Friday, July 1, 2016

Motor Rifle Company

I hate painting infantry

No really, painting infantry is excessively time consuming for me, requiring techniques that are both repetitive and which can't be production-lined to the same level that one can approach armor. One of the main reasons this blog is so armor-focused is that I feel tank-painting is where my skillset really shines and one that I can produce is relatively short order, given my particular approach. In this regard, my World Eaters have been an interesting combination of armor and infantry techniques.

By contrast, any time I dedicate my energies to pure infantry, the turnaround is much longer and requires a great deal more patience and commitment on my part. Nevertheless, infantry remain completely integral to any period of warfare, so, like death, taxes and awful internet comments, there is no escaping them.

With that in mind, I approached the following subject matter with a fair amount of dread - A full Soviet motor rifle company. Not only did I want to paint these fellas up, but I also had a very particular scheme in mind.

As some of you may have gleaned, I'm a fairly massive politics/history nerd in my other life, a trait that has been with me since childhood. This manifested first naturally with an interest in WW2, in particular the Eastern Front, which was not taught about at all in schools down here in the antipodes. But as I progressed through my teens, my interest shifted more towards the post-WW2 period, and in particular the mid-late Cold War period. This was reinforced by numerous touchstones - books, movies, journal articles etc.

One particularity powerful touchstone during my development, however, was the game Operation Flashpoint, which was a hypothetical engagement between US and Soviet forces over a series of fictional islands somewhere in the vicinity of Finland. I spent many hours playing this game in my adolescence and it fundamentally left its mark upon me. Ever since, I've had a nagging itch to want to do a large force of Soviets modeled off the Sun Bunnies camo that featured in the game:

Now, obviously the uniforms presented in OFP were of a different make to those modeled on the Battlefront miniatures. Nevertheless, at this scale I felt such minor discrepancies didn't matter much (and hey the high boots look better imo), so I finally worked up the gumption to paint around 60 of these fellows in the scheme and jumped in.

 photo MotorRifle1.jpg

The major trick was capturing the bright green of the camo, I achieved this through a mix of Luftwaffe Camo Green and Lime Green, while the patches were Green Grey. Webbing was based around Vallejo Khaki, while helmets and RPG-18s were highlighted Brown Violet. In some instances, I also added patches to the helmets using Green Grey, as this seems to be a reasonably common 'field mod' by Soviet troops in places like Afghanistan.

 photo MotorRifle2.jpg

As usual, I went full ham on the bases, using a mixture of standard flocking materials alongside a liberal selection of Tajima bushes, flowers and grasses to give a sense of a forest floor/unkept field as theatre of operations.

 photo MotorRifle3.jpg

Overall, I feel the Battlefront Soviet infantry was qualitatively superior to the US infantry sculpts. A solid 7-8/10 effort, although not top tier when compared to the likes of Peter Pig and Flytrap.

 photo MotorRifle4.jpg
The PKM squads were modeled with two MMGs, rather than three. As far as I am aware, this is the correct number as per platoon during this period. Post-Cold War Russian doctrine would see the PKM and its successor, the PKP, become standard issue at the rifle team level, largely replacing the RPK.

Just to give you a sense of how far this blog has come, here is a series of troops I did under a similar premise close to a decade ago on this blog, back when Cold War wargaming was a weird niche hobby no one cared about. How time flies and things progress!


  1. A cracking job on the Infantry, I know exactly what you mean.
    I tend to paint a lot of 28mm and dropping to 15 does not seem to make a difference, with that obsession to paint between the lines, when in truth most people are looking a 2 Ft away.
    Interesting to see how your style has changed over 10 years.

  2. New infantry looks brilliant. You've definitely improved your infantry painting skills over the years. When I first found your blog a few months ago, I went right back to the start and caught up over the course of a few weeks - always high quality and always improving.

  3. Outstanding work on them! The comparison pics really show how far you've come over time! Bravo Sir!

  4. They are great- you've come along way with your painting.



  5. Your infantry is very good. I think the bases are very good too.

    However, if I may suggest for the next batch, a better contrast between the bases and the figures will make the soldiers stand out more. Like a dark brown base or a yellowish winter herbs.

    1. But I want them to blend , that's what camo is for :)

  6. Simply outstanding! Some of the best 15mm figures out there imho.

  7. These are incredible - will be doing my best imitation of this on my next MR Company (a pale imitation to be sure, but I'm still going to give it a shot!)

  8. Brilliant stuff as always mate! I love to use the different camo patterns people make in ARMA III mods and use them for inspiration.