by: Darren Baker [ ]
Tank is a Russian resin figure manufacturer. They have a reasonable catalogue of figures which are predominately World War Two Russian and German figures, with a small collection of Russian figures from the conflict in Chechnya between1994-2005. In this offering they depict a two man team of machine gunners in a prone position firing a Maxim MG.
This product is packaged in a small white card box in white, with a colour picture of the figures on the front. Inside are three zip lock bags with one figure in each bag and the MG in a bag of its own.
The figures in this offering are cast in light grey with the alternate head, MG, and MG gun shield in a dark grey resin. The zip lock bags are stapled together but they are not secured in the box. Fortunately, no pieces in my set were damaged although some have very large pour plugs, in some cases the pour plugs look big enough to have made another figure. An extra bit of packaging material such as bubble wrap is something that Tank should take into consideration, (it also gives the wife and kids something to keep them busy as well).
The 7.62 mm M/1910 MAXIM-SOKOLOV:
The MG is made up of 17 parts, which all appear to be in good order, free of air bubbles or distortions. The overall size of the MG appears to be slightly short by 1.1mm, however I cannot be 100% sure of this as the measurements I used give a measurement for overall length, but does not clarify if the overall measurement includes all features of the weapon.
The detail of the weapon appears to be accurate and should look good when completed. Included with the MG parts is a small piece of paper covering the construction of the MG in a line drawing format. There is a beautifully molded ammo belt included with the MG, which being resin will be easy to bend to any shape you wish with the use of some hot water.
I am very disappointed in that when examining the parts of the weapon the ski assembly for the Winter MG is not included in the kit, there is no mention of this on the web site at the time of this writing. The only place it is stated is on the end of the box in small red text, and this will not be discovered by the purchaser until the kit arrives if mail order is used. I consider this to be false advertising of this product, and while the text on the box may meet legal requirements it does not in my opinion work within the spirit of the law. I cannot believe Tank would not include the pieces as from what I can see it would not require that many more parts to be included.
The first figure I will cover is the one shown operating the MG. it is made up of five or six parts depending on if you decide to depict the summer or winter version provided. You are provided with a torso with the legs attached, the two arms one of which is modeled with the handles of the MG being gripped in the left hand and the right hand of the other arm attached to this piece also, there is then a collar and a choice of two heads. The heads that are provided depict one wearing an M1940 helmet for the summer version and the other in a hood which shows the face from just below the chin to just above the eyes.
The facial features of both heads are well proportioned and should give a pleasing result when painted. The facial expression of both heads is hard to discern, but looks to be neutral. The clothing on this figure is well suited to the winter version as the clothing is just loose fitting white trousers and a pull on top, the detail is good bearing in mind it is minimal with this type of clothing and has some nice undercuts which only resin figures can really depict well.
If you wish to depict the summer version I do have a few concerns as the clothing being a simple trousers and top does not meet the usual Russian summer clothing and would best depict a Russian snipers clothing which does not really suit a Maxim MG setting. The boots being worn are detailed, but I am unable to discern if they are Sapogi boots or ankle boots worn with putties.
The parts are a very good fit and should not require any filler in the construction stages judging by the joint of pieces I have been able to check thus far. The two arms being very well engineered, as when attached the separate arm and hand connect perfectly as does the collar piece. The bottom of a water bottle is visible on the figure, however no other equipment is provided.
The second figure is also made up of five or six pieces depending on which version you decide to make, the pieces are in the same format as the MG figure, with the same strengths and weaknesses in the clothing. The facial details and hands are of equal quality to the first figure, with a small amount of filler required on the top joint of the left arm and the bottom of the joint on the right arm in this sample. It is again shown with the bottom of a water bottle protruding from beneath the top with the relevant under cuts nicely depicted.
Included with this figure is a Mosin-Nagant rifle which is accurate to the dimensions I have for this weapon, it is cleanly molded with the finger guard and trigger clearly visible rather than being a general shape. The figure is not provided with any other equipment, and I would have expected to find some ammo pouches provided with this figure. The only down side to this figure is that the feet look too long, but that could just be me.
I am unable to recommend this product due to a number of reasons, the main one being the lack of clarity to the purchaser as to what they are getting before the product is purchased and delivered. The figures are clearly better suited to a winter setting, and yet the winter MG version is not included while clearly being shown in the advertising pictures both on Tanks website and the front of the packaging.
It is my considered opinion that this should really be two separate products with these figures provided with a winter MG, and the MG provided with figures in a more traditional summer Russian uniform. It is a pity that this has not been done as these are some nice models taken as separate pieces.