IRN 01, Iranians with G3 Advancing | Ehliem Figures
The Iran-Iraq war is one of those wars that many wargamers (including myself) would like to game out on the table, but the ability to do so is a bit challenging. While there are plenty of means to do so in 6mm, larger scales are rarer. That is, until recently. With the advent of the 15mm Team Yankee: Oil War line giving players real Iranians to game with in 15mm (instead of just repainting 15mm West Germans), we finally have some options there. Sadly, since I wrote my last bit on the subject, QRF has gotten out of the moderns business in 15mm.
As for 20mm, Rolf at RH Models/Liberation Miniatures has had a line of 20mm Iranians for some time, but that line is hard to get at times, since Rolf is a one-man band and can only do so much. Matt Hingley of Ehliem Figures, however, has taken up the slack with what I can only call some very beautifully sculpted Iranian miniatures.
I am very happy with the figures I ordered from Matt. As always, ordering and delivery was no-fuss, no muss as Ehliem takes PayPal and most major credit cards. The figures are priced between 3 to 4 pounds for a pack from anywhere from two to four figures. So, a normal squad of eight to ten will set you back about $5.50, not including postage of course, which these days isn’t cheap. But I still recommend Matt’s customer service and plain awesomeness (I am a bit biased as a repeat customer).
So, how do these guys stack up to the Liberation Models figures? Well, I’ve taken some photos to compare the two, as I believe photos are truly worth a thousand words (Yes, dangerous words coming from this wordsmith, right?).
Jason Weiser | RH Models and Ehliem Figures
You can see the better sculpting on the Ehliem Figures. I am not saying the RH Models figures are bad, but they’re a bit blockier and the detail isn’t as crisp. I mainly chalk that up to the fact the RH Models figures are of an older design and were sculpted at a time when we didn’t have the CAD technology or the 3D print masters we do now. I know for a fact Ehliem uses both, and here’s where it shows.
Jason Weiser | RH Models and Ehliem Figures
The Ehliem poses are also more natural. My main wishes were that the initial Iranian release had been a bit more extensive. I wish we’d gotten a Dragon team out of it. It’s a minor pet peeve, but the range could use such a team. The Iranians used the Dragon ATGM extensively during the war if they had missiles for it. A team of two would be nice for that. Matt has said he’s making a wave 2 release and I expect it will be a part of that. I must note that the RPG team we do get is simply gorgeous.
That said, I also would like to see some Iranians with Kalashnikovs. As the war ground on, more and more of the Revolutionary Guards were armed with the ubiquitous rifle, which, when you consider the Iranians had a factory to build the West German G3 rifle, doesn’t make as much sense as you might think. But these are the things we miniature wargamers think about. Also, a mullah figure would fill out the line nicely.
I do like quite a bit about the Iranian line of miniatures, however. Again, the figures are crisply detailed, and they have the look of the Iranian army in the 1980s that we saw through grainy news footage in a war so far away. Both armies wore uniforms that were in similar shades of green, but not always. Take this photo of Iranian troops with a mix of uniforms and load bearing equipment (LBE).
Last Stand on Zombie Island Blog
Also, the quality of the images can be an issue to getting an accurate
read of the uniforms on either side. This photo below is very sharp, but the
uniforms here are very dark. Is this accurate? Hard to say.
Trust me, you could paint your figures either uniform and get away with
it. Another missed opportunity, though a macabre one, is the subject of child
soldiers, which the Iranians used extensively. They were recruited a variety of
ways, and the use of these kids is a sad fact of this war. And, as we can see
in the photo below, they weren’t equipped too differently from the adults.
Iranian Basji (Child Soldier) | Reddit
The good news is Osprey is doing a book on uniforms of the Iran-Iraq war, but it won’t be out for a little while. I’ve pre-ordered a copy, but as you can see, Google can be your friend here.
All in all, I give the figures a 4.5 out of 5 stars, the half star being taken off for the aforementioned reasons. I was impressed with the sculpting quality, the figures are affordable, and Matts’ customer service is just some of the best in the industry. If you play 20mm, and have an interest in the conflict, you could do a lot worse then buy these figures.
That’s all for now. Good Gaming, Everyone.
At Epoch Xperience, we specialize in creating compelling narratives and provide research to give your game the kind of details that engage your players and create a resonant world they want to spend time in. If you are interested in learning more about our gaming research services, you can browse Epoch Xperience’s service on our parent site, SJR Research.
(This article is credited to Jason Weiser. Jason is a long-time wargamer with published works in the Journal of the Society of Twentieth Century Wargamers; Miniature Wargames Magazine; and Wargames, Strategy, and Soldier.)