Wednesday 26 August 2009

A quick test miniature: USMC MarPat (woodland) Liberation 20mm figure

Another test, this time with a "proper" miniature. 20mm modern US soldier from Liberation.
Base still needs some flock added. There is probably a thousand and more painters out there who could do a better job, painting MarPat woodland camo, but I think this one looks convincing enough.
Now I gotta order some more battle brothers for this guy. Until I finally end up with a full strength platoon plus support units.

Tuesday 18 August 2009

Black October: middle eastern fundamentalist project

Fighting the infidel will need more than just infantry. The Black October fundamentalists rely on technicals of various brands to reinforce their efforts to drive the foreign forces off their holy soil. Facing air superiority through their enemies I thought equipment such as the Russian-built SA-7 anti-air missiles could be of great help for the Insurgents...

Black October: middle eastern fundamentalist project

I just continue to publish more shots of Rob's impressive work. You'll see how much little detail he has created on each and every single miniature that is part of this huge project. It seems like every miniature tells its own story. So, you will find IEDs as well as hidden snipers that are taking their chance to fullfil their duty for the cause.

Black October: middle eastern fundamentalist project

The Black October project originated from the need to have a large amount of middle eastern style insurgent miniatures for the use in Ambush Alley and as support for regular troops in Force On Force games.
All miniatures displayed are 20mm miniatures from Rolf Hedges' PLO range (Liberation miniatures). A very good friend, Rob, took over the tremendous work of painting and converting over 40 miniatures and vehicles for me. Rob, who is known as panzerfaust200 at The Guild forum has years of expertise in both, sculpting and painting. I don't know how to thank him for the probably best miniatures I have ever seen in my entire wargaming career. His work makes every game of Ambush Alley an unforgettable joy for all players involved.

Generic Iraqi Force: painting has started (finally!!)

I am proud of myself: I finally started to paint some of this black pile of models! A layer of Vallejo's US Field Drab is going to prepare these vehicles for the desert scheme I do have in mind. Hopefully my job gives me enough time on the afternoons of this week to add some more paint to these models. I already got myself an interesting article on the markings of the Iraqi Army. Should be fun to paint some details such as liscence plates in Arabic letters and brigade markings. We shall see..

Sunday 16 August 2009

Generic Iraqi Force: reconnaissance force vehicles ready for painting

With the completion of the fourth UAZ 469 my Iraqi recon force is ready for painting. I now have two 106mm guns that can be exchanged for SPG-9 73mm recoilless rifles and two weapon carrier variants with fixed guns.
As the Britannia sponsored Group Build contest will close next month I should start painting now for the Guild forum. Well, my first layers of paint will be released with pictures right here, so stay tuned.

The Dragon Rises: second WZ 551 IFV ready for painting

Today I finished the conversion of a second S&S models WZ 551 Infantry Fighting Vehicle. Another two are already purchased, giving me enough rides for a whole platoon + command section. I only hope Shaun will release the Dongfeng copies of the American HMMWV pretty soon. I need some recon forces for the PLA.
If he won't come up with the release of the HJ-8 carrying version of the WZ 551 soon, I will by no doubts start a heavy conversion on one of the IFVs.

Thursday 13 August 2009

The Dragon Rises: WZ 551 IFV and Type 99 MBT

What you can see above is a very early WIP shot of the two main vehicles you will spot in my PLA project soon. Both are from the excellent 20mm scale range of modern era resin kits of Shaun Matthews (S&S models). As you can see there is more than just resin and metal parts on those kits. Although I think that Mr. Matthews has done a fantastic job in the creation of these, it was obvious to me that I can add a lot of details with just kit-bashing some Revell plastic kits to get parts.

For example I added the undercarriage and wheels of a German Luchs to the WZ 551, as well as some tools, tail lights, rear view mirrors and wheels. In case of the Type 99 I replaced the whole main gun with T-72 parts and added the fuel drums to the back. By no means I do claim the vehicles are now exact copies of their original exemplars, but there is no doubt they do certainly look a lot better with those bits. If you like them, feel free to leave some feedback.

Sunday 9 August 2009

The Dragon Rises: modern Chinese PLA project

Some of you might have wondered why Sgt. Scream did not update his Iraqi Force project recently. Well, after assembling a lot of middle eastern armour I was kind of fed up with it for a while and so I took the step and started building some stuff I was first not up to release already. It is a project that I have planned for a long time.
The modern Chinese People Liberation Army or PLA has grown into a force not to be underestimated. Within the recent years, studying of western technology has had a major influence on Chinese weapon construction and research.
I am going to add infantry, armour, APC and IFV as well as some air units to a force for some nice Ambush Alley F-O-F games. My goal would be a platoon of mechanized infantry with some battalion support assets. First pics will follow soon.

Wednesday 5 August 2009

Generic Iraqi force: Sukhoi Su-22 "Fitter" (MasterCraft 1/72)

The 1/72 MasterCraft kit of the Sukhoi Su-22 Fitter is going to add some air support to my Iraqi force. The kit allows to assemble the Su-22 in two different ways: recon and fighter/bomber. My version will of course be the armed one.
There is some pretty impressive ordnance included but I will not add these weapons to the kit. I found some reference in the internet and my version is going to carry two AAMs, rocket pods and a bomb rack for small bombs. The quality looks good - I hope there is no nasty surprise when I am going to build this kit.

Generic Iraqi force: T-62 Main Battle Tank

T-62 Main Battle Tanks from RH Liberation Miniatures. The wargaming model is a simple resin kit with metal parts. Hull and turret are cast in resin while gun barrel and tracks and search light are made from metal. I only added a Liberation Miniatures tank commander into the open hatch and a Britannia HMG to the gunner's hatch. Barrel and hatch were pinned into place.
It's a rather simple kit, but I think it does fullfil its purpose. I wouldn't mind getting myself another one of those.

Gneric Iraqi force: Surface-to-Air-Missiles SA-2 Guideline / SA-3 Goa

I recently won two auctions on ebay that are now providing my Iraqi force project with some serious anti-air firepower. They will also make some good pieces of terrain to act as mission objectives for my opposing force(s). I had a quick look at the sprues and they look not too bad although friends in different forums I am member in said that they do require some work. They are short-run 1/72 scale injection kits from the East European producer "Voca Gran" . Once I am done with most of my ground vehicles these SAM sites are going to be assembled side by side together with my air units.

Generic Iraqi force: ZIL-157 with ZU-23-2 Anti Air gun

This ZIL-157 truck is another of Britannia's great wargaming resin models. It's a bit crude if used as delivered so I was trying to convert it a little and add some details. It comes as a kind of resupply truck with a huge cargo compartment and in one of the pictures above you can see what I was going to cut off the model. Plans have been to add a 1/72 scale kit of a ZU-23-2 AA gun (from ACE) to the back. I had seen pictures that this has been done on various occasions and those little ZU-23-2 guns have been added to a lot of different vehicles like the GAZ 66 for example. I didn't see any reason why it should not also have occured being strapped to the back of a Russian-made ZIL truck.
So I cut off those walls of the cargo area and constructed a false floor from 1mm plastic sheet to place the AA gun on top. Doing so will allow me to remove the gun and use the ZIL as a supply truck at any time. I get two models out of one-superb!
I was using the mirrors of an older Revell kit to add some detail to the truck, as well as 0,8mm brass wire to add some handrails and steps. Above mentioned plastic sheet also was put into place to act as fog lights, tail lights and liscence plates for the ZIL.
The ACE kit of the ZU-23-2 was a bit of work though. It requires some advanced skills in modelling and a lot of sanding to remove flash. But although it takes some time to finish it in a decent quality its well worth the effort.
The picture in which I already have placed the whole model on a base and sanded the latter and finally also added the black primer should give you an idea of how its going to look like once I paint it.

Generic Iraqi force: T-55 Medium Battle Tank

This is going to be the lightest of all tanks I am planning to add to my generic Iraqi force. T-55 tanks were in use in large numbers throughout both, the Iraqi Regular Army and the Republican Guard. The model shown above is a 20mm resin wargaming model from Britannia Miniatures.
This small and simple kit has a good quality for only consisting out of five parts (hull, turret, tank commander, barrel and machine gun).
The only thing I did with this vehicle was adding the base and a flag that hangs over the fuel drums. The flag is simply a piece of a tissue handkerchief that I soaked in watered down PVA glue and placed upon the model. Once the glue has dried, it becomes hard as a rock and can easily be painted in Iraq's colours.

Generic Iraqi force: UAZ 469 with 12,7mm Heavy MG

I finished another session of converting the standard UAZ 469 kit into what I call a weapons carrier version. This one was given a 12,7mm Heavy Machine Gun instead of the AGS-17.
I hope to be able to completely assemble the final UAZ with 106mm gun today. I am not sure if shall get myself some Britannia PT-76 light tanks for an additional armoured recoinassance force?

Tuesday 4 August 2009

Generic Iraqi force: UAZ 469 with AGS-17 "Plamyja"

After the rear roll bar cage had been assembled I had to think about the weapons I am going to mount. The kit of the UAZ offered a wide range of possible weapons but I had different plans. Being a huge fan of the explosive potential of an American Mk.19 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher I came up with the plan of adding the Russian counterpart of this weapon to my UAZ.
The Russian AGS-17 "Plamyja" is a 30mm fully automatic grenade launcher that can toss the 29 linked rounds of its drum magazin over distances of more than 1700m in less than a minute! There is no plastic model for this weapon - so I had to come up with a full scratchbuild. Believe it or not, it consists out of nine individual parts. After I was fitting the weapon into place I sanded the base and used black primer spray to give the whole thing its undercoat. In my own opinion it turned out great. Now I only need to paint it in a decent way. Next vehicle will be another UAZ weapons carrier. But that one is going to feature a HMG.

Generic Iraqi force: UAZ 469 "weapons carrier" conversion

A bit of progress on the UAZ 469 weapons carrier:
If you look at the box cover, you'll see they have the weapons simply pole-mounted. To be honest - I don't like that look at all. It might be a good way to mount a recoilless rifle, but now imagine to try to hang on that thing while the driver is doing something like 60km/h cross country.
The way the British military fits its guns to their Landrover WMIKs is what I want for my UAZ 469s as well. I found some inspiration in a pc game that features the UAZ and came up with these little conversions (see pics).
I've added a platform from 1mm plastic sheet to the back behind the seats, used 1mm wire to construct the rear roll bar cage that features a well in which a gunner can stand and swing his weapon in a 360 degree arc of fire around on a rail and a weapons mount made from pieces of a Revell Dingo kit (I used its hatch for the latter.)
Now its time for sanding and to put some primer on. And depending on how fast the other two UAZ kits are sent to my house I will either come up with assembling those next or with painting something of those vehicles. The latter I make bet on people are waiting for the most. :-D