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WIP IBG Polish Infantry 1939 (35048)

Discussion in 'vBench (Works in Progress)' started by Kimmo, Mar 12, 2024.

  1. Kimmo A Fixture

    Been a while since I've done anything purely figure related, so now everyone must suffer for it...I keed.


    I've been waiting to get cracking on these figures which IBG kindly sent a few months back. Polish figures are a bit thin on the ground in 1/35th and it's always nice to see new figures hit the market in this scale. When I first heard of this set, I was really curious to see how (or if) IBG had improved from their first release of an artillery crew for their 75mm gun. Those figures weren't bad, especially considering it was their first release, but they were a bit too posed and stiff for my liking. At first glance, I think they've certainly managed to get a more dynamic feel to this set, with perhaps the exception of the chap throwing a grenade which feels a bit cliché and is sort of an odd duck to the rest of the group. I realise that there aren't all that may ways to throw a grenade, but he looks like he's posing for the press rather than the purposeful lurking of the other four which work well together.

    As per the box art, you get five figures, weapons, equipment and a small decal sheet with eagle badges for the field caps and really tiny red/white stripes for rank markings on the epaulettes. The eagle badges are really a nice touch. The stripes are probably more trouble than they are worth going by previous experience. You get a choice of rifles with and without bayonets attached, plus all manner of field gear. Everything looks to be generally well molded and reasonably sharp. We'll take a closer look at the sprues below.

    I'm still in head scratching mode as to what I'm going to do presentation/base wise, I have a few options in mind and we'll see what we end up with. My thanks again to IBG for the set. Comments and questions are encouraged as always.

    KenBoyle, Przeborz, Briggsy and 2 others like this.
  2. Kimmo A Fixture

    IBG has chosen to provide each figure on individual sprues, which I like, and the equipment and rifles are on their own separate sprues as well to help keep things nice and organised. Optional parts are limited to helmets/field caps and rifles with/without bayonets. One thing that caught my eye was that the helmets have a rough texture to them as per the real items. I can't think of any other examples of molded on texture like this even though other helmets of the period should at the very least be roughed up a bit. The figures are broken down fairly conventionally with tabs and cut outs for positive seating of equipment. Limbs and heads are molded with bevels to help with placement. The pros are that everything should line up and sit how they are supposed to. The only con is that reposing or swapping out arms might be a bit more difficult, or will require more work at minimum. The only shortcoming I can see off the hop are the heads, as is usually the case with injection molded figures. They look a bit better in real life than in the photos below, but they are still rather soft in detail around the eyes and ears. Speaking of photos, I usually don't take sprue shots as I can't seem to get a decent setup with the limited space I have to work with. Fortunately these sprues are on the small side and I managed to get the workbench light to play nice. Click on the photos for full size.

    Starting off with Figure A




    Figure B




    Figure E




    Figure F




    Figure G




    Sprues Cx3/Dx2



    All in all, a promising starting point. There will be the usual amount of clean up and undercutting needed. I'll try to show what's going on as much as possible when we get around to actually doing something.

    Oda, KenBoyle, Martin64 and 4 others like this.
  3. Briggsy A Fixture

    Nice set of figures Kimmo and an unusual period for the Poles, usually see them in the late war period wearing Russian gear.

    The heads do look soft luckily they don't come with helmets attached so Hornet ones can be used if necessary. Looking forward to seeing this progress

    Cheers Simon
  4. Nap Moderator

    Hi Kimmo

    Good to see the polish army WW2 being released , good constructive comments on the pieces as well

    Looking forward to seeing more

    Following with interest

    Happy benchtime

    Oda likes this.
  5. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Simon and Nap!

    Had a brief spell at the bench today looking over things, some clean up and doing a bit of research. I may have a plan of sorts bouncing around in my noggin as to what I'm going to do with the chaps, the jury is still out on setting(s). Simon, replacement heads are usually par for the course, I'll have to get a coat of something down before I decide if I replace them all or just try to gut it out and do my best. The ears can be fixed easily enough, I have a smash mold for just such emergencies. The lack of eyelids makes the eyes the real challenge. The faces themselves are decent and different enough to work with.

    Oda and Przeborz like this.
  6. Kimmo A Fixture

    I've been a little slow getting to the actual build of the figures as I've been spending some time thinking through stuff. I'm going to try and present this whole blog as a set of pointers and show my process to help those who perhaps haven't had much experience with injection molded figures, or are perhaps looking to improve. I keep noticing some issues crop up with builds by modelers who don't or won't invest time into making the most basic of improvements, or just not cleaning up figures properly*. You can generalise these issues as an overall softness or a laissez-faire appearance, which is a very polite way of saying not quite up to snuff. I personally find that a not great figure presented with a good or really model brings down the overall effect and can be a hindrance or distraction to the quality of the model. I don't like being critical of the work of others as that never goes well, so hopefully this is taken as the "maybe I can help you a bit" type of comment, which it is intended to be.

    *I'm simulblogging this on another site where figures are far more likely to be an afterthought rather than an extension of a setting or a focal point, so apologies if some of this sounds old hat. For those of you who are new to the world of injection molded figures, welcome aboard, sit back and enjoy the madness.

    Figures are really no different than any other kits, they're just less mechanical or industrial in nature. This means you have to pay a little more attention to what you're doing and how to go about fixing things. Injection molding is quite limited in what it can produce and figures really push the envelope to the extremes due to the shapes involved. So where do we start? With clean up.

    In the photos below you can see I've removed the main parts from the sprues, cleaned off the nubs and scraped off mold seams and given everything a quick sanding with a medium fine sanding sponge. I haven't done any fixing yet. Everything is then stuck together with blu-tack to check the fit. If things look like they fit well at this stage, all the better. Click the photos for full size.

    Figure A





    Figure B





    Figure E





    Figure F





    Figure G





    So far so good. In the next chapter we'll go over the tools I use and point out the areas that generally need some work and then get cracking. Everything we'll be going over applies to all injection molded figures, regardless of scale or manufacturer. Consider the photos above as our benchmark we can refer back to as the project goes along and you can see how sometimes even little things can improve the appearance of any figure.

    Merryweather, Oda, Przeborz and 3 others like this.
  7. Kimmo A Fixture

    Below is a photo of most of my basic tools that I use for all modelling, not just figures. You can get remarkably far using just these. A single edged razor blade for parts removal and chopping. Foam sanding pads in various grits, diamond burrs for all sorts of sanding needs, a beveled cocktail stick for burnishing (a truly under appreciated tool). A wax carver for putty and scribing, two types of scalpel blade (#11/15) for scraping and cutting and a pin vise with a sharpened finishing nail for marking points.The burrs and carver are just a selection of the more common ones I use. Not shown are wet and dry sandpaper, drill bits, files and other common items a modeler should have.


    Due to molding limitations, all injection figures will have areas that need some work. The most common of these are collars, pocket flaps, epaulettes and boots. Basically, any place where there should be an undercut is where you will have to do some work. Other things that usually need to be addressed are straps and belts as they might not be very sharply molded, the same goes for cuffs and hems. By far the most problematic areas are heads and hands. You can really save yourself some time and aggravation with replacement items, but you can fix these up yourself if you are willing to invest the time and effort. Click for full size.


    If all of this is beginning to sound like a lot of work, you aren't wrong. Fortunately, most of it is pretty easy to deal with. There are of course things I haven't mentioned yet, but we'll get to them as I get going.

    Nap, Merryweather, Oda and 4 others like this.
  8. NigelR A Fixture

    I'll enjoy following along with this one, thanks for sharing.
    Oda likes this.
  9. Briggsy A Fixture

    Very informative, going to enjoy this thread.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda likes this.
  10. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Simon and Nigel!

    After finding some time to really get things going, I've gotten what you might call an initial session in of about 3-4 hours with Figure A. As mentioned previously, cleaning up and improving things takes time. Every figure I do, I always feel a bit like a paleontologist uncovering a fossil because the work can be exceedingly finicky. Sometimes you are removing, quite literally, a bit of plastic not much bigger than a large grain of sand. Most of the work is making very small cuts to sharpen an edge, and then a second and/or third cut to remove the offending piece. I can highly recommend cleaning up figures if you need to work on your patience game. Click for full sized photos.

    Here's how things look





    The most amount of time went into cleaning up his right foot. It wasn't well molded so I basically had to reshape it and then mark in the leather bits and scrape away, more work is still needed on both. The #15 blade is really useful for these kinds of things. Other notable items include the right hip pocket flap and the collar. If you look closely you will see the corner of the flap is turned up slightly, and the collar has been reshaped a bit and undercuts made at the edges. I found it slightly odd that the uniform has no major seam detail at all, so they have to be scribed in. More often as not, you'll have to do a bit of scribing to replace lost seam detail either from the molding or clean up process. Again, the #15 works wonders here. A curved blade is great for making continuous more or less straight lines. If this sounds a bit strange, remember that a pizza cutter is a wheel for a very good reason.

    The most tedious part of this session was dealing with the various straps. There is a lot of detail around them so you have to be careful not to remove stuff. The first steps are to run the back tip of a blade along the edges to sharpen things up. You will also at times need to make cuts due to mold draft, particularly present on the sides where the mold halves meet. Where straps overlap or touch, remove or scribe in cuts to either define, or to make undercuts. Very tedious, yes, I know. Then sand or shave down the overall thickness as needed. The straps still need a bit of work, how much will depend on what is actually visible when the arms and equipment are in place.

    So that's the first steps. All of this is relatively easy once you get the hang of it. It's more a matter of patience than skill. Once you've made cuts or scribed in seams, they need to be cleaned out and smoothed. Remember the chiseled cocktail stick? A touch of Tamiya extra thin smooths out major blemishes quite nicely and cleans up deeper grooves such as the seams on the uniform.

    More documented tedium to follow...

    Nap, Merryweather, Oda and 4 others like this.
  11. Briggsy A Fixture

    Nice work mate, it is time consuming but as you say will be worth it in the end. Nice tip about smoothing seams with a cocktail stick and extra thin. Will have to try and remember that one.

    Cheers Simon
    Merryweather and Oda like this.
  12. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Simon!

    Been slow going the last few days, my hand has been cramping up and that has made it difficult to do any long sessions at the bench. The figure is starting to come along nicely though, and there isn't much left to do. Click on photos for full size.





    Plenty of fiddly work has been done. The boots have been tidied up, some wrinkles added to areas that needed a lot of sanding during clean up, the puttees were modified a bit as well. As molded, they would just be tubes and not wrap arounds. Buttons still to be added as well as laces to the boots. The rifle has been cleaned up and glued to his hand. You can make out the cuts needed to get the thumb to sit more naturally. A bit of putty and a sling and swivels, yes plural, still to come. The cuffs of the sleeves were hollowed out even if it isn't terribly evident, and the buttons need to be replaced as they were molded slightly ovular. The jacket needed an undercut in the left crotch area to match the thickness of the hems and to remove excess material. I added seams to the jacket as well.

    I glued the leg into place so I could get on with fitting equipment, a lot easier to do now. The ammo pouches are glued on, as is the entrenching tool. An odd oversight is the empty frog for the bayonet. Even though you get bayonets on one of the sets of rifles, you don't get a haft to add to the carrier so you will have to cut them off if you go this route. One more note, each figure has a specific tool so you have to keep track of which is which if you are planning on doing several figures at once, the rest of the kit is universal. The bags on the lower back had seams added by scribing and shaving into the edge so that there is now a lip running around around the edges. A slightly quicker way to do this would be to scribe a groove around the edges, then glue flattened stretched sprue to represent the doubled over seam. The bread bag (left) didn't want to sit well so I shaved off the peg and will have to add some putty. The backpack has had some work done to clean it up a little better, seams grooved and the blanket has had the ends scribed a bit to show a rolled blanket. The helmet was an inspired addition from a reenactment photo I saw, strap and liner to do. The canteen could be improved slightly by replacing the handle with wire, otherwise it looks fine. The straps leading to the bags and backpack still need some work, most likely replacing, and some details need to be added to the front side, mainly buckles/D rings.

    As is rather obvious, I decided to go with a resin head. I had glued a field cap onto the supplied head but it just wasn't doing much for me. The upward gaze works well with the hunched shoulders and for the base I have in mind. I really like his hair and am of two minds whether to add a cap or leave it bare. Some minor tweaking is needed with the sit.

    Overall, things are starting to look pretty good. There are still some details to add that were missing, some putty work and then I can get going on the next batch of figures.

    Nap, Oda, Martin64 and 2 others like this.
  13. Briggsy A Fixture

    Nice comprehensive walk through, it's great what you can do with these types of figures.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda likes this.
  14. NigelR A Fixture

    Resin heads really bring these figures alive IMO, so you made the right decision. Nice work all round.
    Oda likes this.
  15. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Simon and Nigel!

    A bit more work today, I was focusing on getting the straps sorted out as they need to be done before I can glue the backpack in place. Plus, I had an idea...Click for full size photos.





    Most of the work involved getting the side straps for the backpack done. The kit detail is really rather weak here and will benefit from a bit of attention. I removed the strap detail from the sides, back and one of the front straps that goes to the bread bag first. Then, I made up some hoops from thin wire, then squished one end in to form a rough D, then cut strips of lead foil for the straps and played thread the needle. I cut the straps short as they attach to the corners of the backpack and would in all likelihood get torn off at some point before then. I normally use pewter foil, however it is a little too thick for this kind of stuff. The lead foil is a bit too thin, but you have to use what you got sometimes. I don't like tape as it always ends up sticking to stuff when you don't want it to, and never sticks when you would like it to. Pewter foil was used for the bread bag strap as it is more in line with the thickness already present. Still some work to be done with the straps.

    I did some minor shaving with the neck and enlarging the hole so the head would fit better, and had an idea for how to keep that glorious hair present. I think you can guess what's supposed to be going on.

    Short and sweet for today, more to come.

    Nap, Oda, NigelR and 2 others like this.
  16. Briggsy A Fixture

    Nice work on the straps, not always the easiest aspect of a figure to upgrade. The hat being blown off is a nice dramatic touch.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda likes this.
  17. Kimmo A Fixture

    Cheers Simon!

    More fiddly work. The backpack was finally glued on after I got the back straps sorted out. They should probably sit a wee bit higher and have a gap, but this works for me. I added two buckles to the front straps, the kit bags are glued in place, buttons added to the gaiters and the bayonet haft glued on after being cut off and cleaned up from an other rifle. Laces were also added to the boots, although I might redo them. I ended up having to go over the tunic front as I forgot to add the seam and the buttons were interfering. I personally think the buttons are too domed and could use a flattening as provided. A bit of putty here and there, far less than I thought might be needed and things are really coming along. Click on photos for full size.





    Still a few things to do, but almost there.

  18. Briggsy A Fixture

    Loving the level of detail you're going into.

    Cheers Simon
    Oda likes this.
  19. NigelR A Fixture

    Nice work all round. Good idea to improve the straps before gluing the backpacks. I added these bits to my 1914 French after adding all the equipment and it was hard to get the additional strap elements looking right.
    Merryweather and Oda like this.
  20. Oda A Fixture

    A nice set of figures indeed but an outstanding SBS and tutorial on the whole.

    Nap and Merryweather like this.

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