by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of war between the European Axis powers, Germany, Romania, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Croatia, Finland and the Soviet Union which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It was known by many different names: The Great Patriotic War, (Russian), the Eastern Front, (German), the Eastern Campaign, (German), or the Russian Campaign, (German). The two principal powers were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
The battles on the "Eastern Front" constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by ferocity, large scale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, starvation, disease, and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, and the majority of organized massacres, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, many of them civilians, died on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of World War II, eventually serving as the main reason for Germany's defeat.
Dragon has released Ostfront Winter Combatants, kit number 6652, a set of four figures in 1/35 scale in its '39-'45 series with Gen 2 Gear, which represent two WWII German Troops and two WWII Soviets.
The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box with artwork of the figures on the top of the box. The bottom of the box has a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures and an artwork painting guide.
There is no separate instruction sheet included in the kit, only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. The assembly guide does have mistakes on it such as wrong part numbers and incorrect number sequences.
Also included on the bottom of the box is a painting guide. There are three brands of paint referenced:
GSI Creos Corp. Aqueous Hobby Colour
GSI Creos Corp. Mr. Colour.
There are no decals included in this kit.
The kit comes with three grey styrene sprues which contain 124 total pieces. The sprues come sealed in clear plastic bags. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points which makes for easy removal and less clean up of each piece. When I examined the sprues I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces.
The three sprues are as follows:
Figures, weapons and gear 50 total pieces
Weapons and gear 60 total pieces
Weapons only 14 total pieces
As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash however there are seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing on the individual pieces is fairly decent. However I was not overly impressed with the sprue of extra weapons, helmets etc. as I felt the detailing on them was fairly poor, especially on the German hand guns.
The kit comes with two WWII German Troops and two WWII Soviets. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash, gaps and how the equipment fits on the figures. I felt this would be a good way to show the work required on all of them.
The German Fallschirmjager:
The figure is made up of eighteen total pieces. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice. The figure is carrying a MP-40 submachine gun with an extended stock. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the MP-40. The MP-40 fits into the figures right hand well. The quilted cold weather clothing is nicely done with a separately molded hood and I am impressed with the way it looks.
The figure comes with the M1935 fallschirmhelm, two MP-40 magazine pouches, a canteen, a mess kit, a bread bag, a document pouch and a stick grenade. The figure has an indentation on its right side which the stick grenade fits into and there is a separate belt piece which can then be glued over the grenade handle for a realistic appearance. The boots have hob nails and the left one is done fairly well, however they are poorly molded on the right. The pose of the figure is nice although it looks like he is almost leaning too far to the right, but that is just my opinion. The figures neck fits into the collar fairly well with a minimal amount of gap visible. The fallschirmhelm fits on the head well. There is very little flash present, however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good although there are gaps that will need to be filled. The box shows that there are equipment attachment straps on the belt going to the different items, these are not included on the actual figure.
The German with the MP-40 and the M1928 flare pistol:
This figure is made up of seventeen total pieces with decent detailing on the clothing and face. The figure is carrying an MP-40 submachine gun and a M1928 German flare pistol. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the MP-40. The figure on the box is shown with a MP-40 with an extended stock which is misrepresented as the set only comes with one MP-40 extended stock which is used on the first figure (German Fallschirmjager). I feel this is deceiving to the modeler and should not have been done by Dragon. The figure also comes with one MP-40 magazine pouch, a canteen, bread bag, mess kit and a holster. The MP-40 magazine pouch also has the smaller pouch attached for the magazine loading tool. The MP-40 fits into the figures right hand fairly well. The M1928 flare pistol is molded into the left hand.
There are four pieces that make up the bottom of the coat. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together but the end result is nice. The figures neck fits into the collar nicely and the helmet fits on the head well. There are very few hobnails visible on the boots. There is very little flash present, however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled. The assembly guide shows that you should use face B1, this actually should be A1. It also shows that you should use helmet G4, however it should be G5.
The Soviet with the PPSH-41:
The figure is made up of fourteen total pieces. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice. The figure is wearing a Telogreika jacket, Sharovari breeches and an Ushanka cap with a star on the visor. The figure is carrying a PPSH-41 submachine gun to which you will need to attach the drum magazine. The figure comes with a partial sling for the PPSH-41 molded into the left hand. Once the arm is glued in place the modeler will need to bend the sling to make it attach to the part of the sling that is molded on the left shoulder. The modeler will need to scratch build a portion of sling to go from the bottom of the hand to the submachine gun.
The figure comes with a Vesh Myeshok backpack, a PPSH-41 magazine pouch, a SVT-40 bayonet, a document pouch and a canteen. The canteen is flat on the back which is not realistic. The magazine pouch looks too flat as well, however I guess it could be empty. The right hand is molded to hold a cigarette. There is no cigarette so one will have to be scratch built. The figures neck fits into the collar nicely and the Ushanka cap fits on the head well. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with gaps that will need to be filled.
The Soviet with the SVT-40 rifle:
The final figure is made up of sixteen total pieces with good detailing on the clothing and face. The figure is wearing the Kaftan great coat and the 1940 model helmet. There are four pieces of the coat that need to be added to the bottom. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together but the end result is nice. He is armed with a Soviet SVT-40 rifle. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. The figure comes with a SVT-40 ammunition pouch, an F1 grenade pouch, a gas mask bag and a canteen. The canteen is flat on the back which is not realistic. The gas mask bag is also too stiff looking and should have a curve to make it conform to the body better.
The figures neck fits into the collar nicely and the helmet fits on the head well. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with gaps that will need to be filled. The sequences shown for the great coat numbers is shown incorrectly on the assembly guide, and are reversed as to what they should be. Personally I do not like this figures pose, he looks almost too stiff.
The Weapons and Gear:
1 Soviet SVT-40 rifle.
1 Soviet PPSH-41 submachine gun.
1 Soviet PPSH-41 ammunition drum magazine.
3 German MP-40 submachine guns.
4 German Mauser 98k rifles.
1 Soviet SVT-40 bayonet.
1 German Luger pistol
1 German P-38 pistol
1 German MP-40 extended stock
2 German MP-40 magazines.
4 German Mauser ammunition stripper clips.
4 German bayonets.
4 German canteens.
4 German gas mask canisters with separate end caps.
4 German gas mask cape pouches.
4 German rolled shelter halves.
4 German bread bags.
4 German mess kits.
1 German document pouch.
2 German STG-44 magazine pouches.
3 German pistol holsters.
3 German stick grenades.
4 German helmets.
1 pair of German binoculars with eye piece cap
5 German Mauser ammunition pouches.
4 German MP-40 ammunition pouches, two with magazine loading tool pouch.
2 Soviet canteens.
1 Soviet helmet.
1 Soviet PPSH-41drum magazine pouch.
1 Soviet SVT-40 ammunition pouch.
1 Soviet F1 grenade pouch
1 Soviet gas mask bag.
I was surprised to find that no entrenching tools came with these figures. The kit comes with several extra pieces that can be added to the spare parts bin.
Overall I was not overly impressed. It is a decent set, however I would expect more from Dragon. I wouldnt mind recommending it to others although I would inform them they would need to be prepared to fill gaps and remove seam lines. The overall detailing is decent but could be better. The fit of the great coat pieces could be better. I also do not like the mistakes in the instructions and the misleading pictures on the box. On the positive side you do get figures with four different styles of uniforms which are decently detailed, and you do get several extra pieces for the spare parts bin.
World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton
Storming Eagles, German Airborne Forces in World War Two
Arms and Armor Press
Fallschirmjager in Action
Combat Troops Number 1
Created by Uwe Feist
Captions by Norman Harms
Uniform Illustration by Ron Volstadt
German Infantry in Action
Combat Troops Number 2
Created by Uwe Feist
Captions by Norman Harms