Having just about finished my Russians I thought I would get some opposition for them, or at least some troops to use as an alternative. I decided on some Empress Miniatures Chechens to use either as Chechens, or optionally as some generic mid \ East European militia. At worst they would be something different to the Taliban types out there, and being Militia you can get a fair few for your 50pts
The figures are very interesting - I think Empress got the range from another producer (Red Star???) and they in a different style to some of the other Empress ranges. Basically they are multi part with usually the gun separate (complete with a hand wrapped around the grip). This is not a bad idea as it allows some really dynamic poses, however there is a catch, and that catch is the weapons themselves, which are all painfully thin. Of course you can say this is just accurate scaling - and to an extent it is, but that doesn't help when the barrel of the MG snaps when you look at it. Probably the worse figure for this is the gunner running with PKM where the figure is holding the gun by the carrying handle (OK) but the handle itself is so thin as to be useless on a wargames table. There is a pic below but what it fails to show is that the hand with the handle isnt actually attached to the gun except at the front of the handle - ie as in real life. This is a great pity because it makes the guy incredibly fragile. Worse, because the figures have the hands cast to the separate weapons you have to get an exact fit for this to look any good, and if you want to replace the gun with a more robust slightly upscale one you also need to get some new hands found or made. When it works it is very nice, but I'm having a lot of problems as a combination of the need for a close fit plus my ham fists.
That problem extends to painting too. I wanted to have that civilian \ militia vibe, which means everyone wearing different uniforms (oxymoron there) or civilian clothes. The problem is I an apparently incapable of doing this, so the production time is ludicrously low - in fact I'm actively looking for other stuff to paint rather than face them.
Which is a shame because these are very good figures. Anyway here is my first three, and as you can see, they are a little bland. Hopefully I can do something better with the next batch.