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Built Review
135
German 1st Cavalry Division

by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
Since at the outbreak of WWII, horses were still the predominant way of getting around for German forces, apart from actually marching that is, mounted figures by a main injection moulded company are still quite thin on the ground. Dragon have bridged the gap before with a set of 8th Cavalry Division figures and also German Cossacks. Being so thin on the ground, this set is especially welcome, but the fact that it's also Generation 2, only makes it better!


the set
The set consists of two mounted figures, which arrive on 5 light grey sprues and 2 photo etched frets, one large, one small. The figures represent two soldiers of the 1st Cavalry Division as they would have appeared in Russia during 1941. The box art has one of the soldiers wearing a Lance Corporal's sleeve patch, but there doesn't seem to be an option for this in the kit?

The figures themselves aren't posed doing anything spectacular, that is they're both sitting straight, looking straight ahead, no expressions. I suppose Dragon have decided to play it safe here, and I don't blame them. With these poses they're likely to attract the most number of people to actually buy them, fitting as they do almost any scenario.

Both figures are wearing M4 Field tunics, and could be wearing the leather-lined breeches, although this is difficult to tell from the illustration, although you couldn't tell from the actual unpainted parts either. Both figures are also wearing riding boots and helmets.

The horses are particularly well done. Both are posed striding with diagonal legs raised from the ground, opposite to each other. Being Generation 2 figures of course they come with a choice of heads! You can either use a head with mouth closed around the bit, or mouth open................. which I suspect most will choose in order to display those wonderful teeth which will be fun painting! Each horse comes in two halves, no great surprises there, with, as said before, separate heads, separate section holding both ears, and of course a separate mane and tail, which are extremely well sculpted. The horses, it has to be said, are extremely well sculpted, the proportions look spot on, there is vein detail in all the right places, and the musculature looks correct.

Although the bridle itself is moulded into the horses heads, along with a simple blanket, the rest of the tackle straps are supplied as photo etched parts, which includes stirrups, reins, girth strap etc. The horses hooves are also supplied separately, albeit with their locating holes moulded in back to front, so just cut off the pins at the bottom of each leg. Although each hoof comes with a detailed shoe moulded on, we also get photo etched ones, which would look great once fitted. For the purposes of this review I left the photo etch alone, electing to use the styrene parts wherever possible.

The saddles for both horses, are not moulded as one piece, but instead come as separate parts, so it should even be possible to model a horse without a rider should you wish to source another figure. As with all the generation 2 sets so far, the equipment is immaculate, consisting of bed rolls and panniers for the saddles, and all the usual equipment for the figures that was included on the generic GB and GA sprues, and WA weapons sprue.

The second, very small photo etch fret is the one from the Generation 2 mine detectors set, and contains shoulder boards, belt buckles and assorted medals.

Building the figures proved quite difficult. Obviously I built the horse and rider separately, and a small amount of filler will be required around the shoulder/arm joint. Apart from the previously mentioned fault of the locating pins for the hooves on the bottom of the legs being the wrong way around, the horse went together extremely well. The figure, not so well. Try as I might I could not get the figures arms to match those in the illustration. No big problem, he'll just be slightly different. However, getting him to sit on the horse realistically was difficult. He doesn't just fall into place. There is some resistance, and this could have been moulded much better. The only way I can see to construct these figures is for judicious sanding and paring with a scalpel blade, installing all the photo etch reins etc. and then painting. Not an easy job I would have thought.
conclusion
I have to say that this is my favourite Generation 2 set so far. Despite potential construction difficulties, work at it and the result will be something special. Really special............ injected figures just don't get better than this. Highly recommended.
SUMMARY
Photo etched reins, stirrups......... beautifully moulded horses, great detail. This set is going to look so great when finished!
  SCULPTING:97%
  FIGURE TO HORSE FIT:75%
  VALUE:100%
Percentage Rating
94%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6216
  Related Link: Dragon
  PUBLISHED: Aug 17, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.97%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
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 Vinnie Branigan (Teacher)
FROM: ENGLAND - NORTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

Copyright 2017 text by Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]. 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.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

Excellent discussion! yep, the teeth do look wrong; from Vinnie's pic, I can see 4 teeth from the profile heading back into the head, so there must be 8 in total. The rear one could easily be removed of course, but it doesn't look like a moulding issue to me; that would have to be included in the design, IMHO. Does anyone one know how these figures are created? It seems that Dragon use 3D software on their AFVs and I assume these are transferred to milling machines to make the mould. Are the figures deigned in 3D? Or is there someone sculpting them and they're then scanned in and maybe refined? I know that GamesWorkshop now produce some masters in the computer and they are then milled, whereas previously their plastic kits were sculpted as 3ups, 3 x the size of the final piece and pantographed down for the moulds. Rob
AUG 24, 2006 - 03:27 AM
I think in the case of a brand new kit like this one, except for the reviewer, very few of us have actually got it from the horse's mouth (seen it in the plastic, I mean), so batting it about a thread is the only option. Maybe as more of us get our hands on the kit in question, there might be some Reader Reviews. So when are those promised Gen2 1/16 figs actually hitting the LHS? OK, they haven't been promised . I just live in eternal hope of avoiding the day I have to cough up for resin
AUG 24, 2006 - 06:16 AM
Hi, Jim, David has hit the nail - I would say none of the contributors, other than Vinnie, actually owns the model. But Vinnie's review allows for some comments based on the photographs and on previous experience with G2 sets. Even then every comment has been very conservative (well, at least those which were critical). I believe this is still useful, if the comments are sound. What is more, the rules of the site do not allow for actual reviews unless one own the model (which, I hasten to say, is obviously logical). One thing that I consider beyond argument is that , generally speaking, the critical reviews were supported by facts, familiarity with the subject and actual experience - even by relevant images. So, in my book these have been perfectly admissible and polite, even allowing for the fact that they have not been done with the actual kit at hand. Those critics which have been more generic and subjective and could be considered to have carried less weight are comparable to similar ones which have been completely positive, but do not carry more weight nor more objectivity. Regards, Daniel
AUG 24, 2006 - 09:12 AM
I totally agree! This is the place for these sort of comments....... since we get samples ahead of the shops, thanks to Dragon, then we can't expect people not to comment until they hit the shops, that's what these topics are for...............to comment on what's been said in the review, and the kit as shown in the review pictures. Perfectly correct guys! Vinnie
AUG 24, 2006 - 09:16 AM
I agree, that is exactly what these threads are for, to discuss the object at hand. However, I do not see it as 'duking' anything out. Its simply putting forth the facts on one hand and the other hand trying to sell a kit at all costs. It's just that the two dont always mix together... Rob, From what I understand DML figures are sculpted in 1/16th scale, then panographed down to scale. I would dare to say thats what Tamiya is doing as well by looking at their identical 35th and 48th scale sets.
AUG 24, 2006 - 10:40 AM
For my 2 cents worth, something like this kit wouldn't have even been dreamed of 30 yrs. ago. I just thank the Dragon folks for giving me the chance for modeling a whole toop of these horsemen in a copse of woods somewhere. With less scratching on my end. I agree with the teeth thing, but, not for nothing, when it comes right down to it, a well laid out group of these guys on some nifty bridge or terrain, ...... as one who models for an overall look or effect .... I can overlook the teeth thing. Also the horses can be used any where or time period with a little hack and slash work. Cheyenne Don't look a gift horse in the mouth ...... sorry .... had to do that , or it just wouldn't be me......
AUG 24, 2006 - 11:30 AM
Hola cheyenne, We all agree that, technologically, G2 figures have set new levels, and all of us are glad with it. But G2 figures still present some problems which have nothing to do with technology, but with insufficient research, or other issues. And there is room for improvement in these areas. If we just stand complacent, and just sing the excellences (and excellences there are) of every new set, the Dragon people is unlikely to be encouraged to do better with those things which are not so excellent. Of course the above is a reasoning universally applicable! Daniel
AUG 26, 2006 - 12:18 AM
I think they look fairly well My first horseys :-)
NOV 19, 2006 - 08:51 AM
No comments?
NOV 20, 2006 - 12:56 AM
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