So this is the last instalment showcasing my Soviet forces. Let me start with a few words on them.
Now the paint jobs on these are pretty basic. I just blocked out the colours and washed them. Back when I painted them (roughly 4 years ago) there had been no big hype about the army painter, so I did it all with a homemade wash. One part dark brown paint, four to five parts water and one part PVA glue (I still use this to add shades to complex camo uniforms). So they are nothing special. On the other hand I painted these 160 minis (including the gun crews from two days ago) plus the tankers in just 1 1/2 weeks. Now on these photos you will see that they have a slight satin sheen to them. I honestly never cared too much about it, because they were only basic paint jobs. But when I was taking these photos I noticed slight paint chips on six of the minis. I repaired the damage and since I was varnishing today anyway varnished them right along. Now that they are matt they look far better since the contrast between the colours is stronger. So I just varnished the rest, too. Unfortunately the results can not be seen on these photos (since they were taken last weekend), but you will see it in the next game reports!
The minis shown here are all Victory Force (VFM), The Assault Group (TAG) and Bolt Action (BAM). All three ranges fit pretty well. Oddly enough the only scale creep is with the officers where TAG and some of the Bolt Action minis end up small and VFM large. What can I say about the ranges themselves?
In general my favourite line for WWII. Researched to great detail, which also goes into the minis (for example you get the imprint on the belt buckles of German soldiers). The animation is good and anatomically correct. One of the great things about them is that some of the minis come with separate hands that allow you to give them all kinds of less usual equipment if you want. Their Soviets are one of the newer lines and lack heavier weapons like mortars or HMGs (although James Bland is working on the later right now), which is about the only drawback I can see.
The Assault Group:
Just like VFM they have only infantry. These were sculpted by Richard Ansell, so they are one of their better lines. The big drawback is the fact that you only have four different poses and the only variation is weapons or winter jackets. Back when I bought these they were cheap and allowed you to build a force quick and on a budged. Can not say if it is still that way, but I would not buy from them ever again anyway (I had to find that the owners lack even the most basic good manners and understanding of customer treatment, but that is another story).
Bolt Action or something of the opposite to the others. They have all kinds of heavy weapons and special troop types, but are a bit weak on the infantry (at least with the numbers needed for a Soviet force). Reading through the news from last month Salute, this should soon change soon with the addition of plastic Russians from Warlord Games (who now own BAM). The minis here were all sculpted by Paul Hicks when he still owned BAM and are his usual good quality, although some are his earlier works where I personally do not like all the faces.
What is still missing. One thing is snipers, but I intend to buy the pair from VFM once James finishes the Maxim and I can order them along. I finished the recently released Soviet Assault Pioneers from Warlord yesterday (guess what I varnished today) and there is still a 120mm mortar and some Naval Infantry to paint and I am good. So off to the photos:
These are my five officers and commissars. The one on the left is VFM, the one on the right TAG and those in the middle BAM. As I said you can see scale creep here, since the VFM one is larger than the rest of his Soviets, the TAG smaller. At least you usually do not need 5 officers on the table.
Left to right 2x VFM, 3x BAM
Far right VFM, the rest are BAM.
Left to right 3x TAG, 3x VFM
Left to right: 1x VFM, 4x TAG, 2x VFM, 1x TAG
All BAM. The team in the middle has been discontinued since it was way smaller than the rest of the range. I had to make the ammo belts longer. These sets were clearly meant for multi basing, but I prefer my skirmish minis based as singles. I would love it, if companies would make the belt longer for those who like to base their minis this way! Those who multibase them can cut them off in a second, while glueing a wire to the existing belt and sculpting one can take minutes (if you even have the experience).
Left to right: 1x BAM, 1x VFM, 3x BAM, 1x VFM, Tubes are BAM. I felt that the VFM minis would work well as mortar crews and the teams were a bit weak with just two crew for the 82mm mortar anyway. Thanks to the separate hands this was done in an instant.
A mix of VFM, TAG and BAM… no I am not going to list which minis are which! 😀
Again all three manufacturers, but I guess this shows how good they actually mix.
Mostly TAG. The two in the greatcoats are BAM, as is the one looking to his right and down on the left of the picture. No VFM here.
Only VFM and TAG here.
These are all BAM. I wanted something special for them since Soviet Scouts are usually depicted in Amoeba Patter camo suits. So I went for the 1941 summer camouflage pattern.
And this is it. I shall post photos of the few remaining minis once they are presentable!