Interest in Eastern European armor has always been quite strong, so itís odd that there arenít so many figures available to accompany the existing model vehicles. Iím aware of the Tank and MasterClub modern Russians, but there havenít been many figures from the Eastern Bloc/Warsaw Pact countries. This resin figure representing a soldier of the Czechoslovak People's Army will be a welcome addition to many modelers collections. I am not an expert on the Czechoslovak Army, but the figure does match the few photos of the uniform I have found on the web, such as this site:
According to SKP model
the figure can be used as an accessory to the Gaz 69 truck, 152 mm SHkH Dana or any other ČSLA vehicle.
The figure comes in SKPís usual silver colored box, on the box top thereís a colour photo of the painted figure. The figure is further packed inside in a zip lock bag.
Cast in a light grey resin, the figure consists of nine parts: the main body including legs, the head, two arms, a pouch, a bayonet and an SA vz. 58 assault riflewith a separate cocking handle and part of the sling. The pose is a casual one with the rifle slung over his shoulder and one hand on his hip. The sling for the rifle is cast onto the figure. The SA vz. 58, while it looks similar to an AK47 in shape, had different inner workings. The hands and face are particularly well rendered. At 53 mm tall(approx) from his boots to the top of his cap he is tall for 1/35, but he may be okay, I believe, for a modern figure.
I cut the pieces from their plugs with a razor saw leaving the figureís feet attached to their plug to hold onto while assembling and painting. All the plugs come away very easily, but care should be taken with the SA vz. 58 as it is quite fragile and attached to the plug in 5 places. Thereís a fair amount of flash between the figureís legs and a sizeable mould line on the left hand side which I cleaned up with a brand new number 11 knife blade.
The fit of all the parts is extremely good with no sanding or filling needed. There are location lugs for the pouch, but none for the arms, but as I say they fit perfectly without any. There are no instructions included, usually this isnít a problem with Skp figures as the box art suffices, but there were a few parts I had to figure out. There is no guide to where the bayonet frog attaches so I put it where I thought it fit best. Iím guessing that what I think is part of the sling is in fact that.
Also thereís nothing to say what the tiny piece beside the SA vz. 58 is, so Iím guessing it is the cocking handle. Actually itís so small that when I tried to lift it with a pair of tweezers to attach it, it pinged off into the distance and will have to be replaced with a piece of sprue.
This is another really good figure from Skp and one which will appeal to modern builders. The uniform was in service from 1960 Ė 1985 so the figure can accompany any vehicle that fits that time frame. Being a fairly plain uniform it is also ideal for conversion.