Monday, January 29, 2018

Pendraken 10mm Cold War Forces


Well, it's two weeks to the day since receiving my package full of lead from Pendraken.  I've busted my butt, spending way too much time cleaning, assembling, basing, priming, painting, washing, and flocking (aggravating my wife and kids in the process!), but I have completed everything that came in the box!  And wanted to show it off with a whole bunch of pictures; and I'll apologize up front, the quality of the pics is a bit uneven in places, but those are the breaks when you get home from work a little late and the sunlight is failing.

So, what did I do?  I sprung for two almost identical Cold War armies in 10mm, from Pendraken Miniatures in the UK.  Per side, I built a 10-vehicle tank company, a 10-vehicle mechanized infantry company with a company command stand, three platoon command stands, nine rifle stands, three recoiless rifle stands, three heavy machine gun stands, and three medium mortar stands, 3-4 vehicle reconnaissance platoon with a platoon command stand, two rifle stands, an HMG stand, and a recoiless rifle stand, a three-vehicle tank destroyer platoon, a 2-3 vehicle heavy mortar platoon, an anti-aircraft gun, and a battalion command stand.

I used dated vehicles, looking to set my war in the early or mid-1960s, and I went real heavy on the infantry (in terms of heavy weapons).  I went 1960s because I didn't really want to mess with all the modern implements of war; I've done and continue to do plenty of modern gaming, I wanted to do something different.  I didn't want to have to mess with helicopters and surface to air missiles, thermal sights and laser rangefinders, and I wanted something approaching parity in terms of technology and capability.  In my humble opinion, the early-mid-1960s offered me the opportunity to match one tank vs one tank, one APC vs APC, on equal footing, no issues of 3 to 1 as a matter of capability.  I went heavy on the heavy weapons as it seems to me this matchup in the early to mid-1960s is basically a continuation of the Second World War, and what everyone had gone to by the end of WWII was having a tremendous amount of heavy weapons organic to the unit, under the control of the local commander.

And let me be clear: I haven't been bragging about the project being finished because... well, it's not.  I still have some work to do.  I bought two pre-built F-100 Super Sabres that I still need to apply decals to, and I bought two Su-22s (filling in as Su-7s, which I couldn't find) that need to be assembled, primed, painted, washed, and have decals applied.  So not quite there yet, but close.  In any case, let's get to the pics.

Everything, all done.

The US tank company, comprised of a tank commander and three platoons of three tanks.  The tank of choice is the venerable M-60A1.  I was going to paint all the vehicles, for both sides, in snazzy camo schemes, but my experimental attempts didn't work out and it was waaaaaaaay too much work for a project with 63 vehicles.

The company commanders' vehicle, for which I left the machine gun cupola off.  A buddy asked if they did that in real life; I have no idea!

The Soviet tank company, organized as the Americans re, in glorious T-62s.

The vehicular portion of the US mechanized infantry company, again with a company commander and three platoons of three vehicles, using M-113s.  I wish I'd have done three platoons of four vehicles, but I didn't think about it and there's no going back now!

And the infantry portion of the US mechanized infantry company.

The vehicular portion of the Soviet mechanized infantry company, in BTR-50PKs.

And the Soviet infantry, organized exactly as the Americans.  I used Pendraken Argentinians for the infantry of both sides, hoping the Argentinian FNs would look close enough as US M-14s and Soviet AKs at tabletop range.

And that brings us to the US tank destroyer platoon, which is a bit of an oddity, but it works for me.  Before ordering I spent a few hours roaming the internet, trying to figure out what the US Army's tank destroyer was I the early/mid-1960s.  I didn't actually find anything equivalent to a tank destroyer, per se, but what I did find was that US Army infantry companies were equipped with recoiless rifles as a means to deal with tanks.  I know I've seen pictures from the Vietnam War with US and ARVN M-113s (and USMC LVTP-5s) lashed to them, but I don't know if the Army ever had anything like the picture above to use in a tank destroyer role.

Well, I do ;)

And the Soviet tank destroyer platoon, three ISU-122s.

The US heavy mortar platoon, with three M-113s carrying 106mm mortars.  Or maybe 4.2", who knows, they're big.

The Soviet heavy mortar platoon, which is NOT self-propelled.  Two trucks carting around three 120mm mortars.  The mortars are from the WWII Soviet range.

The US Reconnaissance Platoon, four jeeps with a platoon command stand, two rifle stands, an HMG, and a recoiless rifle.

The Soviet Recon Platoon, three BTR-152s and the same infantry setup.

The US AA gun, the self-propelled M-42 Duster, sporting twin 40mm guns.

And the Soviet AA gun, also not self-propelled.  The AA gun is the Rheinmetall dual 20mm job from the Falklands range.

And to finish off, the US battalion commander, two officers huddled around a tree stump with a map spread across it, trying to figure out which way is up...  The tilt on the Deuce and a Half looks terrible, but I can't seem to fix it (I did actually try).  I put the wash on it, and while it was drying I was bumped by one of my children and I nudged it, which smeared this side totally clean and smooth.  I tried redoing it several times, but it just got uglier and uglier...

And their Soviet counterparts.

And that, is that!  Almost ready for the table, just gotta get the air support straightened out.