Tuesday, June 18

We review the new Life Miniatures 6th army Stalingrad bust in 1/10th scale from Life Miniatures...

The scene is Stalingrad, the time October 1942 – and Life Miniatures was on hand to capture this German soldier in their latest sculpt – luckily we were on hand to review it as soon as it came out – let’s go back and have a look what we thought…

Life miniatures
Grey Resin – 12 parts
Sculpted by Ju-Won Jung
Box art by Sang-Eon Lee

Sang Eon Lee has a new bust in 1/10th scale for release thru his company Life Miniatures. This time we are going German and WWII – to be precise the 6th army in Stalingrad at a time which was identified as October 1942. That puts us in a time just before the dreaded Winter struck so much of a toll on the German soldiers on that front. This let’s have a look….

This figure came to me in a very padded box directly from Life Miniatures themselves, I was impressed by the care which was taken in the shipping of this model, and the care continues as we look at the box.

This is a larger box than previous (just as well packaged) kits from LM. This is mainly a cardboard box with the excellently painted figure by Sang Eon Lee on the cover and sides. I will include some pictures of the finished figure at the end of this review, but it sure makes an enticing bust when you see what can be done with the kit. There is a lot more padding inside as well and two zip-loc bags inside holding twelve grey resin parts. Carefully packed and well-presented, that is two big ticks for the stash merchants of us out there already.
Inside there are twelve parts of sweet smelling (I know I am odd) light grey resin containing a torso part and the stand, a rifle and three parts that make up the spectacles of the soldier and an ever present smoke. There is also 2 heads (better than 1 as they say) that are included with this set – more on that in a second.

The resin is flawless in surface texture and bubble free – the only rough parts I can see are where the torso has been cut off the casting block – and that is removed anyway.

This figure was heavily influenced by such movies as  'Cross of iron' and 'Stalingrad' where you see young fresh faced German infantrymen become battered shelves of themselves fighting against the Russians on the Eastern front.

Also we think by this picture of German infantrymen advancing into Stalingrad in to battle. Late Summer time - these soldiers with undercut haircuts ( as was the fashion) and though they looked tired and weather beaten and a little dirty they were not aware of the horrors that were to beset them in that battle, I believe this is the period that the soldier of the 6th army was taken from. This was confirmed by Sang eon - as well as some more pictures he sent...
There are also a few pictures i was given by LM themselves after enquiring the inspiration of this sculpt - you can see a few parts of each of these on the finished article 
Anyway enough of the theory - Let’s have a look at the parts then ..

There are two heads included with this bust. Both are almost the same – can you see the difference? Well the head on the left of this picture has indentations where his glasses press against his head. It is detail like this and the slightly open mouth to the left for the cigarette to slot into, the fit of the neck into the torso that make these busts from Life miniatures some of the best engineered on the market.

Whilst I am at it the details of the face are excellent as well. The hair is tousled in an elaborate style (long on top and short on the sides) and there is enough here to make it easy to paint some detail into this sculpt. The ears and eyes and mouth are nicely executed as well and make for an interesting head(s)

There is a choice with this soldier of three options of head appearance:

Bare head
Bare head with glasses
Bare head with cigarette
Bare head with glasses & cigarette

There is a very thin pair of glasses in resin with some very small resin casting block(lets) to remove, as well as a small cigarette that sits in the figure’s left hand side mouth. Mine fit without glue and looked in character with this tired soldier.
There is a standard issue M1940 steel helmet that comes again on a small casting block that attaches to the rear of the rim of the tin lid. Like the glasses it is a very careful removal process – but take your time and all with go smoothly.
Make sure you go not cut the lump out of the inside of the helmet as I nearly did – it helps you fit the helmet to the torso in the hollow provided by LM. Nice engineering like this keeps the parts in place with minimal of superglue.
You can tell it is an early war helmet because of the slightly shorter brim (1943 the brims of German helmets were elongated slightly.)

The torso of the soldier also carries a few extra parts which are added after you clean the resin stubs off the torso. The overseas cap on his shoulder through the epaulet – his M41 helmet is clasped in his right hand side webbing ammo pockets for his K98 rifle (strapped around his shoulder.)
He carries a Potato Masher stick grenade which is separate below the belt, it simply glues into the slanted angle slot and then it is secure. The angle helps the glue holds and the reason it isn’t on there from the start I suppose is for less chance of breaking and a simpler mould process.
The details here on the torso are just lovely. The German eagle on the torso right upper breast and the standard issue all ranks infantryman’s belt, well they are fine and really lovely but the ante has been raised here by the cloth that is slung around the infantryman’s neck. So fine, it is in lovely flowing detail and sits off the chest as if it has caught the wind and looks a lot lighter than all his other clothes – thus it is sitting a little different – it looks great and adds depth.
Almost impressive is the way his webbing pinches his clothes on the front and rear - it looks very nice and the cap in the shoulder and the scarf to protect from dust are great for painting and weathering prospects. Again the flat forage cap sits well of the shoulder and it is secured under the epaulette on the right.
His Kar98 “Soldier’s Bride” rifle is represented here with a hollow muzzle and attached to a small casting block. This rifle sits in a notch sculpted in the torso’s rear. It sits perfectly in the clothing and not on top of it – giving the rifle weight and just the right hang off the body.
And here has is assembled without the glasses.... 
and ciggie and then with them - i am impressed!
Sometimes I just wait for some of these better companies to drop the ball. Especially with a new sculptor – but it seems that Ju-Won Jung has done LM very proud indeed – the detail I am amazed at in it’s intricacy and engineering and fit. The thoughtfulness I am impressed by (the boxing & the securing notches) and overall the quality of this sculpt – taken from many places of inspiration – this is a truly original sculpture of exquisite detail and must for serious figure/ bust modellers.

Adam Norenberg

This figure is now available through Life Miniature’s Distributors and you can keep up to date with Sang Eon’s work by checking his Facebook site. Thanks to LM for this figure!

Here he is painted up by Sang Eon Lee