Category: 28mm

Painting Miniatures: Working with paints

You’ve got your brushes and are eager to get a coat of paint on those primed miniatures. This week I’ll be covering some tips on working with paints. So first off, what paints should you buy and use?

Older hobby modellers were pretty much stuck with enamel paints. They provide a good coat of paint, especially bright colors. More importantly for some model kits (RC cars and the like), they can handle wear and tear well. However I would not buy enamel paints. Mixing colors can be a challenge. Cleaning brushes requires paint thinner solvent. In general they are a pain in the ass to work with.

Fortunately you have an alternative, water based acrylics. Over the years the formulation of these paints have improved and honestly I don’t see any reason not to use them for miniature painting. Simple to mix colors, dilute, and clean up, they are so much easier to use compared to enamel paints. You can look through other resources to choose manufacturers or brands. In general though, I would avoid using big bottle craft acrylics for miniatures. They can work for applying a single color base coat, but commonly I’ve found they don’t hold a uniform pigment, don’t dilute well, and blending or mixing colors and can be problematic. While they are great for other modelling projects like terrain, I’d steer away from brands like Apple Barrel craft paints for miniature painting.

How many colors are enough? That is difficult to address easily. At the very least I would go for the 6 primary and secondary colors in a color wheel (blue, green, yellow, orange, red, violet) and add white and black to your list. Then I would have at least 2 shades or tints of each color. So at the least have a dark green and a light green for your ‘green’ paints.

If you can go all out with paints, I would have 3 of each color. One would be your base color, while the darker hue is used for washes/shading and the lighter color for highlights. Even with at least 2 tints of each color, you can use one for either shading and/or highlights. I would certainly purchase some gray colors too. In addition to this consider buying some dedicated paint colors depending on the miniatures you are painting. If doing a lot of fantasy models, you will have lots of leather and wooden hafts, so additional browns of various hues would be good. I would also buy some metallic colors for armor, metal helmets, shields, and the like. This will allow you to have some ‘go to’ colors if painting lots of particular model features like swords or leather boots.

Even if sticking with paint colors directly from the jar, you will want a working paint palette. This does not have to be fancy. It can be an old ceramic plate or piece of plastic. I’ve even used a plastic lid from a spreadable butter or cream cheese container before. In general you want a surface that is white and not porous. It should clean up easily with water and a paper towel, and be white so it’ll not throw off the shade of your color mixes.

Give your paints a good shake before opening them. I cut old plastic sprues into small chunks and add them directly to the paint jar for water based acrylics. Even dropper tips can have the top gently pulled off so you can add it into a bottle. The piece of plastic works similar to a spray can paint ball, increasing the efficiency of mixing as you shake it. Some brands like Reaper paints already have mixing beads in their pots.

A few paint manufacturers have dropper tips for their bottles. Using a palette, you want to mix some water with the drops of paint, working it into a milk-like consistency. You can always add either a drop of paint or clean water to get the desired mix. It’s better for the paint to be somewhat thin than too thick.

If you are working with paints in a jar, avoid sticking your brush into the pot directly. Get paint on your brush using the lid of the container instead. This way you avoid dipping your brush too far into the paint jar and possibly getting paint in the ferrule (metal part that holds the bristles). Even if using a palette, you want to be sure you are just placing the tip of the brush in the paint. Slathering on too much paint by sweeping the entire brush onto the palette can also work paint into the ferrule. This needs to be avoided as it can be hard to clean and when the paint dries it will force the bristles apart, deforming the shape of your brush.

If you paint in spurts (I’m a huge fan of the 15 minute paint day) or mix colors a lot, you may seriously want to consider investing in a wet palette. It’s actually a pretty easy thing to make yourself with parchment paper. The advantage of wet palettes is those mixed colors can be used for longer periods of time, getting more consistency over several models. This is especially useful if you are working in short bursts of painting activity. By not having to constantly clean your work palette, you can easily get back into continuing a project.

One last tip, also have some index cards handy and keep track of the paints used for figures. If you do a lot of rank and file miniatures this is especially helpful. Eventually you may add another unit to your force and trying to remember that exact mix of paint for a base coat, or what wash you used can be hard to recall after painting other figures (or in my case trying to remember a year plus later).

Painting Miniatures: Brushes

Just a short post this week to touch on brushes. You’ve got your mini set on a handling base and eager to get to it. Now you are considering what brushes to have at your bench to start painting. I’m sure you can dig up tons of information on brushes elsewhere. I just want to focus on a few points regarding them.

You only need 3 brushes and I consider a fourth a good buy but not necessary when starting out. You want to invest in 3 round brushes, and possibly a single flat (or a filbert) one. I would buy a 3O (OOO), an O, and a number 2 or 3 round brush. The No. 3 brush is good for adding base coats to sections of a miniature, while the O and 3O are good for finer details. A flat/filbert brush that is about ¼” is a good size brush to also consider picking up. The flat brush is good for painting larger areas and also great for drybrushing (a technique I’ll bring up in a later post).

As for bristle types I am a fan of hair or mixed brushes. I don’t particularly care for synthetic or nylon bristles. I find the nylon brushes are a cheap buy and do keep their shape, but they just don’t hold paint as well as natural bristle brushes. Some folks swear by them however.

As to actually using them with paint, that is a topic I’ll cover more later. Just remember you should be using the tip of the brush to apply the paint. Avoid stroking on paint working from the side of the brush to the point. Let the brush do the work and use the tip instead. I do want to cover some points on cleaning and maintaining your brushes though.

For your fine round brushes, they should come with a protective sleeve that goes over the brush point. Keep this cover. While you have your brushes stored, they should be covered using the sleeve. This will help protect the bristles and avoid them losing shape by accidental handling.

I keep 2 containers of water at my bench. One for diluting paint and is ‘clean’ water while the other I use for cleaning my brush. If working with metallic paints you might want a third dedicated water container. This can avoid getting reflective specks in other colors you prepare. When cleaning your brush, don’t mash it down on the bottom of your water cup or jar. If you have paint that can’t dislodge by shaking the brush in the water, stroke the bristles on the side of the water jar in an upwards direction. This will avoid deforming the bristles and work any paint away from the ferrule (metal part that holds the bristles) towards the tip of the brush. You can also always do a final rinse of your brushes under a running tap.

After you clean your brush and are done with painting, gently reform the point if needed with moist fingers and cover the bristles in its protective sleeve. Then leave the brush on its side for several hours (or overnight), finally moving it to be stored bristle-side up. By allowing the brush to dry on its side, any moisture still on the bristles will stay out of the ferrule. Even if the brush is clean, by drying with the point up, moisture carrying a small amount of paint will fall into the ferrule by gravity. Over time that paint will accumulate and begin to force the bristles apart, deforming the shape of the brush.

Periodically you may want to clean your brushes with a soap solution. It’s a small investment but I highly recommend picking up some Original B&J “The Masters” Brush Cleaner & Preserver. It’s a soap that you use with water and is an excellent way to clean your brushes.

About once a month you can wash the brush with the soap and a little water, working up a foam. Remove the foam on a clean surface like a paper towel and repeat the process a few times, ending with a final rinse with water. You can even add a small amount of soap to the tip of the brush, gently making a point with your fingers. It’s a great product that does wonders for cleaning your brushes and can add years to their lifetime.

You might still need to give your brushes a more thorough cleaning. One trick is to store the brush in solvent upside down. By poking a hole into cardboard, and carefully working the tip of the brush through the hole, you can have the handle stay stuck in the cardboard relatively securely. Then the brush can be placed in a cup or glass bottle with the bristles being allowed to soak freely in solvent. Set overnight this can help remove excess paint in the ferrule and can possibly help restore brushes that lose their point.

This is usually a last resort method though. If you follow the previous tips, you can stretch out the lifetime of your brushes by years. Just a little bit of preventive cleaning and proper maintaining of your brushes can go a long way keeping them in top shape.

Painting Miniatures: Handling your figure

Your miniature is prepared and primed. However handling the figure nimbly while painting can be difficult, especially if holding it just by the base. There are easier ways and they can also help ensure you get your brush into all those nooks and crannies on the figure.

There are fancy miniature clamps that you can use, but I’m a fan of good old blu tack and soda bottle caps. Blu tack is a soft adhesive putty used for putting up posters onto walls and forms a temporary bond. I gather up old soda bottle caps and use them as a handle to plop figures on.

If working with smaller figures like 15mm ones. You can use popsicle sticks (bought at craft supply stores) and PVA, or white Elmer’s glue. The figures below are some examples where I’ve used wooden craft sticks to mount miniatures for painting.

Why use this method? You will have a far easier time holding the miniature while you paint. You don’t have to worry about accidentally touching the figure, smearing a portion that has wet paint. You’ll certainly get some odd areas that will be a challenge to paint, and being able to hold the figure at different angles will allow that brush to get into tight recesses of the figure. It also can provide a more comfortable grip holding a large plastic cap instead of just a thin plastic base.

It’s a small tip, but something worth doing. You want to be able to hold your miniature at a comfortable height while painting. Having them on miniature base stands will make your painting session easier and allow you to keep a relaxed posture instead of being cramped over. Plus it also will give your hands a break being able to hold the miniature comfortably over long periods of time instead of trying to hold them by a tiny, thin base.

Painting Miniatures: Priming

Now that you’ve gotten your miniatures glued and assembled, you’re ready for painting right? Nope. Simply put, there is no point in painting your miniatures if you are not using primer. Primer is formulated to bond tightly to a surface. Alternately paint has some similar properties, but is mainly designed to provide a uniform color. Especially for metal miniatures, it’s possible to rub off paint that is coated directly on the figure. To ensure a better and more uniform bond of paint to the model, you need to prime it first. Priming will also allow for more consistent color over the entire figure, particularly in open and smooth surfaces of the miniature.

So using a primer is important, but what color should you use? It will depend on the overall base colors you are using. Generally white is good if predominantly the model will be painted using bright colors. Black primer is good for darker or more muted, neutral tones. While gray primer is a good middle ground if wanting an all purpose primer color.

Black primer can also be used for speed painting miniatures. You can cut corners using black primer as it can accentuate the details of the figure (by leaving a trace about of black between sections of the miniature). This can be expanded by using colored primers to help reduce painting times. Companies like Army Painter have a variety of shaded primers which essentially work as a base hue for the figure and is great if painting a lot of miniatures using a similar color scheme. While there are plenty of miniature paint primers out there, Krylon also offers good primer sprays which work well and are easy on the wallet.

Working with primer spray cans, you want a well ventilated area and in weather that is dry and not exceedingly cold. Make sure to mix the primer well. I hold the spray can upside down initially hitting it against the flat of my hand, and then continue shaking upside down letting the ball bearing inside mix the paint. Don’t skim on shaking time, you want to shake for a good minute or so at least.

While spraying primer you want to shoot for an even coat, spraying about a foot away from the miniatures. Spray in short even bursts, about 1-2 seconds using a smooth sweeping action. You want to avoid a static position while applying spray as this can cause too much primer to pool up on parts of a model. I like to placing figures on an old pizza box, so I can angle the primer at lower angles to ensure good coverage. Once primed, as you’d expect, let the primer dry completely (most spray primer will dry in an hour or so). If you’ve found areas that aren’t covered, you can position them with the exposed area up and give a quick primer touch up.

Alternately you may want to use paint on primer such as Reaper’s paint on primer. I would consider at least investing in a bottle to have handy. You might see a spot on a model that didn’t quite get any spray primer and need a quick touch up. The other plus is you aren’t dependent on the weather if wanting to prime a model. But between a paint on primer and spray, I would use spray primers to save time and get more uniform results.

Mind you, some figures may not need to be primed. Reaper Bones are created with a particular plastic which the manufacturers claim primer is unnecessary. However using a primer won’t hurt, and can provide a better foundation for certain colors.

Painting Miniatures: Assembly, glues, and filling gaps

Plastic has become more popular and accessible for miniatures which I love, but man you can end up with a pile of plastic bits. Now that you’ve trimmed and cut them from sprues, how do you go about assembling them? Generally you want to invest in two types of glue: cyanoacrylate, instant curing glue (super glue) and plastic cement (model glue).

Instant curing glue is pretty much an all purpose glue for your miniatures. They can instantly bond to a variety of materials and are great for metal figures as well as soft plastics. If you dabble in 1/72 scale wargaming, commonly the plastic miniatures you get are ‘soft’ plastic. As RPG miniatures go, Reaper Miniatures Bones is another similar type of soft plastic that instant glue will work well on.

Super glue cement will form a quick bond. Apply a little to each joint and then set the pieces together holding with gentle pressure for 10-15 seconds. Even though you will get the parts to hold, you want to let the glue completely dry for an hour or so. A small tip, be mindful that too much instant curing glue can seep out, filling in gaps and obscure details on your miniature. Use the glue sparingly and if you’ve added too much you can draw up the excess using a paper towel. Simply twist an end to a fine point and dab it into the glue. Through adsorption the towel can quickly draw up the excess if working quickly. Don’t let the paper towel set in the glue for 10 seconds or so, otherwise you’ll end up with a chunk of paper towel on your mini!

Plastic cement is made specifically for polystyrene miniatures or your ‘hard’ plastics. This glue will essentially melt the plastic and once dry, create a bond that mixes the plastic from each part together. For plastic miniatures I prefer using model cement as it makes the bond unbreakable. You can also really go to town kitbashing and altering figures, as the cement will create a rock solid bond with the parts you use. A small tip, if in doubt that plastic cement can be used for the miniatures you are working with, glue two pieces of the plastic sprues together. That way you can determine if the bond that forms is good enough before trying it out on your minis.

When working with plastic cement use gentle pressure and hold parts together for around 15 seconds. Like with superglue, you can get the pieces forming a bond quickly but be sure to let the miniature dry for at least an hour before painting. You also want to use the glue sparingly and dab up any excess that might spill out. I personally like working with plastic cement when I can. Instant curing glue can be tricky to work with and you can easily get fingers stuck to the miniature or glued together. With plastic cement this isn’t an issue.

Another tool for your bench worth having is a pair of tweezers or forceps. Especially with plastic models, you can get some small parts that are difficult to handle with just your fingers. Using tweezers allows for more precision in placing that part just so on a miniature.

Some other tips with assembling miniatures. Take the time to look through the sprue and/or assembly instructions. Many manufacturers will have labels on the sprue indicating with a letter or number the part and which piece they line up with. Once cut from the sprue, take care to line up your pieces with the figure you are working with. It can be too easy to slip into assembly line mode cutting tons of bits from sprues only to end up with a pile of hopelessly mixed up arms and legs.

Many miniatures will also come with bases. Most are textured, but you might have some that have a smooth surface. This can be difficult to get a solid bond with the figure. To get around this, I would score the surface of the smooth plastic with sandpaper or a hobby knife. This will create a rough texture allowing more surface area that the glue can seep into, creating a stronger bond. If you look at the bases of the figures below you can see the score marks I put on the bases for my hard plastic miniatures.

Some bases might have slots which need to be filled in. Similarly, you may have joints that don’t quite fit snugly leaving a gap. Even a small thin crack can become an unsightly detail once painted up. Another hobby supply you should invest in is green stuff putty. This is a two part epoxy that comes as a clay material. Through kneading the two colors together in roughly equal ratios, eventually you will get a uniform green color. The putty can easily be worked with and once dried overnight, you get a solid material that will take up paint well. The material can also be sanded if needed.

If you have a lot of open gaps like certain bases, you might want to invest in squadron or white putty. This is more a serious scale modelers tool. Like green stuff epoxy putty it can easily fill in gaps. Once dry it can be painted or sanded down. Some types are a little toxic to work with though. However if you’ve got a ton of gaps to fill in (like with these slotted miniature bases pictured below), it’s far easier to use squadron putty than green stuff.

Painting Miniatures: Cleaning, cutting from sprues, and prep work

Last post was an introduction of sorts. I’m going to kick off this series talking about miniature preparation. The things you should do to get your miniatures cleaned and prepped before putting any coats of paint on them. I’ll be splitting this into two separate posts, one will be assembly and this one will deal with cleaning up your miniature.

Lead miniatures of old have molds split into two halves. In order to ensure an even distribution of molten metal and being able to pop cleanly out of the mold, a small amount of mold release agent is added during the manufacturing process. This is also quite common for resin miniatures and plastic model kits. It’s not quite common for modern plastic miniatures, but that can vary depending on the production process.

If left on the figure, essentially you have this material that forms a barrier between the miniature and your primer or paint. With enough handling, you can rub off sections of that grand paint job you applied. So a way to avoid this is to give your miniatures a bath and a scrub.

Get a container of warm water and add a few drops of dish detergent, just enough to be able to work up some suds. Using an old toothbrush, place your miniature sprue into the soapy water, and give the figures a light scrub. Nothing too frantic or vigorous just a gentle brushing, focusing especially on the nooks and grooves as these recesses in a figure can capture a lot of mold release agent. Once you’ve gone over the entire sprue, give the models a final rinse of water and let them dry.

Cutting plastic parts from the sprues can be tedious. You will want to invest in a quality craft/hobby knife (Xacto knife) with plenty of spare blades. Be sure to cut on a good work surface. I use old plastic kitchen cutting boards. And also be sure to cut away from you and from fingers holding the figure or sprue. Sharp knife blades cut safer. If you are getting a lot of resistance when you cut, you likely have worn down the edge of the blade. Consider switching it out for a new one and use the ‘duller’ blade for work that doesn’t require a lot of force like removing flash (more on that later). You might even want to have 2 sets of knife blade handles. One for removing figures from sprues, and another for other general hobby work and cleaning mold lines from figures.

I would recommend investing in special cutter pliers. You can purchase cutters for plastic model kits like from Tamiya. However you can also hit up your local hardware store and buy electrical cutting wire cable cutter pliers. These pliers have both a flat and angled edge. With the flat edge towards the miniature part, you can quickly snip plastic parts off their sprues. It’s much easier (and safer) compared to using a hobby knife as occasionally there can be thick plastic parts which can require a lot of force when cutting

Once you’ve cut pieces from the sprue, you will want to clean up any flash from the miniature. As mentioned before, molds of miniatures come in two sections. Occasionally the seal of the mold can allow some of the figure material to seep out during the casting process. This forms a thin line on some sections of the miniature. With this Russian AT rifle figure below, you can make out a faint line on the profile of the figure that goes from the head all the way down to the base. If left alone, this can add a jarring detail to the miniature when it gets painted, accentuating the flash line.

You want to clean that up by carefully removing the excess. A hobby knife can be sufficient but some care is needed. You want to avoid gouging into the figure cutting too much material from the model. With a deft touch you can gently scrape away any flash lines. Alternately for really tight sections or areas that have a curved surface, you will want to use sandpaper or an emery board.

Obviously for metal miniatures you can’t use sandpaper. So if frequently working with metal figures, you might want to invest in a precision needle file set. These can be bought at hardware stores and typically come in sets with files of different types. Aside from flat or triangular faces, these sets may also have rat tail files (circular files) which are great for those odd curved surfaces.

I also would invest in a brass wire brush. After using a file, you can gently brush along the teeth of the file head (make sure to match the angle and not go against the ‘grain’ of the file teeth). With plastic this isn’t an issue however with metal eventually you will ‘fill in’ the surface teeth of the file. Essentially making the file’s teeth no longer able to scrape away any material. Occasionally cleaning out any excess can keep those file edges in good form.

Depending on the amount of flash and intricacies of miniature pieces, you might want to assemble your mini first and then clean up the figure. Next post will cover points on glue and figure assembly. One last tip, save your bits. I typically cut all the excess pieces from a sprue and squirrel them away in a ziplock bag. You never know when you might want to do some kitbashing, need an extra weapon, or a particular angled arm or leg.

Painting Miniatures: Focus of series

I see a lot of people asking for help and information on painting miniatures, be it for those dipping their toe into wargames, or folks looking to add some bling to their board games. Honestly I’ve found most recommended sources offering advice that’s all over the place. To be fair miniature painting as a hobby can throw you down a geek rabbit hole.

You’ve got folks out there that focus on speed painting, cranking out tons of rank and file figures in the shortest time possible. You’ve got people presenting high end talent, geared towards those looking to get into competition class painting. You’ve got fans of airbrush painting. You’ve got military history folks talking about that elusive mixture to produce accurate dunkelgelb. Trying to wade through all that content as a painting neophyte can be daunting.

I’ve been into miniature wargaming for a while. I am not even close to a high skill, Golden Demon class type of painter (hats off to you, Ansel Elgort!). Nope. I’m pretty much at the ‘one foot rule’ skill level (looks good enough if you hold it 1 foot away). But I’ve been around the miniature painting block a bit and over the years picked up some tricks and tools of the hobby.

Throughout the next few months I’m going to put up a series of posts walking through the basics of miniature painting. First off, as any long time reader of my blog will know, I’ll be discussing how to paint up your figures to a tabletop standard. That is, figures looking decent enough to place on the game table. These will not be tutorials on techniques to produce phenomenal painted miniatures suitable for Games Workshop-type competitions.

It will however cover the basics and touch on what I call the ‘big three’ techniques of painting. Using these 3 painting techniques, you can produce some nice paint jobs. Nothing fancy, but enough to add some zing to those unpainted figures you might usually push around the tabletop. It will also go through every step of the process, from cutting plastic bits from the sprue (the ‘frame’ for plastic figures which are channels that plastic flows through when poured into a mold), to that final finish of matte spray. I hope folks find the information useful.

1/48 Hobby Boss 1942 KV-1

Now that my mid-war 28mm Russian platoon has been painted up, I figured I needed a tank to go along with it. The KV-1 was an obvious choice for historical reasons, however given Bolt Action is pretty much Hollywood history with the point platoons, I’d have to settle on fielding it for 1,200 point games. The KV-1 is a monster tank on the table, but it’s a chunk of points. For 1,000 point games I’m going to have to settle on a T-34 instead.

I picked up a 1/48 kit from Hobby Boss. It’s a really nice kit which I would garner needs a tad more modeling skill to assemble. I’m still pretty much a novice and some of the sections (especially the treads) were a bear to assemble. Nonetheless the instructions were clear and the parts labelled well. Some of the tread sections had individual links, but you had jigs included to help with assembly. Another fiddly part were the side struts over the track skirts. These were metal and I had to break out superglue to get them on.

I gave it a simple paint job using Tamiya spray Field Gray TS-78 and a wash with Vallejo Military Green. The treads I used a heavy wash of Tamiya Dark Green XF-61 and drybrushed with Vallejo Gunmetal Grey. I also gave the treads and some sections some weathering with Modelmates mud. I need to work on how to weather decals more. The color sections under the transfer didn’t quite seem to match up, even after a matte spray. Still it turned out pretty good and the model is a huge chunk of plastic on the tabletop. It’s a beast!

Algoryn AI Unit

I’ve been making slow and steady progress on my Algoryns for GoA. Thankfully for my wallet, Warlord has released plastic kits for rank and file units. They offer quite a few poses and aren’t too difficult to assemble.

Out of the box you get a command unit with choices to arm them with a mag gun, mag repeater, or a mag pistol (with a X-sling option), while the rest of the sprue provides mag rifles and a couple of micro-X launchers. You also get a spotter drone along with bases for all the figures. Overall they piece together pretty well. My only complaint is that it can be a little tricky to figure out the ‘proper’ way to assemble the chest and back pieces, as the heads have a lot of play on the chest peice (and lack of assembly directions or pics of the figure’s rear).

I went with a super simple painting scheme. I’m still not too keen on it and likely will retouch the chest pieces some. I’m using a stark highlight of orange over base coat like what I used for my Russians, but even after drybrushing it doesn’t seem to pop much. It’s a very subtle effect which doesn’t photograph well (using a crappy phone camera doesn’t help much either).

I’m also on the fence some with the micro-X launchers. Likey retouch them up again with some OSL effects on the weapons to give them some life. Regardless, they’ve been languishing too long on sprues, packed away. Glad to finally get some of the figures assembled and a coat of paint on them.

28mm Plastic Soldier Co. Russian 45mm AT-gun teams

I’ve been a long time fan of playing Bolt Action in 20mm. However I figured if I ever jumped into a local gaming scene I might be in a bit of a pickle using minis at that scale. I had a hankering to field a Russian force and decided to do it in the ‘proper scale’ of Bolt Action using 28mm figures.

There are lots of choices out there for models and I went with some cheaper plastic sets. Looking to round out options I wanted to try and get some different unit choices. One of which was a small AT gun team. I’ve freely admitted my love of Plastic Soldier Co. before and used their models extensively for my British and German 20mm platoons. For Russians, PSC makes kits both in 15mm and 28mm, so I was in luck.

The 45mm AT-gun team kits have parts to make 2 guns and a total of 8 crew members. It’s a very flexible kit for light AT guns, as there are barrels to make a 43mm M-1937 and a 45mm M-42 AT gun. Yet, the box name is somewhat a misnomer as there are barrels to also make a 76mm M-1943 (OB-25) regimental gun which could be used as a light howitzer. PSCRusAT2

I went ahead and made a M-42 45mm AT gun (pictured left below) and a light howitzer (pictured right below). While the M-42 was made throughout the war, it was certainly phased out as German tank armor was improving. If going the min/max route most folks would likely spend the points for a ZiS-3. But if focusing on an early war platoon, this kit is a great resource.PSCRussATA

The details on troops are a little muddied but not bad for digital sculpts. Another small quibble is there is no instruction sheet/diagram for assembly of the guns (but not too difficult to work out). Assembly was pretty easy but the barrels and trail supports had to be sanded down some to fit within the gun frame.

PSCRusAT1

PSCRussATCrew

Despite my small niggles, overall it’s a great kit for the value and wonderful for wargaming. A good buy if looking for early-mid war AT options for Russians in 28mm.