In recent weeks, I tried to make a little progress on figures to expand my fictional modern African project. One of the things that I wanted to introduce to add a little more flavor was a small unit of Cuban advisers.
I started exploring the idea of adding the Cuban troops about a year ago, and off and on had done web searches for info on Cuban uniforms, as my books only yielded a couple of pics and not much history. I found a good variety of photos, but not a lot of information about the range of years when various patterns were in service. My game is set in the mid 1980's and I was hoping to use Cubans clad in appropriate uniforms for the period. After much searching, and little hard info on dates, I planned to give them a plain Cuban "Olive" green uniform, as that simply seemed safe since they seem to always have had a solid green uniform in service, even if the color may have changed a bit over the years. But in the end, I didn't want another generically green uniformed batch of troops with AKs on the table, so I decided that the gray Cuban Lizard pattern from their involvement in Angola would make them stand out better (even if it was probably out of service by the time frame of my game).
After viewing photos on the web, I settled on paint colors and painted up three test figures, shown below:
I started out with the intent to use ModelMaster Dark Gull Gray as the base uniform color, and switched to MM Light Sea Gray at the last minute. That was a mistake. The gray should be a darker, colder blue, so I think I will try couple more figs with the Dark Gull Gray. I'm okay with the other colors, though need to try a finer brush for the camo "stripes", the current camo came out kind of "chunky". The other colors are as follows:
Green Camo: Vallejo 894 Russian Green
Brown Camo: Vallejo 846 Mahogany Brown
Web: Vallejo 893 US Dark Green
Helmet: Vallejo 894 Russian Green
In reviewing photos of actual uniforms, the green sometimes looks a little darker and other times brighter and a little more yellow, the brown sometimes a touch darker also. There were some photos that looked quite different, with the gray base appearing like a tan/khaki, and the dark green a mossy gray. I suspect that those were auto-adjusted out of whack with a photo editing program, but I guess they could just be a different uniform. They were being identified (at least one time) as Cuban Lizard camo though.
The figures are from Old Glory's Middle Eastern Irregulars pack. I had considered using some of the helmeted figs from Peter Pig's African/Middle East line, but since I already had those poses in my African armies, I opted for the OG figs to expand the variety of figure poses on the tabletop.
Well, time to go back to the painting table. Much work to do.
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