I haven’t done much with 15mm WWII Flames of War stuff for many moons now. A little over a year ago or so, it looked like I would be relocating to Palmerston North, and as they have an active FoW community, I started gearing up. However the move didn’t come off and Kapiti looks to be my home for the foreseeable... I wish there were more active Kapiti based FoW players to hook up with…
Still, WWII is never really far from my thoughts, as it always gets so much airtime on SKY’s History Channel, which is just about the only TV I bother to sit down and watch.
Also, the occasional trip to the video rental store has me peering through the WAR section, at the old war movies I remember watching as a kid in the 70s & 80s. Several old ‘classics’ that were so exciting way back then, and would always have me scrambling to get my airfix plastic toy soldiers out to play with…
And yet, re-watching them now as an adult with a more critical eye, often leaves me very disappointed. The main reasons usually being cheesy and wooden ‘acting’, ridiculous Holywood ‘tactics’; – ah look there’s as German machine-gun nest over there, lets just run towards it over open ground without firing…and get mown down. Or perhaps I should stay where I am, but instead of staying down, I’ll stand up to shoot… oh damn I got shot…
The main disappointment though is the tanks used in the movies. What looked great to a young eye, that didn’t know any better, now really annoys me to see what I typically think are M60s or other unsuitable (wrong period) main battle tanks painted up to try and disguise the fact that they are actually completely the wrong tank.
Last couple of movies I hired were ‘The Bridge at Remagen’, which was OK apart from the US tanks used, and ‘Anzio’ – gods that was dire… I gave up watching halfway through…
There are some good classics out there though that at least try and look right, a family favourite here is Kelly’s Heroes, though its not your typical war movie, but at least they had Shermans and what looked like Tiger tanks (though I have since learnt were mock ups on I believe a T34 chassis).
’Saving Private Ryan’ goes without saying and of course Band of Brothers Series, and presumably ‘The Pacific’ though I have not seen this as yet, and I am more interested in the European theatre anyway.
‘A Bridge too Far’ wasn’t too bad either though not sure about the German tanks used. ‘Cross of Iron’ was pretty good too and was one of the first war movies I saw that you actually got to see what looked like ‘real bullet hits and blood effects’. I like ‘Patton’ for the way George C Scott takes the role, but again the wrong German tanks…
I’d welcome your thoughts [comments below] on other WWII movies for their accurate depictions, or just generally what you thought of them.
So with this once again renewed period interest, I decided to peruse the FoW stuff at Maelstromgames where I get most of games stuff from, only to find they are no longer stocking the range.
They are now stocking ranges called ‘Forged in Battle’ which appear to be traditional white metal based, and also the ‘Plastic Soldier Company’ is producing a range in hard plastics. Both in 15mm so direct competition for Battlefronts Flames of War.
I have stumbled across some blog posts on the web featuring some of these products and wondered at your opinions on these ranges in terms of compatibility with Battlefronts products and importantly, cost. I am especially keen to hear from NZ based players as presumably the Battlefront products are readily available on these shores still, yet the others would have to be shipped in.
Again I welcome your comments and opinions.
Finally, the last issue I have with 15mm FoW, is terrain. Nearly all my terrain is scaled for 28mm, though hills are fairly generic. What recommendations are there out there for 15mm WWII buildings - resin casts presumably? Where is best place and price to source, especially for here in NZ.
Thanks in advance.