by Frank De Sisto
Item 35011. Contains 113 injection-molded styrene parts with instructions/painting
guide located on the box top. Price: TBD, plus shipping.
Designed as stand-alone figures, in typical Afrika Korps (or, more precisely,
Tropical) garb, there is also a single seated driver figure included in
this set, which is designed to fit into a VW Kubelwagen. He could certainly
be adapted to fit into any of a number of other vehicles that may require
such a figure. Other places the Wehrmacht served, such as Sicily, Italy
and various areas located around the Mediterranean Sea also saw these
uniforms used. Therefore, this set should prove to be a handy addition
to the diorama or vignette modeler’s arsenal. There are a total
of six full figures in the box. They are clothed in a typical mix of gear
seen in tropical environments.
Figure “A” represents an infantryman and wears an M1940 Tropical
peaked cap and M1940 Tropical tunic and trousers. His footwear is the
M1940 Tropical ankle boots with gaiters. He is armed with a K98 rifle.
He’s composed of six parts (not including weapon, cap and other
kit) and is posed walking with his rifle slung over his right shoulder.
Figure “B” is the section’s MG34 gunner and is clothed
as per figure “A”, except that his ankle boots do not have
gaiters. He is also composed of six parts, minus head-gear, weapons and
kit. His right hand is designed to appear as if he holds the MG34, resting
it on his shoulder. Therefore the hand comes with the grip for the MG34
molded integrally with it. He is also holding an ammunition box and wears
the MG tool kit and holstered pistol.
Figure “C” depicts an enlisted man wearing M1940 Tropical
shirt, shorts and ankle boots. He is designed to sit in the driver’s
seat of an appropriate vehicle (a VW is shown in the box art), but certainly
could be adapted to other vehicles. He is composed of five parts, not
Figure “D”, also an enlisted man, is clothed as per figure
“B”, and is the MG34 gunner’s assistant. Both of his
hands hold 7.92mm ammo boxes, and so the handles are molded onto his hands.
He is made up of six parts.
Figure “E” is the section leader and can be made up as an
officer or NCO. He wears the high M1940 lace-front boots, tunic (with
a scarf around his neck) and officer’s breeches. He carries an MP40,
and wears a map case, M1938/40 MP magazine pouch and binoculars. He is
composed of seven parts, which include separate boots and left hand for
Figure “F” depicts the final infantryman in this section.
He is also clothed as per figures “B” and “D”,
and also carries a rifle. He is made up of seven parts, including separate
left hand. He carries a rifle and is depicted climbing into a vehicle
(or up a step).
In all of this I have not mentioned specific head gear because there
are options for either the M1940 tropical peaked cap, or M1935 steel helmet.
In the case of the caps, there are six; one for each figure. There are
four helmets, and the instructions depict most of the figures carrying
their helmets slung on their “web gear” (to use an American
term). But, they can be easily used on any of the figures’ heads,
should the modeler feel the urge to do so. There are also M1931 bread
bags, water bottles, rifle ammunition pouches and entrenching tools on
the figure sprues, allowing each figure to be fully equipped. The vehicle
driver is also provided with a pair of goggles.
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. In addition, there is a pair of exquisitely-molded MG34 general
purpose machine-guns. Each of them comes with a separate receiver cover
and one can be equipped with a folded bipod; the other has an open bipod.
This sprue also contains one opened (with ammo in place) and one closed
7.92mm ammo box (aside from the three that are spread throughout the figure
part sprues). These, as well as the MG34s make use of slide-mold technology
for maximum detail. Finally there is a small “snail-drum”
ammo container, what may be a strap for the MG34 and what certainly is
a spare barrel carrier for it. It is odd that none of the figures is shown
in the instructions as carrying this last item, but it certainly should
be used. Also odd is the fact that a couple of the men’s rifles
are shown with slings in the instructions, but none are provided. Why
no company provides these as photo-etch items, in this day and age, is
beyond this reviewer.
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. Overall, the design of these figures is quite nice.
The poses are relaxed, which can make these guys very useful for a number
of scenarios. The molding, for styrene plastic, is first-rate. The uniform
details, such as pockets, straps, buttons, belts and insignia are commendably
sharp. The shoes also look “right” in that the heels and toes
are well defined. The weapons and items of equipment can be considered
to represent the “state-of-the-art” in injection-molded plastic.
A good paint job and resin heads would make these guys hard to tell apart
from more expensive full resin figures.
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.