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"Best scale for rcw?" Topic

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Makhno191810 May 2020 2:24 p.m. PST

Hi all, im thinking to start building up rcw armies, and was wondering what everyones favorite scale and why.

As you may have guessed from my screen name or my past posts, im primarily interested in the black army/Makhnovists. Thus, i hope to play games that allow for ambush, hit and run tactics, cavalry and tachankas.

I have already started painting 9 cavalry, 20 infantry plus makhno and schuss from cobblestone/brigade games, id intended for some diorama. However, im also interested in some armies for gaming, i could continue with the 28mm scale or start on something new. Ive spent the last couple years painting Spanish civil war miniatures in 1/72, and ive enjoyed that scale for the wide availability of nice pieces in metal, and inexpensive, passable minis in plastic that i can fiddle with for conversions. Anyway, looking forward to hearing what others use.

mildbill Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2020 2:50 p.m. PST

I use 15mm, but I am old school. Peter Pig has lots of good models. Remember what Makhno said, beat the whites until the're red and then beat the reds until the're green. ;)

Yesthatphil10 May 2020 3:59 p.m. PST

The panorama of the Russian Civil War is vast … I'd say any scale over 15mm would miss capturing the scale of things. I have enjoyed some good 28mm adventure/skirmish games set against the RCW background but that's a different story wink


Makhno191810 May 2020 5:51 p.m. PST

Thanks for the advice. I only got the 28mm guys because the company made Makhno… it makes sense to try a smaller scale. Is there a lot avaliable in 15mm? Ill check out peter pig. Any other, smaller scales i should consider?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2020 5:52 p.m. PST

I'd want the option to use armored trains, armored vehicles, and airplanes. I'd lean towards 15mm, maybe 1/72. 25s would be nice for smaller actions.

Peter Pig has a pretty comprehensive 15mm range.

Pendraken has a 10mm range, but it is not as extensive.

Rdfraf Supporting Member of TMP10 May 2020 6:28 p.m. PST

Well, if you decide to stick with 28mm I still have a few Copplestone RCW to sell.

Maha Bandula10 May 2020 6:58 p.m. PST

The smaller scales would be cheaper for sure, and allow you to field larger battles, which I believe were quite the norm. Though of course the best sculpts to be had are in 28mm (have you seen Studio Siberia?).

Peter Pig's range is very comprehensive (including an armoured train if I remember correctly) and, unlike many of their other lines, some of the packs predate their shift to the current sculpting style, which I am not as much a fan of.

In 20mm you have B&B Miniatures that covers Japanese interventionists and the Poles in addition to the main combatants, which you could augment with packs from IT Figures and Strelets.

mghFond10 May 2020 9:55 p.m. PST

When I did the RussoPolish War of 1920, I used Peter Pig for both sides. I really liked their RCW range plus I used some of their WW1 stuff too.

I bought their train too and tachankas, gotta have a few of those if you are doing Makhno.

If you want to stick with 28mm, Copplestones Back of Beyond range has lots of Russians, Bolsheviks and Whites.

Cuprum210 May 2020 10:50 p.m. PST

Makhno? Anarchists?
The state gives rise to parasites!)))
Coming Soon:

jurgenation Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2020 1:38 a.m. PST


Giles the Zog11 May 2020 3:20 a.m. PST

Cuprum – those look interesting. metal or plastic ?

Makhno191811 May 2020 4:47 a.m. PST

Wow! Great contributions everyone, though im not that much closer to a decision. maybe i need to do some large dioramas in 28mm, and field armies for games in 15mm. Peter pigs stuff looked great, yes i want tachankas! I saw they have cossack heads in their wwii range i can use for headswaps for the black army. The train looked sweet too. Anyone else make compatible 15mms to suppliment? For 1/72, i havent looked into B&B yet but i will.

Rdfraf im interested to talk with you about what you have left to sell, anyway i can contact you off this thread (i only have base membership)? Curpum 2, theres no way im not gonna buy that, so please share details, costs, release dates etc when you get them. Thanks again for all the input!

Cuprum211 May 2020 7:15 a.m. PST

This is metal.
You should appear in my sales by one to two weeks. The final price will be clear a little later.
Preparing for the release of the cavalry of Makhno and the tachanka.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2020 8:09 a.m. PST


I have a fairly substantial collection of 15mm RCW that I am willing to sell -- infantry, cavalry, machineguns, artillery, trains, tanks, and even a ship or two.

Contact me at jmcp1650 at comcast dot net and I'll send you details.


Basha Felika11 May 2020 8:59 a.m. PST

15mm is a nice compromise – small enough to give an impression of the scale of some of the battles yet the figures have enough individual character to make the units look interesting.

If your main interest is in ‘big battles', consider 10mm (Pendraken) or 6mm (Baccus) and use lots of figures per stand.

Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP11 May 2020 9:34 a.m. PST

Preparing for the release of the cavalry of Makhno and the tachanka.

Ah, the magic word is "tachanka". Which is your site, please?

tabletopwargamer11 May 2020 10:08 a.m. PST

I use 15mm Peter pig with modded black powder rules. Unit to a battalion.

Costanzo111 May 2020 2:44 p.m. PST

28 heroic (and beautiful ) scale

Maha Bandula11 May 2020 7:09 p.m. PST

Cuprum's site is none other than Studio Siberia, as I had earlier mentioned (and which everyone promptly overlooked):


Cuprum211 May 2020 7:11 p.m. PST

Mserafin, here is the section on RCW:

Maha Bandula12 May 2020 1:02 a.m. PST

Cuprum2, you literally repeated the link I provided!

Cuprum212 May 2020 8:46 a.m. PST

While I wrote – your message appeared)))

Mike O12 May 2020 9:49 a.m. PST

Cuprum, that cover art is amazing! As for scale well I'm in the camp of dual scales for gaming – one for figures, vehicles and artillery and then the next one down for buildings and scenery. Mark Plant has a good article on that on his site and it works – 15mm figures with "N" scale railway buildings


My current go-to is 1/72 figures because of the huge range and conversion possibilities and most have good sculpters of anatomy (as does Cuprum which is rare for 28mm metals ;) )

About Makhnovist flags and banners:

In Russian but online translation sites ;) Second pdf link down but it doesn't work for me anymore – anybody else? I have the saved file on my PC somewhere but trying to find. Also on Scribd there was a proper translation but it may be behind a pay-wall now – again looking for the file on my PC….


Cuprum212 May 2020 6:16 p.m. PST

The fact is that the Civil War in Russia was more of a war character of the 19th century than the beginning of the 20th century. Of course, armored cars, tanks, aircraft and armored trains were used, but there were relatively few of them. More than 1-2 models of equipment on the table – this will be too much and this is not suitable for all battles.
Here you need mainly infantry, cavalry and field artillery. Here you will often have open flanks, because you simply do not have enough troops for a solid front (I'm talking about historical reality). The fighting is mainly for settlements. An armored train is just a maneuverable artillery battery, it very rarely goes on the attack ahead of its own forces, its role in the game is simply to shoot from a place, sometimes moving some distance. This is a constant occurrence – poorly trained or low-motivation troops, against the exclusive, against their background, combat qualities of opponents (for example, officer regiments or highly professional Cossack cavalry).
But there is simply a huge number of possible armies that can fight each other in a variety of combinations. In addition to the White Guards and the Bolsheviks, there are anarchists; there are socialist democrats; there are simply peasant rebels fighting against all ("green"); there are interventionists (contingents of 14 different countries that took part in the battles to one degree or another), and, finally, various nationalists, of whom there were many.
A large number of different uniforms, sometimes very colorful.
In 15 mm or 1/72 mm you will get a lot of equipment, but in this war it is needed in very small quantities. But you will lose the main plus, in my opinion – the colorfulness and variety of infantry and cavalry.

I have an article about the banners of Makhno (in Russian). If necessary – I will send.

Wu created accurate historical banners for some of the armies of the Civil War. They are on a scale of 1/48, but if desired, I can print these banners on any scale (but this will take some time).


I invite you to my site, where there is a lot of information about the armies of the Civil War (mainly in Russian). Many photos, drawings, color options for military equipment. If any photos are missing – write to me, almost all the photos are saved and I will restore them).


Makhno191813 May 2020 5:32 a.m. PST

Cuprum, you have a great website and really beautiful sets. I hope when you set your prices for your Black army boxes you remember Makhno and company were all poor peasants!! 😉

Im looking forward to digging through your studio siberia site more, thanks for the link to the forum!

Makhno191814 May 2020 5:11 a.m. PST

I was looking through the peter pig site, and noticed they have tchankas for ww2 as well. The photos are really small, it was hard to make out the difference. Is the wwi/rcw version better suited to the period, or should i get both for variety?

Makhno191815 May 2020 6:09 a.m. PST

Another question to add to the one above. My local hobby shop has nothing relevant for me in 15mm or 28mm. They do have Orion and Strelets cavalry sets (cossacks and russians of various types) for pretty good prices. Anyone have experience with these sets/are they worth getting into? I saw B&B had a tchanka in the scale and some others to supplement. Looks like its my most affordable option, plus i can support my local shop. Though i was intrigued by the ability to stage larger battles in 15mm.

Makhno191815 May 2020 7:24 a.m. PST

Strelets don cossack link
Strelets terek cossack link
Revell soviet cossack wwii link
Orion basmarchi link
Orion red 1st cavalry

Mike O16 May 2020 9:42 a.m. PST

Cuprum, I will certainly buy a set of your figures but as a collector of good things. To be clear are you releasing Makhnovist infantry and tachanka as well as cavalry?

You make a good case for your chosen 28mm scale but I'm sticking with 1/72 plastics as the best in terms of a size compromise for size of battles and cost.

For some reason 1/72 scale is often referred to alternatively as 20mm but it isn't at all – it's 23mm at the least and with scale creep often up to 26mm so plenty of scope for visual aesthetics! As an example the beautiful set of WW1 Russian Infantry from Zvezda suitable also for the Russian Civil War:


They are around 26mm tall and in hard plastic – perfect for converting too.

I bought some 15mm figure samples some time ago but I just don't like them, perhaps slightly because my aging eyes can't deal with them anymore. The point of a tachanka was it's light carriage weight with big axle springs that enabled it to speed very fast even across open ground and keep up with the cavalry. This sample 15mm tachanka I bought didn't have any visible springs and looked like a chunky old farm cart.

I found the .pdf docs on my PC about Makhnovist flags – written by Yuri Kravets – is that same one you mentioned, Cuprum?

Makhno191818 May 2020 6:11 p.m. PST

Mike, have you found any Tchankas you liked? What do you think of the B&B one?

Ive been leaning towards choosing 1/72, (for price, the fact the local hobby shop carries a lot of usable platic minis, plus all the terrain pieces ive built are in that scale). So ive been eying random wagons and carriages i could cut up to build my own if need be, but nothing ive found really jumps out as particularly suitable.

Ill definitely build some dioramas too though, with the 28mm pieces i already have, and some of Cuprums anarchists.

sowabud19 May 2020 8:43 p.m. PST

Makhno1910: just loot at my 20mm trops from Orion, Strelec, HAT: TMP link

Mike O21 May 2020 10:05 a.m. PST

Makhno1918 the 1/72 tachanka from AlexMiniatures is extremely fine but certainly not cheap and probably more of a diorama rather than game piece



BTW the WW2 ones seem to have been purpose-built and looked very different from the improvised RCW rigs that the Black Army would have used.

I never get stuff finished but I scratchbuilt some cardboard roughs to be used with wheel and horses from limber/caisson sets together with Maxim guns from various sets and converted Preiser Russian Tank Riders:


They're in kit form and all the equipment like rolled greatcoat can be left off as required

Makhno191821 May 2020 10:15 a.m. PST

Thanks Sowabud, thats the direction im leaning now.
And thanks Mike O! I saw that tachanka a few years ago and read a review describing how tiny and delicate the pieces were… it really is beautiful. Probably beyond my financial and technical means. I think ill buy some cheap plastic wagons and cut them up and see what i can build. Ive decided against all of everyones sound advice to go with 1/72 for games, but ill build a diorama or 2 in 1/28, and keep my eye on Studio Siberia for their upcoming releases for that. Thanks again to everyone who contributed here, its been fun discussing this!

Makhno191827 May 2020 10:57 a.m. PST

I found some cheap plastic wagons and wagon pieces hanging around my studio, leftover fron my Spanish Civil War projects. I cut them up and started building 2 tachankas, making decent progress on one of them. Im making a blog post today or tonight and will share the photos on a new thread, hoping for feedback! Thanks again

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