Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Battlegroup Twilight: 2000, Comments and Ideas

Hi Guys,
 Another short post this time around. I wanted to ask everyone out there a small favor. I have the Unofficial BG Cold War American list for Twilight: 2000., and I wanted comments on it. It's not ready for play just yet IMO, heck, I don't even have some Soviets to pit against it! But, it's 90-95% done IMO, and I need some supplemental rules to go with it.

 That said, I'd also like comments on that, as I do believe one will need chits for Twilight: 2000, to get the special milleu down. Heck, I think "Endkampf" from Fall of the Reich would work very well here.

Just so we're all on the same page!
  So, I wanted to ask the following questions?

  1. Does this fit the milleu?
  2. Is this doable in Battleground?
  3. What other changes to Battleground do you think need to be made?

I look forward to hearing from you all. Here is the link to the draft list. Please make all comments care of the website email at: 500milest2k@gmail.com.

Just want to set one thing straight fellas, the the BattleGroup Cold War effort isn't NORTHAG. NORTHAG is something different Iron Fist and PSC are working on. I am working to put something out as a fan project for a fan project. That's all. 

Thanks in advance.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Another Short News Piece

Well, I wanted to put this short news piece out there to get the word out that the blog has a Facebook page! Yep, that's right. We're going to social media. I wanted the page to get the word out and have a one stop shopping place on FB to release future news about when there's a blog release, like...now.

I have not done much Twilight: 2000 miniatures related, but I am gearing up to finish a boatload of Soviet armor, including some items from Butler's Printed Models that I really have been meaning to finish painting. They're almost done, so I am pretty confident, gimme a day or two to paint em, and I will be displaying them here for all to see, along with a review.

As for other matters, I gave some Lifecolor MERDC colors a try painting some Battletech 'Mechs, and I liked the results, very much. I can definitely recommend Lifecolor, but it doesn't wear as well as oh, say, Vallejo or AK/MiG, but I was very happy with the end results, and they responded to the Magic Mudd Wash very well indeed. (I cannot say enough good things about that sadly, now OOP product).

I also wanted to let folks now that Ehliem Miniatures has released more for their Post-Apocalyptic line in 20mm,. Now, while most of it is meant for Gaslands/Mad Max-style gaming, it would not be real difficult to adapt it for Twilight: 2000 at all, as most of them have that "marauder band" chic look written all over them. He's also releasing some Cold War Bundeswehr, which look great and are definitely usable.
No automatic alt text available.
Taken from Ehliem Minaitures Facebook Page

No automatic alt text available.
Taken from Ehliem Minaitures Facebook Page

So all in all, a bit to report, and more to talk about later. TTFN

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Vehicle Schemes of the Third World War, Part 2 (The Soviet Union, Poland, and Czechoslovakia)




The Soviet Union and Poland

The Soviets had a multitude of camo patterns and paints during the war, but the most common base pattern was a color that compared very closely to FS (Federal Standard) 34077, a dark green known as Zashchitnuy Zelno that the Soviets had been painting their equipment in since 1956. Thousands of Soviet vehicles saw action wearing this color, and it was still the most common paint scheme in Soviet service, especially in Category III and Mobilization Only divisions, but this scheme was not limited to those units by any means.
Soviet T-72B from unidentified division from 38th Army in Zashchitnuy Zelno scheme, Manchuria, 1996


Soviet T-64 from postwar modeling magazine, taken from a photo from an actual example in Poland, ca. 1999 (Taken from Cybermodeler)


Zashchitnuy Zelno Scheme







The Soviets had had field regulations regarding disruptive camouflage since the 1960s, but the colors were those used often for other purposes, such as primer coats for equipment or interior colors, and the application and patterns was left on a haphazard basis to the Field Engineer Brigades and was often not applied except in time of war, if it was applied at all.

Osprey plate of BMP-1K attached to unknown MR Division in the Ukraine, 1998. Note the Brown No2 and a non-regulation lighter brown (from civilian stocks?) overspray over the base scheme

BMP-1 from same Osprey of a BMP-1 somewhere in Poland, September 1997, unit unknown, this time there has been a mix of faded Yellow No1 and Brown No2 over sprayed over the base green

Soviet T-80 from 79th Guards Tank Division, in a prewar photo ca. 1994, with an overspray of Silver Grey No1 and Black No2 over the standard paint scheme

Soviet Field Camouflage Schemes











This practice changed in the 1980s, as the Soviets developed a three color (sometimes, only one color was applied) scheme, called “MERDCski” in the West by observers due to its similarities to the US MERDC scheme.


Soviet T-80 platoon from 25th TD moving up to the front, July 1997, Poland. This photo is a good example of the simplified “MERDCski” scheme.

Soviet T-80 Color Plate taken from postwar modeling magazine, ca. 2019, Example is from a T-80 from 12th Guards Tank Division, Poland, ca. March 1997 with a more complicated version of the “MERDCski” scheme. (taken from Cybermodeler).

MERDCski Paint Chart














Poland used similar schemes to the Soviets, apart from the “MERDCski” scheme, which the Poles never adopted. The main way one differentiated between Soviet and Polish vehicles was the unique “diamond” national insignia.
Polish T-55 with prominent insignia on either side of the gun mantlet.
Czechoslovakia

The Czechs had been an early adopter of disruptive pattern schemes for tanks, having done so before WW-II. The current schemes were based off a water-based tempura paint that did not stand up to particularly hard wear, but was easy to reapply, even during the worst of the Twilight years. Standards and even paint shades were left up to the individual unit commanders, and often, as things broke down, the paint schemes got even more complex, and in some cases, gaudier. The Czech tricolor insignia was always present as well, and many vehicles, no matter how shoddy their paint scheme, would have the tricolor loving applied and touched up whenever possible. The colors that were supposed to be used were similar to the Soviet pre-“MERDCski” paints, and the base scheme was the same Zashchitnuy Zelno the Soviets happened to use.

Color Plate of Czech T-55 taken from Czech State News TV broadcast of January 5th, 1998. Vehicle is heavily oversprayed with Yellow No1 and Brown No2

Czech T-55 from Museum of the US Army, Ft. Belvoir, 2022. Vehicle was captured in this scheme of Yellow No1 and Sand No2 over the base scheme by elements of 1st Armored Division, November 1999




Monday, October 1, 2018

Vehicle Paint Schemes of the Third World War Part 1, NATO


Vehicle Paint Schemes of the Third World War

I am writing this as a companion piece to my previous article, as I felt that this needed more attention, not to mention the fact that paint schemes need a good base, and what better than the “historical” paint schemes of the time.
Now that said, I get this is alternate history, and in the vehicle guides, there are their own interpretations of paint schemes that don’t bear any resemblance to what wound up on vehicles in the mid-1990s. GDW in their defense, wrote the books in the mid-1980s and much of the color plate work I must say was extremely speculative. They did what they could with no internet, and a reference library that was not at all the size of what is available to most modelers and gamers today. That said, I personally think they did a fine job, and one can get into the whys and wherefores of why they did what they did ad nauseum.
Of course, we won’t be doing that.
So, on with the show, as it were.

The United States of America


CARC 3-Tone Scheme

The CARC (Chemical Agent Resistant Coating) 3 Color Scheme, hereafter referred to as CARC was a scheme developed in agreement by NATO as a whole because it became plainly obvious by the early 1980s that the myriad of NATO vehicle camo patterns across the different armies made it a rather easy process to identify which army one was facing, which would only simplify intelligence gathering efforts for the Warsaw Pact in the event of war.
CARC was applied to most of the Army and Marine vehicle parks by the time the war had broken out in 1995, and efforts were accelerated to get the rest of the force painted by the time the US entered the war in late 1996. But, not every vehicle in the fleet was repainted, or if CARC was applied, often simply the base green color was used, and the other two colors were not, as repainting vehicles was not seen as a priority in many reserve units as they rushed through their mobilizations and were sent to war. Plus, CARC as a paint was not the safest paints in the world to work with, by all accounts, it was caustic, toxic, and often needed to be applied under very controlled circumstances, leading to a bottleneck at the depot of vehicles needing to be repainted.
As the war ground on, the paints turned out to hold up well to hard wear, but touchups and repaints were often done with whatever paint stocks were handy, leading to some odd shades and combinations, and these paints often did not match up to the standards of the original CARC paint. This was especially true after the nuclear exchange began and supply lines began to collapse.

M1A1 of 1-70th Armor, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division, July 1996, in pre-deployment training at Ft. Polk with CARC 3 Color Scheme
Paint chart for 3 Color Scheme
General note: If you’re going to paint this scheme? I would go with Vallejo, AK, or Ammo, Battlefront is a good second, and Citadel only if you must.

MERDC (Mobility Equipment Research and Design Command)

The MERDC pattern was developed in the 1970s as a standardized set of camouflage for US Army vehicles, and soldiered on throughout the 1980s and in some units, into the early 1990s and the Twilight War, as mentioned in the CARC section above, this was especially true of reserve units, who depending on the speed of their mobilization, were often going to war without bothering to repaint their vehicles from the now obsolete MERDC pattern. The good news about MERDC was that it was easier to apply, and the paints didn’t have the associated health risks or were as difficult to apply, but the patterns themselves were quite complicated and as the war ground on, were often applied without much care or adherence to Army or USMC regulations.
There were several schemes that all saw use during the war, they are listed here:
Name of Scheme
1st (Base Color)
2nd (Primary Band) Color
3rd (Lesser Band) Color
4th (Y or Line) Accent
Desert Grey
Sand
Field Drab
Earth Yellow
Black
Desert Red
Earth Red
Earth Yellow
Sand
Black
Snow, Temperate Climate w/Open Terrain
White
Field Drab
Sand
Black
Snow, Temperate Climate w/Trees
Forest Green
White
Sand
Black
Summer Verdant
Forest Green
Light Green
Sand
Black
Winter Verdant
Forest Green
Field Drab
Sand
Black
Tropical Verdant
Forest Green
Dark Green
Light Green
Black
Arctic
White
White
White
White

Partial MERDC breakdown from postwar modeling guide, ca. 2019.

M901 from 2-152nd Infantry (Mech), 76th Infantry Brigade (IN ARNG), 38th Infantry Division, preparing to entrain for shipment to Europe. Date is suspected to be sometime in early March 1997. Vehicle is wearing a Winter Verdant scheme(Picture is from armorrama.com)


Many vehicles who had a MERDC scheme applied tended to retain it throughout the war regardless of the environmental conditions, this was especially true of the Verdant schemes, as they were rather complicated to apply and often, the schemes were touched up with mismatched or scavenged/captured paint stocks. This could sometimes give certain American vehicles a rather “loud” appearance at times and other times, the schemes would be abbreviated, or the vehicles would be painted a single tone (the most common being Forest Green), for ease of repainting. This was especially common as the war ground on.
Paint Chart for MERDC:
Note: As above, stick with the Vallejo, AK, or Ammo, Battlefront is a good second, and Citadel only if you must, the colors are a bit harder to match here, but keep in mind in a Twilight: 2000 world, paint schemes will be faded and touched up with non-reg colors, so don’t get too insane about colors being a little off.

Germany, East and West

The Germans really are a tale of two armies. The West German Army went with the three-color scheme as listed above under the Americans since 1984, as they were the army that had developed the scheme in the first place. By the outbreak of war in 1996, the entirety of the Bundeswehr was wearing the scheme, but as the war wore on, and stocks of the required colors ran out, older stocks of the Gelbolive color that had been retired were broken out of storage and used to repaint vehicles when it was required. 
Leopard 2 in Gelboliv scheme abandoned due to lack of fuel near Frankfurt-on-Oder, Unit Unknown, September 1999



As for the East Germans, they were undergoing something of a transition, moving from the Soviet Green that had been a hallmark of their vehicle park for many years, to a camo scheme that consisted of a three-color summer scheme, and a two-color winter scheme.
The schemes consisted of an Olive-Green base for both the summer and winter schemes, with bands of Dusk Grey and Black Grey. There was a slightly older scheme that was Beige and Brown that was seen in Manchuria, but it was not common and often vehicles were repainted as soon as their first visit to the depot. In both cases, white paint was used to cover the non-Olive-Green bands for the winter scheme. In both cases, the Olive Green was supposed to cover anywhere from 45-60% of the vehicle, with the other colors covering a 20-27.5%.
The transition had been going on since 1988, so most of the regular army had made the changeover, but the reserves and mobilization only formations went to war in their Soviet Green schemes until 1997, when much of it was repainted hastily with West German surplus stocks of Gelbolive to cut down on the number of friendly fire incidents. 




East German T-72 as a gate guard in front of Paderborn Kaserne, September 9th, 2015. Note the two-tone scheme that has been applied, as stocks of the Dusk Grey apparently ran out.

Ural 375 Truck illustration of three tone scheme taken from East German field manual dated 1992 (Image taken from Panzerbear.de).


United Kingdom

The British Army was the singular exception in NATO, soldiering on with their two-tone scheme they had been using since at least the 1970s, and they showed no sign of making any transition to the NATO 3-tone scheme, no matter what the rest of NATO said. The scheme was easy to paint and maintain, and as the war wore on, British vehicles still looked “nattier” than their other NATO counterparts (relatively) as the colors they used for the scheme were relatively easy to find.
That said, there was a “unique” scheme that one brigade of the British Army transitioned to, and that was the Berlin Brigade’s unique urban scheme that contrary to orders and maybe even a bit of common sense, was retained by the Brigade throughout the war, and it’s surviving vehicles paraded in Portsmouth in 2006 still wearing that scheme, some of them having it hastily applied on the trip back to England. 

Saxon in assembly area of 2/Royal Green Jackets before jumpoff for ADVENT CROWN, July 1997. This photo is a very good study of the British two-tone scheme (photo taken from Cold War Gamer.com).


Canada

The Canadian army’s presence in Europe at the outset of war was limited to the presence of 4th Canadian Mechanized Battle Group, who soldiered on through the Third World War with their obsolete gear. The Leopards had been repainted in a 3-color scheme that approximated the 3-tone NATO scheme, but with different tones, while the rest of the army went to war with the “European” scheme which did not hold up to any kind of hard wear. With the outbreak of war and mobilization, the situation became even more confused, with vehicles being repainted in a variety of patterns, and paint stocks, including a set of trucks that were part of a late deploying battalion in 1997 being painted in a scheme that looked suspiciously like British WW-II SCC 2 Bronze Green! The situation only worsened at the war continued and by the time Canadian troops had managed to crush the last of the separatist holdouts in 2012, one could find surviving vehicles and equipment in just about any shade of green, grey, and brown you could name.
Leo C1 of unknown unit leaving depot after overhaul in Canada in preparation for deployment overseas. January 1997 (taken from tanknutdave.com). Note the hard-worn paint scheme and the improvised Polish flag.
M150 upgraded to M113A2 standard during pre-war family open day in 1994. The vehicle also demonstrates the issues with the paint scheme

Canadian 3-tone Scheme



Canadian European Scheme



Friday, September 14, 2018

Battlegroup - Cold War, and how to write some Twilight: 2000 army lists? And, some news from Ehliem Miniatures!

Hey all, sorry I have not written in a while, and this isn't going to be yet another review piece. Right now, I want to talk about converting rules to the Twilight: 2000 milleu and well, how difficult it can be sometimes, especially when you're writing a unofficial supplement to an unofficial supplement!

So, Battlegroup Cold War is the product of Richard Chambers, the fellow who runs the Cold War Hot, Hot, Hot blog. He's basing his fan supplement off of the Battlegroup: World War II rules, written by Warick Kinrade and Piers Brand, which I am a huge fan of (some would say fanatical). I am also as we all know by this blog, a huge fan of things Twilight: 2000. So, like cookies and cream ice cream, I do want to combine the two, right?

Well, it's not as easy as it sounds. For starters, a lot of the "units" in Twilight: 2000 are smaller cores of once proud divisions and brigades that have been shattered by unceasing combat, as well as the breakdown of the logistics network. They're often a collection of survivors who would have, under better circumstances, been pulled off the line and given a bit of rest. Not so here. Then you have all the other armed groups, some that made Twilight: 2000 pretty memorable indeed, such as the Black Baron's Army, or the ORMO of Krakow? I mean, I still would love to do the culminating battle of the Ruins of Warsaw module on the table top?

But one of the main features of Battlegroup is the army list. Not a bad thing. To me, Battlegroup does army lists right. No min-maxing, stress on the historicals and going for a "feel" of a given army. So far, so good. But how does one do a "feel" for an army for a war, that thank god, never happened?

It's not easy, but I am attempting it. Let's talk about the American list. It's the first list I am working on, and it's becoming I think, the "rosetta stone" for the other lists I intend to work on.

First, I made most of the troop types more experienced, why? Simple. If you've managed to live this long in Twilight: 2000, you probably at least know which end of the rifle goes bang, and how to use it to stay alive. Sure, there's all kinds of levees en masse, but survival in this milleu is a hard school, and one had better be smart about it. So thus, better experience levels.

Second, I reduced numbers. There's now a generic infantry platoon, and it's running around in trucks, with restricted upgrades for more advanced ironmongery. Lots of the cool gear is restricted, or in some cases, unique. It's only going to get worse for the "other armed groups". Point totals have also been increased to make the armies smaller, which also fits in with the milleu, and I am making heavy use of the "War Weary" rule, which makes the likelihood of anybody wanting to be a hero much smaller. As for artillery, well, Mortars are about the only common means of fire support, which also fits in with the milleu.

Third, I am toying with some ideas like allowing stills to refuel units that have run out of gas. "Still Trucks" anyone? I have some American horse cav in the recon section (Hey thanks Ehliem Miniatures for that one!) and I intend to really go nuts with it in the Soviet and Polish lists. Hey, they have whole cavalry divisions!!

The list isn't ready yet, and there's still some special rules I want to play with before I send it to Richard for his looksee, but I want to let people know, yep, I am writing this thing, and yeah, I am having fun with it.

*************************************

Now, the news. Ehliem Miniatures conducted a survey on Facebook about a month ago, and the winners were Post-Apocalyptic figures and WWII Hungarians (I voted for both of em). I've submitted some ideas, and the first stuff has come out, and while it's more Mad Max than Twilight: 2000, it's got some ideas for arming all sorts of stuff, like Polish River Tugs maybe?

Here's Matt Hingley in his own words:

A quick message to tell you lots of new releases now available (see the All New section) including Strykers, USMC, Sci Fi, Gasland modifications parts.

Last month on Facebook we asked you (well, those on FB anyway) for ideas for our next range. The top 10 requests were then voted on and Gaslands/Mad Max/Post Apoc won, followed by WW2 Hungarians. Both of these projects are underway now with Phase one of the Post Apoc ranges now up. Next on the list are the first of the PA factions in miniatures.


Some of the pictures have got some really useful stuff!


Both pictures taken from Ehliem Miniatures website


I like em, really well casted for the most part, usual high level of detail we expect from Matt. Yep, I will pick some of these up when I can, I've got some plastic Battlefield Evolution trucks that need machine guns.....

Well, that's it for now. More is coming from Jorge, as he is busy building up a storm down in Florida, and we will see what he can write up for us!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

A review of 2 Land Rover Kits - Airfix and JB Models



Royal Marines LWB Land Rover
by Jorge Del Rio

While I was stationed in Europe I came to meet with two groups of British troopers that greatly impressed me. The British Royal Marines and the Royal Air Force Regiment, both of these used the Land Rover 1 ton truck as an operational vehicle. The Royal Marines also use another vehicle that I have been tracking and will continue to track until I find it - the BV206.

Airfix and JB Models Kits

Well, in my Twilight 2000 universe, the elements of the 5th Infantry encountered an Intelligence Gathering Team from the Royal Marine Commandos, the group is using 2 Land Rover Long Wheel Base trucks and ¼ ton trailers to carry their equipment. So I have two of the trucks and trailers for the signal intelligence team. Looking on eBay I managed to locate 5 Land Rover LWB with trailers, 3 Hard Shell covered Land Rovers and 2 Soft Canvas covered trucks. In 1/72 HO Scale I found most of the vehicles were either 3d printed or Airfix models, so off I went and got them.

I received 4 Airfix Land Rovers and a JB Models Land Rover, first thing I noticed was that both kits were identical, except the hard cover was different, and since I have all this extra time on my hands (am recovering from ankle surgery) I decided to go ahead and knock these out.

The sprue for both kits!

Started the Airfix kit and 10 minutes later it was finished. The model was very easy to put together and very clean in the parts everything fit, I decided that I was going to add a crew for the vehicle, so using the Elhiem Figures OPS11 British Osprey WMIK crew the driver and a sitting GPMG gunner fit into the vehicle. I will add back packs and other gear using from Black Dog’s Modern Soldiers Gear, it will go into the back of the Land Rover.

A work in progress

The assembled kit, plus the Ehliem figures.

Each of the kits of the kits has ¼ Trailers which I am going to use for the carrying of the surveillance and Radio intercept equipment, one of the trailers will be built into a command container, the marines would have set up a remote listening post in the field, capable of listening to Soviet transmissions. 

Monday, August 13, 2018

Review of the S-Model 1/72 scale M151A1/A2 MUTT

Review by Jorge Del Rio

I started playing Twilight 2000, while serving overseas with US Air Force, as a Security Forces member, and where I was stationed we used Jeeps in some of our patrols. When I started playing I collected some of the Miniatures that went with the game and added some Hotspur and MERC figures. When the game went dormant in my area I continued playing other games which used the miniatures. After finding out that this group existed I was able to put all the miniatures that I had collected and was using for another game to use, so I started looking for some other miniature and Models that I could use.

The M151A1
In my area we have a large group of reenactors that play out different battles from World War 2 and Vietnam, in which I have participated in. a couple of them have the Ford M151A1 and M151A2 MUTT jeeps, and quite frankly it is a great utility vehicle.

In my gaming, I pursued a location which could be built up into a safe haven for my players from which they could go out and conduct raids and search and destroy mission, and with the New America Cells cropping up everywhere it was perfect, what better place than Cedar Key, which is a small island chain that has its own Airport and port. With a large population of reenactors, I built a new location, and gave them the ultimate tool the M151A1 jeeps.

Image taken from S-Model Website

The Kit: 
The box contains 2 models which were able to be easily built with the weapons included in the  model kit. The kit has parts for an M2.50 Cal and a M60 LMG, I’m now searching to see if I can find a TOW armed version that I can add as a salvage unit. 

The model box contain 2 sprues, all the parts for a given vehicle are on one sprue.

The model is relatively easy to build, took me 15 minutes. 

The biggest issue with me is that it has photo etched parts (which I’m not a big fan of) and no replacement for the parts in plastic. 

The model is easy and pleasing to the eye. If you get it you will definitely enjoy it. I give it 4 out of 5 mushroom clouds, with the photo etched parts being the only real drawback.

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Twilight 2000, The Look on the Tabletop, Part 1, Vehicles

Twilight: 2000 is in some ways, a unique post-apocalyptic experience, it isn't quite Mad Max, it isn't quite Gamma World, or for tha...