Monday, October 22, 2012

Painting WWII Soviet Infantry - Part 6A:
Finished Black Tree Design 28mm Infantry

Articles In This Series
Part 1: Series Introduction, Plus Ranks & Insignia
Part 2: Summer Tunics & Trousers
Part 3: Basing Tips & Tricks
Part 4: Winter Uniforms
Part 5: Painting Guides
Part 6A: Finished Black Tree Design 28mm Infantry
Part 6B: Finished Black Tree Design 28mm Infantry
Part 6C: Finished Black Tree Design 28mm Infantry

Until now, I've been showing odds and ends photos of these figures in various stages of painting. Finally, we have all of them painted and on pretty much done bases. I still need to buy some more autumn flock and debris, but these guys are good enough to start fighting those dirty fascists!

Photo Above: In the foreground, I have four infantry wearing the cloth pilotka hat. Three of them are wielding the deadly but close-range PPSh-41, with one fellow getting ready to throw his grenade and assault. While some gamers dislike kneeling poses, I like having some of them in my skirmish games. The fellow pointing is quite dramatic, and I like the fellow aiming his rifle.

The two figures in the background are bareheaded, of course, but are the exact same pose. I got seven of this pose from the fellow who sold them to me second-hand! Seven bareheaded guys!?! Agh!!! I tried to make these two guys looks as different as possible, but what can you do other than different colored hair? Oh well. I have the other five figures primed in case I meet someone who wants to learn how to paint. I also used one as a test piece to try out some techniques.

Photo Above: Here you can see the rear of the figures. It shows some of the various pieces of equipment these figure sport. The figures second and fourth from the left in the foreground have a single flap pouch that I want to think is a PPSh-41 ammo drum pouch or a grenade pouch, hard to tell because this pouch is used on different poses regardless of weapon. I just realized the pouch also looks like a medical bag--this might be something I add later on for a medic figure, just paint a red cross in a white circle! Soviet equipment is so confusing and varied that I no longer lose sleep over it.

You can also see the different painting techniques I was trying and learning, such as how to line the the figures--use a black line? a darker shade color? something else? A little touch I really liked was highlighting the boot heels and soles.

Photo Above - From Left to Right: I really like the drama of the first figure on the left. He looks like the hardened soldier. The second fellow has a rather frightened look befitting his new (aka matching and greener) uniform--how many days will he last in the field?

While I could have painted the officer in standard Soviet infantry colors, I decided to paint him in NKVD colors, which fit into the platoon's shot-to-heck back story I was cooking up in my head. He just isn't standing behind the platoon, ready to shoot anyone who even thinks about retreating. No, he has taken over a command, extending his left hand for his men to begin deploying to his left and right in preparation for the assault. Desperate times, you know.

The final fellow has a PPSh-41 with grenade, looking more like he's going to pass it to someone than throw it. His satchel could be a grenade pouch, but if you look at his rear photo you'll see he has no other equipment--no shovel, canteen, ammo pouch--nothing. Sloppy sculpting from one of the itinerant sculptors of the line or has this solider lost all his gear? You be the judge. (I like to think the latter, but suspect its the previous, hence the weak "here's a grenade for you, comrade" pose.)

Until Next Time: The next post will show the remainder of the platoon, so stay tuned. I hope these photos and the series inspire you to give some Soviets a try.


  1. Very nice work. The 5-o'clock shadow on the chin is a great plus!

  2. I really your article. The figures look great.

  3. The mystery 'satchel' or pouch on these figures is actually the gas mask case (used to carry many unauthorized items!). The pouch for the PPSH spare drum was much smaller and worn on the front of the belt; the grenade pouch was likewise a small affair holding two grenades and also worn on the belt

  4. That 'satchel' is a gas mask case, no doubt used for other items though! The grenade case is much smaller (holds two stick grenades) and hangs directly from the belt

  5. Thanks for the info on the satchels!


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