Saturday, May 24, 2014

1/72 Scale PSC German Infantry

I have long given thought to 1/72 scale (20mm) for World War II gaming, but always put it aside as impractical. It seems to be an exclusively British thing with little to no support for that scale in the US. Only kits sold in model stores were easily available, and those are intended for dioramas. However, now with the wide availability of Plastic Soldier Company's 1/72 scale models things have changed.

I haven't played any games in this scale yet, but I think 20mm will prove to be a great scale. The proportions on 20mm models look far more natural than either 15mm or 28mm. While I've collected a good amount of 15mm models I oftentimes have difficulty seeing the weapons on the models in that scale. I like 28mm well enough, but platoon sized games look crowded at 28mm and the models all look too chunky.  Nothing inherently wrong with either scale, but I wanted something that is easy to see and handle, be compact in storage and on the table, but also retain realistic proportions. The 20mm scale seemed to fit the bill.

Here's the contents of the PSC late war German infantry, all painted and ready to go. Click for a larger picture.

I really liked these models, though I'm not a fan of having to assemble them. Nothing was too difficult, though, and they fit together nicely. You get enough to make three 10 man rifle squads with MG team and SMG toting NCO. You get three radiomen and three medics, which is a little much. At least the radiomen can be used as forward observers and spotters. The two extra medics are a waste.

My only complaint is that you get too many SMGs, at least for how I want to construct my squads. I guess if you put in two SMGs per squad you could potentially get four total squads from one box. If you don't want to do that, then you'll end up like me with a bunch of extras. I'm sure they'll get used somewhere.

I did cheat a bit with this platoon. I ran across some Zveda 1/72 scale Germans on clearance at the local hobby store. I switched out the two extra medics and added in a senior officer using his field glasses and a different officer type, which I'll probably use for my LT.  Here's a picture of how the two Zveda models scale with the PSC. A pretty good match, I say.

I'll probably build the rest of the Zveda models, though they have some strange poses and the MG team is carrying a weapon that looks more like a broomstick than an MG.

Here's a look at the radioman and medic models.

Finally, you get six MG teams in the box which I think is awesome. Three are carrying their weapon while three teams are deployed. Here's a sample of both.
As you can tell from these pictures, many of the Germans had helmet covers modeled. I liked that touch but I'm not sure if I got the camo exactly right for them. Well, it looks suitably "WW2" for my taste. Also the box came with numerous head swaps, including several bandaged heads for walking wounded types. That was a nice touch, though I only made one swap just to see how it came out.

There's a lot more 1/72 scale WW2 coming up. I got just about everything for PSC US and Germans in this scale. I'll be working on Americans next, but will take a break with some Reaper models in between.


GReg said...

Thanks for your post. Excellent work on the Germans so far.

Jerry said...

Thanks, Greg!

Mike G. said...

That scale just looks awesome, awesome, awesome!

Jerry said...

I agree, Mike. I have to solve for urban terrain and then I think I'll really enjoy this scale.

Da Green Skins said...

Now you need to start collecting 20mm terrain. Those models look great.

Jerry said...

Thanks, Mike! Finding 20mm is going to be the challenge. I will have to build some, or more likely I will have a lot of battles in the countryside!

Robert Brightwell said...

Nice work Jerry! 20mm was my main WW2 game scale for many, many years. Between the dedicated game companies and the 1/72-1/76 scale models just about everything is available. HO scale model railroad building are a good source of terrain, especially the German companies.

My favorite figures in 20mm are SHQ and AB miniatures. They are both excellent figures. Have fun!

Jerry said...

Thanks, Rob! I've heard about SHQ and AB, so I'll have to check those out. I was wondering about HO scale terrain, which sounds like it will work. I'll see what I can find with a suitably European feel.

Tim Kulinski said...


Good work man, like Rob, I too had a bunch of 20mm stuff and I loved SHQ models. Heck, at the last gamers garage sale I basically gave away two full platoons of them for cheap.

A word of warning though, 1/72 and 1/76 scale model kits are just that, model kits. They are nothing like PSC vehicle kits, more like Tamiya model kits. But if your not afraid to spend some time with them, you can find pretty any vehicle ever made!

So now you have WWII models in three scales, way to go man, you joined the club like the rest of us. Although I only have two scales now, but had 4 at one time (1/285, 15mm, 20mm and 28mm). Oh wait, I even had 54mm (1/35th).

Jerry said...

Thanks, Tim! I hear you on some of those model kits. They look quite involved for what I'd like. Still, there's a lot of stuff out there.

I didn't know you had 54mm! That must have been fun. I've got microscale stuff hanging around that I've yet to paint. So I'm fully committed to the multi-scale club!