Tank - A-97 Soviet Head #6



Introduction

TANK is a Russian company producing an ever expanding range of high quality resin figures/figure sets, head sets, small arms and accessories/detail sets;  predominantly Russian or German, but with some American thrown in for good measure.

Red Army winter headgear

During 1940/41 depending on your references (I suspect 1941) the padded winter uniform, the “Telogreika” was issued, with a fur lined/trimmed cap…the “Ushanka”. 
This cap was designed with ear flaps that can be tied up to the cap’s crown or tied at the chin to protect the ears, jaw and lower chin from the cold; the word Ushanka derives from ‘ushi’ meaning "ears" in Russian.  The cap was normally shown worn with a red enameled cockade at the front centre; a red star with hammer and sickle emblem in gold, however this was sometimes worn in green, or left off altogether.

The kit

Kit number A-97 is a head set designed to replace the heads of any number of Red Army figures.  Often, although satisfied with injection moulded plastic figures the heads do benefit from the ‘resin upgrade’.  The detailed obtained by using resin is usually far superior to what cab be obtained with plastic. 

Also suitable for post war or modern Soviet figures in winter gear; just change the badge.

Packaging is in a small plastic bag, with a card backing.

Contents

The heads are packed onto two sprues and consist of the following…



•    Sprue #1; 5 heads, two wearing Ushanka’s, two bare headed, and one with what appears to be a hood/wrap worn over his Ushanka…this is commonly seen in period photos when Red Army soldiers are wearing hooded suits in winter white or ‘amoeba’ pattern camouflage.

•    Sprue #2; two Ushanka’s and two scarves to wrap around the donor figures necks.

The castings are excellent; seam lines and flash are almost non existent, and the attachment points are conveniently located so as to cause minimal marking when parts are removed from the sprues. The parts detach easily and fit of the headgear to the bare heads is very good.

All the faces are well produced, with individual expressions, folds in the scarves are well done (both are different not just duplicates of each other) and the hats have nice little fur details that should paint up well.  Two of the hats have stars on the front and two are bare.

I am a big fan of Hornets replacement headsets and I think these are on a par with their excellent products.  The only thing I would say is I do prefer Hornets way of attaching their heads…the Hornet heads have necks which you place into pre-drilled holes where the donor kits heads were.  Tank doesn’t give this option, the heads starting at the upper neck.  I think this will lead to a small amount of filler being needed (unless using the scarves to hide the joins).

The cost compares well to (for example) Hornet sets. Only available by mail order that I know of so allow for shipping costs.

Conclusion

A great set that will go a long way to improving many of the Red Army figure kits out there.
Pro’s; very good casting, easy to remove from sprues, minimum cleanup, relatively flash/seam free, individual facial expressions. Cost compares well to other producers.
Con’s; none. Would have liked longer necks for easier attachment though, but not vital.

website :

http://www.tank-model.ru



Higly recommended

Marks : 90%


Review Martyn Smith