Friday, April 28

New Soviet Tank Officers set & singles from Alpine Miniatures in 1/35th scale

Alpine Miniatures latest release is a set of much needed Soviet Tanker Officers from WWII. Sold as a pair or as singles in 1/35th scale, these two look very good. We examine them, with references to their uniforms & equipment in our preview...

New Soviet Tank Officer set & singles from Alpine Miniatures in 1/35th scale

Two new Soviet Tanker Officers from World War Two are the subjects of Alpine Miniatures releases this month. Sold as a pair or a set, these two look very detailed in the shots we have so far. We look at them both, along with the inspirations for the clothing and equipment they are wearing...
One could say that the Red Army tanks of WWII were one of the bigger contributors of the victory against the German army. they were certainly used in a lot of the propaganda of the time, and we have many pictures and videos of Soviet tankers and their vehicles, especially on the attack in the latter years of the war when the Soviets were mostly on the advance.
Taesung Harmms has sculpted both of these figures in 1/35th scale, and they are sold as separates or as a set. Some of the uniforms in these photos an the ones below were used as reference or inspirations for these two figures. 
We will look at both of them alone and the weapons and equipment they carry before we look at them as a pair and how they fit together as a set.

Seen painted up here by Calvin Tan, the box artist. These two figures from Alpine Miniatures are sold as singles or as a set.

WW2 Soviet Tank Officer #1
From Alpine Miniatures
Figure No #35306 
The figure comes with two different head choices.
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Box Art by Calvin Tan
This Soviet Tank Officer is sculpted in 1/35th scale by Taesung Harmms,  and cast in light grey resin. The figure depicts an officer in a tanker's tunic underneath the leather jacket worn by many tankers during the war. If you notice, this jacket is just past waist length, with a second row of buttons on his left hand side front.  The soldier his standing with his left hand on his hip to show you the regular green tunic underneath.
The tunic underneath is mostly covered, but it is the standard type, here complimented with the  tanker's belt, on which you can see the criss-crossed stitching! The Soviet military portupeya officer's leather belt this soldier wears has a two-pronged buckle on the front. The striped pants are tucked into the high leather boots that this tanker wears. In the figure, you see the wrinkling of the material is conveyed skilfully by the sculptor in not only the jacket, the tunic, pants and the boots.
A re-enactor on the right, showing the same gar, while on the left below you can see some of the folds that the sculptor has replicated so well in this figure.
On his head, the tanker shows the fist of the two choices of headgear supplied in this kit. Both the figures have the same face, but one choice for the modeller is the flat forage cap. In the Soviet Union, the garrison cap was known as Pilotka (meaning pilot) and was a part of the air force pilots' uniform in WWII. It was the most common type of cap used by the Red Army during WWII and after, up until the 1980s. The pilotka was worn during the summer months but was usually replaced by an woollen Ushanka during the winter period.
The goggles he wares over the Pilotka were a wartime RKKA design that had three variations in the length of the windows to increase peripheral vision or fit the individual soldier’s face. The Russian goggles were made from a rubber and metal frame, glass lenses and an elastic strap. This type of glasses were used by the pilots, motorcyclists and crews of the tanks or vehicles.
The second headgear choice is the leather padded tanker's helmet. The Red Army tanker's helmets were to prevent damage from the sidewalls of the tank and protrusions of equipment and hatches all looking to bring the hurt. Cloth replaced leather in the latter helmets, and these were common in either black or in a olive or khaki colour - your choice in this figure.
The tanker is seen holding a pair of (captured)  6 x 30 power, (6 power magnification with a 30mm diameter objective lens), binoculars, the standard issue optics utilized by all branches of service in Germany in WWII. 
Seen from behind, the rear of the jacket and the leather boots are seen to be flowing and wrinkled, just as in the real things.

WW2 Soviet Tank Officer #2
From Alpine Miniatures
Figure No #35307 
The figure comes with two different head choices.
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Box Art by Calvin Tan
The second tanker, sold as a single or as part of the two man set, is also sculpted by Taesung Harmms, and of course he has the two different head choices provided in this boxing. Both the padded tanker's helmet and the flat, peaked officer's cap. The peaked officer's cap which we see in this picture. This was the headdress that tank officers typically wore. This visor cap of the Red Army was issued for use from 1935 onwards. The hats came with a strap that can be affixed around the chin if need be. These caps featured side studs/ buttons and a soviet red star badge on the front of the hat. The elliptical goggles (we think are captured German goggles) are worn over the hat were great for keeping all of that dust and mud out of the eyes.

A walk around of this resin cast of an officer from the Soviet tank corps shows a great angle where the sculptor has made a realistic copy of the wrinkles that would be pinched and twisted as the soldier looks slightly to the side. The almost blue shaded tanker's overalls are shown in the photo below. A shot where the sculptor got a lot of his inspiration from. Interesting to note, the two pockets on this one. A very hard to find type of overall.
Below, the tanker here wears a version of this double breast pocket uniform. Note the Officer's sidebars in the sculpt, shown in the picture below also.
You will notice the second headgear choice is evident in the photos below, it is the painted as the green/ tan version of the padded tanker's helmet we saw on the other officer. The optics that hang around this tanker's neck on the leather strap are the short 6 x 30 power issue field binoculars. 
The double holed stitched embroidered belt is again seen here in finite detail. On the rear of this man's body, attached to his belt is the Tokarev pistol and holster in leather. Look again at the detail of the rear of this figure, where the thinner material of the overalls are pinched and wrinkled, brought to life expertly in this case by the box artist's work from Calvin Tan.

WW2 Soviet Tank Officer Set (2 figures)
The figure set of two figures comes with two different head choices each.
From Alpine Miniatures
Figure set No #35308
Sculpture by Taesung Harmms
Box Art by Calvin Tan
Seen as they are sold together in this set, these two figures really do match each other in weight of clothing, poses and most importantly, body language. Both of them are seen painted up here by Calvin Tan, who shows us how good they can look, together, and as singles we saw up above in this preview...

We think they are both very good examples of soldiers of their time and country. They match the scene that Calvin has set them in, and both would make excellent choices. Hopefully we get to look at them for you in a review soon...
You can see more of Alpine's figures on the Alpine Miniatures website. 
FYI Postage within the U.S. from their site is free!