Soviet Infantry, 1941–1943
Airfix 1:76 Scale Figure Review
To this day, Airfix 1:76 scale Soviet Infantry is among the most popular miniatures sets for collectors and wargamers. Each of the 18 different figures is an artistically and anatomically convincing sculpture for individual display or dioramas with other plastic comrades.
41 Figures in 18 Poses – 23 mm equal 175 cm Height
- Soviet Officer with Pistol (2)
- Soviet Officer/NCO with PPSh-41 Submachine Gun (4)
- Soviet Rifleman, prone, gesticulating (2)
- Soviet Rifleman, falling (2)
- Soviet Rifleman, throwing Hand Grenade (2)
- Soviet Rifleman, advancing (2)
- Soviet Rifleman, with levelled Rifle (2)
- Soviet Rifleman, marching (3)
- Soviet Rifleman, kneeling, firing (4)
- Soviet Rifleman, prone, firing (4)
- Soviet Rifleman, with PPSh-41 SMG, running (4)
- Soviet Rifleman, with PPSh-41 SMG, crawling (4)
- Heavy Machine Gun Squad
- Squad Leader
- Machine Gunner No. 1
- Loader No. 2
- 7,62 mm heavy Machine Gun PM 1910/30 Maxim
- Heavy Mortar Team
- Mortar Gunner, kneeling
- Mortar Loader, standing
- Ammo Carrier with Mortar Grenade, kneeling
- 120 mm Mortar M.1938
Excellent choice of subject. To this day, Airfix Soviet Infantry is unique in this scale.
Anatomically correct poses, properly sculpted and perfectly manufactured, using the technical means available at the time. The liveliness of Airfix miniatures is still unsurpassed in this scale. However, eight of the 18 different poses are used for the heavy mortar and heavy machine gun squads, and what appears to be a wounded soldier, which quite limits the number of actual infantrymen. As a result, Airfix forwent the Degtjarjow Pechotnij (Infantry Degtjarjow) DP-27 “Record Player” light machine gun. An unfortunate omission, since the DP-27 LMG with its iconic drum magazine was the standard light machine gun of the Soviet Rifle and Motor Rifle section. One work-around might be to convert the prone riflemen to machine gunners, but these figures would then handle the LMG incorrectly with their left hand on the for-end of the wooden stock, rather than under the butt.
The riflemen are wearing the olive brown (e. g. Vallejo 70.880 Khaki Grey) Gymnastyorka M.1935 field uniform with hip-length smock (russ. gimnastjorka) and breeches (sharovari), black jackboots, and dark olive green (e. g. Vallejo 70.894 Russian Green) steel helmet SSh-40, which was produced from 1940 to 1960 and which many Warsaw Pact armies eventually adopted as well. Unfortunately, the equipment carried by these figures is rather incomplete: cartridge (podsoomoki dlya patronii) or magazine pouches (podsoomoki dlya pistolyet pulyemyeta), canteen (flyaga) with or without carrier (chekhlom), entrenching tool (lopata pekhotye), knapsack (ranyets rioksak M.1936), assault pack (ranyets rioksak M.1938 or M.1941), and rucksack (vesch-myeshok M.1923 or M.1941) are missing. The soldiers appear to have thrown away their gas masks and are now using the gas mask bag (soomki dlya protivogaznaya) for personal gear. With the exception of the officer, all soldiers are wearing the rolled-up tent cloak (palatka-plashch-nakidka) over their left shoulder. However, this blanket roll (skatka) is so thin that it cannot possibly contain the gray wool coat (shinel) that the Russian soldier carried with him in summer as in winter to sleep in.
Several soldiers are armed with the defensive hand grenade F1 “limonka” (lemon) which, due to its extended danger area, can only be used from behind cover. The Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 rifles are properly sculpted, but the bayonets are missing. The drum magazines of the PPSh-41 are only hinted at; two of the three weapons are cast with shortened barrels, missing the front sight. The high number of submachine guns indicates that these figures represent Guards Motor Rifles, of whom up to two-thirds of the men were armed with automatic weapons, namely 9% LMGs and 59% SMGs. In the regular Motor Rifle units the proportion of automatic weapons was still around one-third, whereas regular infantry sections only had the SMG of the section leader and the DP-27 of the light machine gunner.
The officer has narrow shoulder boards on his M.1935 field uniform, which did not exist. The tsarist shoulder boards, reintroduced with the M.1943 field uniform were much wider and more conspicuous. The officer‘s equipment is worn incorrectly. The leather Sam Browne belt, supported by a narrow leather strap across the right shoulder, would be correct. The pistol case should be on the right hip; no magazine pouch was worn, because the pistol case has a separate pocket for the spare magazine. A leather map case would be worn on a narrow strap over the right shoulder. Canteen attached to the Sam Browne belt or, in its carrier (chekhlom), worn on a strap over the left shoulder.
Compatible with Fujimi, Matchbox, Milicast, Cromwell Models, Ostmodels, MMS, and Vac-U-Cast.
Airfix Soviet Infantry of World-War II may be painted in attractive colours from khaki drab (brown-grey) to khaki. Uniforms made of cotton faded more quickly than those made from wool of the same colour, which explains why, in some period fotos, officers appear to be dressed in darker colours than their men.