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Built Review
135
Ambush! Eastern Front 1944

by: Vinnie Branigan [ TEACHER ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
The Generation 2 line continues to expand with this set of four figures from Dragon, sculpted by newcomer to Dragon, Hirano Yoshitaka.


the set
The set contains four figures in Dragon's usual light grey styrene. The usual Dragon card is present, containing decal sheet, small PE fret, and several small generic Generation 2 sprues.

You actually get 9 sprues of plastic in this set of figures. Two of them actually contain the figures, the rest we've seen before in various other Generation 2 sets. There are two WB sprues that contain the MP 40, Kar98 and an MP43, which are really nice having separate magazines etc. Then there is WE which holds a wooden Panzerfaust crate, and two panzerfaust which both have the option of being depicted in firing mode or not, separate triggers being provided. The grain on the wood is subtle and not overdone, although interestingly, should you choose to depict the box open, the grain is not continued on to the inside of the box? Sprue GC holds the 'Pistols' which we've also seen before, and another GC, which this time holds stick grenades. The last two of the generic sprues are large ones, GB containing Belt ammunition pouches, both open and closed, bread bags, bed rolls, etc., and GA holding personal gear such as canteens, flasks, gas mask cylinders, helmets, entrenching tools etc., all of which are extremely well detailed, and all the flasks and canteens have detachable lids. You couldn't possibly use all of this lot on these figures, so your spares box in for a feast! Which I'm sure is the reason a lot of people are buying these sets!

The two sprues specific to this set are those that of course, contain the figures, A & B. As usual, four figures are included, in a range of action poses. The first figure is an officer wearing a camouflaged smock, posed with his right arm raised holding a pistol, his left arm as if to warn the other figures to stay back. The second figure is wearing a camouflaged parka, stick grenade in his right hand, left holding an anti tank mine, and has a bandaged head. The third figure is standing legs apart, right arm raised as if to warn something to stop, with a panzerfaust under his left arm. The final figure is wearing a normal uniform tunic, holding a panzerfaust diagonally across his chest.

As anybody who has seen these Generation 2 sets before knows, the heads usually come in two parts, with the face having to be joined to the rear of the head. This system worked fine since the join was usually where the helmet strap went. We did all wonder what would happen when the figure wasn't depicted wearing a helmet, and we all found out a couple of sets ago. The face still arrived as a separate part and we had to hide the join somehow. Dragon have now reconsidered this, and the officer, plus the figure with a bandaged head, now have one part heads I'm glad to say. They've got their heads together. The figures that is.

There can be no denying that the detail achieved on these is quite simply stunning for injection moulded figures. The price we have to pay for this increased level of detail is a much more complicated business when it comes to their assembly. The torso of each figure is also in two halves, which leaves joins that have to be cleaned up when the cement is dry.

A major problem I found concerns the difference between the illustrated figures on the front box art, and what's actually in the box. If you look at the figures as constructed by Dragon, they just don't look right. the officer's stance is odd, and the third figure with the Panzerfaust under his left arm also looks odd. I don't know if this was the sculpting of the figures, or the moulding, but in constructing the figures it had to be rectified. My officer figure came out looking odd like in the Dragon picture. The solution I found was to wedge his legs open with some spare styrene card, and to shorten his neck considerably. Unfortunately, this leaves me with a large gap to fill at the side of his smock. The third figure is exactly the same and can be fixed in the same manner.

The small decal sheet included contains decals for the Panzerfaust, which will be very useful indeed! The small photo etched fret contains belt buckles, one set of shoulder boards and various rifle slings.


conclusion
Another good addition to the Generation 2 figure range, although it does have it's faults. Recommended, but you will have to fill some joints, and re-pose the legs correctly on two of the figures.

SUMMARY
A useful addition to the Generation 2 figure range, containing as it does four action poses, as well as two very nice Panzerfaust with decals. Two of the figures have either been sculpted wrongly or moulded wrongly, but in any case will need correcting to look their best.
  DETAIL:95%
  PARTS INCLUDED:95%
  LEGS CORRECTION:65%
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6333
  Related Link: Dragon Models Ltd
  PUBLISHED: Dec 05, 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

Too bad about the problems with the figures. The extra sights/triggers and decals will be perfect for the Adlers Nest Panzerfaust. I wonder if Dragon could be talked into releasing a set of Gen2 weapons and decals. Thanks for the excellent review, as always. Cheers, Erol
DEC 05, 2006 - 04:18 PM
Thanks for the review, I knew nothing about this kit. I am not crazy about the figures as a group, individually, the might just work. I do think the officers cap is a bit stiff though.
DEC 06, 2006 - 08:07 AM
Hello, Ron Volstad commented recently in another forum that in this set, the figures were produced first, and then some artist (not Ron V.) painted the box art after them. This is contrary to the usual process, that is the box art being made first, and the figure masters created with it as a reference. It has been always patent that Dragon's sculptors have been unusally unable to "translate" the excellent poses Ron draws in 2D, to 3D figures, frequently resulting in stiff or dull poses, unlike what you see in the box art. Now that they are doing it the other way round, I'm afraid I find the figures dull and stiff -uninspiring - so, the resulting box art based on them is not especially attractive, neither. They don't even look consistent as a grouping, neither; to me it looks like some initially not-related figures have been put together. This is so as far as composition is concerned, but even uniforms are not much consistent, with the officer presenting a distinct early war appearance that looks out of sync with the others. I will not categorically rule out this (and he wears a late-war model smock) but it looks odd. Some of Dragon's latest releases are the product of still a different process: they took some plates Ron V. painted for Dragon-related Concord Publishing books, and created figure boxes from them. Not being originally painted with this purpose, the resulting figure sets are not much consistent, neither - at least to my eyes. My two cents, anyway. Daniel
DEC 07, 2006 - 10:20 AM
Thanks for the review Vinnie. I was wondering how much the 2nd figures arm could be moved down. The pose with the hand grenade doesn't seem a natural way to throw a grenade
DEC 08, 2006 - 02:56 AM
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