by: Russ Amott [ ]
Zvezda is the largest scale plastic modeling and table top wargaming manufacturer in Russia. This is good for modelers as there are some very useful sets of figures being made in 1/72 scale that are perfect for diorama settings. One of these sets is the subject of this review, the German Sturmpioniere, 1939-1942.
The sturmpioniere were combat engineers of the German army. They were the ones who preceded the assault by clearing the way of obstacles. The four figures in this set represent the sturmpioniere in some of their assigned roles. There are two figures with mine detecting equipment, one soldier with a flame thrower and one kneeling with wire cutters. Each of the figures is well detailed for the scale with their equipment being well defined. The mine detecting figures are molded in one piece. The other figures are molded with separate arms. Bases are included for the individual figures, or as a group.
In addition to the figures, there is a separate set of obstacles, including a bunker, four barbed wire sections with separate bases, two anti tank obstacles and a small set that looks like a foot bridge. A wargaming card is also included with the set, which appears to show movement and a point breakdown.
Painting is shown on the back of the box, "as the modeler likes", with the general appearance being field gray uniform, black boots and belts, and uniform trim applied by the modeler.
My 10 year old son, Andrew, took the box and assembled the figures on his own. He cut the figures from the sprue with side cutters, and snapped the arms to the two figures. He did not have any difficulty figuring out which arms went to which figure and the parts went into place without any trouble. He was able to match the figures to their bases by lining up the locator holes and pins. The diorama parts all assembled easily as well.
The two mine clearing figures are identical, and not as dynamic as the other two figures, and the diorama parts are not quite in scale with the figures, but the kit is intended to be very basic, with simple assembly, and I don't know how important scale is to wargaming. With a little effort, the figures can be made to look very nice. In addition to wargaming and dioramas, the set can be used for your own games, for playtime, and as a starter set for someone getting into modeling. This kit meets it's intended purpose quite well.
This set was provided to my by Armorama. I noticed that while looking the kit up online, it is often listed as an 8 figure set. There may be an 8 figure set available, but kit 6110 is specifically a four figure set, with the listed accessories. Prices ranged from $3.00 up to $6.75 for the kit itself, with shipping running anywhere from $4.00 to $11.00, all prices in US dollars.