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.

From KevH: 54mm English Civli War Pike Block & Artillery (340 points)

From Kev:
First up is a 54mm ECW pike block. The figures are "A call to arms" plastics with a few minor conversions and re-posing. This will be my Green Battalia to add to my Blue and Red so far. Musketeers to follow.

They are based for Englands Fury, (F&F ecw variant). There are 24 figures in total, 8 bases of 3 figures.
Followed by a 54mm ECW cannon with four crew. Once again by "A call to arms" with some minor head swaps, this puts my total at three guns now with 3 more to follow.

The third is a 54mm ECW mounted officer. Once again a modified Call to arms plastic figure.

This is awesome! I love this 54mm stuff and must, MUST get some!  (I think it would be brilliant for garden wargaming...)

This group will give Kev an impressive base of 320 points and I'll add 20 more for the banner and conversion work. Bravo!

From ChrisP: 28mm Thirty Years War Firelock Commanded Shotte (75 points)

From Chris:
Here is a unit of 15 Thirty Years War riflemen. Using early forms of rifles these were used as skirmishers and light troops- they were well regarded for night attacks, because there was no glowing cord to give their position away!
These models are from Warlord Games and are their Firelocks. The boxed set was a little disappointing- you will notice aside from the two wonderful command figures, the rest of them are in the same pose! I switched up a few hats from other Warlord boxes to give a little variety, but on the whole, they are very ordered.
The paint scheme came straight from the Osprey on the TYW Infantry, nice and simple!
What next? 15mm I think...

Great work Chris, I'm really enjoying these TYW entries from you. Too bad the majority of the box is mono-pose as the command figures looks very dynamic. Would it have killed them to have one firing pose?

This unit will give Chris 75 points to add to his growing tally.

From GregB: 28mm Mujahideen Rocket Launcher (25 points)

Greg sends us another addition to his modern Afghan Wars collection.

From Greg:
Here is a Mujahideen/Taliban team operating a Chinese towed rocket launcher.  This is the sort of heavy equipment is perfect for firing inaccurate heavy shells at Russians/NATO/DRA/Northern Alliance/Pakistan/Oil Company/UN/Hamid Karzai Kleptocracy facilities as needed.  It will be more of an objective for gaming purposes, since the range of the weapon would far exceed the distances represented on a gaming tabletop.  Often mounted on the back of Toyota pickup trucks (the infamous "technicals") in Afghanistan this stays on a portable trailer for ease of concealment in a local cave. 

This is a nice addition to my 28mm Mujahideen collection, which is already heavily armed with recoilless rifles, MGs and mortars, ready to fight the Soviet Union (and anyone else who happens into that horrific part of the world). 

These Eureka models are fun to work with - easy to paint, although the size of the hands on the crew is a little large.  You also get some nice scenic extras - ammo crates with extra shells for the rocket launcher.  This is a nice way to add flavour, and can serve as an "objective" type token for games that call for that.  

Overall, another great little piece from Eureka. 
Awesome job Greg! I really like the addition of the ammo crates and leaning AKs. I wonder if this is really that big of a leap from Michael's 19th century Screw Gun...

This artillery team will give Greg a base of 20 points, but I'm adding another 5 for the ammo crates. Well done!