From the Shed: More modern bits for Zona Alfa (mostly).

I’ve been working on my moderns again, what started as getting a few bits for Zona Alfa has ended up being a project in its own right- I’m still looking at doing some urban SWAT type games. All the figures are from Spectre: either metal minis or 3d prints- see if you can tell which is which….

First up the British Special Reconassiance Regiment- part of UK special forces. Four covert operators plusa pair to provide some longer range fire support.

Then we have 2 lots of Russian equipped PMCs.

Some Western equipped PMCs

As well as a CIA Special Activities Centre operative, a leader figure with a map and a WW2 Anti tank rifle gunner- the latter weapons seem to be still turning up in wars despite their age. The barrel wasa little bent when I got it and considering its fragility I tried to stabalise it, somewhat successfully with a spare rucksack.

Finally some scatter terrain. The shed is from Warbases and the rest from Reaper Bones.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Cold War Russian AFVs.

My friend Simon recently got a new 3d printeer- one of the resin ones. He was playing around with it and did a few 1/76th Russian AFVs that he ultimately didn’t want so he passed them on to me.

The standard of resin printing is fantastic now: the detail is very crisp. I believe all of the files came from M. Bergman on thingiverse.

The BRDM 1 armoured cars, based on the BTR40 but fully enclosed. Mostly unarmed but could have a pintle- mounted machine gun.

The MTLB – a 60s design, mostly used as an atrillery tractor but also issued as an APC in arctic areas. Many are still in service. Many variants are based on this chassis, engineering to atgm carrier…

The BTR70 – a wheeled APC that was an improvement over the BTR60s. Not many made and mostly replaced now by the BTR80.

All vehicles were painted in acrylics, Vallejo Russian Green, and then weathered with various techniques before an all over oil paint wash to get that grimey look.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: 28mm Modern Russians for Zona Alfa.

I’ve just finished off some more 28mm modern figures to use in my Zona Alfa games. They are from Spectrehttps://www.spectreminiatures.com/ miniatures or from an ebay seller.

I’ve painted some of them in the Partisan camo pattern to match some earlier figures that I’ve done so them look like a cohesive military team on the table top. The figure with the grenade launcher is a white metal casting, the rest are 3d prints.

The non camo figures in Black will be used as urban terrorists, whilst the figure in the EOD suit with a belt fed PKM is a great representation of the PC game trope.

Now to get them in a game…

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Modern and near Future Russians.

As I’m sure that you have noticed I’ve been really getting into the Zona Alfa game recently and I had the idea of getting some of the Empress Miniatures modern Russians with gas mask heads to add to me collection. However, I wanted to practice the camo they’d be in first so I dug out these modern Russians from Elhiem to try.

The new digital flora pattern (as seen onthe little green men of Crimean infamy) took a lot of layers to get that mottled effect but was fairly quick to do in the end. Whilst I was at it I decided to paint up the Near Future Russians I had laying around in the same scheme. These are the companion/ opposition figures to the near future US figures I painted some time back.

I also , as they were lurking in the same box, got these modern Russian special forces figures finished off. Clad in a copy of multicam they are based on the operatives that have been present in Syria and again finish off stuff I have painted earlier. They add a selection of LMGs, sniper rifles and RPGs.

Elhiem has expanded the ranges of both the near future Russian anmd US forces- extra support weapons, snipers and leadera to expand upon the original assault rifles and LMGs I’ll be interested to get them as these new figures are digital sculpted, printed in resin then cast in metal as opposed to the original figures being sculpted in the traditional manner in putty. Comparing the two styles will be a pointer to the future of the industry as 3d design processes will become more and more common.

I have thought about getting a full platoon of the modern Russians in the digital flora camo but the current tension in the Ukraine makes this less appealing somehow (here is hoping it doesn’t develop into a major shooting match). I’ll have to think on….

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Even more Stalkers for Zona Alfa.

I wanted to paint up some Stalkers in a specific camo pattern, namely the Russian ‘Partizan’ scheme… that was all the excuse I needed to get a set from Pig Iron Productions that I had been coverting.

Here they are again in threes. I went for a sniper rifle a light machine gun and three AK style assault rifle, the dog is so I can try out some of the optional rules I got from facebook.

I also had a few more Cold War figures from Under Fire Miniatures that I converted- again using Pig Iron parts.

You may have noticed that I didn’t take these pictures outside on my backdoor step… I got a light box for xmas and this has made taking the photos much easier, especially in these wetter and darker months. I did print out a stone texture picture from google to use as a backdrop which I think works quite well.

Cheers,

Pete.

Zona Alfa: From the Shed to the table.

I tend to work better to a deadline so was more than happy to run a game of Zona Alfa for friends with a week’s notice, even though I still had nearly 30 models to paint in that time. Firstly I needed to finish off the various zone hostiles that I had collected, these are the various monster/ fauna that inhabit the zone and make life difficult for the players. I had a mix of zombies from Mantic, Copplestone and Pig Iron. All were painted in a similar muted palette and complement each other. The Mantic and Copplestone ones go well together as they look like the reanimated corpses of previous expiditions to the zone….

The horde of zombies.
Pig Iron Production zombies
Mantic zombies
Copplestone zombie troopers.

I also had a small selection of Reaper Bones models to represent the mutants, both large and standard size, that can also appear in the game. Nicola very kindly painted these three for me.

Reaper Bones used as mutants.

I also wanted to round out my collection of military types witha few more figures. I got some of the Under Fire Miniatures cold war camo suited Soviets and added Pig Iron Productions gas mask heads and backpacks to give them more of a STALKER vibe. Whilst the hardness of the metal that both companies used made drilling them tough on the fingers I’m really pleased with how they turned out.

The converted Under Fire miniatures Soviets.

For the game at the club I wrote a brief intro to the game (which I can post if people want) and made up four forces for the players to use: two military, one scientist and one bandit. After a quick run through of the rules they teams set off to revover the protyped weapon left cached by a previous expedition into the zone. I purposely ignored the Allies and Enemies rules for this game, mainly as it was a one off zero sum mission it would added more combat to get the players better used to the rules.

My Zona Alfa collection in it storage box.

Set in a level one zone I placed the two hot spots so that the players would be able to interact with at least one lot of zone hostiles each.

The game table, the objective was in the cached ammo crate, the skulls are hotspots. Most of the terrain was from my 3D printer.

In the end the Scientist and the Military player ended up trading shots and finding out how bloody the combat syestem can be whilst the Bandits crept forward clearining a hotspot and then cunningly used electric juice to speed forward to snatch the mission objective, after the Military team had dispatched the rats it had spawned the previous turn. The scientist cleared the hotspot closesst to them, again hiding a rat swarm before finding an anomily there and getting a rare artifact. At the point the Bandits were attracting a lot of attention so began to take a lot of fire as the other two teams attempted to snatch the weapon for themselves… at the expense of most of their team they did manage to get it off the table. However, I did point out to the players that in a campaign game they’d need to watch their casualties more and that finding a rare artifact could mean that whilst you don’t win the game the money it earns your team may be more beneficial in the long run.

The Bandits emerge from the edge of the woods.

The Military team pinned down behind the ruins.

The game went down really well and there are a couple more players who wish to try it so hopefully there will be enough interest to get a campaign going. I’m sure I did some of the rules wrong but it has been a long time since I ran the game, pre COVID19 infact. As always I enjoy running the game and seeing how the players interact as much as I do playing.

Cheers,

Pete.

From the Shed: Copplestone Future War Partisans.

It should be no secret that one of my favourite sculptor is Mark Copplestone; his future War range for Grenadier in the early 90s made a big impression on me. Since then he has gone back to his SF figures and it has been nice to finally get some paint on some of them.

These 10 figures are billed as ‘Partisans’ and are available here.

The ten of them come with four different gun types, two variations of assault rifles, an LMG and a SMG. Given their Russian/ Soviet stylings I painted them in a mix of green, khaki and Russian camo. As such they’ll be making an appearance in my Zone Afla games quite often. They are probably a bit too military to be fitted into neon drenched cyberpunk streets but I’ve my eye on some other models to fulfil those needs.

Cheers,

Pete.

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: Yet more 6mm Russian tanks.

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

20191119_122637

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

20191119_122654

 

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.

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.