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Tristar German 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 hatch.

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.


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: bill@chesapeakemodels.com.