“NATO in Miniatures” is the newest resin figure company from Russia. Founded by Dmitri Baev, the owner of Soga Miniatures webstore, the company announced its vision to release 1/35 scale resin figures of NATO soldiers in current conflicts; not only US soldier figures, but also modern British, German, French, Italian and Canadian figures. Soldier 2nd Infantry Division is the third figure in “NATO in Miniatures” range.
The figure arrived in a well designed and firm cardboard box, additionally protected by packing peanuts. The box is printed in ACU pattern, features nicely painted box art picture and lists both the sculptor (Dmitri Shevcov) and the painter (Dmitri Baev).
After opening the zip-lock bags and reviewing parts of the figure I was again amazed by the amount of details on the figure and by the wonderful molding of parts. The parts are cast in grey resin and are completely clean of all imperfections: there are no air bubbles, no flash or seam lines… perfect. Casting plugs are well placed, but be careful when cleaning the weapon as it is very delicate.
This figure represents a soldier of 2nd Infantry Division in action, throwing a smoke grenade. I have included a photograph which probably served as a sculpting template; comparing the photo with the figure sculpt reveals a really good match. The figure consists of 6 pieces: full body with the head, right arm, left arm, helmet, canteen and the weapon. The fit of the parts is perfect and no putty work is needed. The sculptor did a great job on a very difficult pose and the figure seems very well balanced.
The figure is wearing Army Combat Uniforms (ACU). ACU is still the current combat uniform worn by the US Army. It replaced the old Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) and Desert Camouflage Uniform (DCU) and it consists of a jacket, trousers, t-shirt and tan combat boots. ACU features number of design changes as well as a different camouflage pattern from its predecessors. The design changes include:
- Mandarin collar that can be worn up or down
- Rank insignia affixed above right chest pocket
- Velcro for wearing unit patch, skill tabs and recognition devices
- Zippered front closure
- Elbow pouch for internal elbow pad inserts
- Knee pouch for internal knee pad inserts
- Elastic leg cuff
- Tilted chest pockets with Velcro closure
- Three-slot pen pocket on bottom of sleeve
- Velcro sleeve cuff closure
- Shoulder pockets with Velcro
- Forward tilted cargo pockets
- Integrated blouse bellows for increased upper body mobility
- Integrated Friend or Foe Identification Square on both left and right shoulder pocket flap
- Bellowed calf storage pocket on left and right leg
- Moisture-wicking desert tan t-shirt
- Patrol Cap with double thick bill and internal pocket
- Improved hot-weather desert boot or temperate-weather desert boot
The ACU uses a new camouflage pattern comprised of slate gray, desert sand and foliage green pixel patches. The pattern was designed to be effective in all environments, however, soldiers in the field have complained about the ineffectiveness of the new pattern since it was first issued. I would imagine most figure painters have protested to the similar extent since painting pixilated uniforms is usually a nerve wrecking experience.
The sculptor did his job on ACU very well. All the details of the uniform are present and the folds have a very natural feel to them. Tactical gloves and knee pad protectors add to the realism, but the special touch are definitely shoulder patches… left shoulder patch is modeled in the shape of 2nd infantry division patch, while the right shoulder features US flag patch.
The figure is wearing Interceptor Body Armor (IBA), one of the latest modern body armor series fielded by the US Army. IBA replaced the older fragmentation protective Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) and features two modular components; the outer tactical vest and small-arms protective plates which can stop 7.62mm rounds. IBA is equipped with MOLLE-compatible webbing loops on the front and back which permit modular attachment of other equipment to the vest. IBA weighs only 16.4 pounds (the PASGT body armor weighed 25.1 pounds) and its lighter weight provides more mobility to the wearer. Most of the equipment is sculpted on the IBA; three double M16/M4 magazine pouches, one triple M16/M4 magazine pouch, two frag grenade pouches, one small horizontal utility pouch and one medium utility pouch. The figure is also carrying US Army 3-Day MOLLE Assault Backpack. The backpack is made of nylon waterproof material, features three compartments and is hydration system compatible. It has MOLLE loops on the front and the sides, padded shoulder and waist straps, reinforced carrying strap and adjustable chest and waist belt. The pack also features Velcro on the front for name/unit patches. The sculptor did a great job on all the equipment mentioned in this paragraph; although pretty packed up, the IBA looks good and the unused MOLLE loops can be seen between all the pouches. All the pouches are nicely detailed and the backpack is really amazing with intricate straps, D-rings and waist belt.
The only piece of equipment not sculpted on the figure itself is a canteen that honestly does not seem like a part of the MOLLE system, rather like an older ALICE type. I’m not going to use it on my figure as it just doesn’t look right.
The figure is also wearing Modular Integrated Communications Helmet (MICH). MICH was developed to replace the PASGT helmet as the next generation of protective combat helmets in the US Army. MICH features a new type of Kevlar providing increased protection against handgun rounds. A new pad system and four-point retention system provide better impact protection and comfort for the wearer. MICH can be fitted with a mounting bracket for night vision devices on the front, as well as with a pair of straps on the rear to keep combat goggles in place. Interestingly, MICH is smaller than the PASGT thus allowing greater situational awareness and less vision obstruction, particularly when combined with IBA. The helmet in this kit is sculpted really well, but it doesn’t feature a bracket for mounting night vision devices, the straps on the rear or combat goggles.
The figure is armed with SOPMOD M4A1 carbine, equipped with Rail Interface System (RIS) instead of the standard handguards. The carbine is equipped with an ACOG scope, while AN-PEQ laser target pointer, tactical light and front grip are attached to the rail system. The weapon is perfectly cast but very delicate; the only thing you need to add is the tactical sling.
This is the second NATO in Miniatures figure that I had the chance to review so far and it looks even better than the first one. The figure is well researched, perfectly cast and very easy to build. The sculptor did a wonderful job on posing the figure; the sense of motion and balance is amazing. The details on the uniform and the equipment are very crisp… the facial features are well defined too. The only problem I can envision with this figure is painting pixilated ACU camouflage pattern.