Impressions: Gringo 40’s NVA – MENA Style

A wise man once said – “You will never have enough insurgents for wargaming”. And it’s kind of right! With such a variety of groups around the world, as well as the breadth and depth of equipment available to them. Due to this, ranges listed for Ultramodern can only go so far before you start wanting something a little fresher.

This led me to take a look at the Gringo 40’s range of NVA. Just glancing at the range, you don’t see the stereotypical Vietnamese look of the more rural fighters, and after seeing them painted up by Volley Fire Painting services, I just had to take a look. I picked up six figures (all that were available from the site when I purchased them) and started to begin my work with them.

First of all common features – the range is focused on the NVA fighting during the battle of Hue City. You don’t see the stereotypical pyjamas and conical hats that fill many other ranges. These are the NVA who moved into the city and then fought through the streets. As such, they are in shirts and trousers and all are equipped with chest rigs and a whole host of other kit to give them a well trained and supplied look.

As a minor note, I made a few modifications to them to make them a little bit more suitable for MENA. This was mainly me covering up sandalled feet. Although probably suitable to fighters in the region, I think the full covered feet is a more professional look, suitable for such a group of well armed fighters. Personally, I think I went a little heavy on the green stuff leading to some oversized feet, but I can work on that for next time.

The first four are standard AK armed fighters, their poses putting them in the midst of fighting. It’s a nice mix and they do look really good put next to each other, like a small group in the middle of the action. All of them wear the same shirt and trouser combination, with plenty of detail on the sculpting.

The rear shot shows off just how well equipped these guys are – a string of grenades across the back of their webbing, as well as a pile of pouches, water bottles and knives. I’m a fan of this look, especially when put alongside less well-equipped troops (such as the Spectre Militia ranges).

There is also a double pack of an NVA Leader and a female Runner. This pair works really well for my setting, including as it does a female fighter and a figure dressed in military garb. It’s easy to see the leader as an ex-regime fighter, still in his fatigues to show his experience and stand out among his irregular comrades.

As you can see, I did a few little green stuff tweaks. The female fighter received shoes and a headband, while the officer had the most vital addition – a moustache, to show his authority and make him look a little more suitable for the MENA area.

Of course, as with any range, some comparison shots are required. Here we have the classic lineup. From left to right: Empress, Eureka, Gringo40s, Spectre and Eureka. As you can see the Gringo40s NVA fit the size range perfectly, and from a distance, they will easily blend in with the rest. Weapons are a similar scale to Empress or Eureka, so don’t worry about them bending or breaking. Similarly, the figures arrived and needed barely any cleanup. Another win for them.

To conclude, I am very happy with the new additions to my milita collection. These guys (and girl) are nicely posed, fun to paint and packed full of character. The price per figure is very reasonable and postage is charged separately, meaning you aren’t overpaying for it, and arrives very promptly. Overall, I can heartily recommend both the company and the figures, no matter what setting they end up seeing action in. You can find them on the Gringo40’s site at http://www.gringo40s.com/north-vietnamese-army.html

Wargaming Week 16/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 9th through to the 15th of September.

BLOG STUFF

New post on the Gringo 40’s guys coming tomorrow! Just need to do the finishing touches to it.

NEWS

This week is a week of Spectre news! First of all, a massive tease from them – it looks like we have a big Spectre release coming this weekend seeing as they are assembling a new board for it. Including a hanger and a new pattern drone, it’s quite an interesting tease – guesses for what the new release is on postcards!

Spectre also put out some releases. First up, the Contraband pack is the last set of objectives that were first available back at Salute. A pile of money and a pile of drugs are perfect for decorating any classic criminal hideout.

The other release is a new upgrade for the technical range. Containing a new set of bull bars, a snorkel and a roof rack with prefilled storage, this is a neat addition to the range that has been a long time coming (you can see it in the version 1 rulebook on the African technical). I have to admit, I’m tempted to pick up another technical to include it.

PURCHASES

If you are just here modern stuff, you might want to keep scrolling…

Okay, so the Games Workshop hammer hit me pretty hard this week. First up, after seeing my friend Matt assembling some Aeronautica Imperialis stuff on the weekend, I decided that I quite fancied a few planes myself. I’ve always wanted some of the flyers from 40k but Forgeworld was always too expensive. 8mm is also a more sensible scale. In addition, I’m very interested in the game itself – I like X-Wing and other games like it but always disliked the range guessing. Bring on the hexes. Now I also have to wait for some Valkyries…

The other GW thing was this pair of sun bleached boxes. They have been in my local newsagents window for the last year and a bit and frankly, I could never see them getting sold. So I decided to go in there and make the man behind the counter an offer for them. In the end I got them for a third of the actual price which is a pretty good deal. Not 100% on my plans for them but it should be interesting to play around with.

HOBBY

As you might have guessed, first thing was finishing off my NVA figures. It still amazes me just what a wash and a dry brush can to do a paint job. I’m actually quite happy with the final result and I like just how well they fit with my other insurgents.

New boxed game meant new things to build so I started making planes. I’m taking my time with them, enjoying the feel of plastic kits again. So far, I’ve done the Thunderbolts you see above (a nice mix of air to air and air to ground under the wings) and two Marauder bombers (one with a mix, the other loaded with bombs). The Ork fighter sprue is out and will begin assembly this week. The plan is not to buy any more until all my planes are painted but we shall see how that goes

Finally, more assembly work. This time on my Canadian LAV-III. There were a few fun bits (like the turret rear cage) and it’s still missing the crew and pintle MG but I really like the look of this thing. It will be a terror on the tabletop as well!


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 09/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 2nd through to the 8th of September.

NEWS

Empress has had a pretty busy week with a literal pile of releases! First up, the M113 ACAV is now available in 1/50 scale as part of the Vietnam range. Coming with the all the parts you need to cover it in machine guns and perfect for rolling around the hills and streets of Vietnam, this is a cool looking piece of kit. I can see plenty of use for it outside of Vietnam and in Ultramodern settings as well, especially if you take off a few machine guns.

Following on from Spectre releasing some of their Kickstarter exclusives, it’s time for Empress to do the same! Unlike the frantic ebaying that happened for me to get mine, you can now just order your own NZ SAS figure from Empress from the limited quantities left. I really like the look of this guy – he’s perfect to add as a leader to other Empress SF figures. Get them while they are still in stock!

Empress are also entering the Afghan civilian market with their first two releases. With a pack of Afghan women (ideal for decorating any village scene) and a pack of an Afghan man and boy on donkey (something for an ISAF convoy to encounter or to approach a checkpoint), these two packs are an exciting start to assembling a full village worth of civilians.

Finally for Empress, they ended the week with an additional Vietnam vehicle – the terrifying and odd looking M50 Ontos. One of the strangest vehicles to be deployed and only really used in Vietnam, the six recoiless rifles are perfect for delivering a volley of high explosive rounds. Perfect for when you need to fight through Hue street by street. I think it also looks a fun kit to build – it’s going to be a neat addition to any board.

Finally, the UK has a new Eureka stockist! FIghting 15s for a long time was the best way of getting Eureka’s rather excellent range here in the UK but earlier this year they had announced they were no longer stocking them, However, Eureka have managed to organise another seller, who has just opened this week. They already have the full range up, so get buying!

PURCHASES

Nothing, still working through the piles of stuff I currently have.

HOBBY

Not much hobby this week but but I did get to spend my weekend down in Leeds for some dental work. However, I used the Sunday afternoon to head over to York and meet up with my Usual Opponent and friends to sit down and paint. And I managed to get some done! As you can see above, I took the Gringo 40’s NVA from undercoat all the way up to mostly done (apart from wash and final drybrush). More details coming this week.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 02/09/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 19th of August through to the 1st of September.

NEWS

New releases from Spectre! This selection of four High Value Targets lets you add a really great character to augment a scenario. Each takes a different role, ranging from the Salesman gesticulating to a possible buyer, the Adviser perfect to lead your militia fighters while still remaining hands off, the General huddling the cold in his classic Russian coat and the Dictator in military regalia and with his cane.

What’s quite interesting is where each of these figures are actually from. The General is one I haven’t seen before but the other three have been glimpsed. The Dictator was in one of the packs in the original Spectre Kickstarter (alongside the African Militia Warlord, African Rebel Warlord and a Sapeur themed leader) while the Salesman was one of the Kickstarter stretch goals. It took me a while to realise that the adviser had appeared first all the way back in 2015, appearing in the display stand as part of the WIP greens (you can see the photo in my Unreleased models post way back in 2017). Overall, I think it’s great to see these figures being released and become much more easily purchasable.

Empress also released some new figures for their WW2 range. The Late War Brits I’ve started collecting now have two more packs. The Support pack includes a rather fantastic sniper model, the vital 2inch mortar and a few command figures. The Radio Pack has two Radio teams. Overall, I like them a great deal. That said, my project has slowed slightly, both due to a lack of time but also the fact we’re missing some vital figures from the range. As someone who likes picking up the Vickers machine gun in my Chain of Command games, I’m eagerly waiting to see Empress’s version of them.

PURCHASES

First up, I picked up a set of Gringo 40’s NVA after seeing them on Facebook. They are missing many of the key Vietnam farmer/fighter look, due to focusing on Hue, so they could actually fit very well with an ultramodern setting. With a super fast delivery, I already took a look at making them fit the Middle East a little more.

Of course, with a new Spectre release I just had to pick them up. I already have the Salesman waiting to paint, so the other three were added to the collection.

HOBBY

First up, I got a pile of Canadians! And more importantly, an LAV-III has arrived after a long journey through the delights of the customs series. A slight downer at accidentally receiving two of the same pack was elevated by just how cool they look. I can’t wait to get them all assembled (especially the LAV-III after the dry run I did with the parts) and ready for operations in Bazistan.

As mentioned above, here are the NVA figures from Gringo40s. I’ve done my rookie green stuff job on them. Shoes for everyone, a bandana on the female runner, a scarf for one of the fighters and (with it being the Middle East) a bushy mustache on the leader to assert his authority with. The next step will be getting them based and painted, making sure to vary their colours to give the militia look. These guys look perfect for slightly more well equipped fighters, seeing as all of them are wearing chest rigs and carrying lots of grenades. More details when I finish them.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!