I started out a month ago putting together my British 7th Armoured Divison for my Flames of War gaming with a couple platoons of FOW’s boxes. I wound up with two great looking platoons and a command section, but I really wanted two more platoons of the storied Desert Rats to beef up the company to maximum size in my post-D-Day break through scenarios.
While I love the detail in the cast resin FOW models, you can’t beat the value of the kits from the Plastic Soldier Company. For about half the cost of the FOW boxes, I’m been able to double the size of my company and field a formidable wall of nimble British armor on the tabletop. Ordering directly from PSC, I was also able to add an extra Cromwell to the five included in the box plus two Firefly models for a total of two additional four-tank platoons.
Two platoons of the 7th Armoured Division PSC Cromwells and Fireflies
Assembling PSC kits always reminds me of the hours I spent frustrated and thrilled gluing-up Airfix models as a kid. While FOW cast resin and metal tanks go together in a couple simple steps, there’s a particular investment in time and focus needed with boxes from PSC. The FireflyPSC molded turret is simple to assemble, but the multi-piece tracks are a challenge even though the results with the sagging upper tread is a nice detail. The turrets on the PSC Cromwells have many pieces but fit nicely with patience, and their single-piece tracks are a breeze.
Close-up of the PSC Cromwell and Firefly models
PSC tank sprues come with multiple modelling options, although there’s no stowage included in PSC offerings. To add a bit of detail, I attached some folded mesh panited as camouflage netting to rear the hulls of a few of my PSC models.
Members of the 7th Armoured Division with their Firefly in Normandy
Comparing the PSC and FOW models, there are some differences. PSC models tend to be thinner than the chunkier FOW kits, expecially in regards to the main gun barrels. The PSC tanks are also significantly lighter and their turrets require a bit of extra drilling to provided free movement more easily found in the magnet-mounted FOW turrets.
Firefly model comparison from PSC (left) and FOW (right)
The FOW Cromwells and Fireflies both come draped in camouflage and other cast details, yet when mixed together side-by-side with the more sparely-detailed PSC kits some nice variety across the four platoons is acheived. Separate decals are also needed to complete the PSC tanks which do not include any markings options in the kits.
Four platoons and command for the 7th Armoured Division “Desert Rats” from PSC and FOW
Ultimately, the PSC and FOW models come together quite nicely with a consistent paint job and markings. If anything, the slight differences in the models will make tracking cohesive platoons on the table a bit easier when the Desert Rats roll onto the game table in the very near future.