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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Team Yankee: West German Tips & Tricks #1: Spahpanzer Luchs (TGBX05)

Guten tag comaraden!

Translation:  Hey y'all!

It's me! SonBae! Live from WWPD-South, bringing to you another in my installment of tips and tricks from models from Battlefront's Team Yankee game.  This time we are going to look at models from the newest faction to enter the Team Yankee fray, the West Germans.

First up is the Luchs (TGBX05).  No, not the PzII variant from World War II, although it does bear a closer resemblance to an 8-Rad or Puma.  This Luchs is a sleek little all-terrain Armored Car.  In Leopard, you can find these bad boys in all of the West German lists.  You can get up to 2 Trupps of 2 Luchs each in the Leopard II Panzer Kompanie, Marder Panzergrenadier Kompanie and up to 4 Trupps of 2 Luchs eat in the Panzer Aufklarungs Kompanie.  You get some pretty cool rules with it  like Spearhead, Scout and thermal that help beef up that 20mm gun.

On to the models!

Again this is very sleek kit. The kits I have for prepared are pre-release versions and they are very clean sculps with extremely little flash or mold lines. The targeting system (Big Box on the side of the turret) was the only part that had mold lines of notice and those were cleaned up very quickly.

The fit of the wheels is well designed and very easy...much easier than I remember the wheels fitting on the 8-Rad and Puma.  They also fit very snug, so you will have to dry fit and do a little filing to get a proper fit.

Build:  Since this was a pre-release kit, I didn't have the instructions that are up on Battlefront now. But that didn't matter! The kit is super easy; very intuitive...put all the wheels on one side of the hull.  Let those dry a little so that they don't wiggle any more, then do the other side.

While the first side of wheels dry, you can build the turret. All you do here is glue the barrel, hatch and AAMG.  If you do the open hatch, you have a Tank Commander figure to glue. On the open hatch variant, I added the actual hatch at the back of the Tank Commander.  The open hatch has a little tab on it that I used for the hatch.  Just a little filing and Robert's your Father's Brother. Once you get the hatch settled you can glue on the targeting system to the left side of the turret. The box actually fits very cleaning into the recess.  The front of the box has a vertical line running down the middle of the front.

Paint Plan:

I followed the guide in Leopard on page 47 as close as I could.

- I primed the models using the Team Yankee Spray Primer of NATO Green (really liked this spray primer btw).  A close second is to prime black using your favorite black primer and then use either the Team Yankee NATO Green bottle paint.  I have found that Vallejo's Model Air 71.093 Field Green is very close to the NATO Green.

- Once you have the NATO Green base laid down, it's time for camouflage.  Before you do any camouflage on these, you need to look at the templates Battlefront has for these.  The camo pattern was standardized for each vehicle type and every vehicle of that type had the same (or very close to the same) pattern applied.  These patterns show you views from the front, rear, left, right, and top of the vehicles and make it VERY easy to follow and are a must to use.

Luchs Template from

   - First up are the black stripes.  The guide calls for Worn Rubber.  A good substitute is Vallejo Model Color 70.862 Black Grey.  I airbrushed these using a mix of Vallejo Game Air 70.862 Black and Vallejo Model Air 71.048 at a 2:1 ratio. I am falling in love with Vallejo's growing range of Model Air and Game Air colors.

   - Next is the brown.  The guide calls for Woodland Brown. I used Vallejo Game Color 72.043 Beasty Brown which is a very close second.

- Next I did a little clean up and used the Team Yankee colors to hide any of the little "splatter" marks that creep in when you airbrush and to add a little depth to the camo lines.  The thinner nature of the Team Yankee colors help you keep the feathered airbrush edges...feathered.

   - Now, why didn't I just use the Team Yankee colors in my airbrush to start with? It might just be me and my own limitations, but for the life of me I just can't get the right mix to thin any of the Color of War series paints to work smoothly with my airbrush. These paints are already a little thinner and smoother than the Vallejo Model and Game Colors I use...and I can easily thin all of these to go through my airbrush.

- Next were the wheels and metal parts. Here I used a Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black as a base.  So all the tires, tools, the MG...and the little propellers at the rear ( has propellers) are painted black.  I high-lighted the tires next with a drybrush of Vallejo Model Color 70.994 Dark Grey and then Vallejo Model Color 70.992 Neutral Grey.

- Next in the guide is a drybrush of Dry Dust.  I used the old standby of Vallejo Model Color 70.819 Iraqi Sand.  This is a HUGE (YUGE?) step.  You aren't trying to get the dirty/dusty look at this step. You lightly (and I stress lightly) drybrush the Dry Dust/Iraqi Sand.  What this does is tone down the brighter/bolder tone of the NATO Green and Woodland Brown as well as pick out the many edges on the model.

- Now you hit the metal bits with a dark gunmetal color.  I like to mix Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black and Vallejo Model Color 70.863 Gunmetal Grey for this. After that is laid down, a hi-light of pure Vallejo Model Color 70.863 Gunmetal Grey.

- Paint the wooden handles on all the tools with a quick Vallejo Model Color 70.875 Beige Brown to wrap up the main painting.

- Now, if you want to add some extra dust affects you can hit the model again with a few light layers of Vallejo Model Color 70.819 Iraqi Sand...or darker dirt colors. Use multiple light (not heavy as opposed to not dark) layers give the best effect.  The multiple layer helps build a depth and can give a really nice texture.

- The model is gloss coated; decals applied; Ordnance Shade (or other black wash) is applied and then model then hit with a Flat Matte or Anti Shine to wrap it all up.

That's all there is to it.  I hope this helps those aspiring Bundeswehr commanders in massing their forces.  Panzer vohr!

Jeff Flint "SonBae" has been a long time contributor to WWPD and admin on the forums. A long time gamer and painter and recently a new studio painter at Mastermind, Model and Miniatures in Huntsville, Alabama. Just trying to keep the cats herded in WWPD-South!

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