login   |    register
Master Box Ltd. [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

Built Review
135
Counterattack
Counterattack: Soviet Infantry, Summer 1941
  • move

by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

introduction

Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Nazi Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II that began on June 22, 1941. Over 4.5 million troops of the Axis powers invaded the USSR along a 2,900 km (1,800 mile) front. In addition to the large number of troops, it also involved 600,000 motor vehicles and 750,000 horses. Planning for Operation Barbarossa started on December 18, 1940 and continued through the Spring of 1941 when Mussoliniís misadventures in the Balkans delayed the invasion.

Barbarossa reached its high water mark when the Red Army repelled the Wehrmacht outside Moscow during the Winter. Adolf Hitler had not achieved the expected victory, even though the Soviet Union's situation remained dire. Tactically, the Germans had won some resounding victories, and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the country, mainly in Ukraine. Despite these successes, the Germans were pushed back from Moscow, and could never mount an offensive simultaneously along the entire Soviet-German front again.

Operation Barbarossa was the largest military operation in human history in both manpower and casualties. Its failure was a turning point in the Third Reich's fortunes. Most importantly, Operation Barbarossa opened up the Eastern Front, to which more forces were committed than in any other theatre of war in world history. Barbarossa and the areas that fell under it became the site of some of the largest battles, deadliest atrocities, highest casualties, and most horrific conditions for Soviets and Germans alikeó all of which influenced the course of the war on the Eastern Front.

Master Box LTD has released a set of six figures in 1/35 scale which represent six Soviet infantrymen starting a counterattack.

THE BOX AND PACKAGING

The box the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open-end one with artwork of the figures by artist A. Karaschuk on the top of the box, along with a photograph of a Soviet Order of the Red Star medal. The bottom of the box has a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures, a photograph of the sprues, and a painting guide for Vallejo paints. The two sprues are sealed within a clear plastic bag. There is no separate instruction sheet included, only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. The guide leaves a lot to be desired, and I feel that Master Box could have taken the time to produce a more-detailed one. There are no decals included in this kit.

The kit comes with two tan styrene sprues containing 93 total pieces. Sprue A contains 49 pieces, and sprue B contains 44 pieces. All of them are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprues contain more plastic than the pieces that make up the kit; however, that is not the case here, which makes for easy removal and less clean-up of each piece. When I examined the sprues, I didn't find any broken or missing pieces. A couple of the bayonets have a slight bend to them, but nothing that can't be easily straightened. One of the rifles also has a slight bend in it. None of the individual pieces are numbered on the sprue. The only place they are numbered is on the bottom of the box.

THE review

As I examined the individual pieces, I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash, however there are seam lines present. I did not find any push-out (knock-out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing is nice and crisp, though I did notice that some of the trigger guards on the weapons contain flash that will need to be cleaned-up so the trigger will be exposed.

The kit comes with six WWII Soviet infantrymen sculpted by A. Gagarin. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash and gaps. I felt this is a good way to show the work required.

Figure 1: Soviet officer. (sprue A)
The figure is made up of nineteen total pieces (depending on the version you build). The detailing on the clothing and face is nice, and the figure can be assembled in one of several different variations. If assembled with its right arm raised holding a Nagant Model 1895 revolver, the gun is molded in the hand. The figure can also be assembled carrying a Soviet PPD-1934 submachine gun with or without a drum magazine, the PPD-1934 submachine gun with a box magazine, or the PPD 1940G submachine gun with or without the drum magazine. In the left hand, the choice is holding a drum magazine or a pair of binoculars. If desired, the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the submachine gun(s).

The figure also comes with a drum magazine pouch, a holster for the revolver and a document case. Something that should have been included is a magazine pouch for the PPD-1934 box magazine. The figure is wearing the pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches and belt, boots, and an M35 peaked cap with the star emblem on the front, all of which are correct for the 1941 time frame. The peaked cap is done well, and fits on the figureís head nicely. The tunic comes with one separate piece which makes up the tail portion. There is also a medal molded on the left side of the tunic, which looks like the Russian Medal for Bravery. There are seam lines and flash present which will need to be removed, but the overall fit of the pieces is good with only a few gaps to be filled.

I do have a couple of issues with the submachine guns. The drum magazine does not fit into the notch on the PPD 1940G. The PPD-1934, without a magazine, does not have a magazine well. This will need to be made by the modeler. These errors can be easily fixed, however I feel they should not be there in the first place.

Figure 2: Soviet infantryman running. (sprue A)
This figure is made-up of fifteen total pieces (depending on the version you build). The detailing on the clothing and face(s) is nice, and this is a nice action pose. There are two head options: one is wearing the M-36 (Model 36) helmet with the ventilation comb on top; the other is the Pilotka 1935 pattern cloth side cap with the red star emblem on the front. The head with the helmet has visible teeth, and the helmet fits on the head nicely. The figureís left hand has gaps between the fingers, which gives a very realistic appearance.

The figure is carrying a Mosin Nagant rifle with bayonet affixed. The rifle fits into the figures hand well. The bayonet is shown correctly attached to side of the rifle barrel (as opposed to being under the barrel). If desired, the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. Also included is the 1939 style backpack with a bedroll, an entrenching tool with the correct type of canvas carrier, a gas mask bag, a canteen, and ammunition pouches. The uniform is the pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches, and boots, all of which are correct for the 1941 time frame. The tunic comes with one separate piece making up the tail portion. There are seam lines and flash present, which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good, with few gaps to be filled.

Figure 3: Soviet infantryman with right knee up and left hand down (sprue A).
The figure is made-up of fifteen total pieces (depending on the version you build). The detailing on the clothing and face(s) is nice, and there are two head options: one is wearing the M-36 (Model 36) helmet with the ventilation comb on top, and the other is the Pilotka 1935 pattern cloth side cap with the red star emblem on the front. As with the other two figures, the helmet in this case also fits on the head nicely. The figure is wearing the pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches, and boots, which are all correct for 1941.

Again, the tunic comes with one separate piece which makes up the tail portion. Also included is the Vesh Myeshok backpack, an entrenching tool with the correct type of canvas carrier, a gas mask bag, a canteen, and ammunition pouch. The backpack has a notch in the back, which lines up with the gas mask bag strap to help position it correctly on the figureís back. The weapon provided is a Mosin Nagant rifle with affixed bayonet. The rifle fits into the figureís hand well, and the bayonet is shown correctly-attached to side of the rifle barrel instead of under it. Again, any sling will have to be scratch-built. The seam lines and flash present will need to be removed, but overall, the fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

Figure 4: Soviet infantryman prone with rifle in his left hand (sprue B).
This figure is made up of twelve total pieces, and is wearing the pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches, and boots, all of which are correct for the time period. He is wearing the Pilotka 1935 pattern cloth side cap with red star emblem on the front, and carries a Mosin Nagant rifle with affixed bayonet (shown correctly attached to side of the rifle barrel). Unfortunately, I could not get the rifle to fit into the figureís hand very well. I tried moving it, and the arm into different positions, but it didnít look realistic. Included is the 1939 style backpack without a bedroll, an entrenching tool with the correct type of canvas carrier, a gas mask bag, a canteen, and ammunition pouches. Seam lines and flash once again will need to be removed, though overall the fit is good with few gaps to be filled.

Figure 5: Soviet infantryman standing and leaning forward (sprue B).
The figure is made-up of fifteen total pieces, and is wearing the pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches, and boots. Again, the tunic comes with a separate piece for the tail portion. He is wearing the M-36 (Model 36) helmet with the ventilation comb on top; the fit is good. The right hand has gaps between the fingers, which gives a very realistic appearance. The weapon once again is the Mosin Nagant rifle with affixed bayonet. The rifle fits into the figureís hand well. Again, if a sling is desired, the modeler will need to scratch-build it.

Instead of a backpack, a bedroll goes over the left shoulder, an entrenching tool with the correct type of canvas carrier is included, along with a gas mask bag, a canteen, and ammunition pouches. Seam lines and flash will need to be removed, but the overall fit is good with few gaps that need filling. There is an error on the box that misidentifies the legs for this figure with the photo of the sprue labeling them as #92 and #93. The photo of the complete figure labels them as #93 and #94. This isnít a huge issue, but I thought it should be pointed out. The bedroll also has gaps that will have to be filled, and doesnít fit flush against the body of the figure, but since the figure is shown in motion, this should be fine.

Figure 6: Soviet infantryman sitting (sprue B).
The final figure is made-up of sixteen total pieces (depending on the version you build). He wears a pullover tunic with the rank on the collar, breeches, and boots. Again, the tunic comes with a separate piece for its tail portion. There are two head options: one is wearing the M-36 (Model 36) helmet with the ventilation comb on top; the other isnít wearing a helmet or cap, but instead has a bandage wrapped around the head (another difference: the head with the helmet has a moustache). He carries a Mosin Nagant rifle with affixed bayonet. This rifle doesnít fit that well into its figureís hand, either, though the bayonet is shown correctly-attached to side of the rifle barrel.

This figure also has a bedroll over his left shoulder instead of a backpack, along with an entrenching tool with the correct type of canvas carrier, a gas mask bag, a canteen, and ammunition pouches. The detailing on the clothing and face(s) is nice, but as with all the figures, there are seam lines and flash which will need to be removed. The overall fit is good with few gaps to be filled, except for the bedroll. As with the other figure, it doesnít fit flush against the body, and since this figure isnít in motion, the gaps will need to be filled.

EXTRA PIECES

The spares box will gain the following extra pieces.

- Two submachine guns depending on which one of the three versions is used.
- One drum magazine.
- Three separate heads, depending on which ones are used.
- One right arm. Iím not sure which figure this is for as it is not pointed out in the assembly guide; however, it is located on the sprue next to the standing soldier with the bedroll.
- One F1 grenade pouch.


CONCLUSION

It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures, however it is a nice product. The set represents early WWII Soviet infantrymen well. I would have no hesitation to recommend it to others, and it could be used to easily create a simple diorama.

REFERENCES

- World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia, Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013 (1977), by Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

- Into the Cauldron: Das Reich on the Eastern Front, Robert Michulec and Dmitriy Zgonnik (#6534 Concord Publications)

- The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII, Ian V. Hogg
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing on the parts, poses on all of the figures, and early war uniforms & equipment.
Lows: No instruction sheet or painting guide other than the basic guide on the box. The assembly guide shows the rifles with slings when there are none included. The individual pieces are not numbered on the sprues.
Verdict: It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures, however it is a nice product. The set represents early WWII Soviet infantrymen well, and I would have no hesitation recommending it to others. Could be used to easily create a simple diorama.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3563
  Suggested Retail: $17.95
  Related Link: Dragon USA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Dec 18, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View This Item  |  View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice work Bill, good review and a useful looking set of action figuers. Al
DEC 18, 2010 - 01:08 AM
Thanks for the review Bill, Still not sure about masterbox myself, for me the poses never quite live up to the boxart - the gear looks great but the figues always seem a bit "wooden". Just a note about the submachine guns: two of them are the ppd-1934 (one drum, and one box magazine), the other (with the notch) is the ppd-1940. Dont think either of these have been available in plastic till now? HTH John
DEC 18, 2010 - 04:29 AM
Thank you for the comments guys. I do appreciate the feedback. Thank you very much for correcting me on the submachine guns John. That explains what I thought was a molding error on Master Box's part. So for all reading this please disregard my comments in my review about the errors on the weapons. I thought they were all PPD 1940Gs. I do appreciate the correction. Thanks again, Harv
DEC 19, 2010 - 04:41 AM
This is yet another good review of a MasterBox product. One thing I was expecting to see in this kit was for some of the troops to be wearing ankle boots and putties in a mix with the Sapogi boots due to the early war helmets being worn.
DEC 19, 2010 - 05:33 AM
Thank you Darren, I appreciate it. I always enjoy getting feedback. It makes me want to keep on doing reviews. Thanks again, Harv
DEC 24, 2010 - 02:28 AM
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move