28 September 2015

Zvezda "TOPOL" SS-25 "Sickle"

Seems appropriate to finish what is probably my largest posting month ever with a bit of WMD madness.

I have to say honestly this is not a kit I would get for myself.  I'm not a modeller, I'm a wargamer - so I pretty much only ever buy stuff that I could forsee using in a game - and basically I'm not sure I'd ever use one of these - even as an objective.  But never say never I guess...

So this model is a mate of mine's that he asked me to build and paint for him.  It comes in a massive, very impressive looking box:

Filled with a bucket load of parts:

(Neither of these are my images - so cudos to those who took them)

It was to be frank, a finickity build.  While the Toxso Scud previously discussed here and here went together like a dream and was not only very straight forward, but multi-poseable (and cool), the Topol was a bit fussy, took an age and can either be built with the missile being transported, or ready to launch.

Which ever one of these you choose, this decides which of two (very similar looking) undercarriage sets you use, along with a bunch of other items which I guess are lowered to provide a stable platform for the launcher.

However - once built it's hard to deny it's a real bit of eye candy.  And unlike the Scud, this time I remembered to take some photos before I gave it back to its owner...

So... Not coming to a tabletop near you anytime soon... there it is!



27 September 2015

Academy MiG-27 Flogger-D

OK - so I finally got around to taking more photos - so this will more another series of updates over the next few days - starting with today.

First up - as promised - some Soviet airpower - in the form of a 1/72 scale Academy MiG-27 Flogger-D.  This is a kit I made a long time ago (and I'm too embarrassed to go back and have a look when) and whilst it went together very well, I was really unhappy with the way I air-brush painted it - and then to make matters worse I completely (or almost completely) stuffed it up when slapping on a coat of Pledge One-Go.

So the Flogger disappeared into a drawer - I had come pretty close to simply chucking it out, but the miser in me won out - until recently I plucked up the courage to try and finish it once and for all.

I totally gave up on re-airbrushing it, and went back to (hopefully) thinned paint and a good-old brush.

So this is how it ended up:

Not too bad on my only finished flying base...

So - there's my first proper functioning airpower - I guess it's not too shabby...

Thanks for looking


14 September 2015

Playtest AAR

Well of course I got things around the wrong way and the AAR has arrived first - but there will be a hint of the air power coming soon on show.

So we continue to playtest a variant of the Battlegroup rules by Ironfist Publishing and The Plastic Soldier Company and our most recent game set the forces of the United States Army in Europe (USAEUR) against the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSFG).

Mick took out his Americans.  His armoured infanty were mounted in Bradleys, as was his Battlegroup HQ and a Cavalry squad.  He also had a basic M1 (105mm gun) platoon, a dismounted recon foot patrol, a FAC in a HMMWV and a Timed Apache Strike.  He also had a M163 ADA unit.

I took my Russians.  I had two motor rifle platoons, all mounted in BMP-1Ps and a T-80BV platoon.  My BGHQ was mounted in a BMP-1Ksh, along with a recon BRDM-2, a recon command in a BRDM-2UM, a BRDM-2 AT-5, a mortar fire controller, 2 x 120mm heavy mortars, a ZSU-23-4, an SA-14 team and a SA-13 Gopher.  (I expected Mick to bring an Apache).  Finally I had a 122mm Timed Artillery Strike and a MiG-27 Timed Air Strike.

The primary aim of the test was to look at helicopters and aircraft and how they interact in the game, along with a couple of new options we've been working on.

Many of my photos did not work out - so I'll only posted up the ones that worked - so it will not be a blow by blow accounting of the game.

First up - the table

This is the USAEUR end of the table.  All US units entered from this corner.

The corner closest to the US entry corner - heavily wooded - no action took place in the woods, but much of the action took place around the intersection near the church, the supermarket car park and the garage.

A little industrial area which dominated my entry corner.  It gave good protection for my mortars and commanders to deploy, but when a couple of my critical vehicles broke down behind the park, it kept them out of the battle for the rest of the game.

At the beginning of the game I deployed an interdiction strike.  Whilst this had no impact on anything on the table, it delayed Mick's reinforcements in the next turn.  This meant I effectively had two turns to deal with his recce units, and I managed to take out the Bradley, with 1 dismount alive but pinned, and to reduce his recce foot patrol to just one man as well.

More Soviet reinforcements arrive and start to move out from behind the industrial area.

My ZSU-23-4 arrives and immediately goes on Ambush Fire to deal with any Yankee planes while my mortars deploy.

OMG!!!  Mick's Timed Helicopter Strike arrives, plus inflicting chits on Mick only lead to bad results for me - including him drawing a Helicopter chit, and randomly rolling up another well armed Apache.  Things had been going my way until these two beasts showed up!

The first US reinforcements arrive.  Damn those M1s and Brads look cool on the table...

And more

The hurt is about to be placed on my guys!

You can see some action in this photo.  I've managed to drive off one of the Apache's (which would be back) and kill a Brad up in the Supermarket car park.

So yes - at a 73mm Grom round can knock out a Bradley!

Killed that Brad near the church too!  Here you can see Mick's CAP flying high above the tabletop.  It offered him air supremacy which meant he could try and intercept any aircraft I might get in the future.

The Apache is back!  You can see my BMP has died as well...

Final decent photo...  Shortly thereafter two more BMPs blitzed into the carpark, disgorged their troops who split into fireteams and while the RPG fireteams took out both the Brads, the infantry attempted to take out the US troops in the garage.

Mick responded and knocked out both BMPs (of course).  Meanwhile his Apaches which had suffered first game nerves, finally knocked out 2 of my T-80s - so things were looking dire for me.

We called the game there with the US well in front.  Despite me knocking him around in the first 4 or 5 turns, my kill all the Brads plan (which worked) did not lead to much problems for Mick with his untouched M1s and seemeingly untouchable Apaches.

My SA-14 team proved unable to lock onto the Apaches as they popped up from behind buildings on the 3 or 4 occasions I tried to hit them.  Neither could the SA-13 in the one chance it got.  My ZSU-23-4 was broken down in the industrial park and could not get a shot on.

I ended up winging 1 Apache with my Timed Air Strike and then, in a turn of events we had not considered in the rules, the Apache was eventually knocked out by a mix of stray mortar shells and bomblets from a cluster bomb which scattered right on top of it as hit hovered just above the ground behind a house. Ouch.

So an interesting game - which threw up some very interesting results.




13 September 2015

More Sun-bunnies

So in the final update in this particular series of updates here are what I truly hope are the last of my Soviets in the KLMK (Camouflage Summer Deceptive Coverall)  uniform - known to the Soviet troops who wore it as "Sun Bunnies" cam.

I have more on this unform and how to paint it here from over 5 years ago!!!

Once again the figures are from Liberation Minaitures

So here's a couple of group shots:

Basically I realised I needed 1 more AGS-17 crew and that whilst I had a bucket load of specialist troops in Sun Bunnies - I lacked a decent number of standard troopers with AK-74s.  So now I have them!  Painted!

These chaps will be used as standard Motor Rifle guys, SNI and if needed will support my VDV.  All good...

So next up I imagine will be a little air power and then some form of AAR.



10 September 2015

Soviet Naval Infantry

If I'm going to do a Soviet Naval Infantry (SNI) force, I needed some infantry.  These would be my 3rd Soviet force, as I already have Motor Rifle Troops in Summer Uniforms and Sun-Bunny coveralls and my VDV force.  I didn't really want to get another bunch of figures as this whole Soviet thing is now pretty big and when you add it all together - quite expensive (over time).

So I had a bit of a think and realised that I had quite a few of the Zvezda "Hot War" figures which might be useful.  Now these figures are most likely slightly "wrong" for what I was after which was for chaps to look like this:

And from the ubiquitous Dragon set:

Now painting a figure 95% black can be a bit boring - but as the Zvezda figures are all wearing body armour - which I would paint green - this might make them look slightly more interesting.

So I decided to go for it - and this is what I ended up with:

Not the greatest photos - I really struggle to light figures well - but this lot breaks them down a little further:

SAM Team

Kneeling Chaps

Standing Chaps

Running Chaps

RPG Chaps

Pointing Chaps

Lying Down Chaps with AKs

Lying Down Chaps with RPKs

Chaps with AT-7 Metis (Saxhorn) ATGM

Not sure how well you'll be able to see this, but each SNI trooper has been given a SNI patch of a yellow anchor in a red circle on a black (of course) backgound.  Like this:

So that's my SNI thus far.  I have enough there to fill out the 3 squads in a platoon (NCO, RPG, RPK and 4 AK-74) a couple of ATGM teams, a SAM team and nearly enough for the Platoon HQ.  So I ordered some Elhiem figures to make up a Company HQ, as well as filling out the Platoon Command Squad.

Plan is to be able to field this Zvezda Platoon, a Liberation Miniatures Platoon in Sun-Bunny Coveralls, plus ATGMs, SAM, Observers etc to make up a reduced company.  So I have about 5 or six figures to paint to complete the infantry side of things...

That's all for now


08 September 2015

Warmaster 2K22 Tunguska

The final vehicle in this series of photo's is a Warmaster 2S6 or 2K22 Tunguska.  I've wanted to add a Tunguska to my forces for a while now and there are several options.  I think one was made for Battlefield Evolution - but it was overscaled.  Fabri recently came out with a diecast model, which looked impressive (one of my mates as a couple) but at the time I was leaning towards a kit.  Military Wheels (MW) does the only 1/72 Tunguska kit that I'm aware of.  It has made it onto my ebay watch list several times, but I've never gone ahead and bid on one.  Andy has an in depth review of the kit here on his excellent blog and it doies seem a bit of a cow to make.

So - when I saw that Warmaster were doing one, I went into immediate hunt and locate mode.  Shortly thereafter I found some at the large hobby shop in the city and snapped it up.

Like the BTR-80s shown last week, the Tunguska comes in a multi-colour cam pattern which doesn't really match the rest of my Soviet forces.  It looks like this:

Note - the turret is facing the rear in this photo (not mine).

So a re-paint was called for - and this is the result:

Very nice and impressive model.  It was forgotten in my mass weathering event - but I think I'm happy for this to look a little newer and cleaner - at least for the time being...

For a sense of scale I took this photo to show the Tunguska up against it's predecessor, the ZSU-23-4 Shilka.  This one is from S&S Models:

As you can is - it's massively bigger.  I can see it being a targetted pretty quickly in any wargame!

The next couple of posts will focus more on miniatures...

That's all for now