There is a significant increase on quality on each new figure of Russian company Evolution Miniatures
. I also like their figures represent different countries and periods; Modern Russians, World War II Russians and Germans, Vietnam and Iraq War US soldiers and lately World War II British soldiers.
represents a British SAS Captain of L-Detachment
in North Africa,1942.
about SAS Special Air Service
In 1941, a Scots officer, David Stirling
, had an idea to start a small, highly trained, extremely motivated, dedicated raiding force working in groups of 4 or 5 so as to better avoid detection. He took his idea right to the top and received the go ahead to start training 100 men. Camp and training was at Kabrit near the Suez Canal where, although most of the recruits were already commandos, they were given hard training in endurance and weapon skills. Parachute training was a must and jump-practice was done by jumping from trucks moving at 30 mph. The new unit was called, L-detachment
, and was accredited to a non- existent Special Air Service Brigade so as to fool the Germans.
The first task was to arrange camp items from the New Zealand forces but Stirling could not afford to wait six months for supplies. A special bomb was needed which would be both incendiary and explosive. A specialist sapper told the men it was impossible, but after two weeks of experimentation Jock Lewis
came up with the solution named Lewis bomb
- a mixture of plastic, used oil and thermite.
Their first mission was in November 1941. Due to very bad weather and high winds only 22 of the 66 originals survived. Lessons were learned and contact made with the Long Range Desert Group
, professionals who knew the desert, and had learned to cope with its many problems. They invented a sun-compass because an ordinary compass proved ineffective in the desert. They fitted a condenser to the vehicles radiators to create a vacuum to allow steam to cool off and the resultant coolant to be sucked back in.
In December 1941, the next raid took place with 12 men over a distance of 350 miles. This time they succeeded and managed to destroy 24 planes and a fuel dump. Running out of bombs,they were destroying the airplanesby pulling the instrument panel out of a cockpit. Within two weeks, 90 German planes where destroyed by SAS members.
The Winged dagger
, symbolising the sword Excalibur
, with the motto - Who Dares Wins
was to be worn on the beret. At first, the beret was white, later changed to a sand colour. The SAS had distinctive wings which where worn on the right arm and earned after seven jumps. If a man distinguished himself in battle he could wear the wings on the left breast.
In June 1942; Stirling managed to get 15 jeeps, had them fitted with Vickers K machine guns, usually in twin mountings. Later the .50 Browning was added to some jeeps. The success on attacks with explosives caused Germans put a guard next to every plane and SAS had to change tactics. They started to attacked with jeeps. The airfield of Sidi Haneish was attacked by 18 jeeps with a total of 64 guns blazing away at the airplanes. The attack started with the airfield in lights and aeroplanes landing. It was a big success, though three jeeps where lost and some men got killed.
The SAS destroyed nearly 400 aeroplanes in Africa, and hitting numerous fuel dumps, lorries, workshops, spares and equipment. The railway was sabotaged many times.
After the Desert War ended, the SAS continued work in Italy and later Northern France, often performing duties as a motorized airborne/commando force. The unit was disbanded after the war but quickly reconstituted in 1947.
The figure comes well packed in standard Evolution Miniatures 70x100x35 mm hard cardboard box . The front part of the box shows a photo of the figure painted by Sergey Traviansky
which can serve as a painting guide.
The parts are represented with the casting blocks. The main part-body and other parts of the figure are seperately inserted in a small plastic zip-lock bags to avoid unexpected damages during transfer.
Probably, inspired by the illustration
on the Osprey book, figure is sculpted by Sergey Traviansky
and comes in 4 grey resin pieces. The resin quality is very good and details are very crisp. There was no air bubbles, excess resin, any casting mistakes or visible seamlines on my figure. There will be no need for a cleanwork. The junctions between small parts and casting blocks are well placed and the parts can be removed without any damage.
The main part is Full body without left arm
.He wears the traditional arabic headdress; a sqaure cotton cloth folded and wrapped in various styles, used to provide protection from sun exposure and also protecting the mouth from blown dust and sand. It is named as Ghutra, Keffiyeh
. SAS members usually used old khaki drill shirts for this purpose. In traditional use, a tight fitting skullcap named Thagiyah
is worn under the Gutrah. Most sources say the British SAS and LRDG members placed a folded cloth between the scalp and the Gutrah to create an air pocket and provide ventilation. Gutrah is secured on the head with a black corded band made of goat hair named Agal
. The facial details of the figure, beard and moustache, cord and cloth folds of Gutrah are well defined.
Around the neck, a scarf is wrapped to protect face during a sandstorm. His uniform is British tropical KD-Khaki Drill battle dress with long sleeves shirt and shorts. A nice touch - SAS operational parachute wings worn on the left breast- is sculpted on the figure. Cloth folds, single button flap cover breast pockets and shoulder straps are well represented. As the figure is a SAS captain; when painting this figure; the epaulets should have three rank pips in the normal white and brown embroidery on infantry red backing. As for the webbing; he has 1937 pattern webbelt with cartridge pouches
. Pistol case is given as a seperate part but British style lanyard around the neck to secure the handgun is sculpted on the figure.
Right arm is posed to put his fist on the waist. He wears tanker gauntlets and carries the other pair on his hand.
He wears Chapplies
- sandals on his bare feet. These sandals were prefered because they were cooler and lighter than boots in desert conditions. Sandals and toes are well defined.
Other parts are;
Left arm : Posed to smoke a cigarette. I advice you to be careful on the cigarette when removing from casting block or scratch another.
Binoculars :He carries a binoculars probably a Ross 7x50 Army type with oculer covers on his neck.
Pistol case : The P37 pistol case was a multi-use holster that can be used for Enfield, Webley and also Smith Wesson 38. It had a flap to keep the pistol clean and contained the cleaning rod inside.On this figure,holster is hang low on the left hip with two webbing brace attachments.
A very unique figure with a very nice sculpt and flawless cast. Less parts make the assembly easier. Details are defined extremely good.
This figure can be displayed together with Evolution Miniatures EM-35023 Officer SAS and Local Man figure kit to create a nice desert scene.
For diorama fans who desire to display these figures next to a vehicle; Tamiya British SAS Jeep will be the right choice. Tamiya SAS jeep can be detailed with the following update or conversion kits.
The following books and websites can be useful when painting this figure.
Osprey Publishing - Men At Arms 116 - The Special Air Service by James G Shortt & Angus McBride
Osprey Publishing - New Vanguard 032 - Long Range Desert Group 1940-1945 by Robin Jenner & Peter Sarson
Osprey Publishing - Battle Orders 023 - Desert Raiders : Axis and Allied Special Forces 1940-43 by Andrea Molinari