Modelling Partisans

Partisans with long coats and fur hats

Modelling Partisans

The Partisans initially relied on equipment left behind by the retreating Red Army during the chaotic days of 1941. Many of the Partisans themselves were Red Army soldiers cut off from their units so their weapons and dress were mainly those issued to them by the army.

As the Partisan war expanded under Stalin’s directive the pool of Partisan recruits expanded, and while the Red Army continued to be the main source of weapons, clothing was often left up to the Partisans. Local villages supplied civilian clothes to the Partisans, but often captured uniforms were pressed into service. The Red Army also supplied some amount of clothing.

Left: Warm coats and fur hats is the standard for these Partisans.

Looking at the contemporary photographs show a wide variety of cloths worn, but common features are workers cloth and peaked caps. Civilian jackets were also common; these could be brown, navy blue or dark grey. Civilian trouser were also worn and tend also to be darker shades.

Right: A mix of civilian and military clothes, note the peaked workers caps.
Mix of civilian and military dress
Partisans in mix clothing set charges on a bridge

Civilian dress was also mixed with Red Army and captured uniform items such as side caps, tunics, trousers and boots. Both the German and Soviet military boots were widely worn, protecting the Partisans feet and lower legs on often long treks through the wilderness.

Military and civilian fur hats were worn in cold whether. Helmets were worn in combat when available.

Left: More Partisans in mixed military/civilian clothing.

Below: Partisan man a Maksim with no shield (try the using the Finnish model FI704). 


Soviet infantry (SU702-703) and those in greatcoats (SU720) can be used for Partisans. A really simple conversion to distinguish them is to paint some trousers, tunics and greatcoats in civilian colours such as black, blue, brown or grey.

For those of you wanting to do a bit more advanced modelling you can do what I did and swap a few heads and weapons and model some clothes changes with some green stuff.

As we look at the pictures I’ll explain what I did.

Partisans with Maksim machine-gun
Italian Fucilieri with long trousers and winter Soviet hat This first model is an Italian Fucilieri (IT702). I replaced the head with a fur hat from one of the SU720 officers and expanded his trouser legs over his puttees. I left his bag and equipment as it is.
The second miniature is a scout (SU707). I’ve added the bottom parts of a civilian jacket and giving him a naval officer’s hat (SU722) to represent a peaked workers cap. Scout with jacket and naval officers head
Naval infantry with side cap This miniature is a Naval rifleman (SU722). I’ve given him a side cap from a Soviet artilleryman. When removing the navel hat I had to trim a little off his tunic where the tassels from the hat had sat.
For a Partisan commander I used a Komissar (SU700 or 701), swapped his head for a plan Naval officer’s cap and replaced his pistol with a PPSh-41. The PPSh-41 with the hand attached was taken from the Naval infantry flag bearer (SU722).
Komissar with head and hand swap
Greatcoat rifleman with "cloth cap" This Partisan is just a greatcoat rifleman (SU720). For the cloth cap I filed top of the hat off and left a thin line for the hat peak. I then made the top of the cloth cap from a small ball of green stuff putty, shaping it roughly into the crown. I removed the entrenching tool as well.
This miniature is just the greatcoat machine-gunner (SU720) with the fur hat head of an officer from the same pack added. Greatcoat MG gunner with fur hat
Greatcoat NCO with headswap A greatcoat NCO (SU720) with a Naval officers head added to give him a peaked workers cap. The entrenching tool was removed.
Another Partisan commander with a PPSh-41. This miniature is a greatcoat officer with is arm bent slightly more upward and the pistol replaced with a SMG from the Naval flag bearer. Greatcoat officer with head and weapon swap
Storm Group trooper with side cap A submachine-gunner from the Soviet Storm Group. I just gave this guy a new head from a Soviet artilleryman in side cap.
The final miniature (so far) is a greatcoat rifleman with a head swap giving him the fur had from a greatcoat officer of flag bearer. I also removed the entrenching tool form this miniature.
Greatcoat rifleman with fur hat
Soviet Partisan rifle team Left and below: Four of the above conversions painted.

If you’re careful you can use the heads and bodies from all your miniatures with only a few lost miniatures.

Additional Naval and Greatcoat command miniatures are available through Special Order.

Partisan Briefing for Raid Missions...

For a head swap how to see Casey’s article…

Partisan Models now available...

Soviet Partisan Rifle team
Soviet Partisan Rifle team Partisan Partisan