Thursday, 15 February 2018

From GregB: Cold War Canadian Continuation (36 points)

More Canadian armour for the Cold War - 1/100 models from "Armies Army"
Greetings to all AHPC participants and viewers! Sorry to have missed a week, but 1-to-1 scale matters had to take precedence over the brushes last week and therefore I had a big, fat, nothing to report last time.  This was, of course, all rather unsettling, as lack of any painting time tends to cause mental distress, paranoid sentiment that I may forget how to paint etc. so it is with considerable relief I can at least show you a few more items this week!  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, and for the Canadian forces of the mid-1980s in Europe this ride would have come in the form of the M113 armoured personnel carrier. 

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 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? Considering the debauched, comically-expensive-but-at-least-sexy-ish outcomes the western military industrial complex is capable of (see here for current example) the existence and near-ubiquitous deployment of this useless-box vehicle throughout Western forces and their client nations is a real downer from the wargaming perspective - the weaponization of the lowest bidder.  I know the Soviet BMPs were cramped, maybe not always quality, and had a spotty performance record at best - but at least they look cool, and are fun to paint...

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

From a strictly Canadian perspective, we 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, 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 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 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...

Adding to the M113 painting misery is the awful camouflage paint scheme Canada used on these vehicles in the 1980s. One of the colours seems like...I'm not sure..."Puke Green"? Come on, Canada! Sheesh.  Anyway, to counter the misery, 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 help to limit the flavour of the odious camouflage.

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 an utterly 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? Of course in a similar period Dave would have painted 1200 Mahdists in 28mm, but still, zero to a useful force in that time period is 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 is six vehicles in 15mm or 1/100, I think, 36 points? Jamie will get it sorted.

I have certainly managed to address my "Must.Paint.Tanks." craving over these past several weeks...might be time to switch subjects...who knows? We'll see what next week might bring...just hope it brings something!

Is that the faint lilt of the Canadian National Anthem I can hear in the background as I read this submission?  The sound of the swish a hockey stick makes as it whizzes towards the puck drifting through the air?  And the distant bellow of a moose?

Here's hoping nobody from the Pentagon is reading this as you pour scorn on Canada's very early attempt to "make America Great Again" by buying boxy and unsuitable vehicles instead of better German versions?

Enough tomfoolery from me, I like the M113!  I even like the green you've used....... They remind me of the Rhinos of the 31st and 41st millenia..... which is no doubt where the early GW designers got their "inspiration" from ;)  Although, if truth be told, I also dislike painting rhinos as they are just boxy and boring.... like you, it's the decals that are the fun bits so I'm pleased to see you found some to relieve your boredom, especially as I see you had to do exactly the same camo on each one!

Those Leopards are as brilliant as always and that's a mighty fine looking (historical buffs look away now......) battalion/brigade/chapter/brotherhood/cabal that you've pulled together in this time - I dread to think how many Soviet tanks this lot was supposed to hold back though!


  1. Great work building up this little army. Go Canada !

  2. That is still some brilliant camouflage painting Greg!

  3. Nice work Greg - great to see them all together :)

  4. Absolutely terrific seeing seeing this Canucks battle group ready to go. I can faintly hear Red Rider's 1981 'Lunatic Fringe' as I look at them. :)

    1. Thanks dude! And that tune would be a PERFECT pairing while the Leopards roll towards their firing positions...

  5. Great work on your cold war Canadians! Come on, who could afford marders in the 1980s apart from the west Germans? I like your M113s anyway!
    Best Iain

  6. Looking good , even if they are frozen turds!

  7. Really great armoured force, Greg - though as you say, that green is... problematic!

  8. You've done a great job on this lot Greg. The 4th CMBG is a unit I've wanted to paint up since reading the Kenneth Macksey book. You've really nailed the look for this unit - camo is spot on, and I for one think that those 113s look great

  9. I can feel your pain on the 113‘s. They‘re just the reason I‘ll probably never paint a Canadian force for that period... or an American for that matter. That said we Germans had a fair few of those ugly beasts in our inventory as well.
    And despite your misgivings about the subject your painting is again top quality work. And of course the Leo‘s are just superb. Imho one of the ‚sexiest‘ and meanest looking tanks ever produced.

  10. Lovely battlegroup! I think the M113 is loveable, but I’d be happier outside it...


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