New from Alpine Miniature this month is a new sculpture in 1/16th scale of the WWII fighter ace Werner Mölders. From the start i am not going to exaggerate here - i am impressed!
Alpine Miniatures 1/16 Luftwaffe ace Werner Mölders
Kit no: 16014
Subject: Werner Mölders
Sculptor: Mike Good
Boxart Painted by Ernesto Reyes
Kit Type: Resin (9 pieces)
Head choices: 2
Where I got mine: Alpine Miniatures
Werner Mölders (18/3/13 – 22/11/41) was a well-known Luftwaffe fighter ace who scored over 100 kills in World War Two before being taken out of the front line for propaganda reasons. Later dying in an air crash in November 1941 at the age of 28. “Vatti” or pappy Mölders was indeed a father figure to the fighter pilots at that time in the Luftwaffe. I could go on for a while about his history – but there is something called “the internets” to do that for you – I am here to talk about this resin kit depicting the man in front of me.
This resin kit from Alpine Miniatures looks set to be popular – Luftwaffe kits often are – but this one is something special. Usually you need to be a little objective with a kit – but this one is quality straight out of the box for all to see. I’ll try to explain here.
Indeed the quality is there IN the box as well as the kit – I was always impressed by Alpines innovative packaging and this is a little different but no less impressive. A more conventional box in “chocolade” brown with the expertly painted (by master painter Ernesto Reyes) figure on the box cover and wrapping around the corner – the companies’ brand lettering is in silver. The kit inside is sealed in several sealable bags to keep the kit from damaging itself in transit and there is black foam protection inside as well. It really hints at a premium product that makes a great first impression. I hadn't seen an alpine 1/16th figure before and I thought that I would show all of you the quality in this minor but important part of the kit.
Sculpted by the great Mike Good this kit comes in nine separate parts with parts like the boots joined on a casting block. Indeed the soft grey metal had a small resin block separately for the arms and the heads as well as the fur collar. There is a small bit of resin to clean up as well on the torso halves before you can fit the parts together – this took all of ten minutes and was no strain. The parts fit quite well (after some careful work by me for a change) ill have a look at them all in order – starting at the most important part of a figure – especially of that of a well-known figure – the head.
The face of Werner Mölders is not without its subtle signatures. He had a large(ish) nose and almost long nostrils, which made his face quite angular looking, somewhat baggy eyes, large cheeks and a small but distinct chin. Mr Good has captured all of these quite well – as well as I have seen anyone do them anyway. The pointed nostrils and the pronounced brow are there, as well as the correct hairline. I cannot fault the face and to me it’s a great likeness. The hardest part Mike has gotten right.
The two heads here are identical in the face but have alternate headwear. The choices are between the more familiar “Feldmuetze “side cap or and the officer’s visor or the “Schirmmütze” the Luftwaffe eagle and the swastika are clearly visible here and finely sculpted. The braiding of the officer’s visor is well rendered and will look good when painted carefully by a skilled artist. One small nuance of the head is that the neck is shaped as if the figure’s head is slightly turned to one side – making sure the head sits on right. A small thing but a nice little addition not lost on me.
The likeness of the face and excellent choice of headgear will be the most scrutinised part of this figure just because the figure is of someone famous – I think they pass the test very well – on to the rest of the figure - starting with the torso.
The torso is next and it is donning the pilot’s leather jacket with a woollen collar which looks very realistic in its furry texture. The collar sits up high - not really touching the shoulders - but this can be seen in the pictures of Mölders wearing this jacket. When glued on it sits very easily on top of the zipped collar.
The officers’ shoulderboards here are really well sculpted in that it’s pretty hard to make the braid twist inside and outside itself. The Waffenrabe surrounding it is clear and square – a lot of “depth” here - the whole shoulder board looks very real indeed.
Mölders’ Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves is visible here and you can clearly see the smaller swastika on the front of the medal and the oak leaves above it. You could say the swords and diamonds are there but I am not quite sure….
The torso has the leather jacket with some nice but not overdone creases in it. A pair of zippers in the sides for pockets and the middle zipper complete with its little pullers will look great painted up and the whole jacket itself (complete with elastic waist backing) is a highlight of the kit
The waist has a notch which fits into the lower torso without any problems and there was a little clean-up to be done which took only ten minutes. Once glued together the joint is seamless.
The arms are adorned in the leather jacket and fit into the notches in the torso quite well. Once joined to the body the gaps disappear and the body and the arms sit quite naturally together. The hands are wearing gloves and Mölders is making the action of pulling one on tighter – you can see this when the arms and hands are in place. The leather can be seen to be stretched as it is being pulled on – it’s very well sculpted.
The torso together showing Mölders pulling on his gloves
The lower torso and the britches that adorn it are again mirroring the jacket in that they have definition and lifelike shape to them but are not too busy. They are nicely wide just above the knees and taper to fit into the boots.
Mölders wearing his britches
The slots which fit into the boots
The boots come attached to a casting block which is removed with no real hassle. I can say that once the extra resin is removed the figure stands freely on its own – the posture of the figure is lifelike and not at all taking away from the figure itself. The boots are next – first of all the real deal
And the resin replicas…
The flying boots here are replicated again spot on. The zipper on the insides, the straps which hold the zipper up - and the buckles on the outsides of the boots are replicated here in fine detail. You can see the pullers on the zips and the extra leather sticking out of the buckle. From the head to toe this figure – I just cannot fault it. On to the built figure…
I have constructed this figure of Mölders to show you how he goes together – it took me an hour or so being very careful to get every seam right and to make sure I did nothing wrong. The time with this sculpture would be in the painting to bring out the superlative detail. I am not that good! So below this are pictures of the great Ernesto’s painting on the boxart. Enjoy the pictures…
If you can ignore the marching music there is a neat little video of Mölders here on YouTube which shows many pictures and vision of the man for modelling reference.
An excellent thread of this figure being painted by master painter Ernesto Reyes is here and below is the images of how a real pro can make this amazing kit look...
The only thing I would add to this kit is the inclusion maybe of some flight equipment like Mölders has just jumped out of his plane. Maybe a life vest – but really that would be it. I am blown away by the likeness of the figure the fine detail sculpted and the little touches like the gloves, clothing and boots being so realistic and ho they sit on the body. The packaging is impressive and I can see this would be an amazing gift to any modeller – not just a figure or Luftwaffe fanatic. Really (really) well done Alpine.