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I was talking with a friend of mine a while ago about basing my IG army on a real-world military force. Some of the suggestions included Germany, Soviet to present-day Russia, and Egypt or another Middle-Eastern country. I'm particularly fond of a Russian or any Eastern-European theme, along with the Middle-East. I was thinking I could paint up lasguns with wooden finishes to resemble AKs or use RPGs as grenade launchers, or more realistically, missile launchers. What kinds of suggestions do you guys have?
I'm not a huge history buff, however I recall the Russian/eastern european militaries to be largely armor supporting massed infantry. Not many support vehicles, artillery, or transports. This would mean, in forming the army it would be primarily infantry and tanks. Lots of guardsmen, lots of Leman Russ. Also look to a very industrialized feel, steel-colored tanks, grey or brown uniforms. Everything is mass-produced and ungarnished. Utilitarian, sparse. Very much for effect on the fields instead of on the parade grounds. So as far as writing lists that's something you could go for.
You are right, in a sense, because in WWII, the Russians had tons of infantry charging alongside groups of tanks. Take a look at some footage from the eastern front, and you'll probably see a few scenes like that. Though they did in fact have a support vehicle called a Katyusha that fired multiple rockets. Contrary to your tank/infantry theory, in more current times, the Russians employ transport vehicles like BMPs (which Chimeras are largley based on) and I've also seen some anit-air vehicles around that could resemble Hydras.
You could probably take both infantry platoons and mounted veterans, and a good deal of Leman Russ. I'm sure you could get historical minis instead of 40k minis (you'll have to get the bases from a bits service though), while the GW and tournaments won't approve I'm sure it would make a nice impression on the local gaming clubs. Katyushas could use the Manticore rules, those things are awesome.
I'm sure that even something like the scout sentinel ruleset (because who uses armored sentinels!) could be represented by a Vodnik fairly accurately - except for melee, but you can make something up there. Just stick clear of things like Punishers, those are kind of out there for Russia AFAIK.
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Another, if you like Russian style armies, is to look at cold war era soviets where they mechanized a large portion of their army to keep up with western powers. Your army could look like a large number of guard platoons in chimeras (maybe a few vets say they're spetznatz equivalent) but everything would be in chimeras with heavy tanks (Leman Russ' for T-72s) providing the punch that the infantry lack while the massed numbers of mounted troopers take objectives.
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I really do like that idea, Woobler, as most of my army is mechanized with the only exception being my four infantry squads. Both my command squads and vets are mounted in Chimeras. I was wondering how effective it'd be to put my infantry in Chimeras too, but I'm not too sure, as they are more static and just sit on objectives, taking pothots at other infantry and maybe light vehicles.
I have two Demolishers and am planning on a pair of Hydras as well. I'd think the Hydras could easily be converted from a Chimera chassis and Russian Tunguska turret:
Anyone else willing to bet this is what Forgeworld's Hydra models are based on?
The Chimeras are based off of BMP transports, and those are easilly recognizable and barley need converting. I'm not too sure what the Demolishers would represent, because the barrells are so short. I've actually begun to wonder if Ishould take regualr LMBTs, but Demolishers are just so versatile.
I was considering throwing in a Valkyrie, which could easilly represent the Mi-24 or 35 attack helicopter, or "Hind" (especially with the rocket pods attatched).
I like the US Marine organisation... perfect for IG army format
Embeded infantry, artillery, choppers (read Valkyries etc), engineers, etc all within one unit formation
Perfect to create fluff in a 40K style... to me anyway
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If you want russian flavour units you could use russian heads from the secrets of the third reik range. Maxmini.eu also make AK47 type weapons that can be grafted onto you models and used as autoguns (which coincidentally have the same stats as lasguns).
Adding these bits to cadian figures would be a nice army and would still meet the 50% GW parts for conversions limits that many tournaments enforce. If you want to move away from GW entirely get some 1:48 scale BMPs for chimeras and T64s for leman russ. Then add GW vehicle bits to them. Check out coplestone castings neo-soviets for infantry.
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That sounds like a neat idea. I could just make some modifications to the helmets and infantry weapons, and combine military tank models with IG tank models. If I wanted to make the LMBT look more like a T-55 or other tank, would people have problems with a longer, narrower barrel and lower tracks? It'd probably look radically different from the IG standard Leman Russ.