by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
ANT Miniatures is a Russian figure company producing white metal figures depicting Russian soldiers throughout history. I noticed ANT figures couple of years ago; I was particularly interested in their Spetsnaz line of figures as these were (and still are) the only large scale figures representing modern Russian Special Forces operators. Back then ANT was mostly oriented to its home market and their figures were pretty hard to acquire. Things started to change about a year ago; Viktor Antonov, the owner of ANT Miniatures, found several distributors both in Europe and in US thus introducing his figures to the western world. Recently ANT Miniatures decided to transfer their white metal technology and start producing figures in resin. Some of their 1:35 resin offerings are already marketed on several figure forums, but my interest was still in ANT large scale Spetsnaz figures. Knowing Viktor for quite a long time, I got the chance to buy a figure from the first batch of ANT Miniatures 120-48 resin kit: “Officer of the anti-terrorism special group “A” of FSB, Chechnya 2004-2005”. The figure is not on the market yet, so this review is actually a sneak preview of what we can expect from ANT Miniatures large scale resin figure kits.
The figure arrived quickly from Moscow, packed safely in a firm cardboard box. The front of the box features a very nice boxart picture but it does not list the sculptor or the painter. I found that info on ANT website; the sculptor of this figure is Nikolay Gordeev, the author of most ANT large scale modern offerings, while the painter is Aleksandra Zinovieva, Viktor’s wife. There are two more high quality photos of the painted figure inside the box; one shows the figure from the front and the other from the back. The extra photos are a nice addition to the kit and could help in placement of the parts or as a painting guide.
Inside the box three zip-lock bags hold resin and while metal parts of the kit, additionally protected within a bubble wrap. The kit includes 7 resin parts and 3 parts cast in white metal. The resin parts are:
- Full body with legs and head,
- Right arm,
- Left arm,
- VOG-25 pouch,
- Drop leg holster,
- Base for the kit,
and the white metal parts include:
- AK-74/GP30 assault rifle,
- Microphone boom for the RYS helmet,
- Integrated radio station for the RYS helmet.
The resin parts are cast in high quality cream resin. The cast is really good; there are no air bubbles or similar imperfections on the parts, but I did notice a seam line going along the side of the left leg and boot… some careful sanding and the problem should be solved. Casting plugs are small and easy to remove. As for metal parts, they look extremely well detailed and the weapon is a real gem.
The fit of the parts is excellent; every part has a positioning extension which fits well to its corresponding groove so there is absolutely no way to misalign the parts. The right arm rests naturally on the weapon and the weapon fits perfectly on the figure due to the small positioning indentations in its lap. Also, the figure sits well on the kit base.
The figure represents an officer of the A (“Alfa”) Group, an elite counter-terrorism unit that belongs to CSN (Center of Special Operations) of the FSB (Federal Security Service, former KGB). Using the connections in Russian Army, the figure and equipment are extensively researched and sculpted to highest standard. The figure wears a T-shirt and Russian summer uniform trousers. This particular uniform system is typically issued to Russian Special Forces units and the trousers have number of additional features compared to the regular uniform. The modifications added to improve security, functionality and accessibility of the system include reinforced knees, crotch area mesh insert for air circulation, elastic cuffs with the boots tuck-in sleeve and 6 pockets (side pockets, knife pocket on right hip, two thigh front pockets with flaps and a single flap pocket on the back). This uniform can be issued in a variety of camouflage patterns but the boxart shows the trousers in “Smog” pattern, a Russian copy of British DPM. The figure also wears “Redut” Assault Body Armor, which is the standard body armor worn by Alfa operators of FSB, and carries SPOSN SMERSh webbing. The SMERSh is Russian version of ALICE harness setup, but it also includes MOLLE loops allowing custom attachment of various pouches. The SMERSh webbing configuration sculpted on this figure consists of 4 double AK ammo pouches, small utility pouch, VOG-25 pouch, buttpack and a small radio pouch on the left shoulder. A drop leg holster carries a side weapon on the right thigh. The figure wears RYS assault helmet, designed specifically for Russian FSB special units. RYS is a helmet based on the K6-3 helmet but features optimized protection structure and integrated headset system with the microphone boom on the right and radio station wires attachment port on the back protrusion of the helmet. RYS-T is a helmet made of titanium and RYS-A of aluminum. Tactical goggles are usually worn on the helmet and the Special Forces look of the figure is further enhanced by the knee pads, assault boots and fingerless Storm gloves.
The figure is armed with an AK-74/GP30, the AK-74 version with the 40mm underbarrel grenade launcher. GP30 fires VOG-25 fragmentation grenades. The weapon looks really good and all the details are cast very nicely in white metal. The sling is molded on the weapon as well.
This figure is really something special to me. I wanted to paint modern Russian Special Ops figure in large scale for quite a long time. Now, with the ANT resin figure kits in 120mm, my wishes have finally come true.
The figure is perfectly sculpted and the casting is great. The facial features are also very nice. All the equipment is researched to the smallest detail, but the thing which was particularly interesting to me is the pose of the figure… battle weary soldier relaxing, smiling and gesturing the peace sign. As soon as I opened the box and checked the contents I wanted to paint this one. The only difficult thing would be deciding which Russian camouflage pattern to paint.
Camouflage Uniforms of the Soveit Union and Russia (Schiffer Publishing); Dennis Desmond