Since my last post mentioned the second WW2 infantry battalion I’ve finished since coming back to working on WW2 stuff, I thought it only seemed fair to include the first battalion somewhere!
Finished a Russian infantry battalion two years ago as part of a trawl through my ancient plastic figures to see what could be tidied up for games in the 21st century! It’ll be no surprise to anyone to find that these figures were originally painted in the 80s and are some of the few figures that I mainly drybrushed. The figures are by ESCI and I’ve always liked them, and when they came out they were a welcome change to the more basic Airfix figures.
You got a Maxim MMG with the ESCI figures, but I decided I wanted a bit more firepower so I scratchbuilt a DShK. The number of poses with the figures was a bit limited, which is why there are a few repeats, and I also added some new metal figures for variety. The original figures only really needed their equipment and boots highlighting and then re-basing. They have yellowed with age (they were coated with Humbrol gloss varnish when originally painted) but don’t look too bad!
With the re-do I also changed my battalion organisation, reducing the rifle companies from eight to seven figures (there’s a bit more on my unit representation here as well). The battalion now has three rifle companies, each of one LMG, one SMG and five rifle-armed figures, plus an HQ and supporting weapons. The latter consist of an MMG/HMG team and a light mortar team, with an anti-tank rifle team for a post-1941 unit. If I remember correctly, the Russians shuffled their mortar units about mid-war, so I can take out the light mortar team and provide heavier support above battalion level for later-war games. I’ve also reduced the firepower of the LMGs in the rifle companies to reflect the fact that there shouldn’t be as many as I’ve got models for – there should only be two in the scaled battalion, but that would have given me a different third rifle company, so I’ve opted to keep them all the same. Ideally, I should also replace some of the rifles with SMGs for late-war as well!
Since I’ve also got some Russian Civil War figures, I can add some extra support weapons to them to let me use them for WW2. That would give me an extra infantry battalion for early-war (wearing shlems) and a naval infantry battalion for use in some Black Sea amphibious operations! And you can never have too many troops for amphibious operations!