Korean People’s Army (KPA) Infantry of the Korean War, 1950–1953
IMEX 1:72 Scale Miniatures Review
IMEX North Korean infantry based individually for Kill Zone wargames. The miniatures were undercoated Dupli-Color Deco Matt Acrylic »Ivory RAL 1014« and shaded with a raw umber wash suspended in Future floor wax.
53 Figures in 15 poses – 23 mm equal 166 cm Height
- North Korean officer with pistol (1)
- North Korean infantryman with binoculars, kneeling (1)
- North Korean infantryman with mortar round (2)
- North Korean infantryman, mortar crewman (2)
- North Korean machine gunner with RPD, or Typ 62, light machine gun (6)
- North Korean infantryman with PPSh-41 sub-machine gun (4)
- North Korean infantryman with SKS-45 semi-automatic carbine and bayonet, advancing (6)
- North Korean infantryman with SKS-45 semi-automatic carbine and fixed bayonet, fencing (4)
- North Korean infantryman with slung SKS-45 semi-automatic carbine, pointing (3)
- North Korean infantryman with SKS-45 semi-automatic carbine, falling (2)
- North Korean infantryman with SKS-M semi-automatic carbine, kneeling firing (6)
- North Korean infantryman with SKS-M semi-automatic carbine, crawling (6)
- North Korean infantryman with RGD-33 anti-personnel fragmentation stick grenade (4)
- North Korean infantryman, fallen (3)
- US soldier, surrendering (3)
- Soviet 120 mm Mortar PM-43 (2)
- Ammunition crate with three 120 mm mortar rounds (2)
- Lid for ammunition crate (2)
Good choice of subject, the North Korean KPA miniatures are unique in this scale. The figures are nicely sculpted, anatomically correct and well posed, and their height of 22 to 23 mm is just right. Mould lines on arms and legs, along the body and across the face need to be removed prior to painting. The Rai-Ro ZEP-70 pulse regulated soldering iron is perfect for this kind of work.
The Korean People’s Army profited from Soviet military aid, but the arms supplied were primarily of World-War Two vintage, including captured Japanese weapons. The modern SKS-M semi-automatic carbine, or the Chinese Typ 63 copy of it, included in this miniatures set did not reach the troops until after the Korean War. The SKS-M carbine may be downgraded to an earlier SKS-45 carbine by cutting back the banana magazine with a scalpel.
The plastic used for these miniatures is fairly hard. The material accepts paint and may be super-glued satisfactorily, but bayonets, rifle barrels and other small parts are prone to breakage.
The IMEX model of the Soviet 120 mm PM-43 mortar has a barrel length of only 1020 mm, compared to 1800 mm of the actual weapon; and the 103 mm model mortar rounds are too small for the tube. Unfortunately, the set does not include heavy machine guns, like the SG-43 Goryunov. IMEX might have dropped the two Korean casualties and the surrendering US soldier in favour of a heavy machine gun team.
Good value for money: the Hobby Lobby offers IMEX’s North Korean Infantry bundled with Korean War US Infantry under the Billy V lable for only 9.99 USD.
- Korean People’s Army (KPA)
Korean People’s Army infantrymen by IMEX are equally suitable for wargames and dioramas. Painted differently, or lightly converted, fitted with new heads sporting helmets, caps, or turbans, these miniatures may be used to represent militia, paramilitary police, or guerillas of various nations and rebel groups, as well as future warriors for sci-fi games.