Thursday, November 29

From the big set – we review three of Stalingrad’s Latest figures from the battle of Velikiye Luki

Stalingrad resin figures from Russia have a great name for themselves in the modelling world for producing very original sculpts with great facial features and a certain charm and character to them – we will see for ourselves when we build three figures from their latest big set – soldiers from the Battle of Velikiye Luki on the eastern front of ‘42/’43….

Reviewed here:
3581 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43 (6 Parts)
3582 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43 (9 Parts)
3583 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43 (9 Parts)
Material: Grey Resin
These figures are now available from Stalingrad’s Distributors
Stalingrad resin figures from Russia have a new collection in their cannon - depicting the German soldiers in the little known - but very important historically – battle of Velikiye Luki on the eastern front in the winter of 1942 / 1943. This is a ten part set that includes soldiers doing lots of different things in naturalistic poses. We have the first three in the set we thought we would build for you and show you their quality

German Infantrymen, winter 1942-45 Big Set
During the Battle for Velikiye Luki (in late 1942), a German force of about 20,000 were encircled in the town which had been turned into a fortress. After months of heavy fighting, the German defenders were finally wiped out in January 1943. As a result of this siege, the town suffered almost total destruction. This is the inspiration of this set from Stalingrad Miniatures. These figures really do look war weary and very cold! YOu can see by the pictures below what they had to fight through in the village.

Let’s look at all three of these figures quickly together before we construct them individually.

All three of these figures are cast in light grey resin – easy to work and low on odour every part is very sharply sculpted, there are no resin bubbles and the textures on the surface are smooth – as well as the good job done on the casting process the detail of each of these figures parts is very precise and the sculptor should be congratulated for including detail and not overdoing it. Nothing is glossed over here either, no shortcuts are taken in the engineering or in the parts you cannot see either.

This picture here is - if you look closely at these people in the centre and left - a certain influence for two of the sculpts
As well as the top job on the casting and sculpting the figures are well engineered. The arms, legs and weapons and equipment all fit quite well. There are only one or two minor seams that I have found in the construction and in the places where equipment is added to the figure there is a slight indentation for the solid part to fit to the figure. I like companies who care about how you get to the finished project.
One thing I must mention is the quality of the faces this company produce. Like an artist’s painting style they look similar to each other – but they do look unique. The sculptor has a very interesting style which conveys the character in his work’s faces. You can tell a Stalingrad figure right away by the face – yet no two look exactly alike – I really like what they do there.

Each of these boxes comes with the figure individually in a well presented black box with the painted figure on the front   and a “Enjoy your Hobby” on the inside of the box – I like that. The figure on the front of the box is your painting guide. Inside the box the parts come on casting blocks which are fairly easy to remove apart from the helmets which are joined onto a block at the rear at the thinnest part. Just take your time and these come off easily without damage to the parts as well. The rest of my parts for these three kits we are looking at came off quite easily.
So it is all positive news so far – let’s look at each figure and how they go together…

3581 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43
This soldier looks to me like a junior officer or an NCO. He carries an MP40 machine pistol and no real extra equipment apart from that except his small field glasses. This makes me think he is a senior soldier in the group.
He has a slightly piggish face which is really interesting and chubby at the cheeks. Along with his reversible winter parka and warm weather pants this solder also wears some leggings over his lace up M-37 boots (wouldn’t like doing them up in the cold)  The torso of the figure is wrinkly in the way that looks naturalistic and the cords holding together the waist and the neck are fine and give the body some detail and life.
The helmet fits onto the flat head – and this is the only think I feel may have been done differently – maybe a choice of heads with the helmet joined on? A flat head leaves little or no room for error and a choice of a second head would be nice. The head fits into the rumples neck parka in an unconventional but really nice joint. It makes this figure feel bespoke though at first you don't think this joint will work – it does fit just fine.
The MP40 is really well detailed and the folded stock looks great tucked underneath the gun. The hands join into the sleeves quite easily and look realist and take no surgery to fit. This combined with the head join make for a nice bit of engineering. The field glasses are a short pair a little like the Zeiss 6x30 binocular that many soldiers were issued with on the front lines at that time.
Here he is built up. Slightly larger than the other figures by a sight margin – it lends to him being the still centre of attention of this group.
3582 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43
This soldier is seen is seen standing still holding on to his rifle – looking straight ahead. Around his torso are some rather interesting warm weather mittens..

The soldier comes with nine separate parts – all on casting blocks, this soldier is a corporal as you can see the stripes on his large thick greatcoat. The torso is one piece as the legs are joined - creating a seamless form of the coat that is buttoned at the front and features around the waist his leather main belt with ammo pouches for his rifle.
The rifle and hand that joins it are finely sculpted and are attached to the casting block which - after a bit of careful cutting around the barrel give you a great representation of a Mauser.98K. He is holding it in his right hand and it crosses the body slightly. He is holding it at the easiest part for balance so it looks realistic.
Again this soldier has an M-40 standard issue helmet – with the excellent interior webbing which it is a shame to say you will never see due to the head being flat. So the helmet has to stay on! Again it’s a shame we don't have a choice her but that is just me being a spoilt brat. There is enough choice and diversity in the “big set” in this group to pick just what you want. I would like an extra choice though.
The face itself again is excellent. It is a longer and thinner face than the previous figure – with a skinny nose that has a tip at the end of it. This is the face of a weary soldier here with great detail and character. The head is wrapped in a warm cloth that goes under the steel helmet.
The soldier’s equipment is augmented by an M-31 Canteen and the M-31 bread bag. These fit into the torso again in a slightly indented footprint which helps the superglue adhere the parts more accurately and securely. These are very finely cast with buckles and straps which will look great under a little bit of dry brushing.   The arms fit onto the figure through the unconventionally not flat but good joints. Any gap in the seams of the coat looks like it is meant to be there. Again this shows some nice engineering from the sculptor and the people editing this kit.
The soldier carries draped around his neck some very large winter mittens. These sit on the soldier’s torso and look in the picture of him together that they are magically sitting there. You will need to add some thread to these to make them attach to the soldier – and that is the only thing I would add to him.Here he is built up...

3583 - German Infantryman, Velikiye Luki, winter 1942-43
This, the third of the soldiers we will review, is a soldier pointing off to the side to direct other soldiers in the “big” set – whilst his comrades look on. He consists of eight parts of grey resin.
Different to the others only in some of his equipment to his brethren in this set. I think I could have secured his M-40 steel helmet a little better to his head – it is a very precise fit on this figure – you have to get it just right and I think I am slightly off in my placement. The face is again pretty thin and lifelike – he is yelling instructions to his compatriots whilst keeping his ears warm in a blanket which sits inside his helmet.  Like I said I would take his helmet off and secure it a little better next time. Again the insides of this helmet look amazing but you won’t ever see them as the head is a flat one.
The soldier’s torso is attached to a casting block at the feet which is an easy removal. The body has a long great coat on which goes down past his knees and underneath them and his warm pants has some thick long boots on. One peculiarity with this and the last figure is the resin supports which join to the legs. This takes just a little time to remove but doesn't have to be there at all. His right arm is bent whilst he holds onto his rifle strap.
Again the Mauser 98K attaches to the back of the soldier in a small indentation on the small of his back. The straps which the soldier is holding onto joins exactly correctly to the rifle slung over his shoulder.. The rifle again comes on a casting block and this is a delicate but simple task to free it and secure it to the torso.

Equipment wise this soldier carries two Model 24 “Stielhandgranate” (stick grenades) and a thick belt with the ammo pouches for his Mauser bolt action rifle. On his belt he also carries a finely moulded trio of an entrenching tool, a bayonet and a mess tin. These fit into the slight indentations on the torso which help place and secure them. These little impressions make for an easy fit on the figure - and with the extra equipment on the body the depth of the figure is further fleshed out.

Here he is built up (note his helmet is at a slightly jaunty angle)
These figures have a nice natural feeling to them that – just in this small group – look great together and I think they will fit into any winter diorama you have in mind. They are finely sculpted, have some great detail in their clothing and weapons and most importantly they  have really great facial detail which separate them from other figures on the market – you won’t see faces like this anywhere else on the market – the sculptor’s unique style make these a great set for your collection – they come well recommended!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Stalingrad for sending these great figures for us to make and review.