RAF Regiment Scorpion

RAF Regiment Scorpion

On a recent visit to RAF Cosford Museum I took some more photographs of the RAF Regiment Scorpion that was on display in the Cold War exhibition.

RAF Regiment Scorpion

The RAF Regiment’s mission is protection of RAF bases from ground attack, and patrolling a large area around main operating bases abroad, in order to defend aircraft on ingress and egress from surface to air attack.

It was in November 1981, the RAF Regiment took delivery of its first Scorpions.

RAF Regiment Scorpion

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.

In 1989 No. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment was based at RAF Laarbruch. It had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion. No. 51 Squadron RAF Regiment, at RAF Bruggen, also had 15x Spartan and 6x Scorpion.

RAF Bruggen was situated next to the village of Elmpt, approximately 43 kilometres (27 mi) west of Düsseldorf near the Dutch-German border.

RAF Laarbruch was also located in Germany, however it on its border with the Netherlands.

The role of the RAF Regiment would have been to defend the airfields from Warsaw Pact attack.

You can imagine in the world of Team Yankee (and Iron Maiden) that the RAF Regiment would be involved in fighting Warsaw Pact forces, though much of it would probably have been Spetsnaz, Soviet Special Forces. This is more appropriate to a 20mm or 25mm skirmish type game rather than the 15mm tank versus tank battles of Team Yankee.

Soviet Airborne forces made use of the BMD1 and BMD2 and these were air-portable.

BMD2
http://vitalykuzmin.net via https://commons.wikimedia.org CC BY-SA 4.0

These could be the ideal opposition for the RAF Regiment Scorpion tanks.

Though once the Cold War turned hot would the Soviets be able to push airborne troops that far west through contested airspace?

Maybe take an alternate perspective and use my own British Civil War background and have them as supporting Royalist forces, or as the Republican opposition.

I have some Team Yankee Scorpions, they are currently in the process of being painted as BAOR versions.

Going back to 1971

Had my first game of Team Yankee at the weekend, using my new painted (but not finished) Scorpion and Scimitar light tanks. This was a blue on blue combat with British forces versus British forces. I had a platoon of Centurions to fight alongside my Scorpions and Scimitars. Opposing them was Centurions, FV432 APCs, with Carl Gustav teams and 66mm LAW teams. British troops refer to the Carl Gustav as the “Charlie G”. This was no 1985 era game, but really more likely 1971 or thereabout.

My first impression was that this is quite a deadly game and you need to play tactically.

Though not the same as Flames of War there are similarities. One aspect which still confuses me, partly due to experience playing other rule sets I think. So the process of rolling to hit is based on the target not the unit or weapon firing confuses me slightly.

I think the answer is to play more games of Team Yankee.

Overall the Centurions were deadly, however I can imagine if they were up against more modern tanks they would suffer. You would need a fair few Centurions to ensure you could take any punishment and flank the more powerful tanks.

I did like the speed and weapons of the Scorpions, but their thin armour was little protection from the 105mm guns of the Centurions or even the Carl Gustav and 66mm LAWs.

Looking forward to my next game.

Painting the Scorpion

For Christmas I was kindly given not only the Team Yankee Iron Maiden book I also got a box of the newly released 15mm British Scorpion or Scimitar Troop.

I have been thinking about the paint scheme for my Scorpions and Scimitars.

One choice would be to paint them as part of the BAOR tracked reconnaissance regiment. The kind of scheme they would have in 1985 just as war broke out.

Another choice was to paint them, if they had been fighting World War III for a while, possibly even after a limited nuclear exchange. The inspiration for this scheme is of course GDW’s Twilight 2000 background. These could be BAOR vehicles struggling to find their way home or another perspective could be the remnants of the British Army attempting to maintain control in a Britain broken apart by the nuclear exchange.

Another possibility was to use my own British Civil War background and paint them as Royalist forces, or as their Republican opposition.

In the end though I started them off, with a base coat of a spray of Chieftain Green paint.

Due to poor light I didn’t quite get the coverage I was expecting.

However I do think once I have added the black camouflage and given the model a dark wash, then this won’t matter so much.

Building the 15mm British Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) – Team Yankee

For Christmas I was kindly given not only the Team Yankee Iron Maiden book I also got a box of the newly released 15mm British Scorpion or Scimitar Troop.

The British Army Of the Rhine had three tracked reconnaissance regiments. The recce troops of the first two were equipped entirely with Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles, while the recce troops of the third mixed Scimitars and Scorpions together.

The box contains four sprues and unit cards for use with Team Yankee. Each sprue allows you to build either a Scorpion or a Scimitar. I have made them up as two Scorpions and two Scimitars.

Here are the two Scorpions.

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.

Starting to build them they go together really nicely. Unlike “proper” plastic kits, these have a smaller number of parts. The tracks for example are in one piece, whereas the Airfix 1/72nd Scorpion had separate wheels and tracks.

As I mentioned in a previous post I added some ball bearings to the models to add weight.

For one of the Scimitars I added a commander figure and some extra stowage.

The FV107 Scimitar is a similar armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) also used by the British Army. It was manufactured by Alvis in Coventry. It is very similar to the FV101 Scorpion, but mounts a high velocity 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon instead of a 76 mm gun. It was issued to Royal Armoured Corps armoured regiments in the reconnaissance role.

Here are the two Scimitars.

I gave the models a white undercoat and the next stage will be a basecoat of Team Yankee Chieftain Green.

Heavier

One of the things I dislike about the new plastic 15mm kits from Battlefront is the lack of weight the models have compared to older metal kits and even the resin ones have.

With my recent addition of Team Yankee British Scorpion and Scimitar tanks I started to think about I could make them heavier.

My initial choice was some lead (or lead-free) weights of some kind, there isn’t much space in the models so any extra weight would need to be quite dense (so heavy weight but not very big). The obvious choice was fishing weights, but I couldn’t find any that were small enough for the models.

Another idea was some lead sheet, again small, but heavy.

In the end I compromised and went with Weldtite 5/32-inch British Made Case Hardened Bearings – 750 Pieces which I ordered from Amazon.

These are very small and just under 4mm in diameter.

I glued them into the hulls of the light tanks with some super glue before checking there were no loose bearings. I then glued the hull together.

They are not really heavy, but certainly better than they were and I fell less likely to be blown over by a strong breath in a game of Team Yankee.

So do you add weights to your plastic tanks and if you do, what method do you use?

15mm British Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) – Team Yankee

For Christmas I was kindly given not only the Team Yankee Iron Maiden book I also got a box of the newly released 15mm British Scorpion or Scimitar Troop.

The British Army Of the Rhine had three tracked reconnaissance regiments. The recce troops of the first two were equipped entirely with Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles, while the recce troops of the third mixed Scimitars and Scorpions together.

FV107 Scimitar

The FV101 Scorpion is a British armoured reconnaissance vehicle. It was the lead vehicle and the fire support type in the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked), CVR(T), family of seven armoured vehicles. Manufactured by Alvis, it was introduced into service with the British Army in 1973 and served until 1994.

The FV107 Scimitar is a similar armoured reconnaissance vehicle (sometimes classed as a light tank) also used by the British Army. It was manufactured by Alvis in Coventry. It is very similar to the FV101 Scorpion, but mounts a high velocity 30 mm L21 RARDEN cannon instead of a 76 mm gun. It was issued to Royal Armoured Corps armoured regiments in the reconnaissance role.

This is the box art which shows two Scorpions and two Scimitars patrolling (probably) a West German town.

The box contains four sprues and unit cards for use with Team Yankee. Each sprue allows you to build either a Scorpion or a Scimitar.

Starting to build them they go together really nicely.

More soon…

The British are coming…

Two columns of British Army Fox armored combat reconnaissance vehicles drive along 17th of June Street during the annual Allied Forces Day parade.  The "Siegessaulte" (Victory Column) is in the background.

…in the meantime let’s take a look at the Germans.

One thing that I thought that Battlefront would do when they released the Germans for Team Yankee was that they would do a minimal release and was pleasantly surprised by the range of models they did in fact bring out.

With the initial releases for the US (and Soviet) I was slightly disappointed with the limited number of models that we got. Though we had the M1 Abrams, we didn’t get the M60A3 MBT.

Two M-60A3 main battle tanks move along a road during Central Guardian, a phase of Exercise Reforger '85.

It felt like a really limited release, so when I saw that Battlefront were going to release German and British forces my expectation was that we would get a limited number of vehicles. So to get thirteen sets for the Germans compared to the seven for the US was really refreshing.

I did like the Raketenwerfer model, something very different.

Raketenwerfer

I also was pleased to see the Marder too.

marder

I think it would be nice to have seen the Kanonenjagdpanzer, but you can’t have everything.

Reportage Bundeswehr  Kanonenjagdpanzer,  Munsterlager, KTrS III [Munsterlager, Truppenübungsplatz in der Lüneburger Heide]

As a result I have higher expectations for the future British releases. I am hoping to see the following models release for the BAOR forces.

I would like to see both the Chieftain and Challenger 1 main battle tanks, but if the American releases are anything to go by then we might only get one tank and I suspect that will be the Challenger.

I think we might also see the light tanks or armoured reconnisance vehicles the FV101 Scorpion and FV107 Scimiatar. They are very similar vehicles I can see how we could have both. The Scorpion and the Scimiatar were part of the Combat Vehicle Reconnaissance (Tracked) family. As they shared common automotive components and suspension I can see how easy it would be, if we get the Scorpion we could also get other members of the CVR(T) family such as the Spartan armoured personnel carrier (APC).

FV103_Spartan_IFOR

As well as the Sultan command and control vehicle, Samaritan armoured ambulance, Striker anti–tank guided missile vehicle and possibly even the Samson armoured recovery vehicle.

The main British APC in 1985 was the FV432 APC so I suspect that may be a likely contender for a model. 1985 is a bit early for the Warrior IFV that entered service in 1987.

In terms of artillery, though the British will probably get the M109 it would be interesting to see if we get the FV433 Abbot SPG. If we get the FV432 then we may get the FV438 Swingfire variant (as well as other FV430 series variants).

We already have the German Tornado, so no surprise if we have an RAF version.

I would also like to see, but don’t expect to see various British armoured cars such as the Humber Pig, the Ferret armoured car or even the Alvis Saladin Armoured Car.

Humber Pig

So what do you think we will see for the Team Yankee releases for the British?

Image credits: Wikipedia and Battlefront

Eldar Scorpion Type II

The Scorpion super heavy grav tank is one of the largest vehicles capable of anti-gravatic movement. The Eldar have used the Scorpion to spearhead an all out attack, especially against strongly defended positions where its Pulsars are used to engage enemy bunkers and strong points.
This is the model from the Forgeworld displays at GamesDay 2004.
Eldar Scorpion Type II
See more Scorpion photographs.