Sunday, February 19, 2017

'West' from JamesM: Canadian Trucks and Scottish Infantry

Hi Folks,

My entry for this themed round is a continuation of my still-to-be-finished artillery focus. Based on the Western Front of WW2, it also demonstrates the support Britain received from one of it's closest and most important western allies, the Canadians.

The entry consists of three 15mm Battlefront trucks and eight 15mm infantry figures.

These little trucks are part of the compliment of artillery vehicles allowed as upgrades for British, Polish and Canadian artillery units. In my collection, I strive to include all transport options for my allied forces. The availability of mechanised transport to the western allies really contrasts with the German reliance on horses, and I try to replicate this in my collection.

These truck bases have all been 'tarted up' with the inclusion of some infantry figures. In designing the bases, I tried to use scenes that epitomise (to me) the fighting in Normandy from the artilleryman's perspective. The overall concept to tie the three designs together was that common Normandy danger - 'Sniper!'


These three bases are to help fill gaps in my 51st Highland Division artillery - but while the trucks are marked up as 'Highway Decorators' vehicles, the trucks themselves are a product of Canada. Specifically they are Canadian Military Pattern 15 cwt's.

It has been argued that Canada's production of nearly 500,000 soft skin vehicles during WW2 was a major contributing factor to allied victory. CMP truck production in Canada exceeded the total wartime military production of trucks in Germany during the war. Soft skin vehicles produced in Canada were provided to all Commonwealth nations, as well as to Soviet Russia.

Without Canada's input the successful prosecution of the war would have been a far more difficult prospect. My focus and research on the Canadian led break out operations in Normandy have imparted a massive respect for Canada's contribution to the NWE campaign, and the inclusion of these Canadian trucks in my Highlanders units symbolises the closeness of the cooperation between the Highland Divisions and the 2nd Canadian Corps it was part of during Totalise.

So, I have one truck with a survey team trying to get the position 'on grid' with the rest of the Divisions artillery (hence the survey equipment) - while taking cover from the pesky German sniper 'out there' somewhere...




Both figures are from the older Battlefront ranges - the survey pole figure is actually a Pioneer with a Bangalore torpedo. 
Then there are the two 'Jocks' back from a 'brisk walk', where they were fortunate enough to find an 'already dead' chicken (as looting was illegal) and a cask of Calvados "just lying around". Thankfully they made it to the cover of a truck when the sniper opened up. Dinner is sorted - and they won't go thirsty if stuck behind the truck for a while (although they might end up on a charge!)

Painting these chaps involved one of the strangest Google searches I have undertaken while painting - 'Normandy Chickens WW2'...



Then we have the hastily organised patrol, set to go flush the sniper out. I like to think the jock at the corner of the truck looks suitably unimpressed - and in no hurry to go find a sniper!


And the three bases all together. The trucks are marked as vehicles for the 128th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery (part of the 51st Highland Division):





So that's it, Scottish troops and Canadian built vehicles fighting on the western front - who by fighting east (chicken by chicken, sniper by sniper, position by position) managed to help win a war!

24 comments:

  1. Some great sets of wheels there kind sir!

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    1. Thanks Sander! Only had a total of 8 of the things to paint in this batch (the rest are coming!)

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  2. Nice trucks and scenes James :)

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    1. Thanks Tamsin, something to make the units a little more interesting on the table!

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  3. Well done James and may those troops save you lots of chickens in future games.

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  4. Nicely done James - great to see them completed after we chatted about them almost a month ago!

    And yes, that chicken clearly died of shellshock...

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    1. Thanks Paul, and thanks for the support with the survey equipment. The infantry took me a lot longer than I expected, but I think I overwhelmed my self with the amount of stuff I added to the paint table!

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  5. Great vehicles, and the vignettes really tell a story.

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    1. Thanks Barks, I like to try and give a little character to all my bases. Even if it's just trucks!

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  6. These are brilliant the story about them gives a nice context to what the world may have been like. I always remember my transport being the first to be shot up in FOW so it is a canny game that puts it on the table.

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    1. Thanks Chris! A lot of my transports rarely see the table, but the artillery HQ ones tend to stick about. I won't be doing the same with the 8 Quads or 8 Matadors I have to paint! I try and include little flavours of the Normandy fighting where I can. A nice discussion point during games. Plus they are fun to come up with!

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  7. The details and story you've added to these models is awesome! Very nicely done indeed!

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    1. Thanks Steve! It's fun to try and tie together models in a unit. Took me a while to find some of the different sculpts - the two foragers were head swaps from a 'commonwealth' infantry pack.

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  8. Nice motor pool you got going there, James!

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    1. Thanks Evan - another 8 softskins in the queue at the moment...

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  9. Very nice, the basing compliments nicely the colour of the trucks!

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