Tally ho! Tommy has a new toy to play with!
Yep, I finally have some of the new Team Yankee British models thanks to my very generous in-laws: the Challenger 1 and Warrior IFV. Damned sexy models if you ask me!
But also quite tricky to figure out how to paint, which was a big surprise to me.
Firstly, the models. They’re gorgeous and very well scaled against everything else. The detailing is great and the added armour options are really easy to apply – a natural choice for scarier looking tanks. One issue I do have is that whilst it’s easy to add the whip antennae to the Chally 1s, it’s next to impossible to add any to the Warrior. That because the antennae are rooted to the top of the smoke dispensers, and at 15mm scale that’s not a lot of plastic to drill into.
Painting. This is more about a review of the reference material than about actually painting the models. Chieftains were iconic beasts of the Cold War and so there are plenty of pictures to draw inspiration from. The introduction of the Chally 1 was practically at the end of the Cold War and it wasn’t long before it was superseded by the Chally 2, so naturally there aren’t as many pictures and Google gets a little confused about the two tanks. Images for the Warriors, on the other hand, were comparatively easier to find.
Judging by the reference material, the Warriors seemed to have been regularly painted with the classic British green/dark green camouflage. However, it’s not as clear for the Chally 1s. At the time of their introduction, the British Army was experimenting with a single green tone, possibly because technology was progressing, rending camouflage for armoured vehicles somewhat pointless. In my investigations, I would say that a little over 50% of my searches revealed that the tanks were painted in the flat green colour, similar to schemes that the modern army employs now.
I then had a conundrum, do I paint my entire army in one scheme, or do I opt for something different? Against nearly all wargaming convention, I opted to paint my Challys in a flat green colour. I took the position that these are great big hulking tanks that were probably built and finished in a rush to field them on the front lines, and with modern technology, camouflage probably wasn’t the highest priority for them. Whereas the need to increase the survivability of a Warrior, given its thin armour and belly load of squishy humans, would have been a far higher priority. So my Warriors retained the classic camouflage. The look of the whole army appears a little odd, but I feel it adds flavour, and I like it!
So how do they hold up in games? Eh… well, they’re bloody expensive to field. Given how British forces play on the table, unless you’re fielding large armies you’re unlikely to take many Chally 1s and it’s probably more viable to take Chiefs instead. Sure the armour is nice, but the main gun is exactly the same (as it was in real life). So you’re still sitting in a position to get the shots downrange, as opposed to moving around. This tends to force greater importance on infantry and Milan support, so you’re unlikely to want to drop points – and models on the table – in favour of the most armoured tank in the game.
It’s a somewhat similar story for the Warrior too, but this time it’s the Rarden gun you’re paying for. This actually adds lots of interesting choices to building your force as you ‘could’ drop any Scimitars in favour of Warriors, unless you felt a strong need for armoured scouts. The tricky thing, however, is that Warriors are twice as expanse as the bog-standard FV432 transport. So taking a 30mm cannon and little extra armour will cost you in terms of infantry on the table… and I’m a big fan of full infantry companies these days.
So, it’s unlikely these new additions will see a lot of time on the battlefield, but I’m hoping my fellow club members will see the light and start collecting big armies!