Monday, March 31, 2014

Petner Panzer Comparison Shots & WWII German Camo WIP

Greetings Everyone,
  Per Paul's request from Plastic Warriors, I took a few shots of 2 completed Petner Panzers, a T-62 and a T-72.  The T-62 is a big model compared to the T-72.  There are also some finished pics of the Zvezda T-72 and BTR-80 in there.

  I also took some pictures of my re-painted German troops, based up for Rate of Fire and Men Under Fire.  2 highly under-rated WWII games in my humble opinion.

Side by Side comparison.  

Much taller

Still a pretty sweet model

German Squad wearing a hybrid Pea Dot camo with the Oak Leaf colors.

German Squad Leader

I used a tooth pick for most of the dots

Armourfast Light MG

Saturday, March 29, 2014

More Russian Armor! The Petner Panzers Arrive!

Huzzah!  Reinforcements have arrived for my Soviet / OPFOR hordes in the form of my Petner Panzers ordered on March 24th (not bad shipping either - so much for 1 to 2 weeks!).  Here are some pictures and lessons learned.  These guys are barely assembled and I haven't put any of the detail on yet or painted them.

So the T-72 is highly recommended for ANY of you 1/100 or 15mm gamers out there.  What a cheap and inexpensive way to fill in your Soviet forces if you happen to play 1:1 gaming these would make great East German tanks for a Modern Flames of War game.  Each one cost me a mere $8.50 (US).  I bought 7 so I'll have yet another Battalion at 1:4 scale ready to hack through the Fulda gap.

Size-wise, and I'll let you all judge for yourselves, the T-72 fits in perfectly.  The T-62 on the other hand is massive and would most likely fit in better with my 1-72 troops.  That's not to say I wont use it for modern 1/100 games, just that they need to be far, far away from my Khurasan T-55s...
Petner T-72 with the details not on yet (seriously, they give you a TC figure, an AAMG, smoke discharge units, stowage boxes, and fuel drums).

Not bad!  Not too much different than the 1/100 in size.

For closer comparison

hurrying to Crimea as fast as we can get there, sir!  Here a 1/87 T-72 follows a 1/100 T-72 for scale comparison.  Like I said, not bad.

Ok - the T-62 in 1/87 next to its tiny cousin, a Quality Casting T-62A in 15mm....massive difference.

The detail on the Petner Panzer is incredible though, I really really love the kit.  I'm tempted to start buying up Roco M-48s and M-60s for my NATO and Israeli troops.

Overall, I'm very happy with this acquisition.  Lots of extras for the bits box, decals, and beautiful tank models.  And they're way sharper looking than the metal castings.  

Friday, March 28, 2014

Red Steel - Soviet & Russian 15mm Armor!

Well I was finally able to get a blog post in!  I painted these guys earlier in the week, using my yellow tac with spray paint.  This is my current Soviet horde with 6 x T-80 models, 4 T-72B models, 3 BMP-2's, and 4 BTR-80s.  They are base coated in tan, with yellow tac applied then resprayed in a dark green.

I really like how they turned out, and priority #1 or #2 in the hobby world is to get them detailed appropriately (tracks, stowage, weapons, etc).  At either scale (1:1 or 1:4) I'll have some tough Soviet armor to break through NATO positions!
T-80s.  The camo has nice, smooth lines.  Still need to paint tracks, external ammo boxes, etc

Recce BRDM-2 in there too.  I have the AT-5 version of him primed and ready to go!


Fierce T-72B which I can add a few boxes and they'll look like T-90s.

BTR new paint job.  Still needs the tires painted and some weathering but I am really liking the 2 color camo.  I will most likely NOT add the black squiggly lines like the real Ivans have.

These Zvezda T-72s are sweet!

Quality Casting T-80s.

Awesome pic!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

T-72 Re-Paint,Future Campaign Plans, and 300th Post!

Greetings All,
Today I am flirting with my first time using "yellow-tac" for spray painting models.  Well - the tac went ON beautifully.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for my "skunked" model master dark green which apparently decided it wasn't going to mix properly even after an eternity of shaking.  So I have a sloppy looking mess and the tac got all melty...SO going to dust off and try on another model.
Some of the places where I pulled the tac off got smudgy with leftover tac.  But I like the smoother lines.  In most cases, it looks better than when I use a brush. 
I will say though, when I did manage to get some of the tac off, the model actually turned out with realistic looking camouflage.  So I'll keep using the tac...and more reliable paints.
You can see it still on the barrel
Not his best side...

So all in all, I think I'm going to try this out another few times and see how it gets.  If it gets good, I'll post more pictures.  Also needs detailing and decals.  More to follow on the T-72 refurb adventures.

Well with the exception of the NEXT Nor'easter which is headed up the Atlantic Coast, I'm greatly hoping this is the kick off of campaign season.  I have alot of projects on the fire now and would love to see some of them pay off in a game, eventually.

Looking forward, I will be putting Black Powder through its paces by gaming Loison and Kellerman's attack against the British 50th Foot on the hill south of Vimeiro.  I may have just enough battalions painted up for that attack.

Also - and who doesn't like "one brain cell" rules?  I am going to try a similar battle with the "Junior General" rules which are battle rules made for school kids to teach them about history.  Mr Fritz's rules are very straightforward and they look like a cracking good time.  Check out his site at and click on scenarios.  Gettysburg looks like alot of fun, as does Quatre Bras.

And this is Sound Officers Call's 300th post!  That's alot of brainpower for a guy like me!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Petner Panzers Anyone?

So this may be taboo, but has anyone had much exposure to 1/87 models?  I just purchased a Petner Panzer plastic T-72 at 1/87 scale.  I have heard rumblings that as long as they're not mixed, 1/87 scale could potentially fit on a 1/100 battlefield and not look completely ridiculous (like clown-car ridiculous).

I know there has to be some experience out there with mixing or attempting to mix the two at least on the same table (not in the same unit).  For the price of a T72, I couldn't resist picking one up.  The T-62 is slightly more expensive so I'll wait and see how the T-72 looks.  Anyone have any thoughts on the topic?  Meanwhile, I'll sit here patiently waiting for your reply...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Modern Action! T-80s vrs M1A1s

Played a short, sharp modern game this morning featuring my T-80 force against a scratch force of M1A1s with the goal, obviously, of the T-80s breaking through the American position.  Each stand represents a section of 2 vehicles.  The game started out with the Soviet recon section, BRDM-2, on the table reconnoitering the American position in the quaint and fictitious German village of Langewald.

The initiative went to the US force the first turn, with the Americans calling in 155mm Artillery on the Soviet scouts.  It hits home and KOs the Soviet scouts before they even had a chance to pinpoint the US positions.

Soviet BRDM2 burning on the Langenstrasse Road, also known as the A-41.
 Next, the Soviet Battalion moved forward with a company working its way through farmfields on their right in an attempt to attack the US positions.  On the Soviet left, the other company of the Battalion stalled out on the road, possibly attempting to spot the American positions?

US Abrams Main Battle Tanks lay in wait for Ivan
 Soviets have a bit of bad luck on their right, and the understrength Company of T-80s takes some casualties from the hidden American positions.
The Soviet "Company" on the right burns...meanwhile their Company on the left churns forward.

Moving past the burning scouts towards Langewald.

Deadly Soviet T-80s fan out for the attack

in the background, the Soviets get lucky and KO 1 American M1A1 section and start to take more casualties themvselves.  Unbelievably, none of the Soviet units became suppressed during the engagement.

Final Tally: 5 Soviet T-80 Sections destroyed, and 1 American Section knocked out.  The Americans win this battle

langewald stays in American hands...for now.

LESSONS LEARNED:  I played with the modern upgrade for my Combat Team! rules set.  These changes make the modern battlefield more deadly and make for fast play.  One thing I did learn was to use the concept of fire and movement and try to suppress as many units as possible.  If you have multiple units, place one on fire orders and try to kill or suppress as many as possible, then move with your other element.

The strike values for my moderns make for an interesting game.  I give M1A1s a strike value of "10" with a defensive value of "20."  The Soviet T-80 has a strike value of 10 also but a defense of 16, making them more vulnerable to gun attacks.  Here are some interesting modern modifications I've made to spice the game up:

Advanced Fire Control:  3rd Generation Main Battle Tanks with Advanced Fire Control receive a cumulative +1 on their "To Hit" roll.  Really nasty when used with the "Attack By Fire" order (so you get a +2 To Hit).

Stabilization: Vehicles with stabilization can conduct a double move and fire without the -1 To Hit modifier.  (can't be used in conjunction with the advanced fire control - you can use 1 or the other)

Better Engine Performance: Most AFVs in the game move 25 to 30cms, much faster than their WW2 cousins.

Once I pick up my Zvezda Bradleys and get those GIs painted up, I can start having some larger Cold-War-Hot battles.  This was a good one to kick off the campaign season.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Painting "Progress" and Future Projects

So I'm happy to report that even though work has been a bear lately, I was able to complete the following units, based for Black Powder but interchangeable with my own Age of Eagles forces:

British Rifle "Battalion" (Peninsula War)
British Converged Grenadier Battalion (Peninsula War)
British Royal Artillery Crew (foot) & 1 Gun
1 KGL Cavalry unit of 6 stands (2 mounts each)
My "experimental" Spanish Army stands (Peninsula War)

I still have another French Line Battalion to finish, as well as a French Grenadier Battalion.  Remember those sweet Spanish Royal Grenadier Guards I painted up with the incorrect Green tunics?  In the interest of lazy I'm going to paint over the green tunics with my French blue.  Sucks but I have an Army to complete...(Dont get me wrong.  I liked the green tunics.)

On other fronts - I started the painful and laborious process of rebasing my AWI guys to conform to Black Powder.  This means for every line Regiment in the force, I'll have to paint up about 1 to 2 stands of 4 troops each to make up the difference (I could probably make due with 5 stand units but darn-it, the 6 stand 15mm units look good.)

For modern 15s, the Israeli force is nearing completion with only 2 more M113s to knock out.  Then it's onto the Sho'ts and finishing up the T-55 Battalion.  Wait until you guys all see the infantry!  My "OPFOR" infantry is looking good with 1 stand wearing a khaki drab uniform and the other stand wearing a camo uniform with colors reminiscent of the Soviet VDV-Spetsnaz uniforms.  I mixed in Khurasan 15mm with the Command Decision troops and they look sharp.  I promise I'll post a picture or 2 in the next few days.

Wonder if I should go through the trouble of buying some 15mm BMD-1s???  Who makes good 15mm BMDs?  Substituting 1/72 would be a bad idea for 15mm games...

Okay on the World War II front, my REPAINT of my Market Garden Paras is almost done and boy do they look GOOD now.  If you liked my 20mm DPM Camo on my modern brits, you'll love these guys.  Also need to finish my Marder III platoon.  Wait until you see the make-over they got.  Stay tuned!

Monday, March 10, 2014

More Combat Team WW2 Playtesting: BIG Battles

One of the things I love about wargaming is playing large-scale battles with whole brigades if possible (if you have the models, space, and time).  So far Combat Team! has not disappointed, handling larger battles mostly with ease.

Today I finished a large, eastern front "breakthrough" scenario and I have some more pictures and observations to consider.  This battle had a large Soviet tank brigade with a supporting infantry battalion or two trying to break through a reinforced German infantry battalion with an attached panzer company (Mk IVh) and a heavy tank company of tigers.  The infantry also had their Pak40 AT guns to help out.  Terrain was dominated a few hills and a town in the middle of the board.  A cursory glance would have you mistaken for thinking the Soviets would steamroll right through the Germans but it wasn't so!
The northern flank.  Ivan scored one breakthrough, routing a German company, but another one filtered in!

towards the end of the game, the Germans counter attack with the Panzer company, ending the Soviet assault.

Love the detail on the BF plastic guys

 The Soviet attack was slow to start off (as they always are with a 4+ activation roll...) and the German Tigers on overwatch were deadly against them as they came on, forcing suppression rolls and 30% casualties on the Russian tanks before they even got into range.  Still though, for all the anxiety facing down 12 T-34s to my 3 Tigers, I moved up the last reserve infantry company behind them incase they were overrun.  I'd have infantry support in the close combat.

On the northern flank, Russian infantry broke through the German company defense but at heavy price and the breakthrough unit would remain "broken" for the majority of the game until a last minute rally allowed them to resume the advance - just in time for the Panzher IVh company to counterattack.  This was also my first use of the SU-76 assault guns and they were alot of fun to use as well.  They are devastating against infantry at close range and you can use them in a pinch to roll through a hole in the line if you need them to.  (and if you can get them activated....).

"Supporting effort" Scratch 1 T-34 battalion...

Germans holding the village.

The Soviets never made it to the German positions.  After the German infantry moved up to the line it was all over.  Their support weapons rolls combined with the deadly fire from the Tigers sealed the deal.

My recon T-70s hiding amongst the burning hulks!

The Sovs never managed to get assault the hill in the lower left of the picture.  In the upper right, they pushed an infantry unit back beyond the first hedgerolw line, but were never able to rally, consolidate and reinforce the initial victory.

This battle used almost every Russian tank I own, along with most of my infantry stands.  My most important lesson learned?  I need more infantry stands...

I did learn some things to pass on in this scenario as well.  Reconnaissance units can be used to perform counter-recon activity as well.  My T-70s destroyed the German recon/FO unit in the village early-on.  Use their "free" activation to move about the battlefield, hunting the enemy's recon or supporting your main effort.
If you're playing Soviets in Combat Team! you should keep your recon units with your main effort tank battalions.  Their cumulative +1 To Hit mods for successful spotting rolls really reflect the importance of reconnaissance units' role on the modern battlefield.  They pinpoint enemy positions and are force enablers to your maneuver units.  Going up against dug-in Tigers, you need all the help you can get!

Another lesson learned was the importance, in Combat Team! and modern war, of having a maneuver unit to exploit breakthroughs.  Had the Soviets used the T-34 battalion on the Northern flank better, they'd have a large and powerful unit ready to move through the shattered German infantry company, before the Germans could fill the hole in the line.  That would have been "game over" for the German player.  Unfortunately the T-34s were stuck in a tank duel with the Panzer IVh Company...a losing proposition for tanks designed to move swiftly across the battlefield and break through enemy positions (in Combat Team! T-34s move 25cms)

This game was an overwhelming German victory - with Gerry only losing 1 infantry company team and no armored vehicles.  The Soviets losing 3 T-34 battalions and the equivalent of 2 infantry companies.

Oh and the IL-2 sortie never showed!  This was bad luck for Ivan from the start.

Next game will be a German counter-attack.

Off to paint more Naps.....