

  5. excellent tanks, Dai.


    1. We'll see - either team could convincingly win tomorrow. Should be a good game.