Progress on the Poltava 1709 Project – Total Battle Village Tiles (TMT)

I needed a few more Villages for the Poltava table and bought some of Total Battle Miniature’s houses and scenic tiles (link to their webpage here).  I normally make my own tiles but thought I treat myself. I like the concept of a separate Village tile because it makes the village more defined than just placing some houses in a cluster on the battle mat. The tiles are made in a rubbery material and it is not recommended to use spray primers to paint them.   These small tiles costs about £4 each and works well with their very extensive range of houses, etc.

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Two of the Sets I bought

I painted the rubber bases with undiluted brown acrylic and then dry brushed them and added some static grass, flock and a few tufts.

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Tile without the buildings – the dimensions for the “holes” are aligned with Total Battle house dimensions.
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The three village tiles I made
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Works really good
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The visiting Dragoons are happy with the result (6mm Baccus)

I really like these. / Hope that was of some interest.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Salute 2019 by the slightly Older One

The Little One wrote a blog entry last time around about his day at Salute (you can find the link here) and I said I would do the same but have not repeated the stuff he already covered (like the games we played!).  A lot of people have read that one and engaged in making comments on the blog, twitter, Facebook and various wargaming forums. It is  really encouraging that the hobby is so welcoming and happy to see youngsters amongst it ranks, so thank you all from the Little One and I.

For me Salute is about impressions and meeting people, In summary I felt Salute this year being spacious, having a lot variety in type of games being presented and we did have a good time – we always do.  There were games that could be played on a 2 by 2 mat and there were games on very large tables, some were very simple others were pieces of art, some were storyboards conveying the passion of a period, others were bland but functional. It reflects my gaming in a nutshell as for some projects I go absolutely mad and for other projects I just want to get it on the table and play – although I do have a LUDO set with a Green, Yellow, Red and Green “fire team” somewhere.

As always we wandered around and met a lot of nice new and old friends including Henry Hyde, Mike Whitaker, The Too Fat Lardies (Rich, Nick and Sidney), Simon T, Iain Fuller , Ken Eccentric!,  Dave Hickman, Neil and Josh Shuck, Peter & Dave and the other Wargames Collection Calculator crew, Mark Backhouse, Guy Bowers, Michael Leck and his Nordic Crew, the Berrys, the Space Vixen crew, Friends of General Haig, Dave Brown and then everyone I forgot as well.  I wanted to run into Big Lee but I failed, hi Lee!

Between the talking, playing a few games with the Little One, doing some limited shopping and picking up some pre-orders from Baccus (from their 6mm Great Northern War range) and Gripping Beast (the New Saga supplement and a few of the custom dice), I took a few pictures of things that interested me during the day.

I just thought I put a few of these pictures here, with a few comments where appropriate.  I hope this reflects a mixture of easily achievable as well as more inspirational long term projects.

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Lutzen 1632 (Friends of General Haig), Stunning set-up and you can find the story about this table on a very inspiration blog here.  It is one of the most famous Battles in Swedish history and would end up in a Victory but also the death of the Swedish King (Gustavus Adolphus).
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Windmills and Black Powder a winning combination. I really like the teddy fur mat with the roads incorporated.  I always wanted to do one but have not tried it yet – it would be fun to do a mat for some Kursk tank battles or something like that.
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The excellent Black River Debacle, by Ged Cronin. With the text taken from the handout The Governor has gone up the Black River (a tributary of the Red River) to inspect some warehouses. Meanwhile his wife, an amateur botanist who is quire headstrong, has wandered off looking for butterflies to improve her collection.
Soon it becomes apparent that the black flags have abducted the Governor’s wife.
The Black flags have done this to try and lure the French into an ambush as revenge for the loss of one of their commander’s, Liu Yung-Fu’s, favourite lieutenants.
Meanwhile the Black Flags have also taken a box of jewels from a Formosan merchant. The French have heard word of this. Also, the French have heard a rumour that the Black Flags have a giant ceremonial cannon that is inlaid with gold. Can this be true?”
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Some excellent detail on this table

 

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Everything just worked nicely together
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Inspiring stuff
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That looks superb!
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I think this was one of my favourites of the day in terms of visual impact.  There was so much detail to explore.
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Another nice scene from a modern game set in the Helmand province. I shows the amazing effect of some clutter that could easily be used for a range of periods.  In this particular case the vehicles narrow down the time stamp.
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World famous Henry Hyde taking some pictures of the beautify Ligny 1815 out on by Dave Brown using his General d’Armee rules.
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Ligny 1815 would become Napoleon’s last victory and his opponent was no other than the Prussian Field Marshal Prince Blucher.  Even I know the importance of the Prince’s arrival at Waterloo, so the bittersweetness of the Ligny loss did not last long.
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Now I know from friends who play Napoleonic games that General d’Armee is a fantastic rule set.  However with a fantastic table like this, who really cares.
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Marching columns…
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Stunning Jungle terrain on the Too Fat Lardies table who were doing a Malaya Big CoC (Chain of Command) battle.  I took these pictures before battle commenced – it looked peaceful and beautiful. That Buddha statue in the background is one of those details that sets the scene and gives that sense of location.
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You can find some inspiring stuff on the build of this at the Lardies webpage here.
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Excellent…
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The units all lined up to fight!
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Peterborough laid on a IABSM game at Omaha Beach. Looked really fun.

 

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Hard work getting onto that beach! The table gave a nice sense of the battle field.  I went to Omaha beach a few years back and it left me with very strong emotions in just trying to imagine the hell of being there on 6th June 1944.
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Some games were presented just like the are out of the box – that works too.  I think this was Mantic Games Hellboy?
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Some coffee table sized games with enough immersion to draw you in.
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This terrain looked like something from my back garden – bloody brilliant!, the Game Arcworlde by Warplogue Miniatures.
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Crawley Wargames put on a Aztec game that looked really fun.
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Even a wooden fort, cocktail sticks and some patience!
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Warlord Showing off their two naval games – first Cruel Seas, and then…
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… the new age of Sail Game “Black Seas”,
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Naval Wargames Society put on a Stingray game that looked really fun, and like many other tables there were Children playing and having fun. There was a lot of Children at the show and I think this is a good thing.
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Wild in the Streets – Gang Fighting.  I bought their Death Metal team on a Kickstarter that is on its way.  Again fun on limited space.
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We watched the Burrow and Badgers game for a while.  I did not appreciate that it was playable on such a small table. It looked really fun. Wonderful models.

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Street Wars with Funky Skull Games, really liked the compact but effective terrain. Really nice.

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Red Alert by PSC games looked fun. I am resisting getting this one at the moment. I think it comes with the mat in the game? – I hope you can iron it?
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I think those ships would paint up really well.
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Another Command and Colors game especially for Jay Arnold.  This was a very inspirational table.

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This is how you play it!
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I did return to the Lutzen table at the latter part of the day
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Fighting was fierce!
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I seemed to be drawn to small city scapes? This being the Carnage City Chronicles Miniatures game.
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Really cool….
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A Seven Years wars table, the team was on break and the gentleman guarding it had no idea what it was about. Tricornes are enough for me to stop for a while.
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In doing some browsing on the net I think it was laid on by Rafael Fonseca & Friends
And was a Seven Years War battle, where the  French and Allied forces attack the Prussians.
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I do not know what is so special with Tricornes but the armies of this era, to sound a little bit younger than I am, really Rock!
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Flags and straight lines, warfare in a more civilized age!
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Battle of Bauge 1421 was put on by the Lance and Longbow Society
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Nice little scene
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The Warlords put on (at least) two cool tables, this one showing pilum against pike…
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…and a fabulous game on the moon…
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The background blur was – The Moon: 2039.  Play as US and Chinese forces in secret but deadly missions in the difficult, dusty, cratered terrain and in just one-sixth gravity.  But are there other forces in play…?
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More from the Pike and Pilum battle!
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Beautiful terrain from Oshiro. A Gothic horror game using the Fistful of Lead System, by Wiley Games.
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World Class terrain!
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Real Time Wargames always put on a nice show, this time some 10mm action on the North-West Frontier.
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Nice hills and the game was looked fun too!
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Boudicca vs Romans, Mancetter 61CE, To the Strongest Rules!

 

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That is a battle line of 6mm proportions (if that makes sense)
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But with 28mm detail if you look close enough (wonderful, effectful, I wish I had the time and patience to do that one day! – I will stick to my 6mm for now)
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It is always nice to see Michael Leck and crew.  He serve the Battle of Danholm 1807 using his new Rebels & Patriots rules that works as well in a Scandinavian themed setting as in North-America!
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I ended up chatting and with only two photos – I suggest you check Michaels blog Dalauppror (A good start is in the link here)
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Wings of War or Wings of Glory, this Looked fun!

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Bad Squiddo Games offered a little oasis to sit down and do some colouring. The War Peegs stuff looks fun and hopefully the rules will be out soon (you can see the vehicles on their website, here)

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Aughrim 1691 was a part of the Williamite Wars in Ireland 1688-1691 by Crewe & Nantwich Wargaming.
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It was a fantastic looking table from a conflict I knew nothing about – now I know a little bit more.

 

I also have to say that the new WW2 Vehicle ranges from Baccus is something special and well worth a look and I think good value for money.

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We also got a little appearance on the Too Fat Lardies Oddcast, you can listen to it on youtube (link here).

Until next year, we Salute you!

Bonus Blog Post – Filler Cars for Gaslands in 6mm

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This is a bonus 2017 blog, my annual review/reflection can be found here if you are interested, that blog also contains some pictures of Gaslands movements templates I will be using for my games and where to get them.

I wanted to have some additional cars for my Gaslands project to use as cars for the game, but more importantly to have in the background and to make some terrain pieces with so I ordered some models for architectural and/or railway use.  As we noted in a previous post the 6mm scale (a link to that post here) is an artistic scale and varies between manufacturers and even between ranges from the same manufacturer.

I ordered cars in the following scales on e-bay: 1/300, 1/250 and 1/200. Pictures below and valid as at 31-Dec-17.  These were from the actual sellers I used.

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In summary (the 1/250 vehicles are from the UK, the others come from China).  It took between 1 and 3 weeks for them to arrive.

 

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From left to right, 1/300, 1/250 and 1/200.

 

1/200 – 50 vehicles for £2.98 (in different coloured plastics) – length 25mm, width 10mm. 

1/250 – 50 vehicles for £8 (in white) – length 17-20mm, width 7mm.  But you can find cheaper from Chinese sellers.

1/300 – 100 vehicles for £2.54 (in white) – length 14-15mm, width 5mm.

So how do they compare to the stuff I am using for Gaslands?

 

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The 1/200 model fits best to the vehicles I am using for Gaslands (please see the previous blog for reference to these vehicles, link here again)

 

 

 

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The 1/250 model fits best with the earlier Microworld range (again see the link to the previous blog for further information here)

 

So the 1/200 model is a pretty good match for me and the 1/250 stuff reasonable for the first set of cars Microworld did.  They also come in a lot of different colours and variants, I think they will just need some clean up of the plastic, some highlights and perhaps some matt varnish to tone down the shine and we are good to go.  I may even stick some weapons on some of them and use them for regular races not just as fillers.

 

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A few of the cars, three types and 6 different colours.

 

I have ordered some more 1/200 models as I would like to create some nice obstacles, it would be cool to have racing track through an old car dump, a car graveyard track – that would be classy indeed!

/But that is for another time, hope this was of some help.

 

Christmas, TMT Progress and Talvisota / Winter War Chain of Command – Part 1 The Soviet Platoon

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Red Army Soldier with the typical pointy Budenovka hat that was still in use during the Winter War period. The picure is taken from SA-kuva (Finnish Armed Forces Photographs) and you can find their webpage here.

Towards Moscow Trilogy Progress

I considered just putting up some old pictures and change the titles – I might get away with it for individual units but I am afraid it would fail en masse at the Joy of Six in July next year. Anyway, joke aside and in line with the promise I solemnly made to myself I did force myself to complete a few more bases for the Project. This time 3 No. Russian Dragoon regiments (As before these are from Baccus 6mm).

Astrachanski Regiment

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Nevska Regiment

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Kievska Regiment

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Winter War – Chain of Command

A little bit of an intro

The Winter War was the invasion by Soviet Union of Finland in 1939 (30 November) to 1940 (13 April) in order to protect its interest as it, amongst other things, perceived Leningrad’s proximity to the Finnish border being a security issue. This short war showed the difference between a bad & overoptimistic plan, inadequate equipment & training for the theatre of war, unmotivated & badly led men (remember Stalin’s 1936 t0 1938 purges of the Red Army leadership) against a disciplined, trained and mobile force of highly motivated soldiers who used the arctic conditions to its advantage. Although the Soviet Union won the war it was not the quick and total victory that had been expected.

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Finnish Propaganda poster from the Winter War saying something like “Comrades, Red Army Soldiers. The Political Commissar drive you into death, and you say “Die yourself, you dog”.

 

Onlookers marveled at the Finnish resolve but more importantly the incompetence and seemingly badly preparedness of the Red Army was noticed by the Germans and this is traditionally seen as one of the contributions to the start of the Barbarossa Campaign in 1941. However, although the lesson was correct in 1940 it did not consider that the Red Army had learned a few lessons too. The sobering and embarrassing experience of the War led the Red Army High command to review its performance and from this implement a number of reforms including changes to tactics, logistics, communications and training of officers. It also introduced the wider use of field mortars to support infantry, toned down the role of the political commissar, as well as the wider use of submachine guns. Although these changes were not fully implemented at the start of the Barbarossa campaign, the Red Army in 1941 was not the same army that invaded Finland in 1939.

The family on my mother’s side are Finnish and I have heard many stories from this period – some heroic but most of them being about the sad realities of war and the people that had to endure them directly and indirectly.  For example one of my relatives, a pioneering educationalist working in the Finnish border areas, had to take home his two sons in coffins during the war – both of them were volunteers and the youngest was 17. My hobby is very much related to war and  I think it is important to remember that in reality it is far from a game.  This awareness does not take out the fun of it but adds respect to how I deal with it.

I recommend you read more about the conflict here and why not get a copy of the Talvisota/Winter War movie while you are at it.  There is a good youtube video with Sabaton’s Talvisota with clips from the Talvisota movie – you can find it here (this is a good one, did I say that?).  Other sources on the net that are worth checking out to start with are:

  • Sami Korhonen’s Battle of the Winter War webpage, here (lots of links to other useful stuff) – very good source.
  • The Jaeger Platoon webpage – weapons, formations and some battle write-ups as well as links to other information, here.
  • Some war stories can be found here. It forms part of the Axis History Forum’s Winter and Continuation war forum (here) with over 1800 topics.
  • And three relevant and good papers:
    • New approaches to the study of Arctic warfare by Pasi Tuunainen, here.
    • Elimination of pockets in Western Lemetti during January – February 1940: Use of German Experience with Storm Troops by the Finnish VI Army Corps, by Pasi Tuunainen, here.
    • Finland in the Winter War by Ville Savin, on the Lardies website, here.

I find the following books useful and a good start:

  • The Winter War: The Russo-Finnish War of 1939-40 by William R. Trotter, link to the publisher here.
  • Finland at War: The Winter War 1939-40, by Vesa Nenye, Peter Munter and Toni Wirtanen (the second in the Series about the Continuation War is good too). Link to the publisher here (but could perhaps be bought cheaper elsewhere).

From a Wargaming perspective I intend to use the Chain of Command rules from Too Fat Lardies (they are really good and you can find them here). I also have a few other resources including the Skirmish Campaigns book Finland 39-40 The Winter War (This was not written for the Chain of Command rules but can easily be used for the system, and this have been discussed to some extent at the Chain of Command forum, here search for Skirmish Campaigns and Chain of Command”).

Miniatures Used

I decided to do this project in 15mm and got myself a few packs of miniatures from Battlefront (yes 15mm Flames of War miniatures, sometimes you can find packs on ebay and other alternatives but if this fails buy it directly from Battlefront) as they were doing early war Finns and Soviets for their Rising Sun supplement (Well I got a fair few actually).  The packs are still for Sale and I think they are ok – in addition buy some loose heads from Peter Pig of the German WW1 helmet and you could even buy some Japanese helmets without netting (to simulate the Swedish helmets worn by some units, the Swedish M-26 helmet is being used to make fake Japanese helmets being sold on the collectibles markets), and some German field caps and fur hats and you have some headswap options to create some variety with the same poses. Similarly for the Russian side you can get some early Sovietic helmets (known as the M-36, these were replace by the more iconic SSh-39). Your winter war Russian looks best with the pointy hats and/or the M-36 helmets.

Peter Pigs head range can be found here – snip off the head and drill a little hole, put some superglue and attach the new head (be careful and you will be fine, it is worth it).

I have added some additional things using more Peter Pig (main page here) stuff, some old Resistant Rooster stuff (here) as well as a few really old True North stuff (here, but I am not sure they are still in business?).  But this is really for variety – the only issue with the Battlefront miniatures are the lack of LMGs.

Battlefront Finnish Packs Used

FI721 Jääkari Rifle Platoon (Winter) – main pack

FI722 Jääkäri SMG Platoon (Winter)

FI724 Machine-gun Platoon (Winter)

FI727 Tank-Hunter Platoon (Winter)

FSO113 Finnish Anti-tank Gun Group (Winter)

FSO112 Finnish Artillery Group (Winter)

FSO115 Finnish Sissi Troops (Winter)

SU500 45mm obr 1937 gun

FI570 76K/02 (76mm gun) (x2)

Battlefront Soviet Packs Used

SBX28 Strelkovy Company (Winter) – main pack

SSO120 Greatcoat Command & Komissar Team

SSO152 Artillery Group (Winter)

SU560 76mm obr 1927 gun (x2)

SSO153 Anti-tank Group (Winter)

SSO192 Soviet Dismounted Tank Crew

SSO151 Flame-thrower Platoon (Winter)

SU766 Sappers (Winter) Upgrade

SU301 BA-10

SU040 T-28

SU002 T-26S obr 1939

SU422 Zis-5 3-ton truck (x2)

Now to some more detail on the platoons, the Soviet Platoon this week and the Finnish Platoon next.

The Soviet Platoon

You can find the full army list from Too Fat Lardies here (The Platoon Force Rating is +6 for Regular and -2 for Green, 5 Command Dice when regular and 4 when Green. The Winter war forces are regarded as Green during the initial phase (Nov-39 to Jan-40) and can be regarded as Regular after that).  These are not elegant maneuvering elements – this is brute force! UHRAAAAH!

I tried to go for some variety to the coats but painted the pointy hat in the same colour (with the red star) using a field bluish colour – it gives a somewhat uniform look to the units. It works for me. I got some inspiration from some nice photos from this site – it shows some reenactors of the conflict – both Finnish and Russian.

NOTE: The bases are in desperate need of some modelling snow flock – not done yet.

Platoon Headquarters – Leytenant Tretiak (Senior Leader with Pistol), Starshina Fetisov (Senior Leader with Rifle). The Starhina is from Battlefront and the Leytenant is from Peter Pig.

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Squad One – Serzhant Kasatonov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.

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Squad Two – Serzhant Krutov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen.All are from Battlefront I added a flag bearer to each squad for show, not sure this is realistic – but it looks good.

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Squad Three – Serzhant Larionov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.

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Squad Four – Serzhant Makarov (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. All are from Battlefront.

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Support Options

List 1

SMG upgrade – PPD SMG – I made a few SMG armed ones based on Peter Pig winter war Russians with headswaps (using heads from the Battlefront Peaked cap miniatures or the Early Russian Helmet Head packs from Peter Pig). Not a very common weapon at this time of the war.

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SMG Troops

 

SVT-38 Semi-auto rifles – did not do specials for these. They were being tried during the Finnish Winter War. If they are used we just make a note and get on with it. Slightly longer than the normal rifle and a with a cartridge magazine. The initial reaction of the troops to this new rifle was negative as it was felt it was cumbersome, difficult to maintain and the magazine could fall of the rifle.

Engineering Teams – 3 men for each (Mine clearance, Wire Cutting, Demolition or what ever). These are from the Battlefront Sappers pack.

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Engineering Teams

 

Other more terrainy stuff have to wait until I do my next battle (Minefield, Barded wire, entrenchments)

List 2

Mortar teams using the 50-PM 38 (50-mm company mortar model 1938), comes in the base winter infantry pack.

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Mortar Team

 

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Mortar Team 2

 

Flamethrower team, armed with the ROKS-2 Flamethrower designed to be easy to conceal on the battlefield (22.7kg, effective range 25 meters, but could fire up to 30-35 meters). The Finns captured some of these and they were later put in use as the Add to dictionary M/41-r. Nasty weapons. The are from the Flamethrower platoon pack.

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Flamethrower team

 

For the pathetic but charming T37 see picture below, do not have a T-27 Tankette or a BA-20.

List 3

Sniper Team – this is just a standard infantry model from Battlefront without the bayonet and his spotter.

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Sniper Team

 

M1910 Maxim MMG (Will do a few more) – very dark picture again from Battlefront.

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MMG Team

 

Political Commissar/Officer – I think this is a headswap story with a Peter Pig body and a Battlefront Peaked hat head. He is screaming out communist propaganda whilst running into the sights of the White Death.

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Political Comissar

 

For the T26 see the tank picture at the end. These are Battlefront.

 

List 4

Another infantry squad – Serzhant Pushkin (Junior leader with Rifle), DP-28 LMG with two crew, twelve riflemen. This time with the early War Russian helmet bodies from Battlefront and heads from Peter Pig – Early Russian helmets.

I need to paint the 45mm AT Gun and the 75mm infantry gun, I got both these from Battlefront.

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Additional Infantry Squad

 

List 5

For the Kht-26 flamethrower tank and the T28 see the tank picture at the end. The Flamethrower tank is from Zvezda and the T-28 from Battlefront.

List 6

T28E (using the T28 again), see the picture below.

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The Garage and some tank crew from Battlefront. The T-28 commander is from the Winter Infantry Set (just cut off the top part and actually looks more the part). As for the bases I need to winterize these at some point.

 

I hope this was of some use, I will show the Finnish Platoon next week…

/ All the very best, and seasonal greetings! Keep toy soldiering on!