Monday, March 24

We review two of Stalingrad's new Soviet attackers (& we preview the other eight as well) from their new "Berlin 1945" set of figures

We thought we would see what a sample of the ten (yes 10)  figures set depicting the soviet take over of Berlin in 1945 from Stalingrad Miniatures was like - we have previewed the set before but now two of the figures from the set get the full build review today...

Millions of Soviets and their allies streamed into a defeated Germany the one place left on all of the General’s lips was Berlin. This was the real prize Stalin wanted for his nation’s pride and the challenge went out to this generals to captures it first.
The very famous pictures (re-enacted for the cameras) that captured the raising of the red flag over the Reichstag in was achieved by forces of General Chuikov, commander of the Soviet 8th Guards Army. I never realized before now that the soldier in the photo holding onto his comrade had a second watch he was wearing scratched out of the picture – as he had probably looted it! Also additional smoke was added for dramatic effect. IT was a race to put out the first picture of the war’s end. Even when fighting had not finished in Berlin at that time.
Even at this point the fighting was still going on in the streets around this area – the Zoo FlaK tower was one of the last buildings to surrender. This was a fight to the death for many soldiers.  This fight is depicted into his ten figure set from Stalingrad Miniatures.
There are some great figures in this set - but we thought we would look at two of them to show you how they fit together and what the quality of the sculpt is. Firstly let’s look at what is common to both soldiers in this set.

All of Stalingrad’s figures come in grey resin, all come in a zip loc bag and they are connected to little pouring blocks which helps keep them safe during travel and on the soldier’s bases gives you something to hold onto whilst you are painting them.

The resin is bubble free and it is pretty free of excess materials or release agent. There is a little extra resin in places to remove but it isn’t anything serious past a little scrape with the hobby knife. The detail that is sculpted into both of these figures is very finely done indeed.

On to the two figures now…

Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
# 3041
Produced by:
 Stalingrad Miniatures
Sculpted by: Alexander Zelenkov
1/35th scale
5 parts of grey resin comprising two figures.
Available from Stalingrad Miniatures Distributors
Sculpted by the owner of Stalingrad Miniatures Mr Alexander Zelenkov, this infantryman is seen in an all-action pose firing his gun at the enemy.

The one head choice is seen in a soft folding M1935 forage cap. His star on the front of the cap makes way of this soldier’s almost collapsed looking face which wraps around his large teeth and a soft chin. Alexander really does know how to do faces in an interesting and empathic manner. You so not see many faces like this in such a small scale sculpt.
The neck is sometimes a sticking point with Stalingrad miniatures. They are made to go on in a certain way – this is the only place where you really need to take care to get it all aligned completely correctly as it only goes on one way. You need to find that position before you superglue it on otherwise you will have a “slit” throat effect. This one did fit perfectly but I had to trim some excess and practice fit first.
He is warmly clad in his padded "Telogreika" jacket and padded, wide trousers are a common theme in this set of attackers of Berlin in 1945 the wrinkles in his padded stitched segment jacket bulge and wrinkle with his movement  and the buttons that secure the jacket bulge at the stretching of the upper torso.
As well as high boots that meets the padded knees and the wide britches to the hip. I am glad this is cast in one part and you do not have to do any unnecessary “joining at the hip” On his rear torso also carries a grenade on his hip, a “meshok” forage bag on his back which has moulded on straps to secure it.
Moulded separately and with attachment points to the hands with slight hollows he carries a fast firing PPsh 41 “Pe-Pe-Sha” stamped steel machine gun – popular for lots of rounds real fast on the enemy. He has it to his shoulder as he sights the enemy.
The arms fit on easily and there were no gaps in the shoulders. They locked into the shoulder sideboards which made their positioning all the easier and I actually put him together without a care. The gun fit perfectly to where the arms were positioned.
Here he is put together…
He kind of reminds me of the soldiers I used to get as a child – good quality, sculpted by real people and carefully quality controlled – these had real “action” poses that you seldom see in figure modelling (a bit of pointing is usually it). These soldiers from Stalingrad show these men in action doing what soldiers do – especially the Soviets who were famous and feared for massed charges on the enemy.
And here is the figure painted up by Alexander  showing you what you could achieve

Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
# 3046
Produced by:
 Stalingrad Miniatures
Sculpted by: Alexander Zelenkov
1/35th scale
8 parts of grey resin comprising two figures.
Available from Stalingrad Miniatures Distributors

You can see the picture here that inspired the figure – this Guardsman running through piles of rubble.
The second figure of this berlin set we will look at comes in eight parts of grey resin. The large flat pouring block on the running figure’s torso acts as a good rest if you want to put the figure down whilst you are painting it ( that is if you want to paint it minus the head in section).
The figure depicts a Red army soldier running hard at the front with his PPsh-41 “Pe-Pe-Sha” stamped steel machine gun at the ready. His large coat is flowing in the wind and action of the moment as he charges “head down bum up” at the enemy.
The head of this soldier fits neatly into an M1942 steel pattern post-Barbarossa helmet. The head features are surprisingly sparse for a Stalingrad Miniatures figure. To be honest a lot is hidden by the very large helmet but I do expect the face to be the focal point of Alexander’s figures. This one is just “a” face and nothing like some of his other work. The pictures I had are a bit useless as they were not clear enough to do him or you the reader justice. So I’ll rely on the build pictures to show you how his face looked.

The torso is a real study of movement. Dominated by his billowing coat, this thick garment is the star of this sculpt and Alexander really does give an impression with this figure that he is flat out as he bee-lines it for cover/the enemy.
Split at the waist and flowing open to reveal high boots and padded trousers I noticed that this soldier carries a German made bread bag on hid belt hip along with a round spare MG mag and an entrenching tool. Even the bread bag looks like it is flapping with the movement of this figure.

Again there is a different pouring block with a PPsh-41 sub-machine gun – just as well cast as his comrade’s one we looked at earlier. This is added to with a wrapped in canvas entrenching spade and a spare magazine drum for his machine gun. These both sit separately on his waist.
Again the arms fit into the shoulders and are locked in location via the shoulder boards of his coat. Again they fit perfectly and the gun fit straight into them via some little hollows in the sleeve cuffs. This is a well-engineered figure.
Here he is together. You can see his face here is mostly hidden and I suppose that is why there wasn't as much time spent on this as his other sculpts. It looks plenty good enough for me anyway.
Depending on the slight orientation of this figure you can pose him slightly down or upwards – this makes a difference in the body language and how much of the face you will see.

And here is the figure painted up by Alexander  showing you what you could achieve
So that is two of the ten figures made up. This shows me that these are in line with the usual quality of Stalingrad’s releases and that Alexander has lost none of his very deft touch. I always enjoy putting his figures together and I know from comments on them I am not alone. These are popular with good reason – a very nice pair of figures that set the tone for the rest of the series.
You can buy this and all of their other excellent kits can see on the Stalingrad web-site  - thanks to them for this kit to build and review. 

The rest of this set from Stalingrad
"Big Set - Russian Infantrymen, Berlin 1945"
The set includes 10 figures 

We will have a look at the rest of the figures in this set each in detail – but first Alexander from Stalingrad who sculpted these sent us some atmospheric shots he used in the crafting and Imagining of this large set of Russian soldiers storming Berlin in the last battle for Europe in WWII..
S-3047 - Russian Infantrymen, Berlin 1945
This is a fine pair in this one box – it encompasses the officer – leaning over to look at where his soldier’s attention is focused at in the distance, somewhere in the rubble.
The Officer wears a leather coat with his large guard’s sideboards obvious as the red star on his officer’s cap. He carries a Luger in his right hand (with holster on his belt) and a map case on his left hip. I like the way his coat is hanging downwards towards the way he is leaning.
You can see here in the picture that spawned this figure the officer in the middle of these soldiers – his leather jacket and cap prominent.
The other soldier who is lying prone on the ground is in a more typical garb for a soldier, his tunic and leggings are nicely wrinkled with movement as he wriggles across the ground for a better look.
He is carrying a late war  7,62 mm PPS-43 SMG with banana shaped magazine and you can see by looking closely his medal on his chest is hanging straight down in a natural way – very nice sculpting again.

In the picture below you can see just how the red army man is lying down and inching his way forward.

S-3048 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945    
This soldier looks to me like a junior officer/nco in the red army. He is winding up just about to throw his pineapple grenade at those German beasts. Again he carries a late war model PPS-43 SMG – you can tell it apart from the earlier PPsh 41 by the metal stock and thin, bent magazine.
He wears a padded hat called an “ushanka” that has fold down ear pads to protect him from the cold of winter as well as a medium length coat over his padded trousers and boots covered with wrappings that act as galoshes. 

S-3049 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
This last figure comes with a bit of Berlin with him! The figure includes a small part of the base which is basically resin bricks for the red army soldier to walk on and make sure he is correctly posed.
Like his comrade he has short boots with wrappings/galoshes and thick trousers under a warm double breasted overcoat. On his back is his “meshok” forage bag which carried pretty much anything he could carry. And he wears on top of his head the standard Red Army soldier’s helmet.
You can see in this famous picture of two soldiers – wrapped against the cold looking onto Berlin’s famous main street and large winged statue. Iconic. Notice his “meshok” forage bag? Well done Alexander!

# 3042 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
 This soldier of the Soviet army carries a large light machine gun – the Degtyaryov machine gunDP-28 at his hip in a firing or ready to fire stance as he scans the distance.
He is wearing a steel Russian standard helmet with a thick greatcoat covering much of his uniform and only his boots are showing. Over his coat he wears a large satchel band with two of the large round magazines for his MG inside with a wrap around his chest

# 3043 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
this hard fightin’ comrade wear a padded hat called an “ushanka” that has fold down ear pads to protect him from the cold of winter though this one has the flaps tied up for ventilation. He also wears the padded "Telogreika" jacket and field trousers with high boots. You can see his padded knees built into his pants and the detail around his padded jacket especially at the waist which looks very good in this sculpt.
On his back he carries one of the late war  7,62 mm PPS-43 SMG’s that were favoured for close combat in house to house fighting – ohh and just in case you missed it he is brandishing a large “panzerfaust” anti-tank (and building) rocket which he is aiming at something unfortunate in the distance. He also carries a synthetic leather map pouch on his rear as well as a knife on his belt – armed to the teeth!.

# 3044 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945
This infantryman is brandishing his PPsh 41 “Pe-Pe-Sha” at the ready on his shoulder in a firing position. He has some spare rounds on his hip in a carry pouch and a pineapple grenade on his hip just in case.
He is in the classic kneeling pose wearing his padded "Telogreika" jacket and field issue trousers as well as high boots and an “ushanka” hat on his head.

# 3045 - Russian Infantryman, Berlin 1945

Looking like he is scurrying across the street this soldier carries a captured Sturmgewehr 44 fully automatic assault rifle captured from the Nazis and treasured not only a war prize but a great battlefield weapon by the soviets & allies. He has standard clips in their holsters attached to his belt.

Wearing not only his padded "Telogreika" jacket and padded pants over some boots insulated luge wraps and an “ushanka” hat on his head he looks like he is in a hurry!