September 28, 2016

Trench Runner Pat Hillard Attacks the Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) Late War British Armoured Division, Army Box in a Multi-part Review & Build.

Part 1: A look at the set

This is a review and build of the Plastic Soldier Company's 15mm plastic Late War British Armoured Division, Army Box. Product code PSC-AB15002 with 18 vehicles and 34 figures. Using this box set you can field 11x Sherman M4A4's, 3x Sherman Fireflies, 4x M5 Halftracks, 34x Infantry figures, including 3x Bren teams, Command, 1x Piat team, 1x 2 inch light mortar team and 1x mixed base sprue.

For those of you that play Flames of War (FoW) this box set give you 1535 points of Confident Veterans from the Market Garden Book or 1455 points of Confident Veterans using the Taurus Pursuant, 11th Armored PDF. I will provide the playing list from Market Garden.
The Basics...
The finished box set
I am going to try something different for this review. Instead of have paragraphs of text I will put a brief intro and summary here and put a detailed description with each picture. This will eliminate long lists of paint colors and make for an easier step by step procedure for assembly and painting of this box. This is my first try painting Allied vehicles and British infantry. I have previously only painted late war German forces and an HQ platoon of the US 82nd Airborne.

For Flames of War 
British Armored Squadron, Confident Veteran - 1535 points
HQ Section - 180 points
2 Sherman V - 170 pts
2 .50 cal AA - 5 pts each (10 pts)
Armored Platoon 1 - 390 points
3 Sherman V, 1 Firefly - 385 points
1 .50 cal AA - 5 pts - 5 points
Armored Platoon 2 - 390 points
3 Sherman V, 1 Firefly - 385 points
1 .50 cal AA - 5 pts - 5 points
Armored Platoon 3 - 390 points
3 Sherman V, 1 Firefly - 385 points
1 .50 cal AA - 5 pts - 5 points
Motor Platoon 4 - 185 points
3 mg squads with command including 2" mortar and Piat team - 150 points
1.50 AA - 10 points
additional mg squad - 25 points

An additional unit of Allied airborne, some 6 pound anti tank guns, a recon unit or some self propelled artillery would easy take this to a 1750 list. It is a very nice and affordable way to build an allied army.

Overall I am very happy with the quality of the kit components and the finished product. Hopefully these troops will see some action in the near future. I plan to use them to help introduce my son to the rules of FoW. 

The Set...
The kit comes in a heavy duty box with nice graphics and a good description of the product inside. The only problem I have with PSC packages is that the boxes are not sealed in any way and the sprues are not in bags. I am always worried about missing parts in kits that are not sealed. I am please to say that there was no issues with this product.

The side of the box provides a list of the pack contents and a basic painting guide for the armored vehicles and the infantry. There is a basic Vallejo color chart listed also.

When opening the box the contents are neatly stacked and there are two sheets of instructions included for assembly of the vehicles. There are no recommendations for basing the infantry models.

There are 14 tank sprues to make either the M4-A4 (dry stowage) Sherman or a Firefly. These models are very similar to the Sherman V, I don't see any problem using them for the above list.

The combined M4/Firefly sprue. All of the components to build either vehicle are on the one sprue. I saved the extra parts in my bits bag for future projects.

The tank assembly instructions are very basic and it uses color codes to show you what hull to use for the M4 or the Firefly as well as what turret and gun mantel. There is an option to add dust shields if you desire. I did this on a few models just to have a variety of vehicles. I looked at a lot of late war pictures and very few of the Sherman's had these shields on them.

There are four sprues for the M5-A1 half track. It includes some nice stowage, two mg options and five sitting crew per vehicle not including a driver and  navigator, gunners are also included.

The M5A1 instructions give you a choice of assembly with the 50 caliber mg ring or with a pedestal mount. Many of the pictures I saw did not have either of these options on the vehicles. I added them for visual aesthetics on the table.

PSC includes on sprue of infantry bases. For a FoW list you will need 3 small bases and four medium bases. The large base is not needed.

The kit includes 3 infantry sprues with 12 figures per sprue. The mortar team and  Bren gun team are in two pieces and must be glued together.

Next Week in Part 2 I will build the Shermans and the M5s

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