30 October 2016

Elhiem Soviet Motor Rifle Troops

A while back when I was posting and re-posting my Soviet TO&Es, in a spasm of OCD I decided to make sure I could fill out a platoon correctly, and then a whole company.  All the figures had to be basic motor rifle troops in standard khaki uniforms - no 1 piece sun-bunny coveralls here.

Over the past several years I changed my Soviet squad, platoon and company TO&Es several times, so surprise, surprise (and yes I was a bit surprised) I discovered that I was missing several key personnel from my roster.

First up, and most surprisingly were some chaps (4 chaps to be precise) armed with RPK-74s.  Every squad has one and in a company you need 9.  I only had 5.  Whoops!

I placed an order with Matt from Elhiem Figures for this set, but asked if was possible that rather than 2 RPKs and 2 PKMs (I have more than enough PKMs) - could the set have the RPK guys doubled up.  Matt as always provides great customer service and this is what I got:

RPK-74 situation resolved.

Turns out I needed 1 more RPG gunner and another sniper.  Luckily I found them in the stash:

Problem solved!

Finally, and for whatever reason - maybe I'd want to attach a BMP or BTR to my company from the Air Defence Platoon with 3 SA-7 or SA-14 SAMs.  So I needed 1 more SAM.  The chap with him armed with a RPG-18 comes from the same Elhiem pack - and as he's very cool I decided to paint him as well.

So - fingers crossed - and TO&E re-writes aside - I can now field a full strength Motor Rifle Company.  Now I just need to finalise all their different attachments... 

Trust me... collecting Soviets never ends!



26 October 2016


Back in April this year I posted up a couple of photos of a Jaguar and Harrier kit I just just built (here).  It's taken a while, and typically for me when it comes to aircraft, a couple of minor disasters, but now I'm classifying the Jaguar as finished!

I decided to have another crack with my airbrush - which is slowly becoming less of a scary event for me and more of just another tool.  One day I'll get there.

Very much a 3 foot test viewing model - and at that range I'm very happy with it.  So back away from your computer before viewing...

So there you have it.  Air support for my BAOR or Royal Marines or any other British force.



17 October 2016

BAOR Infantry TO&Es

For a bit of a change I've decided to discuss the next TO&E - or at least my best understanding/interpretation of it.  This time its the British Army Section.  Sadly I have no official TO&E graphics to show - so I'll just go with this one to begin with:

So I've organised my infantry into 8 man sections.  Here's my first example of a standard BAOR Mechanised Infantry Section:

I've split the section into 2 "units".  A Rifle section of 5 men on the left and a 3 man GPMG section. 

The Rifle Section is primarily armed with the L1A1 (or SLR or FN FAL) and one of the men has a L14A1 84mm Carl Gustav Medium Anti-Tank Weapon (MAW).  The rifle team can take up to 2 M72A2 Light Anti-Tank Weapons (LAW).

The GPMG Section has the L7A4 GPMG and two men with L1A1.

Both teams are transported by a FV432.  In a Mechanised Infantry Platoon, 2 FV432s can be upgraded to be fitted with a Peak Engineering MG turret - like so:

Part of the BAOR's 4th Armoured Division, but needing to be quickly moved from the UK to Germany is the 19th Infantry Brigade, which is equipped with the Saxon APC.

Other units in the 2nd Infantry Division and the United Kingdom Mobile Force would also have been equipped with Saxons.

Finally we have those units that are equipped with the Warrior MCV-80.  Two battalions were equipped with warrior in 1988, however I'm inclined - what with the increasing tensions etc - to allow Warrior to be available in small numbers a year or so earlier.  (I believe several Warriors took part in Exercise Lionheart in 1984 - so they were around).

Around this time increasing amounts of L85 and L86 small arms were becoming available, along with new uniforms and helmets - so the Armoured Infantry Sections looks a little different to the previous Mechanised sections (note I did not paint these infantry but bought them painted):

The section is "bought" as a complete section of 8 men.  6 armed with the L85 (or SA80 or IW) and 2 armed with the L86 (or LSW).  The section has the Fireteam special rule - which means it can be split however the player wants - however it "should" be split into 2 fireteams of 4 men each - with 3 L85s and 1 L86.  The entire section can also take upto 2 LAW 80 anti-tank weapons.

So that's my BAOR infantry TO&Es.  I'm interested to see what you think



10 October 2016

Second Hand Joy - Part 2

Every wargaming convention I go to (which is only 2 a year - but I have been going to them both for quite a few years now) I always make sure to spend some time at the bring 'n buy looking for 20mm stuff.  Normally if there is any, it's hidden under piles for 28mm GW and 15mm Battlefront stuff...  I've been to some bring n' buys without finding a single 20mm model to buy.

And then there was this years Cancon where I did really well and at MOAB I found what looked to be someone selling his entire 20mm Cold War/Modern collection.  In reasonable, bit sized chunks.  Most pleasingly to me - he was selling these:

I decided I needed a platoon of T-62s a while back - and every now and again I would pop an ESCI kit I found on ebay into my watch list - but I never committed.  So to find a full platoon, painted very nicely (I just need to get rid of the little red stars) for $50 - I thought it was a real bargain.

The seller was also off-loading some soft skins:

  These two need a little more work.  The open-top one needs a windscreen, which isn't too hard, whereas the closed up one has issues with one of the windows - which has popped in slightly.  My fiddling with it has only made it worse... so not sure what to do about that one.

I think this is a Zil-131 - regardless it's a neat little truck.

Originally I thought this was a Ural-375, but now I think its more likely to be a KrAZ-255 - regardless... it's big!

Trucks can be a pain to make - so this is another second hand purchase I'm pretty chuffed about.

That's it for today


05 October 2016

Second Hand Joy - Part 1

Recently I've had a rare run of good luck in the second hand department - coming across some great books and a couple of board games in local shops, a wargaming convention and on ebay.

For many of us our first "experience" of the Cold War gone hot genre was General Sir John Hackett's book "The Third World War".  I inherited my brother's copy in the early eighties (without his knowledge...) and held onto it ever since.  Until I found these:

Mint condition hardbacks - fairly cheap - at a new bookstore which also stocked some 2nd hand books.  Same shop also had these:

Whilst not quite as up-to-date as I would have liked, they are full of good information and some excellent photos.  Finally buy from that shop (apart from a book I've been searching for on the First Crusade) was this:

Mainly a great source of photos, it also has a section on the role of the 3rd Commando Brigade in Norway is a WW3 scenario which was interesting.

Last weekend I visited MOAB - which is a wargaming convention here in Sydney.  Amongst other excellent 2nd hand stuff I picked up these...

...for $6!  Bargain!!  Again full of excellent photos - although a few more Danish regular troop shots would have been helpful.

A while ago I got this for about $50 on ebay:

I'd played it (feels like 100 years ago) and had a soft spot for it.  So at MOAB when I saw this...

...for $8 I had to have it!  Now I just need the 3rd, 5th and 6th Fleet games to complete the series!  Ha!

Anyway - feeling pretty chuffed about that.  In Part 2 I'll show you the other Cold War bargains I got at MOAB - models!