Its significance often overlooked, the Soviet-Afghan War stands as one of the seminal events of the last quarter of the 20th century. In less than a decade it exposed fatal defects in the Soviet political structure, contributed to the collapse of the communist party and played a decisive role in the disintegration of the USSR. The conflict rapidly involved other nations with political interests in Central Asia, not least the United States, which siphoned billions of dollars in aid to the mujahideen through Pakistan. Pakistan itself strongly supported the resistance in general, but particularly those elements of religious extremists who in the wake of Soviet withdrawal took a prominent part in the struggle between rival mujahideen factions which ultimately led to the Taliban’s triumph in 1996. Along with the horrific wave of repression which their regime unleashed, the Taliban offered Afghanistan as a training and recruiting ground for extremist groups like al-Qaeda, sowing the seeds for the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001. This in turn triggered a devastating reaction from the United States and the United Kingdom, followed by other NATO powers.
Adapted from: The Soviet–Afghan War 1979–89, Gregory Fremont-Barnes, Osprey Publications
Stalingrad recently released five 1/35 scale figures depicting Afghan mujahideen. This review covers Afghan Rebel (S-3605)
, while the reviews of other figures from the group can be accessed here: link
The set is packed in a hard cardboard box. The front of the box features an image showing the assembled and painted figure. Opening the box reveals a zip-lock bag securing three figure pieces:
- full body,
- left hand with weapon,
- weapon stock.
Cast in grey-greenish resin, the pieces look absolutely wonderful. The resin is a bit softer than what I’m used to, but the pieces are very nicely delivered, with no imperfections in the resin whatsoever and all the details sharp and well-defined.
As for the assembly, I was a bit surprised to see the weapon stock cast separately from the weapon. It is an easy fix, however some extra care is needed to optimally align the part. The hand fits well to the left arm, with the weapon handguard resting on the figure’s shoulder. I used a tiny amount of putty in the process just to make everything perfect.
The figure depicts Afghan rebel. The pose is magnificently mastered, showing one of the typical ways to carry the AK. The figure sports the usual Afghan pajama shirt and trousers, with the chapati sandals on his feet and pakol, a flat rolled-up hat and one of the undisputed symbols of Afghanistan, on his head. The figure also wears embroidered brown blanket called pukhoor over the M65-like field jacket and Chinese style chest AK rig.
The sculptor did an amazing job on this figure. The anatomy is spot-on, the pose well balanced. I particularly like the clothing with the folds suggesting different feel and weight of various materials. The facial features and long beard are well defined too.
Afghan Rebel (S-3605) is an impressive figure. The sculpt is very realistic, not just the pose but also the details on different Afghan-style clothing items. The figure is very nicely cast in resin and easy to assemble.
Altogether, this is one of the best Afghan figures on the market today and, with the rest of the rebel group, it could make a great focal point of many Middle Eastern dioramas.