Friday, July 8

Alpine Miniatures 35116 US AFV Crew figure combo set

35116 WW2 US AFV Crew Set (2 Figures) WW2 US AFV Crew Set (2 Figures)
Kit no: 35116
Scale: 1/35
Figures: 2
Sculptor: Taesung Harmms
Material: Resin
Head Choices:  4 (2 on each figure)
Box/figure Artist: Man-Jin Kim
Alpines' Distributors: Link

Alpine Miniatures has sent us some of their latest figures from master sculptor Taesung Harms.

 Alpine started from small beginnings in 2004 and has gradually become one of the most respected names in figure modelling through their attention to detail and superbly sculpted figures. Often moulded in 1/35 scale, they are branching out into 1/16 figures as well. They have succeeded in business as a small company amongst a lot of larger companies in the market after much acclaim by modellers, and on evidence from this set I know why.

This pack  - 35116 WW2 US AFV Crew Set -  comprises two figures with the choice of two different heads for each figure, something which alpine have pioneered and other companies have followed. This set depicts two crewman of a U.S. tank regiment standing  looking at something in front of them, arms down a their sides – (no pointing figures here)

The one kit is actually a pair of individual kits from Alpine Miniatures numbers 35114 - WW2 US AFV Crew #1 & 35115 + WW2 US AFV Crew #2 that have been made into a pair of crewman in the one pack. You can get these singularly, but together they look very realistic and complement each other, and naturally look like the part of the same tank crew. These two figures wear pretty different gear, so each is different from the other and instantly there is some difference to each figure.
The figures are correct in anatomy proportion all of the way through their bodies and the choice of two heads gives you either a U.S. M1 helmet/tanker's helmet or a service cap configuration for both crew. I had a squizz through my book Warrior 78 – US army Tank Men 1941-45 to check on what each tanker is wearing, it helped me identify exactly what each soldier had on. Let's look at them both individually and then together as a set.

35114 - WW2 US AFV Crew #1 consists of a torso, two arms and a pistol (with a helpful locating notch on the tankers hip) plus the fore mentioned two heads. One of the heads has a soft tanker's lining helmet inside his standard M1 helmet, while the second head is wearing the soft under cap that goes under the harder tanker's helmet. This was a warm skullcap that went all of the way down to the neck. Each of the faces is extremely fine and lifelike – no disfigured look here as is usual for Alpine's heads.

The torso of this soldier is wearing a pair of tanker's pants which fit under the tanker's jacket. This is excellently rendered, with fine patches on the arms, one either side denotes the stripes of a corporal. The other triangular patch on the left arm of the M41 or "Parsons Jacket" which has the correct five buttons and side pockets on the front. Tucked into the belt is a pouch for a medic pack, and, at the corporal's right hip, is a pistol holster for the tanker's Colt .45 with holster.
The tanker is wearing "shoepacs" which were winter footwear, rubber-bottomed, leather-topped worn with heavy ski socks and a felt innersole. These overcame the heavy incidence of trench foot among our troops fighting in cold and extremely wet climates. The tankers did use these as well as the infantry especially in the harsh cold of northern Europe in 1944/5
The second tanker in this set (sold separately as well as 35115 - WW2 US AFV Crew #2) consists of five pieces of resin, two arms, a torso and two different heads. This figure is standing upright with his arms down at his sides, correct in length. They sit below his waist and look quite natural. Let's start off with the two heads
Again you have two very different sets of headgear on two excellently sculpted heads. Mr. Harms has done his job well, and well-painted faces on these figures look amazing and fine. The first head on this soldier wears a standard U.S. M1 helmet, while underneath is the tankers under helmet or hood which covers the back of the tanker's neck. The head has the standard M1938/1942A tankers helmet on, which is a dead ringer for the original headwear, and has all of the right bits on the right places even the ventilation holes! Excellent researching, and a step beyond most other's work. If you have any other US tankers I would cut their heads off and use the spares from these kits, That's all a little bit of added value here as far as I am concerned.
The torso of the second soldier is again wearing the chest-high tanker's pants, which can be seen right up to the nipple in the split in the opened tanker's jacket. The jacket has the cuffs and collars in the right places and has the triangle patch on the left arm and the two stripes of a corporal on both arms. The boots are standard issue without shoepacs on this soldier
The figures stand quite well and look natural, no pointing or dramatics here, which really  is the most common stance in life isn’t it? The creases on the clothes are in different places, and the difference in clothing from one soldier to the next really make these matched pairs still look close enough to have been sitting in the same tank together.
The resin in the kits should be mentioned here. It is very soft and really easy to cut and shape – these figures took 20 minutes to make ‘from go to whoa’ and were an absolute pleasure. A lot of people don’t like resin but these work like plastic, and the time I saved removing stupid seams makes me think this is a bargain every day of the week.
A great set again from Alpine, well worth the small asking price, finely sculpted and accurate in scale and clothing choices. I would recommend this set to anyone who needs some U.S. figures for their diorama – well done!
Many thanks to Alpine Miniatures for the review sample used here.
Alpines' Distributors: Link