Cold War Commander Modern Polish in 1/300th scale
Tanks, helos, IFVs, AA, Aircraft, Command
A spontaneous eBay purchase resulted in me acquiring a load of 6mm / 1/300th scale modern Warpac troops, only a few years after I carelessly sold all of mine not expecting there to ever be as playable a set of rules come along as Cold War Commander. However, buying more figures is never a hardship and this looked like a tempting deal with £26 for over 100 AFVs and a couple of incomplete Hind helicopters, so I bought on in again.
The purchase and refurbishment of the Heroics and Ros Hinds prompted me to look for some plastic disks to use as rotor blades, as I had used something similar when I actually bought this lot the first time around - and a Google search threy up a new supplier called Hurlbat, based in the UK and apparently thinking about manufacturing exactly the things I was looking for. So, some very pleasant and efficient correspondance later and I had bought a couple of sets of rotor discs for the 2 Hinds in the army.
They came like this, with holes drilled in the middle and covered in a scratch-resisting thin blue film on both sides - it was a little fiddly to remove, especially from the part of the disk that had been etched to create a rotor effect but the end result was really cool - as you will see later.
I think Heroics and Ros used to sell their helos with discs, but stopped a few years ago
I'd also bought a load more figures I didn't actually need from Hurlbat for a period I don't play much, and some paint and a couple of brushes from Maelstrom Games as well, but hey, who's counting...
This was the collection of tanks in the eBay photo - painted to a basic standard but by no means a finished proposition. My first move was to clean up the models - not much needed doing - and, as part of my ongoing campaign to cover every square inch of my wargaming collection with Army Painter Quickshade, give them all a brush-on coating of varnish and stain.
I did originally try dipping the tanks in the pot of varnish, but it left far too much varnish on the models, and it was putting me in constant fear of dropping one of the blighters into the pool of foul smelling inky darkness, to be lost forever...so brushed on it was
Here's the Hind, flying low over the armour and just in front of some 28mm Swiss/Landsnechts
The Heroics and Ros helos were missing their back wheels and rocket / missile stores, so I cut off the nose wheel, filled in the gap in the fuselage where the rear wheel assembly was supposed to fit with some woodfiller, and added some generic missile/rocket pods made with brass rod, painted black and drybrushed with GW Chainmail (can you tell I'm also an Ancients/Renaissance gamer?).
I had painted them in a Polish camo scheme, and instead of buying a set of decals from Doms Decals I'd just attempted to paint a Polish symbol on each one - not too bad a job at this scale I reckon
All of the basing was done with my current default ancients basing - magnabase-backed card, with builders sand glued on and then painted - in this case sprayed. For this army I'd used a spray can of Humbrol 29 Matt Dark Earth from Amazon (because I had some lying around) then drybrushed with Coat d'arms Uniform Grey (525) and then the classic GW Bleached Bone.
I'd toyed with the idea of reverting to flock instead of static grass given the small scale of the figures, but in the end decided against it - the grass didn't look too out of scale as it was next to vehicles rather than that many infantry, and it was just a lot brighter and more interesting to look at. I'd also added a bit of clump material for bushes
This shows the etching effect - which definately adds something extra to an otherwise blank disk. I really like it - thanks Hurlbat!
About as close as one want's to get to a Hind! The helos had been varnished as well, but with almost no edges or indents for the stain to settle into the wash hadn't done much more than make them look a little dirty. The paint scheme I was trying for was based on this picture here.
I may decide to paint the stand a darker colour - the light grey sounds like a good idea but does show up a bit too clearly on the tabletop.
I also had left, in my "every gamer has one" box of bits, a MiG 21 that appeared to have been trodden on at some point in the past, thus escaping my last clearout of Modern 1/300th scale stuff. A bit of not entirely succesful work with a pair of pliers straightened the tail and wings out enough not to be embarassing, and an East German paint job from this site here and the MiG was flying again. Polish MiGs look to have been finished in silver/bare metal, but with the rather shoddy model I was using, I decided a camo ground-attack version would be better
For some reason the camera found it hard to focus on this plane - maybe a good thing really ! However the Polish wing markings were a lot easier to paint than on the side of the Hinds
This is a shot of most of the armour in the army, post basing, varnishing and drybrushing. The tanks all look to be Skytrex T72's (I thought they might have been T80's originally) with 18 as the later version with smoke dispensers, and the 9 on the left as slightly earlier ones. The command stand has a spare T72 and a SA-9 mounted on a BRDM, as Command bases in CWC have organic AA capability. In the background an MTLB mounted SA-13, a ZSU and some BRDM scout and AT vehicles make up the set.
This is a close-up of one of the "earlier" T72's. (model M702 in the Skytrex range) The basic tank has been varnished in ArmyPainter, then drybrushed in Coat d'arms Faded Olive then GW Citadel Bleached Bone. The olive coat was because the ArmyPainter left the tanks looking a little too "brown" for my liking, so the pale Olive colour brought up both the highlights and the "green" colour as well. After doing all the drybrushing and glueing the tanks to the bases (and adding the static grass) the whole lot were matt-finished with a spray of
All of the bases are "WRG standard" ancients bases 20mm x 40mm - I had a load already cut out for some of my ancient stuff and they work well for these tanks, allowing me to glue down the turrets at a variety of angles and still keep the gun barrels above the basing. I imagine at some stage I will be tempted to buy some mine rollers as well and they will fit in front
Close up the drybrush of Bleached Bone is a bit strong, but at tabletop distances it really works. In CWC the command stands don't function as per their troop types, they are just representational - this is a 3x3 cm base (originally cut for PBI in 15mm!) I've used for a 2nd-level command unit.
When drybrushing I found it difficult not to get some of the tank barrels a little over-covered - see the one at the left hand end of the middle row. Perhaps I should go back over them with some more olive at some point?
These are the earlier model T72 - maybe even the elusive T64 ?
Even at just 20mm wide the bases have enough space to place the turrets at some reasonably large angles and keep the barrels above the basing
This is a cluster munition's eye view of the Warpac tank unit !
This is the "main" command base, on a WRG-standard cavalry base of 40mm x 30mm. It has an MT-LBu large command vehicle (which you can also see here in real life) and may be a Heroics and Ros vehicle, as the model on the Skytrex site doesn't look to have this level of detail, and a BMP with ground surveillance radar plus a couple of infantry - who I suspect are actually WW2 Soviet artillery crew, but at this scale who's counting?
See - can you tell ?
Here is the T74/80 - it looks to be the Skytrex code M707, originally sold as the T80
The SA-9 on BRDM chassis adds AA capability to the Command stand. Simply glueing sand to the bases, spraying brown then drybrushing is surprisingly effective - it is a lot easier than with ancients or renaissance figures, as you can do all of the bases as a job lot before adding the AFVs, and you don't have the problem of trying to hide the figures own bases which are often not fully disguised by the layer of sand
These are BMP1's I think - the set of troops I bought contained 3 different types of BMP model, however I believe that these are BMP1's from Skytrex. At least the person I bought them from had largely resisted the temptation to do red noses on the Sagger AT missiles !
The downside of static grass is that bits of it do tend to get everywhere - some has drifted onto the middle BMP here. I always try very hard to brush it off once it has dried to the base, but some strands always seem to escape and get stuck to the figures or tanks.
These are the early model tanks. I hoped for a while I could call them T-55's, as the 2nd-line non Soviet warpac armies in CWC lists do have T55s and T72's, but I can't convince myself they are anything other than T72/64's. This does means I will have to buy some more T-55's though, so not all is lost !!
The BMP's complete with Sagger missiles
27 tanks and 9 BMPs, a full attack force of 3 batallions of tanks and a batallion of BMPs!
The Hinds hover in the background as the armoured formation gets ready to roll into Europe -
These are a different type / make of BMP - I only got 6 of them, and I suspect they are BMP2's. They may be Heroics and Ros, although the fact the turrets are cast on may make then CinC ..?
The casting is quite a lot sharper than the other BMP's, and they were painted in a darker tone - a difference which the combination of ArmyPainter and drybrushing largely made go away
More of the rogue grass, on yet another type of BMP - this may be a BMP2 from Skytrex (code M747), but with an incorrectly mounted Spandrel missile which should really sit on top of the turret rather than at the front.
These are Skytrex BMP 1's
This is the third and final shot to guess the maker and serial number!
There were also a couple of other models that are BMP-R, or Recce version, one of which I've based up as a recce vehicle and one sits on a command stand. (ID'ed by Bill Butler and a few others - thanks Bill !)
An MTLB based SA-13 AA system
This is one where the drybrushing has worked really well - a good model with lots of raised lines to pick out
How slack is this - the tracks aren't even painted a different colour ! Still looks fine to me though
This I think is the ZSU 23-4, but its an old cast - the moels in the range
BRDM1 and Swatter missiles I suspect, based on a UK penny - cheaper than making or buying a base of the same size..
A cleaner casting, presumably a BRDM2 with Spandrel as there are 5 missiles, rather than the 4 in the Sagger variant. According to Wikipedia the BRDM-2 has unique flaw, in that the only way in and out of the vehicle is via the front hatches, so leaving the vehicle while in combat is almost impossible because the exiting crew members would instantly enter the line of fire of the enemy and even their own crewmates, as the hatches are positioned directly in front of the turret. The Poles fixed this... so if this army plays as Polish, the little guys in here will be very grateful !
Standard Recce version, used in CWC for Artillery or Air support observers
Here is one hiding in it's own cover !
Another command stand, this time with one of those odd BMP type vehicles as well as the MT-LBu command vehicle
and from the other side as well.
The eBay set also came with a couple of these odd soviet PTS Ferry amphibious vehicles.. (thanks Sgt Lone for the ID!) .
They are listed in the Skytrex catalogue as code M773, BTS-M Heavy Amphibian
This is the whole set, finished and based along with a handful of rescued infantry bases - no closeup as I don't want anyone spotting the WW2 German AT weapons clearly held by some of the chaps !
There are far too many BMP's really, and if I want to have them as a proper Polish army I do need to get some OT-64 and OT-65 wheeled IFV's too.
But, £25 and a bit of basing and touchup work - I'm quite pleased with how it's all turned out
I also made some off-board artillery markers, which save a bit of money and are less distressing when you accidentally knock them off the table and then tread on them. They cover all of the major bits of Warpac artillery - download a pdf of them here