Thursday, March 7

Alpine Miniatures 35153 WSS Grenadier Set in 1/35 review

 Just released on the Alpine Website is this set of two SS Grenadiers in 35th scale – sold singly or as a pair we thought we would look a little closer at them in our review as well as putting them together…

2 figures (both also sold separately as 35151 & 35152)
Grey resin – 14 parts.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Man-Jin Kim

We got these in the post a day or so ago – the new set from Alpine Miniatures of their two individual figure sets which make this combo – “35153 WSS Grenadier Set 1/35” we noticed straight away 9 and thought we should tell you) that the excellent colour on the boxes of Alpine has changed to a slightly darker shade – just in case you think someone has sold you a copy it is a genuine item!!

The small see thru plastic container holds two re-sealable plastic bags each with resin figures inside. The arms and the extra weapons are held in place and protected from damage by being attached to the casting blocks by small connections. These are in good spots for easy removal. You must however be careful on the neck of the 35152 figure which is joined at the neck – just take care you get the right angle when removing the block so his head sits at the right angle.
The resin on offer isn’t too smelly and is easy to shape and work. There are two small joins on the inside rear of the helmets that must be removed – these I think are there for strength in transit. They are also an easy removal – just take some care and it is like it was never there. The resin is bubble free and as we will see in this review very fine in detail – I thought I would examine them both in detail separately and then together – so that if you only wanted one of these figures (witch I think is doubtful) you could see just him. – Anyway first figure is first…

Sculpture by Taesung Harmms / Boxart by Man-Jin Kim
This figure contains seven parts of grey resin including the choice – like all of Alpine’s figures – of two headgear options. Although both are the M-43 steel helmet with the distinctive flattened brim, one has a cloth camo cover on his complete with loops to attach local foliage. Both of the faces are the same and are finely detailed. This soldier has a flat nose and seems to be slightly squinting under his helmet.

Next is the soldier’s torso - he wears a three quarter length Waffen SS “Windblusen” or winter jacket. These fur-lined, field-grey, anoraks with integral hoods were widely used by SS men and this example looks great pinched under the soldier’s gear – especially the opened hood and the wrinkled padded sleeves. The detail of this coat is excellent in this scale – especially the fur on the open parts around the neck and sleeves which is amazing work to behold. So fine it could well look exactly like a fur neck with proper careful painting.
Moulded onto his torso are several ammo pouches for his rifle off his webbing and standard issue enlisted ranks buckle belt Also of special note are the soldier’s winter Oak leaf pattern mittens, which again have lovely fur to be seen inside the lining of them. He wore these over his leather gloves. To “top off” this soldier’s torso he wears nicely sculpted reversible pants with neat seams in all the right places an marching boots on his feet.

As a personal weapon this soldier is the “soldier’s bride” - his Kar.98 which is attached to the casting block with a few slight strips of resin which are easy to remove.

The rifle attaches to the rear torso of this soldier via a hole in his rear that joins with a little nib on the rifle stock. This and the strap join up the weapon to the soldier’s body; they aren’t so much a fastener as much as they are a locator on the body.
Also on the rear of the torso is a sheathed entrenching tool which has a hollowed out nub in the soldier’s left rear hip. This helps the shovel and sheath stay attached to the body whilst it does sit OFF the body – just like in real life.
While we are on this casting block we have the two arms of the soldier that are sculpted so they sit at precisely the right angle for it to be a little swung back in a natural walking motion. The gloves he is wearing and coat fit perfectly in with the jacket and looks like they are a natural part of his body. Again there are small – very small holes in the sleeves where the other parts of the figure lock into it. This excellent engineering make the figure very solid after completion – it is a reason this company is so well respected in the business.  They always seem to be ahead of other figure makers in the engineering of their kits.
And here he is all completed...

Sculpture by Taesung Harmms / Boxart by Man-Jin Kim
Again this second figure has the choice of two heads included in the pack. He wears either the rumpled SS officer’s Schirmmütze cap or the M-43 steel helmet (your choice) the flattened officer’s helmet is suitable bent in the style of the “Alter Hasse” or old hares – who used this worn look as a sign of time served and seniority. The straight M43 is seen without cover or any other accessories but is a totally acceptable alternative.

The face is high in the cheekbone and broad of the nose but altogether different to his companion in the matching figure. The hair under the officer’s cap makes this a more interesting choice for me.
 This NCO wears a non-standard and not often seen short animal skin fur coat over his field grey standard tunic. This looks very warm and the fur that is cleverly exposed almost could be a bit of “look I can do this” as it looks realistic and in scale whilst not to mention quite well executed. It must be a hard game starting your own figure business with this type of standard to live up to.

On the tunic of the NCO you can see his SS runes but not his exact rank as that collar is obscured with a fur lining of the coat. The coat itself has some large rolls over the surfaces which pretty accurately depict folds in a coat as thick as this. His long reversible trousers are similar and you can tell by the look they are thick and weighty.  Again on this torso the fur lining is slightly popping out of the neck, sleeves and waist and it looks impressive.
The MP40 ammo pouches hang off his NCO’s/officer’s two pronged belt webbing. He also carries some German 6 x 30 Doppelfernrohr or field glasses that could be painted with ordnance tan finish if desired on your figure - but here uses a molded rubber protective cover for the eyepieces connected around the neck with a leather strap. He also carries a p-38 pistol in a hard case. Again this has a notch in the rear hip of this soldier which attaches and locates the pistol in place.
The NCO carries an MP-40 sub-machine pistol which comes on another casting block with a gloved hand attached rather like the “Adams Family’s” “Thing” character! This gloved hand slits into the furry collar of one of the arms which is also on a separate casting block. It has a hollowed out part under the arm for his weapon to sit ever-so snugly inside his are. Mr Harms is indeed a good sculptor and somewhat of an excellent figure engineer.
Again here he is by himself fully assembled...

Sculpture by Taesung Harmms / Boxart by Man-Jin Kim
This is the sum of the two figures – and we see them relating to each other in a very much leader and follower role. These soldiers are walking along with each other with the NCO obviously the leader of the pair.

His companion is looking over his shoulder at something whilst going forward; they make a very natural and not overly posed set. This is often a complaint of figure collectors – that you cannot have a scene of twenty guys giving orders or pointing. These guys look like do-ers and not talkers!
I like the fact that there are subtle differences in each of these figures. The belts, the uniforms and weapons, headgear and equipment – even the addition of the binoculars and the mittens are different and add something original to both soldiers. They are different but complement each other very well.
Well done Alpine on another set that is sure to sell very well – excellent work especially in the detail of the sculpting and the smart engineering work.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to the people at Alpine for sending me this to build - it is available right now from Alpine Miniature’s distributors worldwide

Some of our other reviews of Alpine Miniatures figures are here

Here are some shots of the figure assembled and painted up by the excellent figure artist Man-Jin Kim