Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Soviet Lend Lease Tanks - Done Enough!

I had been planning on doing a full build log as I worked on my Inomarochnikiy Tankovy Batalon, but I was so pressed for time during the painting process, that I didn't really get a chance to take "in progress" pictures, much less actually include them on the blog. I also didn't get a chance to do my normal write-up of the army for the tournament, but I did finish - well, finish enough - to take the army to the tournament and play. Granted, I was cleaning the airbrush at 12:30 AM Saturday morning, but I just made it in under the wire. I've finally managed to take a few photos of the army - they're not ideal, but they'll give you an idea how the army came out.

First up is a unit of Valentines. I based my army on units fielded by the 2nd Guards Tank Army, mostly during the Berlin offensive. I haven't been able to verify whether or not the 2nd Guards still had Valentines that late, but I know other units were still fielding late ones. I also found an insignia used by the 2nd Guards on their Valentines - so I went with that and created my own decals. The paint is a modulated version of the Ammo of MIG 1944 British Olive drab - I mixed my own modulation colors

The Katyusha is one of the quintessential Soviet weapons - used in Berlin and earlier. These are run pretty much out of the box using AK Interactive Soviet 4BO green modulation colors. The figures and rockets are painted with various Vallejo colors. 

Since I couldn't bring the ISU-122 unit that was thought to be used by the unit, I went ahead and went with their little brother, the SU-122. These are some newer blisters, and have the new plastic tracks rather than the holder metal ones. I also created some empty fuel cell racks for a few of the vehicles. The decals are stock (though I can't remember which set I got these from). These were also painted with the AK 4BO modulation set. The tracks are Ammo of MIG Shadow rust with a Vallejo oily steel drybrush.

I apologize for the blurriness of the photos, but below is the SU-76M unit. These were a lot of fun to paint up. I painted the guns and crews separately modulating the various pieces. Again, these were done with the AK interactive set. Decals are from I-94 Enterprises - they make very nice stuff!

For big battles, recon is absolutely vital - so I included a small unit of BA-64 in the army. These things were very quick and easy builds, although painting the gunner in the turret is a bit of a challenge as they're not as crisply molded as some of the other crew figures, but they came out well with a little work. Once again, these were painted with the AK 4BO modulation set.

Now on to the core of the army - the Shermans. Again, the photos aren't great, but you can get the idea. The decals are hand made and representative of 75mm and 76mm Shermans from the 1st Mechanised Corps, 2nd Guards Tank Army. First up are the 75mm M4A2s - these are a mixture of early M4A2 miniatures as detailed in a previous blog. I cast the miniatures with the applique armor, but unfortunately the mold disintegrated after about the 7th cast (which seems to be fairly standard for my molds these days), and I didn't have time to make another mold. Given I have photos of the early M4A2 75mm in Vienna in April 1945, I figured it was okay to include them. The vehicles are painted with the Ammo of MIG Wargame U.S. Armor Set which includes modulation colors.

Finally the 76mm Shermans - these are all various Battlefront models, but I've added the plastic 76mm guns with the muzzle brake since these were seen in Berlin. The decals are hand made again to match the 1st Mechanized Brigade.

Overall I'm pretty happy with how the miniatures came out. This was definitely a marathon, not a sprint, simply because of the raw number of vehicles involved in getting the army together. I'd intended to add some stowage to all of the tanks, especially un-ditching logs as they were very characteristic of the vehicles fighting in Berlin. Unfortunately I just ran out of time. I did get enough done to tie for "best painted" at the tournament. I'm planning on going back and adding some stowage before moving on to the next project.


  1. Those look nice, I think the modulation makes drab-colored tanks so much nicer to look at. I'm a big fan of the AK stuff as well.

    1. I've mostly moved over to Ammo of MIG rather than AK at this point, but it's the same school of thought. One of the main reasons I did this army was to challenge the notion that "single color paint jobs are boring" :-)

  2. Great job on these Mike. Look forward to seeing the redone pictures with the stowage on!

    1. I've got the stowage primed at this point, but I still need to get the un-ditching logs together. Will likely work on the stowage in conjunction with one of my other projects to create some efficiency... I hope...