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Built Review
172
Soviet Naval Infantry
Soviet Naval Infantry 1941-1943
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by: Jan Etal [ TREAD_GEEK ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction
Russian and later Soviet Infantry (Morskaya pekhota) predates its much larger cousin, the United States Marine Corps, by around seventy years. These Naval Infantry formations maintained during several wars cannot be ascribed to any recognition of their usefulness. Most of the units raised consisted of supernumerary ships’ crews from immobilized or destroyed Russian/Soviet warships.

The figures in this Zvezda kit are in addition to numerous other figure sets offered by this company for use with their expandable game system Art Of Tactic “Operation Barbarssa 1941.”

The subject of this review is the Soviet Naval Infantry 1941-1943, kit #6146

Contents
The figure set is contained in a side opening box with front and rear images of the assembled figures on the back. The box contains a small sheet of instructions with an overview of the purpose of the figures on one side and assembly line drawings on the other. Also present is one sprue of dark green hard plastic containing 15 parts and an Art of Tactic game card. There are no decals or painting instructions provided.

Review
The moulding of the pieces on the sprue looked crisp and possessed some interesting details. There was virtually no flash evident and no sink holes. Ejector pin marks were only visible on the tops of the individual bases provided for the figures. Optionally, all four figures can be mounted on a large joint base that will also hold a “flag” piece associated with the game.

Four figures are present on the sprue with two being ready for mounting and two that will require assembly. Each of the four figures is armed with a different weapon and varying uniform equipment. The weapons represented in the kit are the DP-28 light machine gun, PPsH-41 submachine gun, Tokarev Self-loading Rifle, Model 1940 or SVT-40 and the Mosin Nagant Model 1891 Rifle.

Two extra unused pieces are provided on the sprue. They appeared to be some form of terrain feature and after investigating, they are to be used in other kits as a base for a barbed wire fence.

The information on the box states that this is a “Snap Fit” kit with no glue required. Further, if glue is required, standard normal styrene glue should be usable. Also mentioned is that this plastic is easy to paint with normal hobby paints without undo preparation required.

Build Observations
Prior to assembly this reviewer made a few tests of the plastic used. The plastic cuts well with both sprue cutters and a sharp hobby blade. Sanding or filing with a metal file can result in some “burrs” in the location where it is done. A light scraping pass over the affected area with a sharp hobby knife easily cleaned things up.

A test gluing of pieces of the sprue showed that standard Tamiya styrene cement worked. A portion of sprue was then painted with Tamiya Acrylic paint and left to dry. The paint adhered very well and no cracking, chipping or flaking was observed after some gentle bending.

After cleaning the sprue and its parts with a mild dish washing detergent, the sprue was sprayed with a base coat of acrylic paint and assembly started. The first figure was the three piece advancing rifleman. The rife and attached hands (A10) fit well into the main body (A8) but required a fair degree of pressure to have the pieces successfully attach. The right leg (A9) required even more pressure and a bit of trimming of the mounting peg.

The next multi-piece figure assembled was the grenade throwing one (A1). This figure requires the right leg (A9) to be attached. In this case the mounting peg was either too long or its mating hole too shallow. It was required to drill out the mounting hole and trim the peg before the joint between the two parts would sit flush. Unfortunately this surgery resulted in the “snap fit” no longer functioning and glue had to be used to complete the assembly.

The remaining two figures are one piece, except for mounting on a base. After painting the individual bases with Flat Earth coloured paint, the figures were press-fitted onto the separate bases. All four figures fit perfectly and flush.

While this reviewer is a total novice as far as figure painting is concerned, I decided to partially paint the figures to see how they would respond to painting. After some research it was found that these naval infantry had predominantly black uniforms (hats, coats, trousers and boots). For review purposes the figures were sprayed with NATO Black acrylic. When dry, the exposed flesh areas were brushed with a suitable flesh toned paint. Weapons were painted with appropriate colours along with some personal equipment on the figures.

During the assembly and painting process it will be inevitable that certain delicate pieces may get deformed. This was the case with bayonet blades and the handles of the entrenching tools on the figures. Surprisingly, despite some pieces being bent out of shape a number of times, a gentle bending back to their original position corrected the problem. In many cases similar styrene features would have broken off or at least remained partially deformed. This new material seems to exhibit less brittleness and more elasticity that regular styrene plastic. It should also be noted that even when this re-bending occurred after painting with acrylics, no paint damage was visible.

Conclusions
While meant to be gaming pieces, these figures have some details approaching that of more dedicated figure sets. Their dynamic poses and authentic uniforms would be perfect to add that little extra something to a diorama or vignette.

The new plastic material is obviously effective in accepting glue and acrylic paint and appears more resilient than standard styrene. It is perfectly suited for a novice or younger builder. They are good enough for the more experienced modeller to take seriously.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well sculpted with interesting poses, nicely moulded with few flaws. Material accepts glue and paint and is resilient in nature.
Lows: Review sample had a couple of issues with fit of legs.
Verdict: This may be more game oriented than a set of figures in the traditional sense, but the quality of production and the historical accuracy appear superb. Recommended
Percentage Rating
88%
  Scale: 1:72
  Mfg. ID: 6146
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 28, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.51%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.86%

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.

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About Jan Etal (tread_geek)
FROM: ONTARIO, CANADA

I've been building models since about age 10 with the occasional hiatus due to real life events. First armour model was a 1/76 Airfix Tiger I and was followed by a 1/72 Revell F4U Corsair. I've built primarily 1/76 and 1/72 armour and aircraft but occasionally have tinkered in other larger scales....

Copyright ©2019 text by Jan Etal [ TREAD_GEEK ]. 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

@James - Thanks for commenting and glad you found the review informative. @Geraint - I've only returned to the hobby a bit over two plus years ago and this was my first attempt at doing figures, let alone trying to paint them. ;-) I relied heavily on my local IPMS club's resident Soviet expert for colour information. As I wrote in the review, I am at best a very novice figure painter. I felt that a touch of colour would add to the ability of others to determine the kit's potential. As for the ammo belts, I felt that I wasn't up to the task. There are a few other aspects that should be touched up and I will try to do them and post pictures in the future. Thanks for the comments, Jan
FEB 28, 2012 - 03:45 PM
Any 1/35 scale figures from Zvezda always seem chunky and they look like a blind man carved them with a dull razor knife. The artwork looks dynamic but the products usually fall way short, right into the rubbish bin as my British boon companions always say. I'll pass until I see great improvement. Ironmike
FEB 28, 2012 - 05:16 PM
Very true for some of the older sets, but their latest kits have been really nice. In my opinion, they're better than some of DML's sets. Take a look at the Medic set, or their Soviet Mountaineers especially. (Great review, by the way!)
FEB 28, 2012 - 06:12 PM
Admitedly they look better than most soft plastic 1/72 figs, but they come nowhere close to the too few DML figs of the same scale.
FEB 29, 2012 - 06:29 AM
@Biggles2 - I really don't think that these figures were ever meant to compete with the quality of the Dragon 1/72 offerings but they are in many ways quite superior to the majority of Italeri, Airfix and Revell figures. Hopefully we might see Zvezda in the future release sets that might rival the DML or Prieser and are more specific to the more serious modeller and not to wargaming. Cheers, Jan
MAR 01, 2012 - 04:05 AM
I know the scale of 35 was very nice. 72 scale is more beautiful than it. Well done Zvezda..!
MAR 01, 2012 - 10:20 AM
Very interesting review. You did quite a nice job on painting these little guys even to the point they are. The skin tones looks very interesting, what colours did you use for it? However, the one image of the advancing rifleman (5th picture from the last) seems to have a green spot on his one boot. Regards, AJ
MAR 03, 2012 - 06:14 AM
Hi Jan, Super review! Welcome back to figure painting. I'm almost afraid to try again without my Optivisor. Well put. Have to keep things in perspective. I have a set of 1/72 Afrika Korps by Heller; they are soft plastic yet the detail is amazing. I grew up with 1/72 - 1/76 soft, and hard, plastic figures by Airfix, Hasegawa, Fujimi, UPC, etc., and those are what I compare today's figures to. As such, today's figures by Pegasus Hobby and these by Zvezda are amazing to me. Just look at the fine detail for the bayonets; the facial detail is good, too. Ironmike, I concur about their early 1/35 figures, which I haven't bought any in 15 years. These figures are 1/72 and they look very improved to me.
MAR 20, 2012 - 02:31 AM
@JPTRR Thanks for taking the time to comment, Frederick. I'm sure that as a fellow contributor you know how important that is to a reviewer. As for the welcome back, I don't know if I ever was a serious figure painter. I firmly believe that given the proper frame of mind, one should take an opportunity to try non destructive things out of our comfort zone. As for the scale and vision abilities, I've always worn corrective lenses so I view any vision aid as a tool. That being said, during any kind of build I have no qualms about using a 5X Optivisor and taking pictures with macro filters on my camera (2X - 10X). ;-) Take a picture, find a flaw, fix same! The figures that I mentioned are just those that I have had exposure to and were more readily available in my area. I have some 1/72 Dragon and Preiser figures but have been too intimidated to attempt them. As this was a review and the colouring was fairly basic I threw caution to the wind and decided to see what I could do. They didn't turn out the best by any stretch but the exercise did bolster my confidence. I was most delighted with these Zvezda figures, not just their ease of assembly but also how crisp the detail was. For the scale, the weapons they carry are truly impressive. The relief on things such as canteens, satchels and faces made painting them much easier than I had anticipated. When time permits, I'll see if I can't take my figure finishing a bit further the next time. Cheers, Jan
MAR 20, 2012 - 04:00 AM
   

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