by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Sergey Traviansky, the creative force behind Evolution Miniatures, is producing some of the finest resin figures on the market today. Being from Russia, Sergey obviously has a soft spot for sculpting modern Russian soldiers… The Officer of Special Troops GRU (Afghanistan 1984-1989) is the first figure produced under Evolution Miniatures label; it depicts an officer of Soviet Main Intelligence Department during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
The figure arrived safely protected in a hard cardboard box. The box features nicely painted box art and lists both the sculptor (Sergey Traviansky) and the painter (Sergey Traviansky).
After opening the zip-lock bags and reviewing parts of the figure I was amazed by the amount of parts in the kit. The parts are cast in grey resin and are mostly clean of imperfections… no air-bubbles but I did find two rather nasty seam lines: one on the right arm and one on the right leg. Cleaning those could prove a bit tricky as the procedure could compromise the numerous folds of the uniform. I would suggest lots of patience and very fine sandpaper for removing the seams. Casting plugs are intelligently placed on kit parts, 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. However, be careful when removing the delicate weapon from its carrier.
The anatomy of the figure is perfect and the dynamic pose is very natural. The details are amazing; boot laces, equipment and uniform details, facial features, the weapon… this figure is a true gem for modern figure modelers.
The figure depicts an officer of Russian GRU (Glavnoye Razvedovatel'noye Upravlenie or Main Intelligence Department) during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The figure consists of 7 pieces: full body with legs, the head, left arm, right arm, the weapon with both hands attached, winter uniform jacket and a poncho wrapped around RPG. A small base is included in the kit as well.
The fit of the kit parts is very good; if placed correctly there are almost no visible gaps between the pieces so minimal putty work is needed. This is the case with all figures sculpted by Sergey I had the chance to work with as he obviously pays a lot of attention to the figure break up while making a mold. The extra equipment on the back fits like a charm but be patient and test fit the arms to the torso and the hands with the weapon to the arms before opening the glue bottle. My suggestion would be fitting the left arm first and then the right arm; you can follow the folds of the uniform to align the arms with the torso perfectly. That way you will have no problems in fitting the hands with the weapon to the arms.
The figure is wearing Gorka uniform and a ton of equipment. On the front is the Pakistani chest rig which holds 8 AK magazines and 4 hand grenades. Under the chest harness the figure wears an attachment for accommodating 5 VOG-25 40mm grenades. VOG-25 can be fired by the under-barrel grenade launchers fitted to the AK series of assault rifle. The officer’s leather belt secures the enlarged Makarov holster which accommodates both the PM pistol and silencer on the right hip, while the canteen is secured to the belt on the left hip. On its back the figure carries Soviet RD-54 VDV backpack system comprising of the main and two side compartments reinforced with wire frame for extra rigidity. Straps on top and bottom of side compartments allow the backpack to accommodate even more equipment; this particular figure carries a poncho wrapped around RPG-18 antitank launcher secured to the top of the backpack and a sleeping bag strapped to the lower part of the backpack. The winter uniform jacket called “Peschanka” in Russian Army slang, which provided extra warmth during cold Afghanistan nights, is secured on top of the sleeping bag.
All the intricate details of the uniform and the equipment are sculpted on this figure to the highest standard. I particularly like the fur collar on the winter jacket and small details inside the chest rig (Afghani knife carried as a war trophy being one of them).
The figure is armed with AKS-74/GP25, the airborne version of AK-74 with the folding butt and 40mm under-barrel grenade launcher. The weapon has two magazines taped together and is also fitted with PBS silencer, often used by Soviet special forces in Afghanistan.
I really liked this sculpt when I first saw it on planetFigure. I remember thinking how nice it would be if the figure became available commercially. And here it is… first release from Evolution Miniatures.
This figure captures the look of a Russian GRU veteran in Afghanistan perfectly. The figure is loaded with equipment which is sculpted to the highest standard with tons of small intricate details. The face of the figure is very nicely defined and the moustache is a unique touch. The base supplied in the kit provides the modeler with the opportunity for a very nice stand alone figure vignette.
Very Highly Recommended
Thanks to Sergey from Evolution Miniatures for this review sample.
Camouflage Uniforms of the Soveit Union and Russia (Schiffer Publishing)