Saturday, April 14, 2018

Urgent Fury - Preliminary Planning

Marine Corps Welcoming Committee
Come to the islands!

Some scattered thoughts regarding a Grenada project, you know, that thing called Operation Urgent Fury?  Some years ago I had some 20mm figures for this conflict for skirmish gaming, but as I have mentioned previously my space is limited so 15mm is the preferred scale...oh, sorry scale snobs...preferred size, for most of my land gaming projects.  And Grenada calls out to me every couple of years.  So today I spent some time doing some searching on blogs and gaming sites trying to find figures that would be somewhat accurate.  I will state it is going to be a chore.

Let's jump to buildings and terrain.  This is a bit easier to tackle.  First, I have some hand made shanties that should add a suitable slum element to part of the tabletop.  I also have tropical trees and plants (well, they are mostly desert, but they'll do in a pinch), along with some Flames of War Vietnam foliage and trees.  I have some green tiles from The Terrain Guy (now defunct) for the gaming base.  But I do need some additional buildings, and in doing some searching there are plenty of pan-tiled roof buildings on Grenada, shades of the Mediterranean.  Empires at War make a series of prepainted mdf and laser cut Spanish/Italian buildings that should do nicely.  Okay, terrain really isn't much of an issue.

Photo from Khurasan website
Back to the figures. I own three packs of Quality Castings modern Americans.  Given the fact that these figures were probably sculpted well over twenty years ago, the term modern fits a bit more with late Cold War.  Do they have the correct weapons?  Let's try a bit of pass/fail.  The weapons pack has the M47 Dragon (pass), the M60 machinegun (pass), LAW antitank launchers (pass), Stinger missiles (no need for these), and the figures are wearing the kevlar helmet (fail for Marines, pass for 82nd Airborne).  The basic infantry packs have M16s, some with M203 grenade launchers (check), but again with the kevlar helmet.  And the Quality Castings range is so small in height (or should I say SCALE?) compared to other 15mm figures, with some figures showing strange poses.  I cut my WWII 15mm teeth on Quality Castings, but I am not 100% sold on their modern offerings, with so many newer ranges out there.

I found a few pictures of US Marines wearing the steel pot helmet with their sleeves rolled up, so perhaps Vietnam era figures might work after all.  I already own some Flames of War Vietnam figures, but they have things like cigarette packs and what not cast on, so they have a decided 'Nam feel.  Then I stumbled onto the Vietnam range from Khurasan.  You have to know the secret handshake to find them (or this link) as they do not appear under the historical figures listing, so I am not even certain they are available for sale.  I'll have to send an email to Khurasan to check availability.

Won't you take me to, shanty town?
Okay, so perhaps Vietnam figures will work for the Marines.  What about figures for the bad guys?  A bit tougher.  The Cubans could be handled via Peter Pig.  Their hardened militia look the part of Cuban military, even if they might not be in proper attire for Grenada.  Peter Pig also make Soviet helmeted African troops, which might work for the PRA.  There are also some militia packs that might be suitable.  I like some Peter Pig figures, and others I could do without.  Their modern Marines are excellent - chunky in heft, the open gaping mouth that is Peter Pig's signature feature not nearly as prominent, and they have animated sculpting.  Some of their other ranges are not as good (mostly from being older sculpts).

For vehicles I am going to keep it super simple, perhaps one BTR-60 for the bad guys and one AAVP7A1 for the Marines.  Butlers' Printed Models make both in 15mm for a pretty decent price, even though the shipping is a bit high (more than the cost of the two vehicles).  Irishserb makes an AAV7A1, wonder if I can get him to do a BTR-60?

More to follow!


  1. The Peter Pig HM figures are excellent..I use them as proxy Cubans for AK47. Looking forward to this project!

    1. I still need to figure out the Grenadian troops, but ran across an account near Pearls Airport where the Marines ran into local militia wearing shirts and Peter Pig militia should work for them!


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