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...