From the Shed: Yet more 6mm Russian tanks.

My Cold War gaming collection grows ever bigger with this modest set of additions.

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I painted up 3 company bases and 4 individual stands of the T10 heavy tank and 2 company bases of the PT76.

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The T10 heavy tank was the ultimate iteration of the IS tank from World War Two, the IS designation was dropped after Stalin’s death. Armed with a 122mm gun it was intended that these heavy tank would act in the overwatch/ supporting fire role to the smaller gunned T54/55 and T62 tanks. A battalion of them was to be found in a Tank division. With the advent of gun launched ATGMs their raison d’etre diminished and as the Cold War progressed they were relegated to more 2nd line units. Still they’ll be a useful addition to my Soviet collection as they’ll allow me to replicate earlier formations to fight my friends’ Leopard 1/ M48s in the case of the West Germans or Chieftans in the case of the Brits.

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The PT76 was similarly an early Cold War tank. Armed with a rather small 76mm gun their amphibious capability meant that they were an ideal recce tank. Given their rather weak armour and gun it is surprising that they saw service with the Russian as late as the second Chechen War in the late 1990s. They also served extensively in other theatres, notably in the Middle East and Vietnam. Painting up these two bases now allows me to field up to a battlion of them in 5core: Brigade Commander terms.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

More beating around the Bush (Horizons)

A bit ago Bill and I went to see his friend Nick to playtest the latest army lists developed for Nick’s ruleset ‘Bush Horizons’. See the earlier game here.

There was a new amphibious assault army list as well as an air assault list; Bill went for the naval options whilst I was left with the helicopters. We both generated our forces and then got Nick’s wonderful toys organised.

We didn’t bother with any of the campaign systems as we wanted to just test the combat.

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The helicopters allowed me the sieze the airfield objective in a coup de main assault very early. After that I just used my helicopters and aircraft to try and whilttle down Bill’s units as he approached… to be fair there wasn’t that much he could do be slowly approach and weather the storm, opposed beach landings are never good for the attacking troops.

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A bit more cover on the table would have helped but Bill was unlucky not to down anything with his AA as I pushed my attacks quite aggresively.

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As usual it wasa pleasure to use Nick’s models and i look forward to getting another chance to play.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

From the Shed: M1 Abrams

Just finished this modest expansion for my 6mm Cold War collection: two battalions worth of M1 Abrams for 5core: Brigade Commander. This are the first production models with the 105mm gun.

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For those ‘Cold War goes hot’ games I think that for tabletop games the balance of forces is ‘best’ in the early 80s, much later and the mix of 120mm APFSDSDU tank shells, MRLS and Apaches skews the balance too much.

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I added some roads on the bases of one battalion to differentiate it. Also I went for the plain forest green paint job on these as that way they could be easily distinguished from the M60s (in MERDC) and the later M1A1s (in NATO 3 colour).

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A trio of M1s on smaller bases rounds out this little force.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

From the Shed: Russian Airborne Armour.

Following on from my post on VDV Air Assault Brigades I’ve done some light armour to give them some support.

asu85

First up we have the ASU85: a light self propelled gun on the PT76 chassis, designed to give the VDV some anti- tank support. It was a replacement for the much earlier ASU57. At the time of its introduction its 85mm gun (based on the WW2 tank gun) was barely adequate for the task by the 1980s when it was still in service it would have been useless at its intended role. Still any soft skins or light armoured cars would be vulnerable to its gun.

sprut

Next we have the little known 2S25 Sprut SD, the replacement to the ASU85. Mounting the usual Russian 125mm smoothbore gun it can fire all the same ammo as an MBT but from a lightly armoured chassis based on the BMD3. Given the ammo types it can fire it makes up a pretty potent support vehicle for the modern day VDV.

Pt76

Although not an airborne vehicle I painted up a few PT76 amphibious tanks. Developed after WW2 as a recce vehicle it is fully amphibious, accordingly it means it is not very well armed or armoured. Kept in service untill surprisingly recently in has seen combat in the Middle East, Vietnam, India, Africa and even Chechnya.

light armour

All models are 1/300th (6mm) scale and are from Heroics and Ros.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

VDV Air Assault Brigade in 5core: Brigade Commander.

During the Cold War the Soviet Union raised extensive parachute forces: the Vozdushno-Desantnya Voyska (VDV). Whilst the Airborne Division were under the command of high level HQs and would have been used for strategic and operational missions their smaller cousins the Air Assault Brigades were under the command of the Ground Forces so would get more tactical missions to undertake; because of this I thought they’d be an interesting force to field in our 6mm games of Nordic Weasel’s 5core: Brigade Commander.

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Three- quarters of the Brigade lined up. 50mm square bases for companies, 30mm square bases for platoon sized attachments.

One of the things that would have hampered the Soviet Union’s deployment of its VDV was the lack of sufficient lift capacity, especially at the strategic/ operational level. At the tactical level insertion by helicopter would have been more common but even so the number of heavy- lift helicopters to move vehicles was limited. The non- mechanised companies could be para dropped of they could be flown in by helicopter. The engineers in the brigade were trained to make landing strips for aircraft out of West German roads (doubtless these would have been recce’d in advance) to bring in heavier vehicles.

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The HQ company stand, three Heavy Companies and two recce  attachments in close up. All vehicles and figures are from Heroics and Ros.

Below is my interpretation of the brigade. Sources differ as to whether there are 2 Heavy battalions or one either way there are four battalions.

 

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AT company, BRDM3- can be fielded as 3 AT attachments.

2 or 3 Air Assault Battalions:3 companies of Infantry (limited AT).

1 or 2 Heavy Air Assault Battalion: 3 companies of Mechanised Infantry, BMDs (Advanced AT).

Attachments:

1 light Recce, BRDM or GAZ jeep.

2 AA, ZSU 23/2s on BTRDs

3 Engineers, GAZ jeeps.

3 Mortar, 120mm.

1 AT, 85mm ATG

 

For my collection I’ve got far more attachments than I actually need, this is primarily to have some variation in what I can field.

 

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Three Engineer attachments.

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Three SO120 mortars (a breech loading 120mm mortar on the BMD APC chassis).

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AGS17 Plamya automatic grenade launcher attachments.

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The BRDM based ATGMs which act as the anti- tank attachments.

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A MMG attachment.

 

I’ve come up with a couple of scenarios to use with the unit that reflect the sort of tactical missions they’d have been given. The first is a landing to capture a bridge and then hold it against a counter attack until relieved, the second is to attack into NATO rear areas to take out a HQ. I’ll post some game reports when I’ve played them.

I may yet expand my collection to be able to field a regiment from a fully fledged Airborne Division later on.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

From the Shed: 6mm terrain.

I picked up these bits of terrain from the Leven Miniatures clicky stand at the Fiasco show last year and have just got round to getting them painted.

oil tanks

A nice collection of storage tanks to add to and industrial area.

 

police hq

This is sold as the police station but to my eye it should work as any office block really. I kept the paint scheme neutral for that reason.

tv station

The TV station. The bit with the antenna coming out of it is removable, which adds flexibility to the piece.

porta cabins

I picked up two packs of Portacabins as I figured they’d be useful at add to other bits. I painted up this pair to see what they were like.

oil donkeys

This pair of oil ‘nodding donkey’ pumps were from Perfect 6  miniatures clicky (sold through Leven at shows).

 

All of the pieces were very well cast in resin with a nice level of detail and a pleasure to paint up. They should be good for my 20th century 6mm set ups.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

The latest additions to my 6mm (1/300th) Cold War forces.

I’ve been busy in the shed expanding my Cold War micro armour collection in preparation for a multiplayer game of 5core: Brigade Commander that I am planning.

6mm US

First up with have a mix of US Army vehicles: A Command stand and a company of M1A1s plus extra ATGM, mortars and Vulcan AA cannons mounted on the ubiquitous M113 chassis.

6mm Warthog

To give the US some air support I painted up a A10 Thunderbolt II aka The Warthog. Probably THE close air support aircraft for the Cold War period.

6mm Harrier

For the Brits I have done a Harrier GR3, for a change I decided to do it in the winter camo scheme often seen sported during deployments to Norway.

6mm jaguar

Also for the Brits I’ve painted up a SEPECAT Jaguar, one of my favourite Cold War era jets.

All the models are from Heroics and Ros apart from the infantry that are from Irregular.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.