How to Make Flying AT-3 Saggers

I built some Saggers some time ago, and they proved to be quite useful. However, once the ATGM was in flight it needed to be marked, and coins looked unsightly so I decided that I would build physical markers for the Saggers.

I started out by building a set of Saggers as I did previously. I then drilled into the Sagger and the 1.5 in wood base with a pin vice. Then I superglued in a piece of wire to make it look like they were flying.

img_0455

After that, I painted everything with Ceramacoat Dark Forest Green.

img_0456

I then drilled holes into the ends of the Saggers and superglued in a longer piece of wire to look like the guidewire for the ATGM.

img_0457

After that, I took some black foam and ripped it to shape. It was then heavily drybrushed with red, orange, and yellow. I affixed it to the back by pulling it over the wire to make it look like it was extending from the back of the ATGM.

img_0461

And with that, the Sagger markers were finished and ready for use against NATO forces.

IMG_0465.JPG

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

Advertisements

How to Paint Cold War Canadians

After consuming a steady diet of Deutschland 83′ and the lovely book First Clash by Kenneth Macksey, I decided that it was time to add to my 1/32 Cold War armies with some Canadians. To start with I trawled the web for references and found out that the Canadians typically wore a US Vietnam look-alike uniform in the summer. With the goal of being able to churn out infantry I made the paint job easy. I started with some old plastic toy soldiers and primed them dark gray. Then, for the uniforms I did two coats of GHQ Modern US Helicopter Green.

img_0402

For the flesh I did an undercoat of Ceramcoat Ivory and then a layer of Ceramcoat Trail Tan.

img_0403

The for webbing I went with a combination of 1 to 1.5 to 1 mix of Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green, Ceramcoat Dark Brown, and Ceramcoat Ivory.

img_0405

Boots and M-16’s were painted with Ceramcoat Black.

img_0406

Helmets were the most distinctive part. I prized speed over accuracy with these guys so I went with something that looked somewhat accurate rather than a time consuming but super accurate look. I started with an undercoat of GHQ Modern US Helicopter Green, and then stippled GHQ Camouflage Green for tonal variation. For the camouflage I stippled the mix that I had used for the webbing, Ceramcoat Dark Brown, Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green, and GHQ Commonwealth Khaki Drab. To finish them I then painted the base Ceramcoat Dark Forest Green.

img_0407

The most identifying mark for them was the flags, so I did a little free hand with Ceramcoat White and Ceramcoat Fire Red.

img_0408

To finish them off there were a couple layers of Dullcote applied to prevent chipping.

Pictures of the finished infantry:

IMG_0411.jpgIMG_0413.JPG

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

VZ-8 Airgeep

As a present I decided to scratch build a VZ-8 Airgeep. This model is the first historical scratch build I have done, and I found it challenging, but quite fun and rewarding.

IMG_7027The Airgeep was originally designed in 1957 for the US Army by Piasecki Aircraft (later acquired by Boeing) and designated the VZ-8 Airgeep. The Airgeep was mandated by the US military to be a VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) craft, with a top speed of about 70 miles per hour (it ended up with a top speed of 85 mph), able to operate a low altitude, and be able to deliver atomic weapons.IMG_7029The second iteration of the VZ-8 was called the VZ-8P (B) Airgeep II. It was bent in the middle to tilt the rotors and reduce drag, it made its first un-tethered flight in 1962. The VZ-8P (B) model added seating for 3 passengers, and ejection seats for pilot and co-pilot. In 1963 the US Army canceled the program, deciding that helicopters would be better suited to its needs.IMG_7030The VZ-8P (B) it had a ceiling near 3,000 feet (914 meters). In addition to flying its front undercarriage was powered so it could drive along the ground.IMG_7032The VZ-8P (B) used two 400-hp Turbomeca Artouste IIC turbo-shaft engines, linked together. If one were to fail, the other one could drive both rotors. Only one engine was linked to the undercarrage however. The engines drove two 8.16 feet (2.5 meter) rotors, with 300 kilowatts of power each.IMG_7033The VZ-8P (B) was rather small at 24.4 ft (6.8 m) long, 5.8 ft (1.8 m) tall, and 9.25 ft (2.8 m) wide. Its take-off weight was 3648.65 pounds (1655 kg), if empty only 2597.05 pounds (1178 kg). When flying the VZ-8P (B) had a range of 34.2 miles (55 kilometers).IMG_7036The VZ-8P (B) had the ability to mount a recoilless rifle, although 50 caliber machine gun would have probably been mounted as an alternative had it gone into production. I decided not to model a weapon as I could not find one suitable to the size of the model.IMG_7037According to US military reports, the VZ-8 was a very stable weapons platforms able to engage targets with weapons effectively. The slight bend in the VZ-8P (B) gave it visibility above cover, even while fully concealed, something helicopters cannot do.IMG_7038Tactically the Airgeep was designed to operate close to the ground, in between buildings, gullies, and other cover. This would also keep it out of radar detection. The Airgeep’s flying would have allowed it to cross all terrain, as well as avoid mines, fixed obstacles, and potentially ambushes. It would have operated much like its name, a air-capable Jeep.IMG_7039

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

After Action Report: Column

Robert Ernst looked through his binoculars down the road. His unit had been cut off by the Soviets in the beginning rush of WW3, and he had been unable to contact friendly forces due to jamming. In the distance, a dust plume heralded the arrival of  Soviet vehicles advancing on his position. It appeared that now was the time to fight.

This game was a battle between an 2nd echelon Soviet unit, and an U.S. unit that had been surrounded and cut off. The Soviet goal was to destroy as many U.S. forces as possible, and advance off the board with minimal causalities. The U.S. forces were trying to repel the Soviets, but still maintain their fighting force. I was playing the U.S. forces, and would hopefully be able to ambush the Soviets, retreat while inflicting damage, and take none in return.

Soviet Forces were: T-72 x9, BMP x9 (Infantry x9), ZSU-23-4 x2.

IMG_7425

U.S. Forces consisted of: Starship x3, M113 with I-TOW x3, LAW Teams x4, M-60 Teams x2, Infantry Teams x2, Artillery Strike x1.IMG_7426

The Soviets started the game by bringing on 6 of their T-72’s. Immediately a U.S. hunter-killer team attacked out of one of the buildings next to the road, however they failed to destroy a T-72.

IMG_7406

The Russians advance with 3 of the T-72’s, while the other 3  peel off and attack with co-axil machine guns and main guns. In the hail of fire they killed the hunter-killer team and started the house on fire. The Soviets then brought on 3 BMP’s.IMG_7407

Seeing their comrades killed, 3 Starships revealed themselves and fired on the lead T-72’s, killing two of them.IMG_7408

The Soviet commander ordered the remaining T-72’s to pull off and engage the Starships in the forest. The Soviets then brought on an additional 3 BMP’s, while the 3 currently on the board head down a side road.IMG_7409

The Starships return fire on the advancing T-72’s killing 2 more of them.IMG_7410

All Soviet forces move up and attack the Starships, a Konkurs ATGM from a BMP kills one. At the same time, the Soviets bring on 3 more BMP’s.

IMG_7411

The Starships break contact and retreat, removing them from play. The threat over, the Soviets start to move toward the town again, and opt not to bring on more units this turn. U.S. forces wait patiently for the Soviets to get into range.

IMG_7413

The Soviets bring in their last BMP unit, and then the ZSU’s. U.S. M113 I-TOW’s strike, ambushing the leading T-72’s and kill off 2 of them.

IMG_7414

T-72’s and BMP’s advancing along the right side of the town find my Starships unawares, and, due to the surprise, they kill a Starship. IMG_7417

On the other side of town the Soviets return fire at the M113 I-TOWS, killing two, and forcing the other one to pull back.IMG_7416

U.S. LAW teams on the right side of town fire at the BMP’s, but both miss. However, the Starships fare better and kill a lone T-72.IMG_7418

The Soviets advance up into the town, the T-72 on the left side of town kills one more of my Starships. Another  T-72 with BMP support kills one of the LAW teams, while the other team scuttles away.

The remaining Starship returns fire, but misses its shot at the T-72 on the left side of town, the LAW team is luckier, and destroys another BMP.

The tank battle on the left side of town ends with the last Starship being destroyed, and the final LAW team wiped from the manor house. As the Soviets advance, M-60 teams in several buildings ambush the BMP’s, and a LAW team ambushes the T-72’s. However, the attack is in vain as they all fail to do damage.

IMG_7419IMG_7420

The ZSU’s kill off the LAW team, and the BMP’s machine guns wipe out a M-60 team. In a last attack, fire from infantry and the M-60 team kill off 2 squads of Soviet infantry.

Combined fire from the BMP’s, infantry, and ZSU’s, wipe out the last resistance.

IMG_7421

In a last ditch attempt to stop the Soviets, the bridge is blown, and an artillery strike called in. The strike is lucky, and kills 3 BMP’s. In the end though, it is to little, to late, and the Soviets advance off the table.IMG_7424

The game ended in a defeat for the U.S. forces, as they had been completely shattered, with only 2 Starships and an M113 I-TOW remaining. The Soviets did take heavy losses, but were still able to call it a win at the end of the day.

Reasons for U.S. defeat: My ambushes didn’t work, at the start it seemed to be going well. However, the Starships I had planned to use for an ambush in the town, were pinned down and destroyed, leaving me with little left. Again I failed to build a concentrated group of firepower, in attacks I would fire and then be hit back harder than I had hit. At the end of the day, I had poor rolls, poor luck, poor tactics, and poor decisions.

Reasons for Soviet victory: The use of mass units operating in two teams, allowed the overwhelming of resistance when it was presented. The unorthodox flanking of the town proved to be lucky, as it prevented a counterattack by the Starships that were lying in wait. They also had a superbly executed pincer movement that identified, pinned down and destroyed resistance, while eliminating the threat of counter attacks.

Robert Ernst looked down at the town where the rest of his unit was, or had been. The town was smoldering, and you could no longer hear the sound of gunfire. The Soviets had crushed all resistance. Robert turned back to his tank, now low on fuel and ammunition. He was still cut off. At least he was alive, and could continue the fight.

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

 

 

How to Build an AT-3 Sagger

I got a sudden urge to build some anti-tank capability for the Soviets. Thus I decided to build the most recognizable infantry anti-tank weapon: the AT-3 Sagger.

I started out by cutting a 1/4 inch dowel into sections 1 inch long.

IMG_7296

Then I took a sanding block and beveled the ends.

IMG_7297

I made a cross incision on the backs of the dowels with an hobby saw.

IMG_7298

After that I glued in sections of post-it notes to make the fins of the Sagger.

IMG_7299

Then I trimmed the post-it notes down to finish the ATGM.

IMG_7302

For the launcher I started with blocks of balsa 1/4 x 1/2 x 3/4 inches long.

IMG_7300

To the blocks I added wire pieces, then super glued them down. These will serve as launch rails for the ATGM to rest on.

IMG_7301

I then glued the Saggers to the launch rails.

IMG_7303

After that I painted them with Ceramcoat’s Forest Green.

IMG_7304

The finished Sagger looks great, soon the Soviets will be setting up the Saggers left and right. NATO forces will need to be very careful from now on!

IMG_7305

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

M163 VADS and M48 Chaparral

I finished painting some anti-air for the U.S. over the weekend.  Two M163 VADS and one M48 Chaparral are painted and ready to use. The Chaparral and the VADS were designed to complement one another, with the Chaparral taking out long range targets and the VADS dealing with short range ones. This was my first time painting U.S. 1980’s camouflage and I like how it turned out. I realized afterwords that the gun barrels were supposed to be black on the VADS, but I like them the way they are. Soon these will be shooting down those pesky SU-27’s and Mi-24’s!

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

1/350th LCAC

I got a MRC LCAC and it sat on a workbench half finished for quite awhile. This model was a frustrating build because the turbines and rudders were very finicky, but turned out great and full of detail. The painting was fun to do, it comes with some great decals, and you get sprues for two LCAC’s in the box! I plan to also paint up some LVTP’s so I can have a US Marine’s force. The LCAC can hold 4 Tanks or 8 APC’s. I think it will be fun to do some beach assault games with this, the Marines try to seize a key dock from the Soviets. It is a great model that I enjoyed throughly, I would highly recommend it to anyone.

Until next time,

– MinisMuse

After Action Report: Screening Force

3 hours ago, Soviet forces moved across the German border. British forces in the area are rushing to prepare for the oncoming red tide. In front, the screening forces are desperately trying to buy time for their units to organize. – BBC News Correspondent Edward Brown

The game was British screening forces vs. a Soviet column, with the Soviets trying to get off the board a quickly as possible and the British trying to stop them. I was the screening force, so while I had fewer forces, I also had surprise on my side.

The British forces consisted of Scorpion x5, Swingfire x2, Chieftain Mk. 10 x3, Fox x1, and Artillery strike x1.

IMG_7123

Soviet forces were: T-72 x10, BMP-1 x10, ZSU-23-4 x2, BMD-1 x3, BRDM-1 x2, Pre-game barrages x5, and Mig-21 with rocket pods x1.

IMG_7125

The Soviets would start on one end of the board, and drive forward trying to reach the other end as fast as possible. The British would set up hidden, until revealed by the Soviets, or the British fired.

Pre-game barrages of the Soviets only destroy a Scorpion in the town and pin another Scorpion down.

IMG_7127

As Soviet forces move on to the board, the British artillery strike hits and kills 3 T-72s, 2 BMD’s, and pins a BMP.

IMG_7128

Soviet forces are cautious, and spread out into the forest to hunt for enemies that may be lying in wait. While they do find enemies, they are wasting valuable time.

IMG_7129

A BMP is confronted by two Scorpions, and the Scorpions fire ineffectively at the surprised BMP.

IMG_7130

Reinforcements move to attack the Scorpions and take one out.

IMG_7131

The Scorpions in return kill the last remaining BMD, but the second Scorpion is knocked out by BMP fire. The first (small) victory goes to the Soviets!

IMG_7132

The Soviet advance continues and a Chieftain fires on the enemy column approaching but is taken out by a Malyutka ATGM.

IMG_7133

Parallel to the advancing Soviet column, a Chieftain and two Swingfires appear and attack the Soviets, destroying a T-72.

IMG_7134

In revenge the combined Soviet fire kills one of the Swingfires and the Chieftain on the ridge.

IMG_7135

The Soviet advance continues by knocking out the other Swingfire. The Soviets then pass the halfway mark on the board making their way towards the town.

IMG_7136

A Scorpion is revealed and fires, but misses its shot at the leading BMP.

IMG_7138

The Soviets move into the town and knock out the Scorpion that shot at the BMP.

The Fox and a second Scorpion appear and take out a BRDM-1, and a BMP. The burning hull of the BMP now prevents the Soviets from crossing the bridge until it can be pushed away.

IMG_7140

The Fox and Scorpion quickly have the tables turned on them and are knocked out by Soviet fire.

The last remaining Chieftain fires from the church, where it has been waiting. The shot goes true and kills a T-72.

IMG_7141

One of the ZSU-23-4’s bulldozes the burning BMP off the bridge to clear it, while the BMP’s ford the stream.

IMG_7142

The Chieftain is finally destroyed after 2 rounds of ineffective Soviet shooting at it.

IMG_7143

At this point it was realized that the Mig had not been used, but it was to late to do anything about it. With the last British units destroyed the Soviets were free to move off the board.

IMG_7145

All told the game took about 2 hours to play and I had a great time playing. Unfortunately the game ended a tie, as the British did not kill enough and delay the Soviets for long enough and the Soviets did not move off the board fast enough to call it a victory.

Reasons for Soviet defeat: the Soviets spent to much concentrating on one target and stoping the advance because of it. They should have tasked some units to killing it and continued to move the rest of the column ahead.

Reasons for British defeat: as usual for me, my bad rolling got in my way. I failed to kill anything in my ambushes, which would have tipped the game in my favor. My other problem was not building a concentrated group of firepower, as every time I would attack, I would fire, and then get destroyed by the tons of Soviets around. The other thing that would have helped would be waiting for the enemy column to pass and then attacking with the Swingfires and Chieftain. I could have killed my opponents command tank and won.

While the Soviet drive has been slowed by our brave boys, the Soviet momentum is still present. British troops will be prepared, but not as much as they wished. Good luck to you lads from everyone at home, and God save the Queen! – BBC News Correspondent Edward Brown

Until next time,

– MinisMuse