Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Painting Challenge Submission 10 - More Canadian Cold War Stuff

More Canadian armour for the Cold War - 1/100 models from "Armies Army"
Another AHPC submission to catch folks up on. The theme is no surprise at all - continuing to round out the basic elements of my 15mm Cold War-era Canadian troops for "Team Yankee".

My prior submission had included Canadian Cold War-era infantry, but for the 1980s the infantry need a ride to battle - otherwise they would be stuck on the table while their enemies zoomed around them! For the Canadian forces of the mid-1980s in Europe this ride would have come in the form of the M113 armoured personnel carrier. My Canadian foot-sloggers were lacking in APCs, so the M113s were duly slotted into the painting lineup so the fellows could get a lift on the gaming table.

Ugh. M113s. So, so lame...but at least the large decals on the front add a bit of clear character...
We all have painting subjects we dislike, but perhaps can't avoid due to the circumstances of the given period or setting, don't we? Well, for me, the M113 is one such subject.  Where painting NATO tanks tends to be a whole lot of fun, painting an M113 is like throwing some acrylic paint on a frozen turd. An unlovely box on treads, the M113 is utterly devoid of character, charm, personality or the slightest hint of fun. No turret. No cool vents.  You look at these things and wonder what the point is? They must have had some serious up-sides, or useful aspects from the perspective of actual military users (I mean, hey, that .50 cal surely comes in handy for fire support purposes!) but on the hobby side, they are not a model I enjoy working with.

Commander popped out of the hatch to a) represent the platoon commander's track and b) add some character to the otherwise un-inspiring silhouette of the M113 APC
Besides - Canada purchased cool tanks from Germany - why not purchase their awesome infantry fighting vehicles too? Really, anything that you will drive in a war - let's just use common sense, and buy from Germany! Sadly, no...you can't avoid the M113 if you want to paint Cold War forces from Canada. The stupid M113 was the core APC for the main mechanized infantry elements of the 4th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group, and as such, they would have to be painted if I wanted to reflect the infantry in my tabletop forces...so here we are...

These models are from "Armies Army" (now available from Plastic Soldier Company).  They are mixed resin and metal kits.  While my love for Armies Army is un-diminished, and I salute Keith's valiant and amazing efforts to bring Cold War Canadians to life in 15mm, I must acknowledge that his M113s were...tricky...you won't have to look hard to spot the gaps between the tread assemblies and the fenders.  In this case I must sadly report that Battlefront's plastic M113s are probably the better way to go...the Battlefront models are multi-part plastic, with all of the associated frustration this can entail, but they are more precise in the end.

The camouflage Canada used on these vehicles was somewhat unique as well, and not the most fun to paint. I used a mix of decals from Armies Army as well as a useful 1/87 sheet for things like Canadian flags and license-plates.  The 1/87 decals are oversize for the scale, but they help the nationality stand out a bit more on the table, and add just a touch of character to the boxes-with-treads.  A huge thanks to Mike F for helping me track down the 1/87 decals!

1/100 Leopard C1 from Armies Army - with the "1B" marking I think he is the "Battle Captain" from "A" Squadron...although there is a high chance I'm wrong about that...anyway, popped out commander and blue flowers to indicate the MBT is part of the Squadron command troop.
Leopard C1 with dozer blade attached on the front - an excellent little touch from Armies Army!! It will have no impact in game terms, just a cool thing to include from a completeness perspective...

To wash the terrible flavour of painting stupid M113s out of my mouth, I finished off another pair of Leopard C1s as well.  Positively refreshing!  These are both from the excellent Armies Army, and another element of Keith's utterly complete rendering of these troops can be glimpsed by the presence of a dozer blade mounted to one of the Leopards in the photos.  One Leopard C1 in each squadron had a dozer blade, useful for various battlefield engineering tasks (in particular helping to prepare hull-down firing positions for the other Leopards).  Full marks again to Armies Army for bringing out such a complete collection of models and figures!!!

Canadian armoured squadron, ready to roll out!
And so I have the very basic elements of a battlegroup from 4CMBG in place for "Team Yankee" gaming - a squadron of Leopard C1s and an attached mechanized infantry platoon from either the RCR or the Vandoos. All in this has been just about what...five or six weeks of painting? Not too bad!  Here is a photo of the battlegroup to date:

Basic battlegroup from 4CMBG - Leopard C1 squadron with attached infantry support - ready to stand fast in the NATO lines!
Whatever I think of the M113s, at least these fellows will have a ride to take them around the battlefield!
Points wise, this submission was worth another 36 points towards my goal of 1000 points of painting.  The goal is getting closer, a bit every week! Hope to be there by the end of the Challenge in March.

And now Mike F just "just" needs to do a platoon of foot troops based for this game as well,  since he already has a bunch of M113s and other vehicles painted, we can have quite the force of Canadians on our "Team Yankee" tables!

1 comment:

Stan M. said...

Great looking Canucks!! Well done Greg...you've got an outstanding force there...and you are doing a great job with painting progress.