My last blog on the Iran-Iraq War was in 2011. The subject of this blog, an Iraqi infantry platoon, was purchased in 2009... and was only painted in the previous 2 nights (other than black primer, and a couple of test "base colors" for uniforms, I had not done anything with them for the past 5 years).
Between selling a house, buying a house, my wife working and earning new degrees at the same time, shortfalls in income... well, you get the picture. Enough whining, let's see what I did....
I made a large purchase of Liberation Miniatures for the Iran-Iraq War. My Iraqi infantry platoon is meant to be fielded from the September 1980 start of the Iran-Iraq War, right into the 1990 Invasion of Kuwait, the subsequent 1991 Desert Storm operation, and eventually the 2003 Invasion of Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom). With this in mind, I mixed in a large number of dull-dark green uniforms, instead of only tan uniforms (which I associate more with the Iran-Iraq War). I mixed colors for the webbing, but kept all helmets the same. The helmets are mostly M1 pattern (which were usually only the helmet liners) with a few M40 helmets mixed in.
Overall, I think this gives them that ad hoc look I associate with Iraqi regulars. At the same time, they all have certain things that bring them together.
When I planned the force, I didn't think of everything, but I did make them flexible. Although I typically game platoon level games in Seek Out Close With and Destroy I like to buy more stuff than I need, so I can create different mixes of forces.
Here, I can potentially field 4 squads of 9 men, each squad containing 1 RPG-7 and 1 RPD, or easily 3 squads of 10 men, or whatever. I also have at least 3 models to form a command team, an SVD equipped sniper, a 12.7mm DsHK HMG team, and an AT-3 Sagger team.
You will notice that I also have, additionally, 4 models armed with PK LMGs. I can swap them out into the squads for the RPDs, increasing their firepower, or even double up on the LMGs in the squad (though, I think 1x PK and 1x RPD per squad would be an unusual squad mix).
I pictured these with some likely vehicle support. The 3 Hobbymaster T-55s and 2 Combat Ready T-62s were shown waaaaaaaaaaay back in April 2011 in my Iran-Iraq War 2: Iraqi Armor blog post. Since then, I have added a few Soviet trucks, including one here for supplementary transport. What I am even happier about was purchasing the 3 K-63 (Type 63, or export version of the YW531 Chinese APC) APCs just last month. At the time, I meant them to be more or less an add-on to a larger purchase. Now, I am really happy to have them as (given their paint job and look) they add some authenticity as an Iraqi-only asset (I can't use these for my Cold War Soviets for example).
I don't know if they are Liberation also, or if they are S&S Models. I have vehicles from both, and like both, butand whoever made these, I like these too!
When I finished up the platoon, something didn't look right. Like something was missing. Then, it hit me... where were all the macho man Saddam-staches?
Some observations about the Liberation miniatures. I have plenty, for several different armies. I like them. I find them to be very easy to paint (once you start... after years of hiatus!). Something about the form. Also, they are sturdy miniatures. I doubt that I could break most of them, even if I tried. Of the several hundred Liberation miniatures I have purchased, I can not remember removing flash.... maybe a bip on the edge of a base or something, but that is it. All that I have purchased are very clean.
I like my old Combat Miniatures very much (almost all of them Falklands), I have clubmates with Elheim miniatures, which are honestly quite nice, but I'll give my unsolicited endorsement for the Liberation line. There are tons of them, covering all kinds of things, but really what matters... is that I like 'em a lot :)
OK, so now what? Other than suddenly getting the feeling I should use these guys to invade one of my neighbors IMMEDIATELY... I have already taken steps to complete another, slightly different Iraqi infantry platoon. Started last night, did a little tonight, maybe I will have them done before the end of the month. Or maybe in the next 5 years. Who knows?
I hope to put these guys on the table, this year, several times. Against Iranians, against Americans, against Russians, against each other.... I don't care. What is the point of being a ruthless dictator with a blood thirsty army, if you can't unleash them on someone?
Until next time, make sure the sand doesn't build up in the receiver, my children!