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Soviet East Asian Trooper – Berlin 1945, sculpting step by step



From its very beginning the Red Army was combined of many nations living within the borders of the Red Empire. The Army consisted of Russian natives, Tartars, Georgians, Kalmykians as well as the other nations. I considered it to be a very interesting subject to be portrayed in scale figure sculpting. The figure described in this article will be a part of a vignette that represents ruined Berlin in May 1945 (my next article will cover the vignette modeling step by step). In this article I’m going to show some simple tips on how to create own figure works and I hope that after reading it you will find sculpting and converting figures much easier.

I start creating a figure with preformed parts made of Magic Sculpt combined with paper clips wire. I also use aftermarket resin accessories, such as Hornet heads and boots. To sculpture more sophisticated shapes I use simple tools such as properly shaped toothpicks, a kind of spatula or a spreading tool made from an old brush shaft and a brush for softening and shaping the creases.


Below is the Soviet trooper figure along with two others that I will use in my vignette. The vignette overview is planned to be a subway entrance with surrendering Volkssturm troopers coming out of the tunnel. The poses of Red Army soldiers can give some rough idea on the final layout.


I use the largest tool to spread putty over the preformed shape. The spatula is also used for initial shaping of trousers. It allows to reproduce the largest folds of the fabric. The belt could be also sculpted but I chose to make if from a sheet plastic strip.


To soften the creases it is enough to tap the Magic Sculpt with a brush dipped in water. However, it must be done gently and not too much water should be applied on the figure.


Once the lower part of the body was finished, the seams and the fly were added to detail the trousers. Also the belt received a PE buckle.


use high gradient steel wool to polish the surfaces once the putty is set. This must be done very gently, though. At this stage I also quickly sculpted the field cap.


Again I used the spatula to spread the putty all over the torso. Next, I removed the excess of Magic Sculpt with a blunt hobby knife blade.


At this stage I started shaping the padded pattern of the jacket. Having the vertical stitches finished I started modeling the creases. These are smaller than the ones on the trousers which is characteristic for a rather stiff, padded jacket.


I detailed the finished torso with some basic infantry equipment that comes from Dragon. Adding buttons was a finishing touch to the front of the jacket. Next, with the aid of paper clip wire and some putty I pre-shaped the arms holding the PPSh SMG.


I carefully modeled the shape of the arms so that the figure had a natural pose.


Before I finished the arms I shaped the collar. First I spread some putty around the neck and then cut off the excess material. I used a sharp pointed blade to shape the edges of the collar to make it look naturally thin.


Finally, I gently softened the edges of the collar with a brush dipped in water. Next, I started building up the arms. Applying putty with a finger is comfortable but leaves the fingerprints on the figure…


… so final shaping was done with a spatula. Creating the padding stitches and modeling the creases went in the same way as on the torso.


The figure is nearly finished, only the hands are to be added.

Text and photos: Radek Pituch