Sunday, 26 January 2014

Armies of Afghanistan- Brent (USMC)

Who am I?
My name is Brent and I’m better known as Queeg on a few modelling forums. My brother (little - in more ways than one) is Craig and he helped design the Sangin ruleset.

I model more than I game but I do enjoy thrashing my brother with my lucky dice on occasion. Armour is really my passion though and it’s the large part of what I build and paint on a daily basis for both ourselves and customers (see Craig, another shameless plug worked in lol). As such I think it’s up to me to bring some balance to all the footsloggers here and produce some of the really serious firepower utilised in the conflict, in this case a 1/48th M1A2 from Gasoline.

How many points is this you ask ….. well generally I’m not really a point guy (2000+ 4 crew, so at least 2200!- Ed) as I prefer to game around scenarios. Vehicles can be used either as traditional fire-support or as centerpoints in a larger story. They could be damaged by IED/mine attack and be in the process of being recovered for instance. Bogged, isolated or damaged vehicles would make an attractive target for the opposition whether it’s Insurgents, Taliban or regular forces.

One of the big AFV stories from the Iraqi war Operation Telic 1 was of a British Challenger 2 from the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards which when reversing away from enemy fire got stuck in a ditch throwing both of it’s tracks. It was subsequent estimated to have been struck by around 14 RPGs and a missile reported to be a MILAN. The crew fought off the attackers and survived shaken but unharmed when rescue and recovery forces finally arrived. Perfect background for a gaming scenario.

So for my games with my brother I intend to have a selection of armoured and light armoured vehicles available to choose from . . . . .

What Army am I playing?

Generally speaking I don’t play one army, although I tend favour British in all scales and periods. For the purposes of the Armies of Afghanistan series though I’m flying the American flag and specifically (with a favourable cross wind) the Marines . First up is the M1A2 Abrams to which later will be added a section of Marine HMMWVs (think Generation Kill for inspiration), maybe an M-ATV (Empress are releasing a tasty looking one soon) and I’d like to add some chopper support in the form of a Marine Cobra (Well we did decide 2000 points-ish.....-Ed).

I have also started work on a British vehicle based force for our own collection based around the new Airfix 1/48th Operation Herrick range, you can check out my (slow) progress if interested on my modelling blog here.

What am I getting with my starting funds?

The funds bank was broken on this one but thanks to Craig’s fiscal support to begin with I am getting the 1/48th M1A2 Abrams from Gasoline Models in France. There’s also a few additional goodies to add to it coming from various parts of the globe including a Blackdog stowage set from White Ensign Models and some crew from Propaganda Kompany, also in France but they’re being sourced from their E-Bay sales arm. Why get the bits from all over, partly because none of it is available in NZ but it’s also a test of online sales service for future purchases. I’ll be reporting in due course if it all arrives in good order and in one piece!

My loose plan is to depict a heavily used vehicle and use it as a chance to go to town with contrasts and weathering. My reference pic below is this tasty looking USMC vehicle pictured from the Iraqi conflict though current Afghanistan deployed vehicles have been upgrade with newer equipment.
Some of the upgrades applied to the Abrams include SEP (Systems Enhancement Programme) and TUSK (Tank Urban Survival Kit) which include the following components, a Thermal Imaging sight for the loader, CROWs remote weapons station for the tank commander, Armoured Gun shield for the loader, rear mounted Tank/Infantry telephone and an improved armour kit comprising reactive armour tiles and rear mounted slats. Recently DUKE anti IED jammers have also been fitted to the service fleet. Note I don’t intend to add all this stuff . . . . though I might . . . . add . . . . some . . . . .

Well that’s all for now apart from waiting for the bits to arrive. Feel free to comment on the build once I get going and ask any questions which I’ll be glad to try and answer (except the dumb ones you’re thinking up Craig!)

Aka Queeg


  1. Urah bro!
    Despite the fact that we laugh and point at you in bars, once we're in theater you are our new best friends! Because everybody wants a best friend with a 120mm smoothbore cannon.
    Give a bell if you need anything bro a couple of my mates were in armor.;-)

    1. I haven't seen or heard of any M1A1's deploying with TUSK just a few bits and bobs.

    2. Here you go.

    3. I said with TUSK.
      Start pushing. Move.

  2. I push for no man living or dead. :)
    my google foo only said the time it was first issued. But from my experience in the army, if you have it. You will pack it. So it the corp bought em, they will be used.

  3. Hey guys, thanks for lookin' and the interest.

    Yeah I'm pretty sure the 1st Marine M1s in Afghanistan have various partial TUSK1 fits only. Not sure why but it probably relates more to Marine vrs Army procurement as the TUSK2 should fit both A1s and A2s as far as I'm aware. The Army is definately using TUSK2 kits in Iraq ..... I'm not sure which way I'll go with the kit yet but it defiantely won't have reactive tiles.

  4. I vaguely remember some reference to USMC M1 tanks not having TUSK fitted in AFG. But then, I haven't been looking into it, so I might be making that up.

    Will be an interesting build in any case- the collection of parts which you are bringing together I think is going to make a great model!

    And Adam, it's not nice to make people get out and push :)

  5. Yeah I meant that the Marine m1s that I've seen only have a couple pieces of what the army calls the tusk kit.
    I meant push ups Chris. ;-)
    But pushing an m1 would be a good punishment as well.

  6. Oh for battalion games day, we are going to push an Abrams for fun!

  7. looking forward to seeing this develop! Dougie