by: Rick Cooper [ ]
introductionSome of the nicest figures anywhere now produced are coming from the small resin manufacturer Stalingrad from Russia. The sole sculptor for the enterprise is the very talented Alexander Zelenkov, who has quite an impressive gallery or finished figures, vignettes, and dioramas. I’m not sure what the extra ingredient is but each of Zelenkov’s figures seem to have that extra spark of life in them that puts them just a notch above almost everyone else.
Contents and reviewStalingrad has given us a Red Army Officer from the 1943-1945 period cast in light gray resin. You are given a good number of options that really gives something like a 6 in 1 figure; two different heads and two different left and right hands. The figure is standing with legs wide apart and his right hand held aloft signaling, or perhaps just trying to get some private's attention! He has two choices for his left hand as previously mentioned - he can hold a pair of binoculars, or if he needs to make a call he also has a field telephone handset firmly in hand in another sculpt. If you go for the field phone the figure does have the separate box for the phone, it appears to be a TIA-43 field phone but some of the details are a bit off, so I could be wrong on my identification here. The other choice for his right hand is a signal flare pistol. One thing that seemed a bit odd to me was that it appears to be a German signal pistol due to the trigger guard - all the photos I could find only show Soviet flare guns without any trigger guard whereas all German versions have the trigger guard. Again, if I am out to lunch on this please post a note below to set me straight. Of course, there’s no reason why he couldn’t be using a captured signal pistol. If you opt for the signal pistol hand you will need to remove the molded on "high-fiving" hand.
Continuing on with even more possible variations the figure comes with the two head sculpts, one with what appears to me to be the M24 pattern officer/NCO field visor hat and the other sports the very dashing Cossack officer’s kubanka winter hat. I don’t know about you, but there is no way I could possibly pass up the Cossack hat, so it looks like the visor hat will be headed to the parts bin. The facial sculpting for both head options are very well done with slightly opened mouths and somewhat thin noses.
The figure wears the famous telogreika padded jacket with shoulder tabs and a well sculpted pair of pants with really nice fold and gathering detail. The pants appear to be the M43 officer’s breeches while the boots look like the Russian officer's leather jackboot. And our friend is armed with the PPSh-41 early production type with the 35 round curved box magazine rather than the more common drum magazine. It is slung over his head hanging on his right side; the sling strap is molded on but will need a little extra added from tape or lead foil to actually reach the weapon. The figure also wears a map case slung over his head with the strap once again molded in.
I couldn’t resist putting this one together although it will have to wait a bit before I can get any paint on it. The fit was very good; I needed just a touch of putty around the arm joins. With the torso and legs being one large piece the only real construction is adding the two arms, the choice of heads, and the hands, so it moves along quickly. The parts cleaned up off the sprue easy enough, mostly just a pass with the file to clean up the attachment point. No seams at all to deal with although there were a couple of small pinholes on each arm that needed a bit of attention. I tried all the hand combinations to see which one I liked best, you can judge yourself in the photos to the right. Personally, I think I like the signal pistol and field phone combination a bit more than any other. The arms are somewhat ‘keyed’ so any different position for either would involve a bit of work, but really why would you want to? I added a strap cut from Tamiya tape for a temporary weapon sling just to give an idea of how everything fits together.
ConclusionEverything that I have seen from Stalingrad is nothing but the highest quality and this figure continues in that same vein. The nice sculpting and the versatility of the figure will help to make this a popular piece with modelers who want quality figures. Now I have to find a way to squeeze some quality bench time in for this highly deserving fellow!