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Taranis
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Location : Minnesota, USA

Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Sun Apr 08, 2018 2:32 am
While I work on my current North Africa Project I can't help but to start planing my next project on the horizon which for me is Stalingrad. I know it might be awhile before we get a book for Stalingrad, but I'd like to start building up a collection while we wait.

Questions I have are:

  • What Scale? I'm leaning towards 20mm/1/72nd scale mainly because the larger infantry will shine on the tabletop for city fighting. Also 20mm is close to HO scale and terrain might be more readily available and possibly cheaper?  But 15mm seems to have more models available and a little cheaper to buy. I plan to buy mostly PSC models, I like the models, price and the easy assembly.

    What scale would or have you chosen for your battles and why? I know the basic advantages of 15mm, table size, storage etc. but I'm not sure if that outweighs the visual advantages of the bigger models.

  • After I settle on a scale I need to start building my collection. What are the must have models for any good Stalingrad game? I'm afraid my knowledge of specific tanks and guns etc. isn't the best. I just want to be sure I buy models that will show up in the Stalingrad book when it releases.

  • What's your favorite season and year to build the game around, winter or summer; early or late?

  • Resources? What are some good (basic) resources for Stalingrad? I get bored with too much detail but a resource that gives me a good accurate overview would be great.  


Thanks for any and all advice!
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 4:34 pm
Ok guys one at a time please, haha.

I guess I was rambling a little in my original post. I'm pretty new to wargamers so a lot of this is new to me.

After investigating 1/72nd scale I found out that it's not really 20mm scale it's closer to 25mm. I think that's too big for my tastes, so I'm going to go with 15mm.

I'm still undecided on winter setting or summer.

Does anyone have a manufacturer of 15mm Stalingrad buildings/Terrian to recommend? Something that's not too expensive. I don't mind putting them together and painting.

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Neonwraith
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 8:19 pm
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wolflord
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 9:01 pm
If you are willing to invest some work into the buildings, the Laser cut MDF ruins from terrain4games are ideal. They also have a 20mm range.

I use 15mm models as i have played FoW before. Battlefront has a very nice range Midwar German infantry. One pack includes Assault troops with Soviet SMG's and demolition charges, very fine for the autum battles. They also have winter infantry for both sides.

Stalingrad is best known as a winter battle, although the first battles where during September, when it was still warm. The last German attacks where during November, when it was already very cold and snowing.

The most detailed books would be the Stalingrad trilogy of David M. Glantz. A lighter reading option would be Osprey Campaign 184, Stalingrad 1942. Another book option would be Anthony Beevor, Stalingrad.


Greetings
Wolflord
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Gunbird
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 10:55 pm
Taranis wrote:After investigating 1/72nd scale I found out that it's not really 20mm scale it's closer to 25mm. I think that's too big for my tastes, so I'm going to go with 15mm.

Time to do better research. And you are missing out on a humongous amount of available kits etc for bargain prices compared to 15mm stuff, once you start buying the non-standard stuff everyone makes.

Stalingrad basic terrain begs for lasercut MDF. Plenty of that available in 15mm and 20mm.
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:39 pm
Gunbird wrote:
Taranis wrote:After investigating 1/72nd scale I found out that it's not really 20mm scale it's closer to 25mm. I think that's too big for my tastes, so I'm going to go with 15mm.

Time to do better research. And you are missing out on a humongous amount of available kits etc for bargain prices compared to 15mm stuff, once you start buying the non-standard stuff everyone makes.

Stalingrad basic terrain begs for lasercut MDF. Plenty of that available in 15mm and 20mm.
Are you saying that 1/72nd scale is 20mm? If so please explain how it works. Because when I read reviews of 1/72nd scale miniatures on Plastic Soldier Review they state that most PSC figures are from 23.5mm to 24mm for average height, for Zvezda it shows 25mm.

It was a comparison on Youtube that made me rethink going 1/72nd scale. When he held up a PSC 1/72nd and a PSC 15mm T-34 model next to each other it really didn't look like a 5mm difference.

I agree with your terrain comment, the link wolflord posted for laser cut MDF looks perfect for my project!
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Gunbird
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 09, 2018 11:54 pm
If you get really technical, 15mm ain't 15mm anymore (more like 18-19mm) and 20mm ain't 20mm (more like 23-25mm). I can't (and won't) get into the nitty gritty of all of this, In the 20 years I've been doing this I've seen way too many heated arguments about this....

But for ease of reference 1/76 and 1/72 get lumped in the 20mm category. The 20mm to eye level that is.....not the top of the head. So yes, your 15mm T-34 isn't going to be a 5mm difference to a 20mm T-34...it does not work like that.

Wether you want to do 15mm or 20mm is up to you, your budget, and what you thinks looks nice. Due to my budget I have to rely heavily on sales and the second hand market, which in 15mm is pretty non existant where I live, but in 1/72 is a thriving community of model builders that occasioanlly dump 1/72 kits at 5 euros per box which suits me just fine. I looked at 28mm once (well, 3 times) and while visually very appealing, the amount of storage needed plus the cost of the stuff was too prohibitive for me. 20mm, to me anyway, is right in the looks great - affordable - not a ton of space needed category for me.

Tbh, what really matters...these games need to be played with mates. If they have 15mm, go with 15mm. If they have 20mm, go with 20mm. Its all fun and games to go one way, and your mates another, and you sit there with shiney pretties that aren't used. Would be a shame.
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 2:37 am
Gunbird wrote:If you get really technical, 15mm ain't 15mm anymore (more like 18-19mm) and 20mm ain't 20mm (more like 23-25mm). I can't (and won't) get into the nitty gritty of all of this, In the 20 years I've been doing this I've seen way too many heated arguments about this....

But for ease of reference 1/76 and 1/72 get lumped in the 20mm category. The 20mm to eye level that is.....not the top of the head. So yes, your 15mm T-34 isn't going to be a 5mm difference to a 20mm T-34...it does not work like that.

Wether you want to do 15mm or 20mm is up to you, your budget, and what you thinks looks nice. Due to my budget I have to rely heavily on sales and the second hand market, which in 15mm is pretty non existant where I live, but in 1/72 is a thriving community of model builders that occasioanlly dump 1/72 kits at 5 euros per box which suits me just fine. I looked at 28mm once (well, 3 times) and while visually very appealing, the amount of storage needed plus the cost of the stuff was too prohibitive for me. 20mm, to me anyway, is right in the looks great - affordable - not a ton of space needed category for me.

Tbh, what really matters...these games need to be played with mates. If they have 15mm, go with 15mm. If they have 20mm, go with 20mm. Its all fun and games to go one way, and your mates another, and you sit there with shiney pretties that aren't used. Would be a shame.

Thank you very much Gunbird for clearing that up! It's unfortunate that something as precise as a measurement has become a way of describing a range. I see why model railroaders starting naming their scale ranges as N and TT etc., its less confusing.

I mainly will play BG with a buddy of mine, so we'll build whatever scale armies together. In the town where I live we have 2 game stores, neither of which carries WW2 or any historical miniatures for that matter. They mainly 40K and Star Wars games on the tabletop. But in the next town over there is a store where Flames of War is heavily played. You make a good point about playing the scale that's more common in your area. If my buddy and I get bored battling each other we could always take an hour drive and try to convert some of those FoW players to play BG, after all its a far better game Wink   Which brings me back to 15mm.
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:02 am
wolflord wrote:If you are willing to invest some work into the buildings, the Laser cut MDF ruins from terrain4games are ideal. They also have a 20mm range.
Terrains 4 Games is exactly what I've been looking for, nice terrain but not too expensive.

I use 15mm models as i have played FoW before. Battlefront has a very nice range Midwar German infantry. One pack includes Assault troops with Soviet SMG's and demolition charges, very fine for the autum battles. They also have winter infantry for both sides.
I bought some British FoW miniatures years ago but never really go into the game. I see Battlefront now has a plastic range, which should be a little easier on the pocketbook compared to the metal ones I bought. And it's a bonus that they already released units for Stalingrad. I'm sure PSC will too once BG is closer to releasing their book.    

Stalingrad is best known as a winter battle, although the first battles where during September, when it was still warm. The last German attacks where during November, when it was already very cold and snowing.
Winter does seem the coolest (excuse the pun) setting! And it might be fun to try and model that into my terrain and figures.

The most detailed books would be the Stalingrad trilogy of David M. Glantz. A lighter reading option would be Osprey Campaign 184, Stalingrad 1942. Another book option would be Anthony Beevor, Stalingrad.
Thanks for the suggestions! Looks like I have some reading to do  study
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Jay White
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:09 pm
Hi, Taranis,

A thought (or three) if you're working in 20mm scale... and if I get anything wrong, I'm sure someone will throw me a life-line and correct me! Very Happy

If you're looking at the model railway route for buildings, OO Scale is probably the best bet. In the US, O Scale is larger (maybe closer to the 1/32 - 1/35 scale?) and HO would be too small at 1/87th. (I used to torment my father by setting up battles on his train layout with my old Airfix plastics and a wind up robot... a miracle I survived childhood, but I digress...) OO Scale is closer to the 20mm scale. Building on that, I've seen lots of beautiful kits done in paper (a blog called Jacksarge has a real nice manor and I believe Piers used some for some of the Market Garden pictures.) If you download a paper kit, you can print out buildings or use them in black and white as templates. There, you can customize just about anything.

Sadly they were all lost when the Photobucket decided to go the route they did, but on the old Guild board, a member named Alcal was making a Stalingrad layout (albeit in 28mm) which was amazing to follow. He was even doing the sewers / basements under the buildings. I've looked on the web for a (hopefully) ghosted image but so far haven't had any luck.

As a side note of possible interest, my friend Curt's grandfather was in the German Army in Russia and it may have been Stalingrad (don't recall exactly where) but he and several of his comrades were cut off from German lines and survived on powdered milk for a week before eventually being able to get back. He ended up being sent back to Germany and wound up eventually being captured in Italy by the British and remained a POW until 1948. His daughter (my friend's mother) was a young girl and worked at a factory sewing SS smocks. After the war, she met and married Curt's dad (he was an Army Air Corps radio operator) and came back to the states when his dad was discharged.

Hope there's something of use in that drivel! Back to dodging and avoiding cranky co-workers...

J


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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 4:26 pm
@Jay White

Thanks for the great story of your friends family, it's always fascinating to hear real stories of life from people that lived through the war.

I think I'm going to go with 15mm after looking at the size of the building/table in 20mm. I would like to have a good size board to showcase Stalingrad and 15mm will allow me more room. But I wish I could go with 20mm (or even 28mm) to show off everything. Also as I said above to Gunbird point of playing the scale that's more common in your area and for me even though it's an hour away, that is 15mm.

Unfortunately I don't think there's a good model railroading scale to fit with 15mm. But like you, my dad was also a model railroader and I have some of his old HO scale stuff. I might be able to make use of it if I get into NorthAg, considering the models fit that time frame. Smile
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Gunbird
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:50 pm
Alcals Stalingrad topic has been fully restored (I think) on the Lead Adventure Forum >> http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=99176.0
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:27 pm
Awesome Gunbird, thanks for the link! It will be a great resource for me, although mine would look half as good. Alcals is very talented!
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Jay White
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 10, 2018 11:04 pm
I love you, Gunbird! Thanks!

Taranis, always happy to share (and have shared) a story or item of interest that ties in to the hobby. Family history was very influential in my interest in American Civil War and WW II.



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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:11 am
Gunbird wrote:Alcals Stalingrad topic has been fully restored (I think) on the Lead Adventure Forum >> http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=99176.0
Unfortunately at about page 4 the images disappear, Photobucket Evil or Very Mad . But he said on the forum that his build pictures are on his Twitter page https://twitter.com/alcal50. Funny, when I went to his
twitter page I was already following him. You can find the pictures under his media, but its mixed in with his other work as well, which is fine with me, his stuff is incredible.
Strombones
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 16, 2018 12:41 am
Holy Jesus that 28mm Stalingrad table is incredible. It make me want to throw my Stalingrad project in the trash.
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 16, 2018 5:19 am
@Strombones

Your project is coming along wonderfully! I don't think many people can compare their work to Alcal, he's truly on a different level than most of us.
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Mon Apr 16, 2018 1:09 pm
Thanks Taranis. Yeah he really is on a new level. I've been oggling his work all night taking notes to get some good ideas on how to better capture a more Stalingrad feel. Although my board will double as a generic winter board, I think adding a few details to the scatter terrain will help.

I think I need more bricks!

Also why I used 2x2 tiles instead of the normal 2x4. More freedom to experiment with specialized terrain built straight onto the table. Might have to try some cellars.
Lion in the Stars
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:25 am
Well, looks like you've decided on 15mm.

OO scale is the British 1/76 scale for Model Railroading, HO is 1/87 (except for the track, which is 1/76). O scale is 1/43 in the UK and 1/48 in the US.

I'm not sure how much pre-made terrain there is in "3mm Scale" for railroads. That's 3mm to the foot which works out to 1/100 scale, not the same thing at all as 3mm wargaming scale (1/600). Think there are some paper buildings and rolling stock out there in 3mm-to-the-foot. I used to have links and everything, but that computer attempted to drown itself.

What with the train station and factories being rather important in Stalingrad, you may want to put tracks down. HO track is cheap and readily available, but scales out to ~5'6" or so between the rails. That's wider than Russian Broad Gauge (5' or 1520mm between the rails), but is correct for Iberian Peninsula (or India). HOn3 narrow gauge track is about right for the distance between the rails, but isn't commonly stocked in model railroad stores.
Strombones
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 17, 2018 2:24 pm
There is a NZ company that makes train cars that fit Flames of War tracks. Pretty good quality if you ask me. Unfortunately FOW tracks are a bit pricy, but I like them.

http://www.kreativescenery.co.nz
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:19 pm
@Strombones

Thanks for the link! I do want to have a railroad element in my eastern front battles. I'm glad to see that there is a 15mm specific option.
Lion in the Stars
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:43 am
Oops, sorry, my big file of 15mm scale tracks is on the dead computer.

HOn3 is 9mm between the rails, you want HOn3.5 track for 12mm between the rails (the scale BF uses for their tracks).

Technically, BF uses TT track, 12mm between the rails and 1/120 scale. But I think all the new models are 1:100 scale, which looks better next to based infantry because it puts the infantry helmets in the right spot on the tanks. You can get TT flextrack in the US from https://www.reynaulds.com/catalog/dept_417.aspx

If you're not in the US, try Tillig model trains directly for track. There are some Russian companies making trains in TT, like Peresvet, and they're focusing on Russian trains. They'd be good for rolling stock, but you'd need an unpowered locomotive model for wargaming purposes.

There's no good option to get 1:100 scale track that is 15mm between the rails for Russian Broad Gauge. Sn3 narrow gauge is 1/64 scale models with track that is 14.3mm between the rails, while Sn3.5 uses HO track at 16.5mm between the rails... (if you don't mind 1:120 train cars, 1520mm between the rails is 12.6mm, which is right at people's edge of perceptability.)
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Taranis
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Re: Stalingrad Project: Questions, Advice, Suggestions

on Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:25 pm
Thanks Lion in the Stars, lots of great information! It's still a long way off before I'll be to the point of making terrain for my Stalingrad & Kursk. But having a train for both battlegrounds is high on my want list.
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