Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stal! Stal! Stal!

"Steel! Steel! Steel!" The radio-signal, attributed to Lieutenant General P. A. Rotmistrov, launching Soviet armour into the infamous July 12, 1943 tank battle known as "Prokhorovka".

The author of this post is a victim of 'Kursk Pocket Syndrome',
a contagious wargaming phenomenon. 

Steel! Steel! Steel!

Serving up a storm of Soviet armour is a big part of the appeal of gaming the Ostfront. But you have to be ready. If you want to play Red, you best be willing to build up an appropriately large collection.

Having aready established a basic foundation of infantry, support and logistics units for my summer Soviets, it was time to get serious about armour.

By Steven Zaloga, a must have!
I had done my research. Most importantly, I searched and sifted through the WIP logs at The Guild, over at SoGG and even on the Braille Scale forums. Work in progress posts are goldmines of hobby learning. I read these and chose a painting plan I knew I could already do, not one I needed to master.
I also added Steven Zaloga's T-34 in Action to my collection. Squadron books are my go-to references for wargames unit markings and paint schemes. Squadron 'In Action' books kick ass.
Basing would follow and build on work that had created the other units of this army. Simple...

So, a plan of action for building, painting and basing my first wave of Soviet armour was clear in my mind and ready to put into play.

I need a lot of T-34 model '43, please..

1/72 scale Plastic Soldier Company T-34/76.
The 'Tank Brigade Deal' from The Plastic Soldier Company was exactly what I needed. Well, in truth I split a fourth box with a buddy, leaving me with a total of TEN T-34/76 tanks to work with. Exactly what I needed.
Double bonus: These kits include separate turrets for the T-34/85, so you get twice the potential for play from each box!

Fast Build T-34/76 in 1/72 from PSC.
The PSC T-34 goes together quickly and features the right amount of detail for a good looking and solid wargaming piece.

Importantly, these models can build-up into paintable sub-assemblies; the chassis, tracks and turrets all separate. This allowed me to get the most out of my airbrush while keeping up an efficient assembly-line productivity.

Great! Building and painting this way I could easily achieve the goals of my 'Stash Reduction Programme'.

Ready to roll! T-34/76's for 20mm gaming fun.
There was one tiny bugbear: the early production PSC T-34/76 kit had a gun barrel that was way out of scale. To solve that problem I ordered the excellent 1/72 scale turned gun barrels from RB Model.
Piotr of RB Model provides super service and an excellent product.

A turned aluminium barrel from RB is inexpensive, looks sharp on your model and is a very durable alternative to one of the most fragile bits on a kit.

Please note, that as of November, 2012 the PSC T-34/76 kit was re-tooled to get that 76.2mm F-34 gun looking just right.

Painting was straightforward, making use of Vallejo Surface Primers, Tamiya Acrylics, Future/Klear, Aleran Decals, AK Interactive Washes, Gamblin Oils, and Vallejo Satin Varnish.

This company of T-34/76 tanks benefits from advance planning and research.

A platoon of T-34/76 tanks from PSC.
But my company is in conflict with history! A point that kept coming up as I read about Soviet armour at Kursk is that unit markings and turret numbers were rare... And yet the sort of games that I enjoy require that I track the status of each vehicle.
Rather than trying to build and play with an authentic force, I decided to create a company's worth of tanks featuring clearly readable markings drawn from my chosen reference material. A most acceptable gamer's compromise.

As with every project, I learned a lot and improved my skills. That's always satisfying. Best of all, the stash was reduced!

20mm T-34 Stal! by Peabody
These 20mm gaming pieces have already seen some serious action on the table, some fighting through to victory and others brewing up spectacularly.

Excellent wargaming goodness, as it should be...

Until next time,
Peabody Out!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Keep on Truckin!

Truckin' to Victory!

The GAZ AA truck is one of the 'Weapons of Victory' in The Great Patriotic War. 


A licensed copy of the Ford -AA model 1929 truck, the first GAZ production models built in Russia hit the dusty Soviet byways in 1932.

This was a durable, easy to maintain vehicle that performed well in extreme conditions and regardless of fuel quality.


Perfect for 20mm Gaming.

GAZ-AA Trucks from Moonlite Modelwerks
The GAZ AA earned itself a popular nickname; the Полуторка - 'Polutorka' or 'One-and-a-half Truck' due to its rated cargo capacity of 1.5 Metric tons.

These rugged trucks served in a host of capacities; Cargo, Troop Transport, Ambulance and as Anti-aircraft mounts.

Moonlite Modelwerks resin GAZ-AA Trucks
Hundreds of thousands of these vehicles were built between 1929 and 1950. The chassis became an important foundation for a variety of heavier trucks and vehicles.

Today's brief post features resin GAZ-AA Trucks from Moonlite Modelwerks.

These are very fine examples of this most useful vehicle; perfect for 20mm Eastern Front gaming.

Highly Flexible

The 'One and a Half' was used in so many different rolls that I decided to base these to work in a variety of ways. Each base has enough room to easily hold a squad of infantry, so they make great transports. Load cargo in the back and they are logistics / supply vehicles. Pair them with a gun and crew and they become tows.

The Moonlite vehicles are good value, so I'll be ordering more of these to support my infantry as a Mechanised Corps. If you want to contact Moonlite and order a couple of these, email them HERE.

Back soon with more Wargaming Goodness...

Peabody Out!