Figures I Used
Guard using Peter Pig figures
My preferences are to game the southern theatre of the Russian Civil
War, the Baltic campaigns and the 1920 Polish-Soviet War, all of which
mainly consisted of battles of movement. Hence I felt that the smallest
scale figures possible were in order.
I really would have preferred 10mm, but no-one made them them when I
started looking (though it is quite achievable as a scale now). I
seriously considered 6mm, but was worried about persuading other people
to play them, so lacking is the visual appeal in khaki figures in that
size. Which left 15mm as the smallest scale where you can tell the
uniforms apart and yet the vehicles (and particularly the trains) don't
dwarf the table.
There are some wonderful models in 20mm and 25mm, but for me they are
only suitable if I was interested in the less expansive battles of the
northern theatres (Yudenich, Murmansk, perhaps the Baltic). There was
also no way I could realistically expect to collect and paint the
number of different units I wanted in those scales.
Why Peter Pig?
Having selected 15mm the only option for me was Peter Pig. They have
almost the entire range required for the Russian Civil War (other than
some vehicles) at a reasonable price. Very few poses are "duds" and the
animation is excellent. I have found their customer service to be
really excellent and they will mix up poses from their packs if asked
(admittedly you pay a bit extra).
I just don't like the style of most Minifigs figures, although there
are exceptions. While they are OK in their own way, I generally find
them wooden when put against more active poses, and I prefer my units
to have as many varied poses as possible.
My one brush with Irregular Miniatures has left me permanently scarred.
Perhaps I got a dud bunch, but goodness me they were very average
sculpts and atrociously bad casts. I ended up giving away almost all
the ones I bought. I did get my heavy guns via them though.
I really prefer my units to be in advancing poses, and fortunately most
PP packs are. I have noted where a pack differs from this.
Not everyone likes the style of the PP horses, which are quite small,
but I rationalise this as representing Cossack nags, the best
horseflesh having been used up in the Great War. More of a concern to
me was the lack of variety of horse poses because all the RCW packs
come with the same two basic horses. I got round this by asking PP to
give me horses from other packs, and especially 16-4 German Uhlans,
though also some 16-18 French Dragoons(a trifle donkey-like) and 16-30
German cavalry with Pickelhaube. (I tried to avoid the horses that come
as standard with the British cavalry packs, as these have their
carbines and scabbards attached to the horses.)
Why so varied?
The concept of "uniform" in the Pygmy Wars should be applied rather
loosely. Men frequently fought in civilian clothes, supplies looted
from the enemy or some favoured non-regulation item (such as black
leather coats). Consequently I have gone for a very varied approach but
nowhere near as varied as the real thing: for example, this is
apparently one of Kolchak's better units.
Even the best White units in the south, who cared about uniforms more
than the rest, never managed to get any real uniformity. The only time
a unit might look entirely regular is when it had been recently
withdrawn and re-equipped, especially if using ex-Allied material. (The
pictures of such units in pristine white or black blouses and all in
coloured caps invariably date to the period after the war, in the