Friday, August 16, 2013

15mm Yom Kippur Bits

Egyptian T-55s, kicking off expansion of my 15mm Yom Kippur project
Well I've been on vacation, and it's been summer (or sort-of-summer, but the weather seems to have finally turned back to seasonal norms here in the prairies), and I've been painting stuff, but not really in any sort of sensible way, or discernible pattern. So I can't really call this "progress" on a project, but it's an excuse to post some pictures! It's just a few bits for my 15mm Yom Kippur War collection - an IDF half track, and a some Egyptian "test" models.

IDF 15mm half track

The M3 half track is one of the IDF's iconic armoured fighting vehicles. By the time of the 1973 war, the IDF was starting to phase them out in favour of the new M113 APCs, but the M3s still saw a lot of action in the conflict.

The model is accurate for WW2, but I think I goofed in terms of making it correct for the IDF. MG is not in the right place, for starters

So far my 15mm Yom Kippur project has focused on the Golan Heights front, and the IDF armoured infantry battalions in place there at the time of the Syrian attack had the new M113s. But M3s were still around, so I thought it would be fun to paint one up, act as a command APC, etc.

This is a Peter Pig 15mm vehicle - lovely to work with

There are a lot of M3 half-track models out there, but nearly all are set for WW2. This is a Peter Pig 15mm model, and while it is lovely, I should have modified a few things to match the look of the IDF. I'm not sure the IDF used the cupola for the MG, for instance, and they often mounted another MG in the front plate to the right of the driver. Perhaps those will be conversion attempts for another time. But to try and cover up for the lack of specifics, I threw on a paint scheme that I have seen in some of the photos from the war in the hopes this will allow the vehicle to blend in on the table. But is the marking from 1973? Or 1967? I'm not sure - I'm hoping for the best.

Lots of room in the M3!

I am also looking to expand my collection into the Sinai. Operation "Badr", the Egyptian crossing of the Suez canal, and the IDF's furious counter attack and counter crossing at Deversoir provide a great backdrop for gaming. That will mean getting some Egyptians done, so I experimented with some painting schemes with that in mind. Up first, some infantry.

Peter Pig 15mm "Professionals" painted as 1973 Egyptian troops

Once again, after searching around, I opted to go with Peter Pig 15mm, and hope the scale and brushwork can give some cover to the fact that the figures are not Egyptians at all. The Egyptian infantry in 1973 were issued with a dark tan coloured sleeveless vest/jerkin for the crossing operation. I think it was meant to help the troops carry more equipment across in the assault rafts, but that's just a guess.  They are one of those little details that really "make" the setting, however, so I'm trying to bodge it.

One fellow has an RPD LMG, the rest have AKs
The Peter Pig figures do not have this jerkin/vest sculpted on to them (and why would they - they are meant to represent general infantry in Africa, not 1973 Egyptians) but to cover for this I painted their shirts two different colours. At 15mm size, it looks sort of close...I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. My highlighting made it a little too bright, so in future I will leave it darker to try and up the contrast level.

Should be good enough for 15mm Yom Kippur action in the Sinai

And of course, the real "stars of the show" (with apologies to the hard working foot sloggers) are the tanks! Gaming the Yom Kippur War is a great excuse to cover the table in tanks. I'm surprised more WW2 gamer-types don't get into it, honestly, because so many of them (like me) love gaming with armour. But enough about that for now, on to the Egyptian armour...

T-55s from Peter Pig painted as Egyptian tanks for 1973

I've seen many variations on Egyptian camouflage and general vehicles colours - some all green, some all sand, some all stone, some a mix, some stone with green and brown. No one scheme has struck me as "official". For testing purposes I started out on these two test models using a stone-coloured base with green splotches. I like the look of the pattern a lot, and in theory I think it would help for fighting in the Sinai desert, or in the agricultural areas around the canal where there is some greenery to hide in. These T-55s are from Peter Pig.
I love these Peter Pig tanks!

I really like the look of this camo pattern - still need some practice but it will get better.  And as I expand the vehicle line, I can experiment with some of the different patterns I've seen on the Egyptian tanks.

Ready to take on the IDF in some major Sinai engagements - just need to add another 10 or so....

I have a few more of these Peter Pig T-55s, but to bulk up my Egyptian tank force I am looking at either the Battlefront Vietnam war box sets (the NVA tanks, APCs and the AA tanks from that range would all be perfect for the Sinai and also provide nice additions to my Syrian forces) or the Old Glory products. I despise Battlefront's pricing, but their stuff IS nice. The Old Glory pricing is better, but I'm always wary of their quality, which can be hit and miss - but I have to say I've heard great things about their T-54s/55s.

Special thanks to Nate and his blog for his help and interest in this project. His Yom Kippur War gaming project is top-notch - check it our here and look through his blog. Nate - your advice and tips are greatly appreciated!


Chris Stoesen said...

These look great.

Natholeon said...

No problems, Greg. They are looking fantastic!

Paulalba said...

They look great!

Grumpy said...

Very nice work on all of these, Greg!

Simon Quinton said...

Nice vehicles and infantry especially like the lights on the tanks they really stand out.

Curt said...

Beautiful stuff as always Greg! It will be interesting to play some scenarios set in the Sinai campaign.

DaveV said...

Great looking AFVs, Greg!

legatus hedlius said...

Just looking to start Yom Kippur War in 15mm and found your blog. Very helpful!

Greg B said...

@ Legatus - thanks very much! There is some great 15mm stuff coming to market now with Battlefront and Khurasan. Good luck with your project!