Monday, 3 March 2014

Rule Britannia! Reflections on Collecting My British Canadians & Welsh

So about 6 months ago I did my first post on my late war British (the guards armoured box) and l'm now waiting for the dip to dry so I can add decals and varnish to the last model I have for the list (a 5th Sherman crab).
Looking back at starting collecting this army, it was very impulsive. After the Germans had finished - and as by the end I was a little bored! I thought something small and fast and fun - like the Cromwells would be good for me. As I mentioned in a previous article though I'm not very good at small projects.
Thankfully I have insight into that problem, and one of my big aims when doing this was to try and do it 'on the cheap' so with that in mind I did try and get as much as I could off eBay, as well as sell old commonwealth models I had that were painted (my sextons for example) and use the funds to buy cheaper unpainted versions. Whilst not a business model for me, it did work. I'll be the first to admit though that not all the models came this way - unusual unit like Land Matress, kangaroos, crabs, just don't come up that often and as mentioned in the BL 5.5 case , just because they come up doesn't mean they are cheap. But in the end I've saved a fair bit of money with this army . 
Another bold new adventure with this army was the use of Army Painters Dip. For ages now various local gamers have mentioned how good it is, as well as numerous online articles. I've mixed feelings. On the one hand it does do a pretty good job, it adds protection from chipping, flows easily and gives great shading. On the down side it stinks, ruins brushes, and requires a fair old amount of anti shine varnish. But the real issue I found was that it is not great for colours. Don't get me wrong in some cases with greens, browns and greys it works brilliantly, but your reds, blues, yellows, less so. 

I'm glad I've tried it, but TBH I don't think I'll use it for a project again, I like my more colourful washes for shading. 

As for gaming, well the nice thing has been the versatility the models have provided! They have been at various points, Brits, Canadians, Polish, and kiwi's. And have also been fearless, confident, reluctant trained and veteran. A nice variety of options if you ask me. Some lists have stood out more to me than others. Principally Canadian armoured recce/rifles and welsh guards. If you add my British para's in basically it's the market garden book for me! 
The way the lists play though is different, and unlike other reviews I'm going to mention just a couple of major thoughts on how they play. (I did a fuller article on welsh guards so won't revisit it)
Canadian Rifles/Recon

Oh how I want to love you! These lists has access to pretty much everything, but it costs, not just the veteran price but the 10point Canadian premium. 
They work differently in my head to Brits, lacking British bulldog and gaining assault troops/mission tactics really changes your strengths. With bulldog, when I plan a mission, my aim is often to get into assault. You're hitting hard and rerolling to hit back. It has worked very well with the lorried rifle company and Brit paras. Canadians are more about mobility, you're force can almost always move due to the rerolls. Add in duckbills and the Armoured recce rules and you have a force which can maneuver and strike wherever you want it too. But it requires a bit of concerted effort, which is not easy. You need the smoke, pinning and then the rapier hit. You don't have the numbers for mistakes.
On the other hand the Welsh 53rd have a lot of what I want, they have good artillery, mobile infantry and are that little bit cheaper so allow more boots on the ground, or better support options. I do wish the British rifle platoon did have a few more PIAT's!
Well I hope you've enjoyed my little British adventure, I'll be posting up about my next project in a couple of weeks.

Thanks Adam


  1. I have been enjoying your Commonwealth adventures and am envious of your nice looking collection to say the least.

  2. Thanks guys been an enjoyable journey