Thursday, 10 January 2013

Quick and Dirty Airborne

Being a complete prat, I got Battlefront's new Open Fire boxed set for Christmas – and then decided to use it all for Crossfire. Trading away the German armour and the two Fireflies means I should get a couple of Airborne companies out of it, and a discount box of Wargames Factory Germans will round out the opposition – at least before I go on a PSC binge and create small forces for all the armies fighting on the Italian peninsula.

Anyway, the Airborne. The 32 Airborne in the boxed set left me one shy of the numbers I needed for a Crossfire company, so I snuck one of the Germans with plenty of scrim in among them – can you spot him? Happily, a Crossfire company is pretty much a platoon in IABSM or similar 1:1 games, so as my Airborne grow I'll be able to use them in more popular games too.

Here we have three platoons (LT, 3 squads), a Company Commander, an FO and a mortar team. The rear of each base has been marked with a company stripe, a battalion Ace of Spades, and then platoon stripes. Click for larger versions.
The whole company.

FO, Company Commander, mortar & a platoon behind.

The base markers.

An attempt at a close-up.

The quick and dirty painting guide:
  1. Spray black.
  2. Drybrush Vallejo US Field Drab
  3. Drybrush guns GW Chainmail
  4. Paint helmets Vallejo Brown Violet
  5. Paint skin Vallejo Basic Skin Tone
  6. Paint wood and boots Vallejo English Uniform
  7. Secret step: paint bazooka and mortar GW Gretchin Green and paint MG bullets gold/brass.
  8. Paint webbing GW Ushabti Bone
  9. Ink with black miracle wash.

Using the biggest feasible brush at each step means that the whole platoon probably only took an hour or three.

The bases were done late, since Warbases were closed over Christmas. The models were stuck on, and a mix of Wilko's acrylic Burnt Umber and grouting paste was applied, and drybrushed with Wilko's Nutmeg Spice emulsion. The edges were done in Wilko's Sap Green acrylic, and the white details using Wilko's White acrylic. I cannot recommend non-hobby paints highly enough for basing and terrain projects. At a conservative twelfth of the price of Vallejo or GW, you can really go to town with them.

Great paints aside, I was a little underwhelmed by Battlefront's venture into plastics. While on the most part they have an excellent level of deep detail, many faces and undersides are blurred or simply blocked out. Three of the models were broken before the box was even opened, and while glue saved two, one unlucky Parachutist is fighting with a very sawn-off rifle.

Still, Crossfire is back on the cards, and that should always be a cause for celebration!


  1. Lovely! I received the same boxed set for Christmas and I'm planning on using the figures for not-FoW too. Thanks for the painting guide too!

    1. I'm always glad to help! What will you be playing with yours?