by: Jim Rae [ ]
Some Background Established in may 1943 on the orders of Stalin from Poles who had been forcibly deported to the Soviet Union and (later) within the Eastern part of Poland the two 'Polish' armies (1st & 2nd) fought their way from the battle of Lenino (Belarus) in October 1943 to the final battles of Berlin in 1945. At the end of the war it consisted of around 330,000 combat troops who represented all Arms of Service. In the final battle for Berlin, around 180,000 Poles took part - a significant number which is rarely referred to in the history books. Inevitably, due to the paranoia of the Soviet Union, the majority of its officers were Russian although many of its political officers were Polish communists - chosen for their political reliability and earmarked for future posts in the post-war Soviet puppet regime.
About this review I've decided to do two reviews - covering the four 1st Army figures I was given for review by Adalbertus. the first part will overview 35F12 & 35F13...
Briefly The figures are designed and manufactured by Toro Model (Poland) but are exported and distributed by Adalbertus - also of Poland. 35F12: Kolberg 1945 - 1st Army of Polish Forces - Infantry Officer with PPSh and 35F13: Berlin 1945 - 1st Army of Polish Forces - Infantryman with PPSh are 1/35th scale resin figures which come in kit form. The figures are moulded in a light, cream-colored resin and come in a flap-opening box which has a color photo of the figures on the top.
In Detail As usual, i'll concentrate on the various aspects of the figures - sculpting, pose, additional details etc. Where necessary, i'll comment on individual spects of each figure.
Heads/facial Expressions: Heads are nicely done with good, understated, facial detail. 35F12 is wearing a good-representation of the Poish 'Kepi' which has good detail although, perhaps, a little 'flat on the top(?). 35F13has a good representation of the standard Soviet helmet. I like the heads a lot, as i'm getting frankly tired of the soft, indistinct features or (alternatively) the deeply 'chiselled' features which others seem to feel necessary. A good balance.
Arms/Hands: Once again, the creasing is subtle and smooth - no great angular gouges to represent creasing, nice natural 'flow' to the creasing. Hands are also nicely done with good, natural form.
Feet/Legs: 35F12 is sculpted with long boots which are anatonomically well-done. 35F14 has the often-seen gaiters which are not as cleanly moulded as one would wish for. Detail is there but it's a little too 'subtle' and care will have to be taken when painting to not destroy the detail.
Uniforms: 35F12 is sculpted with the long greatcoat which 'flows' and hangs in an extremely natural manner. 35F13 is wearing the typical (late-war) Soviet tunic and 'jodhpur-style' trousers with the protective patch on the knees. No inaccuracies or strange sculpting were seen.
Poses: Of the two figures, although the pose is broadly similar, I prefer that of 35F1235F13 the way he's holding the SMG is not as natural. The pose of both figures IS good although my preference is very firmly towards 35F12.
Equipment: As one would expect with 'combat' figures equipment is 'light'. The officer has a map-case and pistol holster although a pouch for a PPSh magazine could be added. The infantryman has a haversack moulded on his back (very convincingly) along with water bottle and entrenching tool (plastic replacement after I broke to resin one).
Construction: Very strightforward although care needs to be exercised in fitting the arms to hold the PPSh' - I used a slower drying Cyro and a bit of blu-tak to position everything. The one thing which I felt was unnecesary, were the location plugs for the upper torso and for the arms. I cut these off and sanded them flat which facilitated a better fit. There was still a gap in the Infantryman between upper an lower torso which was easy enough to fill with thinned-down putty. No problems were encountered whatsoever although a delicate touch is required when removing the resin pour-stubs.
Conclusions A really excellent pair of figures which, although specifically designed as Polish Infantry, can be used as as 'normal' Soviet Infantry. Excellent value for money with some really good poses and detail. These are figures which definitely deserve a wider 'audience' and are, in my opinion, some of the best figures of this type available on the market.
My thanks to Adalbertus for the opportunity to review these figures.