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"How do you do it? 1:72 WWII Russians in Plastic..." Topic

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09 Feb 2019 9:13 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "How do you do it?" to "How do you do it? 1:72 WWII Russians in Plastic..."

09 Feb 2019 9:13 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Crossposted to WWII Discussion board

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World War Two on the Land
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1,261 hits since 9 Feb 2019
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian09 Feb 2019 9:12 p.m. PST

I haven't done a lot of gaming with 1:72 scale plastic figures, but I've got a boxed set here in front of me, and it leads me to lots of questions:

Who designs what goes in the set? I've got one officer and five radiomen? Who is the target audience?

When a set doesn't give you the mix you need, do you just buy extra sets and toss the unneeded figures? Do you buy the extra figures elsewhere?

What do you do with the 'useless' figures? I've got 'surrendering infantry' – I could mix them in with others on a base and hope nobody notices grin or use them as demoralized markers.

Skarper10 Feb 2019 12:08 a.m. PST

Some plastic sets are better than others. I would use Plastic Soldier Review before buying. Even then, Plastic is not much cheaper than 20mm metal in the long run.

Sometimes you can convert the plastic figures to get more variety and some unique poses.

Texas Jack10 Feb 2019 3:19 a.m. PST

Skarper´s right about Plastic Soldier Review, a great site that has saved me from making some rather terrible mistakes.

My method is to determine what type of figures I need, then start comparing box contents on PSR. I usually end up buying boxes from different producers.

As an example on price, for about the same price as ten metal British 8th Army figures from Britannia you can have a box of Airfix containing 49 figures.

And any useless figures can be converted into something else rather easily.

Pauls Bods10 Feb 2019 4:09 a.m. PST

Which set of WWII russian infantry Comes with 5 Radiomen and one officer? Esci has three and they are women and as far as I know, they are the only set of russian inf in 1/72nd with Radio Operators.

Londonplod10 Feb 2019 7:31 a.m. PST

Pegasus make some lovely Russian sets, no silly poses in them…..!

CorsairFAS21710 Feb 2019 8:52 a.m. PST

Bill I've often wondered the same exact thing. I used to game 1/72 US Civil War and the mix is almost comedic sometimes. I think a lot of it is from Airfix era stuff.

Frothers Did It And Ran Away10 Feb 2019 11:15 a.m. PST

+1 on the Pegasus plastic Russians.

Pauls Bods10 Feb 2019 11:16 a.m. PST

and surrendering figs? The only set with those poses is the WWII Russian Infantry in Greatcoats made by Pegasus and they have no Radio operators,male or female

ernieR10 Feb 2019 11:20 a.m. PST
Green Tiger10 Feb 2019 12:10 p.m. PST

As you say – use the surrendering figures for disorder markers or something. Radio operators I would put with a figure that looks like he is observing and use them as artillery spotting teams. Or … you could just throw them away – they are pretty cheap…

Wherethestreetshavnoname10 Feb 2019 1:01 p.m. PST

The reason for the 'silly' poses is that soft plastic figures were/are marketed as children's toys, not scale replica wargames figures. Kids like that sort of stuff, I know I did. I thought the figures in the Airfix Commandos box were the best thing ever when I was 11.







Mostly useless for wargames, but I didn't know what a wargame was then.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2019 5:57 p.m. PST

…and people wonder why 1/72 owns the smallest percentage of wargamers: link

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2019 4:15 a.m. PST

Radio Operators are handy for dismounted FOOs, air Liasion teams etc. Sometimes you have to think outside the box for use of excess figure types. Plastic figures tend to be cheap enough for "wastage" .

I am not going to get drawn into a "This scale is better than that " etc. but 1/72nd or 20mm is still very popular for WW2 gaming.

Lonkka1Actual11 Feb 2019 4:28 a.m. PST

If you have 30% of useless figures in a plastic box, which most likely is way too high a number, you are still getting the figures at bargain price.

Marc at work11 Feb 2019 6:41 a.m. PST

And diorama makers prefer different poses – I see complaints against sets that just have limited selections.

28mmfan – what a lovely, non-partisan Romanian source you found there. So glad to know that I have wasted my money on poor figures. Luckily, all 28mm figures are works from god's own hands it seems.

Sheesh. It is like bigotory, but applied to toy soldiers. So much hate for products that some of us like.

Bill, if you want decent figures, either browse PSR like others have said, buy ABs in metal, or accept a few "random" poses that don't 100% suit.

A really good Russian squad box is the Zvezda set – virtually a platoon in a box, like their German set. Very nice figures, minimal assembly, and very good value


"The positive aspects of this set are many, and we have already gushed enough about them here. The negative points are limited to this being a time-consuming set to put together (some will see that as no great loss, and of course many will enjoy the experience anyway), and the noticeably well-equipped and neat/uniform appearance of the men – a feature that is hardly uncommon of many plastic soldiers in this scale and beyond. In a word – excellent. In two words – buy it!"

Personal logo 4th Cuirassier Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2019 7:02 a.m. PST

To the question "Who designs what goes in the set?", I think the answer is that usually, what goes in the set is whatever has gone in other sets.

This is the only way I can fathom Airfix persistently putting a bloke in there swinging his musket or rifle round his head, and grenade throwing guys who are otherwise unarmed, and so on. If you're a figure sculptor and you're told to come up with 9 or 10 sculpts of which 7 will be used, probably you're going to look at what has previously been used.

It does mean that you end up with a lot of figures you can't use. As an idle-hours nostalgia project I am putting together armies of Airfix Napoleonics. The number of useless poses is shocking. Of 45 "pieces" in the French infantry set, for example, there are 25 that are useful. The bloke hopping on one leg listening to his musket is silly, the bloke loading his musket is too wide. Etc.

I like units in the same pose or close to it, with minor uniform variations (trousers / gaiters, shako cover / no cover, etc). But as plastics were originally toys for kids to pew-pew-pew at, it's only recently that we've seen these coming out.

Some metal 20mm are very good value. Newline does 24 foot figures, all usable, for £9.80 GBP a pack. This is impressive value for metals compared to buying 25 plastic Airfix French at what would now be about £7.00 GBP a pack (they no longer sell them individually but when they did they were a Series 1 item and that's what those now cost).

Pauls Bods11 Feb 2019 11:13 a.m. PST

what a lovely, non-partisan Romanian source you found there.

Add to that, the Review on the site is years old and the Person who wrote it says:
3. Take the data with a grain of salt. The statistical spread is still small, even at 530 respondents. A good thousand more would be required for a somewhat good accuracy and they would have to come from multiple countries.

I´m still wondering which boxed set of 1/72nd scale WWII Russians Comes with 5 Radiomen and one officer

Bunkermeister Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2019 11:39 a.m. PST

Nearly all Airfix sets were designed and first manufactured 40 years ago or more.

Check out the Hat Industrie and Strelets websites and read their forums. Lots of good ideas about what to do with odd poses.

Never throw them away, give them away, or convert them into something else. There are thousands of soft plastic figure sets and 50 to 100 more released every year. Most sets are compatible with one another.

Mike Bunkermeister Creek
Bunker Talk blog

Herce Salon de Guerre11 Feb 2019 12:57 p.m. PST

try plastic soldier and valiant, both make excellent sets of miniatures

Fred Cartwright11 Feb 2019 8:07 p.m. PST

The Airfix Commados has to be one of their sillier sets. There is the guy who has just remembered he has forgotten his diarrhoea pills, and the guy showing everyone his grappling hook, "Hey fellas, look at this!" Then there is Smith and Jones. "What did you bring Smith?" "A knife, sir." "Just a knife, nothing else?" Yes sir!" "How about you Jones?" "A grenade, sir." "Just one grenade?" "Yes sir!"

cameronian12 Feb 2019 3:49 a.m. PST

I think the makers still hark back to the 'toy' market, otherwise the sets would be arranged sensibly to make up sections, platoons, etc (much like Flames of War 15mm). HaT with their Marching, Action and Command sets have broken the mould.

When a set doesn't give you…
Mild conversion, buying others to make up the numbers (that includes 20mm metal).

What do you do with the 'useless' figures?
Cut 'em up for bits or toss them.

I had occasion to put together this Russian force:

Sturmovic 1/144 from Zvezda
T34/85s 1/72 from Armourfast
Zis 3 guns 1/72 from Zvezda
Mortars 1/72 from Zvezda
Command group 1/72 from Zvezda
Rest are 1/72 Italeri with the remnants discarded, the radio ops are handy for FOs.

Marc the plastics fan12 Feb 2019 2:55 p.m. PST

The zvezda set I linked above is designed to be a platoon

Tiberius13 Feb 2019 12:27 a.m. PST

I game WWII in 1/72nd Scale.
I game Napoleonic in 1/72nd scale
I've started gaming TYW in 1/72nd Scale.

Great scale, great ranges, and huge number of players. We just don't tell other people that their scale is a shite as that behaviour is bias and not the type of behaviour found among gentlemen.

Texas Jack13 Feb 2019 10:49 a.m. PST

@ Tiberius

Well said, and totally true.

Personal logo 28mm Fanatik Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2019 11:27 a.m. PST

I meant no disrespect. It's just that I have never met a 20mm gamer in my life. Even at conventions. Though I've read somewhere that there are more 20mm gamers "across the pond," but I've never been to jolly old England. 15mm and 28mm seem to dominate this period/genre.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2019 12:12 p.m. PST

Speaking only for HMGS-South's RECON and HURRICON there are a number of 20mm WW II games each show though granted outnumbered by 15mm. 28mm WW II games are rather rare though.

Wherethestreetshavnoname13 Feb 2019 2:25 p.m. PST

28mm Fanatik, are we to assume that you've never been to 'jolly old' Scotland, 'jolly old' Wales and 'jolly old' Northern Ireland either? Or anywhere in 'joyeux vieux' Europe either?

donlowry13 Feb 2019 6:06 p.m. PST

Well, I'm in jolly old California, and I have a sizable 20mm WW2 collection (and no 28mm), but I prefer to think of them as 1/76 scale, not 1/72, tho' a few of the vehicles are the latter.

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