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 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;
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.
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.
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!