Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Friday, 21 March 2014

Irregular miniatures 42mm and HLBS 40mm size comparison

My quest for compatible figures continues, although I may have found the motherload... Irregular miniatures do a wide range of 42mm figures, ranging from flats and toy soldiers to properly detailed figures.  It includes a selection of modern milita types, riot police,  Vietnam war stuff and lots of WW2 bits.  I decided to take a punt on  couple of figures after Ian at Irregular said that the figures are 40mm from the top of the head to the bottom of the feet.  A quick measure of the HLBS figures showed them to be 39mm by the same method. 
The milita range includes a wide variety of head and weapon options, as well as figures im civilian and military clobber,  so has lots of potential. I started by ordering a standing and a kneeling civilian, with an ak47 and a DP lmg, as well as a seated military driver, all with random civilian heads

So far so good. The figures are fairly free of flash and cleanly sculpted.  The HLBS figures are more detailed, but the irregular figures are quite acceptable! Weapon wise, they match up well with HLBS and the chunkier TAG pieces. The next phphotos are size comparisons with both kneeling and standing HLBS figures. As you can see, the Irregular figures are slightly taller and a little thinner, but I think they should match really well once they are all painted up and based.  The chap in the centre of the last photo is from the Irregular late renaissance range, and will be going on a plinth as a statue to some long dead hero. 

The last thing I picked up is a 100mm WW2 Soviet artillery piece I picked up from the 'very useful guns' range.  The model is pretty big, and although not massively detailed it should really look the part painted up. In many ways, the lack of fine detail (winding handles etc) should make the model more robust.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Painting catchup part 1 (or what did I do whilst I wasn't blogging?)

As promised, I'm trying to catch up with posting some of the stuff I have done  before getting back to my blog.  I'll probably go over the figures in more detail another time, with better pictures,  but for now these might give some idea...
(The  28mm Africans in the last picture I painted ages ago, and the 20mm BTR-80's in sand and green were pre-paints. A couple of the Malayan Emergency figures have been redistributed from other projects too)

IS-48 vs other tanks size comparison

As promised - a size comparison between the Dust Tactics IS-48, the Kitech T-72 (same dimensions as their T-80 and T-90) and the Die-cast T-55

As the models are all fairly iffy on the scale front, I thought I would do some comparison pictures from my 1/72nd stuff to see how the vehicles should match up when they are all at a consistent scale.  In this case we have an IS-3, T-72, T-55 and a T-54...
Based off the 1/72 stuff, the 40mm models all scale up pretty well! Not that I'm a scale stickler, but good to know that they aren't wildly off!

Dust Tactics SSU IS-48 for 40mms...

I have a strange love of the Soviet IS-3 (AKA JS-3) heavy tank. I don't know why, as despite being rushed out for the very very end of WW2 (several took part in the Berlin parade, and scared the socks off the British and Americans) they have only seen limited military service (Hungary in 1956, the Sino-Soviet border clashes of the late 60s/early 70s and theArab-Israeli wars come to mind). I think I just like the shape. I have 3 in 20mm in various colours,  and when I discovered that the Dust Tactics range had 1 in something around 1/48th I knew I had to get one.  Being part of the Dust range, it wasn't particularly cheap, but atleast I got a fair bit knocked off for having a slightly crushed box (!). The model came pre-assembled, and has the option for a weird war tesla gun and/or front mounted flame thrower.  They both slot in, so could be changed if one wished.  It also comes with a 3/4 commander figure.  Its not a perfect fit for an IS-3, having a rear facing mg in the turret which I don't recall on the 'real' one,  but it's a good enough substitute. 

How am I going to use it? Not sure yet - probably supporting my militia.  It's not unprecedented,  as the Ossetian Rebels were gifted a handful of IS-2s by the Russians in the late 90s (98?) to use against the Georgians.  Apparently there are still stocks of IS-3s about, so a similar thing might happen...

I'll get some size comparison pics against my other tanks up another time. IIt's going to dwarf the T55...

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

More 40mm vehicles

More size comparisons tonight - this time a 1/43rd 'Russian diecast' UAZ (I think it came with a magazine originally) but lots of them floating around in eBay and at select pound land type shops (or so I have been told). Fairly easy to pick up for less than a fiver, and a nice little model. I will probably get a couple more and repaint them, and might take the top 
Off one to make a technical... The other vehicle is a matchbox 'super kings' unimog,  which is OOP but frequently turns up on eBay.  No advertised scale, but I'd guess about 1/50th. It's probably tall enough to use with 40mms, but may be a little short... I'm going to weather this one down a bit though as my old paint scheme is showing its age...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

More 40mm conversions

I have been busy again...

The Ruitainian Jagers of 
the EU peace keepers have now had their jackets lengthened, and I have finished converting the chaps to carry the SAWs. Currently planning on using the shotgun chap as a driver for the Fiat Ivenco APC I showed the other week. 

More Russian MVD and VDV troops...

More milita conversions, based on assorted Russian, Milita and US special forces figures. Extra weapons from TAG as usual...

Generic 1/43 Chinese diecast T55

A few people have mentioned this model over the last few years - it's a cheap diecast T55 tank, advertised as being 1/43rd (apparently closer to 1/48th) and readily available from several sellers on eBay for around a tenner.

As can be seen - it matches nicely with both 28mm and 40mm.  Perhaps a little large for one and a little small for the other.  I'll definitely get another though :-) I'm also hoping to pick up the James Bond T55 with ERA at some stage, and will do a comparison between the pair of them and the kitech T72...

Friday, 14 March 2014

Book review: Weapons and Uniforms of the USSR (1975)

Something new from the blog - book reviews! 

The first book is 'Weapons and Uniforms 
of the USSR', a history of the world wars special from 1975. The book is about osprey thickness but slightly over A4 size.  It gives a fairly good overview of the recruitment, uniforms and afvs of the Soviet army, circa the late 60s. The plates are ok, although not osprey level they are clear enough. The uniforms have a bad tendency to focus on officers 
and specialist dress uniforms, which is a pity as I feel that they missed a good opportunity. The weapon details are good enough, and most of the vehicle details are a little vague and hypothetical.  E.g. There are descriptions of an unknown vehicle we now know as an MTLB.  This is perhaps the most striking factor of the book - it is very much a product of its time.  The details are slightly lacking and often show a certain degree of paranoia.  If you want a comprehensive detailing of Soviet equipment, then this isn't for you. However,  as an insight into the mind of NATO and its understanding of the Soviet war machine it is very interesting and well worth the couple of pounds it cost me. 

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

1/48th vehicles finished

Not sure what else to say about these,  other than that they are off to the display-case. The Fiat Ivenco apc is a schuco 1/43rd die cast, with the windows painted in and then weathered.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Dust Tactics and HLBS 40mm size comparison

My quest for compatible figures continues - this time using the Dust Tactics 1/48th scale figures. I managed to pick up a single figure from a seller in China.  On reflection, the dynamic pose might not have been the best for a comparison!
The figure is a pretty good size match, although of a more slender build despite the armour and gas mask. When the figure turned up the shotgun was bent, but has straightened out fairly easily as it is a softish plastic.  (The body is sturdier and a lot less flexible). Not sure what I will use him for - a militant probably, with the improvised body armour and gas mask inspired by the Ukrainian Maidan protestors. Tempted by more from the same set,  possibly as some sort of police or paramilitary unit.  Some of the other figures from the range might make good paramilitaries too - although probably not the guys firing water cooled machine guns from the hip!

40mm Conversions

I spent the weekend pottering around with converting 40mms...

 The figures in the picture below started life as SWAT,  but I am planning to use them as European peace keepers.  I'm currently adding GS tunic bottoms to make them look more like soldiers. The squads will have 5 men - 3x G36, a SAW and a guy with a MP5 and a LAW. The AT guy in the picture has the peaked cap from a milita member as I thought it might give the unit more personality...

MMilita types - the two in GS masks and the chap with the shotgun and beard are done.  The figure on the right will be getting a Cossack style fur hat and his shirt lengthened into a tunic.

The rest of the 
figures are assorted Russians, mixing and matching MVD, VDV and Spetsnatz parts to give a bit more diversity. 

Monday, 10 March 2014

Urdovnya: the setting

Urdovnya is my fictional Eastern Europe setting for my 40mms.  I eventually decided to ditch Chernarus and keep everything pretty fast and loose. It exists only to give a framework to games, and I may modify things to keep it flowing.  It is inspired by all sorts of things;  from the break up of Yugoslavia, Chechnya,  Georgia in 2008,  Operation Flashpoint, Rainbow Six and Ultimate Force.  A major source of inspiration has been Chris Peers' article on ACQ campaigns,  set in the Shirvan Republic...
Urdovnya is an outlying province of the Shirvan Republic, lying between the Black Sea and the (Russian) caucases. The population is devided between the mixed religon (Christian and Muslim), Shirva speaking, Shirv and the predominantly Russian speaking, Orthodox, Urdov. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, things have been tense with occasional riots and civil unrest. Trouble has escalated and Russia has been flexing its muscles about the safety of the 'Russian' ethnic Urdovs.  The Shirvan Government has moved troops into the region,  amidst reports of Urdov milita groups forming...

(ACQ) Dark Clouds over Urdovnya

With the increasing violence in the surrounding area, and rumours of armed Urdov milita burning a mosque in a town only 20 mmiles away, the chief of police (of the ethnically Shriv town of Klau has decided to take action into his own hands and has begun forming a local defence force to protect the town now that the territorial regiment has been called up. Although he has a few volunteers,  with the territorials gone he only has access to the police forces limited armoury, and the ldf is tragically under armed.

Choosing between two evils, he has called a truce with the local bandit chief (and self proclaimed warlord) and has arranged a meeting to try and trade an amnesty for weapon and men. The Bandit, Ivanko the bloody,  claims to have fought as a jihadist in Chechnya and Bosnia, and is said to have no love for the Russians.  Knowing Ivanko may be tempted to do something silly if things look too one sided, the Police chief has brought along a squad of armed response officers.  

Unfortunately for both of them, a Russian informant has heard about this move, and has arranged for a Spetsnatz team already on the ground in Urdovnya to ' stir the pot'...


The Spetsnatz team are 4 men, rated as Professionals,  armed with: a silenced Ak/one shot AT launcher; 2x AK/GL; and a chap with a shotgun and an AK.


The police all count as Milita. The chief of police has a pistol, and his driver a shotgun.  The armed response officers all wear body armour, and have 1x sniper rifle, 3x assault rifles and 1x Ak/Gl.


Despite all his posturing, Ivanko and his men are all pretty useless.  Ivanko is an independent Rabble quality figure with an Ak. His bodyguard is independent, militia quality, and armed with an Ak.
He has two gangs of men (all rabble quality, one of 6 men and one of 8) armed
with assorted assault rifles or SMGs. One group (8) has an LMG, and the other a disposable AT launcher. There is a 50% chance each gang is drunk when the game starts.


Ivanko, one eye his body guard,  the police chief and his driver are all in the house.  The armed response officers are lounging around by their landrover, one bandit gang is in the house with the other prowling around outside.  The Spetsnatz start at the back of the house, by the corn field. 

The police chief and Ivanko must both escape the board.  The Police are more interested in getting out of dodge as quickly as possible, but the bandits will try to keep the chief 'hostage' to ensure cooperation.  The chief must pass a quality test each turn he is within 12'' of Ivanko to persuade the bandit to let him go.  The Spetsnatz want the police chief dead.  The bandits don't matter.  Minimising casualties is far more important than bodycount...

Game report coming soon!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Some almost finished 40mm moderns

I have actually based these chaps since these pictures were taken,  but I thought after the last couple of waffle-y posts it'd be good to get some actual gaming stuff up.

These guys are Eastern European milita, all HLBS, and should be good for the Balkans to the Caucases . Most of the uniforms (if you can call them that! ) are fictional (the cream base with large green and brown blotches was taken off an action man camo scheme!) But I have tried to keep them believable...