Category Archives: modern

WIP – Just a few more waffer thin T-80s!

I had planned to move onto something different for a week or two just to give myself a break  from the micro armour so I don’t burn out. But having taken delivery of the large batch of T-64s et al I was quite taken with the camo pattern on a batch T-80Us so fancied basing them up and also doing another batch of D-30s. This time mounted correctly!

The base models came nicely packaged and neatly painted with a sand based camo with darker brown and black patterns:

T-80Us

I did my usual Vallejo Sepia Wash but using the brush to lift as much as possible off the main areas so as not to darken the model too much. Then Pale Sand highlight, gel pen for markings and a mid brown for mud etc.  Usual basing.

T-80Us – new

I used the BTR-80 command vehicle to go with the tenth model for the HQ:

T-80U HQ

And here is the lot along with the D30s:

T-80Us and D-30s

The D-30s form another battery and this lot are mounted on the stands correctly. I do understand that the 120 degree mount allows all round firing but in a deployed position I think they would always choose the optimum setup:

D-30s
D-30s
D-30s

I quite enjoyed doing these – suppose I’m getting used to them! Next up are some 15mm Roman-British for Dux.

 

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WIP – Even more Soviets!

You can never have too many!

Finally finished off the basing of my T-80s and BMP-2s along with the support carriers and HQ bases for the latter, and the final HQ for the T-80s using a spare model from the recent mass of lead acquired!

BMP-2s and T-80s with HQs
The three BMP-2 battalions with HQs
BMP-2 HQ
BMP-2 HQ
BMP-2 HQ
Three battalions of T-80s. Three different models. Front row H&R. Rest are Scotia
T-80 HQ
T-80 HQ
T-80 HQ but with a BMP-2 so it could double up
All the BMP-2s are Heroics and Ros. Nice little models
The lovely little H&R T-80 ERA
You can’t beat a lot of Russian tanks!

I’m quite pleased to get this lot done. It means I can finally fill in some more red boxes on the Painting Master Plan. I still have the infantry to do for these and more artillery assets. And the T-64s. And the various river crossing units… But I think I may paint something different next as I feel I need a change to avoid burnout!

 

 

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WIP – More Soviets – a few reinforcements…

Do I have enough Russian yet? To be honest, yes. But that doesn’t stop me getting more! A few posts on TMP about my recent updates led to the idea of getting of getting a few T-64BVs. T-64s of any kind are lacking in my current forces. I’d ordered a few of the Heroics and Ros model which is rather nice, then I was offered some Scotia by one slugbalancer on TMP. Who with evil intent also sent me a list of other models he was looking to part with. So I ended up getting a few more! 🙂

POL trailer 2
URAL 375 Tanker 1
MDK 2M rotary excavator 2
BAV 5
Bridge – MT-55 2
GSP 2
GSP 2
MT-55 2
MT-55 with bridge 2
PMP deployed 1
PMP Lorries – centre sections 2
PMP Lorries – ramp sections 2
TMM bridges 4
TMM bridging lorries 4
GAZ 66b Airportable 4
T-55 with dozer 4
T-55 with KMT 4
T-62M 14
T-80 11
T-64BV 21
BMP-3 10
BTR-80 command 1
BTR-80A 10
T-80U 10

 

Here’s the main batch of AFVs:

The main lot!

I have to admit I am particularly impressed with the Scotia T-64BV. I’d seen a pic on the 6mm Wargaming site and the casting looked a little rough but these look to be early castings when the mould was maybe better? Either way, very neat!

Scotia T64BVs – a lovely little model

At the last minute I caved in and added some BMP-3s, BTR-80s and T-80Us to my purchase. This does push the time frame for my Russians a little later but I’m glad I got those. Nice little models with a nice camo scheme. May use them for an elite little strike force!

T-80Us

One of the plans for my forces is to add to the support/engineering elements and this was a chance to get more bridging/ferry equipment:

Bridging assets
Bridging assets

With what I already have this should give me plenty! I may try and sort these over the next week as Skytrex still have a 20% off sale so it would make sense to buy any extras from them now.

Apart from the late kit they are all painted in a nice dark green. I think I’ll be able to get away without adding a wash and just a heavy dry brush with my usual Russian Green followed by lighter coats and highlights. The full camo kit will maybe get a thin sepia wash and a pale sand highlight.

I have to say that these arrived VERY well packaged. The turrets on most were loose and had been packaged separately to protect the barrels and MGs. This worked VERY well and of the whole package I only had one damaged barrel. Which was one of the attached ones.

Very well packaged turrets!

I have to admit, I am really pleased with this lot and look forward to basing them up and adding them to my forces!

 

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WIP – More Soviets – 2

And so we have more! Spent a little time over the last few nights finishing off the extras I needed for the three BTR-70 battalions. Did another full unit plus the extras for all to carry the support elements. And the HQs

Three battalions of BTR-70s

I’ve been quite pleased with these. A nice model from Heroics and Ros that paints up well.

BTR70s

Needed to do the three HQ stands as well. Basically just went for another BTR and some sort of command/support vehicle and a couple of figures.

HQs

I have a load of infantry and other support elements waiting to be done but started on a mortar stand.

Mortars

And here are the HQs.

First battalion HQ
Second battalion HQ
Third battalion HQ

Back in the last post I had done a single base of 122mms with the transport on a 40x40mm bases. Have now completed the other two stands. I may still do some sort of artillery ‘HQ’ as well.

D30 batteries
D30 batteries

Next up are the BMP-2s. I have the three battalions done but with basing needing finishing but needed the support carriers and the HQs. These are ready to go next.

HQ and Support BMPs

And this is the pile of support kit I still need to do!

Still not done…

I also took the chance to finish off some trees I’d based up a while back. All are from Timecast. They were soaked in thinned PVA first, then drill and superglue in the hole. Usual basing method followed. I still have about another 40+ trees to do. You can never have too many!

More trees…

All in all, not bad progress. I have managed to acquire a load of T-64BVs which will form the tank battalions for the BMPs and BTRs. I also managed to get a load more bridging/ferry kit so I think that will be on the table soon once I decide how I’m going to base them!

 

 

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December Update – Syrians and watching Zulu…

I had great plans for trying to get a game today, even if only solo. Wife was supposed to be out for the day with the kids. But my expected full day to myself ended up as a few hours (by the time I’d done my assigned chores!) so I did something I’ve been planning to do for most of this year – watch Zulu! It’s one of my favourite films and back in January when we finally bought a big TV and Blu-ray player it was one of the first films I bought (along with Black Hawk Down, Gladiator and Watchmen).

If you read the comments on Amazon about the Blu-Ray transfer there are a few people who complain it is ‘too clean’ and that the original ‘quality’ of the film has been erased by the digital processing. All I can see is a bloody stunning film! The colours are vibrant and it was a joy to watch. It was great to have the time to sit and watch it on my own and it still remains a great film. I know the history ain’t quite right but in this case I don’t care. For me it is one of THE films of my childhood and I can watch it again and again!

And after the film I had a little time to finish off some basing. I had done a unit of T62As for my Syrians. Models are GHQ and rather nice. HQ stand completed as well.

 
 

And just so I might have enough for a small game, I did a recce unit and the CO stand.

 
 
 

The GHQ T55 is an absolutely lovely model. Oozing crisp detail and and example of GHQ at their best.

And yesterday I spent a little time dipping the latest batch of trees from Timecast in PVA ready for basing up.

 

With what I’ve done so far this will hopefully give me enough to get going, though I think I really need about the same amount again! As with the others I did I’ll be putting them 3,4,5 to a base and then putting those on defined areas of cloth etc. to mark the extent of woods.

One day I’ll use them in a game… 🙂

Someone on TMP had suggested using Veltrim (usually used for car interiors) as a material for game cloths. I managed to get a sample of the ‘SAND’ colour.

Although it matched quite well with that I’ve painted my tiles I’m not yet sure I’d right for general desert use. Just not quite yellow enough. It would cost £21 plus shipping for a piece 9ft by 6ft. The jury is still out on this one!

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Syrian Support (for ’73 not now!)

I wanted to put together some support for the infantry. Mortars in the GHQ Heavy Weapons pack are fine (though only three of them!) and I’d assumed the ATGWs were Saggers (AT-3s) but I think they’re actually Spandrels (AT-7s?). Now for the Syrians I need the Suitcase Sagger. Which GHQ don’t do. Mainforce don’t do. But H&R do. Now I’ve used these for my Soviets but mixing them with GHQ just highlights the difference in size.

Anyway, here are the mortars. Only after I’d finished painting them did I realise I’ve got the crews facing the wrong way! Can’t be bothered changing them now:

 

I’ve gone for 20×20 for my support weapons with one team on each rather than 40x20mm and two teams as for my Cold War stuff.

Now, on to the Saggers. The Heroics and Ros are to the left. My version is to the right.

With the Heroics and Ros the Sagger itself gets lost in the sand and the figures, while fine, are quite small.

For my version I started with the Spandrel from the Heavy Weapons pack from GHQ. Cut of the tube section and used the box as the base for the Sagger. I then had the missiles etc. from an H&R Allouette and chose a suitably sized ‘bomb’, filed one side at the back so it would sit with the nose raised and stuck it to the box. The lying down Spandrel guy had the tripod cut off and the stand looks enough like the Sagger control I’ve seen in some pics. The other crewman is a GHQ radio operator. The radio on his back is a little big but not too bad.

I think it looks better from above as well compared to the H&R one.

And this is the Spandrel that got butchered!

Overall I’m quite pleased. I shall await feedback from various sources, possibly telling me it’s wrong, before I start mass production! And I’ll need to get a few more radio operators as well!

Painting these I did little different. White undercoat, Sepia wash, Violet Brown for uniform, leaving the wash showing for belts etc., Flat Earth kit, Pale Sand drybrush. Mortars and sagger left in Russian Green (all Vallejo).

I have four BTR-152s based and ready to go for them to ride in!

More to follow…

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Syrians and basing woes…

Have finally finished another Syrian unit and couple of HQ units. Have still to finalise a proper list to work to and add to the Painting Master Plan.

So, here are the chaps so far:

I finally finished off the Skytrex T-55s  by adding the HQ stand.

 

Next up was some GHQ BTR80PBs. These are lovely crisp little models and were a joy to paint. I went with the same basic sand on green pattern as above but will be doing some with the grey later.

The infantry are GHQ Soviets. They’ve come out a little dark and I may do the next lot differently. And the basing went wrong – see below.

 HQ stand, again with GHQ Soviet Infantry

BASING WOES
I fear my basing mojo has deserted me. I knew I wanted to use the sand with crushed shells mix as is to speed up basing. I had done this with a few M48s (below) and was happy with it. However, when I came to do the T-55s I had forgotten that on the M48s I’d painted the base mid-brown first. So on the T-55s the various dark patches from the painting process showed through and made the whole lot darker. When I came to do the infantry I knew I had to paint the figure bases and I chose Vallejo Desert Yellow as I thought this would blend with the sand. As I knew I had to paint the bases anyway I just used this for the whole base as well. It was lighter than the mid-brown I use and consequently when the sand was applied that came out very light as well! It was a noticeable difference so I applied a thinned Sepia Wash to it and that has gone too dark. Not horrendously so but enough to be annoying!

The plus point is that the light colour will work really well for my WW2 Western Desert! I also decided that I like the dark brown edges from the MDF laser cutting. So I’m going to leave them as is. And I found that Vallejo German Camo. Black Brown is a good match when applied to existing bases!

All a bit frustrating really as I like to have a uniform look to them all but I suppose the ground colour is different in different parts of the Golan!

OTHER NEWS
I’ve just acquired a few GHQ Italians at roughly half price on eBay so now have a good size force for my Western Desert project for next year.

Next up is some support weapon types, some AA assets and then some T-62s. And a CO stand. Then I should have enough for a wee game!

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Soviet Offensive ends in disaster!

Commander Petya Sergetov Executed
Initial TASS Report
LD281720 Moscow TASS in English 1717 GMT 8th June 1986
Following the disastrous attack against American forces in West Germany on 7th June 1986, Commander Petya Sergetov, commander of the 4th Combined Arms Army was executed for military incompetence. His valiant troops were led into a trap, suffering 25% casualties despite their valiant efforts in the service of the Motherland. A full investigation into the events of that day has been ordered so that the sacrifice of the troops was not in vain, and all others deemed responsible for the disaster are brought to account. The war goes on. The Soviet Union will triumph.
Initial Report on the failed assault by the 4th Combined Arms Army 7th June 1986
Prepared by Marshall Vladimir Konstantinov
9th June 1986
Background
Following the initial assault by the 4th CAA on the 4th June 1986 which succeeded in driving a West German force from the town of Ahlsberg (albeit at significant cost) the Army continued its advance. Commander Sergetov bolstered his battered force by bringing in 2nd Echelon T-62 battalions and MRR units. Although this increased the size of the force, the quality of the troops was suspect for an assault so early in the Soviet Offensive.
Initial Reconnaissance Failures
On the 7th June the 4th CAA began its advance to clear the way for the scheduled river crossing. Still expecting to find the struggling West German forces blocking their way, the initial reconnaissance units viewed the potential battleground.
Although there was no evidence of enemy forces, there was clear signs of a prepared defence. Despite this evidence, Commander Sergetov decided to prepare an artillery barrage and push forward with his available forces. As the recon units pushed further forward it became clear that this was an extensively prepared position and the opposition appeared to be American forces, and not the expected West Germans.
There were clear areas marked as minefields and signs on entrenchments. However the enemy armoured forces were not visible.
Account if the Assault
As the 4th CAA began its advance the preliminary barrage targeted the central ridge, the small village and the adjacent hill, but to little effect. The advance was uncoordinated, with poor command leaving some units in the rear, and one unit even beginning to withdraw! Advances were made to the hills on either flank, with Commander Sergetov leading the stalled advance in the center.
With no response from the enemy, the flanks attacks continued. Smoke was laid ineffectually on the right and the the left flank units advanced across the hill enemy artillery destroyed the recon platoon on that flank.
Although there were signs of armour moving in the woods on the far right, poorly coordinated movement, failed artillery requests and the continued lack of action from the enemy prompted Commander Sergetov to push forward rashly with his armour on the left and in the center. This was to prove the decisive action of the day as the woods on the far right erupted with the fire from a full battalion of M1 Abram AFVs. The fire was devastating and unrelenting as a full nine platoons of T-62s were destroyed.
On the right the forward observers desperately tried to call in artillery support as the BMPs were caught in the open.
It was at this point that Commander Sergetov exceeded his authority and authorised the release of chemical weapons against the massed American armour in the woods.
Although this was to silence them for a short time it became obvious that no permanent damage had been done. The inability to bring additional force, either armour or artillery, to bear on this unit while suppressed, wasted the only opportunity to turn the action in the Soviet favour.
It was at this point that Sergetov called off the attack. Any further advance would only bring the remaining forces under the guns of the American tanks. Although he had retained a small reserve there was little opportunity to bring it to bear in any decisive manner without the near certainty of its loss. So, Commander Sergetov ordered a withdrawal to defensive positions with the remains of his force.
Initial Findings
Attempting an assault on a poorly reconnoitered position with such a weakened force was foolhardy and compounded by meeting fresh American forces in a strong prepared defence. The opening salvo from the American tanks was devastating and destroyed the armoured assault force on the left flank and center. The excellent fire discipline of the American forces meant that targets were hard to pinpoint, making artillery support ineffective. The desperate measure of calling on chemical weapons was poorly judged as it needed support from other arms to exploit its benefits.
Conclusion
The assault ordered by Commander Sergetov was rash and poorly implemented. The political repercussions of the use of chemical weapons are still undetermined. This report find the summary Court Martial and execution of Commander Sergetov fully justified.

Comments
Following the last game I had lost 2600 points in the failed attack against the West Germans. This left me with 5400 points to attack a prepared position of 5000 points. Not good odds for an attack! I chose to downgrade some of my troops and use T-62s for most of the force accompanied by BTRs, with 15 HE assets, 3 Smoke assets and 3 Chemical Weapons assets. It was with these latter that I hoped to surprise my opponent. My list was as follows:

  • 1 CO (CV9)
  • 4 HQ (CV8)
  • 3 FAO (CV6)
  • 1 Recce Unit (BRDM)
  • 1 Recce Unit (BRM-1)
  • 15 Infantry Unit (Conscripts)
  • 6 Infantry Upgrade (RPG-16)
  • 6 IFV Unit (BMP-2)
  • 12 Tank Unit (T-62E)
  • 1 Air Defence Unit (AA, ZSU-23-4)
  • 6 Artillery Unit (122mm, 2S1 M1974)
  • 3 Artillery Unit (152mm, 2S3 M1973)
  • 9 Transport Unit (BTR-60/70)

I was facing an American force under Ian Logan of 12 M1s, 15 infantry units, the majority in trenches and two batteries of artillery. The main problem was actually SEEING anything! To get close enough brought my troops into the LOS of the M1s. The minefields channeled me and after the game I found there was another hidden minefield:

which would have caused more problems had I got further in the center. The positioning of the M1s and the firepower they bought to bear was devastating. The range of the guns meant they could target most of my force before I got my tanks into range. Although I knew where the troops were I felt I had to advance as ordered until they revealed themselves. The first salvo, aided by a 1,1 command roll, destroyed my T-62 force…

Dropping the chemicals on them raised a few questions on how effective they were under the CWC rules. It seemed for too much to get the unsaved hits and auto suppression on the M1s who should really have been buttoned up and capable of operating on a NBC battlefield. If I had had the chance to coordinate this with other attacks i.e. getting one or two hits and suppression on the M1s first, then the chemicals would have been very effective, possibly too much so given the target type?

However, after the chemical attack wore off I had no real way of pushing forward without getting hammered! I tried to bring in more chemicals and artillery but the FAOs were not rolling well. Even when I got my IFVs etc. forward I failed the dismount rolls and left them vulnerable. I think I need to think on a batter way to deal with trenches, and maybe be more aggressive with my recon to force the enemy to reveal themselves.

Given I only had a 400 point advantage I fully expected the attach to fail. But not as badly as it did! I lost 1400 points. The Americans lost none! The next game will leave me with 4000 points and I have chosen to hold and take up a defensive position. And hopefully do a little better!

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CWC – Soviet 2nd Echelon units…

Had these sat around for ages waiting to be based. They are pretty well the last of the Soviets that came with my big purchase last year. I’ve touched them up a little and weathered them and based them.

Two battalions of T-62s:

 
 

and some BTR-70s – I think 🙂

 

Pretty sure all models are Skytrex. I have another batch of T-62s waiting to be painted to make it up to the full Mech Regiment.

Next big game of CWC due on Sunday and I’m not expecting it to go well!

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Voici venir les éclairs!

In other words – allowing for the language limitations of Google – more Belgians! These are the continuation of the support elements for the 17th Armoured Brigade:

 First up are the M75s that will carry my Engineers. These are a lovely little model from Scotia and I’ve already bought another ten as apparently I can put reserve units in them!

 The Belgians also had some jeep mounted Milans. No one does the correct model but this is close, from the Scotia Chinese range. I should probably move the spare tyre to the bonnet and remove the windscreen. Small model but it does allow a bit of space for scenics!

 The support element (AT) also has some M113A1-MIL/Milan-1 which have twins hatches rather than the central hatch and a .50cal on the left and a Milan on the right.

The central hatch was cut off and two side hatches stuck on. The .50cal is from CinC but is very fine and fragile so I’ll likely do future ones in wire and green stuff as in the AIFVs.
And last up is the artillery support. M109A2s. This is a lovely little model from Heroics and Ros. Very crisp detail. There is a hole to mount an MG but it may be too fragile for general use. I have it on reliable evidence (Jeff on the CWC Forums) that the unit (his unit) was in green and black camo in the late 80s so that is what I’ve gone for.

And finally, on Jeffs say so, his unit apparently had regular deliveries via truck of chocolate eclairs!

So there’s the man with the (I assume!) silver tray delivering them to the hard working gunners! Apologies if the eclairs look like dog turds but they’re bloody hard to model in 1/300th!

Although I have a Sultan based FAO I need to do one in an AIFV-CP for this unit.

More to follow after Sunday’s big CWC game.

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