One of my projects that was sidelined these past two years, was my Iran-Iraq War set. Over the course of a year, I read, looked up photo references online, and ordered a pile of 20mm miniatures from Liberation. I decided to form a regular Iranian platoon armed with G3s and MG3s (A3), an irregular Iranian platoon armed with AK's, an Iraqi mechanized platoon, and an Iraqi Republican Guard platoon.
The irregular Iranians could have been Basij or Pasdaran, eventually I settled on Pasdaran and will be painting them with bright green headbands (mixed with some painted on helmet bands). I am still unsure about the Iraqi forces, given the development of what we consider the Republican Guard... but until I actually start painting them, I can continue to vacillate...
I contacted Liberation about using the 80's West German Bundeswehr, and was delighted to hear that there were some Iranian miniatures, with G3s and beards, in US style helmets. There were no Iranian MG3 models, so I did get a pack of the German LMG models. Also, Liberation had M47 Dragon gunners. I ordered some extra RPG-7 gunners in M1 helmets, which could be mixed in with the regular Iranians later in the war.
The models are nice, the poses look good next to each other, personal equipment is appropriately scarce, and the beards are definitely full. Unfortunately, the MG3 gunners are correct for 80's Germans not 80's Iranians, so have HUGE backpacks on them. I will be making do, as conversion would be significant. Besides, I already have the bonus of most of the Iranian infantry looking exactly right :)
Here are how some of the miniatures look prior to starting...
... and they are in front of a stack of some of the books I obtained and read for this project. I'd recommend The Lessons of Modern War for anyone, volume II is for the Iran Iraq War. The Longest War is the other book on the must read list. There are of course obligatory Ospreys for specific vehicles. There are about 15 more books or references not in the stack, but...
I have grown more fond of factory produced basing options as time goes on. However, most of my collections are based on hand produced bases. I measure the backs of miniatures packs (look for Combat and Minifigs in the next photo), cute them out, then affix magnetic material to them. I then place them on sheet metal that has been affixed to board, and those become my carry trays. Its cheap, esp recycling the backings of packs, but it has added time to every project. The miniatures, after sprayed black, are affixed with a white glue and sand mixture.
I use mostly Ceramcoat paints on historical miniatures. I worked up my paint list for the regular Iranians, figuring on the early war US drab uniform, and lighter webbing:
Uniform: equal Timberline Green and Dark Forest Green as base, mix in Light Timberline for drybrush
Boots: Black, with Charcoal Gray for hilight
Bases: Spice Tan (matches fairly well with the sand)
Webbing and Helmet Straps: Mudstone
Skin (this one was tough): Autumn Brown base with Toffee Brown accent
Beard: Black with Payne's Grey accent
G3: Black, with Storm Grey hilight
Helmet: 1 drop Dark Forest Green to 1/2 drop Timberline, little Light Timberline for accent (this makes the helmets close in color to the uniform, but different enough to look correct)
Overall, I think my color choices are good for the uniform I was aiming for. Its the lighter green/drab, not the darker green/drab. However, my hasty drybrushing of the uniform hilight is sloppy. I was trying to finish some quickly, and they definitely look ok on the table. When you look closer, well, it would have been better to take more time and do more deliberate accents rather than pell mell dry brushing. Or make the dry bursh a little darker, so it matches better. Take a look:
So, they are definitely not my best work. Still, they are painting up very quickly, which more and more is important to me. Example, in between typing parapgraphs, I am currently cooking dinner, and running up to check on things, ha ha. So, I suppose if I want to complete the projects, I will have to cut some corners. On the other hand, if you are working on something similar, you may want to take a little more time.
Basing is not done, but likely will only be a very light brown wash, and no flock.
I will give the Pasdaran and Iraqis more time... but at least I can say that this project is officialy started. I don't see that the Iranians are listed as available from Liberation at this time. Possibly there might be some laying around... I am already considering getting another pack. Can never have too many :) OK, off to finish dinner!