The observant will no doubt have spotted when I posted my first foray into Battlefront’s Team Yankee there were two army starter forces in the photo; the Soviets and the West Germans. With one hundred points of Soviets now painted and game ready I’ve moved my attention onto NATO. As I alluded to earlier Kev has picked up the role of the Americans in our forthcoming campaign and it’s likely all three of us will pick up some of the British to one degree or another so it seemed appropriate to give the Bundeswehr an opportunity to defend their homeland from the red horde.
The first units I did were obviously the ones in the Kampfgruppe Müller starter box consisting of five Leopard 2 and a PAH flight of two anti-tank helicopters. The new all plastic kits are excellent and the Leopard 2 in particular go together fantastically well, although I made one deviation from the assembly instructions in that I left the track sections off so I could paint them separately and slot them in at the end. I did the same with the T-72 and it worked out very well as there is enough connection surface in the side skirts to attach with the tracks off. I do recommend dry fitting however when gluing the skirts to ensure when in place you can still easily slot the tracks back in.
With a three colour camo scheme I used the airbrush to speed up the process and began with a black primer followed by a light green prime of Army Painter Army Green from a rattlecan. I know that this is a second primer in effect however what I’ve found is it gives a good head start for the NATO green base when applied over the main black primer. The three colours I use for the West Germans are in order Tamiya NATO Green (XF-67), Vallejo Model Air US Brown (71 026) and Tamiya Rubber Black (XF-85).
For tracks I always start with Vallejo Panzer Aces Track Primer (304) and the road wheels Panzer Aces Dark Rubber (306). After all those base colours have been applied and any details such as windscreens, periscope lenses or lights and weapons painted the final core colour I use is Model Colour Khaki (880) which I use for a light dry-brush to pick out the edges and give the armour a light dusty finish.
This palette and method above was used on all of the Bundeswehr to date including the Luchs, Marders and Fuchs. When it comes to weathering I have foregone my usual method of using pigments and instead just given all of the armour a light coat of thinned beige brown using the airbrush. By thinning the paint to the point it’s translucent (almost but not quite a glaze) the dusty build up of dirt can be added in thin layers letting the base colours show through. This creates a far subtler and more pleasing end result in my opinion and again, by using the airbrush the entire army can be done in one go saving a lot of time and effort, not to mention ensuring a unifying colour.
The exact same process above was rolled out across the Marders, Luchs Späh, Gepards and this weekend at the time of writing a LARS Raketenwerfer Batterie, quite possibly the most impressive looking artillery in the West German arsenal.
For air power we have the two PAH Helicopters from the starter set which are incredibly tiny when compared with the Soviet Hind-D. To these I also added a Tornado strike flight armed with MW-1 submunitions dispenser capable of seeding anti-tank bomblets. Wrapping up the list is a Panzergrenadier Zug with Fuchs transports to exploit any objectives the Luchs have scoped (still work in progress). I drew the line at fleshing out a full one hundred point list to leave a few gaps and give me options for the future to either go Panzer Kompanie or with a more probing recon force. For now though it’s plenty to put to the test.
I’ll include the Panzergrenadier zug as part of a future post, but for now that wraps up my West German forces as I’m pretty confident a starter box of British will be landing sometime this week so that will almost certainly be the focus of attention this coming weekend.
Until next time, have a great week!