WWII Allies & Axis

Another line that we purchased the rights to and are preparing to restore and bring back to production is the WWII infantry figures that were sculpted by Stan Johansen call Allies & Axis. These are 20mm but look very nice with 1/72 scale vehicles and buildings. The line consisted of at least 11 German, 4 Italian, and 9+ Russian poses, plus 3 pieces of heavy equipment. The reason for the “+” after the Russian count is because they were cast with loose weapons allowing for greater variation. Only a few original package product numbers are known. If anyone happens to have an old price sheet or other listing, please let us know. We want to re-release these as similar to the originals as possible. So far, we only know J2101, J2102, J2103, and J2107.

Above are photos of some of the Germans, an original bag header card, and some of the Russians. Stan said that the idea in the begin was to focus on fighting on the Eastern Front primarily in and around Stalingrad. After the initial handful of poses were complete and in production, Stan started working on winter dress poses. I’m not certain if they were ever released or not. I did get the original sculpts from him but no molds for them or any cast figures. I’d be interested to hear from anyone that has some of these (photo of the original sculpts below).

Original Sculpts of Russians in Winter Dress

Marching a bunch of infantry around is fun but I wanted to add more to the line. I had access to some WWII vehicles through my wholesale account with Reviresco but there wasn’t a lot for the Russians there. Luckily for me, a friend let me know that some rights/molds were for sale for some of the old Ahketon WWII vehicles (through Acheson Creations). When I checked into it, there was a lot there for Italians and Russians (and as capture equipment for Germans). And amazingly, there was no overlap at all with the Reviresco line. And even more amazingly, they all look very good together. And the purchase also included Russian and Italian Cavalry, Italian paratroopers, and 3 field guns. I was dumfounded as to my luck. Stan didn’t make artillerists and the guns didn’t come with them either. Below are Stan’s heavy mortar crew supporting the sIG 33. To my untrained eye, it think they look fine. I suppose there are scores of high school history teachers rolling over in their graves over this but I’m just playing a game here. There are also 2 photos of actual gun crews for reference. Maybe I’ll give the kneeling guy one of the ramrod things shown in the photo. And possibly model one of the guys with his fingers in his ears.

Even though the process to restore these and get them back into production is time-consuming, and there are other projects ahead of these, I painted a few spares up and a started gaming with them a bit. I spent a lot of time reviewing rules sets looking for something cheap and easy, not only for myself but to recommend to all of you. I sort of gave up but don’t be discouraged. First of all, there are a lot of great games out there if you are looking for a serious game. Second of all, if you are looking for a free, squad level beer and pretzels game, we have one coming. Below area some photo from our recent playtest sessions.

And no, the two tanks in the photo above did not come that close to each other in the game… they were just positioned there for a photo op. And also no, we were not trying to replicate any particular time and place… we just grabbed the gear that was painted up and ready to go, and set out on a simple search and destroy mission. So far, the rule play fast and fun. We have a bit more to polish off, then we will set out to come up with some historically correct scenarios. Our goal will be to offer a boxed set with the rules, scenario, two opposing sides, and painting guides for one low price. Right now, we do have a good selection of WWII equipment and Osprey Publishing books available in the shop. Plastic model kits there are clearly labeled as such. All other vehicles are metal kits. Check them our here!