Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Learning About Russian WWII Uniforms

Like many miniature gamers, I have been amassing a collection of Osprey books over the years. Needing information on uniforms so I can paint my 25mm WWII Russian infantry, which I began prepping this evening,I checked the three main Osprey books dealing with the subject: The Red Army of the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945, World War II Soviet Armed Forces 1, and Soviet Rifleman 1941-45. The books cover the subject in great detail and eventually should find their way into your library if gaming the Eastern Front.

I also like looking at reenactor websites. They usually give a history of their real-life unit along with all sorts of detailed info and photos. The 39th Guards Rifle Division was the first Russian group I stumbled upon. It's pretty nice.

Online vendors selling replica uniforms also are a nice help. I never knew there was so much info about the classic Russian winter hat, the ushanka, until I visited The Ushanka Hat Store's website. Though I could have used one of those hats the last few nights here in Central Florida (we've been going down into the 20's at night!), I passed on hitting the 'buy' buttons. I just wanted the photos. Their blog also is a wealth of info about uniform hats. (They sell more than just ushankas!)

My best find online is a free 115 page PDF Russian uniform guide the video game designer Dennis Schwarz wrote for a WWII game. The guide is like a simplified Osprey with history, lots of detailed photos from buttons to tunics (I noticed some are from Trident Military supply), and info about how to replicate proper Russian uniforms in the game, info that can help miniature gamers as well. Every piece of kit. A big help! His weapon loadout PDF is also interesting in a more esoteric way. Check them out at his website here.

Here is his intro for the PDF: "This guide generally divides Russian troops into various time-dependent model sets. There are five sets total: Winter War units ('39-'40), early war soldiers ('41-'43), early war reservists ('41-'43), mid war soldiers ('43-'45) and mid war reservists ('43-'45). The difference between soldiers and reservists basically devides troops in front-line troops, issued the best equipment available and second-line troops, which were issued a lot of surplus wargear. Each of these sets of course requires proper summer, winter and to some extend - camouflaged models."

So that wraps it up for today. Just a quick look at how to find some historical info on Russian WWII uniforms. I'll pass on more info in an organize manner as I find it. Until next time, break out the ushankas and stay warm!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Inspirational Photos For Splintered Light Hares

After scouring the web, these are the photos of hares I've been using as a reference. I also have been using the Redwall covers as a reference, but I've never read the books. I watched a few episodes of the TV show online earlier this year, but it just never grabbed my attention. I just love the Bob Olley figures and am a sucker for anthropomorphic stuff, especially rabbits and mice. Oh, and notice that the inner ears and the nose are not pink!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Painting Splintered Light Hares Again

This afternoon, I once again began working on my Splintered Light hares. It's been several months since I started them and then stopped. The last time I worked on them, I was trying to find the right colors and technique. I did several test figures with varying results. Either the colors just didn't look right, or when they did look good the drybrushing killed my hands. In pain and frustrated, I shelved the figures. Plus, I did not want to start a technique and then change midway.

Having a few spare hours today, I was going to work on the pirates but pulled out the hares instead. Darn it, I love those figures and wanted to figure them out! I think I did. The painting has been going well and the fur looks pretty good. I'll post some photos. My holiday break starts tomorrow and runs about a month, so my goal is to relax a bit and do some modeling/gaming.

The Forces
Below are the figures I bought earlier this year, taking advantage of a 50%-60% off sale. The hares I mentioned above. The rats are primed and up next. I bought some additional figures at Cold Wars since this order, but I can't recall what off the top of my head. The figs will be based for skirmish gaming.

Druid's Children: The Faithful
1x The Faithful Boxed Set Item # DRFA01
1x The Faithful Heroes Item # DRFA02
1x The Faithful Otter Spears Item # DRFA03
2x The Faithful Hare Spears Item # DRFA04
2x The Faithful Hare Archers DRFA05
2x The Faithful Mouse Warriors Item # DRFA07
1x Mouse Spears Item # DRFA08   
1x Hare Swords Item # DRFA14
1x Mole Miners Item # DRFA15
1x Hedgehog Warriors Item # DRFA16
1x Badger Lords Item # DRFA17
1x Heroes Item # DRFA18
1x Mouse Warriors 3 Item # DRFA24
1x Badger Lord in Plate Item # DRFA28
1x Hare Command Item # DRFA20
1x Mouse Command Item # DRFA22

Druid's Children: The Rebels
1x Boxed Set Item # DRRE01
1x Heroes Item # DRRE02
1x Fox Spears Item # DRRE03 
1x Fox Warriors Item # DRRE04
2x Weasel Warriors 1 Item # DRRE05
2x Weasel Warriors 2 Item # DRRE06
2x Rat Warriors 1 Item # DRRE07
2x Rat Warriors 2 Item # DRRE08
1x Weasel Archers Item # DRRE11
1x Rat Slingers Item # DRRE12
1x Kobold Rangers Item # KOBO05
1x Kobold Skirmishers Item # KOBO04