Saturday, July 5

Review: Alpine Minature's new panzer commander figure set in 35th scale..

Hot on the Heels of their U-boat leather clad panzer commanders of last month Alpine Miniatures gives us more in this rich vein by the way of two panzer commanders in all black from head to toe. Let’s have a look at this new pair of 35th scale figures in our review.
Panzer Commander #1
35175
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

Panzer Commander #2
35176
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

Panzer Commander Set
(2 figures)
35177
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

These figures are now available from Alpine Miniatures Distributors Worldwide

Alpine Miniatures have made a name for themselves internationally as one of – if not the best model making company producing figures today. With the talented artist’s work we see here every day in this office this pinnacle really is a high achievement.

The impressive boxart painting is done again superbly by Dr. Jin Kim
They pioneered the use of two different heads for each figure, their packaging is eye catching and unique and their figures – well we haven’t had a bad one in here. The thing is now I look extra hard for that slip up – that problem or mis-shaped form. It’s hard to not be complimentary. The one thing that many modellers (often shouting on forums) is that all too often the subjects they make.  

The 1/35th scale figure business is full of hero like Germanic propaganda poster types that should be on the cover of “signal” magazine. The fact is WWII German figures sell probably three to one over any other type in this scale. Alpine therefore often give people what sells. On first look this set is exactly what people seem to want.

Panzermen for the German army are in shorter supply than ever - i mean if you had one for each of the tanks in your stash most people would have a small army...

The headgear and short black panzer wrap jackets along with the medals these soldiers are wearing and lastly the radio cans,collars and patches all mach the sculpting on both of these figures in the finest detail..

The subjects of this release (who look a little like our examples in the gallery) are two single 35th scale figures of a pair of German tank commanders from WWII. Seen in the box art all in black with silver piping and medals they sure are the poster boy types – you could imagine them as blonde haired and blue eyed but the box art painter Dr. Jin Kim has made ‘em dark haired.
Enough propaganda – Let’s look at the resin on hand. Both of these figures are sold as a set or as single commanders. So we will review the three releases here in this report.

These figures are cast in light grey resin with no bubbles to ruin the surface texture and no real imperfections in the casting process I can see. There is a slight crease of resin on the rear of the heads that takes a scrape or two of the hobby knife to remove.
The figures are supplied in the regular Alpine Miniatures clear and Kiwi green box that I like a lot. You get the same box no matter if you get one or two figures.

They are quite different even though they are wearing almost the same clothes – some subtle differences make them distinct enough to make a real difference to them that modellers will notice. let's look at them both in turn in more detail..







Panzer Commander #1
35175
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

This figure is seen looking on with his right arm resting on his small opticals and his left palm leaning on the tank’s turret. He is an Army (Heer) tanker tough he wears all black with the familiar pink (Waffenfarbe Rosa)  ribbing around his headgear. He is made up of six parts of grey resin all needing to be removed from casting blocks. Luckilly this takes only the shortest time with these as they are placed in sensible places.
He has the choice of two headgear in this with the same face – one wears the Panzer Officers Visor or “crusher” cap. Notice how it is sculpted in a flattened and beaten up fashion as was common with the tankers of the time.
The other head choice is the M40 overseas cap (Feldmütze  M40) It is lower sitting on the front and back and it arches up on the side of the head.

This figure's communication device on both heads is the Panzer Headset & Throat Microphone. These headband & rubber cupped ear pieces Dfh.b model headphones and throat mic (Dfh.b - Doppelfernhörer, (Double Telephone Receiver) were normally found in use in Panzers and other tracked and AVF’s of the German Reich. They are well represented and notable inclusions here. These sit prominently on top of and push down the servicemen's caps they are wearing.The throatmic's also pinch slightly at the neck just above this figure's collar...
His torso is adorned with a lot of detail for you to pick out when painting this figure, he wears the national eagle symbol on his upper breast with the German Gold Cross or Deutsches Kreuz on his right breast of the jacket – this was a very special award given for extraordinary bravery or for exceptional merit at command of units on the battlefield. You only got this award after gaining was the Iron Cross 1st Class or Clasp to the Iron Cross 1. Class. The knight’s Cross could be awarded for just one act of merit but to receive the German Cross many acts were required. In practice, it took eight acts for officers and six for ordinary soldiers or Manschaften.
On his left breast he wears the iron cross and tank assault badge. The Panzer Assault Badge was dedicated to tank crews or tank units and the prerequisite for awarding this medal were at least three tank interventions or actions in three different days.  

His jacket and pants are both wrinkled in the sculpt most impressively especially where they gather at the belt and the long boots this soldier is wearing. You can even see the thinnest of laces here on this figure as well -  this figure is really very impressive
Along with his all black panzer wrap you can see his pants and shirt boots which make up the rest of the figure. It’s nice to see him here in full length even though his body under the belt isn't often seen. You can see the subtle and finest circular patterns on this captured red army officer's belt as well. 


This Russian officer's belt is the one captured in the review - fancy stitching on the belt is captured here very finely
On the left rear hip the soldier has a notch in which his large Walther pistol holster sits in tightly. this means you can paint it and secure it separately and it will stay there..


The figure's arms and pistol come on a separate pouring block - these are a cinch to remove after a quick dry-fit
Building this figure took only some 15 minutes and some superglue - Here the figure is with both head choices - firstly the peaked officer's cap. Notice all of the seams on the arms eliminate any potential gaps. The kit's construction is very well thought out.



The other head choice Feldmütze  M40-  notice both of these headgears are squeezed ad squashed down very  realistically by the radio cans. 










Panzer Commander #2
35176
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim





Taesung Harmms sculpted these figures and the boxart  for both is again Dr. Jin Kim. He is made of four parts of grey resin and like his co-commander he is attached to small pouring blocks which take a few easy snips to be removed.
The companion to the first figure is seen in a much more relaxed pose than his brethren. He has – like the other figure two choices of headgear which is nice – he is wearing the officer’s Feldmütze forage cap again though this time he has some round dust goggles strapped to his head as well which gives this same head choice a very different look. 
 M-43 Field Cap choice
He also wears the Bergemutze M-43 field cap which has a very flat and broad brim to it. Noticeably with of these hats do not have any pink piping of the tank corps painted on them in the box art and as an NCO there is no silver piping.
He has much more of a closed body language with his arms folded on his chest. His double breasted black panzer wrap tunic. (Feldjacke für Panzertruppe) This jacket is seen here without all of the medals and field glasses that his comrade has on his torso. He could therefore be used as a trouper if you like and so maybe you could use them in the same tank – it would be a waste though almost to use them on just ONE vehicle..
The second pattern Panzer field jacket has some large collars which are slightly trapped by his bare shoulder boards. He has the death’s head emblem on his collars and the Panzer Gefreiter single row of aluminium litzen on his sleeve. The reason the panzer uniform is wearing a black colour was that it would help conceal the grease and grime commonly encountered by motorized personnel. 
Again there are notches in which the pistol holster fits into and stays put
Originally the Panzer wrap tunics also utilized the waffenfarbe as piping on the forward edge of the collar until regulations of mid-1942 abolished the use of the collar piping and instructed it to be removed from the tunics, although the directive was not strictly adhered to.


The pose of this soldier is seen leaning onto something so he could be seen on the outside of the vehicle as well as the inside. Here he is all put together - again it took mere minutes and some superglue - taking care on the arm joint to get a proper fit which yet again was made easier because the arm is joined at the jacket seam..


And here he is with the goggles sitting atop his M40 fieldcap..

Panzer Commander Set
(2 figures)
35177
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim
Two figures in this set are seen with a choice of being convoy mates talking to each other – or the fact that the second figure is a Panzer Gefreiter means that they could well be used in the same tank.
The thing alpine often do is to create two soldiers wearing almost the same gear but who look very different the more you look at them. Soldiers in the same army – and especially an army on the wrong side of shortages like the German army often wore non-standard items. These two although very similar look pretty different in the torso and headgear choices which – let’s face it - are what’s mostly seen in a panzer commander.

Here they are with apposing headgear
 
They DO remind me of the other tanker figures i have from Alpine  a lot. Very cleanly sculpted with minimal clean up if hardly any, fine details of insignia, weapons and uniform, organically falling weighted clothing and most of all realistic and different faces, hands, ears and hair.

I suppose that isn't a bad thing then is it? i have been as big of a fan of their stuff as many modellers out there - but i seem to like each of their releases more and more. These might be more of the same for some modellers who would like something different. I have seen a lot of other sculptors work who are trying something different -  and i like this much better

Two top shelf figures yet again from Taesung - keep them coming i still have more tanks in my stash...


Adam Norenberg



Thanks to Alpine for sending both these for us to build and review - Both of these figures are available through
Alpine Miniatures stockists worldwide.



Taesung Harmms sculpted these figures and the boxart  for both is again Dr. Jin Kim -  this is what can come out of these figures if painted well - 

Panzer Commander #1
35175
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

Panzer Commander #2
35176
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim

Panzer Commander Set
(2 figures)
35177
1/35th scale
The pictures show the figure with 2 different heads.
Sculpted by Taesung Harmms / Boxart Painted by Dr. Jin Kim