Sunday, 16 August 2015

Syrian commando leaders

Last night I finished painting these leaders for my 1980s Syrian 'hunter-killer' commando teams, for 15mm Crossfire.  By the accounts that I have read, these helo-borne commandos were very effective in their attacks on IDF armour in Lebanon - much more so than the outclassed Syrian tanks were.  The commandos used ambushes with ATGMs, RPGs, & even AT grenades, as well as calling-in Gazelle helicopter strikes on the advancing Israeli columns, to deadly effect.  The base with 2 figures is the Platoon Commander (I'm planning to add a wire aerial to the radio man).

 The other 4 single figures are Squad Leaders for each of the teams.  I have painted them in a mixture of  'vertical lizard pattern', patchy camo, & Syrian Army fatigues, because as is common with elite units, they were allowed a great deal of flexibility with dress.  Most of the figures are wearing the orange berets popular among Syrian elite & 'political' troops at the time.

The figures are from the excellent Peter Pig AK47 range.  They are based on Ø25mm laser-cut ply bases from Fenris Games, to match the width of the 25 x 50mm pill-shaped fireteam bases that I am using.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Small ruin

I knocked-up this small ruin to add to my 15mm-scale Middle East/Somalia collection.  As usual, it's made of 5mm & 3mm thick foamboard, textured with modelling paste, & gritted with sand in places, before painting & drybrushing.  A straightforward build, & nice change from making the usual intact adobe block buildings (especially fiddly ones with removable floors!). Shown here with a fireteam of IDF, based-up for Crossfire.

Tuesday, 11 August 2015


It took much longer than it should have, but I finally finished this vineyard for my 15mm-scale moderns.  I based it on photos of Lebanese vineyards, & am intending it for use in a 'Lebanon 1982' setting, but it's generic enough to be multi-use.  It's based on a hand-sawn & sanded plywood offcut, with regular lolly sticks for the basis of grassy strips.  I textured the top with paint thickener (ready-mix filler), before flocking it with sand.  After painting the reddish 'Bekaa Valley' earth, I added the strips of grass using Gale Force Nine Summer Flock, along with tufts of static grass & GF9 Meadow Blend.  The grape trees (sections of cocktail stick covered in filler) & stakes (sections of hobby 'matchsticks') are glued into holes in large lolly sticks, using wood glue.  The foliage itself is trusty old hobby lichen. These strips can be removed from the base.

At least that's how it should have gone first time round.  I actually made the mistake of beginning by hand-drilling the holes for the grape trees & stakes in the base board, before realising that having the strips removable for vehicle & troops placement would be more practical.  Then I used a dark brown colour with GF9 Foundation Dirt for the base, which turned out looking nothing like the photos of fertile Middle Eastern ground that I had seen.  So the sand went over the top, & then the whole thing was repainted.  I also treated myself to a £20 rotary multi-tool, which sped up the drilling by a considerable amount, compared to my GW hand drill!  Hopefully I can use the rotary tool for the sanding in future too (a very boring & time-consuming element of scenery-making).

The finished vineyard is shown here with a fireteam base of IDF infantry (I'm experimenting with basing up my 'Lebanon 1982' figures for Crossfire, having been introduced to these unique rules by my friend Dom).  I'm in the process of making another similar vineyard, which can tessellate with this one at various angles to create a track passing through the area, & I also plan to do a citrus orchard.