|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 AHPC! 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!
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 stout infantry 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|
And while I'm not much of a rivet-counter (or so I like to believe, at least), I still get bugged by little details, small things here and there that still stand out on even small model. Get them right, and bang, it all "looks" right! Get them wrong and it's...well, it's OK...but it just bugs me...
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 - 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?|
It's just as good that most of the symbols don't show up too much...the Canadian forces used a series of call signs, numbers, letters and symbols on their vehicles that would leave ancient Byzantine commanders asking "Are you sure? Seems a touch complicated..." Mostly I just wanted to be sure the Maple Leaf showed up on the tabletop - and it does! One of the tanks you see here does have larger decals than the others - these are from a 1/87 scale decal sheet, while the rest are from Armies Army 1/100 decals. I reason the one with the larger decals is just an extreme patriot of some sort, and I'll use it as a Squadron commander or something.
And so, we have a couple of troops from the Royal Canadian Dragoons ready for action on the gaming table tonight! As newly-painted models, what could go wrong?
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...while all involved are excellent folks to deal with, I'm not precisely sure what plans PSC will have for the Armies Army Leopard models. But I do recommend BOTH products.
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!
Enough blather! Bottom line, nine 15mm vehicles painted here, should be good for another 54 points or so. With that, I'm off for a little bit! All the best to the Challengers, keep the great submissions rolling in, it's all very inspiring.
I love it! Your commentary on what you did and didn't like really made me chuckle. I don't think anybody reading this will be unfamiliar with the process of things feeling "not right". I hope you also went through the "talking yourself into the fact that nobody will notice and therefore it'll be alright" even though you know you'll never be happy with it and so changing your mind the next day? And I like how you nonchalantly mention that you just happened to have exactly the right MG in another pack lying on the shelves of holding ;)
I like the highlighting you've done on these, dark green can be such a bear to highlight without looking cartoony and I think this is just right. The usual excellent basing work and the decals really work to make them "fit" on the tabletop.
As ever, a pleasure to see the story behind the painting and 54 points winging their way to you over the interweb.