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Made in us

Hey! I am in the process of building my first BA army, and decided to go with Soviets. One of my goals with this army was to keep it to as small of a budget as possible. I thought it might be of some interest to people, so here is my buy list so far:
1. 2x Soviet infantry boxes ($28/ea. on Amazon)
2. 1x PSC 28mm Soviet Anti tank gun box from Hobby Bunker ($18)
3. 1x PSC 28mm Soviet Heavy Weapons box from Hobby Bunker ($22)
4. 2x 1/48 Tamiya GAZ trucks ($20/ea. Amazon)
5. Krylon Camouflage matte sprays: dark brown, dark green, light green, sand ($4/ea. at Home Depot)
6. Assorted Delta Ceramcoat paint (<$1/ea. at Joann's w/ coupon)
7. Minwax Polyshade Bombay Mahogany ($15 at Ace)
8. Lots of Crazy Glue from the Dollar Store

The reason that I am posting this is to show that you can build a BA army with a ton of different options for waaaay les than it costs just to get started in other miniature games, and that gaming on a budget is totally doable. The Crazy Glue, BTW, is for the bases. Found a really cool technique online for making mud/dirt bases using CG and baking soda. I will post some in progress pics in this thread.

I am building with the purpose of bringing this army to Millenium Con here in TX in November, so the time crunch has necessitated some of these decisions, but I am pleased with how things are going!

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Painting Scheme:

As I said above, I am trying to keep expenses as low as possible, and priming with Krylon camo is my first step. I am going to use the dark brown as a primer, the zenithal highlight with Krylon camo sand. Details done with Delta Ceramcoat acrylics. Then shading done with Minwax Polyshades Mahogany.

Vehicles are going to be primed with black, then base coated with Krylon Dark Green camo. Zenithal highlight with Krylon light green camo, then hitting them with the same Polyshades.

The whole idea is to do as much of the work with sprays to speed up painting of my Russian horde. I have a lot of experience using spray paints as a two dimensional artist, but this will be my first experience using them on models for more than just priming. I have pretty good can control, though, and I know how to work with Krylon cans.

I will update with an exact list of Delta Ceramcoat colors that I use. At <$1 a crack, I am unreasonably excited to go paint shopping this weekend!

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Basing Scheme:
I am basing these models using a technique that I saw in this YouTube video by Tabletop Minions:

Here is a (lousy tablet) pic of my results:

I am pretty happy with results. It gives good texture with minimal thickness added. I use a little sand for larger texture, then coat liberally with baking soda. Sometimes it requires a second coat of super glue.
I am curious to see what it looks like once it is painted.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/10/13 05:28:15

Made in us
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair

In your base, ignoring your logic.

I have experimented with some of the craft paint from Wal Mart. I think I paid between 50 cents and a dollar for it. It works pretty well and the hard part is finding a good match for some of the camo colors. It works especially well for batch painting and seems to be thinned well enough, which is odd in my opinion.

Also I believe that the scale used by warlord games for vehicles is 1/56. Incredibly hard to find any, but your opponent shouldn't co plain because the larger size makes them insignificantly harder to hit. But as a note I've found a company that makes resin kits for trucks that scale for about $10. Not sure about their quality and they don't have GAZ trucks, but the Russians do have lend lease rules. Heck, the Katyusha rockets were built upon US Studebaker chassis IIRC.

Great prices though, I am totally jealous of the amazon price for the infantry.
Made in us

I would be very curious to check out the company that has those resin trucks. I found a good source for 3d printed models at a similar price point, and was considering using them for some big guns.
I built the first truck today, and I have to say that I am really impressed with the kit. Really nice detail, and I was even able to make use of some of the included small arms. I mounted the Maxim to a small base to be as a marker for when I spring for a pintle mounted MMG.

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Here are some pics of te completed truck, including a BA model for comparison. Honestly, I would not want my trucks to be any smaller. As it is, it looks a bit cramped for toting 12 models.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/10/15 23:24:43

Made in us

List Building:
I registered for three games of the Bolt Action tournament at Millenium Con in Round Rock, TX. Each game has a different point value or period of the war. I registered for 1250 point Mid-War, 1250 point Late War, and 1000 point Mid-War. The only real restrictions in place are 1 flamethrower option and a max of 24 order dice. I have been playing around with EasyArmy for a bit, trying to develop a list that was appealing for each. Below I have my WiP for my lists:

1250 Mid-War Soviets: Stalingrad Theater Selector

I was going for historicity with this list based around a Motorized Rifle Brigade attached to a Tank Corps. 50mm and 82mm mortars were integral parts of platoon level tactics. The light howitzer represents a 76mm M-43. SMG Guard squads ride in the trucks with commissars and act as assault units. List comes with five sources of smoke, and I am hoping to make use of that to cover the motorized advance. With two First Lieutenants, I can Snap To four units a turn, which could make for a nice early turn mortar barrage, or a quick vehicle rush with some softening fire.

1250 Late War Soviets: Seelow Heights Theater Selector

This list is meant to bring a bit more in the way of toys. Flamethrower rides with an SMG Guard Squad. Tunk hunter teams provide area denial right from the start. Once they have taken their faust shot, they are for hunting snipers and the like, or a lucky run at a tank. MMG sets up in a fire base with the mortars and howitzers.

1000 Mid-War Soviets: Kursk Theater Selector

Basically just a solid motorized infantry base with a Guard squad assault unit, and the same combination of Medium mortars.

Any feedback on the lists would be greatly appreciated!
Made in us
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair

In your base, ignoring your logic.

This may be a little too late, but ran a game with veterans as opposed to Guards squads using the Stalingrad selector against Germans rocking some SMGs and Assault rifles.

I see Germans typically run Veteran units in my LGS and they tend to wipe the floor with Regular Guards squads due to the number of shots they can put out and the higher difficulty the Guard squad has in returning wounds. (5+ to wound vet and 4+ to wound regular).

Now I had veteran squads with 1 NCO with SMG, 1 LMG, and 8 rifles with fanatic.These squads weathered enemy fire pretty well and managed to still overwhelm enemy defenses. Can only imagine what veteran fanatics with SMGs could do.

For the Kursk selector list. Would you consider replacing your anti tank and light howitzer for a Zis-3? Removing those gives you 110 points left out of 1,000. Zis-3 costs 70 and would leave 40 which you could use to turn your 2 medium mortars into 2 heavy mortars, and leave you 10 points with which you could add some panzerfausts or SMGs.

Zis-3 would fulfill both AT and howitzer rolls while giving your mortars a bigger punch.
Made in us

List Discussion:

Not too late! I am still formulating my list, and Millenium Con is still a couple of weeks away.
It is funny that you posted this reply because I have already decided to incorporate a full nustrength Veteran Engineer squad with a flamethrower in place of one of the Guard squads. I have a second Guard squad with all SMG's. Each of these assault elements will be in a truck with pintle mounted MMG.
I am kind of kicking myself for now buying Zis-3's to begin with, but have to work with the models that I have.
My Mid War and Late War 1250 point lists are basically the following:

Senior Second Lt. (Reg) + buddy

2x Full strength rifle Guards w/ 2 LMG's

Free Rifle Squad

Full strength Guards squad w/ SMG's

Full strength Assault Engineers w/ SMG's & Flamethrower, no armor

2x Light Howitzer

2x Medium Mortar

2x Sniper

2x Trucks

Mid War list subs one howitzer for a M 42 ATG, and gets 3x Antitank Rifles.

Mid War gets panzerfausts in the Rifle guards and Engineers. Also 3x 2man Tankhunters with SMG's and a faust.

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Project Update:
Making progress on my Soviets for Millenium Con! I have two weeks left to get them looking as good as possible.

Sorry for the crappy lighting, best I could pull off at the moment. I am getting past the assemble and prime stage and finally starting to get some real paint on these guys. I have a 3 day weekend this week, hoping I can make some serious progress.

Group Shot:

Progress on the Trucks:


This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/10/30 01:10:23

Made in us
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair

In your base, ignoring your logic.

I really like the lists you put out, made me do some research on the efficacy of mortars and their artillery cousins.

I typically run
1 Junior Lt. with 2 buddies.

2 Guard squads with 2 LMGs
1 free Rifle squad with anti tank grenades

1 veteran sniper

1 anti tank rifle
1 anti tank mine dog squad

1 KV-2

It is short on order dice, but with the other list I did

1 Junior Lt. With 1 buddy

2 Veteran squads with 1 LMG and Fanatic

1 free Rifle squad with Fanatic

1 sniper

1 AT rifle
1 AT dog squad
1 KV-2

I can probably run the KV-2 as a regular and run a mortar too. That being said, the KV-2 can kill buildings and that makes me love it.
Made in us

KV-2 will be one of the first tanks that I get for just that reason. I like the light howitzer and the M42 because each is about the same cost as a sniper, but has 3 wounds and a gun shield. Getting hit and wounded on base 5's behind hard cover is sweet. They are also both light artillery, so I can tow them into position with my trucks if I am not worried about transporting infantry turn 1.

The light howitzer can fire directly or indirectly. It is good for moving team weapons like a mortar does, or attacking top armor of tanks with potentially multiple pins.

The M42 has okay Pen in a cheap package. The +1 at short range can make it stellar as a backline ambusher when used in conjunction with frontline AT assets. That also means that at short range it can force pins even on super heavy tanks. With my list having so many points tied up in back line support stuff, having something to protect against a tank breakthrough is essential.
Made in gb

Somerset uk

Looking good bud, I’m due to start soviets over the next few wks and will be keeping an eye on this thread for sure. It probably won’t be a big force as my bolt action love is mainly for Germans, too many cool toys but Russians is something I’ve never done on the tabletop so looking forward to it.
Thinking winter Russians advancing in to Germany just so I can get my hands on some IS stalin tanks.
Made in us
Martial Arts SAS

Looking good odd army to ball on a budget with

Let no man glory in the greatness of his mind,
but rather keep watch o'er his wits.
Cautious and silent let him enter a dwelling;
to the heedful comes seldom harm,
for none can find a more faithful friend
than the wealth of mother wit.

17th in World Wide War. (1st in VPs)

Hydra Dominatus 
Made in us

@KillGore: Soviets have a ton of cool toys, too. They are definitely going to be my main army. I think that I am pretty set on troops, but I might grab one more Infantry box so that I can field an all foot force in larger games. There are a bunch of nice looking Tamiya 1:48 modeIs to expand with on the cheap. Definitely grabbing at least one more truck, though probably an unmarked German Opel. My next big investment will be a pair of Zis-3's.

I love the Winter models, and would consider building a force with those if I wasn't more interested in building an opposing army for friends to play with. Germans are definitely next, and I have been trying to figure what kind of army to build. Might go tank heavy with motorized veterans.

@ghostmaker: The cheap Amazon infantry boxes saved the day on that front, along with the 40 models/box. 80 figures for $56 have me a really solid base for the army. Soviets are also the only nation for which PSC makes 28mm models. Having access to cheap support options is a great help.
Made in us

After much deliberation, I finally settled on the following lists:

1000 Pt Mid War Soviets at Kursk:

1250 Pt Mid War Soviets at Kursk:

1250 Pt Late War Soviets Vistula-Oder:

List Development:
I ended up going with quality over quantity, and a couple of units were cut to bring two full strength Assault Engineer squads. All lists have the same 5 full strength squad core.

The Kursk lists base AT on an M42 and Anti Tank Rifles. No fausts because they did not have them in Mid War. Both lists will struggle with a heavily armored opponent, but if I end up facing one of those, I plan on just attacking their infantry.

The Vistula-Oder List bases AT on 9 fausts. The three Tank Hunter teams will take their single faust shot, then hunt other teams. Each squad has a faust, or two, so they are dispersed pretty wide. I am guessing that I will probably regret not bringing some kind of heavier AT asset, but same philosophy as above applies here. I am going to focus on fighting their squishier targets, though I really love the idea of advancing 18" out of a truck right up into the face of a tank and popping it with two fausts and a flamethrower.

The Millenium Con tournament starts tomorrow evening. Like so many other things in life, this deadline ran up on me, and I did not make nearly the progress that I had hoped for. I am assembling the last six models (late addition Anti Tank team), basing them, and priming them tonight. I will give them a couple of colors of paint in the morning, but most detail work will have to wait until after the tournament.

I am also working on a miniature carrying system demonstrated by Doctor Faust in this video:

Automatically Appended Next Post:
Army progress shot, as of this morning:

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/11/08 21:22:53

Made in us
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair

In your base, ignoring your logic.

Do you have the listing for the cheap infantry boxes?

If you look up anyscale models, they have cheap resin trucks including opels and opel maultiers.

Looking good. If you want a cheap way to make them shine there's a way to make a cheap wash that you can brush over them. I would suggest a brown wash to go with the tan.

So I believe any model with a howitzer can indirect fire, not 100% sure. For example the Zis-3 is a howitzer and can take an upgrade to be an anti-tank gun. The big thing is the KV-2 has a huge freaking Howitzer on it, like 3D6 hits against a builidng kind of howitzer. So anyways, it has an indirect fire that can make people and tanks cry. Only issue is that it doesn't have a spotter so it has to have los and that can expose it to danger.

But I mean if you have los to a building that the other team is using, you can collapse the house and kill everything inside.

Sniper teams are better than howitzers and AT guns in some conditions. Snipers always have exceptional shots so you can take out the NCO of a squad or a weapon in it. Against the Germans this isn't so great because they can roll to see if the NCO gets replaced.

Looks good though, I know I also want some assault engineers and ampulomets. Ampulomets suck but I want some for fun.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2018/11/10 14:37:40

Made in us

So, let me start this post by saying that Millenium Con is amazing, and if you have the opportunity to attend, I would highly recommend it. The folks that throw it (Lone Star Historical Miniatures, and you could find every kind of tabletop game there that you could possibly want to play. Truly impressive event, here is the link to their site if you are interested in attending next year.


I did not take nearly enough pictures, so I borrowed some with permission from Charles Torok, one of the event's organizers (and a great guy, too!).

This was the table that I played two out of my three games on:

The MDF houses were top notch, but I was not able to find out who produces them. This table is pretty representative of the quality that LSHM brought to this event, and there were something like 11 tables just running BA during the tournament. Nate Culver was the tournament organizer, and he did a great job keeping things moving.


Game 1, Friday Night - 1250 point Mid War, Scenario was Kitty Hawk Down from WWPD. Basically normal game up until turn 4, when a plane crashes down somewhere on the center line and acts like a heavy mortar shot. The crash site then becomes the objective. This game was pretty bruital, and we played into a 7th round, and still called it for time. This was my first real game of BAv2, and I was moving pretty slow. Opponent was Americans. Had a Sherman, medium mortar, two MMG's, bazooka, and a bunch of regular infantry. It was a pretty solid match up. He won by having more models close to the objective (4 to 2). If we had gone another round, it could have swung the other way.

Game 2, Saturday Afternoon - 1250 point Late War, Scenario was basic attack and defense with two objectives in the defenders zone and one in No Man's Land. Deployment zones were opposite long corners. This was a bit of a slog, but a fun game. Opponent was also Soviets, but our armies could not have been more different . He brought 2 IS-2's, a medium howitzer, and a bunch of 8 man guard units. His tanks focused on wiping out one of my Guard squads and an Assault Engineer squad (the one with the FT died having done nothing better than acting as a distraction, real sad). I had some really lucky Panzerfaust shots, and managed to kill both tanks! One came from a Guard squad, and the other from one of the Tank Hunters. Can't get better than 10 points of upgrades taking out 700 points worth of tanks. Nonetheless, he ended up winning this one, I just couldn't make it up to the two objectives in his deployment. I was holding the one in No Man's Land, and had units on his side at the end of the game, so not a terrible showing.

Game 3, Saturday Night - 1000 point Mid War - Scenario was pretty basic, with 5 objectives. One in the center, and one in each quadrant. Opponent was playing Germans, with four or so Shrafbat squads, some Vet motorcycles, a Captain, a truck with 8 Pioneers, and a stuka zu fuss. This game was like playing speed chess because the organizers had a strict two hour limit because they had to tear down to prep for the swap meet in the morning. We managed to play to round 4, I won by capturing 3 of the five objectives. Most of the game centered on the middle objective once we had both set up fire bases on our deployment objectives. It was interesting playing to a scenario where you know that the time is so short. My assault engineers wiped out one of his Shrafbat squads after rolling up in their truck, then were subsequently wiped off the objective by the Stuka. Turn three I had the assault engineers, a full squad of Guards, and an atitank rifle sitting on the objective. By the end of the game, it was just the ATR holding it uncontested. If we had played to 6, it could have gone either way, as I think he would have been threatening the center, but I had a decent chance of taking one of his backfield objectives.

List Lessons Learned:

+Assault Engineers+

I am really not sure how I feel about running two of these, or how I have them configured. They are definitely the bullet magnets of my army. Part of this is that there is not anything really remarkable in the rest of my list, which is by design. Having two brings great redundancy, but I have to wonder if I would not be better off with three Guard Squads with a separate Flamethrower team. ROKS-2 provides a nice buff to deal with one of the worse drawbacks of a team FT. Going to have to think this over a bit. They did manage to absorb a tone of damage, and would be able to take even more so if I got the armor upgrade. The extra 55 points to get SN-42 for a full strength squad is pretty steep, though.

+Medium Mortars+

I am less impressed by these than I had hoped. They are really good at keeping the enemy moving, but there are really only so many viable targets. Criss crossing mortars and spotters did allow for a lot of battlefield coverage, but my opponent would generally just make a small move to avoid ranging in. I may also have to rethink strategy with these, as there were a couple times I picked a the "wrong" target, but I think that I will probably just bring one in the future.


These things are solid gold, especially with the pintle mounted MMG. Being able to run a big fat infantry unit up the board was huge in itself, but having a fast response unit that can provide fairly long range support fire afterwards is awesome. They are also a great distraction unit, as you opponent knows that they can be taken out with small arms fire. Gives them something to gamble one, but they are still only penetrating on 6's. Just like I had hoped, they were also great for clogging up roadways once they were KO'd. I am now planning on getting another 2 or three of these kits so that I can have a fully mobile force. On a couple of the scenarios, I would have loved to start in with artillery limbered up, but moving troops up the board was more important.

The M-42 was okay, and it is cheap points wise, but definitely not an auto-include. The light howitzer was pretty nice, but the 2" template just does not pack a lot of punch, and the lack of a spotter is somewhat limiting. Having the option to fire indirect is great, though, and reduces concerns about having my troops block sight lines. I had thought about replacing both of these with one or two Zis-3's. I still plan on getting them because I think that they make better use of two artillery spots in a single platoon build.

The Zis-3 is 80 points, has 4 wounds, one order die, +5 Pen, 60" range, and can opt to shoot as a light howitzer. Collectively, the LH and M42 costs 108 points, have five wounds, 2 order dice, +4/+5 Pen up to 24" range and max range of 48", and put out a light howitzer round every turn. At 160 points, I could have two Zis-3's, which is kind of the best of both worlds. Tough choices without knowing what your opponent is going to bring. Having the option to move your anti-tank asset while the light howitzer fires is a pretty major bonus. I think that the LH and M42 combo re

+Anti Tank Rifles+
I understood going in that these were not going to provide much help, but I am convinced they are essentially a waste of points. Three order dice for 90 points is nice, but they do not fulfill the role that Tank Hunters do (Panzerfaust delivery), and I think that for Mid-war historical list you are best off doing what the Soviets did: Rely on artillery for taking out tanks.

I had good luck with these, and they are very flavorful, but I recognize that it was just that: luck. I still think they are worth taking, but I would be more hesitant in the future to take two of them. They are good bullet magnets, though, especially if you manage to kill something juicy with them.

Looks like the kits have gone up to $38 on Amazon, but that is still better that $50 MSRP, and less than $1 a model.

I like the look of Anyscale's stuff, but balking at the likely shipping cost. There is a guy from San Antonio that runs a 3d printing service, and I have been considering having him print up a bunch of trucks, then just selling off my Tamiya trucks because the scale will probably be off (he prints in 1/56). It is either that, or stick with Tamiya and get one of their Opel's. It is kind of a trade off between durability and detail. 3d-prints are never going include the level of precise scaled detail that you get in a traditional plastic model kit because they have to make certain sections blocky. I really want to check out Rubicon's kits, as they are fairly affordable, and are built with wargaming in mind. Might be a happy medium.

Howitzers can direct fire, or indirect fire. Medium and above howitzers can have a spotter to improve Line of Sight. The Zis-3 is an antitank gun that can fire as a light howitzer with no upgrades, it just comes with that stock. At 80 points, it is a very flexible gun. The KV-2 is absolutely a beast, but it also costs 300 points at Regular. I plan on getting one, but I think that it would have to be the sort of thing that you center a list around. Honestly, if I was playing against a KV-2, I would never put a unit in a building. That's when you start deeply exploring ruins and dense terrain features.

See notes on snipers above. Single shot units are really kind of meh. I think that was my issue with the M42, too, though that has the opportunity with that single shot to take out something that costs 200-300 points. The most points you can kill with a sniper shot is a 70-90 point team. Granted,the sniper is more likely to take out that 70-90 point team than your ATG is to roll the series of numbers necessary to take out a heavy tank.

See notes on assault engineers above. I like the ampulomet from a game mechanics perspective, but they were solely an early war phenomenon. Likewise for bomb dogs, which were only deployed a couple of times in (relatively) small number to very little success.
Made in us
Lord Commander in a Plush Chair

In your base, ignoring your logic.

Glad to hear that you did good on your showing!

Yes I have read that medium mortars are not worth the points, but light and heavy ones are for different reasons. Light mortars can fire smoke for most armies and heavy mortars are for heavy hits. A medium and heavy will rarely hit, but a heavy hit is worth it.

The better thing about a KV-2 is that indirect fire rule. If I also recall correctly it allows you to ignore cover and distance penalties.

I love the gimicky units the Soviets can field.
Made in us

Just wanted to post a bit of a photo update. I have been making some progress on painting, but with this much infantry, even batch painting takes a bit of time. I am also a slow painter, so that doesn't help any.

I have also been magnetizing the bases, and about 90% of that is done. I need to pick up a second baking tray in order to fit all of my models. I might base my trucks so that they can be magnetized, too.


Automatically Appended Next Post:
A nice perk of the magnets is that they add a nice amount of weight to the plastic minis. I used 1" circle magnets from WalMart for the round bases. They were purchased from WalMart, and came in four colors, which I opted to paint over with black primer. The rectangular bases were done with self adhesive magnetic tape.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2018/11/21 23:03:15

Made in us

Historical note:
I had a bit of a change of heart regarding which historical Soviet Brigade I will be using these minis to represent. I will be going with the 36th Guards Tank Brigade from the 4th Guards Mechanized Corps. It still includes all of the units that I want to build, and has a pretty cool history as a formation.


I have to admit that part of the appeal is the standing bear marking the 36th used on their vehicles:

It reminded me of my SCA heraldry, seen here:

Also, bears are just generally badass. When I get lazy about painting, hopefully this guy will keep me in line.

Made in us
Stoic Grail Knight


I found my own Soviet's painted really fast.

I used a bone colored primer- that looks very khaki, and that saved a significant amount of time painting the uniforms. Then batch painting full squads at a time, I was able to get a large number of infantry up and painted in a relatively short amount of time- at least compared to other game systems i play.

Soviets are great for speed painting because their uniforms aren't very complex, and you don't really need to go heavy into camouflage or things like that that would otherwise eat up a lot of your time.

Xom finds this thread hilarious!

My 5th Edition Eldar Tactica (not updated for 6th, historical purposes only) Walking the Path of the Eldar 
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