Saturday, January 18

Preview: A new set of 35th scale German SS Panzermen from Alpine Miniatures

Alpine Miniatures has last given us some US tankers from WWII in December, now they kick off January with their German opponents - looking very proud and a little bit dangerous in our new figure preview...

A new set of 35th scale German Tankers from Alpine Miniatures

Alpine Miniatures are this month going back tot he well in one of their most popular genres of 35th scale figures - the tankers of the German army & SS during World War Two. These two are a set of two German tankers, one an officer, the other an NCO, both from the SS tanker Korps.

We will take a look at these two figures both as they are sold singularly, or as the pair...

WSS Panzer Officer
The figure comes with two head choices
Kit No #35272
Sculpture by Boris Knokhov
Boxart by Toshihiro Sano
He has the choice of two heads with one option the regular officers' cap with a pink band of the armoured corps - the first is the peak-less Feldmütze in panzer black with again the SS death’s head emblem and a German eagle on the front. There are both silver braided and Waffenfarbe Rosa braided piping versions of this cap also in many photographs.
This officer's second headgear choice is the Panzer Officer's Visor Cap. (Schirmmütze). It was of a mostly field-grey wool and rayon blend construction visor cap with a blue/green badge cloth centre band. The front centre of the cap features a second pattern, stamped, silver washed, aluminium national eagle. The front centre of the centre band has a second pattern, stamped, silver washed, alloy, oak-leaf wreath encompassing a high relief, three-piece- the national tri-colour cockade. The national tri-colour cockade consists of a fluted, black alloy base, a silver washed alloy roundel and an inserted, red screened vent centrepiece. The cap has a twisted silver/aluminium chin cord. Unique to the PanzerKorps was the identifying, waffenfarbe, (Branch of Service Color), with the pink coloured "Waffenfarbe Rosa” as it is called, shown here on the boxart painting around the edges of the peaked cap and the soldier's shoulder boards.
The tanker wears a pretty simple combination of uniform that was common to the Panzer Korps, a short Panzerjacke in black with a few medals to denote distinguished service. On his chest on the left-hand side he wears three medals - In order from left to right: German WWII Tank Assault Badge (Wehrmacht Panzerkampfabzeichen) - awarded to troops in armoured divisions, usually with numbers in increments at the bottom to show enemy vehicles destroyed. Iron Cross (Eisernes Kreuz) Awarded for bravery before the enemy or excellence in commanding troops. The Wound Badge (Verwundetenabzeichen) was a military decoration awarded to members in the Reichswehr, the Wehrmacht, SS and the auxiliary service organizations during the Second World War. It was awarded when the wound was the result of enemy hostile action, with an exception being for frostbite.
Although the 6 x 30 power binoculars were the standard-issue, specialized personnel such as Artillery observers, Reconnaissance personnel, Searchlight personnel, etc., required stronger optics and assorted larger power binoculars were issued to this specialized personnel on a limited basis. Tankers also needed to see at a long distance - so these glasses, which look a little like the ones in the picture below are maybe the 10 x 50 type.
The tanker wears the standard-issue pants (with the re-enforced seat I can see here,) and the rarer high pull on boots which were becoming harder to come by or more expensive thee later the war went on and the resources like leather became more expensive.

WSS Panzer NCO
The figure comes with two head choices
Kit No #35273
Sculpture by Boris Knokhov
Boxart by Toshihiro Sano
You can see the flat overseas M40 forage cap the tankers often wore & on this one the details that picked out a tanker's cap, the black colour, the national emblem eagle in silver braid, and the "death's Head" skull and crossbones of the SS in the centre of the cap. Black wool/rayon blend construction M40 overseas cap with fold down side and back panels that slope gently downwards to the front centre.
The other headgear choice is the M43 cloth cap that soon became the norm late in the war due to it's simple to manufacture and cheap cost to produce. The black cloth hats had the German eagle on the left-hand side embroiled in a silver thread as well as the death's head emblem on the front with two buttons to secure the side flaps of the cap.
The torso of this figure seems to be wearing German Pea Dot panzer wrap that was first issued in 1943 to tank crews as their typical black uniforms failed to provide any camouflage advantage when the men were outside their vehicles. Additionally, it was soon learned that the presence of soldiers in black uniforms alerted the enemy that an armoured unit was in the area. 
The Panzer Korps NCO is seen reaching into his tunic for something - and now that is the smart thing about this sculpt - it could be some food, a map, a cigarette, a gun or a knife - it is up to you and what you want him to convey now isn't it?
As usual - not a skerrick of detail is missed by ALpine Miniatures quality control, with the rear of the uniform showing creases and folds in not only the cloth of the jacket and pants but the soft leather boots that are of the higher variety and known for creasing at the ankles - great work.

WSS Panzer Crew Set
(2 figures in the set - both with two head choices)
1/35th scale
Kit No #35274
Sculpture by Boris Knokhov
Boxart by Toshihiro Sano
These two look like they could well be of the same crew and definitely of the same period in the war and theatre of operations as their clothing is of a similar weight and timeframe. The differences of them are subtle though, the height of the men is slightly noticeable, as is the similar but completely different clothing the men are wearing - a smart decision made there I think.
Here they are from different angles and different headgear combos...
You can order these two figures separately or as a set as well as any other of Alpine's figures directly from their website if you live in the US, or through their distributors worldwide.