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

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Review - Figures, Elhiem 20mm, Cold War British

Elhiem figures released their Cold War British Range last year. I think this is one of the more comprehensive figure ranges for Cold War British on the market. The figures are presented in 58 pattern webbing, with respirators cases and without large packs and Bergens. They carry SLR and GPMG and are warring well scrimed Combat Helmet Mark 4s.  They cover the British Infantry effectively from the 60's through to the 90s.  The introduction of the Mk 6 helmet, SA 80, LAW 80 and PLCE occured between 1987 - 1990.  This makes them ideal for NATO British Mechanised and Armoured Infantry but they will  also work for the Falklands and Northern Ireland.

The figures are reasonably chunky and can easily be mixed with the Britannia and Liberation ranges. Mine all arrived in fine shape being well cast with minimal flash so clean up is done in next to no time.  As usual Matts attention to detail on weapons, uniforms and equipment is excellent there is a degree of variety in the webbing and some really great figures as with all Matt's ranges the posing of the figures is always very life like.    As an added bonus Elhiem Figures service and turn around on orders is also first class.

As most of the figures I have finished have been diced up to man trenches Iain R from the Guild kindly gave me permission to use some of the pictures of figures from his collection to illustrate this post. His very talented interpretation of Matts lovely sculpts really illustrate what can be achieved with this range.  If you like Iains work he posts regularly on two blogs and he is well worth following for the quality of his work, his blogs are:

Having lived through this I really think that Matt has captured the look and feel for the period very well.  The Infantry platoon is well catered for with packs containing patrolling and skirmishing figures.  The patrolling figures provide a complete section within a single pack, whilst in the skirmishing set the rifle and gun groups are in separate packs.

The range includes Section and Platoon Weapons primarily from two packs one with a 3 man gun group with GPMG deployed in the light role and the other containing a Light Mortar, Carl Gustav, 66mm anti tank rocket and Blowpipe MANPAD. The inclusion of the light mortar and Blow Pipe with the 66mm and Carl Gustarv mean you will probably end up with a few spares.

The Platoon HQ pack contains a Medic with a day sack and SMG, a Signaller with a Clansman 351, an officer with a map and an SLR equipped figure with a CWS, which is one of my favourites.

An OP and special optics pack provides a Radio operator an Observation Officer and two SLR equipped soldiers with trilux sites useful for Northern Ireland. I think the Radio operator is also particularly well done a beautiful figure.

As well as a comprehensive representation of the Platoon and its support weapons Matt has also covered all the battalion support weapons with the exception of the Sniper Rifle.  The Support weapons all come with three man crews.

I really like what Matt has done with the Milan team in particular and have bought a large number for my army as I intend to represent a 24 or 6 Airmobile battalion at some stage.  The Milan is equipped with the MIRA thermal sight which I believe is post 1982, the weapon system is also available without MIRA in the NATO sets.

The other two figures are either involved in reloading or observing with Binoculars, no other weapons are carried so you can get away with using them post 1990, a head swap for a Mk 6 Helmet and some Green stuff around the webbing would be a fairly straight forward conversion.

The GPMG in the SF Set is a work of art as is the tripod although mine got somewhat butchered as I wanted to do it in the low mount for use from a trench.  The range is rounded out with an 81mm Mortar Team and the patrolling section in NBC kit.   As I said at the start a very comprehensive range,  one that provides just about everything you will need for a cold war British army and is very evocative of the period. 

Thanks to Iain for the use of his pictures and Matt for creating such a great range.

Related Posts of interest:
ORBAT 1980s British Battle Group, Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5Part 6


  1. Very nice review. These are probably some of my favorite sculpts from Matt. I always find the miniatures from Elhiem to be a joy to paint and very rewarding.

  2. They look great. The only thing I don't like is the scrim. They look too much like Sideshow Bob from the Simpsons.

  3. These are mouth watering figures aint jobs and entrenchments are exquisite. Top job. Aye, Rusty.

  4. very nicely painted and unusual figures. They perfectly look the part (suspicion and paranoia of the cold war era).

    Would they fit for the Falklands?

    1. got the answer in the first lines of the text... :-)