Welcome to Cold War Gamer, a blog I am using to record my Cold War wargaming projects. These range from fictitious Cold War hot projects to historical conflicts that took place around the globe throughout the Cold War era, all modelled and gamed in 20mm. The blog includes links to various resources useful to the Cold War Gamer.

My current projects include: Central Front; British & Soviet. South African Border War; Angolans and South Africans. Soviet Afghan War; Soviets and Afghans

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Modelling -Scratch Build, 20mm Milan Firing Posts

In 1981 Soviet tanks attacking a British Infantry Battalion in Germany would have been confronted by this, which would have scared me if I had been the British Gunner.  The Wombat was replaced by Milan as the principal Anti Armour weapon of the British armed forces in the early 80's having been fielded by the Germans and French in the lates 70's.  It saw service in the Falklands and both Gulf Wars before being replaced by Javalin in Mid 2005.

Milan is a SACLOS wire guided system with a range of 1850m.  It was updated with the MIRA thermal imaging system in the mid eighties (assumed, I have not been able to identify a date for the introduction of this upgrade),which provided the first thermal imager into most British infantry battalions.  Initially battalions deployed 12 firing posts, moving to 24 in the mid to late 80s. liberation Miniatures, S&S and Elhiem all currently do a milan system in 20mm. I however decided to scratch build mine using card stock and these pictures as a guide.

The key thing for me when approaching a task like this is that you can tell what it is when its done and it looks allright. So I am not really one for measuring anything although in this instance because I wanted 4 I did need to achieve some level of consistency.

I used missile tubes produced by liberation for their TOW system as the launch tubes although I could equally have used some plastic rod.  The remaining component were all cut from plasticard strips of different thickness and widths.

The three elements of the launcher were then constructed with the tripod being built onto a thin plasticard base to give it strength and ease attachment to the figure base later.  The launch unit consisting of the launch rail the flash guard and site unit were shaped and assembled and then attached to the tripods, Finally a representation of the MIRA thermal site was fashioned and the launch tubes added.

The figures were from a mix of sources SHQ SS, liberation legs and Britania crew commanders, with the various components being joined together with greenstuff webbing and based on 20mm wooden circular bases.

Bases were then covered in sand and the figures painted DPM in line with the tutorial referenced below.  Missile launchers were painted with Russian uniform, highlighted by introducing buff and then had a representation of the various stencilled markings on the launch tubes added in white and yellow.

Whilst the modelling is really quite crude with little small detail the painting and scale means that the representation is fairly effective even at close quarters.  As viewed on the table they do the job well.  In total I produced 4 acheiving a good degree of consistency primarily due to the use of cardstck and the creation of simple shapes.

As I write this Matt at Elhiem figures is putting a MIRA on his Millan and creating a British Crew set so less effort required in the future.  Having said that if you have not tried it scratchbuilding isn't that difficult and when you can add something thats not commercially available, builds a better army - so give it a go.  The key thing to remember is the brain is very good at filling in the missing detail.


ORBAT - 1980's British BG, Part 7 The Infantry Battalion
Wargames Unit - 1980's British BG, Support Company
Painting - British Army, DPM
Encyclopedia of The Modern British Army,3rd Edition,Terry Gander


  1. Fantastic work- I'm familiar with the Lib Mins example and yours seem much more detailed. Great job.



  2. Good to see Al Darmanin with his post from our '95 tour of Bosnia appearing your blog :-)

    Tracking, tracking, tracking, missile away...