Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Finnish artillery Part 1 - Putilov 76mm unboxing

Product description: HaT 1/72 Putilov 76mm M1902 Gun (Set 8173)

Right - I have a cunning plan, as the venerable Baldric would say (oh, dear, I've even started speaking like a war gamer now!). To see what it's like to actually make an army for war gaming I'm creating a small formation of WW2 Finnish, not a full battalion but a 'half company' so I can get to grips with what it's like to plan and create large scale collection.

I've already made some basic administrative decisions about what will constitute this mini-army which I will discuss in a separate post, but to kick off the more enjoyable bit I have bought my first section of artillery support. My choice of guns are medium field guns which made up the backbone of the Finnish artillery throughout WW2, the Russian Putilov 76mm field piece.

The Finns had over 200 of these World War 1 vintage guns and by all accounts thought highly of it because of it' simplicity and ruggedness. New ammunition was developed for it to keep it viable including HEAT (High Explosive Anti-tank) in 1944.

The HaT model is very competitively priced, particularly as you get 4 guns in the set. I acquired mine from eBay (Arcane Scenery & Model Supplies) for £6.15 plus postage.

As you can imagine it is a slightly simplified model for war gaming, but I have read in a couple of reviews that it is generally quite accurate. Plastic Soldier Review note that it's made of a hard plastic and I have to say it does look crisply done.

One slight draw back is that this set come with no crew. But HaT does do it's own separate Russian WW1 artillery crew set to accompany these guns. My particular problem is that I want to crew my Putilovs with WW2 Finns in summer uniform, something that is a bit tricky as no specific sets apear to exist (there is one 1/72 Finnish gun crew in winter uniform and SHQ do a 1/76 crew in summer garb).

NEXT: I put together the gun section and crew them with my make-shift solution.

More information about WW2 Finnish artillery can be found here -

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