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Looking for Help With Cold War Kit - Weighing up British and Other Options


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Hi All,

 

I'm currently looking at throwing together a British Cold War loadout and I was weighing up options in terms of weapons. Ideally I'm looking for a good quality L1A1 but I'm acutely aware that the Ares is the only version widely available.

 

  • Is it possible to turn the Ares into a good performer?
  • Are there other options to consider from other manufacturers? I've looked and the only one I came across was King Arms but sadly these are very rare.
  • Are there other viable platforms or other systems worth considering? From what I've read the Sterling was given to some units but I've found little regarding it's actual usage.

 

Overall I'm just looking for a bit of feedback and assistance in the development of the above loadout. Admittedly I'm half tempted to look at a West German or even French load out just for sake of ease in terms of weapon although I suspect getting the actual kit would be a bit of a nightmare.

 

I briefly considered Canadian Army (maybe Anzacs would be an option?) but even then, I suspect weapons and clothing/kit might be an issue.

 

Admittedly I know the above is a bit vague, I think the biggest issue is trying to find something that isn't Russian or American that is actually viable. At least in terms of what is available in airsoft and accessible in the surplus market.

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Find an old kings arms L1A1, mate had one of the first made & had no issues with it.

Failing that look for an S&T Mk5 Sterling, considerably cheaper than an L1A1, used by radio operators etc, not many other options for cold war Brit kit.

Jimpy ?

Nerf rockets or tags in an 84mm Carl Gustav 🤣 

 

Regards gear, 58 pattern webbing, 68 pattern DPM jacket & green lightweight trousers, black leather boots & maybe puttees if your stitch counting lol

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why do i have it in my head for some reason that lct are supposedly looking at making a FAL?

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, Adolf Hamster said:

why do i have it in my head for some reason that lct are supposedly looking at making a FAL?

 

It's entirely possible but the only ones I know of which LCT supposedly have in the works at the moment are a series of MP5's.

 

42 minutes ago, Tackle said:

Find an old kings arms L1A1, mate had one of the first made & had no issues with it.

Failing that look for an S&T Mk5 Sterling, considerably cheaper than an L1A1, used by radio operators etc, not many other options for cold war Brit kit.

Jimpy ?

Nerf rockets or tags in an 84mm Carl Gustav 🤣 

 

Regards gear, 58 pattern webbing, 68 pattern DPM jacket & green lightweight trousers, black leather boots & maybe puttees if your stitch counting lol

 

My understanding is that the KA L1A1's are more or less like rocking horse poo these days?

 

The sterling is certainly an option but it's admittedly a bit of an unknown to me in terms of reliability etc. Admittedly I love my SMG's.

 

Haha, while the Gustav sounds awesome it's somewhat limited in use ;)

Edited by FreeFrag.UK
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6 minutes ago, FreeFrag.UK said:

 

It's entirely possible but the only ones I know of which LCT supposedly have in the works at the moment are a series of MP5's.

 

 

yeah, that statement of mine needs a big "citation needed" slapped on it, but if they were then that sounds like the best option.

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18 minutes ago, FreeFrag.UK said:

 

It's entirely possible but the only ones I know of which LCT supposedly have in the works at the moment are a series of MP5's.

 

 

My understanding is that the KA L1A1's are more or less like rocking horse poo these days?

 

The sterling is certainly an option but it's admittedly a bit of an unknown to me in terms of reliability etc. Admittedly I love my SMG's.

 

Haha, while the Gustav sounds awesome it's somewhat limited in use ;)

Cheap poor man's "SLR", JG FAL, gotta have solid stock though & maybe different flash hider.

Can't comment on how good the s&t sterling is, but I know there's a few on here that have had one, in sure they'll chip in with info ?

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Did I hear my name being called?  I play almost exclusively at Cold War events ran by Gunman and have both East German, Soviet and British loadouts.

 

Now, at least within the Gunman Airsoft Cold War community (pretty much the only one in the UK TBH) we tend to operate a 10ft rule, if it looks ok from 10ft then it will do until you get better kit.   Anvil Airsoft recently released a video on British Kit that you might want to watch, its on Youtube.

 

Re weapons, the Ares L1A1 has had mixed reviews but is pretty much the only option for an L1A1 unless you can source a King Arms or until VFC release their GBBR FAL.  I had one, it shot absolutely fine I only sold it as I play WARPAC pretty much exclusively.  S&T do a Sterling, which I also have had and sold, it was a solid gun and had amazing range, it was prone to issues with the selector switch though.  You can usually find them on Evike or elsewhere if you hunt around for one.    As we are now at 1985/86 in terms of our story line we are also allowing L85s to be used.  Another option, particularly if you do an SAS based impression or Royal Marines or Para Recce is an M16.  I have even seen NATO players with MP5.  

 

We tend not to have Canadians or ANZAC.  There have been players coming as French and there is a group for West Germans as well, which could be an option given the ease of finding kit and the plethora of G3s that are out there if you are determined to do NATO.  At least within the Gunman rules we try to encourage people to stick with the main factions of East German, Soviet, Brit or US to avoid 1 or 2 people coming as something really out there and left field.  Not that you would be turned away or made to feel unwelcome just that its looks odd within the overall aim of the aesthetic.  

 

If you want to do WARPAC and don't want to do Soviet I would suggest East German, the kit is easy to find and very distinctive.  We also have a solid group of DDR players and the craic is mighty.  Weapons are also a LOT easier to source for WARPAC.

 

If there is anything you would like to know just ask, alternatively get on to the Facebook Gunman Cold War airsoft group, I also run the Cold War Airsoft WARPAC chat group on Facebook.  Both groups are full of really helpful people in terms of kit and weapons.  Its a really cool, friendly scene with NONE of the drama re hit taking or other shenanigans you get at a skirmish.  The next game is August 22 and is moving theatre to China so there is even scope for a Chinese impresssion if you like.  

 

Shout me with questions

Edited by EvilMonkee
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@EvilMonkee - Unfortunately I don't use social media, however, I'll pick your brains nonetheless as it would be rude not to.

 

Out of curiosity how do you find the faction split for Cold War events at Gunman, in terms of player population. Is there any consistent shortage for one side or the other? From what I've on the grape vine the Cold War events seems to be quite popular so I can't imagine it being a huge issue.

 

To be honest I could more readily jump into a Soviet kit just by virtue of having an AKMS and an AK-74 but I'm somewhat more keen to pursue the NATO angle at the moment. If the scale tends to be tipped in favour of NATO players as opposed to WARPAC then that makes it a far easier decision to switch it up.

 

In terms of M16 viable Brit forces, I'd only really seen the SAS (and presumably SBS) wielding them but admittedly I know little about what the RMC were wielding around that time beyond the obvious use of the SLR in the Falklands.

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@Stratton Oakmont Appreciate the info, cheers. Definitely opens up options. Part of me was considering saying "sod it" and picking up an M249 Mk1 but from the little bit I can recall off of the top of my head these were first used by SAS patrols in Desert Storm.

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Ironically the forward fire controllers used the type of tactical vests that these days tend to get dumped in the bargain bin as not as cool as plate carriers that are all the rage now

image.png.1b6e9602521273c9b848b0058f3fd24a.png

Just need a field dressing to tape to the handguard 

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1 hour ago, FreeFrag.UK said:

@EvilMonkee - Unfortunately I don't use social media, however, I'll pick your brains nonetheless as it would be rude not to.

 

Out of curiosity how do you find the faction split for Cold War events at Gunman, in terms of player population. Is there any consistent shortage for one side or the other? From what I've on the grape vine the Cold War events seems to be quite popular so I can't imagine it being a huge issue.

 

To be honest I could more readily jump into a Soviet kit just by virtue of having an AKMS and an AK-74 but I'm somewhat more keen to pursue the NATO angle at the moment. If the scale tends to be tipped in favour of NATO players as opposed to WARPAC then that makes it a far easier decision to switch it up.

 

In terms of M16 viable Brit forces, I'd only really seen the SAS (and presumably SBS) wielding them but admittedly I know little about what the RMC were wielding around that time beyond the obvious use of the SLR in the Falklands.

 No problem, always welcome to pick brains.  The last game was only a couple of weeks ago and was pretty much a 50/50 split with around 40 players per side, so decent turnout for such a niche market.  NATO usually have a very slight edge in numbers sometimes but not always.  If you are interested in kit standards etc this link is the newly released photos from the weekend.  I am the chap in the Blumentarn and was Squad Leader for a DDR squad all weekend.  https://gallery.oliverfacey.co.uk/redmist32  Good mix of excellent impressions to not so good (the guy in the choc chip boonie who was a pain in the arse to be honest).  If I am honest its more about attitude than kit, you would get more time to put kit together if you make the attitude grade of not playing it like a skirmish and playing within the spirit of the ruleset which is what keeps people coming back time and again.

 

Soviet kit is dead easy - KLMK oversuit, helmet, webbing and done. Its what you see most of the lads in the pics wearing.  We used to have more proper Motor Rifles guys but they seem to have departed the scene.  

 

Loan kit is also a serious option for you, I regularly loan out kit and guns on a break it you buy it basis, espcially to newer members of the community.  You will find most of us have 2 or 3 of any given loadout, we tend to horde stuff......For crying out loud look at my profile pic I have an NBC suit and mask I have only used once as well as other random DDR bits I have never used.........it gets to the point you plan your gun purchases around you kit LOL

Edited by EvilMonkee
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5 hours ago, EvilMonkee said:

 No problem, always welcome to pick brains.  The last game was only a couple of weeks ago and was pretty much a 50/50 split with around 40 players per side, so decent turnout for such a niche market.  NATO usually have a very slight edge in numbers sometimes but not always.  If you are interested in kit standards etc this link is the newly released photos from the weekend.  I am the chap in the Blumentarn and was Squad Leader for a DDR squad all weekend.  https://gallery.oliverfacey.co.uk/redmist32  Good mix of excellent impressions to not so good (the guy in the choc chip boonie who was a pain in the arse to be honest).  If I am honest its more about attitude than kit, you would get more time to put kit together if you make the attitude grade of not playing it like a skirmish and playing within the spirit of the ruleset which is what keeps people coming back time and again.

 

Soviet kit is dead easy - KLMK oversuit, helmet, webbing and done. Its what you see most of the lads in the pics wearing.  We used to have more proper Motor Rifles guys but they seem to have departed the scene.  

 

Loan kit is also a serious option for you, I regularly loan out kit and guns on a break it you buy it basis, espcially to newer members of the community.  You will find most of us have 2 or 3 of any given loadout, we tend to horde stuff......For crying out loud look at my profile pic I have an NBC suit and mask I have only used once as well as other random DDR bits I have never used.........it gets to the point you plan your gun purchases around you kit LOL

 

TBH I enjoy themed games and organised events far more than your average dust up although the latter can be enjoyable and good to get that between event fix.

 

As far as Soviet stuff goes I tended to hit a wall when searching for the harder to find bits and pieces which I was looking for although there are always workarounds I suppose. I'm just a bit of a stickler for detail as I enjoy the kit building aspect which a major factor in my original question so that I can better assess the viability of a British kit.

 

Given representation sounds quite balanced it would seem pertinent to work with what I already have.  Some of the kits shown are truly impressive, admittedly the Soviet kit where the chap with the beard is in the khaki uniform with body armour and helmet is more or less what I was originally looking at when  I first started looking at Cold War events. One of the kits I was looking into early on was either a motorised infantry kit or airborne infantry kit, due to having the AKMS and AKS-74 , as I was looking to put together a kit which featured body armour.

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I am not too up on Soviet stuff TBH, East German is my area.  Its a great scene and you would be made more than welcome.  Like I said next game is end of August down in Fleet, Hampshire.  All details at Gunman Airsoft webpage.  What size are you?  I have an M88 Afghanka (which is the Soviet khaki uniform) you could loan as well as some webbing.  A mate of mine has a repro armour vest as well, will ask him where he got it.

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The guns for Brit kit are the hardest part.

There's a set of blueprints for the Sterling on the net, You need to be able to weld and bend some sheet metal to make it. But most of the gun is a single section of pipe with holes and slots in the correct place. My shooting partner has been toying with the idea of making one for a few years, but so far nothing has come of it.

SLR wise, your not going to find a KA one for a reasonable price unless they do a rerun of the old model. There's always rumours about this happening but so far nothing has been seen. It is possible to convert a metric fal, but again you will struggle to get the correct body kit.

My personal pick for  Brit kit would be the L42A1, It's pretty much a modified Lee Enfield, but it saw active service from the 70's to the Gulf war. It shouldn't be  a difficult task to modify an SMLE to have a decent approximate silhouette.

L42A1-Large.png

Outside of that looking at other nations.

AK's are pretty much available for the whole period in a lot of styles, Short of the RIS variants no one will really care. Same goes for kit. There are no real rules for people with AK's in cold war games. The Soviets have some nice gear, a lot will just opt for chicom or terrorist kit.

G3's are also pretty easy to get. And since the Cold war ended in 1991, and Flecktarn was issued into trials in the 1980's and had it's proper launch in 1990 with the German reunification.  If you want the older look then the olive drab moleskin German uniform with the G3 was in service for pretty much the whole of the Cold war. The G3 is the easy way to get a battle rifle since there are several good variants out there, and there is still a lot of stock for the correct running gear. It's also a universal gun that drops into a lot of other period conflicts. There's a list of the wars it's been involved with on the wiki and you can pick just about any conflict from the 1960's right up to now, And it'll drop into axis or allies depending on what kit you are running with it. Run it with just a OD parka and claim to be a communist partisan, or run in uniform and be an allies force.
 

 

 

Edited by Iceni
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2 hours ago, Iceni said:

AK's are pretty much available for the whole period in a lot of styles, Short of the RIS variants no one will really care. Same goes for kit. There are no real rules for people with AK's in cold war games. The Soviets have some nice gear, a lot will just opt for chicom or terrorist kit.

 

Have you ever been to a Gunman Cold War game?  If you haven't I can assure you that most Soviets don't just turn up with a terrorist themed loadout.  Just look at the photos I posted for instance.  Gunman has pretty strict rules about what is acceptable.  I have to disagree with you re the L42A1, there are currently no SMLE Lee Enfields available.  Again I disagree re the Sterling - it can be found if you look as well as the L1A1 - it can be found if you look.  You are correct re the G3 though and this would be the best option if you didn't want to go Brit/US but wanted to stay NATO.

 

@FreeFrag.UK my mate got his repro body armour from Grey Shop, its really accurate and doesnt weigh a tonne

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1 hour ago, EvilMonkee said:

 

Have you ever been to a Gunman Cold War game?  If you haven't I can assure you that most Soviets don't just turn up with a terrorist themed loadout.  Just look at the photos I posted for instance.  Gunman has pretty strict rules about what is acceptable.  I have to disagree with you re the L42A1, there are currently no SMLE Lee Enfields available.  Again I disagree re the Sterling - it can be found if you look as well as the L1A1 - it can be found if you look.  You are correct re the G3 though and this would be the best option if you didn't want to go Brit/US but wanted to stay NATO.

 

@FreeFrag.UK my mate got his repro body armour from Grey Shop, its really accurate and doesnt weigh a tonne

 

Thank you once again for the replies and update @EvilMonkee I was actually looking at Grey Shop for sourcing the uniform and spotted the body armour too. I'm not sure if they're the best source for the uniform. I know they wouldn't be strictly accurate but I intend to carry on with my regular boots, given they're tried and tested. I think I need to sit down and cobble together a purchase a list at this stage once finalising some research.

 

Admittedly I'm eyeing up an AKS-74U given I read this was issued to both vehicle crews and some Spestnaz although it's my understanding the latter weren't overly keen on it so tended to stick with their AKMS's instead.

 

One of the things I spotted in the gallery you linked were the huge s%^t eating grins of the guys wielding the RPG-7

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If you can find a full stock king arms FAL carbine or as Tackle said the JG58 your well on your way to fabricating a parsable L1A1 , to build mine I used an SVD flash hider a G36 6inch barrel extender , removed the permanent cocking handle (it’s just screwed on) cut , sanded and resin coated a small block of wood down to the size of the folding cocking handle on an SLR to replace it , made a carrying handle from a length of heavy gauge wire and a short length of broom handle shaped with finger grooves , swapped the round fire selector nub for an oblong plastic one I’d carved from a small piece of plastic then finally filled in the auto and FN markings on the receiver with a small amount of Mil putty .

A lot carried Sterling’s at the teeth end of the military snake , most radio operators , section medics and a good few officers carried them . I had an S&T Sterling and it did indeed have cracking range too it and yes it did also have an intermittent fault when firing , sometimes it wouldn’t fire auto only semi when set to both selections but after a bit of fiddling and investigation I found the fault( on mine any way) was caused by a pair of screws coming loose in the selector mechanism . To fix it I removed the selector lever , then a small panel from under the lever , tighten up the two screws and then return the small panel and selector , job done .👍

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5 hours ago, FreeFrag.UK said:

 

Thank you once again for the replies and update @EvilMonkee I was actually looking at Grey Shop for sourcing the uniform and spotted the body armour too. I'm not sure if they're the best source for the uniform. I know they wouldn't be strictly accurate but I intend to carry on with my regular boots, given they're tried and tested. I think I need to sit down and cobble together a purchase a list at this stage once finalising some research.

 

Admittedly I'm eyeing up an AKS-74U given I read this was issued to both vehicle crews and some Spestnaz although it's my understanding the latter weren't overly keen on it so tended to stick with their AKMS's instead.

 

One of the things I spotted in the gallery you linked were the huge s%^t eating grins of the guys wielding the RPG-7

Yeh thats my shooting buddy Lee.  It took a little fettling to get it working right but we get about 70m out of it now, it fires TAG rounds. 

 

Put together a purchase list and then send it to me - I am very good at hunting down kit by now.  Include your height/waist size

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On 11/06/2021 at 10:01, EvilMonkee said:

Have you ever been to a Gunman Cold War game? 

No they don't do Coldwar at my local Gunman site. They do Camo v/s solid colours, with shooting role rules. Certainly not Coldwar. However there are/were multiple Gunman sites.


https://gunmanairsoftmidlands.com/

Most of the CW games I've played were at Fireball (Bassets Pole). Where there were no such rules regarding camo. It was nice to see the CW kit, but not essential for gameplay. They still divided players by banding arms as they felt it was unreasonable to turn players away. A good portion of players made the effort so it worked pretty well.

I'll concede on the SMLE, I'd seen some rifles ping up with decent kits on them the other week and didn't look into them more than a cursory glance, Turns out they had been fed into my news from an Air rifle site, not airsoft. 

This is the image that popped up.

lee.jpg

 

On the Sterling plans. When you see them it's actually not a hard gun to scratch build. I've never seen one in stock. I've seen the Blaster in stock.

http://replicaplans.com/SterlingSMG.html

Edited by Iceni
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5 hours ago, Danno46 said:

You can usually find them on Evike or elsewhere if you hunt around for one.  

 

@EvilMonkee do Evike ship RIF’s to the UK ? 

Yep. Got my GHK from them. But be warned they do use UPS.

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Thanks,  might have to try them out for hard to get bits.

 

I was also at the last RedMist game so probably swapped some plastic deth at some point !

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20 hours ago, Danno46 said:

Thanks,  might have to try them out for hard to get bits.

 

I was also at the last RedMist game so probably swapped some plastic deth at some point !

 What side?  I play East German

On 13/06/2021 at 09:58, Iceni said:

No they don't do Coldwar at my local Gunman site. They do Camo v/s solid colours, with shooting role rules. Certainly not Coldwar. However there are/were multiple Gunman sites.


https://gunmanairsoftmidlands.com/

Most of the CW games I've played were at Fireball (Bassets Pole). Where there were no such rules regarding camo. It was nice to see the CW kit, but not essential for gameplay. They still divided players by banding arms as they felt it was unreasonable to turn players away. A good portion of players made the effort so it worked pretty well.

I'll concede on the SMLE, I'd seen some rifles ping up with decent kits on them the other week and didn't look into them more than a cursory glance, Turns out they had been fed into my news from an Air rifle site, not airsoft. 

This is the image that popped up.

lee.jpg

 

On the Sterling plans. When you see them it's actually not a hard gun to scratch build. I've never seen one in stock. I've seen the Blaster in stock.

http://replicaplans.com/SterlingSMG.html

 Um, I don't actually think that is part of the Gunman Airsoft stable of sites, happy to be wrong but I think its a different company but similar name.   I would refrain from actually giving an opinion/pointers on kit about a game series until I have actually been to one but hey, call me old fashioned.

 

Also, manufacturing a RIF I believe is illegal under the VCRA, but again happy to be wrong.

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4 hours ago, EvilMonkee said:

Um, I don't actually think that is part of the Gunman Airsoft stable of sites, happy to be wrong but I think its a different company but similar name.   I would refrain from actually giving an opinion/pointers on kit about a game series until I have actually been to one but hey, call me old fashioned.

The OP makes no mention of been Gunman exclusive, You brought that into the mix.

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