Soviet Rota Razedki were reconnaissance troops that were used to scout out enemy positions and exploit break throughs. Mounted on a variety of fast, lightly armored vehicles, the men of the Rota often found themselves in the thick of the action. Ever since I got my M3 White Scout Car I have wanted to fill it with Rota Razedki, one of my favorite Flames of War units. As soon as I finished my tank riders, I got to work on making passengers to fill the seats of my M3.
The two passengers I am most proud of are Ivan and Vasily, Russian disco party boys. These loose mothers got a hold of some vodka or more likely radiator fluid before their squad set out on patrol. Ivan and Vasily would likely fit in better with the LRDG (pop quiz does this mean the British special forces unit from North Africa or the critically acclaimed podcast?) instead of with the honorable comrades of the proletariate. The bottles are the hands with Molotov cocktails from the Warlord Soviet box set with the flames removed. I had to drill out Vasily's mouth to make the bottle fit for chugging.
One thing you may have noticed, if you have a keen Barbarian eye, is that the body poses of the passengers are not from the Soviet Plastic box set. They are actually from left over plastic Japanese bodies from the Warlord Plastic Japanese box set. The uniforms in the Japanese set are substantially similar to Russian uniforms (down to the leg wrappings). I found that some of the Japanese poses worked better for men who were seated and needed almost no manipulation. The only exception is Ivan, who is falling out of the M3. I replaced Ivan's Japanese legs with Soviet legs from the Soviet box set. Once I added Russian heads and weapons I could hardly notice that my Russians were wearing Japanese bodies.
When the Rota ride along side my tank riders in their truck I end up with quite the dynamic looking patrol. Even though these passengers have no impact on game play, I have really enjoyed jazzing up my transports and tanks. One thing I love about wargaming is the story each game tells. Adding small details like crew and riders can add to your gaming experience. I cant wait to get my hands on another box of plastics to make passengers for my other trucks.
The last modification I made to my M3 was to add a .50 cal HMG. Most M3's mounted a pintel or rail mounted .50cal and could mount other machine guns. I prefer the look of the .50 cal over the maxim.
I hope you have enjoyed this little side project I took you down, even if you don't go out and make your own riders and passengers. Our hobby is great because there is something for everyone. Some of us are hardcore gamers who love listing and competitive game play, others are painters who enjoy taking the time to include every detail on their troops, some of us are modeler who enjoy creating new things, and other love the social aspects of gaming with friends. Most of us find ourselves a little in each camp and thats what keeps us coming back.