Monday, January 5, 2015

Fifth Painting Challenge Entry - More 20mm WW2 Russians

Russian tanks and tank riders in 20mm - models from PSC, figures from PSC and Elhiem
Christmas vacation was lovely this year, and I was fortunate to be able to bring some painting along for the trip. Here are the results - a whole pile of 20mm WW2 Russians to assist in the liberation of the Rodina. There is a platoon of T-34/76s, a platoon of SMG-toting tank riders to accompany them, a squad of assault engineers and a squad of scouts. 

The 1/72 scale tank kits from PSC are marvellous

Tank commander visible in the hatch to mark the platoon commander

A T-34/76 ready for action on the table
The T-34s are 1/72 scale models from the Plastic Soldier Company. These are excellent model kits, with a three-tank platoon per box.  They are easy to assemble and have very nice details.  Of course, those who know me will laugh (rightly) at my continuous inability to properly assemble tracks - it's not easy to see in the photos but I really managed to screw up one of these tanks, but thankfully from arm's length it looks OK. 

SMG-toting Lieutenant on a hexagonal base

Of course, a fumbler like me prefers one-piece track assemblies, but the fact is these are tremendous models that any normal person (i.e. any of you, anyone reading this, not me) could put these lovely PSC kits together with no trouble at all.

A squad of tank riders - one NCO (on square base), LMG team and four troops
The SMG platoon consist of figures from two manufacturers - the 1/72 scale infantry figures from their Russians WW2 plastic line (just have to say again what a great value that box is!) and a group of metal figures from Elhiem Figures.Elhiem is a 20mm figure maker I have heard a lot about, and I wanted to try some of their figures for myself so I ordered some packs to round out the platoon.

The Elhiem and PSC figures mix very well together

The platoon is organised along the lines given in the Chain of Command rules - a lieutenant (on a hex base) and three squads each with an NCO, a two-man LMG team and four regulars, all armed with the ubiquitous PPSH sub machine guns, for a total of 21 troops.  These troops would have accompanied the T-34s to battle, hitching a ride on the hulls as they advanced into battle.

I like the PSC pose of the fellow ready to toss the grenade

Two spare SMG-armed troops - Elhiem sculpts
I know it would have been cooler to model some of these guys on to the tanks themselves - after all, that is an iconic image of the Soviet army from WW2.  But in a game skirmish game, the amount of time these troops would spend actually on the tanks is very limited - the outside of a tank is a horrible, dangerous place to be when the shells start to come in and the Soviet tank riders would be hopping off in no time once battle was underway.  So I opted for the dismounted platoon.

Russian assault engineers from Elhiem
I was very pleased to note that Elhiem offers many Russian LMG gunners who are not prone - what a pleasure! As a result the LMG teams don't need large, wasteful bases and they fit in much more nicely with the other action-packed poses in the squads.

Another view of the engineers

Up next is a group of Russian combat engineers.  These are also Elhiem sculpts.  These troops carry SMGs, but there is an LMG (not prone either!) and a fellow with a flamethrower too.  They are modelled wearing camouflaged body suit and body armour. They are doing various engineer things (one is digging up a mine) and carrying engineer stuff (one has rope, another is kneeling and ready to set off a detonator).

Flamethrower trooper

Another view - gave him a different-shaped base so he would stand out

Fellow on the left is digging up a mine, while the one on the right is ready to blast something out of the way
Finally is a group of Russian scout troops. Again, they are Elhiem sculpts. They are carrying a mix of SMGs and what I think are semi-automatic rifles, SVTs perhaps?  I'm not familiar with Russian semi-automatic rifles from WW2 - I don't know if many were used or how common they were in the front lines.

Russian WW2 scouts from Elhiem

Some lively colours in the camouflage body suits
The scouts are also wearing camouflage body suits, similar to the engineers, but most of the painting references I found online for these troops had the camouflage suits in very different colours from the engineers.  Where the engineers had olive green suits with brown patches, the scouts seemed to wear either brown or a strange green, one that seems more appropriate for infiltrating a peppermint candy factory or a 70s prom than the German lines of the eastern front. I thought I would give it a try anyway - it certainly looks different!

I love this NCO figure for the scouts - a great sculpt from Elhiem

Interesting assortment of weapons on this group
I liked the proportion of the Elhiem sculpts, but the quality was not the best.  Not the worst, but not the best - some of the hands, for example, or some of the faces, were not that great, not that crisp. But they are still nice, and I look forward to painting more of them.

So in total there are 38 different 20mm-sized infantry troops and three 20mm sized tanks in this submission - however, only one of the tanks counts for the challenge (one had been completed prior to the start of the challenge, and a second had base paint colours applied prior to the challenge). With the scores from this submission I have been able to break through my original (very low) points target for the Challenge, and following a round of goading from Curt, I have increased my target to a new, much higher number - I hope I can meet that target.


ByronM said...

Great work Greg! I can't wait to get a chance to play with some of these.

I keep meaning to cross post my painting stuff here as well, and keep getting sidetracked by more painting. Maybe soon...

Dallas said...

Looks great dude!

Re: Soviet semiautomatic rifles... the one most often seen in WWII would be the Tokarev SVT-40. Wooden stock like a bolt-action rifle but the giveaways on a model are the lack of a bolt sticking out the side (as in on a Mosin-Nagant) and a metal box magazine showing just forward of the trigger. On better sculpts you'll see the muzzle end of the rifle as metal finish with a perforated jacket.

Kevin Holland said...

Beautiful work, as always, Greg! I wouldn't get too hung up on the tracks - I'm just working on some PSC stuff myself, and I can't see why they wouldn't just produce the tracks and road wheels as a single unit...? Maybe it has something to do with the mould itself. Keep up the great work!

MrLee said...

Great group of model there! Love the tanks ( and can't see anything about tracks so alls good? ).
Nice way to differentiate the NCOs through base design.. might nick that idea in the future!