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Built Review
135
Late War WSS Pz NCO Set
Late War Waffen-SS Panzer NCO Set (2 figures)
  • 35047b1

by: Rudi Richardson [ TAROK ]

INTRODUCTION

Waffen-SS tank troops were distinctive in making extensive use of leather clothing; a large amount of which was surplus navy engine room crew clothing. This recent release by Alpine Miniatures is an excellent example of how the garments were worn.

35047 – “Late War WSS Panzer NCO Set” is set of two 1/35th scale resin figures sculpted by Taesung Harmms, the owner of Alpine Miniatures. The two Waffen-SS Panzer NCO’s are portrayed in a fairly casual stance. Released in February 2007, the box-art is painted by Calvin Tan.

Both figures are also available individually as figures 35045 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #1 and 35046 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #2.

35045 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #1

35045 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #1, posed casually about to take a drag on his cigarette, is interestingly clad: he actually wears naval garb.

35045 wears the black leather jacket intended for Maschinenpersonal. This jacket was a single-breasted leather article of clothing with a five-button fastening and a stand-up collar. At the bottom of each sleeve was a leather strap with button fastening for adjusting the fit of the cuff. Apart from the shoulder straps that he has fitted, this tanker crewman wears no other insignia on his jacket.

For legwear the NCO wears the naval leather engine room trousers. The trousers were cut from material identical to the jacket. They had straight legs and were made from several pieces of leather, so invariably had horizontal seams across the legs. They had button-fly fronts and side pockets.

The NCO is presented with two options for headgear. The first is the special black Panzer version of the M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze. The peaked field cap is adorned with the Waffen-SS insignia of the death’s head on the front of the cap and the SS version of the national emblem on the left side flap.

The second option is the ‘old style’ M1934 NCOs peaked service cap, without stiffening and the top having been folded back. The cap is adorned with the SS-pattern eagle and the Totenkopf device.

35045 wears the following other notable articles: P38 in its distinctive holster; M1934 officers’ brown leather belt; but most notably, he wears a Knight’s Cross on its ribbon passing beneath his shirt collar.

35046 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #2

35046 Late War WSS Panzer NCO #2 is casually posed, and like his 35045 counterpart, is interestingly clad: he wears a combination of Waffen-SS tank troop and naval surplus clothing.

35046 wears the Waffen-SS Panzer jacket. Slightly different to that of the army, the jacket’s front flap was cut vertically, rather than slanting as on the army’s, and the collar was of a smaller, neater cut.

Standard Waffen-SS collar patches are worn as used on Waffen-SS field grey clothing. The standard Waffen-SS sleeve eagle is worn on the left sleeve, as is the unit cuffband (on the lower left sleeve). Standard shoulder straps are worn.

Notably, the NCO has been awarded the Iron Cross First and Second Class, as well as another award, probably a Panzer Assault Badge, which I was not able to quite make out.

Like 35045, 35046 wears the naval leather engine room trousers, and has the same headgear options.

35045 wears the following other noteworthy articles: P38 in its distinctive holster; M1934 officers’ brown leather belt; and scarf around neck.

He also wears a set of standard issue 6x30 binoculars, which by the latter part of the war mostly painted in a colour known as ‘ordnance tan’.

The Kit

The set, moulded in a light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of twelve (12) pieces, six pieces per figure. The kit is packaged in a small, clear acetate box with each figure’s parts inside its own small zip-lock bag. A small card displaying the painted set of figures, as well as the individual figures is supplied.

Each figure consists of the following six (6) parts:

  • Full figure, excluding head and arms;
  • Left and right arms;
  • P38 holster;
  • Head wearing M1934 NCO’s peaked service cap;
  • Head wearing M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze.

    The figures are impeccably sculpted, and the casting, well to be honest, is probably of the best resin casting I have seen to date. The casting is crisp, clean, and has truly captured the highly detailed and accurate sculpting of Taesung Harmms.

    The heads are all well-sculpted, and each pair of heads matches in terms of facial detail – it is only the head gear that differentiates the two heads. The faces are cleanly sculpted and very well defined, with even hair textured at the lower rear of the skull. The headgear is well proportioned, and extremely detailed. The folding of the peaks is a really nice touch and helps give the figures a veteran feel. The 35045 head wearing the Einheitsfeldmütze has bandages partially wrapped around his skull, which realistically bunches over the right ear. Thankfully the casting blocks are under the neck, so modellers can easily remove this without fear of damaging any detail.

    The figures proper are extremely well detailed. One gets a very good idea of the bulkiness of the leather garments, particularly when comparing the two figures – the one wearing the leather jacket, the other the Panzer jacket. Folds gather realistically for the types of material portrayed. All the finer details such as shoulder straps, awards, belt buckles, and binoculars are well detailed and very crisply and clearly cast.

    The arms, as with the rest of the figure, are well detailed and cast. Once again, the sculptor’s attention to detail is fantastic. He has included things like a wristwatch and wedding band for 35045. Whereas by looking at the wrists of 35046, one can see that the sculptor has even shown the storm cuff of the jacket.

    If there is just one thing I do not like about these figures, it is the heavy casting blocks on the arms. Each right arm has a casting block inside the shoulder, which should not be too difficult to remove with a razor saw. The left arms, however, have a U-shaped casting block, with the one leg attaching to the outer shoulder, the other to the elbow. Caution should be practiced when removing this so as not to damage the detail. No doubt there is an excellent reason for the large casting blocks, and their location.

    The final piece to each figure is the P38 holster, and as with the rest of the figure, it is well sculpted, and crisply and cleanly cast.

    The quality of the cast is excellent and compliments the sculptor’s obvious attention to detail. There was a miniscule amount of flash between the legs, which is also the only place that I could find any seam lines.

    Assembly

    Removing the pieces from the casting blocks is fairly effortless. I found a new chisel shaped knife blade easily cut through the resin – in fact as if it were plastic!

    The only pieces I had a slight problem with were the right arms of both figures. As mentioned above the casting block is located on the inside of the shoulder. On both arms I removed slightly too much of the shoulder itself, probably due my haste.

    Clean up was simple. As I mentioned the only flash and seams were between the legs, and this was quickly sort out with a sharp number 11 blade.

    For the purposes of this review I have simply tacked the figures together with the local equivalent of “Blu-tac”.

    The arms line up easily with the shoulders on the torso. I found the easiest method was to line up the folds of the jacket with those of the sleeves.

    The holsters have locator pins so line up easily with the inverse on the belt.

    The heads easily slide into place, and are even interchangeable between the two figures.

    Conclusion

    Until now I had only heard of the fantastic quality of Alpine Miniatures’ figures; this was my first opportunity to reviews Alpine Miniatures figures. And now I understand why they are so popular, and the sculptor so respected. Without a doubt it is due to the high quality of sculpting and casting.

    And this figure set is no different. Together with the unique outfits, this figure set will make a welcome addition to any diorama, vignette, or stand-alone. These figures are winners! Indeed, 35045 could even easily be converted to a member of the Kriegsmarine.

    Very Highly Recommended!

  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Sculpted by Taesung Harmms, with a very unique appearance. Top notch casting.
    Lows: Heavy casting blocks on the arms.
    Verdict: Fantastic sculpting. Awesome casting quality. These figures are a must for any WW2 enthusiast!
    Percentage Rating
    98%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: 35047
      PUBLISHED: Mar 26, 2007
      NATIONALITY: Germany
    NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
      THIS REVIEWER: 85.47%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.33%

    Our Thanks to Alpine Miniatures!
    This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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    About Rudi Richardson (Tarok)
    FROM: VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

    I'm a former Managing Editor of the Historicus Forma historical figure modelling website. While my modelling and history interests are diverse, my main figure modelling focus lies in Sci-Fi, Pop-Culture, Fantasy, Roman and WW2 German subjects. I'm a firm believer that armour and vehicles accessorise...

    Copyright ©2018 text by Rudi Richardson [ TAROK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



    Comments

    Very nice looking figures.
    MAR 27, 2007 - 06:38 AM
    They're really 2 fantastic little figures, Dave. This was my first opportunity to review Alpine figures, and now I finally realise what everyone was raving about. As I said in the review, the sculpting is impecible, as is the casting. Taesung's attention to detail is fantastic! I've never given a figure such a high rating before, and I think that in itself says something! Thanks for reading Rudi
    MAR 27, 2007 - 10:54 AM
    A nice pair of very usefull figures, that should really add the finishing touch to any Panzer vignette. The leather trousers are a great touch, and sculpted very well (I know, I used to wear leather bike trousers). The only thing I'm less enthusiastic about would be the service caps, they are just a little bit to much 'pulled back'. When the stiffening band is removed from the cap, and the sides 'pulled down' , they assume that 'lazy' floppy look, which in my opinion has not been completely achieved here. Still, the field caps are a good alternative. Talking of which, it would be nice to see the boat shaped field caps for Tank troops, as the peaked field caps were not popular with tank crews, because the peak was a hindrance inside the the tank. For starters, the peak got in the way when trying to look through the vision blocks... Still a good set though, and a fine example of Taesung's skills. Cheers Henk
    MAR 28, 2007 - 10:11 AM
    Hello Gents Thanks for the kind words! Henk, Thanks for the detail constructive comments on the officer crusher hats. I do have hard time making these hats everytime. It seems to me that the NCOs and the officers had certain ways to "crush" the shape of the hats. I'll try to get this right next time As for the feldmütz brim gets in the way, I read about this too. But the photos show many tankers still wearing a lot of these hats. Maybe it's the gunners who hated the brim as it gets in the way when they look in the gun scope. Also, there's some pics that show tankers wear the feldmütz backward once in their position inside the tank. By the way, wasn 't the feldmütz suppose to replace the oversea caps at some point in 1944??? TS
    MAR 28, 2007 - 07:54 PM
    Two great pieces by Taesung,when i can produce figures to this standard i will know i have achieved a very high level,looking at work like this makes me want to improve. Steve
    MAR 29, 2007 - 01:14 AM
    When the fieldcap was introduced, the overseas ( boatshaped) cap was 'officially' withdrawn/discontinued. That is not to say that the crews would have rushed to replace their overseas caps at the earliest opportunity.... You are right that the crews would wear the hat back to front, to avoid the peaked brim interfering with the sight or vision blocks. There is certainly plenty of photographic evidence of the fieldcap being worn by the crews. Mind you, that brings us to another subject, German wartime photography.. How many photos are posed propaganda photos, and how many are real crew snap shots? As for the method to achieve the floppy effect of the crusher caps, after the stiffening band is removed from inside the hat, the sides are pulled down. This causes the front of the cap to be pulled up and back, due to the pull on the material. I can understand how difficult it is to sculpt this in 1/35 scale ( I have trouble sculpting replacement items in 1/16 scale... I'm definitaly not questioning your sculpting skills.. ) Cheesr Henk
    MAR 30, 2007 - 10:16 AM
    We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
    Thanks.
       

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