EXCERPT FROM APPENDIX 1 from Don Featherstone's Battles With Model Soldiers
(The book that got me started.)

"Nothing in these pages is a dictate, no word says you must or you shall do it this way. On the contrary, the book sets out from the very beginning to stimulate the reader to think for himself, and to use what he has read merely as a foundation for efforts and ideas which reflect his own temperament and character. Only in this way will he obtain maximum satisfaction from the hobby of battling with model soldiers."

-Don Featherstone 1918 - 2013

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Imperial troops gather

I had one of those wakeful periods during the watches of the night last night, so rather than toss and turn, I arose and tended to some Zvezda WWI Russians that I had assembled and primed the day before. The assembly had been much easier than I feared. The only pose that gave me trouble was a 2nd figures of the pose that I had had trouble with the day the boxes came. Hard luck on a random draw for a sample figure to try.

A rough & ready paint job for these guys. I even skipped painting the barrel & breech on the rifle. I think that is a first for me, in any scale, even 6mm but I wanted these guys to look a bit as if they were factory painted toys. They are beautifully detailed figures though and would repay careful painting from someone who is "into it", Me,  I like these guys just the way they are. The 1st MG has already been assembled.

Still not sure where this is collection is going. WWI is more attractive to me than the RCW from a political/social etc side (not to mention the Zvezda Germans)  but I'm pretty much stuck with a civil war for now since additional troops are unlikely to be acquired soon. Truth be told, its not that I have a burning ambition to get "into" either war, I'm just drawn to the look and feel of wargames with cavalry, mg's, tanks and remote, wide open spaces. If I could get my head around it, a Ruritanian War of some  sort would be just the thing.




  1. They look very fine Ross. I'm looking forward to their cavalry.

  2. Ross,

    Those figures are great--Zvezda is probably the best out there right now.

    The WWI Russian Army gets a bad rap, in my opinion. Its real problems lay in poor upper leadership and an inability to maintain the armies in the field. The troops themselves, not to mention their artillery, were fine, at least until morale started slipping in 1917. Dennis Showalter has written a great book on Tannenberg and the early campaigns on the Eastern Front--a real eye-opener!

    Best regards,


  3. You could try "Very British Civil War"?? Given the "imagineering" you like to do it may be the answer?

  4. These look great. You could paint on more detail - or you could paint up another unit. Go for option 2!

  5. Mr K, I would love some Zvezda cavalry, its enough to ponder how to fit in Napleonic Uhlans or Turkish Spahis but there are 2 boxes of Strelitz cavalry in summer dress in the cupboard.

  6. Steve, in theory I am all in favour of fictional settings, in practice I seem to keep reverting to historical-fiction at best so the British Civil War idea would seem suitable. I'm afraid my ignorance of the setting would tip my hand though and rob even the pretense of credulity. Besides, I have all these Russians now, not sure anyone would want to see them tromping through Yorkshire with their boots on. hmmm Russians in Winnipeg, maybe.

  7. Chris, I think you are right, the problems weren't at the front end in 1914/16. The Carpathian and Galician campaigns had caught my eye as possibilities but for now its going to have to be caps vs fur hats.

  8. Righto Tim, more troops it is! Maybe I should do a unit of foreign volunteers in greenish-khaki tunics and blue trousers.....

  9. Have you looked at the Russian Civil War in Ukraine - French, Gtreeks, cossacks - we've been playing it:


  10. Hi Ross,
    That's good-looking unit.
    As usual, I have questions. I have worked with most of the soft plastic soldier-makers' wares, but not Zvezda yet. Is their plastic comparable to Airfix et al?
    What do you use for primer? I have been using thinned-down white glue but it is very time-consuming compared to some kind of spray primer, if I could find one that would STICK.
    And what is the flocking material on your bases? That looks great as well.

    Thanks and regards,

  11. Thanks freecloud. I've just enjoyed a browse through New Byzantium. I have been slowly working my way through the material on the pygmy wars site and have considered the Polish War but hadn't gotten as far as the earlier Ukraine. I'll add it to the list of things to know more about. I think it may be the size of the can of gummy worms that is making me reluctant to open it too far while I have have so many other irons in the fire. Might fall in and get lost!

  12. John, questions are always a pleasure. These are made of quite a hard plastic. Not much like the old Airfix or Hat, etc but oddly all that different from some of the limited MPC-era Airfix. It seems to take paint well.

    The flocking and undercoat answer grew long enough, I'll just post it.