Thursday, November 3

Review - Alpine Miniatures Kit35123: WW2 Italian AFV Officer

The second of Alpine Miniature’s releases for the month and today we have something different - an Italian AFV Officer from WWII – Everyone is begging for something apart from another German figure – well here is your chance guys! This figure combines with the earlier Italian officer to make a pair of Italian tanker crew – (set 35124) - time to see if he lives up to his partner’s high standards for figures from Alpine….

Construction Review: Alpine Miniatures
Kit: 35123: WW2 Italian AFV Officer
Scale: 1/35
Parts: 7 (including two heads)
Resin parts
Ages: 14 and over
Available from: Alpine Miniatures Distributors

A few months ago Alpine Miniatures from the U.S. - under direction of talented Sculptor Taesung Harms released two figures to make two different sets – one of the DAK Fallschirmjägers and the other of a pair of Italian AFV officers – we have been waiting for the two pairs to made complete – but wait no longer as they are upon us! We showed you the second DAK Paratrooper last week – this week we go all “Parla Italiano” and reveal the second Italian AFV Officer.

The set of Italian AFV crew combined 35124 + 35123

This kit in light grey resin come in seven pieces and as is the trademark if you like with Alpine comes with the choice of two different heads with alternate headgear. Let’s start at the top and work out way down…
The two heads are very similar in appearance but not the same – the first head has a “Bustina” cap on as well as the unusual shaped (I would say quite stylish) Italian dust goggles which are triangular with rounded edges which were shaded dark brown to work against the sunlight You can see the soldier’s hair finely coming from under the Bustina. Which is detailed by the badge in the middle of the cap and fine buckles on the goggle straps.

The second head choice wears a peaked tropical field cap with the soldiers being different in that his face has a very fine moustache and goatee beard - if you want him clean-shaven that’s an easy change of course – but it’s nice to have a choice to make him look like an Italian officer by adding his ‘tashe. As he is wearing no goggles you can clearly make out the unit badge on the officer’s cap (I thought it was a carri armato badge that consists of a flaming grenade (pointed up) over two crossing canons. - but I cannot be 100% sure) the hat is a tropical soft cap with a small visor.

The torso is shown with the soldier’s stance slightly right leg forward. The torso is draped in the standard tropical “Sahariana” – which was in tropical use of a light material often cotton or even linen in some cases. You can see the tell-tale signs of this garment right down to the pleat in middle of the jacket and the patterns of the pockets on the front, as well as the pattern of the garment around the rear. Alpine have rendered this piece of clothing so well you can see the two buttons on the soldier’s cuffs, and I think I can see a button holding down the rear collar as well! The front of the Sahariana has the tell-tale baggy square pockets either side of the front at the bottom of it. Some study went into my research and I know by this that Alpine did their homework as well!

The Officer’s shoulder boards here are of note – you can make out the one star and the tankers badge which denotes him as a Maggiore (or Major’s rank). This fine detail is really evident in the sculpt as my attempt at macro photography shows – amazing work for the scale and the detail shown. You just do not see this on injection moulded figures.

An illustration of the Majors shoulder boards - I think they nailed it
The torso of the figure has a lovely moulded belt of which you can see the patterns of the stitching on the back of the soldier. To this belt over the shoulder is a strap and he also has a small pouch on his right-hand side, while on his left is a notch and flat part of the belt with fits neatly into the holster for small “Sam Browne” Beretta 1933 pistol that is moulded separately and is attached to the arm casting block.The soldier’s torso is further detailed by an excellent belt buckle and some desert tropical field glasses
The AFV Officer has some nicely baggy flared breeches tucked into his Jackboots which are laced at the ankle down. The figure stands quite well without having to give it any help. You can see by the photo below of these two AFV Officers a mix of what this soldier is wearing – the boots, the Sahariana with the shoulder strap and Beretta holster, the breeches and the Bustina cap.
The arm casting block features the two arms of course and the Beretta Pistol Holster with its trademark leather strap in evidence. As I mentioned earlier you can see the double buttoned cuff of the soldier’s sleeve which was evident on the jacket he is wearing. You can see the tendons in the hands and the wrinkles in the clothing are naturalistic without going over the top.
Notice the notch to attach the pistol in a solid hold
The Officer’s right arm and hand are at rest whereas the left hand is in “teapot” style on his left hip. Engineering wise there is a slight indentation for this hand to rest into – very nice work on the fit as everything went together easily and the whole figure took about twenty minutes to construct with some superglue and accelerant.

Seams, tendons of the hand and buttons are clearly evident in 1/35
The figure stands well and looks naturalistic and looks true to scale when together – nothing looks out of place or awkward. Some pictures of the figure completed but unpainted
What is there left to say about this little figure? I hope it does well for Alpine, as much as people say “not another German figure” the other nation’s figures often don’t sell as well as the German figure.

Here you have an Axis soldier – superlatively sculpted and detailed – a large chunk of research has gone into his creation and he has the choice of two lifelike heads, He looks the part and would fit into many different scenarios and theatres - really what more excuse do you have from breaking out of the mould and getting a different figure for your diorama?

Adam Norenberg

You can get these Figures at Alpine Miniatures Distributors Here - Thanks to Alpine for letting me build their figure sets

There are some excellent pictures from Alpine’s site of this figure painted up (and with his partnered figure) painted by Man-Jin Kim – Wow is all I can say!
And this soldier with the first figure in the set -( 35124 + 35123 combined to make the set) painted in this case again by Man-Jin Kim, both are available now from Alpine's distributors