ARM: Review - Zvezda 1/35 scale Soviet Assault Group 1944

Kit Review: Zvezda 1/35 scale Kit No. 3509; Soviet Assault Group WWII
Koenigsberg 1944; 95 parts in olive drab styrene; retail price US
Advantages: nice variety of assault weapons to include an SG-43 and
carriage and LPO-50; good poses; assault armor vests
Disadvantages: not as crisp as newer releases from other companies
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all late war Soviet fans
The Soviets were slow to catch up in some areas with the Germans, but
by the later part of the war they had adopted camouflage smocks for
assault or raiding parties (shturmovaya or desantovaya gruppa) for use
when either leading assaults or scouting for =93tongues to
wag=94 (prisoners for interrogation). They also had adopted heavy
breastplate armor that covered the center part of the chest to protect
the wearer from small arms or fragments.
This set provides six figures (making it reasonable for the price) of
these late war troops. One figure is advancing slowly with a PPS,
another is lying down with a PPS and binoculars, a two man team with
engineer munitions and PPSh submachine guns is kneeling, one man with
an LPO-50 flamethrower is advancing, and one more kneels behind an
SG-43 heavy machine gun.
Each figure consists of the usual six pieces =96 head, torso, arms and
legs =96 with separate helmets and assault armor for the four
infantrymen. As the torsos of these four lack detailing, it appears
the body armor is not optional. Each figure also comes with a canteen
and ammo pouch for his weapon (long magazine ones for the PPS, short
round ones for the PPSh) and a bayonet.
The LPO-50 consistes of two tanks (fuel and pressure) and the weapon
head with stock, plus a straight piece of styrene which has to be bent
for the hose. Most modelers will want to replace this with some sort
of vinyl or rubber tubing. Note that the forward grip/hose connector
is molded into the figure=92s left hand.
The SG-43 (=93heavy=94 version only because it comes with the wheeled
carriage) consists of the gun and mount, separate spade grips and
cocking grip, and barrel change and mount locking levers. It goes on a
eight-part mount that permits traverse and also optional positions for
the towing handle (folded out for towing or folded under the trail of
the carriage for use).
The machine gunner also comes with the grips molded into his hands,
and if used needs to have the spade grip handles cut off and his hands
glued in place. An ammo box and cartridge belt are also provided, but
the cartridges appear too thick for scale.
Finishing directions are provided in black and white but all colors
are matched to Testors Model Master or Zvezda paint callouts.
Overall, while not as crisp as DML, Master Box or Minart sets, they
are a nice compliment to any late WWII Soviet armor model.
Cookie Sewell
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