The kit originally was sold by Kirin, however being as I bought this from Hong Kong on my favorite auction sites, I am highly suspicious of it provenance!
The figure itself is really well sculpted and comes complete with its own base and wooden box to complete the pose of the figure. Although this is not what you would call a popular subject to paint when compared to some of the more colorful or infamous figures that are available to buy, I think it will build into a nice figure to add to my current collection.
The build the the figure was straight forward and when compared to the quality of some figures that I have purchased of late, this is one of the better ones.
I decided to build the main body of the figure as one piece, leaving the hands, head, box and base as separate items to be worked separately until final assembly. After spraying the initial primer coat onto the parts, a number of small casting problems reared their ugly head. The arms, one leg and the machine gun being the worst affected by cast lines and air bubbles. The legs and arms were solved with some Squadron white putty, however I think that the machine gun will require a much greater amount of work later on. The photos below show the figure with a coat of primer and highlight the problem areas.
After quite a bit of filling, filing and sanding on the main body of the figure I can finally say that I'm happy with the result. I have to be honest in saying that I had to fill quite a lot more than I originally thought I would.
The uniform colours were a little difficult to decide upon after researching on the internet. There seems to be a usual mix of colours and shades as expected from this era of uniforms. I have decided on colours that I could closely match to quite a few war re-en-actors who have thankfully posted images of themselves on the internet. As is the case for almost all of my figures; the base colours are Humbrol and Revell enamels that once dry will be shaded using oil paints. Progress photos of the base colours is below:
The one thing that I think has put me off finishing this figure from the moment that it arrived was the overall look of the finished figure. Basically whenever I think Russian armed forces I expect to see either an over-sized peak hat or a Ushanka hat. This one had neither. I don't doubt that it is historically accurate, it just didn't look right to me!
After a quick search to satisfy myself that this particular arm of the Soviet military did indeed wear Ushanka's, I decided to remove the existing cap and replace it with a Ushanka sculpted from some Miliput. Below are the before and after shots of the modification:
While the Ushanka cured I started work on the supplied base. I have to be honest that despite its simplistic nature, it was very well rendered. I did however want to portray the figure during a winter on the black sea. To accomplish this I added some budgie grit to resemble the shingle and then some future and baby talc "snow" as a light dusting to emphasize the cold climate:
satisfied with the progress of the figure and now with its "new look" firmly in place, I set about completing the figure in oils. Everything as far as colours are concerned was kept simplistic with only complimentary colours used for light and shade on the figure:
This has got to be one of the easiest and enjoyable builds that I have had in while. The quality of the sculpt was outstanding and the subject is quite unusual when compared to many of the military figures around today. I stand by my decision to change the hat for the Ushanka. It just looks right to me. Here are the finished shots and as always I would love to hear your comments: