Escalating Tensions Pt 14 – The Unwashed Masses

In January I laid plans to paint up the balance of the Armybits Soviet infantry in KMLK suits, a full company with all the trimming and then some, with a stretch goal of six Academy 1:144 SU-25 (the same kit as now rebadged for Battlefront).  An ambitious goal!  Did I achieve it?  Let’s take a look.

just a few figures to paint…

The test platoon covered last year had shown that Citadel’s “Contrast” worked well enough for painting at least a small quantity of infantry.  The only thing that I really was dissatisfied with was the webbing (fiddly to do with contrast) and the helmets (not a satisfactory colour).  I decided that I’d do the helmets and webbing by normal paint.  It’d take slightly longer but I didn’t see it as a huge time sink.

Doing a full company also introduced some new miniatures to the mix, namely a staff team, medic and casualty, the AGS-17 30mm automatic grenade launcher and the NSV 12.7mm heavy machine gun, specifically the NSVS version, on sustained fire tripod.

The staff team consisted of two radiomen (one already used on the first platoon’s HQ) wearing VDV style berets and a suitably shouty officer in a peaked cap.  The crouching radioman works well for a company HQ stand, as noted, and the other two pair up well for a battalion command stand.

The medic team consists of a medic crouching over a wounded soldier, IV and blood pack in hand.  This is likely my favourite of the character pieces and will eventually end up on objective marker. I did toy with the idea of putting it on a medium base to use as a medic for use in an Afghanistan themed version of ‘Nam (‘Stan) but, realistically, I’ll likely never get around to that.

The AGS-17 consists of two parts, a kneeling gunner (firing the AGS-17 must be tough on the knees) and a single piece grenade launcher and its stout tripod.  The single piece moulding means the tripod is filled in, but the legs and supports are raised above the infill so its easily hidden with paint and base foliage.

These are just sitting loose.  The finished ones are actually holding on!
I was escorted off the stand shortly after I started making the noises…

The NSVS is similarly low in part count (always a relief); the gun is moulded onto the sitting gunner and the tripod is a separate part.  The gun is well captured with its long barrel and muzzle break being very distinctive and a large box mag modelled on the left of the gun.  The only disappointment with this and the AGS (plus the previously covered AT-4) is the lack of a dedicated assistant gunner/loader with reloads, but this is no different to the Battlefront offering.  There are no rules for the NSVS in the game so I decided to just count them as an AGS team.

Lots of dakka


One major change to the test batch was to dump the additional coat of “aged white” over the grey primer (to try and replicate “Wraithbone”). I decided that this likely didn’t make a great difference and saved a step, something which seems to be borne out by the results.

As such, I hot-glued the figures to some tongue depressors and then gave everything a good spray of the Vallejo Surface Primer “Grey” (which is so light as to be nearly white). From there I followed the follow sequence:

  1. Faces in “Guilliman Flesh” Contrast, making sure to go right up to the edge of the skin/cloth/gun contact.
  2. Suits in “Creed Camo” Contrast, not especially caring about covering the webbing, but otherwise keeping it very neat.
  3. Add irregular splotches of Vallejo Model Colour (VMC) “Ivory” to suts, plus edge highlights on face.
  4. Boots and Metal work on the AGL, HMG and its tripod, rifles and RPG in “Black Templar” Contrast.
  5. Edge highlight of Sky Grey to the metal areas.
  6. AGL Tripod, AGL and HMG ammo tins, AT-4, Manpads, RPG warhead all in “Plaguebearer Flesh” Contrast.
  7. Wood work on the rifles and RPG in “Snakebite leather” Contrast.
  8. Magazines on the rifles in “Gor-grunta  Fur”  Contrast.
  9. Paint Helmets in VMC Olive Drab, followed by VMC Brown Violet and then a spot and edge highlight of VMC Khaki
  10. Paint Webbing in VMC Brown Violet, followed by VMC Khaki and then a highlight of VMC German Camo Beige.
  11. Add a thinned wash of Citadel Seraphin Sepia to the camo areas.  I initially used Citadel Agrax Earthshade but this proved too dark.  The support weapon crews are a bit darker because of it!
  12. Add a thinned wash of Agrax Earthshade to the “Plaguebearer Flesh” areas from the earlier step. Helps tint the colour a shade darker and browner.
  13. Detail work such as the berets, sights on the missile posts, etc
  14. A wash of “Luftwaffe uniform” applied to the stubble areas of the face.
The revised helmet and webbing

Once the figures were complete, they were transferred to bases and then a mix of VMC “Chocolate Brown” and Windsor and Newton “Medium Grain” applied.  The Medium Grain adds a texture to the bases whilst the paint gives it some colour from the get go. Once dry, I painted the bases VMC German Camo Medium Brown, followed by drybrushes of VMC Tan Earth and Iraqi Sand.  I then applied static grass and tufts to complete.

Painted Miniatures

A full strength “Afghansty” Air Assault Company with Battalion HQ
Covered by the Mi-24 Gunships, AT-4 missiles and PKM machine guns, the VDV advance on their objective.

AGS-17 – 30mm Automatic Grenade Launcher

NSVS 12.7mm Heavy Machine Gun

PKM General Purpose Machine Gun

Battalion HQ


There we go!  120 infantry figures all painted!

Combined with the platoon already painted, which had their helmets repainted to match the rest, this gives what amounts to two mid-strength Afghansty companies, both with all the trimmings for support weapons attached.  I did paint a “company HQ” stand for each platoon so I could field up to three Companies, albeit two at minimum strength and one only having a spare AT-4 stand (because I only mounted two per base) to support.

With the eight Mi-24 Hinds, this gives me a 57pt Afghansty formation, infantry fully upgraded.

This got me to the 23rd February.  So, no stretch goal?  Well, February is a short month, but I thought I could get six Frogfoots done quickly enough. We’ll cover that in the next article so stay tuned!