Sunday, December 10

Life Miniatures New Release in 1/16th scale "Max Wünsche, Kharkov 1943"

Life Miniatures has launched into the "fuller figure" range with not a bust, but a 1/16th scale figure of a somewhat well-known figure of the SS in World War Two. Their new figure in this range is of Max Wünsche, taken from images of him in the Battle of Kharkov in 1943. See how he looks in sculpt and in painted from in our preview...

Life Miniatures New Release in 1/16th scale 

Max Wünsche, Kharkov 1943
Item Code: LM-16002
Scale: 1/16th scale
Unassembled and unpainted resin figure kit
Sculpted and Painted by Sang-Eon Lee
Price $63 - Product Link at the Life Miniatures Website
Max Wünsche - one of the poster boys of the SS was one of the enigmatic figures of WWII – Wünsche knew Hitler and served as an SS Standartenführer in Hitler's bodyguard – in the1st Panzer Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) on most of the fronts of the war, notably on the Russian front and later the 12th SS Panzer Division Hitlerjügend in Normandy. He won many honours during his service, notably including the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oakleaves & the Iron Cross 1st Class & Iron Cross 2nd Class amongst other awards. He is well known to most who are aware of the leading soldiers for Germany during the Second World War.
A short history of the man behind the figure...
Max Wünsche was born in Kittlitz, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany. He joined an agricultural union in 1928, and for a short time, he was employed as an estate manager. In Nov 1932, at the age of 18, he joined the Hitler Youth. In July 1933, he joined SS organization of the Nazi Party. After officer training at Jüterbog in Brandenburg and Bad Tölz in Bavaria, he became a platoon leader of the 9th Company in the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. In Oct 1938, he was assigned to Adolf Hitler's bodyguard unit as an orderly officer.
In Jan 1940, Wünsche returned to the SS Leibstandarte unit as the platoon company in the 15th Motor Cycle Company and participated in the invasion of the Netherlands and France. In Dec 1940, he was made the adjutant to Sepp Dietrich, under whom he participated in the German invasion of the Balkan Peninsula. During Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of Russia, he flew reconnaissance flights in a Storch aircraft. In Feb 1942, he was given command of the Sturmgeschütz Battalion within Leibstandarte; his battalion was involved in halting several Russian attempts to break through German lines in the following couple of months. 

On 1 Jun, he returned to Germany to study at the staff college; upon completion of his studies, he was promoted to the rank of Sturmbannführer. In Sep 1942, he returned to the Sturmgeschütz Battalion and resumed his role as its commanding officer. In Oct, he was given command of a newly formed tank regiment, with which unit he participated in the First Battle of Kharkov at the end of that month. Between 10 and 13 Feb 1943, his troops broke through Russian encirclement of the 1st SS Reconnaissance Battalion, and then the two battalions jointly defeated the Russian VI Guards Cavalry Corps during the next two days; for this action, he was awarded the German Cross in Gold. On 25 Feb, Wünsche located an enemy force and defeated it on his own initiative, destroying 52 heavy guns and causing an estimated 900 casualties, earning him a Knight's Cross on 28 Feb.

As Sturmbannführer in 1943 - the inspiration for this sculpt
Max Wünsche and Kurt Meyer in Meyer's temporary HQs on the outskirts of Kharkov.
In Jun 1943, Wünsche became the commanding officer of the 12th SS Panzer Regiment of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend" stationed in France. On 7 Jun, his regiment was engaged in the Battle of Normandy, destroying 219 Allied tanks over the following month; he was awarded Oak Leaves to his Knights Cross for his achievements at Normandy. In Aug, his regiment was trapped in the Falaise Pocket. On 20 Aug, he and two officers attempted to escape the pocket on foot, and he was captured by Allied soldiers on 24 Aug. He was a prisoner of war at Camp 165 for German officers at Caithness, Scotland, the United Kingdom until the end of the war.
Wünsche survived the war and became a manager of an industrial plant in Wuppertal, Germany. He died in Munich on the 17th of April 1995. He was 80 years old.

For good reason, this enigmatic person has been the subject of a release in the Life Miniatures range. This full body figure was sculpted and painted in his case by Sang Eon Lee. You can see his characteristics in the work here.

 The sheepskin coat, the Soviet Style Ushanka har with the German eagle crest on the front, the twin-pronged officer's belt at his waist pinching in his clothing, with baggy padded trousers tucked into his fur-lined boots. Lastly, a pistol on his rear hip make up the parts. The two most recognisable parts of this sculpt are his very close to the realistic looking face and his Iron cross at his throat.
This new unassembled and unpainted resin kit is now available from the Life Miniatures Site.