Thursday, 18 January 2018

From GregB: More Cold War Armour (62 points)

More Bundeswehr armour in 15mm to reinforce the NATO lines!
I got such a jolt from painting 15mm Cold War armour - a subject my paint brushes have not touched for close to a year or more - that I just kept right on going through the week!  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 recon vehicles.  As you can imagine, they are engineered for speed, moving rapidly about to track 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 to help out in lighter encounters, and deal with opposing recon elements they might encounter.  They 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.  On a wargame table, you hope they 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 put on.

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, and into a heavy-support role for the scouting elements of the panzer and panzer grenadier formations. 

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, can certainly dish out severe punishment to Warsaw Pact tanks.  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, so 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!

Also, the Leopard 1 was still used as a frontline main tank by several other NATO allies, including Canada! 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 is another 10 vehicles in 15mm, which should hopefully net me another 60 points toward my goal.  That’s all for now – see you again next week!

Good Lord man, you spent all last week painting the SAME camo on squadrons of vehicles and then decided that the appropriate course of action this week was to do MORE of the same?!?!?  If I weren't also a wargamer and painter myself, I may question your sanity.... but as I am both of those things I instead admire and salute your work sir!

These vehicles are ace with your signature detailed bases to boot.  Seeing the Leopards 1 & 2 together is great as you can really see how much more advanced and with a flatter profile the 2 is.  The 1 looks almost WW2 in comparison......

Totally with you on the recce too, wargames really can't get over the importance of this stuff and does often end up just as lightly armed vehicles that brew up super quickly.

Cracking painting all round and I'm awarding an extra 2 points to represent the 2 weeks you've spent squinting at 15mm vehicles to get the camo the same on them ;)


  1. Lovely cold war armour, always liked the leopard 1 and you've done a fab job on them!
    Best Iain

  2. Lovely looking armour - well done on the camo. And you complain about painting artillery pieces and shields! I like the inclusion of the light armour - I find recon vehicles to be very useful in locating the position of enemy heavy armour - by blowing when it hits you.

  3. Nice work, reminds me of muddy fields in Germany in my youth.

  4. Really great job on those tanks Greg, you nailed them!

  5. Great work on these Greg. You really nailed the camo pattern especially with it having to be the same layout on all of them, that would be tricky.

  6. Terrific set of Deutsch wheels and treads Dude! Nice to see some venerable, but still oh, so cool Leopard I's on display.

  7. Wonderful additions to your collection Greg! You really, really make me wanna get back to that project myself.

  8. Nice work on them all, Greg! I really like the luchs. Recon gets short shrift in most war games unless you do specific scenarios. In true life the luchs is a speedy beast that can also win in who has the most lug nuts confrontations. ;)

  9. More wonderful armor from your brush Greg!