Tuesday, 30 December 2014

From GregB - 20mm WWII Soviets (166 Points)

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).  I am hoping Curt might toss in a couple of extra points for the Soviet tank commander in the hatch too.

From Curt:Excellent work as usual Greg. The T34s look wonderfully grimy and campaign hardened while the paintwork on the infantry is crisp and their groundwork excellent. I like those Elheim poses even though, as you say, their detail can be a bit soft. 
This post sees Greg meeting his initial points target of 300.  Dude, seriously, why you chose such a low target for yourself is beyond me as the lowest total you've ever accumulated in any of the previous Challenges is 888 points. In the future I'll have to institute a low-ball penalty for those who meet their targets in the first half of the Challenge.  Anyway, consider your next target and I'll update the roster.


  1. What a great looking unit, first time I have seen the PSC Soviets painted. The tanks are very nicely done.


  2. Excellent submission, really love these guys.

  3. The infantry are really good, but those tanks are outstanding!

  4. Cracking... just cracking stuff. Terrific miniatures and outstanding vehicles. What a Points Bomb :-)

  5. These are really excellent. The paintwork is great on both the tanks and the infantry.

  6. Crikey Greg, you just keep it going huh? I love how you make 20mm look like top quality 28mm! The weathering on the tanks is superb.

  7. These are fantastic, I am going to check out those figures


  8. Excellent. The PSC tanks are specially worth a mention as they look the dogs do dars! When you first look at these it is hard to think of them as plastic yet I know PSC and these look so much better than any on their website!

  9. Fantastic painting work. I like a lot those tanks, they are brilliant!

  10. Excellent stuff.. Tanks are top notch ...

  11. Fabulous painting on these Russians! The engineers and T-34's are my favourites.

  12. I'm really liking the weathering and chipping on the tanks. What paint did you use for the tanks and helmets - it looks too bright for Vallejo Russian Green, but I like it.
    It's interesting to see the PSC figures in 20mm, as my entry tomorrow has the same figures and tank models in 15mm. Should make for an interesting comparison.
    This was an excellent submission. I'd love to face your Russians playing Chain of Command.

  13. Very nice painting Greg. I like the look of the detail on the PSC tanks better in 20mm than 15mm. Awesome work on the weathering too!

  14. Great work as usual, Greg! I'm looking forward to seeing all this 20mm stuff in future games!

  15. Excellent work. I've just noticed how large the tufts on the bases are, and how well they look. I'll have to be buying some of those, myself.

  16. Beautiful work all around. Your painting really brought a lot of character to the infantry, not always the easiest thing to do at 20mm scale. Love those assault engineers and their body armor!