Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Call me Charlie!

Hello Everyone, 

It’s Jersey James here today, but instead of talking about my Italians… today, you can call me Charlie! I've swapped breda machine guns and black feathers for sandles, straw hats, RPG's and AK47's!

I’ve been army list crunching, building and painting a PAVN Local Forces Battalion for Flames of War Vietnam and it’s all I can do not to run through the jungles and elephant grass or crawl through tunnels to get into the mind-set when painting and planning! I might have watched twelve Vietnam or Vietnam themed films and ordered a few books about the PAVN too; as I mentioned on the Breakthrough Assault Facebook Page the other day… Forest Gump alone made me head online and buy more models!

I'm even sad to say that Tropic Thunder had a part to play...with it's awesome soundtrack and modern dark comedy take on Vietnam.
As we mentioned in our first blog post about this challenge, this whole project started because of an email conversation in which I happened to mention that I liked the Local Forces models on the day when the HQ box and Company PDF were released by Battlefront. It didn’t take me long to draw up a list and place an order for a box of models and was really excited when they got here on Christmas Eve!
I enjoyed putting the models together so much that during quiet time on Christmas Day I painted the first three teams of my collection on the sofa whilst seasonal programmes were on and dinner was over. Since then I’ve slowly worked on them, doing a few layers of paint every evening due to a new job taking up more time, but the models have slowly come along.

As part of my research I came across several good reviews of the Local Forces Company, including this one on WWPD. I agree completely with their review.  The quality of the models is fantastic and there were very few mould lines and flash to remove. Occasional lines on the straw hats did cause a small issue but otherwise these were fantastic models to prepare and build.
HQ and section one of the three sections from my first Local Forces Company
There are a lot of them in the box too. Add to that all the options you need build the support weapons and twelve local resistance models and you get a lot in the box!
No one who caries infants into battle could possibly harm anyone... or more objectives... or guide in reserves... or actually be exceptional at ordering artillery strikes...
Painting these models was fun too, they’re very different to the other 15mm figures I’ve painted before and have very distinctive features in brighter colours. This makes them quite easy to paint and the models pop out at you! Starting from a black basecoat I highlighted the whole black model with a dark grey blue before adding details, washing everything in black and re-highlighting the details.
I went for a simple static grass and tuft basing scheme with a brown rim on these models to represent them lurking in the undergrowth. Other special models may be based slightly differently, such as the sniper team, Đặc Công and observer team to help them stand out as special (because almost all the models in the army look alike).
Unlike Ben’s US Company, the Local Forces Battalion does not yet have an entry on Easy Army. This means I’ve had to type out my force and have written out the full 1250 I plan to collect as part of this phase of the project. I tried to add as much as possible and this means I might make a few changes as the force develops (like maximising the combat platoons at the expense of some options) but as it stands, the army has lots of options, flexibility and weapons from the battalion HQ will allow the combat platoons to benefit from “Quality of Quantity” the first time they are represented on the battlefield!
That's right... the Local Forces Companies may end up on the table more than once due to the PAVN's special rule "Born in the North to Die in the South!" On the flip side, some of the teams in the list may never make it onto the field of battle as the Rocket Battery is safely hidden in Laos, so only the observer team is ever on the Battlefield unless a new mission is played in which a free world fire base or PAVN guns are represented on the table.
The company is Confident Trained though the small Special Tasks Recon Company is Fearless Veteran. The fortifications in this list do not make this a fortified company.

Tiểu Đoàn Địa Phương Quân HQ
Battalion HQ:                                                      25
1 Type 54 12.7mm AA MG:                              25
2 HMG Nest Bunkers:                                      120
3 Type 36 57mm recoilless guns:                    45
3 Type 53 82mm mortars:                                45
1 Sniper Team:                                                   50
HQ Total:                                                          310

An officer of Viet Cong bracing a soldier up. 1966.

Địa Phương Quân (Local Force) Company
HQ & 2 Infantry Platoons:                             170
Type 58 LMG team:                                          15
Type 31 60mm mortar:                                   20
2 B40 Team (upgrade)                                     10
Company Total:                                               215
Địa Phương Quân (Local Force) Company
HQ & 2 Infantry Platoons:                             170
Type 58 LMG team:                                         15
Type 31 60mm mortar:                                  20
2 B40 Team (upgrade)                                    10
Company Total:                                              215

Female Viet Cong Fighter
Đặc Công (Special Tasks) Company
HQ & 1 Special Tasks Platoon                      150
Extra Pioneer B40 Team                                 40
B41 Teams (upgrade)                                      15
Type 58 LMG Team                                         25
Company Total:                                              230

Front Jet-Artillery Company
HQ, Observer & 3 ĐKB 122mm                     90

Resistance Teams and Fortifications
4 Local Resistance Teams:                            100
1 Minefield:                                                       50
4 Booby Traps:                                                  40

 Company Total                                             1250

So, I hope you've enjoyed reading this post and if you have any comments, especially about the list and my choices then please add them. I'm completely new to Flames of War Vietnam!

Charlie (Jersey James)

1 comment:

  1. Please can you post your photos again? Nice Vietnam project