Tuesday, 9 December 2014

From GregB - 20mm WW2 Soviet Rifle Platoon (56 Points)

1/72 WW2 Russians from Plastic Soldier Company
Here is my first entry for the Painting Challenge - a completed rifle WW2 Soviet rifle platoon.  The figures are all from Plastic Soldier Company's 1/72 range.  Some of these were painted prior to the Challenge, but the balance were whipped up over the weekend.

Officers on hex-shaped bases
I have painted a lot of WW2 stuff over the years, but 20mm is all new for me and I'm finding I quite enjoy it.  It is, as Curt and others have expressed, a great "compromise" scale between 15mm and 28mm. I don't think these PSC plastics are the best figures out there - some of the poses look a little odd, more "possible" than "natural", if that makes sense - but I was pleasantly surprised by the detail on them, and you get quite a few figures in each box.  I have enough for a rifle platoon, and I still have a bunch of extra fellows with SMGs to finish up. A good value, and a good way to get started painting a new scale.

NCO on a square base with rounded corners


There are enough figures here to represent a rifle platoon - three 10-man squads, each sporting a 2-man LMG team - and a couple of officers.  The basing will be familiar to anyone here who has followed Curt's system - 20mm rounds for the regular fellows, 20mm squares for NCOs and junior leaders, and 25mm hexes for the senior officers/commanders.  Having the different bases makes it a little easier to determine which figures represent leaders at a glance, important in gaming systems like "Chain of Command".

Ready to defend the Motherland!
My only complaint with these figures is the poses chosen for the LMG gunners - prone (and PSC is hardly the only ones doing this - it is very common).  I know lying prone is a very realistic portrayal and something that happened a lot/all the time in real fighting, but in toy soldier fighting, prone figures are lame, particularly at 20mm scale and above. Prone figures require alternate basing, often much large than others and looking out of sorts compared with the rest of the fellows in the unit.  Every time a prone figure is cast in 20mm scale or larger, I'm pretty sure a baby whale gets kicked.  The only prone figures on a table should be snipers!

PSC figures were surprising with the amount of nice detail for plastic figures; much better than their 15mm size figures
Of course, for skirmish gaming, the only worse sculpt than prone is marching - and sadly, the PSC alternative to the prone LMG team is a pair of fellows marching along like they are having a jolly time.  Again, PSC is not the only one that does this. The marching figures look even more out of place on the table, so they went into the spares bin, while the prone figures got the paint.



20mm has been a lot of fun to paint so far, and I'm looking forward to adding more 20mm WW2 stuff during the Challenge and beyond.

There are 26 figures and 3 MG teams here, but 13 figures and two of the MG teams were painted prior to the Challenge starting, so on whole I think this net of 13 figures and one prone MG team in 20mm should get me 56 points.  


From Curt: Whoa, beautiful work Greg! These Soviet lads are top notch. Your shading on them is very smooth and the basing looks spot on. I've seen some the PSC stuff in other forums and I think I'll have to try some of them out. Nonetheless, I do have some old SHQ German Fallshirmjaegers on the painting desk and when they're finished we'll have to get together for a rumble. 
(As an aside, I always love hearing Greg go off on prone figures. The topic is usually good for about 10 minutes of his very funny, expletive-ridden philosophy of how toy soldiers should look - what you've read above is a much more abbreviated (and cleaner version) of his usual diatribe. I swear if I handed him a hammer in the midst of one of these rants he'd flatten every prone figure in his collection. Here get this: 'Hey Greg, you're a complete tw@t about this 'cause prone figures are not only realistic, but they provide some much-needed variation to the typical upright poses AND you don't have to paint as much as half of them are belly-to-the-base.  And, c'mon, look at them, they're just plain cool: lyin' down and takin' up space n' stuff.' 
There, that should set him off...  Really, what are friends for?)

25 comments:

  1. Good job. But the officers of the RKKA pants were usually khaki, blue pants - it's NKVD troops

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  2. Gorgeous work Greg, they really are beautiful. They could easily be mistaken for 28s. FWIW, you are spot on about prone miniatures. :-)

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    1. Why am I not surprised...

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    2. Thanks Millsy! I knew others shared the proper view on prone figures!

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  3. They look great. I really like the contrasts you've achieved between the colours. Mine always look a bit drab.

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  4. Very nice, Greg! I expect we'll be seeing those at a game soon! (like tomorrow, perhaps!). I share your anguish about prone figures. They also look weird if hiding behind a wall or building!

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    1. Thanks Kevin - these guys won't be ready for action tonight because I haven't finished enough Germans to fight - but soon!

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  5. I have some 20mm Russians to do, maybe I will move them further down the list as yours are so good

    Ian

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  6. great painting and basing work!
    now I'm tempted to paint some Russian for Bolt Action ;-)

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  7. Nice job! It's a bit weird how uncommon 20mm is especially in WW2 gaming considering the wealth of model kits etc. available at that scale.

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  8. I am totally with YOU Greg. Prone figures are good for dead markers. Stick to your guns and don't let Curt (or any others ) wind you up on the subject, because you are right and the truth will never change!

    May I suggest a poll on who likes prone waste of time figures? (hee hee , Snigger)

    I really do like these I have been toying with getting some 15mm PSC Russians. You are edging me closer. Not quite there yet so perhaps you should show some more. You know you want to.

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  9. Yeah but you only have to pant half a prone figure! These are a great bunch of Russkies well done

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  10. I've had my eye on those PSC figures for a long time. I like how you did them. I may need to take the plunge.

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  11. Beautiful work! They look as though they'd be a pleasure to play with.

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  12. Really beautiful work! The colours of the uniform is perfect!

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  13. Great job on these. I jumped straight to the piccies and assumed they were 28mm, so I'm even more impressed to see they are 1/72!

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  14. Superb bunch of Soviets. Really good job. Cheers

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  15. Fabulous! You really did an amazing paintjob on these soviets. Should get back to mine at some point. Though I definitely don't share your view of lying/ walking figures. There can't be enough of them in my oppinion :-p

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  16. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Great paint job, great basing. I used to have a small 20mm WWII collection, and I really am quite fond of the scale still.

    And sign me up as another "anti-prone" advocate--and "anti-marching" too! If I had my way, every WWII figure would be in a dashing or standing-firing pose--this photo should be every sculptor's guide, IMO. The worst--the WORST--is when there's only a choice between a marching pose and a prone pose for a particular figure (usually LMGs, sadly).

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  17. Great looking troops for Mother Russia!
    I myself do not mind prone figures as that is a great position for giving and receiving fire! I do hate the march and "attention" poses as they just seem to be sniper/ambush/commando bait!

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  18. Lovely stuff Greg. I have the same set in 15mm and these are fantastic inspiration to get weaving on them. Another vote for the anti-marching lobby too, although the odd prone figure I can cope with i.e. snipers! Looking forward to seeing more of your work. All the best

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  19. Great painted figures and lovely bases! Like them!

    Greetings
    Peter

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