27 February 2019

Flames of War - Basic Painting

A few days ago someone asked me "How do you paint like that?" and I thought to myself well I just do. This lead me into deeper thought and reflection about how far I've come. I don't just do I have learned over 20 years varying techniques and skills and those have now become part of my I just do.

I paint therefore I am

There are a few things I want to cover off before you even think to begin putting paint to miniature. First things first is that you have to want to paint if you're painting because you need to finish an army but you're not enjoying what you're doing what's the point. 

I was searching sarcastic motivational posters but this seems appropriate

Pick your paint times it's no good trying to start a project at 10pm on a school night. It's better to paint in the morning when the light isn't too harsh and the day is generally cooler and finally you will make mistakes this is life it happens to the best of us this is why ink washes exist.

     Don't do this

Ok on to the painting for this example we're going with one of Battlefronts new plastic Soviets, mostly because I have about 4000 of them and this helps get them done, they are a simple colour pallet and don't have too much additional equipment like a German grenadier. 

9 paints not including any ink washes, the miniature, a notebook where I document all my colour schemes (this has saved my butt so many times) and of course glasses because I am longsighted.

The colours I use are similar to what you used to buy in a boxset for each nation. I use Vallejo exclusively as they have the best range for military colours. The colours here are Black, Gunmetal Grey, Beige Brown, Medium Fleshtone, Flat Flesh, Khaki Grey, Khaki, US Field Drab and Russian Green. Not pictured is a simple black wash.

These are the backs of the paint sets I was talking about they are on Google and very handy

Ensure you miniature is primed before painting for most folks this is self explanatory but if you're new to miniature painting it may not be. This helps the paint stay on the miniature as it gives it something to grab rather than smooth metal or plastic.

Once that's done we'll move onto blocking in the main colours in this case it's a lot of Khaki Grey and some Beige Brown on the exposed flesh, Khaki on the webbing, Gunmetal in the gun bits and US Field drab on the canteen and SMG pouch.

Once completed it's time for a light ink wash what this does is add shadow to the folds in the miniature and darkens the main colour ready for highlighting.

The next step is highlighting the uniform what you want to do is hit the most raised parts in this case with 50/50 Khaki and Khaki Grey and working up to pure Khaki Grey on the very edges and pure Khaki on the edges of the webbing.

Now that's the uniform done and we're on the home stretch skin and faces. I've already done the the flesh areas with Beige Brown the next colour is Medium Fleshtone.

If you're feeling keen the try highlighting the raise parts of the face, cheekbones, nose, chin with Flat Flesh

And to finish is all off one helmet in Russian Green

Now it's done all that's needed is some matt varnish and his 200 or so friends to be painted the same way. I hope you have enjoyed this short tutorial as stated it was designed for people who are just getting into painting Flames of War or those folk who are a bit afraid of picking up a brush and attacking the 15mm scale. Remember to never stop learning.

22 February 2019

ANZACs in Great War

- with Ryan Jeffares

With the new edition of Great War, I have been inspired to start a new army and as a New Zealander, the moment I saw that an ANZAC Rifle Company was a new option, my mind was made up.

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, and in World War One, they are probably best known for their participation in the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of 1915, where they earned a formidable reputation despite the failure to defeat the Ottomans. Later in the war, the surviving troops, bolstered by reinforcements would be redeployed to the Western Front, where they would once again earn a reputation as excellent assault troops, being rotated into the front line for important offensives.

In Great War, the ANZAC and Canadian list has a variety of special rules which help to distinguish it from the other options available to the British in the book. The Assault Divisions rule gives ANZAC and Canadian infantry a better rally value, enabling them to unpin more easily to carry on assault or return fire if on the defensive. The Trench Fighters rule and their status as veteran infantry makes them truly formidable in assaults, as they will hit enemy teams on a 2+, while the Night Attack rule provides the ability to negate some of the effectiveness of enemy fire by attacking under the cover of darkness. Finally, a Canadian Rifle Company has the option of taking an autocar, an early armoured car which carries a pair of Vickers machine guns, which can be dismounted and dug in if necessary.

For my ANZAC force, I decided to build the following as a initial 60 points force: 

ANZAC Rifle Company:
Rifle Company HQ: 2 Webley pistol teams:  2 points
Rifle Platoon: 5 SMLE rifle team, 2 Hales rifle grenade teams, 2 Lewis MG teams 15 points
Rifle Platoon: 5 SMLE rifle team, 2 Hales rifle grenade teams, 2 Lewis MG teams 15 points
Machine-Gun Platoon: 2 Vickers HMG teams 9 points
Trench Mortar: 1 3” Stokes mortar team 6 points
Support Units:
Green Field Gun: 1 QQF 18 pdr gun 9 Points
Sniper: 1 sniper team 4 Points
Total: 60 points

When building this list, I started by filling out my compulsory platoons, in this case the two compulsory rifle platoons and the HQ, which came to 32 points. This left me with 28 points to fill out the rest of my force, which I decided to spend on more core and support units to protect and support my infantry. Firstly, I decided that my force needed some HMGs to provide additional firepower with their high rate of fire, which I can switch out for bunkers or nests while defending or use to pin down the enemy when I am attacking.

Next, I thought that a trench mortar would be useful for picking off enemy HMGs and gun teams, using its excellent firepower and ability to fire over my advancing infantry. Initially, I had decided to add another HMG and mortar to my force, to further beef up my firepower but after some thinking, I figured that someone in our local group is definitely crazy enough to take a tank in 60 points list, so I figured that an 18 pdr  gun was a must to offer me some protection against armour whilst also offering the ability to pin down enemy units with an artillery template. Finally, as I had four points left, I decided to include a sniper, as this was the only unit that costs 4 points and snipers are ideal for picking off dangerous enemy teams like MGs or Mortars.

Later, when I expand the force to 100 points, I envision it looking like the following

ANZAC Rifle Company:
Rifle Company HQ: 2 Webley pistol teams:  2 points
Rifle Platoon: 5 SMLE rifle team, 2 Hales rifle grenade teams, 2 Lewis MG teams 15 points
Rifle Platoon: 5 SMLE rifle team, 2 Hales rifle grenade teams, 2 Lewis MG teams 15 points
Rifle Platoon: 5 SMLE rifle team, 2 Hales rifle grenade teams, 2 Lewis MG teams 15 points
Machine-Gun Platoon: 3 Vickers HMG teams 14 points
Trench Mortar: 1 3” Stokes mortar team 6 points
Trench Mortar: 1 3” Stokes mortar team 6 points
Support Units:
Green Field Gun: 1 QQF 18 pdr gun 9 Points
Green Mark IV Male Tank: 1 Mark IV Male 17 Points
Total of 99 Points

Moving up to 100 points, I decided to add an extra infantry platoon to strengthen the core of my force, enabling me to throw more men at an enemy position when attacking or to concentrate more infantry around the objectives whilst on the defence. At this point, I felt like I just had to add a tank to the force as they are such an iconic part of WW1, and in this case, I chose a Green Mark IV Male. I chose a Green Mark IV as I didn’t have too many points left to play with, whilst the decision to make it a Male tank was because I wanted to add a tank which was still capable of fighting other tanks. I also added another mortar and HMG to buff up my firepower and to strengthen my formation, but as these units took me to 103 points in total I had to remove the sniper from my list in order to make room.

As an alternative to this force, I’d consider dropping the tank to add another 18 pdr gun, another HMG and a sniper, which would make the force much more defensive and capable of fending off multiple tanks at once with its 18 pdrs, as I feel that the earlier list has a distinct lack of anti-tank firepower.

So, once the troops are in country, I can begin the slow process of painting all that English Uniform! Wish me luck and watch this space!

19 February 2019

Flames of War - New Plastic Soviets

Have you ever wanted play a Soviet Mid war army but because you are weak there's no way you could transport 50kg's of lead from place to place?

Well have I got news for you the new Mid-war Soviet range is all plastic. Battlefront were nice enough to send me some samples I was expecting maybe a sprue or two but imagine my delight/horror when this arrived...

Well shoot now it looks like I have to start a Soviet Army...again. 


Back in 2003ish Battlefront released the very first Stalingrad book for Version 1 I splashed out and purchased a full 1500 point army boxset I think it set me back about $370 in the day but I got a lot of stuff.

Did you want an army or a hernia? Why not both?!

Now to get the equivalent in the new plastics would cost around $290 (I substituted SU-122 for SU-85's) giving me saving of about 30% so not bad on savings also we're comparing 2003's buying price with 2019 and I'm not going to get into inflation. So the new Soviet army ticks the affordability box however it's always going to be more expensive than it's German equivalent simply because you need more but a sub $300 army to choke the guns of the fascists is worth it!


A scary man once said the quality of quantity has a quality of it's own which is a Russian for they'll run out of bullets before we run out of bodies. I had the chance to open and assemble the Storm Group box as it contained a bit of everything.

Coming to an occupied building near you!

Firstly we should compare them to the first lot of blue plastics the British Infantry ( Video ) figures are light years a ahead in detail and crispness they even have paintable faces! 

Clean up is a breeze using the hard edge of my scalpel it was a simple matter of light scraping and the excess plastic came off for larger bit the blade is used but go lightly as a sharp scalpel is likely to bite and gouge.

One issue I did happen upon was bending and this was with a few of the PTRD teams their guns because of the way they're packed have a tendency to bend.

 It's for shooting tanks around the corner!

The great news however a quick dip in hot water and a small bit of manipulation and they're shooting true again compared to the orginal metal PTRD's which were prone to mold slippage and a thin barrel that would bend and never be able to be put straight. You also get more 6 large bases for $18 vs $13 for 4 medium bases so bendy barrels is a small price to pay, or lack thereof.

How do they compare with my old Soviets?

To be honest great actually really well so much so that from a distance you'd have trouble figuring out which were old and new. I painted up a base to show as a comparison below. 

Asides from one being made of metal and the other plastic is that there is a coat of matt varnish on the metal one.

Final Thoughts?

The new Battlefront Soviet flexible plastic infantry are a vast improvement over previous offerings. The details are solid and they take paint exceptionally well and are great value for money. Although they may be prone to bending this is easily rectified and they only thing I dislike is that I have to paint so many. Definitely worth the money. 

18 February 2019

Flames of War - Great War

"I think a curse should rest on me - because I love this war. I know it's smashing and shattering the lives of thousands every moment - and yet - I can't help it - I enjoy every second of it." - Winston Churchill

"Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" - Daniel Daly at the Battle of Belleau Wood.

In 2019, we return to the trenches of Western Europe with a new version of Great War from Battlefront. Over the coming months, a dedicated team here at Behind Enemy Lines is going to take you through the process we take to get our forces battle ready and get some action on the tables for you, both in text and also on YouTube.

Great War gets a new lease on life with the latest updated version bringing Great War into line with the current V4 rules, much the same as the updated 'Nam book. It provides a single volume containing the rules, missions, special rules and force lists to players along with the associated card packs so you should simply be able to pick up your existing Great War forces and start gaming under the new rules. Easy as that!

The new volume contains full lists for the German, British, French, American and Belgian forces taking part in the Great War with new V4 points levels and updated rules. Players who are already familiar with Flames of War should have no trouble getting straight into Great War...it's the same game, just a different war!

As stated, new card packs will be available for the five forces listed to bring existing models into line with the new rules. As well as these, there will be army deals available to get people right into the fight with only a couple of purchases.

The rules contain 13 missions centred around the kinds of conflict seen on the battlefields of Western Europe, including trench fighting. The initial three missions; 'The Big Push', 'Through Mud and Blood' and 'Green Fields Beyond' allow you to fight an almost campaign-style series of battles typical of a Great War operation.

While I won't go into detail on them, the kinds of lists you can expect to field for each of the major nations featured in Great War are:


For the Germans, you will have access to:

- Infanteriekompanie, the stalwart German infantryman and the massive array of support options to assist them in their fight.
- Stosskompanie, the German assault troops combining speed and mobility to get right into the enemy lines.
- Jagerkompanie, veteran German soldiers trained in a range of tactics.
- Siegfriedstellung, the hardened trenches providing greater protection are a facet of the troops in the Siegfried line.

You also have access to support options including the massive A7V tank as well as captured British tanks.


To take the fight to the Hun, British players can employ:

- Line Division Rifle Company, the backbone of His Majesty's forces.
- Elite Division Rifle Company, the more battle-hardened troops able to withstand great punishment.
- ANZAC or Canadian Rifle Company, the forces of the Dominion came forward to take the fight to the enemy.
- Cavalry Squadron, while the tanks may be on the field, the cavalry reigns supreme!

The British also have access to the support of their tanks and mighty artillery.


The French Empire has not been idle in it's defence. Taking to the fields, you'll have:

- Compagnie de Fusiliers, the French rifleman ready to defend their home.
- Colonial Compagnie de Tirailleurs, France's colonies stand ready to fight alongside their masters.
- Escadron de Cavalerie, France's mounted shock troops.
- Compagnie de Fusiliers Russe, France's Russian Foreign Legion, hardy assault troops ready to take the fight deep into the trenches.
- Harlem Hellfighters Rifle Company, African-American troops helping in France's defence. 

France has also developed their own tanks to fight alongside their valiant warriors.

United States

While a late belligerent into the Great War, the Yanks are ready to fight!

- 42nd Infantry Division Rifle Company, the more aggressive troopers of The Rainbow Division.
- 1st Infantry Division Rifle Company, the more tentative but just as ready warriors of The Big Red One.
- 4th Marine Brigade Rifle Company, the Devil Dogs.

US support consists of French equipment having been trained and readied on the new weapons upon arriving in Europe.


Like the French, the Belgians were stalwart in their defence of their lands.

- Compagnie de Infanterie, Belgium's infantry troops stand ready to hold against the Kaiser's forces.

Belgian support will assist them in their defence.

Hopefully this quick article has piqued your interest in Great War. Keep an eye out for up-coming articles about the nations we'll be building forces for!