Thursday, August 26

Preview: 1/35th scale Panther crew & machine gunners from Stalingrad Miniatures... 2

Stalingrad Miniatures has two new small sets available for 35th scale WWII figure lovers. Two Panzer crew & two German machine gunners are the subjects in their usual quality. We look at them both, painted & unpainted along with the photos that inspired them in our preview...

Preview: 1/35th scale Panther crew & machine gunners from Stalingrad Miniatures...

Stalingrad Miniatures have been busy making a new of tankers from a Panther somewhere near Kovel during WWII in 1944. Also released are two machine gunners from the Italian peninsula during the same time period. We look at both of these sets in our preview today.

Panther Crew, Kovel, April 1944
Kit No# 3179
1/35th scale
Two figures in light grey resin in one set
Sculpted & boxart by Alexander Zelenkov
The first set of figures comes in the form of two Panzer crew from World War II on the German side. Fighting for their lives in the long retreat near Kovel in April 1944.

The photo inspiration figures of this set:
Set no#3179 - "Panther crew, Kovel, April 1944" could well feature a pair of the tankers that participated in Unternehmen Ilse (Operation Ilse) where the 56th Panzer Corps undertook the operation on 27 April 1944 in the area west and southwest of Kovel in Poland. Two Soviet armies had encircled the city for nearly a month before a combined Army and Waffen-SS relief force fought its way through and liberated the garrison. After its relief, Kovel was only connected to the outside world by a narrow strip of land that was continually threatened by the surrounding Red Army. The objective of Operation Ilse was to finish the relief of Kovel, destroy the Red Army forces west of the Turiya River and free up the north-south railway line connecting Army Group Centre and Army Group North Ukraine.

The two tankers in the turret of their Panther that inspired and guided the sculptor in creating this set.
The figures are sculpted by Alexander Zelenkov and are cast in light grey resin. As usual, they come unassembled and unpainted, giving the model builder a choice to make these into any Panther crews mid-late WWII.

The figures shown here in bare resin but assembled...
These are full-body figures that leave you with now awkward gaps when inserting them in the side of your Panther turret. Both are seen in the short jackets or Panzerwrap and pants. Standard issue for that time,
You can see the careful work the sculptor has paid to the wrinkles and folds in the tanker's clothing on both of these men. Both at different angles and showing just that as the clothes either strain or fold in from the pressure of their torsos.
Here are both of these Panzermen painted up in the box art example...

German Infantry (Italy, winter 1943-44)
Kit No# 3184
1/35th scale
Two figures in light grey resin in one set
Sculpted & boxart by Alexander Zelenkov
The second set of figures in this month's release from Stalingrad is a pair of figures in kit number #3184 called "German Infantry (Italy, winter 1943-44)" 

Sculptor Alexander Zelenkov took his inspiration from this series of photos, the two are seen between cisterna & Nettuno on the Via Nettuno, at the junction with the Via Aprilia, in Cisterna in 1944.
The town of Cisterna di Littoria in central Italy was the key to capturing Rome. The Allies knew this and lost many soldiers to the german defenders during this fight. Dug in, with heavy weaponry in defensive positions, the Germans had the Allies under intense fire as their advance continued, as they fought bravely to attack the germans. Most of the German soldiers fought the Allies in Cisterna until their ammunition was exhausted and were surrounded or surrendered.
The two soldiers depicted in this set are inspired directly from these two pictured above and below
Sculpted in 1/35th scale and cast in light grey resin, these figures come to the modeller unassembled. They show a pair of soldiers heavily laden in winter or wet gear, because of the photos above you can see and imagine the mud and wear on these soldiers' boots and uniforms. Heavily camouflaged with netting on their M43 helmets, 
You can see even more in these pictures of the box art versions, painted up by the sculptor Alexander Zelenkov when colour is added, picking out the detail even more.  You can see the multiple items of gear that both men are carrying, from the water canteens and bread bags, the leather "Y" shaped webbing holding on to the rolled-up Zeltbahn that could be worn as a poncho, used individually as a groundsheet to make a lean-to, or, most often, four were buttoned together to make a pyramid tent. and blanket carried by the machine gunner.
The thick greatcoats of the two are seen in profile, looking very bulky and giving both of the figures a lot of depth in their physical space. The wrinkles on the arms of the man as he holds his gear contrast with the  machine gunner whose arm hangs down straight.
Unusual for figures of soldiers in WWII these men are seen in a moment of actual gest! It seems from their body language and their faces that they are enjoying a joke or a laugh and a story. It is refreshing to see figures like this of human beings being themselves, not only being stoic and looking like they are in a propaganda poster.
These figures are sold as a single set, as smaller sets of two or three and in pairs - they are available right now - check these out and all of Alexander's other works at the Stalingrad Website: