Saturday, April 5, 2014

"Good ol' USA vs Red COMMIES"

Among a haul of Army Men type soldiery I was given late last year was a pack under the banner of this posting's title.  You might recollect the pic from my posting at that time. You would think, wouldn't you, that the Cold War having been more or less over the last 20 years and more, this sort of thing might have limited appeal.  But who knows?   
 Perhaps the epithet 'Commy' has lost its sting.  A glance at the central small print in the above picture reveals the irony: made in China for a 'Good Ol' USA' company based in Seattle. 

 This appealed to my sense of humour so much that I was inclined - as I had plenty of other soldiery to work with - to leave this 'mint in pack.'   Yesterday I overcame that temptation and opened it: one flag and 10 soldiers in each compartment.  Struck by the bold, in-your-face scarletry of the presumably 'Red Commies', I hoiked them out of the bag first.   
What emerged were 2 bazooka guys, 2 'about-to-stick-a-bayonet-in-someone's-liver' guys, 2 flamethrower guys, 1 guy prone shooting, 1 other guy prone, not shooting, 1 guy calling for take-out, 1 guy looking for his lost keys.  I admit, I got those last descriptors from here, The 5 Suckiest Army Men, but of course, these last 2 guys are very useful in building up something that resembles an army.  From my point of view - a handy bunch of dudes, though what a 7-year-old would think is a whole other question.  I admit to finding flamethrowers a bit problematical, though.  It's a horror weapon - as one might well guess when it has been observed that few operators of such weapons become POW.
Then out with the green guys:

Here the selection is quite different.   You get your 2 bazooka dudes,  3 green fellows crawling about for the 1 red guy, and 2 kneeling firing.  The final three chappies are really handy: 2 light machine gun guys, and a light mortar guy.  Considering this pack is supposed to be of opposing sides, they complement each other quite well.

The observant reader might recognise the style of Army Men as that being used (apart from the colours) by Tim Gow's Cold Wars play test.  I'll be keeping the bipods on my LMGs though.  
 As these figures are too few to represent anything independent, I'll be merging them and several other figures into a company of Omez allies of Raesharn.  The whole group below is just 41 figures all up - rather a smallish company by 'Jono's World' standards, but this will be a fairly well equipped one.
Meanwhile, there are these bunch of British Commonwealth and Australian (?) figures - about 50 of them. 
Distinctive as they are from my other figures, they are likely to be pressed into Saabian service as allies of Kiivar.  A trifle over officered, and, judging by the number of (Antipodean)  radio-operator guys, the local catering services are a bit stretched, I am pleased to see at least 2 LMG (Bren) and a MMG (Vickers - Whispering Death).    I may have to add the odd piece of equipment, such as a mortar and maybe one or two anti-tank rifles or launchers...

11 comments:

  1. Think of how long it took before they stopped putting Germans into bags as enemies, 50 years? The sad thing is that almost no one thinks its worthwhile putting in toy soldiers with vaguely modern weaponry.

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    1. As it happens I do have some 'German' figures in this sort of scale. These I have done up as Raesharn 'Tank Infantry' (panzer grenadier types) with 'camo and black' uniforms. Of course, I'm not altogether worried about mixing guys in order to get reasonable sized units. But I rather think my 14 'Spetznaz' figures will end up as a special elite - and rather anachronistic - unit designed for deep penetration and hold missions.

      In many respects I am quite glad of the less modern equipment as it suits my project. But I do take your meaning. If I wanted to do something a bit more 21st century, it's not so easy. I have been somewhat persuaded to join 'Uncle Brian's' Harad project (20mm plastics). I have a few Spetznaz figures again, but most of the army of Tchagai of 1979 will look uncommon like WW2 Soviets...

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  2. They do indeed look very similar to my 'Greenies' and 'Brownies'. Just for the record, I didn't remove the MG bipods - they were like that when I bought 'em.

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    1. Ah - different manufacturer possibly. One never quite knows the provenance of these sorts of figures. I have several that show that their origins were Airfix or Matchbox designs, but by what roundabout route they fetched up in my armies, who knows?

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    2. Are yours about 45mm in height?

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    3. Actually are slightly over 50mm from bottom of the base to top of the helmet - 50mm even counting the figure itself. These were made 'exclusively for 'Accoutrements' - a Seattle company, I gather.

      I have only 20 of these figures, but I estimate having about 500 or so all up. They vary from 40mm to 60mm. I've set aside the smallest ones so most of my troops will vary from 45mm to 60. I'm not worrying overmuch about scale, though what things look like in our world will become something a little different in theirs.

      Having since posting looked into the mix of troops in the last two diagrams, they will in fact form a large platoon of three rifle and one HQ sections (squads). The HQ section will include a mortar team, an assault engineer team (flame throwers and mine-clearing equipment), and comms team.

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    4. It occurred to me you might have been enquiring into the Airfix and Matchbox -derived figures. The Brit guys are just on 50mm; the Australians 45mm. Despite the considerable difference, I'll almost certainly be mixing them into a single unit.

      I have much more in the way of Army Men NATO types, and still more that seem to fit better into the 1940s oeuvre but rather lack support weapons. I have a feeling that the Army men field is rife with piracy of designs.

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  3. Kill a commie for mommy and all the rot. Interesting!

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    1. Aye, well. It all becomes academic, as all 20 figures are being merged into one, with 20-odd other dudes (WW2 Japanese, mostly, but a few others as well) into one unit. The whole unit is mostly painted up already - just some cosmetic work required. They'll be the subject of a future posting.

      Speaking of the Cold War, I read Genl Hackett's books on the '1985 war', and never did get a clear picture of 'Why?'

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  4. Thank you for your interesting and informative blog. I have enjoyed reading it and appreciate the work you have put into it. Here is some relevant information for you to review .
    Toy Machine Guns

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    1. Hi Jake: thanks for your comment. I've never been much into guns - not since my teenage years at any rate, and even then not much. But I have been tempted to get hold of a couple of 'Nerf' guns to provide the 'artillery' and anti-tank game mechanic for my Army Men rule set.
      Cheers,
      Ion

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