28 October 2012

More VDV Reinforcements

Part of my Cold War plan (and pretty much anyone's Cold War plan in my opinion) was to complete a VDV or Soviet Airborne force.  In my case I eventually decided that I wanted to do a 1:1 VDV Company equipped with BMDs.

Happily I can now say that I have finished the infantry component of that exercise, and once I have sorted a couple of ZSU-23-2 and have got a SPG-6 I will have finished all the figures and just require a few final vehicles.

Hopefully that will be done in the next few months.  But for now here are the reinforcements I have just finished.

First up my Company Commander and Zampolit:

Now a bunch of figures I'll be using as my FAC, FO's for artillery and mortars etc:

My final two SAM guys:

Some Platoon Leaders and Squad Leaders


RPKs and a PKM


SPG-9 crew (waiting for their gun to turn up!):


That's it!



16 October 2012

S&S Jagpanzer Kanone & Beobachtungspanzer W-I-P

A few weeks ago I managed to snag a couple of S&S Models Jagdpanzer Kanones from Simon - I never even knew he had them.  I don't really know why - but they immediately had to jump straight to the top of my to-do-list.  I decided I wanted to build one as a straight up and down Jagdpanzer Kanone, while the other I wanted to convert into a Beobachtungspanzer - or artillery obersvation tank.

To be honest the more I looked at them and then looked at some photos of the real deal, I realised that they would need a little bit of work in the "jazzing up" department.  Neither had headlights, or other driving lights, the correct cupola ring on at least one of the hatches, the row of smoke dischargers, or boxes and jerry cans on the rear of the vehicle.  There was also no tools on the side or rear deack either.

I had a massive sort through my various bits boxes, pulling out bits and peices that may have been useful.  I also massacred an old crappy Leopard 2A4 and Luchs.  I had to make the rows of smoke dischargers from scratch - and if you don't look to closely I'm quite happy with them.

Anyway - enough gasbagging - on with the photos - taken outside so finally some decent photos!

Jagpanzer Kanone

Next step for this guy is a bucket load of netting - then he will get an Olive green paint job.


You can't really see, but one of the hatches is open and I have an AB Figures commander who stands nicely in it.  This one won't get the cam net treatment, but will get a NATO three-tone cam scheme instead.

Finally - here is the two of them together from above

Have fun


14 October 2012


I had hoped to have some photos up today of some new finished Soviet VDV - but "Oh Shiney" syndrome took over and instead of finishing them off I spent may modelling time on the weekend cleaning and basing a load of the new Elhiem West Germans and working on a couple of S&S Models Jagdpanzer Kanones.  More of both of those later (or sooner I hope).

Anyway - in the mean time I just wanted to let you know about this book "BRIXMIS: The untold exploits of Britain's most daring Cold War Spy Mission" by Tony Geraghty that I am currently reading.

This is an excellent book which follows BRIXMIS - British Commanders'-in-Chief Mission tot he Soviet Forces in Germany - from its inception soon after the end of the Second World War, all the way through the Cold War.  Each of the four powers - the Soviets, US, Britian and France had one of these missions that operated as a "liaison" unit in East and West Germany working with (and watching) the other side.

The book provides you with a reasonable good potted history of the Cold War - basically as events happened around the world, they all had an impact on the running of BRIXMIS operations - so it is useful from that perspective.

It's main thrust though is relaying accounts of the "tours" undertaken by BRIXMIS teams, the disasters, the funny events, the fantastic intelligence gains, the audacity and chutzpah of some of the team members etc.  The Soviets and East German Stasi go out of their way to stop the Allied Missions from operating - attempting to tail their every move, arrest them for the slightest perceived infraction and in some cases - ram them off the road or even shoot at them.

And yet much of what we knew of the WARPAC forces, TO&Es and specifically equipment - came from the Allied Missions.  The gall of these guys is completely amazing.  Two officers illegally break into a Soviet underground bunker - several stories of underground bunker.  Upon leaving they see that their car, parked metres from the opening of the bunker, now has two Soviet guards there questioning the driver.  They walk up to the guards - say "Well everything appears to be in order here.  Catty on."  Salute, hop into the car and drive off.

A Soviet train carrying brand new BMP-2s stops.  BRIXMIS need to find out the calibre of the new gun carried by the BMP-2.  Not having a tape measure handy, a sergeant jumps up onto the BMP, presses the apple he was going to have for lunch into the gun barrel and leaves.  NATO now knows its a 30mm barrel.

At another train line a bunch of new T-80s arrive.  A BRIXMIS officer jumps on board, find the turret hatch is not locked, gets in and photgraphs the inside of the T-80.  He also find an officers briefcase full on info on the last exercise - which he nicks.  On another occassion a NCO nicks a ERA brick from a T-80.

To find out how Soviet aircraft and helicopters operate, BRIXMIS teams go onto the firing range, under the bombing - knowing that the Stasi won't follow them there.  They also nick unexploded bombs and take photos of the underside of aircraft - things satellites can't see.

The stories go on and on and are well worth the read. 

It was very interesting to read how well NATO knew every airfield and bases in East Germany.  BRIXMIS even took samples of airfield surfaces and under layers.  They could provide NATO air planners with photos of each base from numerous angles.  A great deal of the info that lead to increased numbers of ATGMs and the newer ones to defeat ERA came from the Allied missions.

And of course they played a significant role being on the ground provide verification of the peaceful or otherwise intent of WARPAC forces.

So basically - I very much recommend this book to you and think it provides valuable insight to anyone interested in the Cold War.

Take care


02 October 2012

VDV Figure Stocktake

So... I've been painting up 40 odd Liberation Miniatures Soviet Paratroopers or VDV for the last week or so - hence no recent updates...  I'd just finished 14 or so when I decided I'd better do a quick stocktake to see how I was faring in trying to complete a 1-to-1 VDV Company with some regimental assets.

So this basically means an HQ Section, with some attachments - FAC, FO, Sniper and Medic, a Grenade launcher Section and a Air Defence Section plus 3 Platoons of 3 squads each.  Regimental assests are a couple of 120mm mortars plus their command team and mortar FO, plus an Anti-Armour section.  At some point in the future I'll get a ZSU-23 AA gun or two as well.

Needless to say....   I probably should have done this little audit before I began this whole process.

To show you the result of my silly-billiness here a couple of awful photos:


OK - so like I said, not the greatest photos but they kind of prove what I was talking about.  I was working on everything you can see stuck to soft-drink bottle caps.  So the line of figures all across the top and all down the right hand side.  Pretty much all of these appear to be no longer required..... AAaargghh!!!

Along with those there are 4 more figures on the bottom right hand side - No longer required!

So - what's the upshot of all this.  Well to say the least my painting will be a little more focussed over the next week or two - and maybe - just maybe - I might have the infantry side of this unit essentially completed (at least figures wise) before the end of the Guild Task 5 group build.

Anyway - enough lamenting for now...

Back to work