35022 - SOVIET TANK CREW: WINTER 1943-45
is a 51 part, five figure set which is moulded in a light-grey plastic. The set comes on two seperate sprues. Painting instructiions are presented on the reverse of the box along with a simple assembly guide. The uniform featured is the late-war sheepskin jacket with fur collars and cuffs. All the necessary equipment is provided, pistol holsters, document cases and the distinctive padded leather/rubber AFV crew helmets.
Having assembled a couple of the figures (minus the flaps of the helmets) the first impression is good. Very little flash exists and the only mould lines present are sufficiently accessible to make cleaning up easy and painless.
As is customary with this kind of review, I will 'seperate' the figures into areas and finish with an overall impression.
: These are very well-moulded indeed. with good, crisp detail. The only concern I have is that they could do with a MM or two of neck as, with the helmet attached, they are a little tricky to fit onto the neck area.
: Not perhaps the best feature of this set. Though not badly moulded, they are lacking a little definition. The hands would be an area where replacements could be considered.
: All the figures are moulded wearing the traditional 'Soviet' high, leather boots although, many crews can be seen wearing the felt boots which were effective in giving some level of protection against the extremes of the Russian Winter. It would be a simple conversion to do with putty or similar medium. The trousers are the 'jodhpur' type so often seen on Soviet Armored Crews. Color scheme is for these is (in the kit) listed as black although there are other possibilities including khaki.
The design of the parka (apparently) owes much to WW1 flying jackets made of sheepskin with a natural wool collar (also seen dyed dark brown or even black). All the figures show the parka buttoned up, which leads to a certain 'sameness' in the figures. A nice variation would have been for one or two to be sculpted with the parka unbuttoned... The 'hang' of the parka is well done, giving the impression of bulkiness. The definition in areas such as the belts and crossbelts is good along with the distinctive buttons. An area which needs a bit of work is to 'roughen' the surface of the collars and add fur cuffs (if desired). As these came with epaulettes, enhancing them would not be a bad idea either. All the seams are subtly reproduced also...
: These are very well done and show the earlier (?) pattern which were used throughout the war. They capture the 'bulk' in a convincing manner.
: The figures go together well although some filler is going to be needed round the join at the waist. The plastic sticks well with Tamiya 'Extra-Thin' with no problems whatsoever.
: The set consists of four standing and one seated figure which could well be vehicle commanders 'in conference'..
Apart from the areas I have highlighted, this is a set with a great deal of potential. The poses are not exactly earth-shatteringly interesting although would look good in a diorama with other figures and a vehicle. Not a set to use together, rather to use one or two of the figures and add others to give some variation in both pose and dress.
This is a GOOD set, it requires more work perhaps than with other manufacturers' products but it will be worth the effort. The sheepskin parkas will make for some interesting and challenging paint jobs, with some nice possibilities in reproducing the wear and tear on them.
With some attention, some changes made, there is absolutely no reason why some impressive figures could be produced with this set as the basis.
Firstly, my thanks to MiniArt
for supplying the Soviet Tank Crew Set for review.
Secondly, a variety of sites and publications were consulted in the compilation of this review. Once again Google
came up with some interesting sites and information!