Friday, 25 October 2013

Land Mattress Launcher and Ram Kangaroos

I thought I’d look at the two units which are quintessentially Canadian first of all, Ram Kangaroos and Landmattress’s. There are some lovely articles on the FoW website detailing the history of both of these unusual units, and I found as I read them I really was quite inspired to crack on with both of the units – that and a deadline also helped!

The Ram is a very simple model, the hull is just one piece and the only real additions to it are crew and a AA MG. The casting was nice and crisp, and there was only a little extra flash on the hull mounted MG but easy to deal with. Having looked at the pictures on the website and tried a little dry fitting I decided against using the crew in the hatch on the top of the tank, as I felt they looked a little naff. I did go for one standing crewman though just to denote the command vehicle which should help I hope. Painting was fairly standard, I used the appropriate decal of 157 which I got from this article (very helpful!). I’ve not added any grass to the base, though I may change my mind on this eventually.

The strange thing for me though about these units is in game play terms. They’re not a massive upgrade for a unit – 20 points. But the impressive armour of front 5 and side 3 means that compared to the German and US APC’s these boys are more than able to withstand small arms fire! The only real downside being that you only get three of the for transport. I think to really maximise their effectiveness they need to be up there with other vehicle hulls, that way you force the enemy to diffuse their fire a little more as FA5 vs 6 isn’t much difference in LW. The only gripe is that by taking them you stay an infantry list! Seriously think it should force them to be mechanised!

The Landmattress was again a pleasure to put together, very little flash on the model and it fitted together well, though some of the rockets lost their definition at their nose which was a shame. The crew were relatively nicely cast, one of the men holds a rocket minus a fin, and the observers had a lot of flash too. I was also missing a figure for one of the command bases, but thankfully had more than a few spare guys to make up for it.

Painting again was relatively easy with the crew being painted as many of my other brits are, I used a different filler for the base, and it seems to have set lower than when I applied it, showing some of the ridges of the bases more than on previous models, hence the more liberal grass application to cover this up. It was also a bit unusual painting yellow on the ends of the rockets, such a bright colour for FoW, I’m not entirely happy with the red at the end of the rockets, but I was getting frustrated with it not looking right, so decided I would stop worrying and just do what looked ok – unlike others I am no where near a perfectionist! The one other thing which I noticed when I though I was finished, was that I realised I really needed more ‘tufts’ on the base, I’d gone with an average of about 3 a base initially thinking the rocks would help break up the base, but I found 4-5 helped them look ‘better’ in my eyes.

As for game play – I’ve currently (as of writing this) not fielded them, but can’t wait – each one counts a 4 guns (even if it takes a skill test to reload!) but the fact as rockets you always choose the largest template means that they should saturate a decent area of the board.

Anyway I hope you like both these units. Till next time Adam


  1. Rams are great! Can't wait to get some myself. Your gripe about them leaving the company as Mech is valid, though don't forget, still being an infantry company means you can Night Attack and have your infantry forward all the quicker and now with some super cool transport fire support - makes Night Attack that much better imo.

    Mattresses also look just fine sir. The detailing of the rockets was a pain in the proverbial for me too. Devastating bombardments away!

  2. Just out of curiosity, the rule books mention that the Rams can carry 5 passengers. Does this mean that each Ram can carry one stand (with ~5 figures)? Or can each Ram carry 5 separate stands (~20-25 figures)? It seems like these wouldn't be as useful if the transport section consisting of 3 Rams is only capable of moving 3 stands at a time, thereby splitting up the platoon due to the significant difference in mobility ratings.

    1. You can carry 5 bases of men.

      They are very useful... to useful maybe.


    2. Much appreciated. Thanks, Ben!