20mm resources for Zone Alpha.

Zone Alpha is a new SF skirmish ruleset from Osprey Publishing. I preordered it just after xmas and my copy arrived today. I had been following the development of the rules of the author, Patrick Todoroff’s blog Stalker7 link Taking its inspiration from Soviet/ Russian themed Science Fiction, starting with the excellent novel Roadside Picnic and the film of that book Stalker as well as the PC game series of the same name. Also the Metro 2033 series. It is a milieu that I’m rather drawn to (hence me having so many props at hand for the photo).

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Players take the role of a crew of explores/ trespassers/ robbers infiltrating a alien contaminated zone to loot it for valuable artifacts to sell on, all the while battling each other and the mutated inhabitants of the zone. Given how much I have invested in the scale I will be playing my games in 20mm rather than 28mm (even though there are some great figures in this scale). I thought I’d jot down my ideas of what I’m going to be using…

 

Human figures:

The top billing should be the two boxes of plastic Stalker figures put out by Dark Alliance– ideal for this game and currently undercoated waiting to be painted on my desk.

Under Fire miniatures do some great ranges that will be useful- their Chechens will make excellent bandits and the Russian range an excellent military themed crew.

Similarly Elhiem miniatures does a comprehensive range of irregular and modern Russian figures ideal for this game. Also their spare head range contains both western and Russian gasmask heads that will be ideal for conversions (another project on the go in the shed).

Both Under Fire and Elhiem have featured on this blog in the past.

For some wierder cultist types Stan Johansen miniatures would be worth a look.

Zone hostiles:

I’ll be getting my vermin swarms from either the Reaper Bones plastic range or Irregular miniatures.

Zombies/ Ghouls will be from the Twilight Creations bag O’ zombies, my mutant dogs will be from the same source too. A few metal Elhiem zombies will be added into the mix too.

Mutants will come from the CP Models range; they have some wonderfully quirky bits in their ranges.

Vehicles:

Here the advantage of choosing 20mm really comes in, so many plastic kits to choose from that cover Russian subjects. ICM, Model Collect, Revell, Zvesda are all company that you should look up.

If you don’t fancy making plastic kits look for ther many diecasts that are available for companies such as Fabbri.

The aforementioned Elhiem also other some 3D printed vehicles that would be great.

S and S models offers an extensive range of resin kits that cover most of the Russian basics.

Hope that will be of some use to you.

 

Given what I know I’ve got in the shed ready to go I’d probably be able to get a game up and running in no time at all… watch this space.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

From the shed: IS 7 Heavy tank.

One of the silliest things a gamer can do is get stuck in an arms race… trying to get the biggest/ most powerful unit… it is even sillier when this is with yourself. Bearing that in mind I present my IS7: a Soviet prototype that should give the Germans with their dug in E100 pause for thought.

is7 1

This beast of a tank, aka Object 260, was design in December 1945 and weighted in at 68 tonnes. Armed with a massive 130mm gun fed by an autoloaded it also carried 8 assorted machine guns (2 in the hull, 2 in the turret rear 3 co axially and 1 on an anti- aircraft mount). The behemoth had up to 300mm of armour and was proof against the german 128mm PAK (the main armament of the Jagdtiger and the planned armament of the E100) from the front.

is7 2

Seven protypes were made but it was not, for many reasons, decided to put the type forward for full production. It remains the heaviest tank the Soviets/ Russia has ever made; a surviving example is in Kublinka museum. It was followed by the IS8 which eventually entered service as the T10 (the name being changed after Stalin’s death).

is7 3

This 1/72nd kit is by Trumpter and was a pleasure to put together. I painted it with the usual acrylics. It should hake a decent opponent to all of the silly German experimental stuff I’ve got if I could only find somewhere big enough to take advantage of its main gun. It will probably be used as an objective in a skirmish game…. it may even face the Western Allies in a very early Cold War game… why not I guess?

is7 4

Cheers,

 

Pete.

From the Shed: More Elhiem figures.

A couple of quick pics here…

 

First up I painted 4 USMC figures, enough to form a fireteam, to try out the colours to paint Woodland MARPAT pattern see here for an example. I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Although a full platoon of them would take a while…. Will try the desert scheme next.

marines woodland marpat

I also painted up some assorted Cold War Soviet figures for a couple of scenarios I’ve got planned, the guy with the white helmet is a Military Policeman on traffic duty:

assorted cold war soviets

Finally I got some of the insurgent gun crew to go with the improvised mortars I featured a bit ago:

insurgent gun crew

gun crews and mortars

https://www.elhiem.co.uk/

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

From the Shed: Contemporary Russians- same figures but two paint jobs.

In Elhiem Figures (ultra)modern* Russian ranges there are some very nice packs labelled Pro- Russian Militia/ Russian SOF that are great for representing those forces doing the Kermlin’s work in areas as diverse as the Donbass in the Ukraine** or Syria or even using them for modern what if? games. The interesting thing from a painters perspective is that as the Russians (or their proxies) use such a wide range of camouflage patterns see here you have a lot of choice.

russians in partisan camo

The first batch I painted in the ‘Paritsan’ pattern, oddly for a country that suffered so badly from the depradations of the Waffen SS in WW2, it is based the SS ‘Oak Leaf’ pattern but with a different palette of colours. A search of the web will show it being worn all over the place so these figures should be useful for militia in the Ukraine or Wagner PMCs in Syria.

winter modern sovs

The second batch have been painted in plain white and have appropriate winter basing to join my small, but growing, winter collection.

Cheers,

Pete.

* There seems to be a standardisation in table top wargaming to call anything post WW2 up to the turn of the millenium ‘moderns’ wheres as 2001 forwards is deemed ‘ultra- moderns’ both are a bit clumsy imo but it is what most people know so it is what I go with.

** It is with interest that I’ve spotted an upcoming Osprey book on the subject by Mark Galeotti.