Thursday, 20 July 2017
Rapid Fire! 20mm Gulf War - Saladin's Division (part 7) - The 8th Mechanized Infantry Brigade
The full 8th Mechanized Brigade assembles by the river Euphrates before invading Kuweit in August 1990...
This brigade is more heavy on infantry (3 regiments/battalions) than on armour (1 regiment). Even though its a quite powerful brigade as all infantry is mounted on BMP-1 and the tanks are T-72's.
As usual all BMP-1 are Skytrex with one ACE model in the middle. The T-72 are a mixture of Skytrex; converted T-80 from Revell and one 4D model ('what, those lousy models from China were all tanks have the same tracks? You're bullshiting me!'. ' Yes' -this is me speaking now- 'one of those! But with many changes'. 'Ahhhhh' - I can hear you say as a sign of relief).
One of the BMP regiment (3rd Mechanized) had its vehicles camouflaged as the ones that are rotting in a swamp in the Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland.
I painted all the infantry in this brigade in winter colours. Some of the figures have camouflaged trousers as usual with the Iraqis. The models are mainly ESCI Warsaw Pact, Spetnaz and Vietnamese figures with US M-1 helmets from various origins.
The command groups have Skytrex figures like the Radio Operators, the Sagger and the SA7. The other figures are ESCI including the Dragunov sniper.
Other command groups have the Saggers made out from air-to-air missiles and an AGS-30 granade launcher from Skytrex.
Another of the Mechanized battalions with a total of 32 figures and four vehicles.
The T-72 M1 from Skytrex. A true 'shelf bender'...
And the Revell conversions. These two were the last made and the ones that came out better.
Each of the infantry battalions have one of these Atlantic Jeeps. They pretend to be the Fiat Campagnola sold by yugoslavia to Iraq. But as they have a toy look they will be here until I can find a better replacement.
On the first picture of this post (top right corner) you can see the T-72 4D Model. I had to buy all different 16 first generation models from 4D in order to have the three or four that I wanted as they come all together in two separate boxes. Aliexpress site mentions them as 1/72nd scale models, but by scrolling a little more on the page you can see that almost all models share the same wheels and tracks (pretty ugly things, by the way!) and a few of them are clearly much smaller than 1/72nd scale. By looking at the box covers you may think you have first class models... in fact they are mostly toys.
But at 2 Euro each they have to be good for something. I started with the T-72 as the tank battalion of this brigade still didn't have a command vehicle. The wheels are good for nothing and I replaced them with surplus ModelCollect wheels which are excellent. The rear dented wheel is a normal wheel carved with a welding tool.
On the turret the original gun barrel is too short and this one was augmented by carving the mantlet and making it part of the barrel itself and fixing everything to a surplus mantlet from ModelCollect. Also a figure, a Chinese optical dazzler, various pieces for the original incomplete Dshk (in green), the grenade launchers, the headlights, etc were added and made mostly from Evergreen plastics.
In the end the model became nice. If I had started the T-72 fleet more recently I would have made more T-72's in this way probably by moulding some road wheels when the ModelCollect surplus ones were over.
Osprey book say each T-72 M1 was around 1 million US dollars. They are wrong! If you are patient enough you can buy them for 2 Euro!
Next: the 95th Air Defence Regiment of the Saladin AD.