Sunday, January 13, 2013

Afghan Army Squad & T-55MV - 28mm

DRA squad, mortar team and T-55 MV
More stuff for Curt's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  In my email to Curt I gave this entry the pseudo-Ludlum-esque title of "The Afghan Assortment".  It includes a squad of DRA troops, a DRA mortar team and a T-55MV.  Apologies for the quality of some of the photos - I just couldn't get the light right...

DRA squad on the move
The infantry are from Mongrel Miniatures, a line now only available from UK retailer Newline Designs.  They represent the troops of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, the puppet regime the Soviets propped up with their 10-year occupation.  I always love the name of these Communist regimes - the DRA was hardly "democratic", and I don't think it was a "republic", but anyway...

DRA officer and radio trooper
The DRA forces were trained and equipped by the Soviets, in theory fighting the Mujahideen.  I'm sure they did that, but they often fought with them as well, turning against those who armed and trained them.  As such these are great models to have for my Afghanistan collection, as they can fight against the Soviets, or with them, or sometimes both in one scenario. They will fight with all of the credibility and reliability of an Environment Canada Climate guess forecast.

RPD gunner with his squad
The squad has eight troopers, including one with an RPD MG. The mortar team is a two-man group, and I quite like how they are flinching as they prepare to unleash another round...

DRA mortar team
I think these models would do to also represent today's Hamid Karzai Kleptocracy Heroin National Militia Afghan National Army. They would have more "western" kit, but I'm sure some part of their structure is still using Soviet-era equipment - the country was/is still awash with it.

The tank model is interesting - it is actually a 1/50 scale James Bond toy.  I believe the intrepid agent 007 drove one of these things to some net positive effect during the Peirce Brosnan era. And so of course there is a quite nice die-cast toy to commemorate the moment!  It really is a great little model, and paints up nicely. And how odd - it is so hard to find properly scaled 28mm modern tanks (i.e. not 1/56 scale) to see something so niche as a T-55MV appear in 28mm is really a surprise!

DRA troops with their T-55 MV
The T-55MV is an upgraded version of the venerable Soviet battle chariot, the T-55.  The "MV" version features reactive armour, improved optics, smokes launchers, an improved gun that can fire ATGM rounds down the tube and other bits.  I doubt the T-55MV would last very long against front line western tanks today (or even a T-80 or T-90), but it would give you a leg up against your neighbour's T-55s...

Fighting to ensure the security of heroin against terrorism in Afghanistan
The Soviet Union equipped the DRA with some T-55 units, but I doubt they went to the trouble to upgrade them to "MV" status, so this vehicle would be much more of a contemporary thing.  But it is still widely deployed - heck even the Russians still have a few - so the model will do nicely to represent everything from the current Afghan Heroin Smuggling Ring Regime to any generic "Republic of Bezerkostan" situation on the gaming table.

Curt's Painting Challenge continues - I am desperately clinging to 10th place, but I'm hoping to move up.  More submissions to follow...

5 comments:

Simon Q said...

Thats a superb looking force so far. Really nicely done. If your struggling with light etc you can goto your picasa album where your photos for the blog upload and you edit them in creative kit theres light correction in there and an aut fix feature that you can play with.

Azatoth said...

I like it.
In regards to scare tank models, take a look at the 1:48 scale series from TAMIYA for example, they pretty much perfect for 28mm.

Francis Lee said...

Bloody great work Greg!

Greg B said...

Thanks guys.
Simon - what is "Picasa"? How luddite of me. I've typically found online photo storage/editing services make me mental, but I haven't tried "Picasa" before...

Allison M. said...

"Bezerkostan". Love it.