Wednesday, 10 August 2022

Finished: 15mm Team Yankee Dutch Leopards

Hi folks,

It's been a long, hot, summer here in the north of England. That, and a number of other factors which have included repeated illness, a major birthday and a general lack of painting mojo has led to a lack of progress. 

I did take some time out to do some gaming, which I've still to post about. This included a decent sized ACW game at Pendraken's new show/gaming venue, along with attending their open day. 

However, this last week I've knuckled under and managed to get my Leopard 1 contingent completed. 

These nine tanks will provide a HQ and two platoons of four, or else three units of three. 

They are Battlefront plastics, and were relatively easy to put together. I did have issues adding the bazooka skirts to them, which I eventually had to resolve by trimming some of the track detail around the front sprocket. I could see no other way to assemble these without massive gaps and I'm not sure if I was missing something obvious. 

I've added Battlefront NATO tank commanders to three of them, added the appropriate machine gun to the turrets and my usual fishing line aerials. Decals on these are basic, as the Dutch don't seem to add many markings to their tanks. 

These are not quite the correct model for Dutch Leopards, as the Dutch added stowage bins along the side of the hull (where the tools are on this model). This in turn impacted on the placement of the 'NL' decal. However, I'm happy enough with them and have promised myself I'm not going crazy with this collection as I have my WW2 stuff. 

Basing consists of 70mm by 45mm MDF, with the usual magnetic material underneath. I added two different tones of grass tufts, but otherwise my usual shade of green static grass. 

Paint came from the same AK Interactive 'US Olive Drab' special set. I've now tried the '3g' primer and paints form AK Interactive and I am impressed. The primer especially is great. Needs thinking but gives a really nice durable coat. 

I was pleased that despite all the trial and error that went into the earlier APCs, the Leopards match in quite nicely. I could perhaps go a bit heavier on the lighter dust weathering, but that's an easy fix. 

Added to the queue next, some more APCs! However, I did pick up a set of the Army Painter Speedpaints for my birthday. This was mainly as a way to paint my sci-fi models faster, and I'm currently using them to paint up my last units of knights for the Joshua Project. This is still a thing, and progress will be made on selling on the donated models for charity later this year (hopefully). 

Tuesday, 21 June 2022

Finished: 15mm Team Yankee Dutch Mechanised Infantry platoon

Hi folks,

Another long gap between blog posts, mainly brought to you by a distinct lack of painting mojo on my behalf. I normally seem to suffer a bit of a slump post AHPC, but this year I struggled to shake the doldrums and was distracted by computer games and TV shows. 

I did manage to assemble all of the Leopard 1 models for the TY dutch project... 

Aside from building some tanks, I had slowly been chipping away at the infantry for my previously completed IFVs. These models are 15mm Battlefront metal casts, and were nice and easy to paint. No camo, limited range of colours and some nice poses. 

The pack contains enough models to also build the formation command team, and with two radio operators I was able to easily mark out which of the infantry teams would be the HQ. 

In total there are four GPMG/LAW teams, three Carl Gustav teams and two Dragon ATGW teams. Then the formation commander on the small base. 

They look the part with their transports. 

I've not gone for any flower tufts on the bases, mainly to separate these out from my WW2 stuff, but also as my perception of a cold war landscape is one with a lot less 'wildness' to it. I do have two shades of grass tufts, just for some texture and variation, although they don't show up well on my (poor) photos. 

I'm unsure what's on the painting table next - possibly another vehicle unit just to make sure I can replicate the same look as the IFVs. 

Saturday, 7 May 2022

Finished: 15mm Dutch YPR-765 platoon

Hi folks.

Changing things up a bit from my 15mm WWII stuff, I decided to try some 15mm WWIII stuff instead. 

My gaming buddy Dave D had picked up some 15mm 'moderns', and despite years of very determinedly steering clear of 15mm Team Yankee, I was easily dragged in. I decided to go with a Dutch force - although our plan is to also use our firgures to play Seven Days to the Rhine and 'Centag' (Battlegroup's rule set) when it is released. All these systems use similar basing for infantry and are 1:1 scale. 

Part of the reasoning was also that we have a lot of 15mm scenery between us which would convert nicely over to a more modern setting - with a few additions. 

To kick things off, I thought I'd make a start on a mechanised infantry platoon and it's transports. The infantry are started but still on the paint desk, while the vehicles were an easier job:

With these 15mm Battlefrong resin and metal minis I wanted to try a different painting style, just to expand my abilities a little. This was 'kind of' a success, but I failed to achied what I was aiming for. 

My plan had been to use an Olive Drab modulation set (from AK) and a stipple/drybrush technique using Artis Opus Series D brushes to get a more modulated effect without having to use an airbrush. Unfortunately, I need more practice and/or the technique is harder to use on models smaller than 28mm. 

What I ended up with was a stippling application that was pretty fast, along with a much more focused drybrush to hit high points. I actually found I didn't need to use a wash, building up from a black basecoat. I had the basics done in one evening. Unfortunately I then tried a couple of things/colours that didn't work and saw me having to return to the 'Olive Drab' base green, before just sticking with that mixed with the highlight colour for edges, etc. 

Having said that, as much as time was lost due to my faffing and trying unsuccessfully to be more arty, these were a hell of a lot simpler to paint than the half-tracks!

Aerials were added in my usual style (although I went with black grey paint, rather than black). Two commanders have been added as one vehicle will be the company commanders transport. Decals have been added, and with the Dutch using few tactical markings this was pretty straightforward. I then added a good amount of weathering dust to the tracks and lower hull, just to add some interest. I also painted the periscopes blue, and added colour to the lights as per some reference pics - just to give a bit more of a modern feel over my usually plain WW2 models. 

I've decided with my Team Yankee project I'm not going to go into the rabbit hole I normally do with my WW2 stuff. I'm accepting the fluff and setting from the Team Yankee faction books and just doing what I can to get a useable force painted. As such, I've not attributed these models to any particular unit. 

I have drilled out and magnetised the turrets, and have built the TOW launcher upgrades which came with these kits (which are also magnetised). My plan is to have those as a little extra option should I need them in the future. 

For basing, I avoided my usual flowers and just stuck to some green grass tufts for variety. I had planned to use a darker static grass, but was unhappy with how similar it was to the vehicles. I used Tan Earth (or US Field Drab???) for the base edges as well, so they are lighter than my usual WW2 bits. 

Having finished the unit, I was a little annoyed that I'd tried a different painting technique and paints, and ended up with my usual WW2 British paint scheme...


Thankfully, putting them side by side shows they are different (and demonstrates the different pictures you get with different lighting)!