Have you seen Rembrandt’s painting of the “Night Watch”? Eighteen men of the Civic Guard, but the light and the focus are on the two in front; yeah, it’s a good bet that those would have been Alpine Miniatures figures. Okay, so Rembrandt didn’t have any Alpine figures to work with, but if they would have been around he probably would have used them! These guys are the cream of the crop (both Alpine and Rembrandt) and are certainly among the best 1/35 scale resin figures being produced today.
Taesung Harmms, the wizard behind the curtain, the founder and driving force behind Alpine has hardly slowed down since the company was launched in 2004. Now we get a couple of new releases that are sure to please. Stock number 35145 is a Waffen SS tank crewman in a comfortable leaning position and number 35149 is an NCO with the 502 sPzAbt somewhere in Russia. Both figures come packaged in a small blister box with a small insert with painted up examples of the figures by Man-Jin Kim and Calvin Tan, respectively.
The first figure, 35145, is sculpted by Krisztian Bodi, and like virtually all Alpine figures, can be found as part of a two figure vignette, #35147. Each of the figures in the vignette is available separately. This particular fellow is shown in a relaxed pose leaning on the fender of some appropriate vehicle. He wears a tailored panzer jacket and pants with the box art showing the jacket made from what appears to be Italian camouflage cloth, a not uncommon situation. The breakdown of the figure is just a bit different; the arms are relaxed with the left hand resting on the wrist of the right arm. Because of the difficulty inherent with a pose of this kind the arms are cast together in a light gray resin as one piece eliminating any fit problems. The remainder of the torso is cast in one large piece with just the slightest mold seam to clean up.
The figure includes a sidearm that has a keyed locating hole on the figures rear hip. The casting blocks are all intelligently placed to reduce any potential damage. Like all Alpine figures this one is provided with two head sculpt options, this time you have a very relaxed crusher style visor cap with goggles attached and a SS black side cap with a large bandage from a head wound evident. To say that both head choices are excellent sculpts is a real understatement.
The second figure, 35149, sculpted by Harmms, is from the vignette that featured Otto Carius. This is the NCO in the scene that is in conversation with the famous panzer ace. Clearly, they were deep into some tactical question as the NCO featured here carries a map that he is using in a nascent pointing maneuver. Or maybe, he is beckoning some unfortunate private, your choice! The figure has a more standard layout, full torso with panzer jacket and trousers in the reed green denim, two arms, one hand with map as a separate sculpt and pistol. Again, we have two excellent head choices, one wearing the M43 field cap and the other with the M34 overseas black panzer side cap.
So, what are you waiting for? Pick your favorite figure or pose and order one, or both if you want to splurge a bit. I can promise with total certainty that you will be happy with either of these great figures, both of which more than live up to the standard that Alpine has created.
Highs: Excellent sculpting with two head choices for each figure. Minimal clean-up and no pinholes, air bubbles, or short castings evident. Lows: Price might be a bit high for a single figure, but no issues with the figures themselves. Insert card with painted examples don't show the back of the figure. Verdict: Highly recommended, simply among the very best figures available.
About Rick Cooper (clovis899) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.