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In-Box Review
135
Fighting Elite in the East
German Fighting Elite in the East
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Some time ago now Dragon moved away from releasing related figure sets, which is the norm for all other figure manufacturer releases, and instead started releasing figures sets that were loosely related by area of combat or time period. Continuing with this theme Dragon has released “German Fighting Elite in the East” which is a set of four figures of individuals fighting on the Eastern front.

Contents

Inside the typical Dragon end opening box you will find four light grey sprues. The sprue containing the figures is in its own sealed poly bag with the other three sprues being packaged together in another sealed poly bag. All of the sprues have arrived in good condition with no breakages or parts having come loose from the sprue. The box art is very well done but is not accredited to anyone and out of interest it would appear that Dragon has been afflicted with political correctness as the SS runes have not been depicted on the collar patches.

Review

Starting with a general breakdown of the figures which are all made up from six basic components which are;

• Torso
• Two arms
• Two legs
• Flat top head

All of the body parts for each figure are in a specific area of the figure sprue allowing for ease of construction and part location.

Figure one:
This figure is a tank officer judging by the pink piping on his collar and Panzer Assault Badge on the left hand side of the tunic and which is accompanied by a wounded in action badge which would be matt black, as the silver and gold version of the badge would make the individual unfit to serve. This figure, as are all of the figures in this set, is depicted in a relaxed pose. The uniform detail looks correct and the crease detail on the uniform is very natural. This particular figure has the strap for the MP40 moulded on the right side of his body and a strap for binoculars around his neck.

Figure two:
This figure is wearing standard German uniform and also has the straps for binoculars moulded on the figure. Again, uniform and crease detail is very good and should really help to give the figure an interesting look when a wash is applied, which is also true for all of the figures.

Figure three:
This figure is wearing a camouflage smock over his standard uniform with his jacket collar folded over the top of it. Excellent uniform and crease detail are again present which a wash will help bring to life, the effort put into the cloth covered helmet is another high point of this figure. The straps for various pieces of equipment are again moulded onto the figure which provides, for the most part, a realistic look to the way the straps dig into the uniform cloth.

Figure four:
This figure is the only one of the four who looks as if he may be in combat, which while his pose is fairly relaxed he does have a stick grenade in his left hand and his finger on the trigger of the weapon in his right hand. This figure is wearing a camouflage smock which is tied up around the waist revealing the lower portion of his tunic. This figure again has excellent crease and uniform detail and this is a high point of all the figures in this set. This figure also has the straps moulded on for items such as binoculars.

General details:
The facial and hand detail on all of these figures is good with a nice recess for the necks to sit into which will enable a good fit while still providing a demarcation line between flesh and cloth. Figures 3 and 4 are provided with camouflaged helmets but should your preference be for plain helmets these are also provided on a separate sprue. The equipment supplied with this product is the same as supplied with other sets in the same vein, with the exception of some items on the figure sprue which I will cover shortly. The only issue I see with adding these items to your figures is that some minor surgery will be needed to get the items to sit naturally on the figures. I should add that Dragon is starting to take steps to remedy this by including some indents on the figures to accommodate the equipment.

One concern that Dragon figures have exhibited of late is lines in the mouldings which do leave slight deformations in the finished product requiring remedial work to fix, I am glad to say that Dragon has taken steps to correct this issue and there is no sign of these lines on these figures.

Equipment:
Starting with the new items in this set which are included on the figure sprue, down one side of the sprue you get;

• 3 of two different forms of stick grenade.
• 4 rounds for a flare pistol.
• A Mauser pistol in its wooden holster which doubles as a butt for the Mauser.
• Binoculars
• 2 flare pistols with one open for loading and the other closed.
• A pouch that I am unable to identify.
• A flare pistol holster with flares.
• Magazine pouch for the MP40.

Moving onto the other sprues included with the set, which I believe are common to most of these figure sets, you get a small sprue containing 4 entrenching tools, these items would usually be overlooked by the modeller but take the time to look at the nice detail included on the rear face of them which usually (from most manufacturers) is just flat with no detail.

Weapons sprue:
On the weapons sprue you get;

• 3 drum magazines.
• 3 magazines for Kar 43 (Gew 43).
• 2 magazines for STG 44
• A Kar 43 (Gew 43) (I am not 100% certain of my identification of this rifle).
• An STG 44.
• An MG 42 with the option of an open or closed breach and stand either open or closed.
• An MG 34 with the option of an open or closed breach and stand either open or closed.
• 4 Kar 98 rifles.
• 2 MP 40 MG with folded stock.
• 1 MP 40 MG with separate stock.
• 2 magazines for MP 40.
• 4 ammunition clips for Kar 98 rifle.

Equipment sprue:
This again is a generic sprue which contains a number of items, not all of which I am able to identify, but here is what you get;

• 4 M40 helmets.
• 1 set of binoculars.
• Unidentified item.
• 1 Luger P08 9mm Pistol.
• 1 Walther - Model HP pistol.
• 4 canteens.
• 3 stick grenades.
• 2 magazine pouches for STG 44.
• 2 MP 40 pouches.
• 2 alternate design MP 40 pouches.
• Luger holster.
• Walther holster.
• Walther Model 9 auto pistol holster.
• M42 gunners case.
• 4 M31 haversack bread bags.
• 1 map case.
• 4 blanket rolls?
• 4 anti-gas cape bags.
• 6 Kar 98 magazine pouches.
• 4 lids for the gas mask canister.
• 4 K98 bayonets in scabbard.
• 4 gasmask carrying canister.
• 4 M31 canteens.

Conclusion

This is a good set of German World War Two figures which, despite the groans of not more Germans, is very hard to pick fault with. There is a small amount of flash starting to show on some parts contained within the generic sprues but nothing that should cause any significant issues. There is an oversight by Dragon which is that they have depicted binocular straps on three of the figures but only supplied two sets of binoculars.

There is the small issue to overcome with obtaining a good fit of equipment to the figure due to the detail Dragon has put into the equipment. All in all a good set of individual figures that will come in handy when looking for a German figure for a specific purpose where a relaxed pose is wanted.
SUMMARY
Highs: Well defined detail and creases on the figures along with a nice selection of equipment mark this set as a quality product.
Lows: An extra set of binoculars is required in the set and minor flash is starting to appear on the generic sprues.
Verdict: A good set of WWII German figures that with the wide number of options for weapons and equipment only adds to its versatility.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6692
  Suggested Retail: $12.95 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA item page
  PUBLISHED: Mar 31, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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 Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. 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

Hi Darren Regarding your comment about not enough pairs of binoculars. I think your figure sprue has two on there but one has not come out the mould correctly, and is only half of a "pair". Go to the figure sprue (as in your photo)and see the binoculars, go straight down to bottom section I think you'll see it. Along with the one you say is on the equipment sprue that would make three. I actually think the equipment detail looks a bit off on this set, soft not as crisp as some before, but its difficult to tell in photos with the shiny plastic etc. Alan
APR 01, 2012 - 09:48 AM
Good catch on the bino's Alan, that is indeed a half a pair...either short shot or broken
APR 01, 2012 - 11:04 AM
I know exactly what part you are talking about and I could not decide what it was supposed to be, I did not even consider a poor moulding as DML is now known for that but I will take another look shortly and get back to you all ASAP.
APR 01, 2012 - 12:20 PM
Very good spot Alan your eyes were spot on, it is a mis-moulded pair of binoculars.
APR 01, 2012 - 01:11 PM
Good in-depth review. Thanks! Could it be the drawstring for the smock chest opening that looks to be like a lanyard for a set of binos?
APR 01, 2012 - 05:42 PM
I think it's the box art showing three of the figures with binoculars that made Darren come to the conclusion three should be included
APR 01, 2012 - 06:05 PM
They may be flat on one side to accomodate the fit on the chest. Although not realistic, it may be a new attempt by Dragon to allow for easier assembly. Wish Dragon would sell individual sprues.
APR 01, 2012 - 07:28 PM
Sorry Matt that is not the case as this is ocular as opposed to binocular and it does look as if it is half moulded. I believed the part was some sort of sighting device I had never seen before as like I said bad moulding is not a Dragon trait. This is the trouble with me following linier thought
APR 01, 2012 - 11:55 PM
Various manufacterers have been calling SS figures 'Elite Troops' for years, partly because of the draconian rules in Germany, and partly to avoid aquisations of ' glorification'. Same reason why the runes are not shown on the box art, but the sleeve eagle has. Likewise with the tail marking for many aaeroplane kits, which have either no swastika included at all, or you have to add a few 'puzzle pieces' ' together, to make one. Good review btw Henk
APR 17, 2012 - 03:00 AM
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