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Sunday, December 1, 2019

End of University Splurge (over the course of a few months)

As it came to the end of my time at university, I started to celebrate each milestone with a little and also not so little purchase. Finished the final assignment? Buy some figures. Pass all the assignments in a course? A set of kits. Finish all the coursework? Well then that had to be a large purchase. As you can imagine now that all the various things have arrived I have quite the haul. So what did I get? Well let's go over it all shall we.

It fills up my bed. Too much to go over in one caption let's break this down.
So I am going to give a run down of what I have got. Given how large this stash is I will be breaking it down by which imagination they will be used for. I will also give a brief explanation as to what they will be used for. Partially so this crazy splurge can make a little more sense but also because I would like to get your input as to what I should do with all this. This is going to be a very, very long post. Anyway let's start with the imagi-nation who perhaps more than anyone gained out of this splurge: The Pan Andean Peoples Republic (PAPR)

The S-Model kits and the Caesar Infantry. Getting two sets of Chinese and French infantry was actually an accident on my part.
The PAPR gets a lot from this splurge, I essentially have a complete force minus specialised elements such as artillery. I have a stash of 1/144 aircraft I can use for them too so not much left to get in future. Let's give a run down of what they have.
  • 6x T-55s (2 x 3 kit sets from the Plastic Soldier company.)
  • 5x BTR-60PBs (2x 1+1 S-Model kits and one in the ICM motorcade)
  • 3x Urals in various configurations (Part of the ICM motorcade)
  • 2x BMD-2s (one 1+1 S-Model kit)
  • 2x Chinese infantry (from the combined French-Chinese Caesar set)
  • 1x Vietnamese infantry (Italeri reissue of an Esci set)
  • 1x Warsaw Pact Troops (same as the Vietnamese infantry, will explain more later)
  • 1x T-72B (ModelCollect)
  • 1x T-62 (Italeri, part of the Gulf War anniversary set)
  • 1x Mi-25 Hind (same as above)
  • 1x IS-4 (Trumpeter set)
  • 1x IS-7 (same as above)

Now let's go over what these will be used for. Some of it is pretty self explanatory. The T-55s are going to form the mainstay of the PAPR armoured force, with rarer but superior tanks augmenting these forces. That's where the T-72B and T-62 come in and it is likely that others will be used in future. The BTR-60s and the Urals are similarly quite self explanitory.

The Vietnamese infantry will be used to represent the mainstay of the PAPR force, their dress being appropriate for the similar climate and mountainous jungle environment of the PAPR - Oronegro - Orotinian border region. This force will however, be largely untrained and not well equipped. Which will put them at a disadvantage. To complement this force the Warsaw Pact troops will represent different local and regional forces reflecting a coalition of people's within the overall PAPR. These forces will be highly variable with some being well trained and equipped with others being nothing more than hastily raised militia. The Chinese infantry will represent the most advanced special forces available to the PAPR. These troops will be uncommon, less common than the Spetsnaz I already painted, but will be equal to many of their rivals. Speaking of which the Spetsnaz will mostly be deployed by the Hind and the BMDs. I may get some BMPs in future however, given the terrain of the border the lighter BMD may be preferred.

Now some wild wards are the heavy tanks the IS-4 and IS-7. These will complement the IS-2T tanks I painted up before. Essentially acting as the command tank. They will likely also appear alongside the regional troops as surplus from the main tank force.

So these are the the first post WW2 kits in 1/72 made by the Plastic Soldier company. Having had a look at the spures I am impressed. Really looking forward to more from them.
Now let's go see what Oronegro gained. What did the land of black gold get in the mail?

  • 1x Challenger 2 (Trumpeter)
  • 1x Boxer Command Vehicle (Revell, Dutch variant)
  • Modern US Soldiers in Action set 2 (Caesar, mortars and machine guns)
  • American Special Forces (Italeri reissue of Esci set, Vietnam War era)

So the Challenger goes to reinforce the Oronegrean tank force, which will certainly need it given how many PAPR tanks they are likely to face. The Boxer has finally been accepted for services with the British Army which means that Oronegro, using British vehicles, can use it too. Now I don't know how strict I will be with the using British vehicles vs US infantry and that being distinct. It does give a good contrast to Gran Bolivia (see below) but I do think that overall it will be covered by the rule of cool. Talking of US infantry the Caesar miniatures complete my main force adding heavy weaponry to the collection. Meanwhile the Vietnam era US infantry can represent reservists, national guard or militia. They may even stand in for other nations, they are suitably generic

So some very exciting kits form ModelCollect. However, the one from Revell was 48% off so a real score there. Then there's the ICM motorcade another one bought while on sale.
With one Oro nation to another lets move to the very interesting country of Orotinia. Now I finally decided upon a theme for the former antagonist of the Latin Wars, it's actually to keep that the same theme. Namely a Germany analogue. Although this time with some other exciting extras such as the Swedish S-Tanks. Orotinia will be quite ecclectic although the German theme will make getting equipment for them rather easy. The previously painted Germans will be re-purposed for Orotinian infantry. So what did they get? Well quite a lot.

  • 1x Modern German Army (Caesar)
  • 1x Leopard 1A5 (Revell from the Leopard 1A5 + Biber set, got that at 48% off! A bargain.)
  • 1x Biber, bridge laying tank (Revell, from set above)
  • 0.25x Cold War German Infantry (from the Italeri reissue of the Esci NATO infantry set)

So Orotinia has some of the basics already with them getting more of the essentials from this splurge. The bridge-layer opens up some very interesting possibilities for games, with one side trying to set up a crossing under fire. The Cold War infantry can serve as reservists. Meanwhile the Modern infantry will be combined with the set I painted already to form the standard infantry. Whether the Orotinian forces will remain so consistent is another matter. But we will see.

So I am not sure what the "unicorn" horn on the boxer is for, I am guessing and aerial? More importantly these Italeri reissues of the old Esci cold war sets are something I have been really looking forwards to.
Moving onto Gran Bolivia we encounter another nation who has done quite well from the splurge:

  • 1x M1A1 Abrams (Italeri from the Gulf War set)
  • 1x AH-1W Super Cobra (same as above)
  • 1x British Paratroopers (Revell reissue of the Matchbox Falklands War set)
  • 1x British Infantry in the 1970s (A Call to Arms)
  • 0.25x British Cold War Infantry (Italeri reissue of the Esci NATO infantry set)
Gran Bolivia then does very well. They will also be receiving the old Airfix NBC/CBRN cold war British infantry which I painted ages ago. So as you may have noticed Gran Bolivia is the mirror of Oronegro. US vehicles, British infantry. On the whole the equipment they have is slightly out dated, at least the units that are on the border with Oronegro are not first in line. Many old legacy units, including some ancient half-tracks I have had for a while but not painted yet. In future I may buy more up to date British infantry for them and it is not that hard to get some M113 kits or perhaps some newer vehicles for them.

So here's the tank corner, including another combined box set. Got for a song too. Although that Armata, now that's exciting.

Over in the infantry corner we have a nice mix. Revell seems to be confused as the figures are in 1/72, at least mine are. Confusing.
Now we do have a few wild cards too. These have no clear definitive use and will likely be used for many things. I am going to go over this in two bits. First the tanks.

  • 1x Armata (Zvezda, a really fine looking kit.)
  • 2x Black Eagles T-80UM2s (Modelcollect, actually innacurate, the hull is just a standard T-80 hull when it should be longer and include another road wheel, the sets do include T-80A turrets so can be used for that too)
These tanks may see service in the PAPR but more likely only for rare special instances. I don't want the PAPR to be too high tech. More guerrilla/asymmetric warfare, with rather outdated conventional kit. The tanks can also be used in the Kievalsk/Ororussia setting. Which may be where some of the Warsaw Pact infantry are also employed. Speaking of infantry let's move onto the infantry wildcards.
  • 2x French Infantry (from the combined French-Chinese Caesar set)
  • 1x Counter Terrorist Elite Forces (Caesar Miniatures)
  • 0.5x NATO infantry (The set mentioned above but the French and Italian elements)
  • 1x Warsaw Pact Troops (Mentioned above)

The real question is what to do with the French? Specific forces for one of the nations? replacements for UN Troops? A new faction? If a new Faction what to do? It a difficult one and I am not too sure. I could always paint them us as French infantry........ but that's boring so I can't do that. The Italians for the NATO set are going to be an interesting one to use. Same goes for the Warsaw Pact troops. Some will be good for the PAPR. However, the winter troops are less usable, although perhaps there's some high snow capped mountains? Might be more usable in the other setting which is temperate. The Caesar miniatures are suitably generic so will likely find themselves quite a range of uses.

To took two photos of the infantry corner and couldn't be bothered deleting them so enjoy.
Well that covers just about everything. This post took quite some time to write. For those of you who have made it to the end, well done. I almost didn't reach here myself. I am really interested to know what people think, what themes you suggest I follow, what alternative uses might be good for different kits. That kind of thing. I have finally got my airbrush with me so perhaps these kits will be churned out a little more quickly.

That is all for the future though. I hope you have enjoyed this post and I look forward to reading your comments.

Until next time I wish you all a good day/night.


  1. Wow! The Pan-Andean Peoples' Republic is bids fair to be a formidable opponent for somebody! The kit looks pretty appropriate from the mid-50s or so onward to the present, I reckon. My own 'history' of PAPR, Orotina and Gran Bolivaria was slated to end at about 1955 (roughly). Sounds as though all three nations might have used the end of hostilities and a general peace to import a whole lot of more up-to-date equipment!

    Your Vietnamese dudes I was thinking might be the sort of dwellers of swamp/jungle/mountainous country, lightly equipped with mountain guns, mortars, RPG-type AT, and reliant upon animal traction or portage. Very mobile on foot in thick country (that's where they live).

    Speaking of the Latin Wars, I really have done diddly-squat with them since I first dreamed up the idea over 30 years ago. But I did play out one border incident in which the PAPR tried to seize a small plain surrounded on 3 sides by hilly jungle country, and the border river. Three equally sized columns of infantry and tanks surged over the river, overran the border guards and pressed on. But the left hand column ran into an Orotinian force with Panthers that held, then pushed them back over the river. A flank guard in the centre road managed to hold the centre column long enough for the victorious Orotinian main group to counter-attack, whereat that columm, too, fetched up on the NW side of the river. By this time the right-hand column had reached the road junction, one branch of which led through the hill country, the other branching left along plain below the ridges. Apprehending the defeat of the other two columns, and the likely reinforcement of the still belligerent (though rather weakened) Orotinian battlegroup confronting them, this surviving column abandoned the offensive and slunk back across the border.

    This was never more than a probing operation by PAPR, though the Peoples' Committee would have liked to have taken the fertile small plain as a fairly easily defensible little conquest, and a bridgehead pending further incursions...

    1. I think your idea for the Vietnamese troops could work even better than my own. Would be more appropriate for the figures too. Local militia called up to fight. They would make up the majority of the armed forces. While a smaller core of professional troops would be maintained by each region (the Warsaw Pact troops plus) These would provide the first line of defence alongside the militias. Then there'd be the federal (in practice but not in name) armed forces which would be more professional and more uniformly equipped. The Spetsnaz and the Chinese troops would be a part of this force. These troops would have some bases in the different regions but would, in a defensive scenario, be part of the second line as the federal armed forces would need to gather together first before engaging.

      All three branches (militia, regional troops, federal troops) would act together in offence. While in the murky asymmetric border wars things would be more complex.

      All of which would stem from lessons learnt in the Latin Wars. I feel that is is somewhat appropriate for all nations to have rearmed to the best of their abilities. Aid having been funnelled in by various governments to support their preferred regimes against rivals. There might be high degrees of variation with both very old and brand new equipment in service.