Tropical Panzer Crew
by Frank De Sisto
Item 35009, German Tropical Panzer Crew. Contains 57 injection-molded
styrene parts, with instructions/ painting guide located on box top. Price:
$13.00 USD, plus shipping.
Designed to compliment either of Tristar’s Pz.Kpw. I Ausf. A kits,
these figures can also be easily adapted to any number of AFVs as used
by the Afrika Korps. Other places the Wehrmacht served, such as Sicily,
Italy and various areas located around the Mediterranean Sea also saw
these uniforms used. There are a total of four figures in the box. Three
are full figures, while the last is meant to be placed in a turret hatch,
so is cut off above the knees. They are clothed in a typical mix of gear
seen in tropical environments.
Figure “A” represents an infantry officer and wears an M1940
Tropical peaked cap (with sun goggles) and M1940 Tropical tunic and officer’s
trousers. His footwear is the knee-length, lace-front M1940 tropical boots.
He has a scarf around his neck and is armed with an MP40. He’s composed
of nine parts (not including MP40 and other kit) and is posed with one
leg folded, kneeling on the superstructure of a Panzer.
Figure “B” (the partial figure) is a tank commander wearing
the M1940 tropical tunic and trousers, with the un-official Panzer crewman’s
skull insignia on his lapels. He also wears a scarf and has a choice of
heads wearing either the M1940 side cap or M1940 Tropical peaked cap.
He is composed of six parts and is posed with his arms resting on a Panzer’s
Figure “C” depicts an enlisted man wearing M1940 Tropical
shirt, shorts and ankle boots. His bare head has a bandage wrapped around,
covering his left eye, while his right hand is designed to appear as if
he holds a cigarette (the instructions say to make it from plastic or
brass rod) giving him quite a bit of character. His left hand holds his
M1940 Tropical peaked cap. He is composed of nine parts and sits cross-legged
on the vehicle’s glacis plate.
Figure “D”, also an enlisted man, wears the M1940 Tropical
shirt, side cap, long pants and ankle boots. His right hand holds a water
bottle with cap and cup removed. He is made up of eight parts and sits
on the Panzer’s superstructure.
As is typical for Tristar’s figures, the animation is very nicely
done, while molding and uniform details are just about the best you’ll
see, within the limits of the injection molding process. The now-standard
sprue of weapons and equipment consists of three K98 rifles, with separate
bolts (one of which can be depicted in the open position), three MP40
machine pistols (one of which has a separate extended stock), a P38 pistol
and binoculars. There are four M1935 helmets, four M1931 mess kits and
four M1938 gas masks which can be placed on or around the figures. The
gas masks and mess kits, as well as the rifles take advantage of slide
mold technology for clean detail on the ends of items, or in the case
of the rifles, open channels for the addition of the separate bolts. The
sprue for the figures also contains three P38 holsters and one MP40 three-magazine
pouch. The box top serves as a painting and assembly guide, and provides
separate color illustrations that detail the various insignia as seen
on the men’s uniforms. Colors are keyed to Tamiya, Gunze (both acrylics
and enamels) and Humbrol paints. This is another very useful set of figures
and as mentioned, does not need to be confined to a North Africa scenario.
CHESAPEAKE MODEL DESIGNS
As well as manufacturing their own line of resin kits and conversion sets,
Chesapeake Model Designs (CMD) is the US Importer and distributor of Tristar
products, and will ship worldwide. For more information see their web
site at: www.chesapeakemodels.com.
Phone/fax number is: 410-357-5496, NEW email: firstname.lastname@example.org.