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….



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






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.



* 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.

Hell Cannons: A Pair of improvised mortars.

The tragic long running civil war in Syria has thrown up many examples of improvised military equipment over the years: from home made sniper rifles to converted apcs. Ace models have recently immortalised two such weapons in a plastic kit.

hell cannon 2

Hell Cannons are the name given to large improvised mortars that have been built by the rebel forces/ Free Syrian Army in the past few years. Consisting of a large metal pipe fixed to a truck axle they fire homemade shell that are mostly made from propane gas canisters. As can be imagined they are not particularly accurate and neither do they have a long range, barely reaching overa mile. A more in-depth  look at them can be found here .

Ace kits are a east European manufacturer of limited run plastic kits that cover a wide variety of subjects that are often not covered by the bigger companies. Given the limitations of their short run production their kits have a repuation of being difficult to build; the finesse and fit of the parts is not up there with the likes of Revell or Dragon. That said the two guns were built over the course of a single evening. I thought it was a nice touch that several examples of the relevant ‘shells’ were included too.

hell cannon wip

hell cannon 1

Painting was mostly done with a sponge to get the mottled camo and rust effects and didn’t take long at all.

The first gun is from the Ahrar al- Shmal Brigade nd was seen in the Idlib area in 2013.

hell cannon 3

hell cannon 4

The second gun was built and used by the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo in 2017.

hell cannon 5

hell cannon 6

I have bought some suitable figures from Elhiem to use as crew but I’ve not painted them yet.





My competition winnings.

A while back the ModernAfricanBushwars yahoo group ran a quick competition- first to answer three questions correctly wins 50 Euros at Hobby Den model store. I saw the email whilst sat in my favourite cafe in town, fortunately the questions were on the Rhodesian War (the conflict in Africa I know most about) so I rattle off my answers and luckily little old me won.

Deciding what to get was a nice experience and today I picked up my parcel from the Post Office.

I like getting parcels, I'm quick to open them up...

I like getting parcels, I’m quick to open them up…

... and tip the contents out.

… and tip the contents out.

I got 3 open backed Unimogs, a M1117 armoured car, a Shorland armoured car and an M47 Patton. All of these models were from Hobby Den's in house range of resins.

I got 3 open backed Unimogs, a M1117 armoured car, a Shorland armoured car and an M47 Patton. All of these models were from Hobby Den’s in house range of resins.

A quick shot of the hulls and turrets, photographing pale resin never really brings out the best in the models (well not with my barely functioning level of skill in photography).

A quick shot of the hulls and turrets, photographing pale resin never really brings out the best in the models (well not with my barely functioning level of skill in photography).

Hobby Den’s own range of resins are very nice and they do fill some useful gaps in the market- they come highly recommended from me.

Their website can be found here:

On the topic of URLs the yahoo group can be found here: – worth joining for access to the photo albums alone.

You might be wondering what I plan to do with my new resins..?

Well, the 3 Unimogs will be painted up to be added to my Rhodesian Bush War collection- though I’ll need to find some crew for them, the M1117 will be a sand colour for service in Iraq ( they were mostly used by the Military Police for convoy protection duties and I have been planning a game along those lines for ages), the M47 will be painted in Croat colours as I’ve got a decal sheet with a nice scheme on that I want to replicated and as for the Shorland I’m not so sure, I’m a big fan of them as they are basically armoured Landrovers with a turret on, I may do it in a Syrian camo scheme or possible a plain grey.

Typing that last paragraph made me realize I’ve a complete lack of focus as I’ve covered 4 different projects there. If I could concentrate on one thing at once I’d probably get a lot more done but where would the fun be in that.