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Friday, November 4, 2016

Team Yankee West Germans Tips & Tricks #5: Gepard (TGBX07)

'Tis time to look at Battlefront's West German Gepard Flakpanzer Batterie AA (GBX07) kit for Team Yankee.  Where the Roland was nasty...these guys are meanier on several levels.  Rolands are good vs Jets and Helos.  Gepards are like their namesake cheetah and will run down and kill everything short of Main Battle Tanks.  Those twin 57mm autocannons spit death to planes, helicopters, infantry and IFVs.  Anti-Tank of 11 and Firepower 4+ with a ROF of 5. That's a lot of dead BMPs with Armor Values of 2...OUCHIE!!!!

This is a standard resin and metal kit.  The bulk of it was very clean.

The only metal bits are the 2 pieced radar dish and the gun barrels. The only flash and mold lines were on the barrels. As you can see above, these had a good bit of flash; but, it was all easily cleaned up with a little blade and file work.

Build: Again, this is a very simple build.  Glue the tracks to the hull. For the turret you glue in the metal barrels into the holes on the sides of the turrets. Lastly, you glue the radar dish arm to to the dish and then the hole antenna to the turret. Done.  The top radar dish had a 360 degree rotation, so you do have some modeling options there. The guns are locked in place, so you do lose some options there. Add some magnets to the turret and hull and you're good to go.

Paint Plan:

I followed the same process I used for the LuchsFuchs, Rolands, and Jaguar I & II in my previous articles which is very close to the guide found on page 47 in Leopard.

- These were primed with the Vallejo Surface Primer Black. And then a base layer of Vallejo Model Air 71.022 Camoflage Green.  I had used VMA 71.093 Field Green as a substitute for Team Yankee Spray Primer NATO Green, but I ran out of my on hand stock of 71.093 and when I tried to order replacement bottles I was shocked to discover that Vallejo had changed their numbering and VMA 71.093 was no longer Field Green, but was instead called NATO Green. Sounds like a sure match, right?  Well....not so fast there Skippy.  This NATO Green is not the same as the NATO Green from Battlefront. The Battlefront shade is a little brighter. But fear not! VMA 71.022 Camouflage Green is another good match for Battlefront's NATO Green.  The new VMA 71.093 NATO Green looks to be a pretty good base for US vehicles at this time though.

- Once you have the NATO Green base laid down, it's time for camouflage.  Again look at the templates Battlefront has for these.

    - 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...and they're not not just for the airbrush.  You can use them with a regular brush.

    - 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.

- The gun barrels are next with a base of 70.950 Black.  Then I build up the metal color with a mix of 70.950 Black and 70.863 Gunmetal Grey with a final hi-light of straight 70.863 Gunmetal Grey.

- Next were the tracks. I deviated JUST a little bit from the paint plan in Leopard.  Here I started with a 70.950 Black base and then added a dry brush of 70.995 German Grey.

- The big radar dish is just a base of Vallejo Model Color 70.950 Black with Vallejo Model Color 70.862 Black Grey drybrushed on top. The smaller dish in the middle front was done by a base of Vallejo Model Color 70.979 German Camo Dark Green with a drybrush of Vallejo Model Color 70.830 German Fieldgrey with a light drybrush of VMC 70.886 Green Grey to top it off.

- 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.

- Next in the guide is a drybrush of Dry Dust.  I used the old standby of Vallejo Model Color 70.819 Iraqi Sand. 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. This went on the hull and the turret as well as the track and road wheels.  On the tracks you need to have a very, very light touch as a little goes a LOOOONG way on that dark surface.  I kept it off of the gun barrels.  The  highlighting we did earlier is enough to make those pop.

- Glass effects on the gunner's and driver's vision slots were done by starting with a 70.950 Black base then adding 70.816 Luftwaffe Uniform as a 1st layer on top of that. Then you do a jeweling effect with 70.943 Grey Blue by adding a little curve on the outer bottom of the light and then a little dot in the opposite corner.

- 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 light drybrush of Iraqi Sand really made the sharp angles of the gun mount really pop!

That's these Meatchoppers are ready to get into the firing line and pounce on Soviet air!

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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