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  1. WWII Soviet Tank Desant Troops (BR-004) 1:35 Border Model via Albion Alloys Getting a lift on a tank was a treat for the foot-soldier that occasionally turned sour if their lift came under fire from an enemy tank, especially if the turret started to rotate and the crew began using the main gun. Sometimes they’d ride into battle on the back of a tank, using the turret as temporary cover until it came time to dismount, usually off the rear avoiding the exhausts, other times it was a case of sitting somewhere flat on the hull of the tank for a well-earned rest, and saving some shoe-leather whilst still getting from A to Battle. During winter periods, especially in the freezing cold of the Eastern Front, a seat on the warm engine deck would be prime real-estate, helping to defend against the biting cold that required heavy uniforms and great-coats. In Russian tactical doctrine, Tank Desant is the act of riding into battle on the back of a tank, dismounting at the point of contact with the enemy to act as suppression of infantry, anti-tank artillery, or troops equipped with portable anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerfaust or Panzerschreck. The tactic persisted into early Cold War Soviet tank combat but has long since fallen out of use. The Figure Set This set of five resin figures arrives in a small rectangular box with a rendering of the figures in isolation and in position on a tank from behind. On the rear of the box is a picture of the box art of the T-34/85 kit from Border that this set is designed for, and if you haven’t got one already, you can pick it up by using the code BT-027 as your search term. Inside the box the figures are individually bagged in Ziploc bags, all surrounded by an additional bubble-wrap bag that is stapled closed, fitting snugly inside the box to reduce movement during shipping and storage. Each figure is cast in a dark bluish grey resin, the body of the figures cast separately from the arms, heads, and weapons. There is a number between 10 and 14 scratched on each of the casting blocks, but these will be lost when the parts are removed from their blocks, so bear this in mind during construction and keep the loose parts together with their body until you are ready to glue them together. Each figure has a separate head, arms, and weapon on the extra casting block, with square mounting pegs assisting with location of the parts on the body. Three of the figures are sitting down, one is kneeling, and the fifth is standing, resting one hand on the side of the tank’s turret, presumably peering into the distance to ensure they aren’t yet in range of the enemy. Parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise filling once they are built up. The sculpting is excellent, by Jason Studio, who are a common collaborator with Border Model, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the elements of the figures and weapons. They have been mastered by 3D printing, and some fine layer lines can be seen on the surface, but they should disappear under primer and subsequent layers of paint. Conclusion A great addition to any Soviet tank to give it human scale, especially the T-34 that’s suggested, but the poses are generic enough to allow them to be used with anyone’s kits. Casting is excellent, and does the sculpting justice. Clean-up should be a breeze, making it quick & easy to get quality resin figures on your model or diorama. Highly recommended. Available in the UK in all good model shops. Review sample courtesy of
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