Soviet Steel – the force so far

I’ve been working on my Winter Soviet force for a while now, in between distractions in the form of Guild Ball or Gates of Antares painting.

I wanted a force that represented the average platoon during the winters in the Soviet defence against Operation Barbarossa and the army was designed around a mid to late war format.    I deliberately tried to avoid min/maxing and I made sure that I took LMG’s as appropriate.    I know it’s not optimal but this is as much a hobby project as it is a gaming one.   Also, contrary to popular opinion I do actually want my opponent to enjoy their game against me too!

I decided to build the army around the Guards Squad.    The workhorse of the Soviet infantry and a good flexible base for infantry.  There are two Guards squads in the army, each contains a light machine gun with loader, 3 submachine guns and 6 riflemen.    I also plan to add captured panzershreks to the units too for added flexibility.

The soviets also get a free inexperienced infantry squad.    These are always armed with rifles and I have chosen to support mine with a commisar.   In true fail gaming style his flag has snapped off so I need to repair him 😦

Although there are no options to equip anyone in the squad with an SMG, I modelled the NCO carrying one, just to make it obvious who the NCO was.

A Commissar leads an inexperienced Rifle Squad

I have two weapons teams at present.   The much maligned Medium Machine Gun, which for the soviets comes with a handy gun shield to protect the crew from incoming fire!  I chose to mount these on larger bases so I could build mini dioramas around them.   I must admit, I’m quite happy with the results.   The mortar has proven very effective in my games so far, I particularly like how it can force enemy teams to move to prevent ranging in.

I have 4 vehicles for my army so far, the M3 Half Track and Katyusha aren’t finished yet so won’t be shown just yet.

I hadn’t planned on including any armoured cars, but when I saw the BA-10 I decided that it needed to be purchased and painted.   Mainly because it looks so ungainly.   I really enjoyed painting it and learnt a great deal about the chipping medium that I used.   It flaked in chunks that were too large so I went back over the armour with chipping and stippling effects to break the edges up into finer chunks.

I had to have a t34 in my army, and this variant with it’s 85mm gun is capable of keeping up with the big cats out there in the late war period!    Again I was unhappy with the chipping medium and both the scale and granularity of the chipping it provided.     Heavy stippling and sponge chipping brought it back to how I imagined it looking.

I plan to add and IS-3 and a KV-2 to the army to give me options for taking heavier tanks in the games if I feel like it.     I’ve also got some assault engineers and a squad of tank riders because nothing say soviet like a squad of madmen riding into battle on the back of a tank!    I’ve seen concept art of the Soviet forces in konflikt ’47 and I’m most excited by the Ursine Bear Warriors, Super Soldiers and heavy infantry.    Those will also be added as funds and availability permits!

The army at present looks like this

Winter Soviet Army
Winter Soviet Army

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