Following on the lessons learned from the Eastern Front winters during the early phases of the campaign, the Waffen-SS were not slow in producing their own pattern of reversible winter clothing with the non-white side in autumnal camouflage. This figure from Blues Miniatures depicts a Waffen-SS soldier wearing the Waffen-SS pattern reversible winter tunic.
WL35008 SS-Unterscharfuhrer 1944, a 1/35th scale resin figure, depicts a SS soldier wearing late war clothing, lying on his left side amidst building rubble, perhaps lying in ambush or under cover waiting for the enemy to move past. The figure is sculpted by N. Pizzichemi while the rubble base is sculpted by R. Giannino, who also painted the box-art.
This Waffen-SS soldier wears a reversible, padded winter tunic with the autumn camouflage on the outside and white inside, reversible camouflage padded mittens, belted trousers and leather lace-up ankle boots with M1942 canvas anklets. He wears a steel helmet, with ‘bread bag’ strap attached for foliage, over a M1942 tubular woollen balaclava. He wears M1939 leather infantry Y-straps and M1911 ammunition pouches; behind his left hip is his bread bag with water bottle attached with his gas-mask case slung to the rear as well. He also carries two M1924 stick-grenades in his belt and a Karabiner 98K.
The set, moulded in light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of eight (8) pieces. The kit is packaged in a small card box with the parts inside two small zip-lock bags (one for the figure, the other for the base). A small painting guide indicating the Acrylicos Vallejo Model Colour paints required for painting the autumn camouflage is included.
Figure WL35008 SS-Unterscharfuhrer 1944 consists of the following eight (8) parts:Full figure, excluding head and arms;
Left and right arms, excluding hands;
Mauser 98k rifle with hands attached;
Bread-bag, water bottle and gas-mask case (moulded as one piece);
Head wearing steel helmet; and
Two part base consisting of base proper and a piece of rubble.
Overall the figure and base are well sculpted, with the casting crisp and generally clean.
The head is well-sculpted. The face is cleanly sculpted and well defined, as is the headgear which is well proportioned and nicely detailed – the ‘bread bag’ strap in particular stands out as being well thought through as it, complete with buckles, twists over the helmet. The casting block is positioned under the neck, so modellers can effortlessly remove these without fear of damaging any detail.
The figure proper is well detailed and one gets a very good idea of the fit of the padded jacked and trousers. Folds gather realistically for the materials portrayed. All the finer details such as buckles, straps, Y-straps, and ammunition pouches are well detailed and very crisply and clearly cast. The hob-nailed soles of the boots do not go unnoticed. Casting is clean and crisp, with only a bit of very thin flash between the figure’s legs.
The remaining parts of the figure, namely the arms, rifle and ‘bread bag’/water bottle/gas-mask case, are as with the rest of the kit parts well sculpted and neatly cast, although some parts do have some very thin flashing (which can easily be cut away). The muzzle of the rifle may need further refinement, as it does not appear as detailed as the rest of the part. The folds on the lower left arm may appear a bit excessive for the padded material as well. That said, and given the relatively hidden position of the arm, this should not be seen as a show stopper. The parts, with the exclusion of the left arm, are each attached a large casting block.
The base, consisting of two pieces, namely the base proper and a piece of brickwork, is neatly sculpted and cleanly cast. The damaged brickwork is convincingly portrayed, with a neat indent in the dirt of the positioning of the figure.
Removing the pieces from the casting blocks was effortless, although one should practice caution when severing the rifle butt and ‘bread bag’/water bottle/gas-mask case from their pour blocks. The resin is rather hard, so gentle pressure needs to be applied if cutting with a knife.
Clean up was easy, with only the aforementioned light flashing - nothing a sharp number 11 blade could not quickly sort out.
The arms line up easily with the shoulders on the torso, and by using the base as a jig the guesswork is taken out of lining the arms up to the shoulders. Both wrists, the hands being attached to the rifle, slot easily into the tunic sleeve cuffs. The ‘bread bag’/water bottle/gas-mask case part has a small lug which assists fitment to the torso which features the lug’s counterpart. The head, too, aligns effortlessly to the neck and shoulders.
This is the first Blues Miniatures figure I have had the opportunity to review, and I must admit to being suitably impressed. Despite one or two relatively small issues I might have had with the figure, such as the drapery of the left arm and the inadequate muzzle detail, the rest of the figure more than makes up for these. The pose is different in scale figure terms in that it is not one we see all too often, and yet it is one every soldier assumes at some point. The figure simply screams to be placed in a diorama or vignette.
This is a terrific figure from Blues Miniatures, and the addition of the base virtually makes this figure ready to present directly from the box. Recommended.
The following material was consulted for purposes of this review, and is suggested reading for more information on the subject: “Waffen-SS Uniforms in Colour Photographs”. Europa Militaria No. 6. Andrew Steven & Peter Amodio. The Crowood Press. 2007.
“Waffenn-SS Soldier 1940-45”. Warrior 2. Bruce Quarrie. Illustrated by Jeffrey Burn. Osprey Publishing. 1993.
“The Waffen-SS (1) 1. To 5. Divisions”. Men-at-Arms 401. Gordon Williamson. Illustrated by Stephen Andrew. Osprey Publishing. 2003.
“The Waffen-SS (3) 11. To 23. Divisions”. Men-at-Arms 415. Gordon Williamson. Illustrated by Stephen Andrew. Osprey Publishing. 2004.
“Waffen-SS in Combat”. Robert Michulec. Colour Plates by Ronald Volstad. Concord Publishing.
“Waffen-SS (2) From Glory to Defeat 1943 – 1945”. Robert Michulec. Colour Plates by Ronald Volstad. Concord Publishing. 2000.