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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Saturday, 1 December 2012


... PNR ... MNR ... yes, you know it's a revolution when you have lots of acronyms knocking about. After yesterday's post about trying to find 20mm plastics for Cuban regulars (FAR), Cuban militia (MNR) and Cuban police (PNR), I received some very helpful replies. I'll be ordering some IMEX Korean War US Army, and I already had some IMEX ROK with M1 helmets. The irritating thing is that although the Fidelistas looked very much like 1950s US forces, the M1 helmets largely seem to have been worn by the PNR. That leaves me with the need to make berets and kepi-type headgear. Now, an eminent wargaming and toy soldier blogger commented that this sort of thing is 'a piece of cake' - mmmm:

On the right of the photograph you can see this evening's efforts at baking cakes. Efforts being the operative word. The 'berets' look like the brains of H G Wells' tripod aliens, or hair nets, or those big baggy things Israelis have taken to wearing on their helmets (why ? How does that work? I can see that it breaks the outline up, but they move so much that it can't be good). So, it looks like there are going to be a lot of PNR knocking around. Blast.

Although Castro had plenty of Soviet armour and artillery available in April 1961, the personal weapons of his men were largely US stuff - Garands, BARs, etc - and some Belgian SLRs. It would be good to have some troops with SLRs, but all the figures I can think of in 20mm plastic are from the 1970s and 1980s, and have a much baggier, combat gear, look, as opposed to the rather sleek olive green US look from the 1950s, which typified the Fidelistas. Annoying. One last thought, did Castro deploy any of the Batista era US armour ? Does anyone know?


  1. Plenty of T34/85's and SU85's or SU100's seem to have been used along with 5.5inch QF guns from the Airfix Matador set, I would hazard a calcuted guess the M1 series of 105mm guns.

    M8 Greyhounds were bound to have been fielded along with US Jeeps and their Soviet counterpart.

    Maybe some Comets, but I doubt it.

    Happy hunting.

    1. Cheers, Paul. Yes, I seem to have dim memories of seeing photos of Greyhounds, and Stuarts. Jeeps certainly, even the invaders had five, with .50 cals. Lots to hunt down!

  2. OOps, Did I say Pegasus Korean War? I meant Imex Korean War. One of those American companies anyway.

    FN's? What about A Call To Armies 1/72nd re-release of the old Heral khaki army figures. More helmet to beret conversions (or lots of camoflage) but the trousers aren't too baggy and there are some slr's.

    The beret's perhaps look better in the picture than in life but what I can see isn't bad, just a bit too big.

    It seems to me that the Revel 8th Army Scots have a number of figures in balmoral and long pants. Of course its only about a dozen figures per box.

    1. Jolly good! I did try to find the Pegasus... but it is looking as if the IMEX boxes for Korea are the thing. I sanded the berets down this evening, and they look a lot better. I'll hunt out the Revell's too - I had been thinking about the Matchbox 8th Army I realised.

  3. The conversions are coming along well. That's a nice looking set of figures too, I considered them as South Vietnamese at one point but never got anywhere. I look forward to seeing them painted.

    1. Cheers, Ben. The good thing is that the plastic is pretty hard, in fact not far off being as hard as that that occasionally comes in kits.