Built Review
Max Wünsche & NCO
Max Wünsche & WSS NCO Normandy
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]


Max Wünsche was a prodigy: after joining the Hitlerjugend in 1932 at the age of 18, he rose steadily in the ranks of the Nazi war machine. First he was an orderly officer in Hitler's bodyguard (the Leibstandarte AH), later in various staff roles, the commander of the 1st SS/LSAH's Stürmgeschütz battalion, and finally commander of the Panzer regiment attached to the 12th SS/Hitlerjugend Division. His prowess with armor led to the Knight's Cross, then Oak Leaves for same.

Wünsche's career came to an end in the Falaise Pocket following the Normandy invasion. Captured along with two of his staff, he spent the rest of the war and three additional years in a POW camp in Scotland.

Alpine Miniatures has released a two-figure set meant to depict Wünsche during the Normandy campaign. While he was wounded during his escape from the Falaise Pocket, photos show him prior to then with a distinctive white "bandage" around his head (see photo from Germany's Bundesarchiv at right).

what you get

Inside Alpine Miniatures usual soft plastic box are two Ziploc baggies. The first has the body, two heads and the hands for the Wünsche figure.

The second shows an otherwise unidentified NCO, again with two heads, hands and a pistol holster. A full-color painting guide is included.

the review

There can be no arguing with the sculpting and casting of Alpine Miniatures figures.

But the poses!

Pitched at the figure market and not at AFV modelers, Alpine's figures tend to come from the Soviet "Heroes of Socialism" school of posing: standing erect, gazing into the unidentified distance, prepared to do great deeds.

By themselves, these figures are about as exciting as lukewarm oatmeal, but placed amid a group of tankers studying a map or gazing across a field at the enemy, they're excellent.

The casting is state-of-the-art, though styrene is catching up with things like overcoats: the second figure (unidentified NCO in the officer's cap) is depicted wearing a standard-issue great coat. The fabric folds are superb, but the coat is solid at the bottom and in the back. I have seen some excellent styrene figures where the coat layers are glued-on, allowing for a more natural fabric "hang."

The bodies are one piece with two heads for each one and separate arms. The fit is generally excellent, though a little Mr. Surfacer 500 was called for in some of the attachment points. The shoes have some minimal seam lines, and the bottoms will have to have some excess resin cut down.

The uniforms are consistent with the time period for SS tankers, with details sharp enough that the new camo decals from Shinsengumi and others should not overwhelm them.


Styrene figure manufacturers are slowly catching up with resin ones, so the quality of this set isn't as drop-dead dramatic as it would have been five years ago. Still, it's a good set to go with a late Tiger I or other AFV.
Highs: Alpine's usual superb casting and sculpting. Two heads for each figure mean spares!
Lows: Alpine's usual static poses.
Verdict: Recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35157-8
  Suggested Retail: NA
  PUBLISHED: Sep 18, 2013

Our Thanks to Alpine Miniatures!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Bill, I think you need to find a better lighting setup for taking photos. Other than that, I like the figures and, although prsented in static poses, this kind of figures sell really well for Alpine. Mario
SEP 17, 2013 - 07:46 PM
Mario, Darren has already yelled at me about using a white background. I used a scanner to bring out the sharp detail, but it costs something because of the minimal shadows. Reminds me of the old ring flash used by fashion photographers in the 80s.
SEP 18, 2013 - 06:08 AM
Thanks for the review Bill. Shame the second figure wasn't Witt or Panzermeyer!
SEP 19, 2013 - 05:08 AM
Hi, Steve, funny you should ask. When on the "Band of Brothers" road trip this Spring with my son, we stopped at the German war cemetery at La Cambe to provide some balance after visiting the somberly beautiful US cemetery near Omaha Beach. Among those interred is Michael Wittman: I was wondering what to do with these photos since there aren't enough for a feature.
SEP 19, 2013 - 05:22 AM
Taesung is working on Panzermeyer as we speak so rest easy,rest easy. J
SEP 19, 2013 - 06:34 AM
Nice photos Bill. We've also been there and took the self same shots! There are always fresh flowers on Wittman's grave. I was referring to Fritz Witt though, the third person in the photo, ex LAH founder member, and first commander of "HJ", killed on 12/06/1944 by naval shelling.
SEP 21, 2013 - 12:24 AM
I say again Steve,Alpine(Taesung) is working on Panzermeyer as we speak and who knows,Witt may be up next? IIRC there is a Dragon kit called"commanders conference" that depicts Witt during the battle for Kharkov when he was a LSSAH Regt Cmdr.if that is any help. J
SEP 21, 2013 - 01:22 AM

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