I have always been fascinated by the concept of 'tank riders' and only recently, rediscovered a great interest for Soviet armor. At the same time I began to to look around for good quality infantry and crew figures in 1/35th scale.
What's in the box?
WA 35561 Russian Tank Riders # 2
is a three figure set of 1/35th scale (resin) figures which are sculpted by Douglas Lee
. The figures come in a clear plastic box, with a full-color photograph of the assembled and painted figures. Each figure comes in its own little plastic bag. Each figure is supplied unassembled and still come attached to the resin moulding blocks. Four parts make up each figure, weapons are not
seperate, but are moulded into the figures hands. The figures are:
Infantryman In quilted jacket with fur hat (armed with PPSH SMG)
Infantryman wearing the Soviet Camouflaged Coverall (armed with PPSH SMG)
Officer wearing forage cap
All the figures were sufficiently well-packed to survive the journey from California to Spain with no damage at all.
Assembly and Evaluation
The first thing which strikes one, is just how substantial the casting blocks appear to be, however a little care and effort is
required to remove the component parts from the resin plugs. In this a razor-saw is the only possible tool along wih a sharp scalpel to remove the (inevitable) flash. There are some location holes moulded onto the arms and on one of the heads, however I removed these to give a more 'snug' fit. Care should also be taken with the SMGs, as the definition between the butt and the resin waste is not very clearly defined. Some light sanding is necessary to ensure that the parts are completely flat. The worst for me, at least was the plug moulded onto the top of the helmet in one of the figures although some careful cutting and sanding was required.
The figures went together with the minimum of effort using a simple 'domestic' super-glue. I have to admit, that one of the figures is going to have his arm repositioned, as in my haste, I left a (totally) unnecessary gap... Fit is good, very good indeed, and it is obvious that the sculptor has thought things out well in the 'master' stage.
Having assembled the figures, I was a little perturbed by the poses, not that they are bad, it's simply that they will have to be positioned behind a turret when (eventually) I use them for the given purpose. They are certainly well-animated, good proportions in the hands and heads, the length of the arms is convincing also.
Detail is first class, the fur hat, for example, is extremely nicely textured as are the uniform details. One attractive feature is with the 'coverall' which also includes a crisp rendition of its distinctive draw-string. The latter could have done with being a touch 'baggier' the photos I have seen show this as an almost 'voluminous' garment. Another of the figures is wearing the quilted jacket which is so often seen in contemporary photos. This is beautifully done with the 'ridging' extremely subtle although crisp and well-defined. The definition of the heels and soles on the Russian 'high-boots' is also notable. All in all, nice clear definition with an interesting mixture of uniform styles.
Summary and Conclusions
This is an extremely well-executed figure set which would not be out of place in any diorama. The quality is vastly superior to the other 'Tank-Rider' sets that I have in plastic (more of these later!). They are a set which will reward careful painting - the detail is there, a fine touch will be required to bring it out. I still do have some (minor) reservations about the poses however, careful positioning on the rear deck of a vehicle will pay-off. As I mentioned earlier, some care is required during the assembly process but nothing alarming and straps will have to be fashioned for the weaponry. The price? considering the quality of the product, not particularly excessive. Not cheap, but good value for this quality of sculpting.
Availability and acknowledgements
range is available from many sources around the world and many retailers on the 'web.
I would like to express my thanks to VLS Corporation for supplying this review sample...