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Built Review
135
LAH Division 1941
LAH Division Kleisoura Pass 1941
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
The Battle of Kleisoura Pass took place between the German and Greek military forces from the evening of April 13, 1941 until the midday of April 14, 1941. It was fought over the narrow pass that crosses between Mt. Vitsi and Mt. Siniatsiko, where the Greek 20th Infantry Division that had been occupying the pass battled with the German Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). The pass was strategically important for it stood on the main Allied defensive line behind which passed the withdrawal route of the Greek army engaged against the Italians in Albania. In fact, the Greeks had earlier captured this strategically useful pass from the Italians in January of that same year. Greek casualties were heavy, and the LSSAH took 1,000 prisoners. The capture of the pass helped break the main line of resistance and allowed German troops to cut off troops in the town of Kastoria.

Dragon has released LAH Division Kleisoura Pass 1941, kit number 6643, as a set of four figures in 1/35 scale in its '39-'45 series “Gen 2 Gear”, which represent four WWII German Waffen SS LAH Division soldiers during the fighting at the Kleisoura Pass in Greece in 1941.

THE BOX AND PACKAGING
The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard end-opening box with artwork of the figures on the top of the box by the artist Andrew. The bottom of the box has a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures and an artwork painting guide. The sprues are sealed within clear plastic bags.

THE INSTRUCTION SHEET
There is no separate instruction sheet included in the kit. There is only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. There are a few simple mistakes made on the sheet such as incorrect numbers when referencing part numbers and numbers completely missing in regards to pieces that go on the figure. These are simple mistakes that should have been noticed and corrected.

THE DECALS
There are no decals included in this kit.

THE PAINTING GUIDE
Included on the bottom of the box is a very basic painting guide. There are three brands of paint referenced. They are:

- GSI Creos Corp. Aqueous Hobby Color
- GSI Creos Corp. Mr. Color.
- Model Master Color.

THE SPRUES
The kit comes with five grey styrene sprues which contain a total of 145 pieces. The sprues come sealed in clear plastic bags. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. When I examined the sprues I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces nor did I find any poorly placed knock out points.

Sprue 6643: 45 total pieces
- All of the pieces for the four figures – 24 total pieces
- 1 Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol (Maschinenpistole EMP-35)
- 2 ammunition magazines for the Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol (Maschinenpistole EMP-35) – one of them has the magazine well attached
- 2 magazine pouches for the Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol (Maschinenpistole EMP-35)
- 1 pair of German binoculars with 1 separate eye piece cap
- 1 belt piece and belt buckle
- 3 German Model 24 stick grenades
- 1 German officer’s cap
- 3 German helmets with covers
- 3 German gas cape pouches
- 2 ammunition cans
- 1 rock for figure 2 to rest his left hand on
Sprue G: 60 total pieces
- 4 German bayonets.
- 4 German canteens.
- 4 German gas mask canisters with 4 separate end caps.
- 4 German gas mask cape pouches.
- 4 German rolled shelter halves.
- 4 German bread bags.
- 4 German mess kits.
- 1 German document pouch.
- 2 German STG-44 magazine pouches.
- 3 German pistol holsters.
- 3 German Model 24 stick grenades.
- 4 German helmets.
- 1 pair of German binoculars with 1 separate eye piece cap
- 1 German binocular eye piece cap
- 6 German Mauser ammunition pouches.
- 4 German MP-40 ammunition pouches, two with magazine loading tool pouch
- 1 German P-08 Luger pistol
- 1 German P-38 pistol
- 1 machinegun tool pouch

Sprue W: 30 total pieces
- 3 German MP-40 submachine guns.
- 1 German MP-40 extended stock
- 2 German MP-40 ammunition magazines.
- 4 German Mauser 98k rifles.
- 4 German Mauser ammunition stripper clips.
- 1 German MG-34 machine gun
- 1 German MG-34 machine gun bi-pod
- 1 German MG-34 machine gun ammunition feed tray cover
- 1 German MG-42 machine gun
- 1 German MG-42 machine gun bi-pod
- 1 German MG-42 machine gun ammunition feed tray cover
- 1 German STG-44 assault rifle
- 1 German Gewehr 43 rifle
- 2 German STG-44 assault rifle ammunition magazines
- 3 German Gewehr 43 rifle ammunition magazines
- 3 German machine gun saddle drum ammunition magazines

Sprue WD: 6 total pieces
- 1 captured Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun
- 3 Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 ammunition magazines
- 1 Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun bi-pod with legs folded
- 1 Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun bi-pod with legs extended

Sprue 25: 4 total pieces
- 4 German entrenching tools in carriers

THE PARTS
As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash, however there are seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing on the individual pieces is fairly decent.

THE FIGURES
The kit comes with four WWII German Waffen SS LAH Division soldiers in 1941. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them, other than to clean up the spot where I removed them from the sprue, to show all of the seam lines, flash, gaps and how the equipment fits on the figures. I feel this is a good way to show the work required on all of them.

Figure 1. Kurt “Panzer” Meyer
The figure is made up of six pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapons. The figure is wearing the correct jacket and cavalry breeches for the time frame represented. The cuff on the right sleeve will need to be hollowed out as it is fully closed and noticeable. The figure’s neck fits into the collar nicely. The soft cap fits on the figure’s head well. The detailing on the figure’s face is decent. There are hobnails visible on the boots, they are well defined on the left boot but the ones on the right boot are almost non-existent. The figure is carrying a Model 24 stick grenade in his left hand and the hand fits nicely around the grenade handle. The figure’s right hand is closed around a pair of binoculars that are hanging around his neck. The hand closes around the binoculars well and is very close to the actual picture which shows this clearly. Along with the grenade the figure comes with a document pouch and a pistol holster which attach to the belt. There is no shoulder strap for the document case. The detailing on the clothing and other molded items is nicely done such as the pockets, buttons, collar insignia and shoulder boards. There is very little flash present, however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good and there are very few gaps that will need to be filled, which is nice. I have included a photograph of Kurt Meyer that was used as the basis for this figure so that you can compare.

Figure 2. Figure kneeling with Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol
The figure is made up of six pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapons. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing a camouflage SS smock (Tarnjacken) which is nicely done. The flair at the waist helps to make it look realistic. However I would have liked to have seen that portion of the smock in separate pieces, like Dragon has done with coats and jackets in other figure sets, to add more realism to it. The drawstrings and the elastic bands at the waist, wrists and chest are nice details that also add to the realism. The helmet has the camouflage cover, and the detailing on it is molded nicely as well. The figure is carrying a German Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the submachine gun, which is a nice representation of the actual item. The modeler can also choose to show the weapon with or without an ammunition magazine in place. The Machine Pistol fits into the figure’s right hand well with little gap. The figure comes with one Erma EMP-35 Machine Pistol magazine pouch, bayonet, entrenching tool, bread bag, mess kit, canteen and a pair of binoculars hanging around his neck, for which there is a molded strap. There is also a Model 24 stick grenade stuck behind the figure’s belt. The torso has an indent where the Model 24 stick grenade is placed that helps make the Model 24 stick grenade fit more realistically behind the belt. There is a separate belt piece with belt buckle that goes over the stick grenade once it is glued in place. The belt piece fits and aligns fairly well. It does take a little patience to get it to fit correctly. The figure’s neck fits into the collar nicely and the helmet fits on the head well. The detailing on the figure’s face is average and there is a molded helmet chin strap on the head, however it is not very well defined. There are hobnails visible on the boots and they are well detailed. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good and there are very few gaps that will need to be filled, which is nice. One thing that is different for this figure as opposed to the others is that it comes with a rock for the left hand to rest on. This rock is alright but I imagine that most modelers will prefer to replace it with the real thing.

Figure 3. Figure crouching carrying the two MG 34/42 ammunition cans
The figure is made up of six pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapons. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing a camouflage SS smock (Tarnjacken) which is nicely done. The flair at the waist helps to make it look realistic. As with Figure 2 I would have liked to have seen that portion of the smock in separate pieces. The drawstrings and the elastic bands at the waist, wrists and chest are nice. The helmet has the camouflage cover and the detailing on it is molded nicely as well. The figure is carrying two MG 34/42 ammunition cans, a little odd I thought as this set does not include a MG 34/42. The ammunition cans themselves have no handles as these are molded in the figure hands. The handles work well this way as opposed to trying to work with separate handles that would be small and thin. The figure is armed with a The Mauser Karabiner 98K rifle slung across his back, for which there is a molded sling. The figure comes with two Mauser Karabiner 98K rifle ammunition pouches which are not called out in the instructions, however they can be seen on the finished figure. The figure also has a bayonet, bread bag, mess kit, canteen and gas mask canister. There is a molded strap for the gas mask canister as well as molded hob nails on the boots, they are nicely done on the left boot but poorly done on the right. The figure’s neck fits into the collar nicely and the helmet fits on the head well. The detailing on the figure’s face is average and there is a molded helmet chin strap on the head, however again it is not very well defined. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with minimal gaps to be filled.

Figure 4. Figure crouching with captured Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun
The figure is made up of six pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapons. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing a camouflage SS smock (Tarnjacken) which is nicely done. The flair at the waist helps to make it look realistic. However (again) I would have liked to have seen that portion of the smock in separate pieces. As with the others, the drawstrings and the elastic bands at the waist, wrists and chest add to the realism. The figure’s face is decent however the neck does not fit into the collar very well and will need some trimming and possibly some filling. The helmet fits on the head good and has a camouflage cover and the detailing on it is molded nicely. There is a molded chin strap however again it is not very well defined. He is armed with a captured Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for it. The end of the weapons barrel is already drilled out. The machinegun can be displayed with the bi-pod legs extended or folded. The weapon does not fit into the right hand at all as it should but it does fit into the left hand, which is not closed enough to hold the weapon. However this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the figure could just be resting the weapon in his hand and not grasping it. I noticed that the finished weapon held by the figure on the box shows an open space between the barrel and the gas tube like on the real weapon. This is not present on the weapon that I received with this set. This might be a minor thing but I feel that it is a misleading image and should not have been done. The figure comes with a Czechoslovakian ZB26/ZB30 machinegun ammunition pouch, a gas cape pouch, a bayonet, bread bag, mess kit, canteen and gas mask canister for which there is a molded strap. The figure comes with an entrenching tool as well which is not called out in the instructions, however it can be seen on the finished figure. There are molded hob nails on the boots, they are nicely done on the left boot but poorly done on the right. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with minimal gaps to be filled.

EXTRA PIECES
The kit comes with several extra pieces from sprues 6643, G, W, WD and 25 that can be added to the spare parts bin. Another benefit with this is that the modeler can add any extra gear that they feel that the figure he is working on could use.

CONCLUSION
All in all this is a decent set of figures. I was impressed with the detailing, especially on the uniforms and the poses of all four figures. Another positive note is that you do get some extra items for the spare parts bin. The modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time removing seam lines and filling the few gaps. I am a little confused as to why the hobnails on the left boots are good and the ones on the right boots are poorly done. Other than my few complaints I was very impressed with the kit and I feel that anyone who purchases this set of figures will be pleased with them. I would have no hesitation to recommend this set of figures to others.

REFERENCES
World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

World The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII
Saturn Books Ltd.
Ian V. Hogg

Guns of the Reich: Firearms of the German Forces, 1939-1945
George Markham
Arms and Armour Press

Waffen SS in action
Norman Harms
Combat troops Number 3
Squadron/Signal Publications

German Infantry in Action
Squadron/Signal Publications
Combat Troops Number 2
Created by Uwe Feist
Captions by Norman Harms
Uniform Illustration by Ron Volstadt

Waffen-SS in action
Concord Publications Company #6534
Gordon Rottman and Ramiro Bujeiro

Waffen SS – the asphalt soldiers
John Keegan
Weapons Book No. 16
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of World War II

SS – The Blood-Soaked Soil – The Battles of the Waffen SS
Gordon Williamson
Motorbooks International

Hitler’s Teutonic Knights: SS Panzers in action
Bruce Quarrie
Patrick Stephens Limited

The Third Reich: The SS
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
Time-Life
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing overall. Nice uniform representations. Several items to be added to the spare parts bin.
Lows: No instruction sheet or painting guide other than the basic guides on the box. No decals for the helmets. Mistakes on assembly guide.
Verdict: All in all this is a decent set of figures. Kurt Meyer and three other members of Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) are well represented.
Percentage Rating
86%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6643
  Suggested Retail: $14.95 MSRP
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 15, 2012
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  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 Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2017 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. 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

Thank you for the review Randy. This does look a good set of figures with poses that will appeal. Other than some questionable joints on the shoulder to torso these all seem to go together well. Thank you for taking the time to put all of them together.
OCT 16, 2012 - 12:33 AM
Thank you Darren and you're welcome, as always I appreciate the feedback. I like doing the figure reviews as I tend to due a lot of book reviews so the figures are always a nice change of pace. Thanks again, Randy
OCT 16, 2012 - 12:05 PM
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