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Russo-Polish War

Strelets already has several kits on offer for the Red Army of the conflicts of the run-up to the establishment of the Soviet Union in 1922. We got the Polish Blue Army infantry, and also the WWI French without the capote who could be press-ganged into the early 20th century Polish army.
(Not to mention products by other manufacturers that would perfectly suit the topic: more French infantry, more First Red Cavalry, Czarist troops to be shanghaied into the early Red Army, Renault tanks, Ford armoured cars, you name 'em.)

With that more than welcome recent production frenzy at the Strelets HQ going on, I wonder if we may at least expect a kit of Polish cavalry for the battle of Warsaw in 1920 to be added to the Haller foot forces? Plus another one, sorta novelty kit, that would produce a tachanka in action to back up Budyonny's horsemen. That would be awesome.


As for the recent discussion on 100% historical accuracy of model soldiers, I'd like to comment that a range may have 100% correct uniforms and equipment, and a perfect sculpting by heavenly elves and fairies, it still will be of not too much use if there is no understanding of the tactics of the day behind a certain kit.
The new and extremely popular WSS subject may serve as an example. If a British fireline is to be produced, you gotta know about the platoon fire system, and then produce poses that will allow you to set up such a battalion with the required poses in the required numbers to make mathematical sense.
Which is particularly interesting considering that a French kit to counter such a fireline would have to produce similar poses in a different ratio, as you will want to reflect the higher number of ranks and also the firing by rank the French practiced. I still think that this aspect is seldom considered by manufacturers, who more often than not come up with a random collection of poses without any thought behind them in a kit. Which to me is a no-go when talking about periods that are defined by such formations, as WSS, Napoleonic, ACW etc.

Just saying...

Sarge

Re: Russo-Polish War

Hi Sarge,

Completely agree. And why not, besides the cavalry, a set of polish infantry 1920 wearing polish uniforms?

Fully support your idea,

Ale

Re: Russo-Polish War

Great suggestion. The 1920 Russo-Polish war is one of those interesting and rarely referred to conflicts which would provide some fabulous subjects. The use of cavalry and horse drawn machine gun carts which could also be relevant to the 1939 campaign ... the thought of such equipment is very distracting. Obviously Strelets is a company that listens to its customers, very much like Airfix who from their website responds to suggestions from it's customers/fans. Probably even more so with Strelets and the fact that they have such a range of periods to interest most modellers. I am not a Napoleonic modeller but I love the recent addition of civilians and think how this could be added to this 1920 period. Such additions would be very useful to so many other periods eg Spanish Civil war, WW2 etc.

Re: Russo-Polish War

Hi Alessandro,

well, I didn't want to appear too greedy, so I restricted my wishes to what I reckon to be the essential gaps.
When I mentioned the French WWI infantry in summer dress I was actually thinking of that greenish 1919 uniform you are referring to. Yes, the ammo pouches then would have to be of the German style, as would have to be the rifles, but these latter are not too detailed in their scuplting, so they would pass as Mausers in my eyes (the bayonets look more German than French to me anyway), and the pouches, well, they are ok for me.
If a set of Polish infantry would be produced I'd rather see it in the field-grey 1917 PSZ uniform with the field caps and Mauser rifle equipment.
But what we really need is Polish cavalry. And perhaps some Polish field artillery.
And Russian tachankas! Perhaps 2 to a box, a driver, a gunner and a loader each, and perhaps some more Red cavalrymen if the sprue allows.

Cheers,

Sarge

Re: Russo-Polish War

Good point.

Re: Russo-Polish War

The really clever way to do a tachanka would be for a double kit including the carriage for a taczanca ...same thing, in second case, but Polish: the Poles used these in large numbers.

For Polish cavalry you can do much with what is already available, for example British WW1 cavalry in caps; head swaps of rogatywka heads on WW1 Uhlans ...etc.

Re: Russo-Polish War

Hi Roy,

so a double kit that comes with alternative Russian and Polish tachanka crews, the way Airfix did it with the ACW artillery, that would be perfect. Thanks for the info on Polish tachankas, that fact actually escaped me, to me they were a must for Budyonny's horsemen so far.

Where would I get all those rogatywka heads? I can only think of the four that come with Strelets' Blue Army, and these will be left on the officers' heads, you bet. And I want these, not Adrian helmets again, which French WWI cavalry sure produces (if still available at all).

Sarge

Re: Russo-Polish War

Hi Sarge,

For your conversion of the machine gun cart Poles you could use the Polish Rogatwyka caps from Strelets Polish Peoples Army set M095, out of 52 figures 40 of them are wearing the soft caps. There may be some heads in metal or resin out there somewhere. I am certain I have seen resin heads as replacement for the "First to Fight figures" but I cannot recall if they are the Adrian helmet or the caps and I can't remember where I saw them advertised - Possibly a Polish hobby shop on the internet.

Re: Russo-Polish War

Hi Kim,

that M095 kit was not on my screen. From your comments I conclude that you are more into the early to mid 20th century conflicts, and WWII is a topic that was important during my young days, but over the years I lost that interest, so no wonder I didn't remember that Polish kit. So thanks for the tip.
I did hundreds of head swaps these last decades, but basically I think if that were required in that hobby we could argue about a lot of releases if the result could not have been achieved by such inspired and fiddly labour.
I expect manufacturers to deliver what their customers wish, to a realistic degree that grants sales, of course, that is the nature of the business, after all. Strelets, and also some other companies, seem to have understood that, and their recent output that involves many rather unexpected and "exotic" periods and troops demonstrates what can be done if manufacturers listen to their customers.
To make it short, I do not want to waste a couple of kits only to get me hands on the heads in the desired headgear, and I do not want to invest that labour into something that should be delivered by the market. I do not see why an important conflict like the Russo-Polish War should not be covered in 1:72, particularly if you consider where the interesting manufacturers are seated - they came up with a lot of Eastern European subjects in the past, and that is just another home match to them, I think. If you do early Red Army you should also provide their adversaries to an extent that makes sense. And I was not asking for an entirely new Russo-Polish War range, all I am asking for is 2 kits to do my little thing here. I do not see why these should not be as interesting to seller and customer alike, just as so much of the stuff we got from Strelets without having beeen asked before the according projects started. So Strelets, please surprise me!

Nice Weekend,

Sarge

Re: Russo-Polish War

For more rogatywka heads buy a pack of Polish Home Army WW2 figs and use heads from the figures you don't need: then keep the rifle-armed figures in greatcoats for use as infantry.
That pack includes four standard-bearers which are useless for WW2 but conceivably useful for 1919-1920.
Tachankas/taczancas are a complicated subject: the "classic" tachanka was based on a civilian carriage used by German settlers in the Ukraine; but in fact virtually anytning with wheels was pressed into service, so scratchbuild is an option for at least some (which is what our group did). Later taczancas were produced by the Polish army, and were of course still in use in WW2 - they have a noticeably different look to the classic one.
The author Isaak Babel ("Red Cavalry") drove a four-horse tachanka in the Konarmiya, but three or even two horses were also used, depending on the model and availability.
The most impressive use of tachankas was probably Nesto Makkno's Revolutionary Army of the Ukraine ("the Black Army"), and he had an elite battalion of these which was able to deliver devastating firepower. If you go on to Youtube and do a bit of searching you'll find plenty of good clips showing what they should look like - including plenty of film clips of Makhno's adventures (from a Ukrainian TV series).

Re: Russo-Polish War

Sorry, Kim is right - Polish PEOPLE'S Army: it's a good set, nice figures; there's a handful of figures with Russian helmets but otherwise it's a good value set worth having. For my Poznanian Uhlans I used WW1 lancers and heads from this set; as I said in previous post British cavalry can be used as they are.
For Bolsheviks you mainly want WW1 Russian infantry painted "Confederate" style, as they had come a very long way and were usually in rags - clips of Red POWs can be found on Youtube; not one has a budenovka ...they are all dressed in scruffy "WW1" kit - to which of ocurse they would add the standard Red cap badge.

Re: Russo-Polish War

Thanx for all the info and tips relating to tachankas, I like the contrast of the old-fashioned coaches and the modern Maxim machine guns, got a steam punk or post-apocalyptic feel to it.

All sorts of WWI Russians are good for early Red Army, we agree on that, I also had to think of ACW rebs in that context.

That M095 kit looks very tempting, not least for the colour bearers, sure gotta get it.

Re: Russo-Polish War

Great discussion relating to the Russo-Polish war of 1920, perhaps Strelets would grace us with a few sets of related figures or at the very least we can do some conversions of their various sets from early 20th century conflicts. It is always a real joy to actually find a figure set that is made to be a particular subject that does not require extra work to convert. Such as figures wearing the Rogatywka instead of attempting to modify existing headgear.

I must admit I find this conflict and the early years of WW2 (Dutch, Finnish etc the more obsure the better !) most interesting, especially with the "minor" powers (with all due respect). The large scale use of cavalry and the aforementioned machine gun carts of 1920 provide much colour and movement - I could easily see Strelets eyeing our comments and weighing up to see if it is indeed worthwhile to produce a few sets to entice us. Look at the fabulous range of figures and periods so far ...Even though the war is not that well known I know of at least two local wargamers who would love to see the tachankas manufactured...obviously strelets need more than just a handful of interested souls, but it does make you wonder what sales target would be required to make a particular subject or period worth moulding ? (Without getting involved in "crowd-funding" obviously)

So possibly such sets could be viable even if only for its originality and uniqueness which might account for a number of sales. I like the idea of manufacturing a set with a range of different crew figures as suggested by Roy and Sarge, like the old Airfix ACW artillery set but any variation would of course be eagerly awaited. Could Strelets even consider not only horse drawn carts but also cavalry as suggested in earlier posts ? Possibly the only other issue could be that they may consider producing Cavalry and carts for one of the two conflicts (1920 or 1939 but not both) as some uniform and equipment would be of similar design. Again depends on whether these concepts are viewed as financially feasible. Anyway enough of my waffling ...

Re: Russo-Polish War

I think the novelty value of a tachanka set would guarantee reasonable sales, not least from people who have already bought Strelets Bolsheviks etc. Cavalry aren't really needed, as Hat already do them, and there's an Orion set of Red Cavalry in Budenovkas - other types can be converted from WW1 sets fairly easily.
By contrast a "classic" tachanka is not easy to convert; if you go on to Youtube and see some of the clips from, eg, The Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno, you'll see what I mean.
Our group has tachankas converted from assorted limbers and wagons, with crew and MGs added, but they are not ideal.
If I were producing such a set I'd make it two tachanka carriages, eight horses, two MGs and drivers/MG crew ... but it is a very tricky piece of work in this scale: then again it would be literally unique.
BTW on Youtube you can now see The Nine Lives of Nestor Makhno with English subtitles ...which has lots of tachankas in various episodes!