New Minifig: WWII Russian Machine Gunner
Featuring the BrickArms Dp-28 and the brand new Chestnut Ushanka, which is only available in select BrickArms packs and on this minifig.
This minifig is a customized with high-quality pad printed art (the same technique that LEGO uses.) These custom minifigs were inspired by the historical uniforms of Russian Soldiers in WWII. Their cold weather gear included a quilted jacket called a “Telogreika” (телогре́йка, literally “Body Warmer”). The Telogreika was so effective at keeping out the cold on the Eastern Front that Wehrmacht soldiers would often take the jackets off of the deceased since their own cold weather gear was vastly inferior. The Red Army originally supplied soldiers with the “budenovka” which was made of felt and provided very little protection against the cold. During the Winter War against Finland (1939-1940), many Russian soldiers died of exposure encouraging the Red Army to redesign their winter uniforms. They copied the Finns and adopted the “Ushanka” (уша́нка “ear hat”), often made from sheepskin, rabbit or muskrat fur, or wool.
The Dp-28 or Degtyaryov machine gun (Пулемёт Дегтярёвa Пехотный Pulemyot Degtyaryova Pekhotny “Degtyaryov’s infantry machine gun”) or DP is a light machine gun firing the 7.62×54mmR cartridge. This was the same caliber used by the standard issue rifle for the Red Army, the Mosin Nagant. The DP-28 was relatively cheap and easy to manufacture – early models had fewer than 80 parts. The DP was especially able to withstand dirt in a reliable fashion. In tests it was buried in sand and mud and was still capable of firing more than 500 rounds.
One of the DP’s main drawbacks though was its bipod; it could not withstand much abuse and broke easily. The only magazine option was relatively small at 47 rounds and continuous fire for long periods could not be relied on as much as contemporary belt-fed weapons. Due to the design of the magazine, reloading an empty magazine with cartridges took a very long time. The ammunition, originally formulated for bolt action weapons, was troublesome for automatic fire. A redeeming factor was that the DP’s lower cyclic rate of fire did reduce the risk of barrel overheating. Despite its numerous problems the DP had a reputation as a relatively effective light support weapon. It was nicknamed the “Record player” (proigryvatel’) by Red Army troops because the disc-shaped pan magazine resembled a gramophone record and its top cover revolved while the weapon was fired.