Sunday, 22 April 2018

Soviet infantry squad in Afghanistan

I bought a bunch of Cold War Soviets from old Glory years ago at Vapnartak. I originally intended to use them for the Afghan army but, when I changed my focus from the present-day situation in Afghanistan to the Soviet-Afghan war, I decided to use them as proper Soviet infantry.

They were ready to go – three miniatures to a base, undercoated and everything. However, since I based them in 2011, my home brew rules had changed so much I now wanted them two to a base. So, off their original bases they came. At least it meant there were fewer miniatures to paint.

For my benefit more than anybody else’s, the base colours were:

Uniforms: Vellejo Khaki
Helmets: Vellejo Russian Uniform WWII
Webbing: Vellejo Khaki Grey
Boots: Vellejo Basalt Grey (shaded with black paint thinned with Galleria’s Flow Improver)

I painted the bases with Vellejo Tan Earth then spray varnished the miniatures. 

After varnishing I glued sand to the bases then sealed them with thinned PVA glue. This is much faster than my old method of glueing sand to the bases then sealing, undercoating and painting the sand. ‘Why are you painting sand as sand, you cretin?’ I eventually said to myself.

The colours for the BMP-1 were Vellejo Russian Uniform WWII and Oily Steel. I then gave the miniature two washes of the ubiquitous Americana Dark Grey. I use so much of this stuff I have an entire bottle of it pre-thinned for washes.

The bases also received a wash of the Dark Grey. I very lightly drybrushed parts of the bases with Americana Fawn’ and DecoArt Amish Grey (which turned out to be unnecessary!) then weathered the BMP with more of the Fawn and Vellejo German Field Grey WWII, using a mixture of drybrushing and streaking. I added a lot of dust to the back of the miniature, based on a photograph I’d seen of a BMP covered in dusty footprints where the passengers had been riding.

When I put the whole lot together, the old-style base of the BMP looked a bit rubbish against the new bases:

A layer of sand later and the BMP looked much better. Now here comes the eye candy:

Miniatures 1, 3, 4 and 5 are Peter Pig; 2, 6, 7 and 8 are Old Glory. There are some odd poses in the Old Glory range but the miniatures look OK en masse.

The BMP-1 is Old Glory. It needed an fair amount of cleaning up to remove mould lines but the miniature has pleasingly straight edges. Eventually I’ll get around to converting it into the BMP1-D Afghan variant, but I just wanted to get this first batch of Soviets finished as quickly as possible. 

I’ll repeat the grumble I made way back in 2013 that many of the 15mm Soviet vehicles on the market have been around for a lonnnnng time. Won’t somebody release a set of ‘upgrade’ parts to update these miniatures for use in more recent scenarios?

And here’s the whole lot together:

Next up on the workbench: the first batch of Afghan mujahideen…

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