To complete my initial force for 'Team Yankee' I acquired Battlefront's German starter set 'Kampfgruppe Müller'. Although I decided to postpone the BO-105 anti-tank helicopters I was in need of a couple of Leopard 2 main battle tanks to withstand the Red Horde. Thus I painted them actually a few weeks ago but didn't find the time to take pictures earlier than today:
|Those five Leopard 2 from Kampfgruppe Müller|
The Leopard 2 MBT was developed by Krauss-Maffei in the 1970s. It suceeded the earlier Leopard 1 and was introduced in 1979. At this point it was one of the best - if not the best - main battle tank of the world. Its 120mm Rheinmetall L44 smoothbore gun was state-of-the-art as well as its multilayer armour. But most outstanding was the Leopard 2's top-notch fire control and gun stabilisation system. All this is propelled by a 1,500 PS diesel engine consuming between 300 and 500 litres per 100 kilometres (depending on terrain condition).
|Company leader Hauptmann (Captain) Müller|
In gaming terms that means the Leopard 2 is a very mobile tank with 14" tactical speed and his armament is scaring with 40" range, anti-tank rating of 22 and a laser rangefinder that let's him ignore penalties for shooting at long range. In addition his front armour of 18 enables him to withstand the Sowjets T-72 main gun at 4+ on a d6. In short the Leopard 2 is a beast. Unfortunately it's not cheap at all. With 11 points per tank he's nearly three time as expensive as the Russian T-72 main battle tank. Experience will show whether that's a good deal.
|Platoon leader Leutnant Kleinschmidt|
The model kits are from Battlefront's excellent 15mm range supporting their 'Team Yankee' game. They are easy build plastic kits of about 15 parts. Really easy to assemble but bearing a lot of detail. Actually exactly my cup of tea since I don't want to spent too much time on putting a model together. I want to have it rather quick to get on with painting it then.
|The common platoon tanks. Two for Leutnant Kleinschmidt's platoon and one for the next platoon.|
To paint the cats I applied a thin layer of Vallejo Polyurethane Primer and afterwards I used Tamiya's wonderful range of acrylic paints. Thinned with the dedicated Tamiya alcohol they went through my trusted airbrush perfectly and I applied the NATO three colour camouflage pattern in use since the 1980s.
To outline the details I added some Armypainter Dark Tone wash for the gaps and seams and drybrushed the whole tank with Vallejo Model Color "Iraqui Sand' to underline the edges.
Of course I applied the decals delivered with the kits. The rear number plate was actually slightly too large because it was meant to be put onto the mud guard but the Leopard 2 really has it on a cover panel in the centre of the rear. Fortunately with some careful trimming and positioning the decals fit nicely.
So finally my 50 pts force for the first test games is completed and I'm really looking forward to seeing how they perform. Luckily a friend of mine has finished some Sowjets as well and we're trying to find an appointment in December to try Team Yankee.