I finished (?) my first Soviet units.
First Rifle squad (with unintentional 2nd SMGer) (and non-counting assistant LMGer).
First Tank Riders squad.
Heavy weapons squad (left to right): 82mm mortar team, 14.5mm ATR team, HMG team. (Tank Riders visible above.)
The ATR is a horrific bodge using a 1/35th Mauser (the German ATR will be just as bad based on a 1/35th LMG). Just trying to avoid buying more troops. I have decided to use the awful Atlantic prone (grazing?) rifleman, sans rifle, to fill in as assistant gunner on any prone LMG or other team that didn't come with an assistant (or enough team members). Just cut off the rifle and add a small chunk of balsa as an ammo box.
I had mixed what I felt was an outstanding uniform color from Tamiya Khaki with Dark Yellow and a hint of Olive Green. Four different colors of overcoat/packs/pouches/bags/satchels/canteen covers, plus weapons, boots, helmets, flesh. Then the wash of thin very very dark brown was too thick, and reacted with the Tamiya paints to turn everything dark brown when it dried. I knew I should have done a test first, but I got in a hurry. I tried to salvage it by highlighting with a mix similar to the original shade, but it looked ridiculously bright against all that dark brown, and I wound up having to dull it down to a darker shade. Then I had to pick out the details again, but I was not motivated to put much into it a second time. I just keep repeating my mantra "Good enough for wargamng", but it is genuinely discouraging, and all the more frustrating because it is entirely my own fault.
I have been messing about more with the force cards and force generation process and have simplified it. Deal out the requisite number of cards (subtracting the initial 5 mandatory units). As each card is drawn, resolve it, except for legal Jokers that will be resolved at the end. So if a Pz III / Pz IV or T34 / KV card is drawn, determine and record it's type immediately (I use a die on the card). When done, select any one card of choice and discard it; draw 2 replacements and select one to keep, discarding the other. Then resolve legal Joker(s) if any. When done, allocate initial and reinforcement forces for those scenarios that require them. It's quicker and easier and provides a slightly more random outcome to overall force balance while providing more control of initial force allocation.
Then I generated 10 forces for summer '43 using the new process (2 Soviet Frontal Assault, 2 Soviet Surprise Assault, 2 German Surprise Assault, 1 Encounter Battle, 3 Escalating Engagement). They seem interesting and I will likely use them as the basis for my initial tryouts of the NT rules -- if I ever get the infantry finished. It turns out that none of the 10 force lists comprise more than 5 Rifle squads, so that determines how many infantry I need to complete for these test games: 5 German Rifle squads and 1 Antitank Gun crew (54); 2 Soviet Tank Riders squads, 4 Rifle squads, and 1 Cavalry squad (68); total 122 figures. Completed: 55. Crap crap crappity crap crap.