Monday, October 1, 2007

Modern 20mm – Part Two: Russians, Canadians and Americans, OH MY!

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…. I figured the next most obvious choice would to be to get rolling on the Russians… (and maybe the Canadians and Americans….)

Like the British and French (and all the other modern 20mm stuff I have) I’ll be using these with Cold War Commander. Lower level conflicts/actions seem appealing to me so for the most part I will probably be using a figure/model scale of one infantry stand = one section and one vehicle or gun model = approximately two on the ground.

The idea is to put together a number of versatile forces to cover a number of conflicts or potential conflicts. The Soviets, for example, could be used for the war in Afghanistan, Red Dawn/World War Three games, and their equipment could be used by any number of Middle East or African forces. The Canadian’s M113’s will be painted a generic olive green and therefore could be used by my Americans in Vietnam (and other places). The US equipment is pretty US specific, but the US military gets around so I’m sure they’ll see action all over the place….

As I mentioned I’ve been particularly inspired by Fireman Tim’s Cold Wargaming Blog. (See the Red Dawn scenario ideas – in the July 2007 Blog Archives!) So a lot of these forces will be seeing action in the Rockies (or the Canadian plains if the Russians break out!)

I also imagine the Soviets could be used in Afghanistan. The Americans could be used all over the place – Grenada, Lebanon, Panama, Africa, etc, etc. The Canadians… well their use will pretty much be limited to theoretical conflicts… but they’ll be fun just the same!

So here’s what I’ve got so far:

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

Well… uh… this is pretty much it for the Canadians… Kind of starting from scratch here... I’ve ordered a few more Leopards (on sale this month at Squadron – hopefully they have the five I asked for in stock…). I also have a few more Grizzlies and Cougars on the way from Models UA).

At one point I had a few Heroes Miniatures Americans in M1 steel helmets and M16A2s that I used for Canadians – but they’ve long since been repainted and added to my Vietnam collection…

Some of the Russian equipment I’ve acquired recently (also from Models UA, and I also have a few more of these plus some other things the way… The BTR-60 is actually destined for African armies...

Recently picked up MARS reissue of the old ESCI Russian Paratroopers. I had a bunch of these from when Esci made them but they were repainted a couple years to look like Africans for an AK-47 Republic army (you’ll see them in a future post…). Despite the fact that it says “36 pieces” on the box, there’s really only 30 (even if they count the sprues there’s still only 34…). Whatever. They’re great figures (Okay the Mars ones are a little rough…), great poses, all are very useable for wargaming. With 30 in the box they are perfect for making one company, three boxes got me a battalion!

I’d like to pick up some more of these at some point to add to my African armies…. and/or add a second battalion of Russians!

A close up of the one command stand I’ve finished.

I also picked up a box of the Mars Russian Heavy Weapons Teams. Sadly these are not also in the same camouflage one-piece/overalls that the paratroopers are in…. but… whatever… The box comes with a two of each of an HMG team, some sort of ATGW team, a recoilless rifle team and some other doo-dad I can’t quite identify – with a couple of extra team members, radio men and officers which I can use to make FOOs and FACs.

The recoilless rifle teams will probably end up in African armies….

Armour! These are Forces of Valor Iraqi T-72s. they will at some point be repainted an 80’s Russian olive green… Wish I could get some more…

My Russian Motor Rifle Infantry (to go with all those nice BMPs pictured above!). these are Combat Miniatures.

More Forces of Valor die-cast models – These are American Bradleys, and they will also eventually get repainted.

Various die-cast HMMWVs of dubious scale and proportion I’ve picked up over the years – all needing repainting. The two on the right are Corgi.

A company of Americans ready to be repainted…

This is a mix of Grenadier Twilight:2000 figures and Games Workshop Dark Future figures (and I think there’s one Platoon 20 figure in there…) all recently stripped of ancient/terrible paint jobs. They will become American/Canadian partisans. I am tempted to paint one or two in Wolverines football jackets... of course maybe I should go with some Canadian high school teams… Anybody know if there’s a football team in 100 Mile House and what it’s name might be? …or lacrosse team, for that matter?



Motor Rifle Battalion

CO - BTR-50PU Command - HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint

3x Motor Rifle Companies, each with:
1x HQ, 9x Infantry Stands, 5x BMP
1x HQ - HAVE: 1 Painted, 2 to paint
27x Motor Rifle Infantry Stands - HAVE: 1 Painted, 7 to paint, NEED TO GET: 19
15x BMP - HAVE: 6 to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET: 4-9 more

1x Tank Company (T-72?, T-80?)
-HQ(?) + 4-5 tanks HAVE: 2 T-72 to be repainted, NEEF TO GET: 2-3 more, and/or maybe some more/different tanks (T-72 ERA, T-80…?)

Reconnaissance Platoon/Squad: BRDM HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET:?

Air Defense Platoon?

Mortar Battery?

Artillery Battery (off table?)
-2S1 Gvozdika 122mm SPG - HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint

Because it might be fun to have hordes of Russians so I could do a regimental attack I might model a generic Russian rifleman and cast hundreds – if he was generic enough he might be used in other armies (soviet equipped African regulars, etc…). Cheaper than building a whole battalion with Combat Miniatures…

Air Assault Battalion

CO - NEED TO GET (what to use…!?)

3x Companies, each with:
1xHQ, 9x Infantry, 5 BMD (or trucks…) (+AT platoon...?)
3 HQ - HAVE: 1 Painted, 2 to paint
27 Infantry - HAVE: 27 to paint
10 Trucks? - NEED TO GET

Supporting Elements:
Battalion AT battery: HAVE: 2 to paint, NEED TO GET: ?
Regimental Armoured Mortar Battery: 1 BMD2 S9 Nona 120mm HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint
Regimental Engineers?
Regimental AAA Battery?
Regimenat Reconnaissance Squad: BRDM - HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET:?

Mil-24 Hind D (Italeri or Revell)

A second (and maybe third…) battalion’s worth of those plastic Mars figures might be fun…


Canadian Mechanized Infantry Battalion

CO - NEED TO GET! (M577? Britannia?)

3-4 Mechanized Infantry Companies. Each with:
1x HQ, 9x Infantry Stands, 5x M113 (or Grizzly?)
27-36 Infantry Stands NEED TO GET!
15-20 APCs (M113 or Grizzly) HAVE: 4x M113, 4x Grizzly to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET: at least one more of each, and then probably 5 more M113 at some point… maybe once I have the infantry!! (Manufacturer/Store)

Combat Support Company
-Mortar Platoon: 3-4x 81mm Mortar Stands, 3-4 M113 or ??? - NEED TO GET!
-Recce Platoon: 2-3x Lynx or Cougar - HAVE: 2x cougar to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET: more? …probably not…
-AT Platoon: 2-3x TOW (ground mount + M113? ITV??) - NEED TO GET!
-Pioneer Platoon: 3x Engineer Stand + M113 or Grizzly? - NEED TO GET!

Armoured Squadron (attached)
1x CO(?), 6 Leopard 1A4
HAVE: 1 to assemble and paint, NEED TO GET: 5-6 more (Italeri)

Artillery Battery (in Direct Support)
1x M109 - NEED TO GET! (Cromwell?)

Notes: The M113s are going to get a generic OD green paint job and will then be can used with Americans, Israelis, etc, etc, etc… everyone used the M113s…

To do 4 companies I’d need 108 infantry men (just for the rifle companies – then there’s pioneers, recce, etc…)… it might be worth it to try model a couple and cast my own – especially considering I could then do a second battalion and paint their jackets camouflage for the Canadian Airborne Regiment…! WOO-HOO! I’m thinking the Canadians could also potentially double as Argentines (M1 helmets, OD uniforms, FN rifles…) for the Falklands…?


US Mechanized Battalion

CO - NEED TO GET!? Not sure what to use here? Command version of hummer?

1x HQ company
Mortar Platoon: - NEED TO GET!?
ADA Platoon: - NEED TO GET!?
Scout Platoon: - NEED TO GET!?

4x Infantry Companies. Each with:
HQ, 9x Infantry Stands, 5x Bradley IFV
4x HQ - HAVE: 1 to paint, NEED TO GET: 3?
36x Infantry - HAVE: 9 to paint, NEED TO GET: 27 (Revell?)
20x Bradley IFV - HAVE: 2 to be repainted, NEED TO GET: 3 more for now…

1x Anti-Armor Company?

Attached Elements:

Tank Company, with:
HQ, 6x M1 Abrams MBT - NEED TO GET (maybe just a couple to start)

Artillery Battery (off-table) in direst support

Other options:

Blackhawks to deploy as some sort of light infantry, like rangers or airborne - NEED TO GET
Apaches to act as ground support - NEED TO GET
In both cases I’m sure there’s got to be cheap die-casts out there somewhere…. Or plastic 1/144 or 1/72 kits…
Die-cast hummers for light infantry mobility?


Looks like another order to Models UA might be in the pipeline to pick up one more Grizzly and some BMDs. Maybe this could be under “NICE TO GET”. I’m sure the Grizzly mounted company would be chronically under-strength and the Russian paras could fight dismounted for a while… You see if I had finished this plan BEFORE I started ordering I might have gotten the BMDs FIRST – as the paratroop infantry is so readily available in cheap plastic form – it will be some time before I get around to picking up or making the Motor Rifle infantrymen and support weapons… Ah well…

I will have to get some more RTV to make some moulds, however… at least the 20mm figures shouldn’t be too hard on my supply of metal…

The local Toys R Us has three more Bradleys (“peg warmers” – they’ve been there forever) and a pair of M1s. If I picked those up that would set me up with all I would really need for some time – and maybe they’d restock the whole line and get in some more T-72s – which I would really like!!?

All those helicopters….

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well these weren’t so satisfying to take pictures of as, for the most part, they are in the planning, acquiring, and painting phase… next I’ll do something that I actually have some finished stuff to take pictures of… probably the 20mm Vietnam stuff, then I might switch to the 28mm stuff for a bit – as a lot of those are more or less complete…

Comments? Questions? Whatever! Feel free to post them below!


  1. You are a Beast! I am glad to see you are taking 20mm Moderns and I love what you have done so far.

    I was going to use Forces of Valour T-72s (perhaps I should have considering what a pain in the ass assemlbing ACE T-72s are).

    Keep up the good work.

  2. I'll give you another source of mine for cheap plastic kits.

    Ya I know, they are from Montreal, but hey no body is perfect. ;)

  3. Beast...?

    Keep in mind that this is a "long range" plan I'm working on! When I say silly things like "hey wouldn't it be fun to have THREE battalions of VDV paratroopers..." I don't mean by New Years... maybe the first battalion, sure. But a whole regiment is years off... and I'd certainly never consider getting enough BMDs for all of them! (not in 20mm/1:72!!)

    Thanks fot the udisco tip. They DO have a some cool things at very reasonable prices! Some of the other stuff is so-so... and being that it's in Canada, it's probably take 6-8 weeks to get to me.... (unlike ordering from Ukraine - which takes two and a half... figure that out!?)

    The Forces of Valor vehicles are $10 at the local Toys R Us (if/when they actaully have them...) and sometimes Sears . Though I'd need to repaint them they're still cheaper than plastic kits form the local hobby shop, they're certainly a lot more durable, and they're already assembled!

  4. I saw the Forces of Valor stuff at Sears this weekend and was going to see if you knew about it but I'm obviously far too late.


  5. Too late...? Why? They had T-72s there on the weekend and now they're all gone...?!

    Actually I was there on Saturday and again today and all they had both days were the infantry figures which I really just don't care for. I'm really just interested in their vehicles...

    I did notice they had WW2 Cossacks which included at least one on horseback - which was kind of neat... but still crap.