Friday, 12 May 2017

1/72 Early WW2 German Plastics plus Back of Beyond.

The last time I owned a box of 1/72 scale plastic soldiers was as a child in the 60's and 70's. They were the bendy plastic Airfix figures which would shed their paint when they got bent.

Gamers who collect plastic figures these days have obviously overcome this problem with better techniques, acrylic paints, primers and maybe the manufactures make the figures less bendy. Whatever, there are a lot of great looking plastic painted figures out there now.

I needed a 20mm early WW2 motorised German infantry platoon plus a couple of armoured cars for a campaign that my friend, John Warren is hosting. I picked up a box of German trucks and armoured cars off of the Plastic Soldier Company stand at Salute. 

The two schwimmwagen in the picture above, were given to me by a friend. They were painted in late war camo but were in a bit of a sorry state, with the vehicle on the left only had three wheels. I took the spare wheel off the bonnet and glued it into the wheel arch and then stuck an aircraft recognition flag where the spare had been. I ripped the plastic crew out and replaced with AB figures, sprayed black and then repainted.

I needed a platoon of early war German infantry, so checked out the web for plastic and metal figures in 20mm. I came across a Russian company called Zvezda, that do a box of 35 x plastic figures for £8.60 including postage. They also do smaller boxes of 4 or 5 figures with different poses for just over £3. They also do a good range of support for your platoon and BEF too.

Some of the figures need a little assembling with the odd arm, leg or backpack.

The figures in the smaller boxes are a hard plastic, which is good for gluing and painting but the rifles are a bit fragile and I don't know if they will stand the test of time.

The figures in the big platoon box are made of a different plastic not quite as hard, so you wont get breakages but the plastic is a bugger for trying to get rid of the mould lines, although to be fair, there isn't many.

    I needed another LMG team for my 4th squad, so I painted up a couple of AB mid/late war figures. As they were kneeling, I think they should be okay, as you can't see the lack of jackboots.

To give you an idea of size comparison, here they are next to an AB (I think) figure.

 I have also been painting up some Back of Beyond figures for my friend Steve Lygo, in exchange for his 20mm WW2 collection. So there will be more of these in future blog posts.


The Platoon.

Some action shots.






  1. Fabulous brushwork and photography that is a treat to see.

  2. Excellent work Pat, love the loads of photos,I think a lot of us grew up with the 1/72 Airfix figures,I still have a few of my old models that my mum found while cleaning up the garage, brought back lots of memories.
    I actuality thought all the guys around me where playing CoC in 20mm so I bought a full set of AB Late war British Infantry in 20mm , only to find that they where actually playing with 28mm.
    One day I hope to paint them up, they are mounted on nails primed and mounted on a styrene board. waiting . cheers John thanks for sharing Pat.

  3. Very nice painted, especially like these Back of Beyound miniatures - your terrain is stunning as always, wonderful photos.

  4. My goodness Pat, they look wonderful!

  5. Your 20mm compares so well to your 28mm, how do your eyes not hurt.

  6. A great spot of painting there. You've done a really good job on the Germans,both infantry and vehicles.
    The back of beyond figures are facing tactic and the bases of bones etc really add to the group.

    1. Oops predictive text. facing tactic should read fantastic.😀

  7. As always Pat just fantastic scene setting be it 20mm or 28mm!!


  8. Great work Pat! I'm no fan of 20mm but you just really made me think hard. Your painting style matches the smaller scale just as well as 28's.

  9. Wow. Outstanding work as usual! 20mm ... looks like 28mm! Plastic has come a long way ... I recall my Arfix Napoleonics having paint chip off ... frusterating. You must have been happy to not be putting snow on something for a change ;-)

  10. Superb, Pat, just superb. I have a early war project in the pipe line and had looked at the Zvezda to flesh out the units. But like you say I have bad memories of 'bendy' plastic in 1/72 scale. But these look very nice. Love the back of beyond stuff too.

  11. Ever thought of a painting tutorial for your style? I'm very interested. I love the shading and the depth of color you get

  12. Unreal! They look more like 28mm than 1/72nd!

  13. Great work- love both the periods.



  14. Great looking Germans and pulp figures, your 20mm look as good as your 28mm, which is saying something!
    Best Iain

  15. Amazing details as always, so atmospheric...Love your style Pat, photos are outstanding...Love the realistic and specatucal ground as well....

  16. I have the Zvezda as well - great figures for the price though your painting far exceeds mine.

  17. Brilliant!
    gerade die deutschen einsame spitzenarbeit
    sehr sehr gute malerei
    einwandfrei und perfeckte fotos

  18. Toda una obra de arte. Me encanta como están pintadas las miniaturas y el gran nivel que tienen las fotos.

  19. Great! Not at all surpricing that you do 20mm as beautiful as you do 28mm.

  20. Very, very cool and exzellent work. The Setting of the figures is really brilliant.

  21. Rather impressive....I see retirement suits you!!

  22. Awesome !!!
    Can you tell us which colors you used for German uniforms please ?!!!
    A step by step tutorial perhaps ?
    Thanks a lot !!
    Regards from France :)

  23. Jacket Vallejo german fieldgrey 830, trousers Vallejo dark blue grey 867, wash with games workshop darkbrown agrax earthshade and then re highlight with original colours and further highlight by adding Vallejo iraqui sand.