|1980s West German Panzer Grenadiers from the Bundeswehr; 20mm sculpts from Elhiem and S&S Models|
My Analogue-Hobbies-Painting-Challenge-motivated 20mm insanity continues. My last entry switched from WW2 into the "Cold-War-Goes-Hot" setting, and this entry follows along - a platoon of Bundeswehr Panzer Grenadiers. There are three eight-man sections, a commanding officer, a MILAN guided anti-tank missile team along with a pair of Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicles.
|That's my driveway last week - 70km/h wind gusts driving the snow through the streets. Seriously, winter can go f*ck itself|
It is winter in the Canadian Prairies, and though I know I am so fortunate to call Canada home, Winnipeg in January can be a bit of a sh*t bomb as Army Group Winter encloses the city in a vice-like grip. Case in point last week a small snow storm swept through (one that none of the clowns at Enviro-guess Canada managed to warn anyone about, but anyway). The bright side of this weather is that I can really fire up my internal painting machine, put some hockey games on TV, and get a lot of stuff done - not quite as fast as some of the leading Challenge participants like Tamsin or Millsy, but still a pretty good pace.
|NATO's front lines|
As with the last submission, the infantry figures are all from Elhiem Figures while the vehicles are from S&S Models. The painting/modeling experience is consistent with the last entry as well. The Elhiem sculpts have some soft details and a manic resistance to primer, and yet I just love them as their overall appearance is quite pleasing, and their proportions are excellent. The S&S vehicles are suspiciously undersized and plagued with numerous small casting flaws that significantly lower the overall quality of the model.
|Platoon commander on a hex shaped base|
|The MG3 sure looks a lot like the MG42 from WW2|
The Marder is a very cool-looking IFV - the turret sports a 20mm cannon that would provide some scary fire support in a firefight. I like the sci-fi look of the turret. Later models of the Marder also included a mount for a MILAN missile launcher as well. It's too bad the S&S quality is poor, but black paint covers a lot of issues, so that's what I tried to do. Some decals would be great too, but I couldn't find any 20mm scale modern West German decal sheets, and so I did the crosses free-hand. The results were very poor, but serviceable.
|A view of the Marder 1A3s|
Much "Cold-War-Goes-Hot" interest here in North America centers (understandably enough) around the US forces and encounters of M1 Abrams tanks and clouds of T-72s and T-80s in the Fulda Gap. I love tank battles (a lot - my favourite gaming encounter), but am much more interested in gaming the other NATO countries, and the West Germans in particular - I have quite a bit of West German stuff for Modern Spearhead.
|MILAN team lurking|
|A potent anti-tank system; the MILAN crew set from Elhiem is excellent|
In the 80's the West Germans would obviously have been at the very forefront of any resistance to a Warsaw Pact attack. While NATO would have tried to trade space for time in the face of the large Warsaw Pact shock armies driving across the North German plain and through the Fulda Gap, I expect these fellows would have resisted ferociously, motivated as only those who fight with their own homes and families at their backs can be. I see that as a rich context for scenarios, particularly skirmish encounters.
|Assortment of helmets - some plain, some with scrim|
For example, perhaps they are disobeying orders a little bit, holding out longer than directed outside a small village to allow more time for evacuation behind them - they will have already lost one or two of their IFVs, and the strength of their sections is diminished, but as long as they have the MILAN launcher and missiles to use, they will dig deep to slow the advancing Red Army. Should make a fitting opponent for the Motor Rifles I completed in my last entry.
|The free-hand crosses turned out poorly - I wish I could find some 20mm decals|