Miniatures Showcase compiled by the White Knight

Though wargames tend to focus on the soldiers, they are not the only participants in the war. Regardless of the theatre wherein the fighting takes place, it will always involve civilians in an active or a passive role. All occupation of enemy territory invariably gives rise to resistance from those who look in their own heart and are met with a courage and determination they never expected to find. The most famous examples of WWII civilian militia are the French resistance (the Maquis), the Italian partisans, the Balkan and Russian partisans and, in the end, the German Volksturm.

As all fighting forces, not all partisans were patriotic freedom fighters, and some of them may have had more in common with bands of armed thugs, taking advantage of the chaos of war to satisfy their own need for the exertion of power and violence.

This miniatures showcase centers around these armed and unarmed civilians. Due to their irregular dress and ragtag, often dated, equipment, many of these figures are also suited for use in Pulp Era games. Alternatively, some pulp figures may be used to fill out the ranks of your partisans.

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1. Bolt Action Miniatures

One of the latest new comers to the period and already sporting an impressive range, with monthly new releases. 28mm figures sculpted by Paul Hicks, lately with help by Adam Dechande. Vehicles by Simon Bargery, Olaf Meys and Nigel Higgins. BAM offers a growing selectionof packs of partisans and Volksturm figures. These figures depict armed civilians. The Partisan figures are suitable for most theatres from the Balkans to the Eastern front, Warsaw, France and even Berlin.

2. Foundry

The Foundry has a small, but interesting WWII range, including unarmed British civilians (in the 'England Invaded' collection) and French Partisans (in the 'Elite Forces' collection). I believe the figures were sculpted by Michael Perry. They are slightly smaller than most of the other ranges listed here, but not by much and mix in well enough IMO.

3. Black Tree Designs

One of the most comprehensive 28mm WWII ranges to date, the BTD figures range from brilliant to mediocre. On the civilian side, the 'Free French' range has several packs of French resistance figters, including saboteurs, spies, assassins, observation and LMG teams, casualties, ... The Soviet range offers Partisans, including spies, snipers and tank bombers.

- French resistance fighters:

French resistance

French resistance

- Russian Partisans:

4. Ebob Miniatures

Ebob sculpts and sells a small range of 'true' 28mm miniatures for the Great Escape boardgame. This includes some excellent allied POW's. While not exactly civilians, they do fall in the unarmed bystanders category.

5. West Wind Productions

West Wind Productions has quite a comprehensive range of 28mm figures and vehicles for WWII, called 'Berlin or Bust'. The range has some nice French resistance fighters and German Volksturm figures.

They also have a very nice pack of (slightly creepy) French civilians in their newer "bigger" 28mm WWII range.

6. Victory Force Miniatures

Victory force makes 28mm WW2 figures with slotted bases and often with separate hands for customising. The figures are sculpted by John Bland. On the civilian front, VFM offers resistance figures, including snipers, support weapons, captured flamethrower and casualties.

7. Brigade Games

Lon Weis at Brigade Games has a small, but interesting new range of 28mm WW2 miniatures and vehicles from the Polar caps to the Desert to the Far East to ..."The Ends of the Earth". The figures are sculpted by the talented Richard Ansell to be compatible with most of the current WW2 lines. The range includes some open-handed merchant seamen with a selectionof improvised weapons.

8. Chiltern Miniatures

Chiltern miniatures are bigger, beefier figures than the other ranges listed here , which makes them not fit well with some of the smaller ranges. There are a couple packs of Russian partisans in the range.

9. Alpha miniatures

Alpha Miniatures produced a 28mm WWII range with some interesting models that aren't available elsewhere. Sadly, the range is now discontinued and the company is looking to sell the moulds. A small amount of stock is still available for order. For civilians, the range includes unarmed civilians, armed resistance fighters and Volksturm (the latter wearing parts of old German uniforms).

10. Amazon Miniatures

Amazon miniatures produces a small range of 28mm Stalingrad WWII, which includes a Russian Priest and Crazed Monk with PPSHs, and a russian boy in the "Stalingrad Character Set" pack. The priest figures would be very suited for inclusion in Weird WW2 or Pulp games.

If you want to drool over some painted WWII Partisan and Volksturm miniatures, Perry's Heroes and Tom Weiss' TWfigurines are definitely worth the trip:

Perry's Heroes Agis

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Don't forget to visit the Weird World War II and the Pulp Era Showcase for some more miniatures that can be used with this period.

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Naturally, any free samples you might provide would greatly aid us to form a documented opinion.

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