Wednesday, January 9, 2013

From GregB: 28mm Afghan Army Regulars and T-55MV Tank (77 points)

From Greg:
Let's give this one the Ludlum-esque title of "The Afghan Assortment" - a group of Afghan soldiers and a 1/50 scale T-55MV tank. 
The infantry models are from Mongrel Miniatures - a stunning line of figures that is still available from retailer Newline in the UK.  These figures were meant to represent the DRA, the army of the communist puppet government the Soviet Union propped up with their own efforts.  While they are set for the 80s, they could easily represent elements of today's Hamid Karzai Heroin National Militia/"Afghan National Army". 
These DRA figures have been gathering dust for years! In the spirit of the painting challenge it was fun to pull them out of the storage box and paint them up. I'm glad to have them done!  The DRA is a nice part of my 1980s Afghanistan collection - able to fight on either side in any given scenario.  They have seen action fighting against the Mujahideen, and together with the Mujahideen against the Soviet troops.  The DRA army fought with all of the reliability of an Environment Canada climate forecast, and often turned against those training and equipping them.  Just like today. 
The Mongrel Miniatures sculpts are just outstanding, and a real joy to paint.  I highly, highly recommend them. 
This submission has a squad of eight troops, including an officer, a radio operator and an MG gunner.  There is also a two man mortar team (flinching in entertaining fashion as they prepare to unleash a round). 

The T-55MV is actually a 1/50 scale James Bond die cast toy.  This is apparently the tank 007 drove to some entertaining effect during Peirce Brosnan's time as the notorious British agent.  So lo and behold there is a properly scaled toy out there! The T-55MV is an upgraded version of the venerable old T-55 MBT, sporting some improved optics and reactive armour.  The main gun is also improved so it can fire ATGMs down the barrel.  I don't know that any of these enhancements would allow the T-55 to survive in a serious fight against the top tier of MBTs out there today (like the Leopard, the Abrams, the Challenger or the T-80/T-90), but it would give you a leg up on your neighbour's T-55s.  The Soviet Union equipped the DRA with some units of T-55s during their occupation.  The T-55 continued in the service of the Taliban, the Northern Alliance, and today works to ensure the safety of heroin poppy shipments and smuggled weapons from Pakistan - oops, sorry, I meant "fighting terrorism". 
The tank would be out of place - a bit too high-tech - for the time of the Soviet occupation, but will work in the current Afghan war setting.  It is also such a universal tank that it fits in a large number of game scenarios.  It's a great model to have!
Another superb batch of modern stuff Greg (and I really enjoyed your commentary). 

The T-55 '007 Special' and the squad of Afghan 'regulars' will give Greg a base of 75 points but I'm going to add a couple more for the nice job he did in weathering and highlighting the optics on the tank.


  1. love the tank, as Curt says the weathering is top draw
    Peace James

  2. No way would I have guessed it was a die cast toy. Excellent work


  3. Very nice set of figures indeed, Greg. I really like the T-55MV - I'd never have guessed it was a die-cast. As for the DRA, they would do very well I'm sure for the 1990s post-Soviet period and also for engagements just about now (and no doubt post 2014). The painting's really great on the figures and the'll look really great in any game.

  4. Very nice group of models. I like a lot the painting.


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