by: Darren Baker [ ]
Very early on in WW1 Germany began using snipers in the trenches much to the annoyance of the British who considered it unsporting of them. The German snipers proved effective at slowing movements and picking off high value targets as well as targets of opportunity, so much so that the British instituted snipers of their own. The British sniper would be assigned to a unit and he would move with them, the German sniper on the other hand stayed in the same place for very long periods and so became use to the routes and movements of Allied troops making them more effective than their counterparts who may be in an area for a few months and so never gained the level of knowledge available to the Germans. The Germans had another advantage over their counterparts and that is they had better optics and greater access to them making them more common at the front. This offering from Blackdog features a German sniper and his spotter in 1/35th scale
This offering from Blackdog is supplied in an end opening card box. Inside there are two Ziploc bags containing the figures and these are protected further by foam peanuts. An examination of the mouldings reveal as regards production some very thin and light flash visible and that is common to nearly all resin products, unusually for Blackdog the sniper has an air bubble on his back that will need to be filled, but again not the end of the world. The figures are in their own Ziploc bags and that avoids any confusion when it comes to finishing the offering.
The Germans lead the way as regards snipers and utilised a number of ways to allow the shooting out while protected from any incoming fire. This included the baggy clothing adopted by the British, hoods covered in foliage and metal plates that protected them from enemy fire; they also like the British adopted the use of hollowed out and fake trees for spotting and shooting from. British snipers tended to shoot from the front line trenches or even no mans land whereas the German snipers tended to operate from trenches behind the front line trenches and were very effective in that role, but they also ventured into no mans land.
The spotter in this set has the long baggy jacket with what appears to be standard uniform trousers and topped off with the high boots. The hood of the jacket in this case is down revealing the standard pattern German helmet. The face and hands of the figure has been well done and should look good when painted. The spotter is equipped with a Mauser Gewehr 98 rifle with no sight, he has binoculars in his left hand. On a standard belt he has a side arm and a bayonet, there are no ammunition pouches present which seems a little unusual to me.
The sniper is standing in the stance of a soldier of honour photograph with the left foot resting on a log and rifle held across the waist. The clothing is the same as provided with the previous figure, but on this occasion the hood is up and will make the painting of the face trickier than it may otherwise have been; I like that a small portion of the helmet is visible in the hood. The figure is wearing a standard belt with a bayonet and what I think of as a bread bag attached; again no obvious ammunition is seen with the figure. The figure is equipped with a Mauser Gewehr 98 rifle, but no sight is fitted which I find a little odd; I will remove the sight from another rifle I have and attach it due to looking odd without it.
This is another really nice offering from Blackdog due to the great detail imparted in the castings. I was disappointed to find an air bubble present, but that is not that unusual in resin figures. The only real negative I can come up with is that the rifle of the sniper does not have a scope fitted. With that said these two figures do make for a nice presentation of the all conquering hero photograph that while not in action it looks good.