by: Darren Baker [ ]
Tank is a Russian resin figure manufacturer. They have a reasonable catalogue of figures which are predominately World War Two Russian and German figures, with a small collection of Russian figures from the conflict in Chechnya between1994-2005. They have come in for some flack of late due to a number of their resin figures having a close resemblance to figures released by MiniArt, an accusation that does not appear to be the case with this offering.
This product is packaged in a small white card box, with a colour picture of the figures on the front. Inside are two zip lock bags with one figure in each bag.
The figures in this offering are cast in a grey and very light grey resin. The bags were not secured in the box and left loose to rattle around. Fortunately, no pieces in my set were damaged although some have very large pour plugs, in some cases the pour plugs look big enough to have made another figure. An extra bit of packaging material is something that Tank should take into consideration.
The figures depict two Russian soldiers working as a team, firing a degtyarev machine gun from a prone position. Both figures are wearing summer uniform and are stated to be shown in Stalingrad 1943, this however has no relevance as they could be used in any setting. Having checked the degtyarev machine guns dimensions it comes in 0.06mm short, which I believe can be put down to shrinkage in the resin and is such a small discrepancy as to make no difference. Other than that small discrepancy in size the details all appear to be accurate, and well depicted.
The Mosin-Nagant rifle which is supplied with the second figure however does not show the detail and accuracy of the MG, which while the overall length is accurate the overall impression is that the resin was still tacky when removed from the mould or the resin failed to cure correctly. I am not overly concerned about this as it is easily replaced, but I feel should be highlighted. It is also worth mentioning that neither weapon has any hollowing out of the barrel, which may result in breakages when attempting to hollow out the barrel with a drill bit.
The machine gunner consists of a one piece torso with both legs attached, two arms (the right hand is molded holding the stock with the index finger on the trigger of the MG), a single choice of head with what looks like a bandage around it, and a hollowed out M1940 steel helmet. The figure is wearing Sharovari breeches, however the diamond piece of reinforcing material on the knees is either missing or not visible. He is wearing an OBR 35 Gymnastiorka shirt as the collar is folded over were as the OBR 43 Gymnastiorka is a high necked collar. The creases in the clothing are clearly defined, as are the pockets on the OBR 35 Gymnastiorka.
An unusual feature of this figure is that he is wearing ankle boots and putties as opposed to sapogi boots, which while not being impossible due to troops being seen wearing the ankle boot right up to the time when Russian troops entered Berlin it is rare having been withdrawn in 1940/41. The only equipment supplied with this figure is a bolshaya sapyornaya lopata (entrenchment tool) of the square blade type as opposed to the pointed blade type, and a water bottle which was made either of aluminum or glass with a cork stopper.
The facial detail of the figure is very good with the nose, mouth, eyes, and ears being well defined which culminates in a good facial expression, the left hand also appears to be well depicted. The pieces all appear to be in good condition with no obvious air bubbles in the figure parts, this is despite the fact that two of the pieces have broken away from their pour plugs. I believe this highlights the need for the pieces to be securely packed to prevent movement inside the box, and a cheap improvement for the company to make that would not even be noticed if it does the job it is designed for.
The loader consists of a torso with the legs attached, two arms, and a head with separate hollowed out M1940 steel helmet. The figure is depicted wearing Sharovari breeches which again do not have the reinforcement triangle of material on the knees, the shirt is an OBR 43 Gymnastiorka as it has a high collar, and is wearing sapogi boots which are rubber soled with the foot part being leather and the leg part of the boot being made of rubber impregnated canvas.
The facial detail of the figure is again very good with the nose, mouth, eyes, and ears being well defined which again gives the figure a good expression. The same cannot be said for the left hand detail which while having some good palm detail the thumb and little finger appear deformed or missing due to being very short.
The equipment provided with this figure is an open ammo bag with a drum magazine for the MG on show, and is in the right hand of the loader. The bolshaya sapyornaya lopata (entrenchment tool) of the square blade type as opposed to the pointed blade type, and a water bottle which was made either of aluminum or glass with a cork stopper are again provided. Lastly you have 2 pairs of ammo pouches for the mosin nagant rifle. The only part that has become detached on this figure is the water bottle, which has detached without causing any damage.
This is a difficult offering when it comes to a conclusion as the resin figures are well molded having no obvious air bubbles, as is the equipment with the exception of the mosin nagant rifle. The choice of two different uniforms is an interesting if unlikely combination, which will result in a contrast of the figures. The parts that I have been able to check thus far all join neatly which will result in the very minimum of filler being needed, if at all. I will recommend this offering from Tank for members as the quality of them is good enough to build as a stand alone vignette, it does however have some weaknesses such as the very minimum of equipment being supplied, and the other weak areas I mentioned.