by: Rob Lively [ ]
Originally published on:
Parts and PiecesThis kit is injection molded plastic, but could rival any resin figures I have ever seen. The box is bursting with goodies. The front of the box lists the number of parts as “over 300.” Wow, that’s 75 pieces per man. Amazing!! Some of the goodies are; weapons bolts molded separately (in open or closed versions), bayonets, open magazine and rifle cartridge holders, canteens molded in two pieces (the canteen and the drinking cup), e-tools, holsters (molded open or closed), and shelter quarters to name a few.
The KitThe kit represents men of a Waffen-SS regiment, originally formed in August 1934, and granted the honorary title of “Germania” in 1936. This regiment participated in “Fall Gelb,” the invasion of France, first as a Division and then as the cadre that would form the famous “Wiking” Division.
The kit forms a group of four men, one Scharführer (Staff Sergeant), one Unterscharführer (Sergeant) and two Schutze (Privates). All of the men wear feldanzug or combat uniforms, consisting of the green-gray 1936 pattern field tunic, stone gray trousers (except the one ammo bearer, whose pants are green-gray), “hob-nailed” boots and M1935 steel helmets. (Note: Ron Volstad illustrated the men as having the dark blue-green shoulder boards, but not the collars. This might have been particular to either this Regiment or the SS. I wish I knew more. The men are lightly equipped which means they could be desperately trying to stay ahead of the charging panzers, trying to keep up with them or (more likely) they are reconnaissance men probing ahead to ensure their regiment is on the right track. The Scharführer (Senior NCO of the group) rests on one knee, looking at a map/orders/directions/etc. in one hand and holding an MP28/II Schmeisser submachine gun in the other. He carries two ammo pouches for his weapon, a pair of big eyes and the map case for the map. The Scharführer wears the machine gunner’s harness. A nice touch is that the senior NCO wears a neckerchief around his neck. The color breaks up the pattern, and provides a human touch to the group. Although the wearing of such items would have been out of regulation, it denotes that this is the experienced “old hand” who could get away such an infraction. The second in command, the Unterscharführer, leans down looking at the map, and carries a K98. The one Schutze carries a ZB26 (a Czech-made weapon, which was more common than one might believe) with the canvas ammo pouches on his chest. The other Schutze is a rifleman, relegated to carrying extra cans of magazines for the machine gunner. All four men wear gas cape pouches on their chests.
Building and finishing the kitThe good thing about these kits (as with any) is that I am getting better with each one that I put together. Once I got a grasp of the fitting, I was able to manipulate the joints to where there was very little gap, if any. The engineering on the pieces is incredibly precise. The fits are perfect. The seams are also thoughtfully placed to assist in painting the figures. For example: the entire head (minus the helmet) has been halved, separating the face from the head at the chin strap. The seams for the torso are either mostly under the arms or covered by separate lower tunic pieces (which are thin and provide great realism to the figure.) I like that DML includes photo etched options, such as belt buckles, shoulder boards and medals. All the faces are unique.
I built this kit OOB (out of the box) entirely. I love that DML provides a picture of the completed (unpainted) figures on the back of the box. It really helped me figure out how the figures went together. I assembled the figures much like I assembled the 2nd Gen Fallschirmjager set; assembling the entire figure, minus helmets, hands and pack equipment. I leave off the helmet to ease painting the face. I leave the hands off to allow ease of painting and to ease positioning of weapons. I paint with Vallejo and Model master acrylics mostly. I did realize that I had painted the collars the dark blue-green color after starting this review. Also, the colors may not match any color plates, and don’t even match the other figures. I do this purposely to illustrate that weather, age, combat conditions and wear and tear can cause uniforms to differ in color and contrast. Also, I didn’t attach the gear (gas masks, bread bags, etc.) due to time constraints.
Additionally, there is a set of road signs appropriate to the French Campaign. The signs can be built as illustrated in the instruction or in any combination you want or need. There is a wonderfully rendered set of decals from Cartograf included. The only problem with the decals was that they overlapped the edges of the plastic road signs.
Possible kit improvementsI am not sure why there were no decals to represent the cuff bands as illustrated on the box art. Decals also could have been an alternative to the raised detail of the national eagle on the arms themselves. The box art does not mention that these troops are SS nor is the SS shield depicted on the right side of the helmets. Although I respect the laws of all countries and I certainly understand why the swastika and SS runes should not be idolized or worshipped, I am saddened that we simply ignore their existence to the expense of historical accuracy.
Final wordAbsolutely wonderful. DML has managed to blend great sculpture, exquisite detail, neat human touches, generous range of extras/options and a great price all in one box. I would and do recommend this set to anyone, even a beginner, who wants to build and paint beautiful figures.
Most highly recommended.
Thank you to DML for supplying the review sample.