Some of the scenarios in FoF CWGH deal with anti-soviet irregulars - Polish 'Solidarity' Partisans, NATO trained stay-behind forces, the Badgers! (think Red Dawn 'Wolverines!', but without copyright infringements or Patrick Swayze...). This set me thinking tat there is plenty of scope to modify 'insurgent'/asymetric scenarios to cover Soviets vs Partisans, rather than USMC vs Iraqis, etc.
With that in mind, I had a look at this article about starting FoF, as it had a recommendation of the minimum number of 'insurgents' that a game really needs - http://smallscaleoperations.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/wargaming-moderns-guide-to-start-force.html
Which, at 40+ basic infantry, along with another 30 or so support figures is actually quite a lot. With that many, I'm going to need some sort of cohesive element to hold the figures together visually.
When I was initially thinking of just doing a few Poles (may 30 in total, which would have been a bit on the excessive side for the scenarios as written) it was going to be fairly straight forward - effectively take the visual elements of the WW2 Polish Home Army/Warsaw uprisers, switch the German stuff to Soviet and call it quits
This would create a very strong visual impression on the table with its mix of military and civilian equipment, and had a very obvious linking colour scheme (the polish flag - warn as arm bands, helmet stripes, etc; and only use a couple of soviet camo schemes). As NATO supports the Solidarity Partisans by dropping Paras, I could also mix in some FNFAL/SLRs, M16s & NATO camo schemes if I wanted to strengthen this impression.
Which would be great - but also a bit limiting in terms of general applicability (I couldn't use them in West Germany for example!) My next thought was the possibility of a more 'generic' identifying arm band - maybe plain white (like some of the rebels in Georgia in 2008):
It also dawned on me that these scenarios would only be taking place a few years before the break up of Yugoslavia, and that perhaps some of the Balklans war pictures and the like might be useful. As a rule it seems to be units either wore big and/or bright arm patches :
Or no obvious identifier at all (which was a cause of some of the problems from what I recall):
I think the arm patches look too 'paramilitary militia' for my Partisans, and I think not having any identifier might make them look to disparate when on the table, especially as some will be in capture soviet uniforms, with helmets etc...
So where does that leave me...?!?
I think a mix of coloured arm bands and no identifiers might be the way to go. I may do a few particularly Polish/eastern European looking guys with Polish flags, and if/as/when Liberation release their pack of militia with G3s, I could do them with German flag armbands. Realistically though, I want the vast majority of figures to have the same arm band colour and I'll just add a few more guys in fur hats when they are being polish, or a few more with M16s and M60s if they are being Badgers.
So what colour to go for - after a quick think, it came down to white, yellow, blue or red. I had a couple of minutes spare before work, so I quickly had a test run on a couple of WiP figures I had lying around... (these aren't the finish items - I'll touch up the figures later as I finish off the rest of the paintjobs)
I'm not convinced by the white - I think it looks too much like bandages(?), and I don't think the blue works either, although I'm ot sure of the reason. That leaves goldy yellow or red. I like the look of both - although I'm not sure if they don't both look a bit 'Volksstrum'. I'm also aware that as they'll be fighting 'reds' (in this case Soviets and Warsaw pact), yellow might be a better colour? Anyone else have any thoughts?