The razvedchiki are one of the iconic Soviet units of WW2. With the funky jumpsuits, weird amoeba camouflage and their general reputation for tearing the Nazis a new one they’re a must-have unit if you’re putting the Red Army on the table.

These scouts are from Black Tree Design. They’re a manufacturer I’ve come to somewhat late in my WW2 28mm collecting  but the more I use them the more I like them. Detail on these sculpts is really crisp, the faces have lots of character without being completely cartoonish and they’re fairly realistically proportioned. The only real criticism I have of them is that like most other manufacturers the mix of weapons you get in each pack isn’t ideal. The exact makeup of a scout squad seems to have changed a bit over the war, but the standard one for Chain of Command is a 9-man squad with a split of rifles and SMGs. Most of the scouts you can get in 28mm are armed with SMGs and getting ones with rifles is trickier. Luckily Black Tree do a pack (marked as snipers) that has men in jumpsuits armed with scoped Mosin-Nagants. These will do perfectly well as scouts, you can either leave the scopes on or cut them off. I cut off one that was easily done, and left the trickier ones.

The figures required minimal prep, with little flash and only a couple of slight mould lines to clean up. I base coated them with Vallejo’s Russian Uniform Green, with some of them varied a bit as I’m reliably informed that Soviet uniform colours were every bit as random as the Germans. Then came the interesting bit: amoeba cam!  I’d not tried this before and found some of the advice in this blog useful.  My first attempt was in a brown that was way too light, there wasn’t enough contrast between that and the green. The actual brown you want for the splodges is really dark, so I mixed a mahogany colour with some black and that came out about right.

I found these photos on the Artizan site really helpful (click for bigger)

My technique for painting them was to start by painting a bunch of dots, then connect those dots with some curved lines, and then smooth out the transitions until it looks a bit like an amoeba. I found that the more “arms” you put on your amoeba the better it looked. On the real thing the splodges are actually pretty big, so this isn’t one of those camo patterns you have to paint with a microscope. I actually found it easier than I expected and while far from perfect I think it’s good enough.

I’ve got to say I’m finding this kind of fine detail work easier since I started using this magnifier visor recently. I remember my dad using something similar for fixing tiny fiddly things when I was a kid, so I guess I’m just turning into him as I get older. C’est la vie!