Friday, 9 March 2018

Soviet Tank Rider Squad

Who would have guessed? Three consecutive entries in just as many weeks. Seems like while the challenge slowly but surely is drawing to a close my hobby boat is finally taking up some much needed steam.
This week sees me back at a project I keep returning to time and again, but never quite seem to have the stomach to see it through. 

Gaming WW2 on the eastern front both fascinates and appals me at the same time. On the one hand there is the sheer audacity with which the Germans sought to wrestle down and conquer that gigantic expanse of land and, to be fair, nearly made it. Then there's the stubbornness of the Soviets, defending their home turf against such an onslaught. The seer will to persevere and finally to find revenge in the end.
On the other hand of course, there are the monstrosities which marked the war  in the east beyond anything that happened on other theatres. Without wanting to belittle the hardships soldiers and civilians alike had to go through in say Great Britain and France, it was in the east where both sides, especially the Germans though, committed the most abhorrent crimes against humanity.
Thus it's always with mixed feelings that I get back to that particular theatre.

Be that as it may, another reason for not delving into this theatre too deeply yet was the reluctance to paint huge numbers of Russians to fit the iconic "mass army" image we tend to have.
Thus I was hugely excited when I gave the Soviet army lists in Chain of Command a closer look and discovered the "Tankovyy Desant" or Tank Rider list which allowed me to get started with as little as 22 miniatures. Excellent I thought, even me could get those few figures painted in no time I thought. Ah well, how little I knew.
First it took me ages to get those bloody Warlord Games plastic figures built. I had those flying around for ages and now I painfully remembered why. They look decent enough when painted, but getting there always is a royal pain in the back.

I went for a summer look on these and thus deliberately left out the figures wearing the "Telogreika" padded jacket. Albeit being a very effective way of keeping you warm it looks rather dorky (to my  eyes) anyway.

Curiously enough Warlord Games decided to model their Russians with the older pre-1943 uniforms with low collar and no shoulder-straps. Well, it certainly gives you a wider scope for your miniatures but definitely lacks that late-war feel we came to associate with pictures from the fighting in Poland and the Reich.

Not a big issue for me though, as I generally prefer to have miniatures with slightly outdated equipment stand in for later ones instead of vice versa. One small issue though was the number of sub-machine guns to fully equip the three squads, thus I had to hand out a few liberated German MP40's to make up the numbers.

So, that's it for today! Till next time.


  1. Oh, masterclass work as always sir!

  2. These guys just look ace Nick! I want to take a look at them.


  3. Fabulous work as always! You sure make otherwise drab colors look alive!

  4. More wonderful work Nick, you have bought those "expressive" Warlord faces out well.

  5. Superb, impressive close ups!

  6. Wonderful painting as always Nick.

  7. Amazing work, these guys look tough.
    cheers John

  8. Mind blowing results yet again. Always inspiring.

  9. Truly fantastic work sir! And if you are interested by the Eastern Front you should try reading "The Forgotten Soldier" by Guy Sajer.

  10. Gorgeous work once again. I really need to look up the force options for CoC more closely to see if my own collection can fill out their OOB's.

    After building a box of warlord's plastic winter soviets i know your pain all too well. Glad they are done, but I'll be avoiding plastic infantry from here on for sure.