Desperate Defence
Korsun Pocket 1944

Dragon Kit No. 6273
1:35th Scale
Review by Terry Ashley

This new set of figures from Dragon is marketed as “Generation 2” and to put it mildly they are a quantum leap in the evolution of injected moulded figures, personal equipment and weapons for that matter and have set the bar to a new high.

The set consists of 307 parts in grey plastic for the six figures, their personal equipment and weapons and is complimented by two small frets with 98 etched metal parts for the shoulder epilates, belt buckles and a varied selection of decoration badges.

The figures and weapons are moulded in normal hard plastic which makes removing the usual small moulding seams quite easy while some of the personal equipment such as the ammo pouches, bread bags, small satchels and bed rolls are moulded in a mix of DS100 vinyl and hard plastic which allows some superb details to be included. To top this off items such as the gas mask canisters, meal tins and water bottles are moulded with separate caps and are hollowed out using slide moulds for superb detail definition.

The figures wear a nice variety of winter uniforms which give a good indication of the situation in the later war years and the weapons also reflect this with one using a captured PPSh 41 SMG, two with Kar98s, one with an MP40 plus a two man MG42 team.

Detail on the figures is excellent with just minor moulding seams to be removed from the legs, arms and hands and being in hard plastic makes this job very quick and easy but as usual take care not to remove any detail in the process.
Uniform details include trouser and arm fabric seams with good definition on the pockets and webbing where applicable with realistic fabric folds and the boots also including hob nail details.
What really allows the inclusion the fine details is that all the collars, lapels and lower sections of the parkas, tunics and overcoat are in separate parts that not only include excellent details themselves but allow very well defined undercuts and overlap details when assembled. This is especially noticeable on the overcoat which also includes some minor tears as do a couple of the trousers to give even more character to the figures.

The heads are also interesting in that they are moulded with separate back and front sections with all but figure 3 having the join line corresponding with the helmet chin strap elevating the need to fill any gaps. The join line on the head with field cap is very small and almost disappears with just the use of thicker liquid cement to make cleanup really easy. The facesl are also very well done with well defined features that will come up very well with careful painting.

The separate hands have excellent anatomical features and after cleaning the mould seams are ready to go with those holding weapons having the fingers moulded to hold the weapon snugly but you will need to pose the weapon while attaching the arms/hands to ensure a natural sit.

Breakdown of the figures is very interesting with the legs moulded separately with separate boots while the upper torsos have separate front and back sections with one piece arms which in turn have separate hands.

Added to the basic body structure are the separate lower tunic and coat sections as mentioned about and you should take careful note of the part numbers to ensure you fit the correct sections in the right place on the figures, each section has a square locating lug to help it line up correctly.

Figure 4 also has an additional separate coat section under the raised right arm to ensure good detail definition on this part of the coat as well as all having small separate belt buckles for good detail.

Personal Equipment:
Added to the figures is a good selection of personal equipment with the ammo pouches, pistol holsters, bayonet scabbards and small satchels having excellent stitching, buckle and strap details included on both sides which really do set them apart from any previous equipment in this medium. Other items such as the gas mask containers, meal tins and water bottles have separate caps which are hollowed out using slide moulds with the gas mask canister bodies actually being hollow tubes with separate end caps at both ends for superb details.

These are again superbly detailed with a good selection of weapons included with two Kar98 rifles which have separate bolts that give you an alternative of the bolt pulled back or in the normal position and also included inside breech details if you wish to show the weapon stripped. Also included are twelve 5 round clips with very well defined rounds to use as required.

The two MP40 SMGs also have separate upper body sections for good details as well as separate folding stocks which are moulded very thin requiring a bit of care removing from the sprues and during cleanup as well as a couple of spare ammo clips.

There is also a single MP44 moulded in one piece with excellent details and a Semi-auto G43 rifle with ten round clip and again separate bolt mechanisms with a choice of open or closed bolt with a few additional ammo clips for good measure.

The captured PPSh 41 SMG is also nicely detailed with separate ammo drum and all the weapons are moulded with muzzle indentations and relief in the sight moulding added using slide moulds and this makes it very easy to drill out the barrel further for an even better look.
The only thing needed is to add the slings from thin lead sheet, masking tape or your favourite method to really finish off the weapons.

Finally there is a superbly detailed MG42 with separate breech cover that can be shown open or closed and the cooling holes on the barrel jacket are very well defined on both sides and the top as well as the muzzle hollowed out slightly as with the other weapons. Added to this are a few ammo boxes with superb details on both ends and separate carry handles on top with one box open with finely detailed rounds and the open lid having details on both sides with again separate carry handle. There are also four round ammo drums as alternatives and two lengths of 7.62 ammo belts with very well defined rounds and attachment strips. About the only nitpick here is the separate ammo belts are a bit larger than the rounds in the open ammo box. Alternate open or closed tripods are also included for the MG42 if you wish to use these and they also have superb details included for good measure.

I have assembled two of the figures (figure 3 and 4) to test the fit of the parts because with so many separate parts there can sometimes be problems but I'm happy to report that the fit of the parts was very good with any small gaps able to be filled using normal liquid cement during assembly and no additional filling was needed on the two figures assembled. These is some minor cleanup needed on the overcoat side seams after the glue has dried and at the join of the two upper body halves but as mentioned no filler was involved.

As mentioned about it is best to test fit the weapon while attaching the arms and hands to ensure a realistic and snug fit and again the weapon on both test figures fitted well with a natural sit in the hands.

Finally there is the personal equipment that you can add as required with some webbing and attachment straps included on the figures where applicable and some minor trimming may be needed when attaching the equipment but the usual test fitting will determine if any is required.

Added detail is included with the etched frets which include the shoulder epilates and a good selection of badges and decorations as well as belt buckles if you wish to use these in place of the plastic items supplied.

The instructions are a small double sided sheet with superb colour illustrations from Ron Volstad that include the part numbers as well as a basic painting guide which will help during and after assembly.

Etched fret x 2

Without doubt these are the best injection moulded figures released to date with superb details on the uniforms enhanced by the separate sections on the tunics and coats. The good fit of the parts and superb details on the personal equipment adds to the overall experience.

Added to this are the superb weapons which would have to be the best you will see in injected plastic with the separate bolts mechanisms being a standout feature as are the indented muzzles.

These figures are surely the future of injected moulded figures and also challenge the details seen on some resin figures.

Highly recommended

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The Sprues
Detail images
Instruction Sheet
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Also see the review by Pawel Krupowicz on Armorama and Neville Lord's review on Track Link for other views on this excellent figure set.

Thanks to Dragon Model Ltd for the review kit.

Page created September 13, 2005

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