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Built Review
135
Operation Marita
Operation Marita: Greece 1941
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

In April 1941 Greek forces were successfully repulsing the Italian army attacking across their western Albanian frontier. What the Greek army could not contain however, was an attack on a second front, which is just what the German army opened when they attacked across the Greek/Bulgarian border in the east following the rapid defeat of Yugoslavia. Greek forces were now hopelessly outnumbered and rapidly gave ground as a two pronged German attack rapidly destabilized the front.

The German campaign was given the code name Operation Marita and involved a plan that evolved quickly after the fall of Yugoslavia. The initial German thrust to Thessaloniki cut off Greek troops in Thrace and opened the way for the two pronged attack that ensued. One wing of the German army attacked through the middle of the country to Kozani where the front was broken allowing German units to race to Thermopylae and on to Athens. The opposite wing of the German army moved south down the Aegean coast toward the capital effectively ending an operation that was little more than three weeks from start to finish.

German success was continual and overwhelming. A British force, ‘W’, had begun arriving in limited numbers the month prior to the invasion but hardly had an opportunity to get their bearings before the German advance began. As it was, most of the British forces spent three weeks pulling back in failed attempts to establish a defensive line before a general evacuation managed to extricate all but 8,000 who were captured as the operation came to successful conclusion. The aftermath saw Greece divided into three areas of occupation administered by Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria.

Review

Now Dragon Models has released a figure set of four German soldiers from Operation Marita in 1/35th scale. This new set features four combatants that would probably not have ever actually all been together at any one place during the invasion but could be at least paired up in various combinations.

The kit contains 5 light gray sprues of various sizes. The box art is done by the talented Dmytro Zgonnik and is excellent. The reverse of the box contains the built up figures with the famous Dragon Models part number and arrow showing what is what, not that hard if you have ever built a figure in the past. Also, the back of the box has a smaller version of the front side illustration with painting guides for Mr. Hobby/Mr. Color and Model Master call outs, although there are many areas that are missing such as belts awards, collar tabs, etc. So, grab a decent reference.

The five sprues are somewhat standard for a Dragon Models figure set; one large sprue that carries the four figures in the normal breakdown of two legs, torso, pair of arms, and a separate head sculpt. Along with that the sprue contains a few general items and some pieces of equipment that are specific to a particular figure. Along with that you get the ‘G’ sprue with personal equipment the ‘W’ weapons sprue which is beginning to show a little age as the flash is beginning to make an appearance on some weapons. Don’t forget, two small entrenching tool sprues, four each of different patterns. Much more than you will need for the four figures meaning another Dragon Models bonanza for your spares bin!

The four figures are, working backwards, a panzer trooper with a pistol who is wearing a steel helmet rather than a soft cap, a German landser with the ubiquitous grenade in boot, a young officer (looks like a 1st lieutenant but don’t quote me!) who is pointing across his body, and a senior officer. Okay, who is kidding who here; the senior officer is meant to be SS-General Josef “Sepp” Dietrich, and Dragon Models has done a decent job of capturing his likeness. Granted, Dragon Models could have chosen a somewhat less polarizing figure than Dietrich is, someone like Field Marshals List or Weichs, but that may not have sold quite as many boxes as a Dietrich figure will.

I assembled two of the figures; the infantry officer and the Dietrich figure. Both figures went together easily, no problems at all. A bit of a gap where the torso meets the legs but nothing out of the ordinary that can’t be remedied with general modeling skills. I was quite happy with the Dietrich figure, well proportioned with nice detail although he is plagued with the cooling lines that have become something of an issue with most Dragon Models figures. The lieutenant has a really nice pointing pose, his pointing arm is not bent out of the mold quite as much as the box art makes it appear but still a nice pose. My problem is that he appears disproportioned with arms that are much too long. When I first saw the back of the box photo of the built up figure I thought it might be something of a trick of the camera due to angle, but after assembly I have concluded that no his arms are simply too long. Cut them down and re-scribe where needed I guess may be your best recourse here.

Conclusion

Something of a mixed bag here with a few reservations. Flash is starting to sprout like mushrooms around some of the older molds, a poorly proportioned lieutenant, and Hitler’s old chauffeur/bodyguard.

References

Higham, Robin. Duty, Honor, and Grand Strategy: Churchill, Wavell, and Greece, 1941*. Balkan Studies. Vol. 46. (Thessaloniki: Institute for Balkan Studies, 2007), 145-184.
Young, Peter, ed. Illustrated World War II Encyclopedia, vol. 3. (Westport, CT: Stuttman, 1978), 369-395.
SUMMARY
Highs: Four nice poses of soldiers from four different units. Nice sculpting of Sepp Dietrich that does a good job of capturing his likeness. Plenty of spare gear included in the box.
Lows: Some of the proportions seem off a bit to me. The weapons sprue is starting to show some flash around delicate areas. Cooling lines still continue to be a problem for most Dragon figures.
Verdict: Recommended, but make sure you know this is not even close to Gen2 standards.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6783
  Suggested Retail: $16.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 07, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Wow! Didn't know Dragon was producing figures that bad!! The arms are certainly the worst parts, but there is more..!! That officers' cap looks odd, detail in general is really soft, and I could go on! As the poses are not fascinating either, I wonder why one should buy this set! Image damaging set IMHO! Dragon should have an eye on the people responsible for these sets and prevent them from issueing such catastrophes! Cheers Romain
MAR 08, 2014 - 07:22 PM
Roman,
MAR 09, 2014 - 07:16 PM
It almost appears that the arms were given an extra cuff length to them. If you cut off the hand, use the cuff detail as a guide for removal it appears the arm will be about the right length. The armor NCO also appears to have overly long arms, but the fellow with the rifle at the ready appears okay. Maybe two designers worked on this set, one doing the landser and Dietrich and another fellow working in the other pair of figures??
MAR 09, 2014 - 07:20 PM
Not much else to say about this set really. Just one thing. Why is the supposed figure of Sepp Dietrich wearing Heer insignia? Seems that someone at DML needs a kick up the @rse for this set! Gary.
MAR 10, 2014 - 12:41 AM
Have to agree with Roman, I bought this set last month with great anticipation. The detail is very soft,nothing like the current Dragon standards. More like a Tamiya fig from the '80s!! The "Dietrich" fig has not even a passing likeness with an awful hat to boot. In the Army we would have called this one a "Trick-F--k". Only saving grace is the Gen II fret. This is an odd thing for me to write as I am a huge fan of Dragon. J
MAR 10, 2014 - 09:09 AM
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