by: Pat McGrath [ ]
Iíve always like sets that contained seated soldiers and while I missed the release of this set I couldnít resist it when I recently came across it in my LHS. This is a three figure set depicting a medic and two casualties. It is labelled as German Soldiers 1941-43 and though the medics web anklets rule out his use in an early war scenario the uniforms depicted were in use until the end of the war.
The set comes in a cardboard box which opens at both ends. On the front, the striking box art is attributed to E. Pronin and the Sculpting to A. Gagarin. The rear shows the sprue with the parts numbered and color photos of the built figures by way of instructions, and a photo of the figures in place on Masterboxís PzKfw 1A (Ambulance version). There is also a painting key for the following paint brands: Vallejo, Tamiya, Lifecolor, Humbrol and Agama. The parts come on one sprue inside a resealable cellophane bag.
The first figure is a medic wearing a camouflage smock with foliage attachment loops, steel helmet and web anklets with short boots and field grey trousers. His right arm is stretched out to his right in a bracing position, while his left arm is stretched upwards and to the front at shoulder level. The box art has this arm resting on the panzer crewmanís shoulder. The illustration shows the smock in splinter pattern camo, but the figures collar tabs (both on the box art and on the actual figure) are the SS type.
The second figure is a casualty, with a bandaged head, wearing the panzer crew uniform. He is bent forward at the waist with his left arm resting on his thigh and his right arm stretched beside him. The box art shows him as an SS man with the eagle emblem on his left sleeve, but the plastic figure has the emblem on the right breast of the tunic. There were differences in the cut of the SS and the Wehrmacht tunic and this one is the Wehrmacht pattern with the central rear seam. It also has the panzer crew deaths head insignia on the collar tabs.Of course if you replace the bandaged head he becomes an ordinary Panzer crewman.
The third figure is wearing a plain infantrymanís uniform with pleated pockets. One of his legs is heavily bandaged while on the other one he wears the long jackboot. He is using his left hand to keep his leg elevated and, like the other figures, bracing himself upright with his right hand.
Breakdown of Parts:
The break down of parts is the same for the three figures each basic figure made up of six parts each with separate legs, arms, head and upper torso. The medic figure comes with two medic pouches and a separate helmet.
The detail, while good for plastic figures, can be enhanced and the first thing I did after removing the parts from the sprue and cleaning up the usual seam lines was to scribe around the pockets, seams etc with a new number 11 blade in my knife. I also lifted the corners of the collars and the pocket flaps. I scribed between the fingers and sliced them apart on some of the hands. I think this extra work makes a lot of difference and brings the figure to life when painting. The assembly of all three was problem free with no fit issues.
I noticed that there was part of the camo smockís skirt on the medic figure missing where the legs joined at the front and this will need filling. Of the three figures I feel the medic is the weakest. The drawstring on the smock is very thick and his helmet is very small for his head. I didnít use the pouches and I will probably replace the raised arm with one from the spares box as I donít like that pose which, to my mind, looks a little stilted.
I tried fitting the figures together as they are in the box art but I couldnít get them close without looking awkward. Iím sure they work on the PzKfw 1A Ambulance but I donít plan to use them that way. I was planning to replace the heads on the other two figures with aftermarket items but seeing them in the photos I don't think that is necessary.
With a little bit of hard work these can be built into pretty decent figures. I paid Ä5 for my set and I have seen it online for less. The two casualty figures have great potential for conversion as the panzer crew man only needs a replacement head to make him a non casualty, and the if you replace the bandaged lower leg on the other soldier with a jackboot he'd make a good relaxed infantryman, or with the addition of an empty bottle, perhaps a drunk.
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