Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry

Continuing from my two previous posts featuring Elhiem figures (Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures and BAOR British Infantry 1:72) I finally got around to painting the Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry.

These guys had quite a bit of flash on them, but that was easily removed with some snippers. Then if required cleaned up with a metal file.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry, before tidy up and primed.

So after a quick clean with IPA (not the beer!), they were ready to prime. I blue-tacked them to coffee stirring sticks (available from your local McD)

Elhiem 1:72 Motor Rifle Infantry cleaned up and ready for primer.

Next step was to prime the figures. Again, as per the BAOR figures I used Halfords grey car primer.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry primed.

My next step differs from my previous metal figure painting. I took a note out of wargamers painting tips and gave the figures a coat of flat black.

The idea behind this is if the following coats of paint don’t get in to every nook and cranny, then the black will hide the silver of the metal, or the grey primer.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry black base painted.

Now the fun bit starts, the painting of the base colours. I used a mixture of Vallejo and Tamiya paints, but didn’t make a note of which ones I used!

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry, base colours being added.

Figures now ready for adding some shadow effects.

Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rile Infantry, ready for darks and highlights.

Base colours all finished, next step was to use a mixture of dark colours as washes to flow in to creases and some dry brushing for the high lights.

So the final results for the Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle Infantry is as follows.

Finished 1:72 Soviet Motor Rifle infantry.

Considering the amount of flash on the figures at the start, they came out quite well. I’m sure someone with better painting skills would make a far better job, but I’m quite pleased with them.

Elhiem 1:72 figure
Elhiem 1:72 Soviet Infantry.

I did give the figures a coat of Matt varnish, which seems to look almost satin. I seem to have this problem with matt varnish. But it does keep the figures protected.

If you would like more info about the Elhiem figures, pop over to their website www.elhiem.co.uk

My plan for these guys is to add them on a little diorama incorporating a ICM BTR60 model kit, blog to follow.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 (03308)

The Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 is a re-boxing of an old Matchbox offering of the Challenger.

Apart from adding the aerials to the tank plus some static grass to the base, the kit was built straight out of the box.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 box art

Box art of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

The build

The contents of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Supplied on 3 runners and with rubber band style tracks. There are decals for 2 vehicles:

  • British Army, ,BAOR, Royal Hussars
  • Tank Museum, Bovington

The second option is not very descriptive as to which tank it actually represents.

Building stage of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Construction starts with the wheels and preparing the lower hull and the rear f the hull.

No real issues at this stage of the build, all parts fit well.

Top hull and turret of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 model kit.

While waiting for the wheels and lower hull sections to set, I made a start on the upper hull and turret.

Used a small pin vice to drill out the end of the gun barrel. I also glued the gun barrel in place. It’s not like I’m going to be moving that part inn the future.

Again, no issues with the assembly at this stage. Except I managed to lose the pickaxe head, so this did not get added to the tank.

Priming the model

Parts of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after being primed.

Next step was to prime the wheels and lower hull with Vallejo grey surface primer (74.601).

As a side note, I own 2 airbrushes, a cheap Abest 0.2mm airbrush, and a Harder & Steenbeck Ultra. The H&S Ultra came with 0.2mm and 0.4mm needles and nozzles.

I tend to use the cheap Abest airbrush for doing priming and varnish coats and the Ultra for more detailed work.

You’ll see in the photo, that the plan was to use Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF) as the main colour for the colour scheme.

Painting and construction

Green added to the lower hull of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1.

Lower hull painted with the Tamiya XF81 Dark Green 2 (RAF).

To my eyes, this green just did not look right. It does not really show in this photo, but for me it was a little too light in colour.

The lower hull and wheels of the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 after re-spraying with a darker green.

So after a bit of umming and ahhing, I decided to re-paint the lower hull and wheels with Tamiya XF 61 Dark Green.

To me this just seemed a better green for a BAOR vehicle. Possibly a little too dark, but after doing a bit quick of Google searching, it would appear that the green could vary quite a bit with BAOR equipment!

Work starts on gluing the wheels to the lower hull.
Wheels attached to the lower hull.

Wheel rims painted black and gluing them to the lower hull starts.

Tracks being added to the Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

Adding the tracks. I did manage to snap off the front roller on one of the sides while adding the track.

Simple fix, was to drill out a hole in the wheel hub and the connection on the hull for the wheel. Then using a small section of paper-clip as a pin between the two items.

This gave a very strong join, much better than the original plastic pin.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 painted green,

Upper hull, turret and side skirts primed, then painted Tamiya XF61 Dark Green.

A bit of filler required on the front of the model,

Time to attach the upper hull to the lower hull.

Was a good fit except for a slight gap at the front. Nothing a small amount of Vallejo Plastic Putty couldn’t fix.

The side skirts were quite fiddly to attach, not sure I really got them as flush as I would have liked.

Black part of the camouflage scheme added.

Next step as to paint the black part of the distinctive but simple BAOR camouflage scheme.

Using my H&S Ultra, I free handed the very simple black sections. I used Tamiya XF69 NATO black. Very happy with the result.

Adding varnish and decals

Model given a coat of varnish.

The kit was then given a coat of Vallejo Satin Acrylic Varnish 26.519 ready for decals.

Decals added and another coat of varnish.

Once the decals had been applied, another coat of satin varnish was applied to protect them.

The Revell 1:76 Challenger almost completed.

At this point I then used a selection of Vallejo model washes (76.518 Black, 76.513 Brown and 76.516 Grey) to add some subtle weathering, to the model.

Also used a dry-brush technique and Tamiya XF52 Flat Earth to add some mud splatter on the side skirts.

Aerials added to the Challenger turret.

Aerials were made from 5amp fuse wire. Then the kit was given a couple of coats of Vallejo Polyurethane Matt Varnish 26.651.

The base

Supplied base with some static grass added.

Of course we can’t forget the base.

Sprayed various greens, browns, blacks and greys to get an earth look. Then added some static grass. I don’t own a static grass applicator, so I just generally use an old paint brush to try and make the grass stand up. Not always a great success!

The finished kit – Revell 1:76 Challenger 1


BAOR British Infantry 1:72

Elhiem BOAR British Infantry 1:72 scale and the Airfix Landrover.

A follow on from my previous blog post (Quick look at Elhiem 1:72 (20mm) figures). I take a quick look at the Elhiem BAOR British Infantry 1:72 scale (BAOR08 British skirmishing with SLRs).

I’ve managed to get some bench time and painted this set. I think they came out looking OK.

Started with a coat of Halfords grey car primer.

Elhiem 1:72 primed with Halfords car primer.

To prime the figures, I used Halfords car primer, as it is designed to cover metal surfaces. The primer is ideal for giving a great base for the next stage.

Looking at each figure in turn of the BAOR British Infantry 1:72

Elhiem 1:72 BAOR British infantry.

This figure is kneeling at the ready. Very pleased with how the DPM looks on this one.

Elhioem 1:72 BAOR British infantry figure.

Rifleman taking aim with his SLR. Again very happy with the DPM at such a small scale.

Elhiem BAOR British infantry 1:72.

Posed as to be shielding his eyes while he peers into the distance. Probably just noticed some T62’s and BMP1’s heading in his direction!

Elhiem British Infantry 1:72

This figure shows how well the webbing is done at this scale. It includes his respirator bag on his hip. two kidney pouches with groundsheet rolled up below those.

BAOR British Infantry 1:72 from Elhiem Miniatures.

Final thoughts about the BAOR British Infantry 1:72

I have to say, I’m really impressed with these figures. They are not perfect, some of the facial expressions are a bit odd. However, at this scale that is something I can live with.

The important part is, is that they look like British Infantry from the period. I also really like the natural poses of the figures. No over exaggerated limb positions, and they look purposeful.

The detail is also very well done. I can tell they have ’58 webbing’ on. The SLR’s look like SLR’s. Just be careful when trimming the flash, not to cut the muzzle off the SLR’s (like I did with the standing rifleman). Because the detail is so good, it makes it much easier to paint.

I highly recommend the Elhiem figures. For more information about their range of figures, you will need to visit their website https://www.elhiem.co.uk/ourshop/cat_1116373-ELHIEM-MINIATURES.html

Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

Box art of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

Just a quick look at the contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set. This set was first released in 1981. Re-boxed in 2000, this is the example in this review. Last re-boxing was in 2013.

It will be interesting to see if Airfix re-box these figures. I hope they do, as I suspect they would be very popular.

Contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

The box contains 48 figures in a green soft plastic.

The contents of the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

OK, going off topic a bit here. The soft plastic that Airfix use for these figures is a pain to paint on. I understand the history of using this plastic. The Airfix small soldiers were made and sold as toys. But I think Airfix, and other 1:72 figure producers are missing a trick here. If they produced these in hard plastic, they would be very popular with model makers. They may even result in more sales.

The set is labelled as NATO, but the figures in the set look very much like British Royal Air Force to me.

Break down of the figures from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set

Pilots (x4)

Pilot figure from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

The set contains 4 very nice pilot/aircrew figures, all in the same stance. Once painted, these figures will complement any RAF Cold War aircraft.

Aircraft Marshaller (x3)

Aircraft marshaller from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew

Three figures of aircraft marshallers. Again, all the same pose. The figure appears to be wearing woollen jumper and DPM trousers, or lightweights and the hated ‘Cap, Combat, DPM‘. Would look good on an airfield display.

Airman carrying case/toolbox/equipment pack (x4)

Airman/Soldier carrying case/box from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

Now this figure could be quite useful as an extra on non aviation dioramas. To me it’s not quite clear what he is carrying. So if he is stood next to a Jaguar GR1 or a Scorpion CRV(T), he would fit in quite well.

Again, this figure is wearing woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the combat cap.

Radio Operator (x3)

Radio operator from the Airfix NATO Ground Crew.

Another figure that lends itself to either an airfield/FOB for Harriers or Army diorama. His uniform also appears to be woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the dreaded combat cap.

Dog Handler (x3)

RAF Police dog handler, complete with his Browning 9mm! Certainly a dynamic action pose, but not sure how you would incorporate it in a diorama. Uniform is woolly jumper, DPM or lightweight trousers and the combat cap.

Ground Crew NBC leaning in with tool (x4)

Ground crew in NBC suit from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set.

No idea what this chap is holding or doing. However, he is kitted up in full NBC suit so is ideal for a Cold War airfield diorama.

NATO Ground Crew NBC standing with tool (x4)

Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew in NBC kit.

Another ground crew in NBC kit working on something. I can see this figure being easily incorporated into an aircraft diorama.

NATO Ground Crew NBC kneeling with screwdriver (x4)

Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew figure in NBC suit.

Again another useful figure to have in a diorama scene. Once more, fully kitted out in his NBC suit and respirator.

NATO Ground Crew NBC standing and reaching with spanner (x4)

At least we know what tool this guy is holding. Maybe using the well known fix it technique of giving something a good whack with a heavy object. Again, nice figure in full NBC suit and respirator.

NATO Ground Crew NBC pointing at the ground (x4)

Airfix 1:72 NATO ground crew figure in full NBC kit.

Well I think he is pointing, he could well be pulling a trolley. Another good figure in full NBC suit and respirator.

RAF Regiment Gunner, standing guard (x4)

RAF Regiment Gunner from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew.

I say RAF Regiment gunner, but could easily be Army. Figure in full NBC kit with respirator and armed with the venerable SLR. One of my favourite figures in the set.

RAF Regiment Gunner, running (x3)

RAF Regiment Gunner from the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set.

This is a very dynamic pose. If he wasn’t wearing a respirator, he would fit very well with the running dog handler. Maybe a bit of surgery and some head swapping, you could then have 2 figures that work well together.

Again another figure that would easily fit in an Army diorama.

RAF Regiment Gunner, kneeling (x4)

AIrfix 1:72 RAF Regiment gunner from the NATO Ground Crew set.

The last figure from the set. He could be RAF Regiment or British Army, so again another very useful figure to have.

Final thoughts on the Airfix 1:72 NATO Ground Crew set

Yes the figures are showing their age. The moulding is not very crisp and that soft plastic is such a pain to work with. However, they are fantastic if you are looking or a very British looking set of Cold War era figures for airfield or even British army dioramas.

If you are looking for more NATO related figures, then the Italeri set ‘NATO Pilots and ground crew‘ (1246) may be a better option for you.

Cold War armour in miniature

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1

I decided it was time to add some Cold War armour subjects to my Cold War in miniature collection.

Revell 1:76 Challenger 1 box art - Cold War armour in miniature.
Revell’s 1:76 Challenger 1 box art. Building the Cold War in miniature.

I liked the look of the Revell Challenger 1. It is from the old Matchbox range, so comes with a little display base, which is an added benefit.

So I plan to complete this one in the BAOR the scheme (Royal Hussars) which I believe is dated 1983/84. The Royal Hussars were the first unit to be equipped with the Challenger 1 in 1983.

However the kit does not come with any figures, so I will be using the armed figures from the old Airfix “NATO Ground Crew“.

Talking of Airfix, it will be interesting to see if they re-release any of their old armour kits as part of the “Vintage Classics” range.

The kits would be the Centurion tank, Chieftain tank and the Scorpion tank. These are a good representation British Cold War armour.

If Airfix also release the old JB models that they owned, that would be a welcome plus.

Other Revell Cold War armour in miniature include:

Did you know that a British Army Challenger 1 achieved the longest ranged confirmed kill of the 1991 Gulf war. Destroying an Iraqi tank at 4,700 metres with an APFSDS round.

The Royal Jordanian Army is also an operator of the Challenger 1, however with heavy modifications.

Challenger crews can have a brew with their “water boiling and ration heater”.