Stalingrad Sniper, 1942
This is Alexandros Models' 200mm resin bust (AM-WW31) of famed Russian sniper Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev, noted particularly for his activities between 10 November and 17 December 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad.
As this is a modelling forum and not a history lesson, I'll avoid grim body-count details, but there's ample information about his achievements listed elsewhere. The 2001 feature film, Enemy at the Gates, starring Jude Law as Zaytsev, was based in part of William Craig's book, Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad. Zaytsev died in 1991, at the age of 76, just 10 days before the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
The bust's resin parts are finely cast, and assemble easily with only minor seam-filling. There's a choice of two heads – one, as seen here, with helmet and fur-lined leather headgear, and the other with a forage cap only. My choice was to detail the helmet and liner. I used Vallejo acrylics throughout, the only additional items being graphite dust for the helmet edge, and Testors Dullcote to matte-down the the main tunic.
The jerkin is painted as 'worn leather,' but I've also seen this painted to resemble canvas. The Hessian wrapping on the Mosin Nagant rifle is painted with khaki combinations to differ from the uniform tunic green(s). The telescopic sight adjustment that sits atop the sight itself was just a small resin node; I added a couple of small detailed etch pieces from the spares box for added realism.
The base is from a firm in Czechoslovakia (Silesia) that supplies figure bases made from distinctive asymmetrical timber sections.
Included also in the figure box is a resin sickle-and-star symbol set across a star emblem, which has to be painted red and gold to simulate enamel finishes. After painting, I buffed the piece with a soft toothbrush and graphite powder to give it a dull, metallic sheen. It's meant to be fixed to the face of a display base, but I decided the piece took more away from the figure than it added, so have wrapped and stored it.
Like many modellers, my previous experience with figure painting has been limited to 1/35 or 1/32 figures for armour or aviation vignettes. This is my first formal figure, and I think it's a modelling genre I will revisit in the future.