On October 24, 1917 the Austro-Germans launched an offensive against the Italians, thus starting the Battle of Caporetto. Initiated with gas attacks near Bovec, Caporetto, Kobarid, and Tolmin, the Austro-Germans continued to push the Italian 2nd and 3rd Army all the way back to the Piave river. It was here that the Italian defenses were strengthened by the addition of five British and six French divisions, but not before the Italians had sustained 300,000 casualties and lost more than 3,000 artillery pieces.
Packaging and Contents
The three figures from this vignette come packaged in a plastic zip-lock style bag. The base and the bag are enclosed in a black cardboard box that contains packing foam. The box has a color picture depicting the front view of the vignette.
Sculpting and Casting Quality
In this scene, sculptor Bill Chilstrom gives us three hard-hitting Austro-Hungarian soldiers advancing toward the enemy with vengeance reflected in their eyes. Sculpted with crisp and well-defined detail, these figures cry out for a quality paint job. The poses are dynamic and interesting.
The casting is up to par with Warriors usual offerings. The resin is light in color, and soft enough to easily shape or modify. There were a few air bubbles, but nothing of great concern. Molding seams are also present on the backs of the legs as well as the tops of the boots. These are quickly smoothed out with a sharp blade and sanding sticks.
Included in this vignette is a hefty resin base measuring 3-3/8” in diameter. The sloping terrain that is represented contains rocks, bone fragments, skulls, and a tattered clothing clad skeleton of a French soldier (identifiable by the M-15 Adrian Helmet). One of the skulls even has a little, furry rat poking his head out of the hole on top. Perhaps this is a bit over the top, but can be easily removed should you decide to do so. Absent from the base are any defined indentations to assist in planting the feet. All three figures are in mid-stride, so there is minimal contact with the ground, but care should be taken to avoid the appearance of “floating” soldiers.
Each of the three figures is engaged in a different action as they move forward. I will describe each in detail.
The first figure, pictured on the left, displays a grimace on his face while preparing a stielhandgranate for throwing. The figure is made up of seven parts; one-piece legs and torso, head, left arm and hand, right arm, right hand with grenade, helmet, and Mannlicher M95 Rifle. He wears the M17 steel helmet, M16 einheitsbluse with stand & fall collar and concealed buttons, field grey trousers, puttees, and Bergschuh boots. There is an attached bread bag, cartridge pouches, and the collar detail includes the larger variety of regimental patches (painted blue on the box art indicating he was part of the Common Army). The rifle is displayed as slung over his back.
The second figure, pictured in the middle, is leading the group with a revolver raised in his left hand, and a spiked trench mace at the ready in his right. Eight parts make up this figure; one-piece legs and torso, head, two arms, left hand with M1898 Rast Gasser military revolver, right hand with mace, M17 steel helmet, and a holster.
He sports a handlebar moustache, characteristic of the era. His uniform is similar to that of the first figure with a few exceptions. Instead of puttees, he is wearing leather gaiters, and his regimental patch is of the narrow variety. He is also wearing a single rank star on his collar which I believe designates him as a Second Lieutenant.
The stone-faced third figure, pictured on the right, progresses with M95 rifle in hand. This figure is comprised of six parts; one-piece legs and torso, head, two arms, helmet, and two hands which are nicely molded onto the M95 rifle. His uniform mimics that of the first figure. He too also has an attached bread bag, and cartridge pouches. There is an additional storage pack worn on the back of his belt next to the bread bag.
Also included in the kit are three resin blocks each containing a bayonet, brass and leather scabbard, Assault Troops’ dagger (sturmdolch), gas mask canister, and a stielhandgranate.
All figures went together without any trouble. Some minor gaps will need to be filled where the arms attach to the torso. Care should be taken when positioning the separate hands so that a natural appearance is achieved. I would also suggest attaching the helmets after painting as the large brims could make it difficult to reach all parts of the face and head when painting.
After you have these figures together, you may want to finish them off with some of the details which aren’t included, but are shown on the box art. Helmet straps and rifle slings can easily be made with lead foil, masking tape, or heavy paper. You could also replicate the lanyard shown around the middle figures neck and attaches to the revolver by using fine waxed string, or monofilament line. For the advanced modeler, fine gauge wire could be used to replicate buckles and clasps found on the helmet straps and slings.
With the quality casting, interesting subject, and great sculpting, I give this kit a high recommendation. I would suggest that any modeler intending on tackling this vignette have some experience working with resin figures.
I would like to extend my thanks to VLS for this review sample.
The research for this review was greatly aided by Osprey Publishing’s “The Austro-Hungarian Forces in World War I (2) 1916-18”, authored by Peter Jung and illustrated by Darko Pavlovic. For more information, see Osprey Publishing