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"Who produces Soviet NCOs with rifles?" Topic

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554 hits since 7 Feb 2023
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

viclineal07 Feb 2023 6:00 a.m. PST

Hi, I checked using the Search feature and I don't think this has been asked before, correct me if I'm wrong.

I usually play WW2 games in 28mm, and shortly ago I decided to start a new 15 mm collection, individually based for skirmish games. However, I think I've found a frustrating gap in the miniatures on offer.

Does anyone produce Soviet "NCO" or "leader" figures with rifles? Every company that I'm aware of only offers figures in "leading" poses armed with pistols or SMGs. I find this surprising because the Soviets fielded rifle-armed NCOs for half the war; it wasn't until shortly before Kursk that Soviet squad commanders and platoon NCOs were authorised SMGs instead of rifles. And I don't think I can replace weapons with convincing results in 15mm, so converting them myself isn't an option either.

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2023 6:50 a.m. PST

Didn't sergeants wear the same uniform as privates?

Cuprum207 Feb 2023 7:29 a.m. PST


Soviet rifle squad 1935-39




December 1941 March 1942


March 1941 July 1942


July December 1942


May 1943 1945


Naval rifle squad from the battalion of the cruiser "Petropavlovsk". Summer 1941

In the absence of weapons in warehouses, they could replace the weapons available (the production of SVD self-loading rifles, which had decreased since the beginning of the war, was gradually replaced by Mosin rifles). PPSh began to be produced in large quantities in 1941. Prior to that, a PPD submachine gun was used.

viclineal07 Feb 2023 8:05 a.m. PST

Exactly Cuprum2, thanks for the neat visualisation.

Martin Rapier07 Feb 2023 8:20 a.m. PST

As noted, Soviet NCOs wore exactly the same uniforms as privates, apart from an extra stripe on the collar tabs or shoulder boards. So if you want rifle armed NCOs, just use normal figures.

Having said that, I just checked some TOEs and the April 1941 regs authorised an SMG and a pistol for Platoon HQs and two SMGs per section for rifle platoons, so it is perfectly OK to have SMG armed NCOS in 1941.

viclineal07 Feb 2023 8:49 a.m. PST

The problem I have with using "normal figures" for NCOs, especially in a skirmish game with individually based figures, is that having NCOs in the same firing/standing/loading poses as the bulk of the riflemen in the force means that you can't tell them apart at a glance. By this logic figures armed with SMGs in "leading" poses aren't needed, either – we can just use normal figures with SMGs for them – but I guess enough of us find them useful that every manufacturer produces them – just not with rifles.

Shtat #04/401 from April 1941 explicitly allocates these SMGs to personnel other than the NCOs, and the NCOs are unambiguously assigned rifles. Of course it's still perfectly OK to have SMG armed NCOs in 1941 if we want to – historical accuracy doesn't trump having fun – but I'd prefer to find some NCOs with rifles if anyone produces them, which is why I'm asking.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2023 9:20 a.m. PST

Can you solve that problem by putting sergeants on a different shaped stand (such as round vs. square), and/or putting flowers, tufts, a twig, or whatever on their stands?

viclineal07 Feb 2023 9:26 a.m. PST

Yes, I guess if nothing else works I'll use slightly different base sizes and will try to select unique poses for them. Using tufts or other base decoration to further single them out is a great idea, thank you!

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Feb 2023 9:48 a.m. PST

I base my troops on washers. They get a green painted edge. Leaders I sometimes add a colored stripe to the rear of the base.

Martin Rapier07 Feb 2023 12:28 p.m. PST

Yes, marking the bases is a good idea. On my skirmish bases I put stripes on the rear for NCOs (1 for Lance corp, 2 for corporal, 3 for sergeant etc).

It would certainly be easier to identify one type of pose for them though.

BrockLanders07 Feb 2023 9:46 p.m. PST

I differentiate troops with a blue edged base for squad leaders, red edged for senior leaders and yellow edged for special weapons teams like flamethrowers, schrecks etc. All other figs have a different colored vertical stripe on the back of the base to indicate which squad they belong to.

viclineal08 Feb 2023 12:26 a.m. PST

Thanks for all your suggestions, much appreciated!

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