Monday, January 22, 2018

AHPC Submission Six - More Bundeswehr Armour (plus "Flight")

More Bundeswehr armour in 15mm to reinforce the NATO lines!
My 15mm Cold War armour efforts continue to have a lot of momentum. Once I started to tackle my unpainted collection of Bundeswehr armour in 1/100 scale from Battlefront, I felt more and more that I didn't want to stop until I got through almost all of the lot I had accumulated over the prior 18 months. And so, here is yet more Bundeswehr armour in 15mm.  The models are nearly all from Battlefront, with one exception, which you will see more on below.

As before, these are painted in my best approximation of the West German three-colour camouflage scheme.  Templates were used to apply the paint to these vehicles in depots, and so I tried my best to have the camouflage pattern on each vehicle to be generally similar. Let's take a look at some of the different AFVs in this batch.

Luchs wheeled armoured recon vehicles - 1/100 models from Battlefront

Up first are the Spähpanzer Luchs, 8-wheeled armoured reconvehicles.  As you can imagine, they are engineered for speed, moving rapidly about to keep an eye on the various movements of their Warsaw Pact opponents.

Certainly looks like a sporty ride...
In the event of a tussle with the enemy they carry a turret-mounted 20mm cannon, sufficient to deal with opposing recon elements they might encounter.  The vehicles are lightly armoured, however (as you might expect) and so will not last long against any direct fire from enemy tanks or missiles.

Well-executed mixed resin and metal kits from Battlefront

Many rules try to give players reasons to use recon-themed elements like this in their games, and "Team Yankee" is no exception, but I find the games we really like to play are ones where a battle develops, and given that the players have a birds' eye view of the forces on the table, it is very hard to make recon elements as important to wargamers as they are to actual commanders in the real battlefield. In a real conflict, vehicles like the Luchs would be providing essential information to panzer and panzer grenadier
commanders - info they would be very vulnerable without.  

On a wargame table, you hope light vehicles like these knock out something useful before they are hit by a 125mm tank round fired in anger by Soviet players who were unable to successfully target anything larger on the NATO side...

Despite these issues, I like how cool these models look, and it's fun to try and put together different kinds of forces to give some variety to the gaming scenarios we can set up.

A zug of Leopard 1 tanks - models from Battlefront
Up next we have some West German MBTs – these Leopard 1s.  By the time of the (thankfully) fictional battles envisioned by the game “Team Yankee”, the Leopard 1s had moved out of main frontline service, replaced by the heavier Leopard 2s. The Leopard 1s moved in heavy-support role for the scouting elements of the panzer and panzer grenadier formations instead (and I expect still equipped some reserve panzer battalions). 

Love the look of these German tanks! The Leopard 1 is another classic Cold War vehicle
The kits from Battlefront are a treat to work with - phew!
The Leopard 1 tanks are fast (you know, for tanks), and with a well-designed 105mm main gun, they can certainly dish out severe punishment to Warsaw Pact armour.  Plus, they just LOOK so cool – the main battle tank answer to a fine-looking German sports car! But their armour cannot be counted on to absorb the 125mm return fire of the Soviet side. The commanders and crews of these vehicles need to keep moving and be very careful when and how they engage the enemy.

So often NATO players are content to see their small number of scary tanks blast away, but they will need to be a little more clever when using vehicles like the Leopard 1.

A 15mm Leopard 1 from the Plastic Soldier Company - an excellent kit! Note, however, the crew are still from Battlefront, just to maintain consistency with the other West German vehicles

One of these models – to be used as a command vehicle - is from the new 15mm Leopard 1 box offered by the fine folks at Plastic Soldier Company.  There was a hiccup with the initial release of these models as the first wave of kits did not include a hatch for the driver (oops!). But they sorted all of that out in short order, and I can readily recommend you purchase them if this tank is something that interests you!

The other three are mixed resin and metal kits from Battlefront.  I’m pleased to say the quality here was very good.

While the Leopard 1 was no longer on the Bundeswehr frontlines, it was still a very common tank among NATO allies, where it continued to serve in a frontline role, including Canada! This is something I hope to have more about in later Challenge submissions…

Two more modern-day "big cats" - Leopard 2s on the prowl for Warsaw Pact targets

A commander popped out of the hatch to help make it easier to find the command tank on the table
And finally here are two more of the Leopard 2s…Battlefront sells these in packs of five models, so I thought I would finish these to join the other three I had painted for last week. As before, these are very, very fine plastic models from Battlefront…my only quibble is the very vulnerable connection for the cupola MG…hopefully they will last for a while…

Ready for gaming action in "Team Yankee"!
So that submission was another 10 vehicles in 15mm, which should hopefully net me
another 60 points toward my goal. 

I also completed a submission to the "flight" bonus round - recurring bi-weekly features of Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  While my submission was not even close to being as cool as Byron's (which won the most votes - rightfully bloody so!), it's still helpful in terms of chipping away at the unpainted lead! It was a quad 20mm AA gun and crew from Battlefront.
Quad 20mm gun and crew in 15mm - models by Battlefront
Useful against the Red Air Force, or, increasingly as things got desperate in the East, against the Red Army as well...

This little crew will have some fun in WW2 games at some point soon, when the WW2 bug bites again...

That's it for now from the AHPC.  Stay tuned for more!


Don M said...

Some beautiful work there, you got the camo down spot on....and I've stood next to the things in Germany....)

Dallas said...

Very nice indeed! We'll have so much BW stuff painted it will be time to up the ante again on the Soviet forces ;-)