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Recently I picked up some Soviet and German soldiers for some historical wargaming. I've been doing a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, but I kept finding myself being drawn to historicals. With the exception of a sole civil war game played with 52mm soldiers, I haven't aquiesced to calling. I finally got a large(ish) sum of money and splurged on some Bolt Action books.


I knew I wanted to start with World War Two for a number of reasons. First, it is a well-documented war: there are gazillions of documents, films, books, recordings, and whatever other media you can think of that deals with the conflict. Second, there is a wide variety of units. You can have flamethrower guys, tanks, artillery, half-tracks, calvary, mortars and more. There is a huge flexibilty in making an army. Third, minis are plentiful and dirt-cheap. Twenty-dollars for 40-plus guys? Sold!


Recently I picked up some Soviet and German soldiers for some historical wargaming. I've been doing a lot of sci-fi and fantasy, but I kept finding myself being drawn to historicals. With the exception of a sole civil war game played with 52mm soldiers, I haven't aquiesced to calling. I finally got a large(ish) sum of money and splurged on some Bolt Action books.


When I got Bolt Action I was super excited to get some minis to go along with the books. Alas, my mood darkened with I saw the prices on their official website. The minis were nice but out of my price range. Two dollars a miniature was more than I wanted to pay. Sure, they looked great but I am on a budget.

Enter the tried-and-true 20mm (1/72) scale figures. Like I stated above, the price was in my ball-park. I can handle 50 cents a figure. So, I went out and bought eight boxes of guys for about $80. I got three boxes of Germans, four boxes of Russians, and a box of partisans. A week later they all arrived at my doorstep.

Like most minis, they came in sprues. Lots of sprues. I had 350-plus guys to hack out of the sprues. Some of the kits even had multiple small parts. I decided to use small bags for each part, not only to organize them but to make sure I didn't lose any pieces. Finally, after hacking them out and trimming most mold lines I got to work gluing them together and painting them. For the Germans I used a gray spray paint and the Russians a brown paint.


After there base coat dried, I started painting the finer details. I mostly just focused on skin, weapons, boots, and helmets. Some of the Russian Commissars got different colored pants and hats, which were a nice blue and red combination. Mortar teams got red mortar shells, but pretty much everything was brown, black, grey, and a little green. I didn't really focus too much on the details. I had a lot of guys to paint and as long as they looked decent at a distance, that was all that mattered to me.

When painting was done it was time to put them on bases. I chose pennies for bases, being cheap and the right size. I glued all the figures to the bases with just PVA glue. Nothing too special. To make it look like the guys weren't standing on giant pennies, I spread some PVA glue around and dunked them in sand. It looks OK for rocky ground. If I really wanted to, I think putting down some brown wash would be helpful.

I also picked up two German StuG IIIs from Armourfast. After waiting three weeks to get them shipped from the UK, I found the kits easy to put together. My biggest complaint is that they didn't have any decals. I guess I'll have to find some 1/72 German insignias and the like. Oh well, at least they were $15 for two of them.