Saturday, November 28, 2015

Thanksgiving Set

Happy Thanksgiving! This morning I finished a set of figure I've been having fun with. With this set I used my trusty jeweler's saw and green stuff more than ever before. I even got the chance to base with some snow! Next up is much more winter camouflage, some KLMK camouflage suits, bush hats and a 2nd chechen war Shamil Basayev miniature.

RH Models RUSG10 with head swap; RUSG9 with head swaps (GDRMIL)

RH Models RUSG15A; RUSG9

A fair number of Chechen fighters can be seen wearing Russian greatcoats in pictures of the first battle of Grozny (winter, 1994-1995). I found one example of a fighter wearing such a coat during the 2nd Chechen war (he became a good reason to swap on a pilotka side cap). RH Models makes these with helmets and fur hats. I decided to swap heads of some of the figures, remove straps from others and make some sort of blue civilian coat with another for variety. The bareheaded and helmeted guys will also make good Georgian fighters. I wasn't entirely sure of what color to use for Russian greatcoats so I painted some more gray and others more brown. I'm particularly fond of the running guys. These guys really look like they are under fire to me.

Chechens in the back of a truck, Grozny (December 13th, 1994).

Chechens fighting near presidential palace, Grozny (January, 1995).

Rebel fighters gather in Grozny, January 3rd, 1995.

Chechen fighters retreating from Grozny, Alkhan-Kala, February, 2000.

RH Models MULTBUSHAK with head swap (RUSAKBH); RUSBARSQU with head swap and extended pants

I've seen a few images with Chechen fighters wearing the Soviet bush hat, but it is infrequent. I've also seen it used a bit in the Georgian-Abkhazian conflict. For the sake of variety I created this figure with a head swap. In my mind this guy is an Abkhazian fighter. I can't make out the clothes in the Abkhazian below so I went with the camouflage scheme worn by the Chechen in a truck below.

The more pictures I look at of fighters involved in Post-Soviet conflicts the more cases of body armor I see being worn. Usually it is 6b3 armor or a later variety, but RH Models only has a 6b2 style available, so I decided to use two of those figures for Chechens - 6b2 is a bit anachronistic, but it is not too bad. I gave a head swap to one (the guy with a knit cap) and extended the pants of the other (so his pants looked more like baggy winter camo). I also removed the sleeve pockets of both figures. At some point I might try my hand at sculpting 6b3+ body armor, but right now that's a bit beyond my skills. The figure with white winter camo got my first snow basing. To make snow I used baking powder (sodium bicarbonate). I tried using Woodland Scenics snow, but I didn't like the look of it for the 20mm figures. Handy baking soda came out much better after four applications! :/

December 20th, 1992 - Abkhazian fighters on an APC.

Chechen fighters celebrate in front of presidential palace, Grozny (January, 1995).

January 1995 - Chechen rebels in Grozny.

Chechen fighter taking bread in Grozny suburbs, March 1st, 1995.

6b series of body armor, left to right, 6b2, 6b3, 6b4 and 6b5

RH Models WEA22; RUSSPOTV; RUS22B with head swap and extended pants

Above is my Chechen 9K111 Fagot anti-tank team (also called an AT-4). To make the prone figure I did a head swap and I extended and fattened his pant legs a bit with some green stuff. I wanted a look that was more casual than the original figure. I know they are not popular with wargamers, but personally I like prone figures. I wish there were more of them. I haven't seen any photos of Chechens using this missile system, but I have found several photos of Russians confiscating reloads for them. Based on these photos I painted the missile launching tube mustard.

Russian paratroopers confiscating a Fagot reload tube at the cement factory in Chiri-Yurt. (May 5th, 1995)
RH Models MOSCOM with hat swap (RUSAKBH)

This figure represents my first attempt at making a personality from the Chechen Wars (I've got a handful of others in mind), Shamil Basayev. One of the pictures that motivated me is below. I think this figure will work pretty well for the 1st Chechen War as well as the wars in Abkhazia and Nargono-Karabakh (he was involved in both of those too). To get the beard and the hat I did my first hat swap - I'm really pleased with the results and I'll definitely be trying more of these soon. Now I feel skilled enough to do the caps with beards I have in my head (especially forage and baseball caps for late 2nd war insurgents) as well as some backwards baseball caps.

Shamil Basayev speaking with press during Budyonnovsk hostage crisis, June 17th, 1995.


  1. Improving with every step mate, lovely. Bases could use another drybrush though?

    1. Thanks! I think they might be a bit more highlighted in person (I go with field drab/cork brown/iraqi sand) - it's so hard to capture the miniatures exactly as they look to me in person. Washed out, too dark, too glossy etc. Seems I can improve one aspect, but never get them all right. The rust effects you've gotten recently look great to me. Hope I can get something like that going on soon.

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  3. Another great posting.
    I am just kicking off my own project in 15mm and your blog is proving to be real inspiration.

    1. Thanks! Why 15mm? What conflict/period - existing terrain, favorite ruleset? I started off with 28mm, but then realized that only 20mm had the variety of figures and vehicles I wanted.

    2. I guess largely because I already had terrain that could suit and my gaming partner had a fixed budget so went along for the ride.
      We are using Chris Peers - Close At Close Quarters - plenty of lead flying with more pinned results than killed, its always nice to keep stuff on the table when you have spent so long painting the stuff.

    3. That makes sense. I'm looking forward to seeing the results!