Saturday, March 10

Construction Review: 1/35th scale from Alpine Miniatures WSS Grenadiers at Kharkov Set

Alpine Miniatures has sent us two of their latest sculpts, sent in singles or as a pair, in 35th scale. These two replicate Waffen SS soldiers in the Battle of Kharkov in 1943, and both feature the "Kharkov" parka  along with many other signature bits of clothing and equipment - see if they are up to the usual Alpine standard in our construction review...



Construction Review: Three sets from Alpine miniatures (2 X singles & 1 pair set)


WSS NCO at Kharkov 
Product No# 35235 
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices

WSS Grenadier at Kharkov
Product No# 35236
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices

WSS Grenadiers at Kharkov Set
Product No# 35237
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculptures both come with two head choices

These sets are available from the Alpine Miniatures Website.

The Battle of Kharkov in 1942 in WWII is well known for a hard-edged fight from both sides. The German forces were fast learning from past problems with clothing and equipment, as these two new figures from Alpine Miniatures in 35th scale show off with their trademark thick coats.


Alpine Miniatures have answered the call of many by supplying us with two new figures in thirty-fifth scale that feature the winter war on the Eastern Front. this time more pointedly the Battle of Kharkov, where the soldiers of the German armies received the better quality winter clothing they needed. More specifically the fur-lined parka that is synonymous with the battle, called the "Kharkov Parka" by many people.
M42 fur-lined pullover parka is often called the “Kharkov Parka” by the troops and was manufactured from 1940-1943 and issued until the end of the war. It became synonymous with that battle as many soldiers were lucky enough to be able to be issued one in time for that winter. the parka was very commonly worn by the soldier of the Elite units due to the very high cost of material and time, the parka was never enough to go around in history, and various types of the fur lining were used on this garment. 
The shell of our parka is made of heavy zeltbahn style cotton poplin in the typical field-grey shade and lined with genuine sheepskin. The sleeves were padded with woollen material and the hood lined with the sheepskin as well.
Several pictures of elite soldiers from that time that could be used in the making of these figures– here are some and some others I have found which could help the modeller with their own kit…

WSS NCO at Kharkov 
Product No# 35235 
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices
This new figure in 35th scale from Alpine Miniatures comes with the trademark selection of two heads in the same box. Either the M/40/42 steel helmet. The one we had had a slight seam on the rear of the helmet, the resin came off with a few scrapes of a sharp scalpel blade. Notice the tufts of hair that come from the side of the hat and helmet? also the strong shin and quite a handsome face with an angled neck joint that aids the location of the neck in the collar of the figure.

This picture below shows the steel helmet choice on the right.
The other head choice is the M43 cloth brimmed hat cap which here is suitably battered and rumpled. The old Hares or long-serving soldiers wore their caps with pride and often made them look “worn in” by giving it a folded and squashed look which identified them as a soldier of some experience. Notice the German eagle on the side and in the pictures above the SS style "Totenkopf"(Death’s Head), in the centre of the cap replicated here in fine detail.


This NCO of the SS is seen in pretty typical mid-late war winter gear, and very typical of the parkas associated with the Kharkov battle period. A wool lined thick parka over his regular tunic which pokes out at the neck so you can see his rank and SS collar on the tunic. Lovely fur inside the lining we will look at a little clearer in a picture later.
An SS soldier wearing similar gear in the same time period and theatre.
You can see on the chest of the man here a pair of field glasses of a regular size offered to the Officers and NCO's. The extra ammunition pouches of the Mp-40 sub-machine gun also cover his chest while he holds his gun down and to the port side. Although I can not see his belt buckle here at this angle, the soldier wears one around his waist. Pinching in the jacket and strapped to the back of it is the notch to accommodate his Walther pistol in its holster. Under this jacket is a pair of thick padded winter pants keep him warm while these are tucked in at the boot. He certainly looks protected against the cold!
The parts that go along with the torso and head are the Mp-40 sub-machine gun. This is a great choice for that period, and as well as the Walther holstered pistol they look great in 35th scale resin here with a lot of detail. Especially the Mp-40's folding metal stock. Note also the woollen gloves that the soldier is wearing to protect his mitts from the cold.





We have all the parts together - now let's make the figure - The hardest part of the construction of the figure was to scrape the slight seam from the back of this soldier's steel helmet. That took about a minute, so the rest of the construction took only about ten minutes in total. 
 The parts ready to be put together
The notches on the back of the figure made it easier to place the pistol holster in the right position and keep it there. Notice the great fur lining that is inside the hood of the jacket and stretched material arund the opening of the outside of the hood? very nice indeed.
And the socket joints at the wrists, hidden once all put together under his sleeves made the positioning of the arms a cinch... Notice the gun sitting flush with the jacket folds?

OK - so here hs is put together - firstly the M43 einheitsmütze cap choice in a 360.



Then with the steel helmet choice  - just as nice for different reasons.









WSS Grenadier at Kharkov
Product No# 35236
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices
This second soldier is identified as a simple "Shutze" in the SS. As like his comrade he has the choice of two headgears, this time either the steel M/40/42 helmet, or the M40/42 flat overseas cap, complete in the cap's case with the death's head of the SS and the German eagle on the front in silver stitching.





A soldier at Kharkov with the same steel helmet and Parka

Notice the picture above, a little seam of excess resin that will be needed to be filed away. The picture below shows a little better the tuft of fairly long hair on this soldier under the overseas SS cap.



The parka this soldier is wearing is the same as the other figure in this set, with thick woollen padding, while this soldier also wears a warm scarf tied at the front of the neck. to keep the eastern front's chill-out. The coat features both a drawstring waist under the regular soldier's leather belt the figure is wearing. On his belt is the spare ammunition for the Kar. 98 rifle that is wrapped around his shoulders and hangs on his back.



I apologise, but I only took one picture of this soldier's torso part- there are heaps later on though of him put together so not to worry. Riflemen here on the right with the ammo pouches for the Kar 98 in the parka.



The lower pockets, wrinkles in the hang of the jacket and the pinched places where the drawstring is pulled tight on the jacket show that this parka has been studied in depth by the sculptor, details like the drawstring around the hood and the large flap that the jacket is buttoned up to and the front are there. The folds of the jacket in the figure are realistic and not overdone with the high belt on his waist pinching it all in on the front and back. At the bottom of the figure, the thickly padded trousers are tucked into his boots also.

The padded jacket has an arm on a separate piece of resin that comes also with the flask and mess cup. You can see here both sides of the arm here, with the woollen gloves in a clenched fist here in an open cuff of the jacket. The notch out of the cuff on the picture on the right is part of the engineering of the kit so the arm fits flush to the body.

OK - so here are the parts of this figure cleaned up and ready to be glued together. The parts took only five minutes to clean up, and another five to fit and glue with super glue.
 Here is the SS man in the first of the head choices put together. This one featuring the steel helmet head choice. This headgear choice makes him look a little oler I think.
Here he is with the second head choice of the flat overseas cap, notice the lovely fur-lined parka hood, as well as all of the other details, picked out so nicely by the sculptor.





WSS Grenadiers at Kharkov Set

Product No# 35237

1/35th scale

Sculpture by Taesung Harmms

Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns


Sculptures both come with two head choices
These two figures are put together in a set here. We think that they would make a good addition to the other set from Alpine Miniatures of SS Commander Pieper and comrade during the same period.



These two figures are similarly clad but not the same, and their head choices give you variety in selection if you want them to look alike or different from each other.

 First the cloth and helmet choices...
Then the two SS men with M43 steel helmets on...
The two with soft caps on in the head choices.



So here in this article, you have seen the contents of both the single and the set of two soldiers in this series. You have also seen me put them together. 

The figures had a little excess resin that needed to be removed around some of the edges which is uncharacteristic of Alpine's release, but not at all anything to worry about. Clean up and preparing the parts took about five minutes each, with the assembly of each taking another five - now that is quick work.


The engineering is second to none, the fit is great and the two head choices are distinct and finely sculpted. The body language is "non-heroic" which is good, you can put these two in any situation in Kharkov and indeed anywhere the SS went to that was cold after 1942.


the sculpts are top of their class, I loved these figures, a must if you are interested in this era and this genre and scale.

Adam Norenberg


Thanks to Alpine for sending these two figures to us to build and review for you all - Both of these figures are now available from Alpine Miniatures Online Webstore of their distributors worldwide.



Here are these two figures built up and shown painted on the Alpine Miniatures Website...



WSS NCO at Kharkov 

Product No# 35235 

1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices











WSS Grenadier at Kharkov
Product No# 35236
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculpture comes with two head choices


WSS Grenadiers at Kharkov Set
Product No# 35237
1/35th scale
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Boxart by Jaume Ortiz Forns
Sculptures both come with two head choices