from Japan has nice figures representing Women served in World War II. Besides the German Army Signals Auxiliaries, German Army Anti-Aircraft Auxiliaries and Hitler Jegund – Bund Deutscher Madel ( League of German Maidens) series ; they provide some Russian Tanker Women in their 1/35 Military range.
The figure ML-009
represents a female Russian Tank Crew member standing and wounded on right arm.
about the figure
During the Second World War ; women played important roles in the Armed forces. In most countries like USA, Great Britain and Germany, women tended to serve mostly in administrative, medical and in auxiliary roles. But in the Soviet Union ; besides being in auxiliary roles,large numbers of women fought in front line. Over 800,000 women served their Motherland in World War II as pilots, snipers, machine gunners,anti- aircraft artillery crew members, tank crew members and partisans. About 200,000 of them were decorated and 89 of them received Hero of the Soviet Union
, Soviet Union’s highest award.
Russian tank crews were recruited initially from men with experience of driving and maintaining trucks and agricultural tractors.These semi-trained men were considered no need to a long period of training and were sent to the front line immediately.The hideous losses suffered armored troops in 1941 and 1942 depleted this pool of semi-trained men and in 1943 Russian women began to arrive at the front as drivers in Tank Brigades. At first, they played an important role behind the lines as test drivers and delivery crews. As experienced, the women volunteers were transfered to combat area as tank drivers or crew. Some of them had risen to be tank commanders
The figure comes in a 12x7 cm transparent zip-lock bag with a company label stapled on the top of the bag. Inside the bag; there are 2 small paper sheets ; one with the information about the figure in Japanese and English, the other with a painted photo of the figure standing next to a SU-85, Russian self-propelled gun based on a T-34 chassis. This photo can be used as a painting guide. It is noted on the information sheet that the metal of the figures contains lead.
Figure parts are secured in another plastic bag.
Figure is sculpted by Kiyushi Tsuda
and cast in white metal. The cast is crisp and clean with only a few slightly visible vertical seamlines on boots and left arm. A quick sanding and brushing the figure with an old toothbrush in a mild detergent and water will make them ready to prime.
The figure is made up of 3 parts.
Upper body with head : Facial details and plaited long hair in pig-tail style on the back of the figure are quite well represented. She wears the standard garment of Russian soldier for temperate weather; khaki color cotton made shirt-tunic named Gymnastiorka. The high collar with 2 small buttons,3 front buttons, shoulder straps and pockets of the tunic are well defined. She carries a standard issue leather belt with metal buckle. Left arm is cast together on the body posing to hold thewounded right arm.
Lower body with legs : The skirt part of the gymnastiorka is molded on this part. She wears khaki color half-breeches loosy trousers named Sharovari. The under-knee reinforcement patches and cloth folds on the back side are well defined. She has standard issue black leather knee-length boots.
Right arm : Torn sleeve of the uniform on the wounded arm and fingers are well represented. Left hand is cast on the elbow of this arm in a supporting pose. It makes a very good dry-fit to the hole on the right arm sleeve on the upper body part.
The following books can be useful when painting this figure.
Europa Militaria - 002 – World War II Infantry in color photographs
Europa Militaria - 014 – Red Army Uniforms of World War II in color photographs
Osprey Publishing – Elite 090 – Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941-45
Sculpting and cast of the figure are quite good. Displaying her as single figure is the painter’s choice but I can say it is a good figure to add realism to World War II vignettes or dioramas with Russian armor or trucks. The figure can be displayed together with ML-011 next to an abandoned Russian tank.