So, a few of the Wyvern Wargamers chaps have declared 2015 project to be Spanish Civil War, which presents an opportunity to invest in some of Empress miniatures' highly acclaimed range. The idea is to play Chain of Command, which we're already familiar with for WWII, so I'd be looking at a supported platoon.
There is plenty of choice in both the official lists and the Empress range. I've been reading around the subject a little, most recently Ernest Hemingway's SCW classic, For Whom The Bell Tolls, and resources on Arlequin's and Curt's great blogs.
I remain stumped over which platoon I'd like to start off. My initial preferences were:
1). Republican, partly because of the classic English support for the underdogs
2). Not irregular platoon (i.e. militia). I've always struggled choosing a good colour palette for pure irregular forces. Uniforms tend to come out better, a little variation is appreciated.
3). Avoiding grey and navy blue uniforms, both colours that I've painted a lot of in recent years.
4). A platoon with a better range of Empress sculpts: at least 3 packs plus some support options. Though I am willing to do conversions such as head swaps.
My first thought was Peninsular Army Cavalry. Advantages are that it would look great, the mounted Empress miniatures are excellent. I also haven't seen a any cavalry, let alone a whole platoon in the few SCW-related blogs I follow. Unfortunately, my initial enthusiasm dimmed when I started totting up the cost: really rather expensive, once you get into mounted and dismounted options for multiple units, plus support options. And I don't particularly enjoy painting cavalry at the best of times, never ideal for finishing a project, though they do often look great when finished. Back to the drawing board.
Second plan used the lovely Assault Guards models. THey can be Republican, multiple packs and
separate heads for conversions, check. Ah, but Guardias de Asalto wear a navy uniform, or grey overalls, which isn't ideal. Humm. Then a moment of inspiration, the Carabineros: frontier guards. Doable with the same minis, but they wear 'pea green'. Better! This remains a fairly strong contender.
Then I saw the Italian Tankettes, so cute:
CV33, available from Empress Miniatures.
Which put me onto the Italian Corpo Truppe Voluntarie (CTV). While they are Nationalist, they fit the regular and colour requirements. Once again, I don't recall seeing any painted up in the English blogging community. The platoon is very well equipped and led and they have a plethora of support options. But that doesn't really feel right for the SCW: one might as well stick to WWII if you have the luxury of LMGs in every squad and armour support on hand!
Which leaves the current choice at Carabineros or CTV. There are other options, but can anyone suggest anything I might not have thought of that fit my original criteria?