A blog about miniatures, wargaming, and the people driven to ruin by them....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Persian Gulf Wars: Iranian Armor

OK, so I didn't intend to post again on my Iran Iraq War project so soon.  I am going to be very busy getting ready for our attendance at Cold Wars 2011 and finishing up the work on our next release, Man Among Men, a supplement for Seek Out Close With and Destroy detailing troops and equipment for gaming Rhodesia.  I took the time to inventory the vehicles I have for both my Iranian and Iraqi forces.  Now, for the Iraqis, there are "mass quantities" of vehicles available in 20mm, 1/72, and 1/76, especially the Soviet armor.  For the Iranians, things are a little scarcer.  In the later war, I will have an easy time working in some Soviet or PRC vehicles to support my Pasdaran.  My early war regulars, on the other hand, need Chieftains, M60A1s, and M113s.  The gripping hand:  those M60s.

Years ago, in a convention flea market, I bought some resin kits produced by Cromwell, the Combat Ready series.  Amongst some other stuff, I picked up 2 Chieftains and 2 Scorpions specifically to support my Falklands era Guards in the event they had to be deployed to Europe with the BAOR (my 80's era Soviets get frisky now and again).  I didn't think about it at the time, but I believe these Chieftains were meant to be P variants used by Iran, though I painted them up for British service.... and they have proved too useful at knocking out Soviet T-55s and BMPs for me to repaint them now!  Plus, I'm lazy.  These are excellent models, I'd recommend them to anyone, and I'd buy them again.  You might notice a few nice Combat Miniatures from FAA, painted up as Scots Guards.
What I have to work with for my Iranians is a little less swell.  I bought a large lot of 1/72 and 1/76 tanks off of ebay for a great price, sold the Leopard 1s and AMX-30s, plus the WWII stuff, and it still left me with a box of tracks, including a few Airfix Chieftains.  These are painted drab, and have seen some use.  I hate building model kits, so for now I can live with the less than perfect condition of these.  Painting will be difficult, they are not going to look great, but once they are in appropriate colors, with some details, they'll be ok.  I bought 3 diecast M113A1s, painted for Vietnam.  As "Booze Hound" in english is about the last thing I think I'd see on a post-revolution Iranian vehicle, they definitely need repainted.  I might keep them in a lighter drab green, but likely they will get a desert tan.  I bought Vietnam era vehicles as later M113s tend to have too many accessories.
OK, the problem children are the M60 Pattons.  Actually, in almost any scale other than micoarmor, obtaining M60 or M60A1 variants, without Blazer/ERA/etc is a real problem.  My good friend Doctor Merkury is having difficulty finding a M60 for use with his 28mm 1980's USMC (anyone have a suggestion for 1/48 1/50 1/56 let the good Doc know).  What I currently have to work with (from the same lot the Airfix Chieftains came with) are three Airfix toys in 1/72 scale, not models.  I believe they marketed these as simply Patton tanks, which of course, is somewhat vague.  Patton Tank covers quite a few things.  Here are the facts (see below), the turret doesn't look right for an M60A1 (maybe the initial M60 production), the gun looks like it might be 105mm (not like the 90mm for early M48s), and hull definitely looks like an M60 (see the straight sharp forward edge of the hull, not the M48 style curved hull).
They need some cleaning.  Based on the ebay prices, these are cheap to obtain in the UK and expensive in the US.  The paint on them is flaking off, I have to thoroughly clean them before applying some bonding spray paint... and I feel the headache of having to defend my use of them, BUT, show me where I can get the right ones.  I was hoping to see some of the M60A3 (no ERA) offered by Altaya IXO, thought I could repaint them and look ok, however, I have had no luck in finding anyone I could purchase any from.  Actually, they supposedly have a huge range of modern diecast, too bad....

Now, for some happy news to finish.  Probably like some of you out there, for me its not always the biggest or baddest toy in your army that you get the most excited about.  Sometimes, its just something that catches you the right way.  For me, for the Iranians, its a pair of 106mm RR armed jeeps I purchased from Liberation Miniatures.  They are not "armor" but its my blog.  Likely these poor fellows will eat it from small arms fire in every game, but I like the idea of very fast tank killers, even if they have no protection.  I should find some dirtbike models and make RPG-7 tank killer teams too, they would fit in perfectly with the way I like to game.  These jeeps won't see painting or assembly until well after Cold Wars.
There definitely will not be another Iran Iraq War update for some time, though I will try to keep up with other posts.  Later, I will go over the Iraqi vehicle inventory, and eventually show some completely finished platoons.  Thanks!


  1. uhm... Revell is still doing the 1/72 M60A3 without ERA. The turret is quite good for an A1.

  2. I know they have a bulldozer variant still available, likely that would work with a little modification... except (I should have been more clear) I am terrible at building plastic model kits :) Still, if those Airfix don't cut it, I may have to pursue the Revell kits.

  3. Looking good, I want to game this when you get it done!