Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Modern 20mm – Part Three: Vietnam!

Carrying on with my plan for October to take stock of all the figures I have (painted or not), and make a loose project plan for the next year (or so…).

The last two posts were a little on the boring side picture-wise as they were for the most part armies that were entirely new or newly expanded upon and there was very little done. I’ve done a LOT of work on my Vietnam stuff. I still have a lot to do, but I’m considerably closer to being finished this than most of the other modern 20mm forces I’m working on.

Like all the other modern 20mm stuff I have I’ll be using these with Cold War Commander. The most obvious choice of figure/model scale for this conflict would be one infantry stand = one section and one vehicle or gun model = approximately two on the ground.

So here’s what I’ve got so far:

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Australians. I have one company’s worth of Aussies. These are all Platoon 20 (except for two in the back row which I think are Hinchliffe or Skytrex…). I bought these 16 or 17 years ago. The paint jobs are the original though they were individually based on matte board squares (!?). A couple years ago I re-based them on 30x30mm squares of 1/8” MDF for Vietnam Crossfire – I don’t think I ever used the ANZACs with these rules…. A couple months ago I re-based them again on 2”x1-1/4” MDF bases and they have since seen action on Operation Crimp. I’d like to expand this to a battalion some day…

Who’s that lurking in the tree line? just some LRRPs… These are Rafm figures.

An entire US Battalion.

Alpha Company. These are all Rafm company and relatively recent - painted three years ago when I got on a Vietnam Crossfire kick. Originally based on the 30x30 bases, but rebased a couple months ago along with the ANZACS.

Bravo Company. This company is the dog’s breakfast. The command team and most of 1st platoon (the front row) are Platoon 20 that were made under license by Rafm. The third platoon (back row) is a mix of these same Platoon 20 figures and Rafms own Vietnam figures. Both lots were picked up a few years back along with all the lads in Alpha Company. 2nd platoon (middle row), however, while it has another pair of the licensed platoon 20 figures the bulk of the platoon are a bunch of Heroes Miniatures and one Skytrex (or Hinchliffe?) figure that I used to use as my modern Canadians (circa 1990) They were picked up around the same time as the ANZACs above and have only been touched up and re-based.

Charlie Company. Same story as Alpha Company.

Delta Company. The command team is Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm), the grunts however are all old Esci (like 18 years old) plastics repainted and re-based three years ago and then re-based again this year (with the exception of the figure in the first platoon on the extreme right of the picture… I think he’s from Combat Miniatures.. maybe from a SWAT team pack? If you can believe that!?).

Headquarters and Support Company. Most of these are, once again, Platoon 20 produced by Rafm. The command stand in the center are Rafm’s own Vietnam figures – I use this stand as a FOO or FAC. The command stand to the left of center is the Battalion Commander. I need to get MORTARS!!!

Suppression markers. A mix of Platoon 20 produced by Rafm and Rafm’s own Vietnam figures.

Here’s some odds and sods. These were platoon commanders from when I was playing Vietnam Crossfire. Don’t need them anymore, so I’m not sure what to do with them… Not really enough of them to rebased and make into a new unit. I guess I could make some more FOOs and FACs… From the left; the first figure is from Heroes Miniatures (used to command a modern Canadian platoon – okay so I really only ever had one section… but he was the platoon commander…), the next three are Skytrex or Hinchliffe, the next four are Combat Miniatures from that same SWAT team pack as the man in Delta Company, and the last one is from Rafm. The first four were picked up 17 years ago, I’m not sure if they’ve been entirely repainted or just touched up…

Downed pilots; a potential objective marker. I think these were Esci NATO pilots and ground crew…? 17 years old.

Recent acquisition from trip to Calgary last week – Rafm Artillery and Crew. To sit at the edge of the table and remind me I’ve got artillery in Direct Support, or for a fire base defense scenario…

M48. Picked up a few years back, recently assembled, hopefully soon to be painted.

Odds and sods. The Group on the bottom left based on washers are more Rafm LRRP figures. Behind them are Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) marines with M-14s… I seem to be missing a few as I has two stands worth of these… On the bottom right are more of the old Esci plastics that I never finished repainting. You can see the original bases that all my old Vietnam (and other 20mm stuff) was on., not to mention the state they were in – paint chipped off all over. Behind this lot are some assorted medics and wounded; the unprimed ones are Rafm, the two primed medics are Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm).

Ah there they are… two stands worth of marines with M14s…

The unprimed models are Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) US support weapons, which may yet join the Support Company – though I need some more crewmen – Rafm didn’t bother putting enough of them in their packs. The (half) painted officer was going to be a platoon commander for Vietnam Crossfire, but was never finished as I found enough other good ones. The black-primed radio man is just a spare. I think he was Hinchliffe (or Skytrex… I can never remember which was which – I ordered them all from Skytrex!) - he was also part of my section of Canadians.

Jeeps from Rafm, Drivers Skytrex…? Others, I think, were Platoon 20 – from Northern Ireland – same order as the Aussies.

M113s to mechanize a company (also going to be used for Modern Canadians)

Yet another company of Americans – These are Pegasus Miniatures USMC. I think I picked them up last year at the Sentry Box when I was in Calgary for Fallcon. I knew I really didn’t need them… but I couldn’t help myself; it was a new, inexpensive way to add another company to the Americans and the figures looked very nice on Plastic Soldier Review.

Local Force Viet Cong Guerillas (I guess in the current political double-talk they would be “terrorist insurgents” or something like that…). Most are ancient Esci plastic figures. About half the platoon on the right of the picture are metal figures most of which are Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) picked up and painted a few years back… but I think in there somewhere is a Skytrex figure… Their sole support, the mortar team, is from SHQ.

NVA; Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm). Except for the command stand which are Rafm’s own figures.

Civvies and porters a mix or recently picked up and painted (well… three years ago) Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) and some old Skytrex figures – picked up and painted 17 years ago and then rebased a couple times in the last decade.

The casualty/Suppression markers are all Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm). The guys standing upright are old Esci plastics rebased and repainted for Vietnam Crossfire.

Both Revell and Italeri in recent years have re-released the old Esci plastics Vietnam figures. While I have resisted the urge to pick up more Americans (because, really what would I need them for… of course now that I have the start of a second battalion…) for he VC and PAVN/NVA you can never have too many – each time I see a pack I have the urge to pick it up. Not only could it be used for more Vietnamese, by simply painting them differently most could pass for any soviet equipped guerilla army in the world (except maybe the few in pith helmets…)!

Here I have enough for three more companies. These will be painted in a mix of green and tan (like entire companies will be either green or tan…). They will be used as either main force VC or PAVN/NVA… I am always tempted to just paint them all in black pyjamas and call them VC – because it would be so EASY! But it wouldn’t really be all that realistic…

A platoons worth of Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) PAVN/NVA.

More Rafm figures. I think these were from pack labeled VC Guerillas. Might get the basic black treatment and join the local force…

Vietnamese sappers. Most are Rafm one is Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm)…

Yet more civvies, again all Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm).

Odds and sods. The remains of some Platoon 20 (produced by Rafm) VC/NVA heavy weapons packs. If the US packs short-changed you on crew that was nothing compared to the Vietnamese pack!? There’s a heavy mortar, a light mortar, a recoilless rifle, and two heavy machine-guns – the only crew left from the packs are the two dedicated gunners for the HMGs and an artillery crewman with a shell way to big for any of those pieces!

Also in the picture are a bunch of prone LMG gunners that were just too long to fit on bases and a pair of the old Esci plastics I recently found in an old box – original paint job, or what’s left of it!

Oh, one last thing I found a Platoon 20 (no a real one – from Northern Ireland about 17 years ago…) – original paint job and base. Not sure how to make use of this guy in Cold War Commander…


Royal Australian Rifles Battalion


4x Rifle Companies, each with:
HQ, 9x Infantry stands.
4x HQ - HAVE: 1 Painted, X NEED TO GET: 3
36 Infantry Stands - HAVE: 9 Painted, NEED TO GET: 27 (Manufacturer/Store)

Support company
Mortar Platoon: 3x 81mm Mortar stands - NEED TO GET!
AT platoon: 4x MAW stands - NEED TO GET (do I really…?)
Assault Pioneer Platoon: 3x Engineer Stands - NEED TO GET!?

Special Air Service? (recce?) – could probably just use American LRRPs…
APC Squadron – Use Americans.
Armoured Squadron/Troop: HAVE: 2 Centurion to be painted
Artillery – of table anyway… use Americans…

US Army/Marine Infantry Battalion


4x Rifle Companies, each with:
HQ, 9x Infantry stands.
36 Infantry Stands - HAVE/DONE!

Support company
Mortar Platoon: 3x 81mm Mortar stands - NEED TO GET!
AT Platoon: 2x Recoilless Rifles stands - HAVE: 1 Painted, 1 To Paint
MG Platoon?: 4x HMG stands HAVE: 2 Painted, 2 To Paint
Recce Platoon?: Jeeps?
Armoured Platoon (or Company…?): 2-5x M48 HAVE: 1 To Paint, NEED TO GET?
Artillery: 2 batteries HAVE: 2 to be painted.
LRRP (recce): 1 Stand, done!
Air Support: I have a pair of F4 Phantoms… whoops! forgot to take pictures… ah well, they’re not that exciting…

Other Options
APCs (for mechanized infantry units): 5x M113 HAVE: 4 to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET: one more!
Helicopters (for airmobile units, etc) HAVE: 5!
Riverine Craft: PBR(s) – (Britannia?)

Picked up some IMEX US Army in Korea to paint up and use as an earlier war ARVN company at some point. Not a big priority…

Vietcong Local force


2x Infantry Companies, each with:
HQ, 9-10 infantry stands – HAVE/DONE! (well, I need to rebase some command/officers to make the HQs)

Supporting units
1x Mortar – HAVE/DONE!

Vietcong: Main Force Battalion (in khaki – could double as an additional PAVN/NVA Battalion)

CO –

4x Rifle Companies, each with:
HQ, 9x Infantry stands.
4x HQ
36 Infantry Stands

Supporting units
Mortar Platoon: 3x 81mm Mortar stands - NEED TO GET!
AT Platoon: 2x Recoilless Rifles stands - NEED TO GET!
MG Platoon?: 2-3x HMG stands NEED TO GET!
Sappers: 2-3 stands – HAVE 2 to be painted

PAVN Infantry Battalion (in Green)

CO –

4x Rifle Companies, each with:
HQ, 9x Infantry stands.
4x HQ -
36 Infantry Stands -

Supporting Units:
Mortar Platoon: 3x 81mm Mortar stands – HAVE: 1 painted, 1 to be painted, NEED TO GET: 1 mortar, 2 crews
Heavy Mortar Platoon 2x 122mm Mortar – HAVE: 1 painted, 1 to be painted, NEED TO GET: crew for second piece!?
AT Platoon: 2x Recoilless Rifles stands - NEED TO GET!
MG Platoon?: 4x HMG stands HAVE: 2 Painted, 2 To Paint, NEED TO GET: 2 additional crewmen for unpainted teams.
Sappers: NEED TO GET!
Artillery: (of-table, not going to worry about it..)
Armour: ?


I would like to get a couple of Australian mortar teams. The rest of the Australian battalion is part of the long, long-term plan. Maybe I’ll wait until Liberation Miniatures finished their line of Vietnam ANZACs…. Or maybe I’ll just make my own someday.

The bulk of the main force VC and PAVN/NVA battalions will be the ESCI/Italeri/Revell plastic models. I could pick up a couple more boxes of those. Maybe I’ll pick up a couple packs of Rafm NVA at some point just to mix it up a bit – finish off one company of metal figures.

I do need to order some additional crewmen for some of the heavy weapons I’ve got from ERM/Platoon 20.

River patrol craft would be nice to pick up someday too…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Staying with the Vietnam theme, I think I’ll do my 28mm Vietnam stuff next…

hey, if you made it this far why not post a comment below and let me know ou were here. Is this cool.... or am I a total head-case?!


  1. Wow,
    Some serious painting there - I'm looking at doing a skirmish 20mm vietnam game - found your page looking for different manufacturers.

  2. That is a Super Job on these Vietnam war 20mm miniatures Thanks for telling us what the Maker is this helps a lot! Keep up the Great Work! Grey in Va. USA