It’s been a little while since my last product review…
Unfortunately life gets in the way sometimes and as such the toy soldiers have had to be put on hold for me. Sadly I also had to sell one or two armies in order to make space and finances which also squashes my chances of achieving 100 FOW games for 2015 (I think my game total was 74 at last count) 🙁
The good news however, is that I can get back into the things I enjoy a lot sooner than what I had originally expected and I couldn’t have timed my comeback any better with the upcoming release of Team Yankee! I got back in touch with Ben one evening and almost immediately we started talking armies and about my plans of rebuilding. Ben mentioned that he had some Team Yankee Soviet models that I could get my teeth into, a few days later and here I am! It’s certainly good to get going once again and so I hope you enjoy my first assignment – Team Yankee Soviet infantry!
Now the models I received were sent to me in a little bag, so I wasn’t exactly sure on what was what, or the correct composition. Ben advised me that the boxes had not yet been made for them at the time so I cannot show you the packaging. I can confirm however that they will come in a box with the option to build a full company (79 figures). A further look at the FOW/Team Yankee website indicates that a platoon size option will also be coming out in January too, which is nice as it offers some flexibility.
I was sent more than enough figures to field a full infantry company, including an option for an AA missile team (as shown above). However for the benefit of getting this review done slightly sooner I have decided to paint up the middle infantry option from the book which is 7x AK74 teams, 6x RPG 7, 2x PKM LMGs, as well as the SA-14 Gremlin AA missile team.
Cleanup of the models was very simple. The only noticeable areas requiring some attention was on the helmets – (although this was very minimal and only 3 or 4 figures needed a bit of a file down). I have to say I always try and buy plastic models when I can as the detail I find is much ‘cleaner’. However it is clear to me that the Battlefront resin is of a very high standard and even still this quality is always improving! The faces on the figures are more pronounced which makes painting techniques such as washes and highlighting much easier. There is nothing more frustrating when you are painting resin models and realising half way through that you missed an area of flashing/mould line on the model and I’m pleased to say this was not an issue with these guys at all!
I decided to do the paint job in 3 waves. Starting with the RPG teams.
The Soviet uniform in the 80’s actually appears very similar to WW2. I’ve painted on all of the base colours as neatly as I can and then washed with Army Painter Strong Tone Ink, before highlighting with the base colours after the dark wash had dried. Simple but effective method, very useful when painting large amounts of infantry.
A quick spray of varnish, some basic basing materials and these guys are done!
and here are the LMG teams on their large bases as well as the missile team support option.
and last but not least the rifle teams… Now that I have the Team Yankee book I can see that I have probably got the composition for the rifle teams slightly wrong (ie I put 2 RPK gunners on 1 base). I now realise that I should’ve spread the RPKs out amongst all the teams (as well the grenade launchers & RPG-18s). Doesn’t really matter. They all count as ‘assault rifle teams’ and so follow the same stats line. If you want to ensure that the composition of the rifle teams is correct however simply consult page 119 of the Team Yankee rule book.
These are some really nice figures to add to your Soviet forces. The crispness of the detail ensures that they lend themselves to washes in particular really well. It also means that if you wanted to ‘go to town’ with more advanced details/techniques then you could too. The lack of cleanup required deserves a mention again here as well. Like I said, apart from filing one or two of the helmets down and straightening a couple of the rifles I didn’t have to do much prep at all. There is quite a good variety of poses as you can see, but of course it would always be nice to have even more variation if possible.
Even though I have only been doing product reviews such as these for a relatively short amount of time (just over a year) I have to say that I have really enjoyed the evolution in the quality of products from Battlefront throughout. The quality has always been high from them – I’m sure most of us would agree, but what has been really noticeable to me over the last few months is that the product is still always improving which is impressive.
In my next product review I shall be looking at some BMPs for these guys.
Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!