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Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: Part 2
with Vick Ong

Battlefront’s WWIII: Team Yankee is a global conflict of epic proportions, and nowhere is safe from the flames of war. It is more than likely that nations not yet featured in WWIII will be dragged into the conflict, and it is fun to skin up an existing nation to look like that from another nation. 

In this article, we will be looking at Malaysia’s PT91M Pendekar, and Singapore’s Leopard2SG, and how to add them into World War III: Team Yankee.

Field Recce
Hold on, before we get busy acquiring new weapons, let’s do some simple reconnaissance first. Most countries will add their own modifications to purchased equipment, and the final result can look very distinct from the original model. Hence, we will need to know what these differences are, and figure out how to modify the existing Battlefront model to incorporate them. The best references come straight from your personal experiences serving in the armed forces of said nation. Nothing better than adding that personal touch and self-inserting into the game.

If you are lucky enough to not have such experiences, a quick trip to google helps a lot. Typing something like “Malaysia Army Tank” and you should get all the stuff you need. You can also consider using youtube videos of military parades and exercises to get better angles. Ideally you will want a nice front view, side view and rear view.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

For the more unique tanks that are not based off an existing model (S.Korean K2 Black Panther, Indian Arjun, Japanese Type 10 etcetc), you will have to eyeball the closest match. For instance, Battlefront’s M1 Abrams model is probably a good base to build a S.Korean K2 Black Panther.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Installation
When making modifications, it is important to determine how close to the real thing you want to get. Getting it 100% right will take a lot of effort and time, and you will probably never finish it. Normally, about 80%-90%ish close is good enough, with effort and time inversely proportional to how many models you need to get on the table. Sure, you can put in more time and effort into a HQ unit or maybe a platoon of 3-4 tanks, but you definitely do not want to do that for a whole company of 10-20 tanks. We still want to get the tanks done up before the war is over.

As you can see, the Malaysian Pendekar looks quite different from the regular T72M. Let’s install some ERA and other equipment to it. ERA can be easily done with small plastic squares. You can get pre-scribed tile acrylic sheets, or you can scribe your own. Using the reference pictures, get as close as you can to the real thing. 

For ERA on rounded surfaces like the T72M turret, I recommend splitting the ERA up into smaller chunks,  rather than trying to bend a huge piece around the surface. A large piece of plastic will want to straighten out, and will fight your glue and give you a lot of problems. Smaller chunks will bend around the curvature nicely and give you a better end result.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

For more extensive modifications, such as the Leopard2SG body work, you will need some acrylic blocks and modelling putty. Remember, it is easier to remove materiel from your model, than it is to add to it, so do always give it a little bit more extra.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

When you encounter complex shapes, break it down into simpler parts. The turret housing for the Leopard2SG can be built with six flat acrylic pieces, instead of trying to build a single complex structure.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2 Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

To create more delicate structures like the smoke canisters and slat armour, I use plastic cement on acrylic rods on a wooden surface, like a popsicle stick. The plastic cement will bind your acrylic rods together, but not to the wood. This allows you to easily peel your completed work off the wooden surface.

For the slat armour, you use some blutac to fix them to the wooden stick, and use tweezers to adjust them until you get your desired shape and alignment. Afterwards, you cement on the supporting bars. It is that easy. 

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2 Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

The smoke canisters are done in a similar way. I cemented 4 rods together to form a single layer, then glue 3 such layers together to get a block of smoke canisters.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Sometimes you have to get creative and use any weird materiel you can find. The PT91M Pendekar has mudflaps at the front, and this needs to be flexible and robust on your finished model. Think of all the tabletop terrain features that your tank model bashes through in a typical game. Your miniature mudflaps will need to be able to survive all that abuse.

The solution? One of these cheap plastic card protectors for your son’s Pokemon cards. They are flexible, have a bit of texture to them, and can be easily glued onto your tank.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

At the end of the day, your model will be seeing a lot of action on the tabletop, where it will be grabbed, pushed around or even “accidentally” dropped on the floor. Your modifications have to be able to survive all that not-so-gentle handling, or be easily replaceable if it isn’t.

Painting
Well, you already know this part. There are no different processes here.

If you find the camouflage patterns difficult to paint on, you can consider drawing the pattern on using a mechanical pencil first, and then painting over it. The pencil lines will help you paint neatly, and the paint will cover up the pencil lines. Win-win.

As WWIII: Team Yankee is a game, you can consider adding some “artist interpretations” to help with gameplay. For example, the real PT91M Pendekar has camouflaged rear oil drums, but I’ve opted to paint some of mine different to help differentiate between platoons. Similarly, Malaysia has started applying digital camouflage patterns onto their equipment, and I’ve used this to mark out my HQ tank.

Singaporean and Malaysian Forces For WWIII: Team Yankee: part 2

You can also use flags, decals, stowage, a tank commander sticking out of the hatch, different equipment and a myriad of other stuff. Now you are ready to get out there and roll some dice.
~Vick


Last Updated On Thursday, June 25, 2020 by Luke at Battlefront