Tuesday, October 7, 2014

20mm WWII Canadian Infantry from AB Miniatures - The Battle for Ortona, 1943 (Part II)


This post is a continuation of one from a few weeks ago where I showed my first efforts depicting Canadian infantry during their 1943 assault on Ortona, Italy.

As with the original group, this squad is made up of ten 20mm figures from AB Miniatures, which can now be sourced through Eureka Miniatures

The Bren team along with the section leader who is armed with a Sten. Interestingly, from what I've gathered, the Canadians seemed to have loathed the Sten and usually swapped them out for Thompsons whenever they had the chance.

I can't recommend this range enough. I would, without hesitation, put them up against the best that 28mm has to offer. They have such wonderful, natural poses and their physiques are slim, almost gaunt, which from looking at contemporary photographs, seems to fit the period very well.

A rare colour print of a Canadian soldier in Med. summer uniform. Wonderfully lean and scruffy. They changed back to their heavier wool gear during December's Moro River campaign which culminated in the Battle for Ortona. 

The current marketplace for WWII gaming seems more or less dominated by either 15mm or 28mm miniatures. I find this interesting as it was only about ten or so years ago that 20mm figures were regarded as the uncontested scale-of-choice in this period. Frankly, to my way of thinking, the dominance of 20mm made perfect sense for wargaming (and still does) as there is an bewildering number of inexpensive plastic kits, die cast toys and railway stuff in 1:76 / 1:72  / 1:87 scale.



A case in point is this 'knocked out' Hetzer that I've included with this group of figures. This is an old 1:72 scale Esci kit (cheap as borscht) which I assembled and painted over an evening about 15 years ago. While a bit long in the tooth, I think it's aged relatively well (like it's owner ;)) and fits in perfectly with 20mm figures.


To me, 20mm is the ideal accommodation between the detail of 28mm and the sense of ground scale that 15mm affords. Don't get me wrong, I like every one of these scales and I collect WWII in all of them, including 6mm (yes, I'm a bit touched), but I have to say that I have a soft spot for 20mm. It gives the painter something large enough to work with, provides a nice sense of scale on the tabletop and it allows a gamer to amass a sizeable collection of miniatures and terrain without having to sell an organ to acquire and store the stuff.

The charming Italian building in the background is by Frederick C, a fellow Conscript from the Fawcett Ave gang.
In a week or so I'll post the last section from this platoon, along with it's HQ and some supports.

Next Up: Gladiators or Pulp Adventurers - not sure which yet...

30 comments:

  1. They are tremendous Curt, fabulous work - Pulp Adventurers for me!

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    1. Thanks Michael, very kind of you. Pulp, eh? I'll see what I can drum up.

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  2. You have done these very well.

    Looks like we will be going into WWII in 28mm. Lee want's the Russians so I will take the Germans with pleasure

    Ian

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    1. Thanks Ian. There is so much stuff out now for 28mm that you are spoiled for choice. I look forward to seeing your efforts.

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  3. I find myself agreeing with you totally. 20mm for WW2 is a great scale and as long as you have the right rules is a very good choice. Like you I also have 28-6mm WW2 so you are not alone in that.

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    1. Clint, you always struck me as a man of great wisdom - especially when you agree with me. ;P I wish the selection of 20mm stuff for SCW was around when I first started as I probably would have gone that route (even though the Empress models are so darned amazing).

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  4. Very nicely done, the photo is great and very useful.

    John

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    1. Thanks John, it is a wonderful photo.

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  5. They look great Curt! I'm getting tempted more and more to start 20mm WWII which I think is probably overall the best scale to do WWII as it can fight skirmish or big battle and if I were to start from scratch I think I would just do 20mm.

    Christopher

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    1. It's always a hand-wringer, I find. The stuff that is out for 28mm now is very, very tantalizing but, as you know, it's not just the cost of the models - you have to get all your scenery in a larger scale which has both cost and storage implications (always a big consideration if you have limited access to storage and playing space).

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  6. Excellent work my friend. Must do a Canadian platoon for my collection at some point. I'll stick with 28mm thouh ;-P

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    1. Ah, I'd love to see a Canadian platoon from you. When you get to that point drop me a note as I have a few ideas for you. (And 28mm seems to fit your excellent detailed paintwork).

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  7. Great painting work and entry, Curt. Really nice figures. I have some British paratroops from AB, and I´m thinking now (while I´m reading "It never snows in September") about to paint them...

    Pulp, Pulp, Pulp!!!

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    1. Ah, the AB paratroopers are wonderful as well. I have some put aside in preparation of a Bruneval-type raid.

      Your vote has been noted for a Pulp entry :)

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  8. Lovely stuff - those AB sculpts are a joy to paint.

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    1. Yes, they are certainly a pleasure to work on. I think I'm going to have to try some of the German Heer infantry soon.

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  9. Great stuff Curt. AB are wonderful and you've done them justice.

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  10. Nice job, I like the building and little Hetzer alongside - I presume they've just captured it!

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    1. Yes, I took the pics and then realized I forgot to 'smoke' the Hetzer. Maybe he's just parked there while the commander is getting an espresso and cannoli at the cafe. :)

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  11. Looking good. Interesting points on the advantages of 20mm WWII. My collection is 15mm and I am unlikely to collect outside of that scale. One scale for WWII is enough for me.
    cheers

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    1. Completely understandable.Brendon. I, on the other hand, have absolutely no will when it comes to new figures being released in other scales. I can convince myself of pretty much anything when it comes to toy soldiers...

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  12. They are little beauties, great work on cracking figures Curt.

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  13. Nice troops, Curt! I too have been bitten by the 15mm bug, or rather the other-than-28mm-bug!
    I have been slowly acquiring SciFi troops that simply are not available in 28mm. The excess of fodder in the smaller scales , both models and toys, are just making the transition easier!

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    1. Thanks David! I think 15mm is a great scale as it does a great job in reflecting ranges and movement on the tabletop (less abstraction). Also, there are some very gifted sculptors working in 15mm that do a wonderful job in conveying the nuances of uniforms, anatomy and movement.

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  14. Outstanding work again dude - continues to amaze!

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    1. Thanks Greg! I hope you and I can get a game in with these lads in the not too distant future.

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  15. They are looking lovely!

    I have to be honest... I could never grasp the affection for anything smaller than 28mm. I still end up painting on as much detail, it just takes me longer! ;-)

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    1. Thanks for your note Burkhard, much appreciated. I can certainly sympathize with the love of the 'premier' scale, especially in relations to the figures themselves, but for mechanized periods it often comes with an attendant premium in vehicle/terrain cost and required space to play and store. I'm just saying that, for many, 20mm would be a good 'nexus' of figure detail, cost of accessories and the ability to store more compactly.

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