As said elsewhere I have decided to compromise for practical reasons and sacrifice a bit of authenticity for speed of construction. To achieve this I have given in and decided to simply use WW2 German infantry figures for my Finns. The uniform is actually very similar, and by the late war most first line Finnish infantry seem to have been issued with the German M35 steel helmet.
Left: An example of mid-war Finnish infantry dress. Source: SA-kuva.
Obviously equipment and weapons is a different matter. The Finns primary weapons were a version of the Russian Mosin-Nagant rifle and the famous Soumi KP/31 submachinegun, which happens to look a little like the Russian PPsh, hence my original attempt to merge - or convert - Soviet and German infantry to make more authentic looking Finns. Anyway, it didn't work.
|The famous Finnish Soumi SMG.|
The Zvezda sets were chosen because of the specialist poses included in these little sets. The sets only contain a hand full (4 or 5) of hard plastic figures, but I like the sculpting and detail. The Caesar set was chosen because it is one of their 'Assembly Series' multi-pose hard plastic figure sets.
I *think* the scale of these figures is a better choice than my first attempt...
Above: On the back row we have Strelet's 1939-42 Finns, Zvezda's German Infantry and Valiant's German infantry (all in 1/72)! At the front is the good old 1/76 Airfix Germans.
Originally I tried Valiant's hard plastic figures (Soviet and German) but found that they were very large for 1/72 (I likewise found Plastic Soldier Company figures a little big for the scale). Zvezda and Caesar seem to be middle of the road when it comes to the height of their figures and so should fit in with my vehicles better.
By the way, the Strelet's figures are the only 1/72 Finish infantry available, but unfortunately they are from the wrong period, are in winter uniforms, are soft plastic and are - frankly - a bit naff!
The Zvezda sets, though only containing a few figures, have some quite exciting and dynamic poses that should liven up my collection of figures...
|One of the 'specialist' sets that Zvezda produce to accompany their own|
'Art of Tactic' war game. A nice as these are I may find it hard to incorporate
these chaps into my Rapid Fire! inspired army!
|Their regular infantry set, on the other hand, is very useful and the officer is|
a terrific figure who is crying out for a Finnish officer's cap and a Soumi SMG!
In particular, I like the separate heads and hats. There are a variety of German headgear including M35 helmet, field caps and even a forage cap! All great for mimicking Finnish troops.
The fact that the weapons are separate items too is a very welcome bonus as I can slip in a few 1/72 PPsh SMGs to make my troops look even more like Finns (carrying Soumis).
All it remains for me to do now is to make up a few of these soldiers into a 'test' platoon and we shall see. Hopefully they will look far better than my first attempt and suit the scale better...And be quicker and easier to make and modify (where I have to or want to)!