Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Special Forces and Border Guards

This morning I finished up some miniatures. :) The first half of this batch is meant to complete a unit of winter season Russian special forces 1995-1996 I worked on a few months back and put aside until my finger healed completely. Like the first half of the unit they have some green stuff jack extensions, new big collars (more green stuff) and a few head swaps (Rolf does make a special forces, H helmet, RPG pack, but I didn't have it when I worked on these.).

RH Models RUS20COMH; RUS20BGH; RUS23* with head swap; RUS21* with head swap

RH Models RUS20BG* with head swap; RUS23B with head swap; RUS23* with head swap

Kizlyar Airport immediately after fighting (Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis). (January 9th, 1996).

Russian forces in Pervomayskoye (January, 1996).

The second half of this batch is a quick set of 2nd Chechen war Russian border guards. There's lots of pictures of such soldiers available online as most photographers weren't allowed into Chechnya during the 2nd war and they had to photograph something, etc. I had been wanting to do these for some time because they wore camouflage variants not used by more front line troops (a darker winter tiger stripe, a more black/gray winter SMK and a winter/urban reed pattern). These figures have some pockets trimmed off of them, hoods added, sculpted on big collars and a few head swaps.

RH Models RUS20COME; RUS20* with head swap

RH Models RUS20* with head swap; RUS25R; RUS20* with head swap

Russian border guard and Chechen civilian at Sleptsovskaya checkpoint. (January 20th, 2000)

Russian special police at checkpoint on Ingushetia border. (January 12th, 2000)

Russians near border of Ingushetia and Chechnya. (January 12th, 2000)

Chechen woman and Russian guards at refugee camp near Ingushetia border. (December 18th, 1999)

Saturday, July 1, 2017


Last week I went vacation with my family. Like most miniature painters I faced the vacation dilemma - do I or don't I bring my hobby stuff along? I choose not to and so got some good reading done, but little progress on "my guys." I finished up these just before I left.

I did these pretty straight. The one exception is I changed the rolled up sleeves of a couple of the guys so that they had full length jackets without rolled up sleeves (green stuff). For colors I made sure to mix in some stripes/patterns as well as some bright colors here and there. My collection didn't really need more Chechen fighters in civilian clothes, but I couldn't resist painting up these great new sculpts. I've even got some more similarly kitted guys to do soon.



RH Models RH Models URBEERBG some with green stuff sleeves


Chechen fighters assembling in Grozny (December 14th, 1994).

Chechens in Grozny looking on dead (January, 1995).

Father and son Chechen fighters in Grozny (January 3rd, 1995).

Chechen rebels in Grozny (January 6th, 1995).

Russian Interior Ministry Troops with South Ossetian civilians (January 24th, 1991).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

More STS

A few days ago I finished a set of figures I started last summer - well I had them prepped to paint and put them down for "a bit." They are all from RH Model's STS line (shirt-trousers-sandals). To make them fit my Post-Soviet collection better I filed, cut, filled in and "green stuffed" the sandals to make shoes (not too hard to do). Using green stuff I also added a prayer cap to one, headbands to two and added pant side pockets to another two. Those with green headbands are suitable for Chechens or Abkhazians whereas the guy with a red headband could be a PMR fighter and the one with a white headband is a Moldovan perhaps. In the future, this summer, hopefully, I plan to do two or three more groups of these great figures. There's lots of head swaps I want to do with these and I definitely need figures with plaid shirts and some with gym suits, etc.




Chechen rebel fighter standing near burned out AFV, Grozny, August 16th, 1996.

Chechens fighting in Grozny (August 24th, 1996).

Russian soldier talking with Chechen rebel in Grozny (August 28th, 1996).

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Be Careful!

Well, who says painting miniatures is a safe hobby? Ten days ago I cut myself badly with my trusty Exacto knife while converting some figure during my lunch time break. The incident led to five stitches in my finger and has slowed me down a bit. For now I'm putting off green stuff sculpting. I need ten fingers for that! :) Fortunately I prep figures faster than I can paint them so I've got some prepared figures in reserve.

I finished this last batch with 9.5 fingers. I had a tough time taking good pictures of these (dark colors just don't seem to photograph well, but they're accurate to the pictures I've found), but I'm very pleased with them and happy to add them to my forces. They add a lot of regional character, I think.

Civilans and fighters in photographs I've collected for post-Soviet wars wear all manner of hats. I think the variety of hats and the inclusion of certain hats in a force/collection complete the look I'm after. In the pictures I have derbies, especially for civilians during the Tbilisi unrest of 1991-1992, are fairly popular. Rolf's Irish Civil War figures are a great source for these hats. I'm not sure what to call it, but I've found a few photographs of persons wearing a 1930's gangster like hat, so I also create a guy with one of these. Similar to a derby one can see quite a few "worker's caps" (that's my description) in use. Georgian felt caps can be seen worn in Georgia and here and there in Chechnya. To make these caps I used Rolf's baseball cap head, trimmed off the visor and filled up the back.


RH Models URBAK74 with head swap; URBAK* with head swap

RH Models URBAK74 with head swap; URBAK* with head swap

RH Models URBCIV* with head swap

RH Models URBAK* with head swap; URBSVD* with head swap; MULTBCAK

Lastly, I added two teenage fighters to this group. RH Models makes two such fighters with RPKs. I wanted them to be carrying lighter weapons so I swapped out the RPKs for an AK-47SU and an AK-47. I also made them a bit more suitable for my period by changing the heads.

RH Models PLO14 with head/weapon swap

Opposition leader Jaba Ioseliani being escorted in Tbilisi (January 6th, 1992).

Tbilisi, January 7th, 1992.

Opposition fighter in Tbilisi (December 22nd, 1991).

Chechen rebels, Grozny, January 1995.

Chechen youth, Grozny, January 1995.

Young Chechen fighter in Grozny, January 1995.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teenage Fighters

I don't normally put up works in progress here, but I do enjoy seeing them on other people's blogs and Facebook sites so here's such a post. Normally, I guess I just like how paint hides all the green bits. During the past two nights I converted Rolf's PLO14 (2 KIDS/YOUNG LIONS WITH RPK'S - BAREHEADED) to what I think of as EERKIDS (2 KIDS/TEENS MIX OF HEADGEAR & WEAPONS). It takes me a while to sculpt anything, but it sure is fun. I'm pleased with how these came out. They are my first try at a weapons swap too. Leaving the cast rifle butts in place and just swapping out the front end of the weapons worked rather well, although getting them just the right angle took a while and until I sculpted the hands they were really fragile. I also swapped the heads for two that fit my genre more, sculpted new left hands, sleeves, a jacket extension and a rifle butt. I'm a bit tempted to try to make a similar figure with an RPG7, but I don't want to over do it. ;)

RH Models PLO14 with head/weapon swap; PLO14

RH Models PLO14 with head/weapon swap; PLO14

Friday, April 28, 2017

Special Forces

Recently I found some great non-professionally taken pictures of special forces during the Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis that took place in January, 1996 during the First Chechen War. These half dozen or so images inspired this next unit. I'm not sure exactly which special force they represent, SOBR, Alfa Team, etc., as picture captions tend to be sloppy with the specifics, but they should be suitable for any winter season Russian special forces 1995-1996. To add variety and winter character to the figures I did a few head swaps, gave almost all large fur collars and replaced most of the cast back pockets with sculpted pockets of the three side by side type. Two of the figures' jackets were extended so as to give them winter coats. When painting them I chose a mix of camouflage patterns, VSR, winter SMK, winter tiger and dark spring tiger (that's what I call it anyway). I'm very pleased with how they turned out - not so much with some of the pictures I took, but these dark camouflage schemes are tough to take photos of.

Next up is a batch of civilians and fighters with all manner of caps I haven't painted much of, worker's caps, derbies, gangster hats and traditional Georgian felt hats. I'm also putting together two Chechen child fighters with my first weapon swaps to paint with this group as well. After that I'll get back to this Russian winter special forces squad and paint up some figures with RPG's, PKM's etc.

RH Models RUS20COME; RUS20H; RUS20BGH; RUS20* with head swap

RH Models RUS26H; RUS25H; RUS24H

RH Models RUS20COM* with head swap; RUS20BGE; RUS20H, RUS20COMH

RH Models RUS20H; RUS20* with head swap; RUS20H

Russian Alfa team in Grozny (February 6th, 1995).

Russian special forces unit (Grozny, January 3rd, 1996).

Kizlyar Airport immediately after fighting (Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis). Left is Junior Sgt. A. Matancev; Right is Sgt. A. Andreev. (January 9th, 1996)

Russian Sobr at Pervomayskoye (January 16th, 1996).

Senior Lt. M. Churkin during Kizlyar-Pervomayskoye hostage crisis (January, 1996).

Russian forces in Pervomayskoye (January, 1996).