Tuesday, July 9, 2013

15mm Soviet Cold War Paras

15mm Soviet VDV platoon
The forces of the Warsaw Pact continue to prepare for their fully-justified preventive-offensive actions in 15mm with the addition of some Soviet Paratroopers.  These are all Peter Pig 15mm castings from their AK47 modern range - the "regulars".

First squad

Another view of the first squad - only one fellow remembered his helmet...
I have no idea how viable large airborne operations would be in a modern battlefield like the imaginary Cold-War-Gone-Hot in western Europe.  The big transport planes seem awfully vulnerable to NATO SAMs, guns and interceptors.  But smaller drops - battalion strength - here and there, or appearing as infiltrators at various vulnerable points ("We thought it was a Greenpeace delegation!"), the VDV troops could help pave the way for a rapid advance of Warsaw Pact armoured formations.

Second squad

Another view of the second squad
Meant to represent the regular troops of African dictators, these Peter Pig figures are fairly reasonable proxies for Soviet paras in 15mm (or at least I think they are).  I expect the real VDV troops would wear helmets for action, but I went with mostly beret-wearing troops, feeling the blue beret, together with a relatively bright, if simple, camouflage pattern would help them "seem" like good VDV proxies.

The third squad in the platoon
There are some holes in the look - many of the troops have their sleeves rolled up, which makes sense in Africa but doesn't quite look VDV.  The other weakness is the fact that many of the soldiers carry bandoleers of ammunition, Rambo-style, wrapped around their chests.  Again, it seems appropriate for certain armies, but doesn't ring with the look of the paras.  But it doesn't disqualify them either! After all, it can get hot in Europe, and what soldier doesn't wish they had more MG ammo handy?

Support elements - a 105m recoilless rifle team, an SA-7 and a couple of command troops
This is a pretty light force - three eight-man squads, each with an RPD and RPG - supported by a trooper with an SA-7 "Strela" man-portable SAM and a 105mm recoilless rifle team.  I have no idea if the VDV used those, but I had a spare one left over from my Yom Kippur War project and thought the VDV fellows needed some kind of heavy shooting power.

Another view of the support elements
This small platoon will be reinforced with some mortars, HMGs, AA guns and air-dropped vehicles at some point this summer. I'm hoping to add at least one infantry AT-missile team.  Finally, I'm also looking into the big AT guns the Soviets often still deployed late into the "modern" period. I'm not sure if the VDV had them, but I love the old-school look of the heavy guns on the modern battlefield.

These troops will be good in "bridge too far" type scenarios, recreating the battles in Iceland from "Red Storm Rising", or perhaps even the battle for Calumet, CO from "Red Dawn" (the 1984 original)! I look forward to getting them on to the table, where newly-painted figures are guaranteed victory - right?


Chris Stoesen said...

These look great. Always loved the original Red Dawn. Have not seen the remake.

Dallas said...

Excellent looking Paras!

The Angry Lurker said...

Beautiful work Greg.

Grumpy said...

Little details like rolled up sleeves and ammo bandoliers are scarcely that important- you've produced a beautifully painted force and should be applauded for that alone!

Ray Rousell said...

Beautiful looking Ruskies Greg

Curt said...

Great job, Duderino!