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Built Review
135
Eastern Front Tank Hunters

by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
Dragon continue their inexorable march towards dominating the 1/35th scale injection moulded figure market, with this, their latest addition to their Second Generation line of figure sets, 'Eastern Front Tank Hunters'. The set is meant to represent four figures in action poses, all of them, obviously concerning themselves with various ways of defeating Russian tanks on the Eastern front.........as the box says!


the set
The figures are Second Generation, so expectations run high, and upon opening the box I wasn't disappointed! The usual Dragon Card is there, with all the goodies attached, but the rest of the contents as well, just ooze quality and attention to detail.

So what do we get? Well, as mentioned, on the 'Card' there are 4 small sprues of Dragon's light grey styrene, plus a small decal sheet and a small photo etched fret.

The four figures that can built from the set are all completely different to each other, the first is posed standing, in the act of firing or aiming a panzerfaust, and is depicted wearing a Deutscher Volkssturm Wehrmacht armband, which were issued from October '44, which dates this set after that, although they were mostly worn by any able-bodied male drafted in to fight, and these were worn in place of issued uniforms. This figure does have a uniform! He's wearing the M44 field blouse, and although the armband is not supplied as a decal, which would have been nice, the armband is moulded on, but without the writing, so you can either source a decal or carefully remove the moulding. The figure, being 2nd Generation is supplied with a choice of styrene or PE belt buckle and shoulder boards, and the Panzerfaust can be shown with the aiming sight up in the ready position, or down, as two alternative parts are supplied. It even comes with a full and exhaustive set of decals and a PE firing ring.

The second figure is lying on the ground firing a RPzB54 rocket launcher, and can be depicted wearing a gas mask for protection against flames from the launcher, or you can add the shield to the launcher and have him with a normal head wearing helmet. There are also alternative hands for this figure supplied, wearing mittens, again for protection.

The third figure is shown also lying down, loading the rocket launcher, and for this figure we're also offered a choice of heads, one looking straight ahead to the rear of the figure using the rocket launcher, the other head looking around to the side.

The fourth and last figure is depicted kneeling in an upright position, again firing a Panzerfaust. This figure wears a camouflaged parka.

As is usual with these Second Generation sets, all the weaponry and field kit is slide moulded, and the rifle sprue (of which two are supplied) comes complete with separate bolts and pre-drilled barrels...........quite an achievement in 1/35th! There are even small 5 round clips of ammunition included on the sprues!

Sprue GA again makes an appearance and includes various things for the spares box, such as helmets, canteens with separate cups, flask with separate cups, gas mask cylinders, again with separate lids, entrenching tools, knives (sheathed and unsheathed)........ in fact there is so much on this sprue it comes in extremely handy for upgrading some of your 'older' 1st Generation figures! Sprue GB again hold more of the same, with mainly ammunition pouches for the Kar98's which are supplied both closed and opened, along with bread bags, open pistol holsters, bed rolls etc.

Specially for this release we also get two new sprues, which hold the rocket launcher and the panzerfaust. These are quite simply, beautiful! As mentioned earlier, the rocket launcher can be made as an early example, without the flame-shield, or as a later example with the shield. For the Panzerfaust, we get a wooden crate, which can be left open or shown closed, and two Panzerfaust, with a choice of open or closed sight.

The RPzB54 rocket launcher is supplied with four rockets, and again, a small wooden crate for unused rockets. This is a beautiful piece and is made up of multiple parts with a full set of decals.

The small PE fret included, as mentioned contains buckles and shoulder boards for all the figures, and also contains two firing pins for the Panzerfaust, and assorted rifle slings.

The decal sheet includes full markings for the Panzerfaust, rocket launcher, rockets, and crates.


in conclusion
The only thing I could possibly complain about in this set is the lack of a decal for the armband on one of the figures. It's another brilliant Second Generation figure set from Dragon. These figures require a lot more time to put together than a conventional figure set, but the effort is well worth it! Not only that, but the contents enable you to fill up your figures spares box and upgrade your older figures too! Perfect! Highly recommended!


My thanks to Dragon for the review sample.
SUMMARY
Dragon continue to expand their Second Generation figure range with this set of four Eastern Front Tank Hunters. It contains figures I can see being used individually in a lot of modeller's dioramas over the coming years, and as a bonus, you get an awful lot for your spares box too!
  SUBJECT CHOICE:96%
  MOULDING:96%
  SCULPTING:96%
Percentage Rating
96%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6279
  Suggested Retail: $15.50
  Related Link: Dragon Ltd
  PUBLISHED: Oct 19, 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.


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Comments

No sooner is the decision made not to buy any more new kits (yeah, right...) than this comes along... . A most usefull set indeed. And not only limited to the Eastern Front either, these will go just as well into a NWE theatre dio. Thanks Vinnie, Henk
OCT 19, 2006 - 12:11 AM
That H.J Figure is going to grace a 1000+ Berlin 1945 dios :-) Look like a very nice set and i hope to see more of these action orientated sculpts in the future (I'm so over standing, pointing german with bino's - but I'll resist going there)
OCT 19, 2006 - 12:47 AM
Hi there Thanks for the review. They'll definately fit any dio - urban or "out in the wild". I never thought that their earlier set "German Tank Killers" (I think thats the name) were that good, but this set seems to surpass the old. Cheers Simon
OCT 19, 2006 - 05:51 PM
Hello, After reading the review, I just would like to make clear that the figure with the Volkssturm armband is a Hitler Youth combat unit's member. He wears that organization's M37 blue/black winter uniform. It is perfectly adequate to paint the armband as a HJ one - and it is easier to do that the Volkssturm one, BTW. In fact, the HJ armband was more prevalent, although technically, not being members of the Army, HJ fighters should wear the other one. In period photos you can even seen both worn together, the Volkssturm's armband on the HJ's. I would guess the choice of armband for the figure has more to do with political correctness than with representativity - because the HJ armband has a swastika on it, and any kind of overt (that is, easily recognizable)nazi insignia or reference is carefully avoided in Dragon's box arts. This figure could also be converted to an Army soldier in the '44 uniform. HTH, Daniel
OCT 19, 2006 - 11:38 PM
The figure on the box art is wearing a Volkssturm armband. (But I know what you mean!) I still think a selection of decals for it would have been nice! :-) Vinnie
OCT 20, 2006 - 05:00 AM
Hi, The "political correctness" has led to a number of Dragon box arts being inaccurate by the deliberate omission of specific insignia, or to some odd denominations in their labels. This is not the case with this box (assuming political correctness has something to do with the selection of the armband, which is merely my conjecture). The Volkssturm armband it is not incorrect; it is just not the most habitual armband for HJ members to wear (for the figure wears HJ uniform), judging from wartime images. Of course the addition of alternative decals would be a bonus, whatever the case! ;-) Daniel
OCT 20, 2006 - 05:37 AM
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