I’m always finding new manufacturers for my main 1/72 scale Soviet Russian army. Russians, aka Soviets*, obviously make up a huge swathe of the forces involved and replicated on WW2 wargaming tables. My game of choice at the moment is Battlegroup which I’m enjoying thoroughly at 20mm size. The following suggested models would be useful for Bolt Action, Chain of Command and many other WW2 wargames.
As I keep adding to my list of Russian miniatures, I thought I’d share the list of manufacturers and retailers with you guys. Hope you find it useful. The categories of WW2 miniatures & tanks I’ve put together are:
- Russian Infantry in Summer Uniforms,
- Russian Infantry in Winter Uniforms,
- Special Infantry, Crews and Misc’ Soviet Troops,
- Deployed Russian Guns,
- Russian Tanks & AFV
I plan to add jeeps, trucks, maybe specialist teams (HMG, dog & assault troops etc) and a whole bunch more tanks (IS, SU and KV series etc).
* To use the words Soviets and Russians interchangeably is factually wrong. They represent different, but overlapping things. I hope my reference to both generates no offence. Read more about Russia and the Soviet Union
The link are to the retailers or general eBay searches for that specific items. Amazon links are setup as Affiliate links, so Amazon will pay me a couple of pence/cents if you use those links to buy the miniatures. #everyLittleHelps
I’ve also linked a few sets of figures and models to the great resource that is www.PlasticSoldierReview.com. They’ve done in-depth reviews of thousands of miniatures from all types of manufacturers.
Russian Infantry (Summer Uniform)
Russian infantry miniatures will make up the majority of your Battlegroup / Flames of War force, unless perhaps you’re doing a tank focused Kursk style campaign. For a infantry platoon, you’re probably looking at needing ~32 infantry models plus 3-4 figures to act as NCOs or junior officers.
Airfix make a box of 41 infantry models for a VERY good price. On Amazon you can grab yourself a box of these WWII Russian miniatures for about £7 (!!!), however mine are yet to arrive so I can’t comment on their quality yet (They’re rated 5 stars by a significant count of people)
Battlezone Miniatures produce a variety of different plastic rifle squads in summer gear; some with steel helmets, some with pilotkas, both with and without coat rolls etc. Each squad is 10 men, costs about £8.50 (Link) and contains a sergeant with an SMG and an DP-28 LMG team.
They do a specific assault infantry pack; 5 white metal assault troops costs only £4 (Link)
Eureka Miniatures produce some lovely ‘AB’ metal Soviet miniatures. As far as I’ve seen, they only do them in summer kit. They have a variety of metal minis that can be bought as an 8-man squad of riflemen or 8x SMG’s, in a variety of different poses. Each squad is about £10. Check them out on their Eureka Minis UK site, their AU website seems to be missing them.
They also do a whole bunch of infantry support teams in metal – well worth checking out if you need mortars or DP LMGs.
Plastic Soldier Company have a great mixed SMG & riflemen boxset containing 57 plastic miniatures. Their boxset contains: 6 junior officers or NCOs, 45 riflemen and SMGs (can’t remember the ratio, its about 3:2), 6 DP-28 light machine guns with loaders. A total value of £12.50 [Link], yes, £12.50 for almost 60 men.
This is my go-to purchase if I’m looking for Soviet infantry. If you’re just starting out with a 20mm Soviet force for Battlegroup, I couldn’t recommend these guys highly enough.
You can pickup the Russian Infantry in Summer Uniform from Amazon for the same price.
Russian Infantry (Winter Uniform)
While Russian infantry minis are likely to make up the physical bulk of your models, getting them in bulk in winter long-coats isn’t as easy as getting them in their standard summer gear. This is surprising given the number of winter battles they took part in. I’ve yet to take the plunge on my winter Russians, but when I do I’ll be getting a mix of the following kits.
Battlezone Miniatures produce a set of winter uniform squads in metal. They do two different 5-man rifle squads and two 5-man SMG squads. Both cast in white metal and cost £4 (Link).
Battlezone also do specific command, NCO and sniper units for the same price (Same link as above)
Italeri produce a nice boxset of winter gear minis for the the price of only £12, box #6069. Each box contains 3 sprues of 16 uniquely posed figures, for a total of 48 miniatures. I specifically like the DP-LMG as its setup in a kneeling firing position, firing from the top of a pile of rubble.
The Plastic Soldier Review folks gave this boxset of miniatures an approving 43/50 rating.
You can picked Italeri box 6069 on Amazon for £12.
Pegasus Hobbies miniatures make two different sets of Winter troops, boxset #7271 and #7272. Each box contains 40 figures with about 20 different unique poses. I feel like these minis may be my default selection for winter Russians.
Russian Crews & Misc’ Models
Simon’s Soldier Miniatures, over in Australia, have a great looking set of 3x Russian Katyusha loading-crew. I really want to pick these guys up at some point. Obviously flying them across the planet isn’t going to be cheap, but they look fab and can’t wait to have a reason to order them. [SSM link]
They also produce a T-60 Katyusha tank [link], also known as the BM-8-24. I may be tempted to get a pair of these if I can find their Battlegroup listing.
Russian Deployed Gun Emplacement Miniatures
As enemy armour increased, the Russian’s developed a few different AT guns throughout the war. The most common model(s) I’ve picked up are the iconic long-barrelled ZiS-2 and it’s shorter-barrelled more-powerful brother, ZiS-3. My preference is the ZiS-3 model, with its muzzle break and shorter barrel.
The Soviet force used a significant quantity of anti-infantry guns, which I’ve also got a handful of models of.
ZiS-2/3 Anti-Tank Guns
Plastic Soldier Company produce a boxset containing four ZiS anti-tank guns. Each one can be modelled as a ZiS-2 or a ZiS-3. Each gun also comes with four crew. That means a single boxset contains a total of 20 models (16 crew + 4 guns), all for £15. (Link) Also available on Amazon, currently for £11.
45mm Anti-Tank Gun
Plastic Soldier Company produce a small boxset containing four anti-tank guns. Each gun can be modelled as a 45mm M1937 or M1942 anti tank gun, or the larger 76mm M1943. Each gun also comes with four crew. That means a single boxset contains a total of 20 miniatures, all for ~ £15 from PSC! Bargain. Also available on Amazon for a bit more, if PSC are sold out – 45mm AT Gun.
Zvezda produce a simple push-fit plastic kit containing a single AT gun for ~ £5 (Model number #6112). Here’s a little urban completed miniature I’ve made using the Zvezda Russian AT gun
Available on eBay for around £6 – [eBay search]
122mm Howitzer Gun
Zvezda make a single 122mm gun in push-fit plastic, for £5. This gun comes with 2x crew. (This boxset is model #6122). They’re pretty freely available on eBay [link]
Russian Tanks & AFV
Now you can’t expect your thousands of infantry models to charge across Europe unsupported. They’ll need plenty of tanks to ride upon and to deal with the bigger threats.
SU-76 Self Propelled Gun
These tanks were essentially the ZiS-3 deployed gun mounted on a lightly armoured T-60 chassis. Based purely on looks and not stats, they are perhaps my favourite WW2 AFV for the Soviets! I’m a sucker for self propelled guns and artillery.
Unfortunately there really isn’t that much selection for the SU76m tank model.
Plastic Soldier Company once again come through with a great kit. Each tank in their box of 3x is fairly easily made and comes with a driver, commander and loader (as they’re visible due to the open topped firing bay). While they may be one of the few companies that are currently making 1/72nd scale SU-76m self propelled guns, at £20 for 3x models, I don’t think you need to look much further. [link]
Unimodel do produce an intricate SU-76m model boxset, containing ~140 parts, however I’ve yet to delve into buying a box! Apparently it does come with a sheet of decals, which is always a nice little bonus. You can pick one up on eBay for about £15.
T-34 Medium Tank
These tanks will easily be the bulk of your armoured Russian force. The chassis of the T-34 was used in a variety of latter models, however the T-34 itself came in a 76 and 85 variant. The latter 85 model sure did pack a punch, however the Soviet strategy was always just out-produce their enemy!
Italeri produce a pair of fast-assembly T-34/85 models for about £14, kit number #7515. They also throw in a decal sheet for each tank, which although is a bit limited in terms of turret numbers, still saves you using those decals you have laying around. You can grab them on Amazon for the pair, or head over and search eBay.
Plastic Soldier Company have a great kit for their T-34’s. Each model can be made up as either the 76 or the 85 tank variant. You can pickup a single T-34 from PSC for £8, or a pack of 3 models for £20.
So far, all my Russian T-34 tanks are from Plastic Soldier Company. What I really like is that you can have the 3x hulls of the tank, and then just drop in the 76 or the 85 turret. Very versatile little kit.
Revell make complex 130-piece T-34 model kit for about £15. While I am tempted to pick one up one-day, the thought of attaching all the road wheels and track separately puts me off #lazy. Definitely not for mass-purchasing to fill the gaming table that’s for certain. [130-piece Revell kit]
T-35 Heavy Tank
Zvezda make a nice single T-35 model of this multi-turreted WWII tank. When I decide to finally purchase one of these heavy Soviet tanks, I think I’ll be grabbing a Zvezda box. While different models of the T-35 are somewhat harder to come by, you can get box #5061 from Amazon for £10 or on eBay for about £15. Zvezda are nice simple to assemble kits, which I feel will seriously benefit this model!
Want to contribute?
Help expand this list of decent WW2 suppliers by dropped me a message below. What suppliers of Russian miniatures are you using that I’ve missed off? My list is clearly UK focused, so please leave a comment if you’re from further afield and have a good manufacturer of models you know of.