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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Leopard Panzertruppen: Bella Fleck and the Flecktarn

When the Panzertruppen supplement came out for West Germany, I quickly downloaded a copy, it seemed like a great list to get my Leopard 1s on the table and the infantry mounted in M-113 APCs have 3 Milan teams per platoon vice the 2 of the infantry in Marders. So I wanted to get another blister of infantry for my German force.  I have some Command Decision M-113s and picked up 4 more from the Vietnam period during Battlefront’s Halloween sale.

With the Panzertruppen supplement you can not only field a Leo1 and M-113 company, you can also get a Fuchs formation to boot. The lists here are a must for anyone who wants to field a ton on Leopard 1 tanks. Since I have 9 of them I can field the HQ, 2 full platoons of 3 Leos each and maybe a platoon of 2 then and then grab an M-113 troop for about 35 points.

Maybe the way the camo came out with my Brits got me froggy, or that I wanted to punish myself even more, but I wanted to try painting a West German Panzer Grenadier platoon in Flecktarn Camo. While many will point out that the camo worn by German troops today wasn’t adopted until 1990, they did experiment with camo thought the post WWII period and that the pattern that was adopted was test worn thought the 70’s and 80’s. Plus, this is a game and I can paint my troops however I want.

Painting Flecktarn is much like painting some of the SS camo from WWII, which figures since they do look very similar.

I first gave my figures a coat of medium grey spray then gave them a wash of Magic Mud.  As a basecoat I screwed up, giving the figures a coat of Olive Grey.

After this I painted swaths of the model with German Camo Dark Green, then dots of German Camo Brown, and Yellow Green.  I also added some dots of Tan Earth and Yellow Ochre for some highlights.

If I did this again, I would remember a basic painting technique and paint the basecoat in the Yellow Green, skipping the Olive Green altogether and using the same Dark Green and Brown for detail.  Despite my mistake, the models looked good, then I compounded my mistake by using the same dark shade of Minwax I used on my Brits.  It ended up washing out the colors a bit too much, but when zoomed in you still get the feeling that these guys are in camo. Look, anything beats the rather dull olive-green uniform of the West Germans.

 Could have come out better

Using a Panzertruppen platoon means getting an additional Milan team since the blister only comes with two.  I got lucky this time because Battlefront accidentally included an extra Milan, which left me with half of the model I needed. Since I was not going to make another command team I decided to use one of the prone MG3 figures; I cut of the MG, and glued the Milan to the gunner and it looks great. 

The two pics above are the of the converted MG figure.

Will I ever use these guys?  I would say that the cheap tanks with missile shooting infantry are options worth looking at. You do lose the Marder, however the Leo 1 list can take a Marder Platoon instead of an M-113 platoon (but you lose 1 Milan team).

I still think that any German list needs to be built around 7 Leopard 2s, and at least 4 Gepards.  This leaves you at 87 points, so cheap options are needed to fill out a list.

Let’s see how these Panzertruppen boys do in a game before I get sold on taking them. 

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