Modelers who want to add more detail to their figures might want consider photo etched insignia. This new set from Aber increase the level of detail well beyond what can be seen by the average person. But is the detail worth the cost and effort?
What’s in the set?
- 37 Heer Breast Eagles.
- 56 Deaths Head Insignia.
- 10 pairs of Deaths Head Collar tabs.
- 14 Square “GOTT MIT UNS” Belt Buckles.
- 20 Tank Assault Badges.
- 18 Heer Eagles. These Eagles are smaller for uniform caps.
- 14 German Cockades on a triangular field for caps.
- 16 Knights Cross with a ring to attach around the neck.
- 10 Chevrons for an Obergefreiter.
- 16 Pairs of Shoulder Rank Boards.
3 Pairs which can be used for the ranks Schutze – Obergefreiter
3 Pairs for the rank of Unteroffizier
3 Pairs for the rank of Unterfeldwebel
3 Pairs for the rank of Feldwebel
2 Pairs for the rank of Oberfeldwebel
2 Pairs for the rank of Major
- 5 Camouflage Uniform Rank Insignia.
1 for an Unterfeldwebel
2 for an Oberleutnant or Generalmajor depending on color painted
2 for a Hauptman or Generalleutnant depending on color painted
- 4 German Crosses.
- 10 pairs of Heer Collar Tabs.
- 17 Round “GOTT MIT UNS” Belt Buckles.
- 13 Wound Badges. These are to be combined with part #16.
- 13 Helmets for the Wound Badges. These are to be combined with part #15.
- 14 Hat Devices for Visored Caps.
- 17 Iron Cross First Class.
- 18 more Tank Assault Badges.
- 6 more Shoulder Rank Boards with bands.
- One instruction sheet showing the placement of the insignia.
in close up
I looked at this set through a 30X microscope and the detail is amazing and mostly accurate. The sizes are very close to being perfectly in scale with only the wound badge looking slightly large. Most modelers will find most of this set easy to use. The badges, eagles, belt buckles, and Deaths Head Insignia will be black, gray, or silver and wont need any fine detail painting. However, parts requiring detailed multi color painting, such as the shoulder rank, cockades, German Crosses, Iron Crosses, and collar tabs will be more difficult to use as much of the detail can easily be lost under the multiple coats of paint. The instruction sheet gives accurate placement details, but no color information. The line drawings on the instructions are mediocre at best, but they do convey the proper attachment points.
The number of insignia and selection of insignia is very welcome. However, with 38 Tank Assault Badges, this set will probably be more useful for armor figures. If you are looking for a Close Combat Clasp, Infantry Assault Badge, Flak Badge, Paratrooper Badge, Tank Destruction Badge, or a General Assault Badge, you will be disappointed, because they are not included. I was puzzled by the choice of rank insignia in this set. It would have been smarter to give 2 insignia for each of the ranks of Oberschutze, Gefreiter, Obergefreiter, Senior Gefreiter, and Senior Obergefreiter, than to give 10 Chevrons for an Obergefreiter, ignoring the rest. I also don’t understand why there are no Shoulder Insignia for a Leutnant, Oberleutnant, or Hauptman. It seems strange to skip these ranks and then provide insignia for a Major. This was probably done for expediency and as a cost cutting measure. Not a valid excuse for modelers willing to pay for things they need though.
This set will provide many useful insignia that will increase the level of detail on your German figures. It is not prepainted which would increase its usefulness considerably. I probably wont bother with any of the insignia requiring detailed painting as there are easier and better ways to achieve good results. But it does provide a lot of insignia you wont find in the photo etch sets from any other companies. So, is the detail worth the cost and effort? Yes, without hesitation, it is. But it could be better.