The set consists of 311 parts in grey plastic for the four figures, their personal equipment and weapons and is complimented by a small etched fret with 22 parts for the weapons slings and a varied selection of decoration badges.
The figures and weapons are moulded in normal hard plastic which makes removing the 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 all wear second pattern olive green smock over the blue grey blouse and field grey jump trousers with side laced jump boots. One figure has the smock with zipped pockets and there are six M38 Fallschirmjäger rimless helmets included.
All figures are posed cautiously moving forward with a two man MG34 team and two crouching figures that give a good air of pending action.
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 includes trouser and arm fabric seams with good definition on the pockets and webbing where applicable with realistic fabric folds with the boots also including well defined lace and hob nail details.
As with previous Gen2 figures all the collars, lapels and lower sections of the smocks are in separate parts that allow for very well defined undercuts and overlap details when assembled.
The heads are moulded with separate back and front sections with all the join lines corresponding with the helmet chin strap elevating the need to fill any gaps. There is a small mould seam at the back of the neck but the facial features have excellent anatomical features as do the hands and after cleaning the minor mould seams are ready to go with those holding weapons having the fingers moulded to hold the weapon snugly but you may want to pose the weapon while attaching the arms/hands to ensure a natural sit.
Breakdown of the figures as before has 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 all with locating lugs that make fitting them in the right orientation very easy.
Added to the basic body structure are the separate lower smock sections as mentioned above 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.
Added to the figures is a good selection of personal equipment although the Fallschirmjäger trooper carried less equipment than the normal soldier with just a water bottle, bread bag, pistol and ammo pouches or bandoleer applicable to their weapon and a small equipment bag with all the other equipment in the set going to the spares box.
The ammo bandoleers on figure 3 are in twelve separate sections that allow the pouches to follow the body contours well when fitted with nice detail on each individual pouch.
The equipment such as the small satchels have excellent stitching, buckle and strap details included on both sides as before with other items such as the meal tins and water bottles have separate caps which are hollowed out using slide moulds 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 as well as etched slings provided for added detail.
The two MP40 SMGs also have separate upper body sections for good details as well as separate folding stock 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 and etched slings provided for added detail. Note; only one weapon has the stock separate while the other has it moulded in the folded position.
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 but of course these weapons are not applicable to this Fallschirmjäger set and can also be assigned to the spares box.
Finally there is a superbly detailed MG34 with separate breech cover that can be shown open or closed and the cooling holes on the barrel jacket are very well defined as well as the muzzle hollowed out slightly as with the other weapons and there is also ribbing on the butt stock. 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 MG34 if you wish to use these and they also have superb details included for good measure.
PS. As well as looking good the weapons dimensions match the actual
size well in 1:35 scale with only some minor descrepancies, for example;
The MG34s actual length is 1220mm (34.85mm in 1:35) and the kit MG34 measures in length 34.85mm (give or take a fraction of mm).
The MP40s actual length with extended stock is 833mm (23.8mm in 1:35) and the kit MP40 measures in length 24.75mm (give or take a fraction of mm).
The Kar98s actual length is 1110mm (31.7mm in 1:35) and the kit Kar98 measures in length 31.7mm (give or take a fraction of mm).
The MP44s actual length is 940mm (26.85mm in 1:35) and the kit MP44 measures in length 27.25mm (give or take a fraction of mm).
Also included are two drop canisters split in two halves with separate end section with nice ribbed detail and four separate lifting handles which can be assembled open or closed with rib detail on the inside although there are a couple of very small pin marks on the inside to be removed. The two small wheels are also included but the instructions are not at all clear where to fit these with the places indicated resulting in uneven placement. Photos show the wheels attached at the midway point on the canisters but there may also be different designs with the wheels further back as these canisters don’t include the pulling handle seen on some and there are different end rib designs seen.
I have assembled two of the figures (figure 2 and 3) to test the fit of the parts because with so many separate parts there can sometimes be problems but 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.
As mentioned above 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 added 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. One thing was the separate stick grenade on figure 3 had to be shortened 1mm to fit into the recess in the body moulding bit other than that the fit was good.
Added detail is included with the etched frets which include the gun slings for the MG34, MP40 and Kar98which can be bent to a natural sit that will stay in place 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 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 but take care when identifying the separate smock sections as there are a lot of lines and numbers which makes identifying the part a little difficult at times.
Another superb set of injection moulded figures with superb anatomical features and excellent details on the uniforms enhanced by the separate sections on the smocks plus the good fit of the parts and superb details on the personal equipment all adds to the overall experience.
Added to this are the superb weapons which would have to be among the best you will see in injected plastic with the separate bolts mechanisms being a standout feature as are the indented muzzles and the inclusion of etched slings adding further detail.
This set will be very welcomed by early war fans as well as any one just wanting a set of excellent figures, equipment and weapons.
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On the web:
German Fallschirmjäger 1936-1945
I.M.Baxter, Ron Volstad
Concord Publications #6505
Out of Print
Thanks to my credit card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten for the review kit.
Page created December 21, 2005