Legions East Winter Finns
As Early War approaches rapidly I’ve been looking at a Finnish EW list. The Barbarossa book won’t be here for quite a while and the Finns aren’t guaranteed to be in it, but sooner or later (probably later…) there will be some official list out there I hope.
As there probably won’t be any new BF Finns I’ve started to look at alternatives and as far as I know there is two manufacturers with this range, Resistant Roosters and Legions East. I’ve sampled both manufacturers “Summer Finns” but I wasn’t that impressed with any of them.
RRs range is in many cases more like 18mm than 15mm and have even more oversized heads and hands than BFs older, “large” range, and they are decked out in out in huge backpacks and other gear. And their winter range is basically the same as there summer range but with even bigger winter head gear. The positive about the range though is that they are reasonably priced and that there are a lot of different (but stiff) poses.
LEs range was more promising but suffered from som scale issues, the feet were tiny and their arms often way to long, but there were some nice models along them, my guess is that the bad ones are among the sculptors first miniatures and the nice one are the ones made later when the sculptor got the hang of limbs and stuff.
So, since the LE winter range is newer than the Summer range, and I actually manage to find a few pictures of them on the web, I ordered one of each pack to sample them.
So here follows a review of the packs available at their homepage.
LE-FNA-02 Finnish Winter War army pack, $25.
This pack consists of 50 infantry and 3(4) heavy weapons, divided into 31 riflemen, 4 men with LMGs, 3 SMGs, 2NCOs, 2 radio operators, 2 officers with binoculars, 1 spotter, 1 mortar crew with (presumaby) 1 mortar (I think that the mortar is missing from the pack but I might have lost it, more about the mortar further down), 2HMGs with 2 crew each and 1 anti-tank rifle with 2 crewmen.
I’ll only review the riflemen, SMGs and LMGs here, the other miniatures are discussed with the heavy weapons and command pack further down since they consist of the same figures.
There are a couple of riflemen in the pack that have some action poses (a rifleman in close combat and the obligatory Molotov cocktail thrower) which is quite unusual. The trouble is that they come repetitive a lot quicker than more generic poses but since they are so nice I don’t mind. The third rifleman is in a more generic pose.
The last three riflemen are in nicely animated “ready” and assaulting positions.
The final two figures shown are the Lahti LMG and the Suomi SMG soldiers (here Iactually also remembered to add a Battlefront miniature for comparison). The LMG is in a nice pose firing from the hip and the SMG armed fellow looks perfect accompanying an officer on a SMG command base.
Conclusion. The riflemen are very nice with good proportions and perfectly compatible with Battlefronts Finnish range except for a bit less “over-sized” helmets that many of Battlefronts earlier ranges suffer from. The only drawback is that the weapons aren’t that detailed and that they often are a bit “stubby” but that probably because they aren’t as over-sized as most other manufacturers.
LE-FNS-22, Heavy weapons special pack, $5
Content; ATR with gunner and loader, 2 HMGs each with a gunner and a loader, two mortars with a crewman each and finally 2 spotters.
The Lahti Anti-tank rifle model is also very nice and includes an assistant/loader. It’s sized as Battlefronts Finnish ATR which surely will increase the life-expectancy of the barrel.
The HMG while on the small side is unbased which is a nice touch so that it can be used on its self while basing other teams or making objectives. The gunner and loader are also nicely done. I’m a bit unsure if the Finns used the gun shield that much during the winter war but it can represent a newly captured weapon.
The mortars included are a bit of a letdown since it is so minute, it might work as a 50mm light mortar though. The crewman while nice, is alone which further indicates that he is firing a light mortar but they were often operated kneeling or laying down.
Conclusion: this pack is also nice but the weapons are a bit on the small side (at least compared to the BF range).
LE-FNS-23, Assault infantry special pack, $5
10 figures (6 SMGs (2 poses) 2 NCOs and 2 grenade throwing men.
The assault pack is together with the gun crew pack (and the cavelry pack…) the only ones that contains miniatures not included in the army pack and contains 4 very nice poses includin another NCO model which is very welcomed.
Conclusion; this pack is highly recommended with very nice figures, the only question mark is on how many SMG armed troops you can include in an Winter War army since they were pretty scarce.
LE-FNS-24 Gun crew special pack, $5
7 gun crewmen (3poses) and 2 spotters.
Not much to say about this (also very nice) pack except that a couple of more poses would have been nice.
LE-FNS-26 Ski troops special pack, $5
10 skiers (2 poses).
The skiers are perfect! If there only were a few more poses…
LE-FNS-27 Cavalry special pack, $14
10 cavalry (2 horse poses), 8 riflemen (2poses) and 2 NCOs with binoculars.
The horses are very good, the only drawback is that they are probably from LEs other cavalry ranges and not quite representative for the Finnish more robust and rugged horse breeds.
The riders are in realistic but somewhat unexciting poses.
Conclusion; the big problem with this pack is that the Finnish cavalry units were equipped with skis during the Winter War… But they will probably come in handy in objectives and as horse-drawn artillery crews.
LE-FNS-28 Command special pack, $5
8 miniatures, 2 NCOs, 2 spotters, 2 radio operators and 2 officers with binoculars, these are the same models included in the Army pack so if you plan to buy more than 1 of those packs don’t bother with this pack.
All of the miniatures are perfect for command and spotter teams, the only drawback is that all of them are included in the Army pack.
Overall a pleasent surpise, there are a few problems as noted above but they are without doubt the best Finnish Winter range available. Casting-wise they are not quite as crisp as Battlefronts but there is very little flash and mould separation. I only received one miscast, a riflemen missing his hands and weapon other then that there were no problems (although there is the issue with the “stubby” guns).
As I understand it, Legions East is operated at almost hobby basis but the communication and delivery times are more than acceptable, the only thing I miss is an notice on when they ship the packages, now it’s more of an (pleasant) surprise when it arrives. Also, some (more and bigger) pictures on their webpage would also make things easier…
Overall I’ll give this range a weak 4 on a five-grade scale.