Though I am a regular viewer of The Miniatures Page, I am not one of its biggest fans. I simply feel there was a decline in the diversity and creativity of its posters. I hesitate to account for why that is, but it’s so. I mostly go there to see the work that others are doing, and I try to stay current on new stuff.
One era that has seen a lot of activity is the Vietnam War. Several posters have shared their painted figures and it has sucked me in. I’ve always had an interest in Vietnam but mostly from the standpoint of the America’s interest in the region, its entry into the conflict and the terrible toll politically, ethically and morally the country paid for fighting it. I truly believe there is nothing good that came from the Vietnam War and everything it touched was contaminated. Without Vietnam there would have been no Watergate. Without Watergate our lives would be very different. Vietnam and Watergate so eroded our belief and trust in government that now we have people attacking the capitol seeking to bring down an elected branch of government. That’s my opinion, like it or not.
A few years ago Mark Bowden, author of Blackhawk Down, wrote another book Hue, 1968. It is unquestionably one of the five best battle histories I’ve ever read and it sucked me into learning a bit more about the military history of the conflict.
When Gringo 40’s the British manufacturer, began producing figures for Hue it got my attention. It wasn’t just that the figures were available it’s that they are just so good. To be clear Empress Miniatures and Full Metal Miniatures also produce a figure range for Vietnam that are quite nice. But the G40’s figures have that je ne c’est quoi that make them really special.
This is especially true of the USMC figures. There are 45 figures in the range that include lots of M-16-carrying riflemen in many highly animated poses. Lots of detail that is easy to accent. Highly paint-able. With Marines shooting over walls or ducking behind cover, they are perfect for the urban house by house fighting in Hue.
I’ve finished all 11 of the Marine figures I’ve received. More about my approach to painting them in a subsequent post.
I also ordered a smaller handful of the Gringo 40’s North Vietnamese Army figures. Again, these are very well crafted figures that mostly showcase regular guys with AK-47s with traditional NVA equipage. For me, they lack some of the animation and interest the Marines have. I think there is also a shortage of machine gun options for the NVA.
At this writing, my eight figures are about 60% finished. I’ll share more when they are done.
I have a handful more figures coming, mostly Marines and a few Viet Cong. This is a project I’m working on with David Sullivan. We’re both limiting ourselves to 100-125 figures each, so this isn’t an endless project. Mark Waddington also has many painted 28mm Vietnam figures and is interested in playing too. I don’t think we’ve firmly decided on a set of rules, but we are definitely looking at Ganesha’s Flying Lead, and in a blast from the past Giac My, a very 70’s set of skirmish rules. I’m also dickering to purchase a bunch of printed buildings modeled on those in Hue. I’ll letcha know when or if it happens.
January was a solid painting month. I don’t know if you could call it great or spectacular but some things definitely got done.
1/300 Aircraft 6/150. Let’s see, that’s about 2% of my projected production, so there’s still a ways ago. Got distracted by other stuff.
1/1250 Ships 11/50 No new progress here for the past couple of weeks. I do have five ships to finish for February, but I am a little distracted right now. Still some stuff to arrive from Wartimes Journal too.
28mm figures 35/400 The last couple of weeks have been all about the 28’s. I finished 24 Woodland Indians and the 11 Gringo 40’s Marines
I have gone and bought some stuff this month. There were the WTJ and Shapeways orders. In addition I made the second Gringo 40’s order. Lastly, but every bit as important, I ordered 36 more Spanish musketeer figures for my America Rampant army. These are to fill out units, which are under-sized for Rebels and Patriots, and maybe add a new one as well. Lots of stuff got ordered, less in the future.
Goals for February.
- Finish all the Gringo 40’s figures I have and may receive.
- Complete the five ships I currently have, in addition to any more I might receive (come on WTJ.)
- Continue working on Woodland Indians. 24 down 48 more to go.