by: Rick Cooper [ ]
There are many figure manufacturers for us to spend our hard earned dollars on: plastic, resin, even metal, so many in fact that it is nigh impossible to get a handle on just exactly how many there actually are. Out of all of those there are several that rise above the noise, but I doubt there is another that is as consistently excellent with each and every release as Alpine Miniatures. And, Alpine Miniatures has done it again with the two figure set, 3rd AD “Spearhead” (35156), with both figures sculpted by Taesung Hamms.
The two figures are both full figure US WWII tankers from the aforementioned 3rd Armored Division. They are each individually packed in small poly bags in the small standard Alpine figure blister box. There are no instructions, but none are really needed. You do get a small insert paper with photos of the painted figures as a guide.
The figure of the private is leaning back, or sitting, on the lip of a tank hatch or could even be posed simply leaning against a tank. He is wearing a pair of HBT coveralls under the field jacket. The corporal wears what looks like the OD trousers and shirt with the field jacket over. He has his right hand resting on his hip in about the most relaxed and realistic pose I have ever seen. His left arm and hand are slightly extended and sculpted to rest on something like a tank turret. The corporal has a pair of binoculars slung around his neck and a holstered pistol on his belt hanging on his right hip. Both figures have a choice of full head sculpts with each having a M1 steel pot or the tankers helmet available.
I put together both figures in a matter of minutes, minimal cleanup and near perfect fit on everything. Clearly they look like they are designed to man a Sherman tank. The photos of the painted figures to the right come from Alpine and were done by the incredibly talented Dr. Jim Kim. If you have any question about what these figures look like in the finished state you need go no further than Dr. Kim’s work which should answer every question anyone may have.
This set of figures, much like virtually everything that Alpine has done in the past, sets the benchmark for quality resin figures. If you have a US tank on the workbench or in the queue to be built and need some figures to complete your work this set IS the answer, hands down.