by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Battalion Models, still a fairly new figure company from Russia, is rapidly releasing new figure sets, all of them sculpted by one of the brightest figure sculpting stars today: Sergey Menelaev. I already reviewed several Battalion's modern figure sets which were truly amazing and now I have the opportunity to review their latest figure releases.
This review is a “group review” of 3 Battalion Models’ modern Russian figure sets: BAT 35013A, BAT 35013BC and BAT 35013D. Sets A and BC represent BMP crew bailing out from a damaged vehicle, while set D depicts a Russian soldier providing fire support for escaping BMP crew.
The figures arrived safely packed; a very sturdy cardboard was used to protect the boxes and all the zip-lock bags inside the boxes were additionally protected by packing peanuts. Again, the boxes feature nicely painted box arts and list both the sculptor (Sergey Travianskiiy (Menelay)) and the painter (Studio “Argo”).
Each of the figures is packed inside its own zip-lock bag. Upon closer inspection the figures look amazing. The parts are cast in gray resin; the resin is almost completely clean of any imperfections… there are no air bubbles, no flash or seam lines. Casting blocks are well placed, allowing easy clean up with minimal chance of damaging the detail. Besides that, most of the plugs are attached to kit pieces on places that are not going to be visible once the figure is fully assembled. The fit of the pieces is excellent; if placed correctly there are almost no visible gaps between the pieces so minimal putty work is needed. The anatomy of all figures is perfect and the poses are very natural. The level of detail is amazing; among the best I have seen on resin figures... Since the figures are designed to work as a group of modern Russian soldiers, I thought it would be easier to write some sort of a «group review» rather than describing each figure separately.
The figures represent Russian soldiers during the first Chechen war. All of the figures are wearing typical winter uniform consisting of the lined jacket and trousers. I’m not completely sure about the correct designation of the uniform, but I did find some facts about it. The jacket is made of cotton and has four pockets on the body and has one small pocket on the upper part of each sleeve. The elbows are reinforced and the button plaquette is covered with the exception of the throat button. The jacket lining is removable; it can be attached for additional warmth and has a fur collar that is exposed over the collar of the jacket. The fur collar can be turned up to protect the head from the freezing cold. The trousers are also lined and made of cotton; they have a pocket on each thigh and have draw-in ties on each cuff of the leg. The first winter uniform models were issued in tan color and later variants were camouflaged in TTsKO and VSR pattern (also known as “Schofield” or “Dubok”), which were later replaced by Flora camouflage pattern.
The figures mostly use identical equipment, but each figure does have its distinctiveness. Here’s the part list for every individual figure:
BAT 35013A (“The Russian crew BMP”) represents a BMP crewman escaping from a damaged vehicle and firing his AKM; the dynamic pose of the figure is superbly rendered. The figure consists of 4 parts: full torso with legs and head, left arm, right arm and a weapon cast together with both hands. I found a seam line on this figure going along the right trouser to the winter jacket (the jacket is not the usual winter uniform jacket, perhaps it is just the lining of the uniform with the fur collar?)… some careful sanding and the problem is solved. The fit of the part is excellent, but I would suggest dry fitting the hands and arms to the torso before opening the glue bottle.
BAT 35013B (“The Russian crew BMP”) consists of 4 parts: full torso with legs and head, left arm, right arm and a weapon cast together with right hand. The figure represents a BMP crewmember helping his wounded comrade to bail out from the damaged vehicle. This figure wears a typical Russian Army wool sweater and a vest… but a special touch, apart from all the little tears on the uniform, is the right trouser which found its way from the high top boot. The figure is sporting AKM, a modernized version of AK-47. The oblique-cut muzzle compensator on the AKM reduced the AK’s tendency to climb up during full-auto fire. The weapon looks very nice and the casting is once again wonderful.
BAT 35013C (“The Russian crew BMP”) represents a wounded BMP driver and consists of 3 parts: full torso with legs and head, left arm and right arm. The small tears on the uniform, the fur collar and wonderfully rendered BMP crew helmet, the belt buckle and knitted cap tucked in the belt… all the details on this figure look great, but the best part is definitely the “heavy feel” of the soldier trying to lift himself from the BMP driver’s compartment. I do have an old Dragon’s BMP-2 model at home, however I glued its hatches closed so I can’t comment on the fit of the figure to the vehicle itself, but I guess there shouldn’t be any major problems with it.
BAT 35013D (“Modern Russian soldier”) consists of 5 parts: full torso with legs, the head, left arm, right arm and a weapon cast together with left hand. This figure represents a soldier reloading his AKM and providing cover for the escaping BMP crew. The figure wears fragmentation body armor generally issued to Russian troops at the time of the first Chechen war. This kind of body armor was not camouflaged, but in khaki or greenish color. The figure is wearing M-60 helmet over knitted cap, a usual Russian soldier practice during the cold winter months in Chechnya.
One thing I still have to mention are the figure head sculpts: all heads look really good and each figure has its own individual facial details cleanly sculpted and well defined.
Battalion Models figures described in this review are simply wonderful, sculpted by a very talented sculptor and superbly cast with amazing attention to details. The action poses and facial features look very natural; all the figures compliment each other well, making these sets extremely useful for modelers wanting to add an additional touch of drama to the damaged Russian vehicles. In fact, these sets are so good that some of you might consider modeling a destroyed BMP just so you can use these figures in a vignette... I know I'm getting all sorts of ideas for such a project.
Thanks to Evgeny of Battalion Models for this review sample.
Camouflage Uniforms of the Soveit Union and Russia (Schiffer Publishing); Dennis Desmond