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

Friday, 30 August 2013

Cold Wargamer Hobby News - Summer 2013

Well it's been a great summer for Cold War Gamers, with a lot of useful models and figures being released as ever the focus has been with the usual suspects in the modern gaming space, Elhiem, S&S and Hobby Den but with some notable releases from a range of plastic vehicle manufacturers as well.



Elhiem figures completed and released there British Cold War figures with SLR, and I must admit to having snapped up a quantity, I'll produce a more detailed review once I have painted them up. Matt has come up with a very comprehensive range which is just what is needed in this space.

In addition and newly sculpted this month but yet to be released are a set of 4 Soviet NCOs, which look like an attractive edition to the existing range of Cold War Soviets.

I also believe he has intentions to expand his Canadian Range which has got my mind back on the 4CMBG trail.



S&S continue to produce at a frenetic rate in addition they have at last managed to put together a web shop where you can buy direct on line, though with these guys it never hurts to chat about what your after.

Recent Models mastered include for the US army an M6A3 and for a variety of armies the M88A1 recovery vehicle.

In addition the UK range continues to expand with a couple of 1 Tonne Land Rovers, and an FV 432 with a Fox Turret enabeling all those with an obsession for painting grey and blue squares on tanks to have a bash at the Berlin Brigade.

The momentous event is the peak turret which according to Shaun will fit either his FV432 or the Britania one.  If you get a variant with the mortar hatches closed I assume this will need some fileing and filling.  The same turret was used on Saxon so it has a variety of uses.

Hobby Den

A few I have missed from Hobby Den include this M47 Patton useful in the client state and minor nations categories.

This German M113G Beobachtungspanzer, or artillery Observation wagon.

Another rather attractive little runner was this British Recce Land Rover.

US M151 with TOW, very nice for 70's US, a variety of European Nations or indeed the Israelies.

and a very lovley M113

S Models

S Models, a recent arrival on the scene have pushed out a couple of interesting releases with a 2 pack quick build BMP 1 and a Sheridan. The BMP provides an excellent alternative to the ACE BMP 1 and I'll be taking a closer look at this kit, hopefully in the next few months. The Sheridan fills the gap vacated by the airfix kit and together with S&S's, Hobby Den's and Elhiem's US Cold War offerings is starting to make a 20mm early 80s late 70s US Cold War forces far more viable.

There BMP Came out in time for the Spring news but I was so over whelmed with releases from S&S that it didn't really get a look in, so a little late, but if you have missed it worth a look.  They come two to a box and Brian at the HobbeyDen is stocking them

ACE. The Big news this summer is the re - release of the ACE BMP 2 this time with Rubber tracks which could dramatically improve the build time and effort, but then again may just introduce some problems of their own, should allow me to finish my late Cold War Soviet BMP MRR.

The BMP 1 re release a month or so ago is similarly re tooled and has also moved to rubber tracks according to the ACE web site


Revell have just released a T 90, not to much Cold War there I hear you cry, but the base vehicle if it can be built without the ERA should provide a good T-72B, here's hoping they have created the kit in a way that allows that to be achieved. T-90 started being deployed around 1993 as the T-72 BU so could be part of those late Cold War bear resurgent scenarios. According to the post this will hit the streets in September.

Revelle T-90 Release


Italeri are reporting that they are re releasing the Leopard 1 A4 which they reported they were going to do a couple of years ago.

Italeri Facebook Timeline

Black Dog

Black Dog, at the more expensive end of the spectrum black dog have released an M109A2 which at €34 is probably not for the Wargames table

Armorama report release of Black Dog M109A2



Bison Decals released a nice set of decals for 1/72 T60 and T55 for Czecheslovakia in 1968.

The Web

The Autumn Cold War Gamer "Magazine"

The Autumn Magazine, will be focusing on the AAR for the Storming The Waidause Gap, completing the Soviet Air Assault story and starting to look at some NATO force building.  The NATO posts should include 4CMBG and its units and sub units, as I get started on the building of my Canadian battle Group which has been a project in waiting for sometime, along with working up the Orbats for the next evolution of my UK forces.

Cold War Gamer on Face Book

As I mentioned in the last edition of Cold War Gammer I now have an active Facebook page which as a micro blog offers a bunch of news as it happens covering:
  • new releases,
  • upcoming posts, in this Blog and the Dragon Rising
  • Links to my work in progress posts on the guild forum
  • posts of note from blog sites covering the cold war and ultra modern period.
Together with links to a wide range of pages relevant to the contents of the two blogs. Take a look

Scale Mates

Also worth a look on the web if you have not already found it is the scale mates site. Which is a great modelling resource pulling together a variety of Internet feeds to provide fairly comprehensive information based on searches for the kits or vehicles your looking for including;
  • Other a Kits
  • After Market accessories
  • Pricing and links to on line retailers
And a really great find the model shop tool, all up a great site.

 If you have any cold wargaming product news that you would like to share drop me a line at coldwargamer@gmail.com

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Wargmes Unit - Soviet, Combat Helicopter Regiment, Assault Helicopter Squadron

Otdelnyy Boyevoy Vertoletnyy Polk OBVP or Independent Combat Helicopter Regiments were formed to support Soviet Armies from the late 70's and were part of the fronts Air Army. The Regiments comprised:
  • 2 Attack Helicopter Squadrons of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-24
  • 1 Assault Helicopter Squadron of 5 Flights of 4 Mi-8
As a component of Air Assault operations undertaken by the DShV the Assault Helicopter Squadron was critical for  Command and Control, ECM, Escort and Transport, depending on the exact configuration of the Mi-8s.

The detailed organisation of the five flights of Mi-8 breaks down as follows:
  • 2 Flights Mi 8 TV NATO Hip E,
  • 2 Flights Mi 8T NATO Hip C,
  • 1 Flight Mi-8VzPU NATO Hip-D and two unidentified special versions of the Mi-8T

The Aircraft can be of three types and it might be worth speculating about the fourth.
  • Mi-8T, Hip C - Unarmed, carries 8,000 lbs internal, 6,000lbs slung, Upto 24 seated passengers or 12 stretcher cases.
  • Mi-8TV mark I, also known as Mi-8T, from 1968, Hip C - Armed Version of Mi-8T can be armed with 4, UV-16-57U Rocket Pods, and 2 PKT machine guns (nose and tail), alternatively 1000lb bombs could be deployed on the weapon points. All Mi - 8Ts including civil versions were capable of being configured in this way hence the confusing naming conventions. In this configuration there was no impact on the number of passengers carried, certainly in European flying conditions.  As such my assumption is that the Mi-8T designated flights would be armed in this configuration.
  • Mi-8TV mark II, from 1974, Hip E . Includes a nose mounted, flexible KV-4 12.7 mm HMG. 6 weapons pylons capable of deploying six UV-32-57U rocket pods, these each carried 32 57mm rockets as opposed to the 16 in each of the mark I's rocket pods. four AT-2 Swatter ATGMs were carried on rails over the 4 Outboard Pylons. In this configuration passengers and cargo could not be carried.
  • Mi-8VzPU is an unarmed Airborn command post which was a post production conversion of the Mi-8T, recognisable by a prominent towel rail AE on the top of the fuse large above the rear doors and two box like equipment pods mounted instead of the weapons pylons.

  • I suspect though have no evidence is that the unnamed variants were ECM aircraft with air defence suppression systems on board, although communications relay aircraft, mine laying aircraft or NBC Recce might all make sense.

I use the aircraft armed with three weapon pylons per side to represent the TV mark IIs with 6 UB-32-57 Pods and 4 ATGW and an HMG, effectively as gunships for escort and the remainder as Mi-8Ts armed with the 4 smaller UB-16-57-U systems, that carry troops.

Later versions of the aircraft in these two configurations increased the flexibility of the weapons loads, adding 23mm Cannon Pods to the range of options and upgrading the ATGW systems as well as increasing troop capacity.

With a carrying capacity of 24 a flight can carry 96 troops which I equate to a basic company with no task organised support. If task organised support weapons are added into the mix I assume a second flight is required.

The aircraft are from a mix of manufacturers and the flight stands are all from Coresec Enginering mounted on East Riding Minatures MDF bases. The detail of the supported units and models have all been covered in previous posts referenced at the end of this post.


Saturday, 24 August 2013

Review - Products East Riding Miniatures, MDF Bases

I have been asked a few times what I use for bases and I must admit to being a little bone idal when it comes to basing, in addition I have an enduring allergy to right angles that means when I cut something its a less than reasonable approximation to 90 degrees. In order to overcome these rather irritating traits I resort to buying pre cut MDF bases which I generally buy from East Riding Miniatures. Four reasons:
  • Good range of base sizes and shapes.
  • Superbly consistant quality
  • Reasonable price
  • Un-erringly good service
Before looking at the products its probably worth mentioning why I base as its a bit of a personal choice, for me
  • Makes the Model looks good
  • Protects the model from rough handling
  • Reduces the amount of grease from fingers getting onto paint jobs
  • Allows for Handling during painting, I always base then paint

on the down side its less hot when the wagons are on roads, and adds an amount of effort into the production process.

All of the products are laser cut from 2mm thick MDF and come in a range of shapes and sizes to either metric or imperial measurements.  Of those available I currently use three
Over the last few years I have evolved my basing to a fairly standard sizing:
  • Sp Weapons and Aircraft. Are based on Circular bases of 40mm or 60mm Diameter, if they dont fit on either of these sizes they go on a CD ROM.

  • Medium Trucks. 40mm x 80mm,  In this category go the larger utility vehicles HMMWVs, 1 Tonne Landrovers, Gaz 66 Trucks and 3 tonne trucks such as the British Bedford or Stalwart.

  • Lt Wheeled AFVs 50mm x 80mm, BRDM2s  

  • heavy Wheeled AFVs and Large Trucks, 50mm x 100mm mostly for 8 wheeler APCs but also the larger Sovite trucks.

  • Lt Tracked AFVs 50mm x 90mm, mostly tracked APCs and IFVs such as BMP, FV 432, Warrior but also including the smaller Soviet Tanks T-55, T-34

  • Medium Tracked AFVs 60mm x 100mm, Cheiftain, T-72 and T-80

  • Heavy Tracked AFVs 60mm x 120mm, used for larger MBTs and Artillery Systems such as Chellenger, M1, 2S6 

  • Minefields 6 inches x 6 inches used for either Scatmin or deliberate minefields

Whilst I base all my figures individually, the slota bases produced by East Riding create an attractive way to squad base. The bases again are Pre cut and drilled for figures based on pennies and offer great flexibility allowing you to scale up from skirmish games.

All up a useful range of products which keep me producing at a far higher rate than if I had to produce my own.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Review - Model 1/72, Italeri Mig 29 Fulcrum

The Mig 29 Fulcrum entered Service with the Soviet Air Force in 1983, it served extensively in 16 Air Army, the organisation controlling the frontal aviation assets deployed to GSFG. It was deployed in the fighter squadrons and provided fighter cover for Frontal Aviation Air operations. At £10.99 the Italeri kit is one of the cheaper on the market, which as I am not primarily an aero modeller was one of the prime motivators in selecting the kit.

The model was simple to make with only two pain points, the first comes from following the instructions and adding the air intake covers, which of course were only deployed when the aircraft was on the ground.  The other of course was the under carriage covers if you wish to model the aircraft with wheels up, with most aircraft kits being designed for wheels down display this was painful. The aircraft comes with a centreline fuel tank, which I left off in order to mount it on a flight stand.  The munitions are somewhat delicate and perhaps not the best for the rough handling in transit and on the table, replacing them with something more robust would be a good plan.

The kit builds into a nice enough model of the aircraft and other than the munitions comment is certainly fit for Wargames purposes, there are some excellent reviews of this kit around the web and plenty of great Immagery so a deal of support for getting it right. 

For the paint scheme I used Vallejo 989 Sky Grey with the disruptive pattern overpainted in Vallejo 886 Grey Green, Cockpit and Engine are in Vallejo 863 Black Grey, the anti glare panel is black and the nose cone a mix of Sky Grey and Black Grey.  The Aircraft was painted all over in Sky Grey, the disruptive pattern was painted on then the panel lines were painted in using the GW black wash.  Additional washes of the base colours were then applied over the panel lines until the desired effect was achieved.

Decals used were as supplied with the kit less the aircraft number which came from the Bergamot decal set previously described.  The Aircraft is mounted on a Coresec engineering flight stand which now includes an adjustable head which allows variable angles of attack to be set, useful when providing a visual indicator of ground attacks.


ITALERI 1:72 Aircraft No 184 MIG-29 Fulcrum Model Kit @ amazon