Need WWII Russians?

September 15, 2012

Anyone modelling or wargaming the WWII Eastern Front (Ostfront) will need WWII Russians and plenty of them. This morning I’ve just read very high praise indeed for a new set of 1/72 Russians, Zvezda’s Set 8077, Soviet Infantry Platoon. Now, these figs are not intended for any particular wargames ruleset (although Zvezda do publish a ruleset called Art of Tactic) so you can use them with any ruleset, such as ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’. After all,  ‘Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist’ is a platoon level and company level game – Zvezda are selling you a whole platoon. Or you could just use individual figures for modelling dioramas.

Plastic Soldier Review has given this set of 38 figures four 10/10’s and one 9/10. Their review concludes: “The positive aspects of this set are many, and we have already gushed enough about them here. The negative points are limited to this being a time-consuming set to put together (some will see that as no great loss, and of course many will enjoy the experience anyway), and the noticeably well-equipped and neat/uniform appearance of the men – a feature that is hardly uncommon of many plastic soldiers in this scale and beyond. In a word – excellent. In two words – buy it!”

So – there you go.

As seen via the wonderful Plastic Soldier Review.

They don’t have to be tank riders, they could also be passengers in softskins or AFVs like the SdKfz 251/1.

And 8 AFV crew sticking heads/bodies out of hatches? Awesome! Having supplies of Platoon or Company Commander figures for AFV formations is a doddle from now.

 

 

 

Cristian Florescu is going beyond his periodic reviews on the Braille Scale Discussion Group website and has launched his own website, where he reviews 1/72 (and some 1/76) German soldier sets.

He’s called it ww2germans.com World War 2 Germans in 1:72 scale, or just “ww2germans.com” for short. On it, he has gathered together all his previous German soldier figure set reviews and will be posting new ones.

I think his site will be a useful extension or addition to the well-known Plastic Soldier Review website. Plastic Soldier reviews figure sets from all periods, from the start of civilization through to today.  World War 2 Germans in 1:72 scale is exactly what it says it is – therefore its descriptions can be more detailed than Plastic Soldier’s.

So – who’s going to start a site for their opponents on the Ostfront?

 

Plastic Soldier Review has just reported that there is now a box of figures available to help you! Go have a look at their review of Orion’s Soviet Artillery Crew.

No more cutting guns off figures or doing body-part swaps…get a box of these and you can crew those guns that come crewless! (No, I’m not being paid by Orion).

 

Plastic Soldier Review reviewed Caeser’s WWII German Paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger) back on February 21.  Sorry that I didn’t mention it here sooner.

They are very favourably reviewed and you get to clearly see all the poses you get in the box. For me it would be perfect (as a wargamer) if a single radio operator was included, because they are a staple of command bases / unit HQ’s. Two of the good poses are troops actively using the FG42 assault rifle.

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The seven Revell Panthers are done. I’m going to Dullcote them and put a photo or two here. I had hoped to secure brass wire to make antennas and star aerials for them by now but none has arrived, so I’ll do that later. I want them on ‘active duty’ for wargaming now!

While browsing all my colleagues’ blogs on my Blogroll, Geordie’s Big Battles had a media release and URL that I’ve been looking for over the last couple of weeks. You see, Plastic Soldier Review had a newsflash on 9 Feb 2010 about a new toy soldier manufacturer and I’d been searching the web daily since then trying to find out more about them.

They’re simply called “The Plastic Soldier Company” and their first few releases will be of interest to anyone wargaming or modelling the WWII Eastern Front (OstFront) in 1/72 scale.

Here’s their website!

Their first two releases are WWII Russians in Summer uniform and WWII Late war German infantry 1943-1945. While there are plenty of the latter already, there aren’t so many of the former. It’ll be interesting to see what they are like.

Some time ago I started serious work on Italeri’s “PaK 40 AT gun with servants” kit.

Since that post I had finished painting the four guns in DunkelGelb in Spring and left the crews to the side, as I was also going to do some crews for IG-18 field guns (7.5 cm leichtes Infanteriegeschütz 18) at the same time. Well, being a wargamer, I fall victim to regular bouts of “start something else on the side” disease and so decided to get these PaK 40 guns & crews painted, based, flocked and in play before July 2010.

I took off the sprue and removed all flashing from all six crew and then settled on four (as that’s what the Panzerfaust: Armoured Fist rules mandates for a gun of that size). Then I started painting.

Now, please click on this link to see all six crew that you get with the kit.

From the top row, I’m using #1 and #3 from the left. On the bottom row, I’ve chosen to paint up three of #1, all four of #2 and one of #3 from the left.

If you look closely, you’ll see that they are all warmly dressed. Bottom row #1 is in greatcoat and top row #3 has a balaclava or some sort of woollens around his neck. That means that I have to paint them as if all are in snow or a cold climate.

The crew whom aren’t in greatcoats are wearing a parka or jacket of some sort. Since I’ve already done troops in the reversible ‘mouse” suits, I wanted these later -war soldiers to have cammo. I decided to go and look at re-enactor suppliers and also my history books. Richard A. Underwood Militaria has this. Epic Militaria has this, which is great, but then there is also this. My book seemed to indicate that often it was the latter of Epic Militaria’s cammo smocks that were worn…ones without hoods.

You can’t see it clearly back on at Plastic Soldier Review, but these figures have smocks or parkas with hoods and also with distinctive drawstrings. So, it seems I’ll be painting my Splinter Camouflage uniforms with white drawstrings, as this best fits the Winter clothing Italeri has dressed these chaps in. Even though those winter outfits were reversible to snow white, I’m having all-cammo-out, because I can. Hah!

It’s nice that one two of the figures have greatcoats. Variety is a grand thing. Sadly, the picture I have in a book which I think Italeri has based this kit on doesn’t feature anyone in greatcoats…they are all in the reversible parkas, some with matching leggings and some not. All have reversed their clothing so the snow white side is on the outside. All wear the 1943 field Cap too (Einheitsfeldmütze).

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Paul has concluded (for now) his Opel Blitz review and he has selected the leading product for wargamers to assemble, paint and use. Read his decision here.

NEWSFLASH!

Caeser have finally released their second set of Panzergrenadiers but have also, completely from out of nowhere, released a set called WWII German Paratroopers!

The Paratroopers release has caught many in the hobby completely unawares! It’s code is  H068.

I’m going to wait this time before ordering – I want to see what Plastic Soldier Review have to say about them.

While preparing the WWII German Motorcycles for assembly, it became evident that I’d struck two problems not mentioned by Plastic Soldier Review.

a) The pillion passengers didn’t sit quite perfectly behind the drivers, which I rectified by cutting off some of the drivers’ kit with a ex-hospital scalpel – off came driver waterbottles and gas mask canisters. Inner legs of passengers were slighlty shaved down. Then the fit was fine.

b) Here was the bigger of the problems – the sidecar occupants wouldn’t fit properly in their sidecars. To be precise, the pin for the sidecar occupant’s bum and the pin for the sidecar occupant’s MG34 wouldn’t both fit into their respective holes simultanously. Here’s a photo of the problem: Italeri sidecars - demo of prob -that’s me forcing the bum pin in to the hole in the sidecar seat. The MG then ends up bent and can not sit properly.

The solution was going to involve some more ‘surgery’ with that scalpel – either pins or holes (or both) were going to have to go. Having already looked at a few re-enactor & restorer BMW R75s on the Internet, I decided to remove the large square block and hole for mounting the MG34 and also the pin on the MG34. Before I make the cut, the pieces look like this: Italeri sidecars before After some cutting and shaving, the sidecar looks a bit different but now the bum pin for the occupant goes into its respective hole perfectly and the MG rests on the sidecar bar perfectly: Italeri sidecars after .

So now all glue could be applied to securely fasten everyone and everything in place. Here’s one comin’ at ya: Italeri sidecars comin' at ya!

Next day, all were undercoated and are now awaiting paint.

March 18 2009 – I commented on Italeri releasing some WWII German motorcycles & motorcyclists. I mentioned in that blog post that the wonderful Plastic Soldier Review had reviewed the kit, too. I titled my blog post “Something new to buy for later”.

I realised that for this Recon game Peter and I will have soon, I need a base of motorcycles. The rulebook list for ‘(German) Armored Reconnaissance Battalion 1943-1945’ states that my company HQ must include a motorcycle base. Then, checking the ‘Softskin vehicles introduction’ section of the rulebook, I find the statement “Motorcycles list how many you need to base on an infantry team sized base”. Jumping back to my army list, the preceding section ‘German softskins’ section description for the BMW R35 & the NSU 251 OSL says “Motorcycle x2”.

I needed two motorcycles. I didn’t want to go with Armourfast. I obtained last week two kits of Italeri #6121 – so I finally bought them and, to justify the expenditure, needed them urgently too!Better than buying them and then adding them to the piles of boxes of “stuff to do when I’ve got time”.

I’ve spent the last 48 hours cutting the parts from their sprues, cutting off the flash and preparing them for a wash/degreasing. Well, cutting off the flash is misleading – there’s very little of it, and if you were in a hurry you could just cut them from the sprue, wash ’em and then paint ’em. I’m an occasional perfectionist, so with a surgical scalpel I cut off the minute amounts of flashing.

The detail is really excellent, particularly the treads on the tyres and on the mufflers/exhausts. Such fine work! With good painting and drybrushing, the detail should look superb. I was a little concerned about the sidecar machinegunner and his machinegun sitting in its allocated rest/peghole, but I guess I can always cut the pegs off and do some melting to make sure everything lines up properly. Some of the figures are in warm-weather uniforms, some are an standard uniforms. Since mine will be tearing about the Soviet Union, I’m going to use both but make sure each motorcycle’s occupants are in matching kit. I’m going to do my summer uniforms in Reed Green, as per my historical sources. They could just as easily be painted up as DAK (Deutsches Afrikakorps) but I’ll leave that for the Monty & Desert Fox enthusiasts.