About 10 years ago I was a figure painter, working almost exclusively in 1/16 scale. My modeling focus changed since then and it has been a long time since a large scale figure caught my interest. However, seeing a magnificent sculpt from Nikita Ableev depicting Russian GRU Operative rekindled an old flame…
The sculpt was produced in a form of a resin miniature by Red Anvil
, a new company from Russia, with Russian Spetsnaz GRU Officer (RA-16001)
as their first offering. I didn’t really know what to expect, but decided to get the figure anyway… and what an impressive kit this turned out to be.
The figure kit is packed in a hard cardboard box featuring a box art image and product details. Please note this kit is produced in two variants; the first version includes a small groundwork base (RA-16001A) while the second version does not (RA-16001B). I opted to get the variant with the base. Opening the box reveals an instruction leaflet and several zip lock bags with resin pieces. Couple of pieces separated from their carrier blocks during transport. I noticed two thin details broke off from one of the pieces, but I found these in the zip lock bag and repaired the damage using superglue.
Upon closer inspection the resin looks very impressive. The pieces are well cast and the only molding imperfection I found was a thin seam line going along the right leg… some careful sanding and the problem is solved. The details are sharp and superbly delivered in scale.
Removing resin parts from their carrier blocks presented no problems, as well as cleaning the pieces using a sharp blade and some sandpaper. The fit of the main figure pieces is really good and only minor putty work is needed to get things perfect. The optimal placement of the left hand is easy due to the minute indentations on the figure’s left thigh. The right hand is holding the weapon, while the weapon barrel is resting on the left knee. Adding a rifle sling using lead foil would enhance the realism of the figure.
There are no designated attachment points for the equipment on the body armor or on the belt, so the modeler can decide on the figure combat loadout and the placement of the pouches. For this review I decided to follow the box art example and did some minor sanding to optimize the fit of the equipment pieces. The only problem I had with the assembly was fixing the ammo pouches to the front of the body armor and then fitting the right hand with the weapon. This needs some dry fitting and trying different hand positions but eventually it can be done. A thing to notice is that the right hand is not firmly gripping the weapon but instead just holding it loosely, with the weapon resting on the left knee.
The finished figure depicts a Russian Special Forces operative, circa 2014-2020. The anatomy of the figure looks good and the pose is realistically reproduced. The head sculpt is very nice and the bandana adds to the Special Forces feel of the figure. Peltor Comtac headset is cast on the head while the two tiny headphone wires are supplied as separate pieces. The only thing to add is the boom microphone, easily replicated using brass wire. The figure wears Crye Precision Gen 2 pants (no integrated kneepads perhaps indicate a Russian Army replica?), Crye Precision Low Profile Belt and Salamon Quest 4D GTX hiking shoes. Over the ORC Industries Protective Combat Uniform (PCU) Level 5 softshell jacket, the figure sports LBT-6094 Modular Plate Carrier. Trauma shears and Peltor PTT radio adapter are cast on the body armor, while all the equipment pieces are delivered separately: hydration carrier, magazine dump pouch, utility pouch, medical pouch, radio pouch and 5 AK magazine pouches. All of the magazine pouches are slightly different and one of those features an additional pistol magazine pouch, although the figure does not sport a secondary weapon. Also included are rope cord and foldable SMA radio antenna.
The figure is armed with AK-74. Elcan Specter DR optical sight is attached to Picatinny rail on the receiver while DTKP silencer and Surefire tactical flashlight are supplied separately. The barrel of the weapon is slightly bent and needs some hot water treatment to make it completely straight.
The finished figure looks very impressive. The pose, the equipment, the weapon… this figure means business. I can’t wait to start painting it!
Although a first release from a new company, Russian GRU Operative by Red Anvil is a truly superb figure. First and foremost, it is the magnificent sculpt by a very talented artist, but also impressive quality of resin, the perfect fit of the pieces and easy assembly that make this figure kit a masterpiece. The finished miniature looks absolutely stunning and realistically portrays a Russian Special Forces operative from Syria. As one of the finest 1/16 scale figures I have in my stash, I highly recommend it for anyone interested in modern-day military figures.
Well done Red Anvil!
A big thank you to Enosha for the sample figure:
EDIT: I added some images of the original sculpt, as well as images of the figure painted by the sculptor. The completed vignette is now an exhibit in a military museum.
EDIT 2: Here's the link to youtube review and full build of this figure. Enjoy!