Monday, November 14, 2016

US M163 Vulcans for "Team Yankee"

M163 VADS in 1/100 scale from Battlefront

The "Team Yankee" painting run continues.  Following on the M113s from last week, here are some M163 VADS vehicles to provide some essential AA cover for the US formations in "Team Yankee".  The models are 1/100 scale plastic kits from Battlefront.

Making the skies a little less friendly for Warsaw Pact types...

I have to hand it to Battlefront - their "Team Yankee" rules are a lot of fun.  Not perfect, and it took me a while to get used to them, but overall a lot of fun. A big part of that (for me) is the ability to have a lot of involvement from helicopters and strike aircraft in the game.  The Soviet Hind helicopters are real beasts! I can remember the first time we tried the "Team Yankee" rules, the games didn't even make it past three turns, in part because the Hinds blasted the NATO fellows off the table. 

I generally hate plastic model kits - but I must compliment Battlefront, lots of detail on these

So where I often see AAA units as really optional - and often kind of silly - in a "Flames of War" game (unless a specific scenario has been devised or you are talking very late war, where German AA formations often found themselves on the front lines), you sort of really need them for a game of "Team Yankee" to get a flavour for the setting in my opinion - YMMV.

Watching for Hinds...

These M163s were decent kits to put together, and I generally despise plastic kits, so I bet normal people will find these to be a real breeze to work with.  As before, I cursed the MERDC camouflage, but it's my own fault for not thinking things through at the outset, so I did the best impression I could with the plain old paint brush. 

My model skillz were not too sharp with these kits, and when you observe the photos, you'll see some gaps in the frames where I thought I was cutting away excess flash, but was in reality shaving the sides of the top and side plates (whoops!).  I wish I had some bed rolls or something to cover those little gaffes...maybe in the future...but from two feet away, it looks good enough :)

...but in reality, hoping to light up a motor rifle company...
While the AAA vehicles of other nations, such as the ZSU-23-4 or the Flakpanzer Gepard have a certain notoriety among gamers and geeks interested in the setting, the M163 is kind of an unkown for me. I thought this was an IDF vehicle at first, and I did not realize it was part of the US arsenal.  Sure seems deadly, though - and like all gamers, while I want to protect my vehicles from air attack, what I'm truly hoping to happen on the table is for these things to have an opportunity to rip open a column of enemy BMPs...because Vulcan rotary cannon...

More "Team Yankee" stuff is rolling off the painting table...stay tuned!


Michael Awdry said...

Cracking camouflage Greg.

Don M said...

They came out pretty good, and I say that as one who painted real vehicles in MERDC camouflage which involved chalking green vehicles with the pattern from the book!
The only good part about that is I can now do the small ones from muscle memory!

I've been holding back on jumping into "Team Yankee" but the more I hear the more I like, add to that a massive NATO and Warsaw Pack collection already in my possession
there is no real excuse.....)

I'm really enjoying your reports keep the inspiration flowing....)

ByronM said...

Very good work Greg, especially impressive given your refusal to use an airbrush! Can't wait to get another game in with them.

Allison M. said...

Neat! These are fun little modern armor models, which I don't normally have much interest in. I like the weird looking radar units attached to the turrets, and the understated but deadly miniguns. And I don't think your modeling errors even really show, so don't worry about those. Call them "Persian flaws" ;)