Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Flames of War: Testing the Water

Im a huge WWII buff, as two entire bookcases down stairs can readily attest, and a huge mechanized warfare proponet, as my years in the US Cavalry can also attest. One year, for Chirstmas, a friend and I flew to Belgium and drove all over the old Battle of the Buldge battlefields in the Ardennes instead of celebrating with family and friends. So dipping my toe in the Flames of War system is not such a huge stretch for me. Im starting small, with a personal hero of mine,  Hauptman Michael Wittman.

From badass of the week: (because you really can't come up with a better description of what he did than this)

"On 13 June 1944 near a small town named Villers-Bocage, that Wittman was defending, two battalions of British armor came rolling up towards his position.  Wittman sat there, alone, staring out from his concealed position at a group of roughly two hundred tanks, armored carriers and other vehicles. Knowing that his orders were to hold the town, Wittman decided there was no way in hell he was going to back down from a good fight. He seized his opportunity to take the element of surprise and led a one-man suicide charge directly into the heart of the British formation, firing like a bastard all over the place. His initial surprise attack split the British forces in two, and he went down the line picking off tanks and half-tracks one at a time, while somehow not getting blown up by enemy tanks. He closed to a range of about fourteen meters, more than close enough for the weaker Allied tanks to punch through the armor of his Tiger I, but he still managed to break the back of the enemy tank battalion, leaving a swath of wreckage in his wake. Once the armored columns were in disarray, he pushed on into the town, where he came face-to-face with another company of Sherman Firefly tanks. He continued firing and moving around like a spastic chicken until all of a sudden some jerkass blew one of the treads off his Tiger I, leaving him immobilized in front of a horde of angry Brits. Instead of giving up and surrendering to overwhelming odds like some sort of pansy, he instead kept blasting away like a disgruntled postal worker, destroying several enemy tanks and forcing the survivors back out of range of his guns. Once the coast was clear, he and his crew bailed out of the tank and ran fifteen kilometers to the German forward HQ. As soon as he set foot into camp, he began organizing a counter-attack, and eventually was able to force the Allies out of Villers-Bocage.

The WWII library in my basement
During his insane one-man assault on the British forces, Michael Wittman destroyed twenty-seven Allied tanks - the highest recorded tally of tanks killed in one day by one unit in the history of the entire universe. In addition to single-handedly annihilating an entire battalion of Allied tanks, Wittman also took out a large number of armored troop transports, half-tracks and supply carriers. For his balls-out assault, Wittman received the German equivalent of the Medal of Honor and was hailed as a hero throughout the Third Reich. High Command offered to give Wittman a chance to retire and work in Berlin as a tank instructor but Wittman refused, stating that "his duty was to engage the enemy, and there were additional asses to kick", so he returned to the front almost immediately. On 8 August 1944 he was killed in action when he was fired on simultaneously by eight million different British, American and Canadian tanks, one hundred thousand anti-tank guns, one bajillion bazookas, a crap ton of bomber aircraft and one nerf rocket launcher. His tank was obliterated to the point where his remains weren't found until like two years after the war ended."

So now here he is, sitting on my paiting table with some Imperial Guard Veterans, I drilled out the barrel, primed and applied the base coat of Middlestone. Reflective green and chocolate brown cammo will be coming shortly...

I really have no plans on where im going with this 15mm thing, but the change of scale is kinda refreshing after years of 28mm. Recently my wife ventured into the man cave to see what I was up to and exclaimed 'What a cute little tank...'

still practicing_



  1. Cute... little... tank...

    When I get out of the corner from laughing I'll get back to you!


  2. My wife always asks, "Are you getting paid for this? If not, why are you even bothering?"

  3. MY wife gave up on that years ago, now I have an allowance that goes into paypal every 3 months.

    Although I did get trade in my kitchen pass for a plane ticket to Chicago around the 19th of April 2012.