Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dragons for my Cold Warriors

Though I'm behind on most of my gaming projects, I ended up working ahead a little on infantry for next year's Cold War project.  For the most part I decided to use Old Glory Vietnam figs for my late 1970's US troops.  One of the things that is missing from the OG Vietnam figs (if being used in the late 1970s and early 1980s) are M47 Dragon anti-tank weapons. 

As it turns out, there are not a lot of options for M47 Dragon gunners in 15mm for these late '70s Cold Warriors.  Not too long ago, I was reminded in a post on another blog, (though it is referred to as a Command Decision fig, I think it is the QC pose)  about Quality Castings 15mm Dragon gunner figures.  The Dragon gunner is one of the poses in the Post-WWII American infantry pack captioned "Modern 1980's Infantry AT/AA Weapons. I got mine through Warweb at 24 figures for $8.00.  There were six Dragon gunners in the pack.  There are also figures with Stinger AA missile launchers, an M72 LAW rocket, a prone figure firing what I think is an AT4 on a tripod, and a kneeling spotter with binoculars.  Since they are not pictured on the Warweb or Quality Castings sites, the following three photos show the figures from the pack.

The first photo is from slightly above the figures, the last two show both sides of the figs from a directly in front of the figs.  The figures are cleanly cast and pretty well detailed.  The figures are depicted with mid 1980s PASGT helmets that replaced the M1 steel pot.

Older Quality Castings figures tend to be a little smaller than most other manufacturers figs (I have about 1200 WWII infantry from them purchased between 1988 and 1992 representing six nations).  I purchased some of the QC Modern Soviets a few years back,  mostly gun and heavy weapons crew type figures, and they were clearly shorter and  more slight than the QRF and MJ Miniatures Soviet infantry that I had.  So, I figured that I'd compare the QC Modern US infantry to other makes of  Vietnam era and modern US figs that I had.

The figures are shown front and back, and from left to right are Old Glory Modern US, Peter Pig USMC, Quality Castings  M47 Dragon Gunner(kneeling), Old Glory Vietnam US Infantry with Helmet, OG US Infantry  (might be from the Command and Weapons pack), QC Stinger gunner. 

The last fig, the QC Stinger figure is a touch shorter than the other standing figs and more slight in stature.  It is very similar to the OG modern US fig, and noticeably smaller then the Peter Pig Marine, the heftiest of the bunch (also with the bulkiest body armor and gear.

With respect to size, I don't think the Dragon gunner looks particularly bad next to the Old Glory and Peter Pig figures. As a matter of fact, I think it looks fine next to the others.  The Stinger figure might  look a touch small, but I think would pass if used with the OG modern US figs.

Originally, my intent was to do head-swaps with the Dragon gunners, replacing the QC heads with the more modern PASGT helmets with heads from Old Glory figs with M1 helmets.  But the more I looked at the QC figs, I don't think I'm going to do the head-swap. 

I assume that the Old Glory figs have the MICH helmet (though at this scale, they could be also be the PASGT).  I think they were released prior to the introduction of the ACR, but could be wrong.  The Quality Castings figure is sculpted with a PASGT  based on when they were first produced, but the  details of the helmet are not as dramatic as those of the OG helemt, and though not quite as deep, they are not tremendously different from the M1 helmet on the Vietnam figs.  Since the Dragon gunner's helmet is cast into the side of the M47 launch tube, I going to save the time of cutting away the helmet and shaping the replacement, and just paint them as late 1970s/early 1980s figs in M1s with the Mitchel pattern covers.

Hope the photos might be helpful to others.


  1. Yes, very helpful. Put that query to bed.


  2. I have a softspot for the Dragon. In the early eighties whilst on Exercise with troops from the 82nd Airborne, I asked one what his role was and he declared poudly "Im a Dragon man. I kill tanks!"