Operational wargamers know that packs of troops based on tactical company level games do not fill all the gaps in the orbats. Martin Goddard (who is a very nice chap) is besieged by requests from wargamers for items such as Goumiers or late war Waffen SS with captured Russian SMGs, so he is not going to sell many packs of Soviet pioneers or road mending gangs. This need not be an obstacle for an enterprising modeller with an eye for the main chance. I have bought enough packs over the years to fill my gaps from within the ranges, but if I were the pestering sort, this is what I would be asking for:
Range 8 – Custom Pack 1 : Men Standing About, Waiting for Something to Happen.
Every Army has them, hanging around bridges, cook houses and headquarters.
Range 8 – Custom Pack 2 : Chaps in Shirtsleeves or Bare Chests and Wellies.
This pack has just shifted a ton of artillery ammunition. A few head packs will convert them to the nationality of your choice. Most often found hanging around big artillery pieces. If your preference is for Gunners Waving Gaily, then Martin is your man – his figures are full of animation, so far too exitable for big guns. To be fair though, he does have bare chested 8th Army Gunners. Some even have shells – Hurrah!
Range 8 – Custom Pack 3 : Officers Pointing Importantly.
Fortunately, Martin already spreads these chaps liberally around his ranges. Sadly, the pack that he should have made – British Officers Looking Lost – never made it out of the moulds.
Range 8 – Custom Pack 3 : Trudging Infantry.
Marching is what infantry do in front of the camera, especially Mussolini’s boys. The rest of the time, they trudge; occasionally they shamble. Usually, they do it with heavy loads of ammunition, or looted chickens. The early packs of PSC infantry were very good in this respect, the later packs have stumpier legs and are forced into more dramatic, but flatter, poses to compensate.
Range 8 – Custom Pack 5 : Squaddies Getting Pished.
This pack is a simple combination of a piano, seated driver and Brit drinking tea. Martin already makes dancing Cossacks; and for Dead Drunk Russians, a casualty pack is totally accurate. Look to the morale markers in other ranges. I successfully made a militiaman giving the middle finger out of the medieval Men Being Rude pack.
In 15mm, usually all that is needed to fool the eye is a thick coat of paint. Tim Gow is a firm believer in the idea that the dodgier the conversion, the bigger the Balkankreuz needs to be. I have looted figures from the Peter Pig WW1, AK47 and ACW ranges, slipping them in here and there like little Easter eggs for the discerning operational wargamer..