Sunday, January 31, 2016


Last week I reread Thomas Goltz's Georgia Diary. I don't usually reread books, but this one is particularly good and I was certain that I'd enjoy it more now that I understand the modern history of Georgia better. It got me in the mood to paint up some figures suitable for the Georgian Wars (and other conflicts, too, I suppose).

All conflicts in the Caucasus in the 1990's seem to make some use of older weaponry. This is especially true of the earlier conflicts when post-Soviet chaos wasn't as rampant and the Red Army stockpiles weren't exploited yet. To represent these fighters I decided to use RH Model's SKS figures with M40 helmets. They don't come with other heads so I couldn't resist doing some swaps. In the future I envision doing more, especially with civilian colors and heads. I suppose I could even use figures with even older Moison Nagants. I think these will mix nicely with figures with shotguns and hunting rifles. It was good to get away from painting so many AKs! Below are some pictures that inspired me. I used the last picture to base the camouflage on.

RH Models MULT20SKS with head swaps

RH Models MULT20SKS with head swaps

South Ossetian militia (October 11th, 1991).

Opposition fighters resting in Tbilisi (December 27th, 1991).

Opposition fighters burn picture in Tbilisi, December 30th, 1991.

Abkhazian fighter running with child during fall of Sukhumi (September 27th, 1993).

Georgian fighters in Gagry (September, 1992).

My period of interest also shows much use of derby caps by civilians, especially earlier wars. I'll have to make some more of these later, but for now I did these two.


Abkhazians block road, village of Tamysh (December 20th, 1992).

December, 1991: Opposition fighters in Tbilisi.

Lastly, I did two figures with pistols and a random Abkhazian militant. I've only seen a handful of pictures with pistols being used in Post-Soviet conflicts, so I can't overdo it, but a couple of these guys can't hurt. The standing figure had two pistols, one in each hand, which didn't work for my period. I cut of one of hands and sculpted a new one out of green stuff. My five-year-old daughter is always asking me to paint with some purple so I found an example of purple pants being worn and went with it. I think he looks a bit like a tourist in a Hawaiian shirt with 1970's Incredible Hulk coloring ... a perfect Abkhazian rebel!


Georgian opposition fighter crouching in Tbilisi (December 28th, 1991).

Abkhazian rebels near Sukhumi, June 9th, 1993.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

EER Civs

While finishing up the prep-work on some other figures I banged out a few more civilians figures. These five civilians have knit caps and fur hats on so they are a bit more Chechen than my last batch. I also tacked on one more beret figure, since I had previously messed this one up. In a picture I have that I was basing this guy on a camouflage uniform is shown, but I couldn't get it right so I just went with plain green.




December 12th, 1994 Chechens dancing in from of Presidential Palace in Grozny.

Grozny residents fleeing (January, 1995).

Chechen rebel in lorry (Grozny, August 16th, 1996)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Post-Soviet Wars

This morning before work I finished reading Christoph Zürcher's The Post-Soviet Wars: Rebellion, Ethnic Conflict, and Nationhood in the Caucasus. This short book attempts to apply conflict theory to three Post-Soviet conflicts (Chechnya, Abkhazia/South Ossetia, and Armenia/Azerbaijan). In the introduction Zürcher explains what modern conflict theory is. This was helpful to me as this is definitely one course in college I didn't take, but a bit dry as one can imagine. He next applies this theory to three conflicts that occurred and two that didn't (Dagestan, Ajaria). Each of these chapters have a good summary of the preconditions for the war, a very brief synopsis of the war and then a conclusion. I enjoyed reading about the the two wars that didn't happen the most because I know the least about these areas of the former Soviet Union. The book's conclusion examines how these conflicts support or don't support conflict theory. I found this part of the book the most unconvincing. I'm not sure general theories about war can be made. For every part of the theory that applied to two conflicts it did not apply to the third. Perhaps no general conflict theory really exists, even for wars as similar as these, and it is only the attempt to apply such a theory that is an interesting and worthwhile exercise. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, but if one's read a lot about such conflicts Zürcher's book could be an enjoyable start to a deeper understanding of the period.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Berets and a Little More Snow Camouflage

For my latest batch of miniatures I worked on some Chechens with dark green berets (hard to photograph) and some more snow camouflage (also hard to photograph).

Dark green berets seem to be fairly popular for Chechen fighters, especially during the non-winter months. For the most part I resist painting any markings or using colors that would preclude my minis being used for another conflict, but a beret has to have one color or another so I of course went with dark green. For one of the figures I painted on a variant of DPM camouflage (the RPG guy) that I've seen in use only a few times. I read online that it was used by OMON forces, but strangely the only pictures I have of it in use are Chechen fighters. I painted a fourth figure with a beret in this batch, but I messed up the camo on that one so he met the stripper.


Rebel in Grozny (March 11th, 1996).

Chechen observing street (Grozny, August 1st, 1996).

Chechen with RPG in Grozny on August 17th, 1996.

Last batch I painted miniatures in snowsuits so this time I wanted to add a few that had pieces of snow camouflage on or different types of snow attire. This mix and matching of camouflage (woodland schemes) with white snow camouflage was popular during both the first and third battles of Grozny. For these I had to sculpt on hoods, jacket extensions and a headband. I'm very pleased with the way the hoods came out. I'll have to sculpt a lot more of them in the future.



Chechen rebel standing in doorway in Grozny, January, 1995.

January 13th, 1995, Chechens drag dead Chechen fighter away from fighting in Grozny.

Rebel flying Chechen flag atop AFW in Grozny center (January 2nd, 1995).

Chechen fighters resting in Alkhan-Kala during evacuation from Grozny, February, 2000.


Chechen rebels on road to Grozny, January 19th, 1995.

Chechen in winter gear (Grozny, January 24th, 1995).

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Well it being the end of the year I decided it'd be best to summarize the year in miniatures for me. I'm not exactly sure when I started on this Post-Soviet War obsession, but I started painting miniatures sometime in December of 2014 - close enough to 2015 for me. I set up all of the minis I've painted for this so far and took one picture. These mass pictures never come out too well, but here's the best I've got:

2015's output is 276 figures or 216 Chechens (and etc.), 56 Russians (not that happy with these, they'll probably see the stripper in 2016) and four reporters. The Chechen, etc. weapon breakdown is roughly 103 with AK's, 24 with RPG's, 23 with no arm, 15 with RPK's, 12 with SVD's, eleven with AK/UGL's, six with PKM's, five with AKSU's, four manning DShK's, three with RPD's, three with shotguns, two with SAM-7's, two manning a Fagot, two using a mortar, one firing a ZPU-1 and one with something else. If I can paint something close to this number in 2016 I'll be very pleased. The unpainted pile is probably three times this amount and I'm already itching to place another order. :/