|Canadian Leopard C1s in 1/100 scale for "Team Yankee"|
My pent-up interest in Cold War armour has been well and truly unleashed in this edition of the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge. I haven't painted this many 15mm tanks in several years, and it has been a lot of fun so far. I love tanks! After a couple of weeks of working up my West German Bundeswehr forces, we turn today to another NATO member - my home team, the Canadians!
In this I follow the trail blazed by Conscript Mike F. A search through dusty old posts at the side of this blog will reveal his exhaustive efforts to put together a force of 1980s-era Canadian Forces in 15mm. He started with Leopard 1s, and then did head swaps for infantry! Now THAT is commitment :) Mike completed this project back in 2013, but it is still awesome, and as Battlefront's "Team Yankee" game arrived, these efforts were often in the back of my mind - I really wanted to get some Canadians into a game of "Team Yankee".
During most of the Cold War, and particularly the mid-80s period envisioned by the game "Team Yankee", Canada's contribution to the forward-deployed land defences of West Germany was the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group. They were based in the Central Front zone and were intended to act as a reserve for the US VII Corps or German II Corps. While the 4th CMBG was mostly a mechanized formation, with stoutinfantry of the Royal Canadian Regiment and the "Vandoos" trooping around in M113 APCs, the cutting edge were the Leopard C1s of the Royal Canadian Dragoons.
|Leopard C1 troop - 1/100 models from "Armies Army"|
|Armies Army models - showing the lovely casting of the low-light TV system over the mantlet, and the FN MAG on the cupola|
Should either of these things really matter on a 1/100 scale model of a tank? Well, no...but...yes! What is wrong with me? I'm such a DORK.
|Another view of the PSC models...the targeting camera is not as detail as it is on the Armies Army model, but still great and well done to PSC for thinking of those sorts of "little things"...|
There are nine tanks in the photos here - three are from the Plastic Soldier Company, and the balance are from Armies Army. The Plastic Soldier Company models are a treat to assemble, and they have options for the little targeting camera on the mantlet to suit the Canadian variant, which is just great for a nutter like me! Only downside if the cupola MG is still the German MG3, and that is the only option on the sprue. I worked around that by swapping in some FN MAGs from a pack of Peter Pig 1/100 IDF Centurion Shots that I haven't painted yet (long-abandoned Lebanon project - don't ask).
The Armies Army vehicles are a mix of resin and metal parts. I love that the Armies Army variant comes with all of the proper accessories - the FN MAG for the cupola, a well-sculpted thermal jacket on the main gun barrel, etc. PLUS he sells you tons of stowage, something I will add more on later. But they are slightly trickier to assemble - you don't get the razor-sharp precision you do with the plastic kits from PSC. With the treads in particular there were a few challenges...but in all, the Armies Army effort is just so cool because it is so utterly complete - EVERYTHING you could want - well aligned to the mind of a wargaming nutter like me!
AND, major bonus, you can get DECALS! Yes, the little things that really finish off the models! The downside is that, other than the maple leaf on the turret, the decals are hard to see, as they are small and the black stencils don't show well on the green. Or, they might show in the photos if I ever purchase a light box - but, if you ever see me buying one of those, you'll know I have finally painted every single figure and model I ever want to paint and have moved on to less important things...but anyway...
|Ready to roll out against the Warsaw Pact, eh?|
Keen to try any of these models yourself? I would say "go nuts" with either provider, but to further confuse things (so appropriate for a post about Leopard 1s and Canadians), Plastic Soldier Company appears to have acquired Armies Army...all involved are excellent folks to deal with, and it looks like PSC will sell the Armies Army range. Should be good news long term, and you can take your pick of Leopard 1 models!
Furthermore, Battlefront itself has hinted at providing figures for Canadians later this year, part of a rules expansion to be called "Free Nations" or something similar...but if you are like me, and you don't like waiting, go visit PSC right now!
Anyway, these tanks joined Mike's established collection to receive a baptism of fire on the gaming table last night...and as newly-painted models...well, you know how that goes...stay tuned for a separate blog post about that...
Big thanks to Mike F for the inspiration, assistance with decals and sources of information on the 4th CMBG. Also want to give a shout-out to Stanley Martens and his similar efforts (check them out here) - very inspiring stuff Stanley, and your posts were very, very helpful! I have a few more models to finish to round out the Squadron, and from there it will be on to some Canadian infantry...stay tuned!