Sunday, March 28, 2010

Italeri Zis-3 and "Servants"!

After our last BKC game, I've decided to beef up the Soviet infantry, and spent the day working on another battalion of seven stands, some support in the form of a 45mm ATG, another 82mm mortar, and have started work on my artillery battery; what is a Soviet army without it!

I'm going "multi-media" with this army, and the guns are the soft plastic ones by Italeri.  I had a laugh at the name on the box, but I have to admit I'm really impressed with the contents.  Plastics have evidently come a long way since my Airfix days.

I have two boxes of these, and started on one of them.  These were a bargain at two to a box, and are extremely nicely detailed.  The soft plastic is of the harder variety, and I found that it takes drilling and even sanding quite well.  I drilled out the muzzle openings and the tow rings, and cleaned up the minimal flash quite easily.  

The only other thing I did was to add a plastic card "lid" to the ammo box of the "servant" dragging it up to the piece, which looked a lot better.  This is really a well-sculpted miniature, and is my favourite in the box.

I have a lot of metal miniatures from just about every manufacturer of 20mm WW2 Russians out there, so I mixed the crew for maximum variety.  I added gun crew figures from SHQ, Fantassin (now Warmodelling), Dixon,  the old Drew's Militia and even an ammo wagon from Lyzard's Grin with an FAA head attached to a German drivers body and given an epoxy putty rain cape.  

These figures range fronm 1/76 to 1/72nd scale.  I do find that the SHQ are on the small size, and try not to have them stand too close to their much taller Italeri and Warmodelling comrades, but other than that I find the various miniatures manage to co-exist quite comfortably.

I rummaged through my spares box and came across a load of Skytrex ammo boxes, and put them in the back of the wagon.  I also added a Platoon 20 figure standing in the back helping to unload them.

The figures go nicely to making a mini diorama; the guns are nearing the end of their ammunition supply and desperately await more.  Meanwhile the battery commander looks on while a junior officer implores the telephone operator to pressure HQ for more ammo!

Once I glue the guns together with Araldite, I'll give all the plastic components a vinegar bath, and then another soaking in detergent.  I'll then give them all a coat of watered-down PVA prior to priming.  I suspect these models will stand up to handling quite well, as there are no bendy-thin rifle barrels to worry about.

I need to get myself a 122mm howitzer which will give me three sections- a full battalion of artillery for the scale I'm using.   I'll probably order two, as with the other Italeri box I have, I can then build two battalions, the full complement for a non-Guards rifle division.


Braxen said...

Nice Robert,

What's the size of the bases you are using?

Robert said...

Hi, Braxen

Basically I use the standard FoW bases- about 45mm by 30mm- for the infantry. As for the artillery, I'm going for 60mm wide by 100mm deep.

Anonymous said...

The horse-drawn cart and guns are fantastic! Are you bringing those to the next session?

Robert said...

That's the plan. Lots to do yet, though.

I want to make a three-gun battery, the third gun being a SHQ 122mm Gaubitsa howitzer. I have it already, but it needs to be put together.

I also have some horse-drawn limbers from SHQ as well. These look good, but I suspect they will be a pain in the buttinski to put together and paint!

The trouble is that I probably need to paint more infantry before I can really justify fielding a whole artillery battalion.

Anonymous said...

Especially if we're trying to play at least one game with infantry leading the charge. :)