Afghanistan Terrain Project – Spotlight No2

Spotlight No2

Been doing some background planning and collecting refs for an upcoming Terrain board project. While it’ll be used for modern Afghanistan skirmish gaming the loose plan is for it to be generic enough to be used with WW2 Desert (maybe Perrys hmmmm) and even fantasy style “Conan” games. Anyway building this will hopefully scratch an itch I’ve had for a long time to make a diorama quality 4’x4′ gaming board ….. if all goes to plan that is.

So the first stages are to gather refs pics, both good looking terrain boards for ideas and inspiration and real life refs which are the ones posted in this spotlight. The next stages are to salt away materials such as grass matting and foliage and to plan the construction properly as I want the board to be able to be fully transportable.

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Early plan for the layout

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Cork to use for rock formations. The beauty of cork (and slate) is that they have a naturally occurring fractal pattern to them and are essentially “scaleless”.

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The board my brother made for Afghanistan Skirmish gaming a couple of years ago. Sadly now it’s been broken up to make standalone terrain pieces but we learnt a few useful tips and tricks while making this.

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Afghanistan Terrain Reference Pictures (Note a couple are from Iraq)
Of interest is the wide variety of terrain types and the pleasing (to my eye anyway) mix of desert and yellow colours and quite heavy and green vegetation.

(Pics taken from freely accessible web sources and posted here for reference and discussion only. Should any owners wish them removed please contact me)

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<> on January 25, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan.

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Kabul at night.

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Comet and Firefly – Milicast 20mm

!/76th brit tankie goodness from Milicast …

A couple of oldies from my unfinished pile . . . . that might actually get finished soon!!! A34 Comet and Sherman IC Firefly. Usual great casting from Milicast, but the are resin and there’s some cleanup required plus I had to repair a bit of casting damage to the bottom rear track on the Firefly by replacing it with some spare track. Pretty basic stuff though. Final weathering and markings to go ….

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Aziz the Mad Bomber and his Triplane “Kırmızı Seytan” – Pulp Airwargaming

Winged wargaming madness.

The spiffing Red Triplane “Red Devil” piloted by Aziz the Mad Bomber ….. Self proclaimed air ace, Herder of chickens, part-time Dynamite aficionado ….. holder of the Adana Kebabi award for eating while running and most famously known for air dropping a Tajine of bag-cured eels on the British Consulates Roadster during the notorious Bay of Fish incident.

A cheapo Smer 1/48th kit with Reaper pilot finished for air-wargaming with the whole project costing about 15 bucks. The colour scheme is made up and to be honest I don’t really think Aziz is cleared on rotaries.

I have a few pulp style WW1 aircraft built up with air-wargaming in mind that I haven’t posted yet and we {my brother and I) tend not to take these things too seriously – the bonus being that finishing them like this is stress free modelling at its highest.

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Technical Vehicles – Spotlight No1

The first of a new series for me where I “Spotlight” on something interesting or relevant to what I’m modelling or gaming. Or just because it’s cool ….. that works for me too.

The first Spotlight is on Technicals and not meaning the tricky stuff either. Basically we’re talking about improvised weapons carriers, typically utilising the ubiquitous Toyota Hilux or similar ute type vehicle and occasionally including light trucks. I need to build a couple to use in our skirmish games and like most projects I undertake it’s off to the web to see what info and pics are available. The loose plan is to source a couple of 1/43rd die cast pickups and give them the Queeg treatment, stripping them down, rebuilding and repainting.

So the purpose of the Spotlight series is to collect and share a little of that info in one place, and here it’s a picture series of Technical vehicles from various conflicts showing differing weapons configurations (and even armour) that may be of interest to anyone wishing to construct their own Technical model.

A little Background History

Probably the most recognised widespread and publicised use of civilian unarmoured vehicles as a weapons carrying raiding platforms was by the SAS and LRDG units in the western desert during WW2. It is this light, mobile and fast attack role that Technicals are most suited for as despite their sometimes heavy weapons fit they are no match for direct combat with well used regular forces.

Technicals are commonly seen on the African continent with particularly widespread use in the Somalia and Chad conflicts. More recently it was Technicals and their mobility that helped the Taliban take over Afghanistan in the early ’90s. Current Middle Eastern conflicts such as those in Libya and Syria also see widespread use of Technicals. Where used successfully they can be seen using hit and run – rapid attack and withdrawal type tactics which play into the weapon systems strengths.

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Note none of these pics are my own personal property but have been copied from open web sources and are shared here only for the purposes of discussion …. should anyone viewing believe they hold copyright over any images and wish their removal please contact me.

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Technicals reportedly being used by the Taliban including the bottom vehicle which is being employed by Special Forces in an anti Taliban role.

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Interesting modification involving the fitting of a BMP turret to a frame mounted on the rear deck. Very dodgy looking in my opinion …… a flimsy angle iron frame and bad welding. On the plus side the dudes are rather nattily dressed.

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A couple of heavier Technicals from the sub continent. Light trucks are often seen as weapons carriers too which shows the variety of platforms that can be utilised to construct model and gaming Technicals.

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Middle Eastern Syrian and Libyan Technicals showing a huge variety of cannibalised weapons systems including many ex air-to-ground rocket and gun pods.

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A unusually light class of technical – not recommended due to it’s limited mobility off-road.

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To sum up I’ll leave it to Cookie to have the last word ……………

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Project ’46 – 1946 and X Tank collection

Project ’46 group shot …..

As I’ve finished a few recently I thought it might be fun to snap a group shot of our finished (and very near to finished) Project ’46 tanks. Pretty tricky to shoot pics of such a large group but luck and a southerly wind was blowing ……

The group so far in no particular order;

E-100 Krokodil                              – Cromwell Models
E-75 10.5cm                                 – Cromwell Models
Saracen 6×6 APC                         – JB Models
TigerIID IR                                    – Dragon / Queeg conversion
PaK44 12.8cm                              – Cromwell Models
Boarhound 8×8 armoured car      – Giesbers Models
Katzchen APC                              – Cromwell Models
Sherman M4E8B                          – Dragon/Cpl Overbys Motor Pool M51 conversion
T30 Heavy tank                            – Cromwell Models
T29 Heavy tank                            – Cromwell Models
Blackprince                                   – Milicast
SdKfz 350/3 3cm zwilling              – Planet Models / CMK Kugelblitz / Queeg conversion
SdKfz 350/2 APC                          – Dragon / Queeg conversion
T28 105mm GMC                         – Cromwell Models
Cromwell 5.5in SPG                     – Revell / Arfix / Queeg conversion
Grille 30 30.5cm Morser               – Cromwell Models
T29E3 Heavy tank                        – Cromwell Models
IS-4M Heavy tank                         – Cromwell Models
SdKfz 234/6 SPW                         – Hasegawa / Queeg conversion

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Challenger 1 ODS – Cromwell Models 20mm finished

Calling it done for now …….

I’ve called finished on the Gulf War Challenger 1 for now. I tried to scratch build a commanders weapon station and it looked rubbish so until I can pick up a cheapy/damaged or parts donor kit (Trumpeter or Dragon), it’ll have to do without. Apart from that I’m pretty happy with the finish, brushed with GWs and Humbrols as usual with shading done in oils which seems to suit me at the moment. My brother did donate me some odourless solvent for oil paints and it’s helped smooth out and reduce the graininess you get when thinning oils a little which has sold me a little more. Dunno what the differences are between it and turps but for the lack of smell alone which makes enamels usable again its well worth it.

Anyway I found some markings which also cheered me up enough to finish it off. The big TAC numbers and theatre chevrons are actually 1/48th Gasoline decals which fit perfectly while the number plates and badges are from the spares box. It just needs a few FV432s and maybe a Scimitar or two to go with it ….

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Project ’46 IS-4M 122mm Heavy Tank – Cromwell Models 20mm finished

IS-4 finished ………

Well got another long suffering shelf-queen finished. Pretty happy with how the camo worked out in the end and even managed to chuck in an AB soviet crewman to finish things off. To recap its the Cromwell Models IS=4 with a few added bits, bore excavator, reworked DShK HMG, wire tank descent grab rails and some turret lifting eyes. Probably should have added a tow rope …. maybe later. As usual it’s brush painted using Humbrol enamels and GW acrylics. Lining and shading was done with WnN oils and there’s MIG pigments on the tracks and lower hull. Decals are from the spares box and are actually Gasoline and Tamiya 1/48th items.

Now to get an IS-7 or two …….

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Challenger 1 ODS – Cromwell Models 20mm

But wait, another modern …..

Yup, just when you thought I’d come back to my senses another modern pops up, my 1/72nd Cromwell Operation Desert Storm Challenger 1. Posted some wip pics quite a while back now and finally it’s nearly finished. Shading and lining is done. The only major is that I didn’t get the commanders weapon station with the kit (it was second hand) and so I’ll have to make one. Also I don’t have any modern Brit 20mm markings so either I’ll have to paint them on or leave it plain.

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Krupp 12.8cm L/55 PaK44 (Panzerabwehrkanone) – Cromwell Models p2

And some more on the PaK44 …

Laid in most of the shading. Have to find the tow bar and a handwheel for the right hand side, a little bit of weathering and it’s done. I’d like to pick up one in the firing position (Cromwell make both the towed (this one) and lowered firing position versions) for the gaming table ot go with it but that’s a bit of a luxury me thinks lol

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Project ’46 IS-4M 122mm Heavy Tank – Cromwell Models 20mm p3

A little more progress on the IS-4 ………

Haven’t posted much recently apart from 1/48th moderns, in fact it’s been ages since I’ve worked on any of our 20mm. So here’s the first of a few catch up posts, the Cromwell IS-4M with most of the basic paintwork and lining completed. Pretty much only some detail painting and then the weathering and it’s ready for the table.

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