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Built Review
135
German Brandenburg Troops
German Brandenburg Troops, Leros 1943
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

HISTORY

** Leros is a Greek island in the southern Aegean Sea, nearly 320km from Athens. Leros was the site of a fierce but brief battle in late 1943, which formed the central part of the Dodecanese Campaign. British forces had occupied Leros on 15 September 1943 in the wake of the Italian capitulation. This attracted German air attacks and a combined amphibious/airborne invasion codenamed Operation Leopard initiated on 12 November. Among the assault troops were Fallschirmjäger and an amphibious assault company from the Brandenburg Division (1./Küstenjäger-Abteilung). The Brandenburgers were an elite German special forces unit and altogether, some 500 Brandenburg parachutists dropped onto Leros. With German forces enjoying air superiority, the battle was over within four days and 3,200 British and 5,350 Italian troops surrendered. The Battle of Leros is widely regarded as being the last great defeat of the British Army in WWII. **
** Quoted from the Dragon Models LTD website

Introduction

Dragon Models LTD has released German Brandenburg Troops – Leros 1943 , kit number 6743, a set of four figures in 1/35 scale in its '39-'45 series which depicts four German Brandenburg soldiers, two of which are Fallschirmjäger that are in the process of setting up a MG42 machinegun in Leros in 1943 during World War II. The kit bar code is 08919586743.

** Dragon’s latest 1/35 scale figure set features four elite German soldiers from the Brandenburg unit. These soldiers are the products of brand new toolings, and they are depicted in heavy combat with the defenders of Leros. The centerpiece of the set is a machine gun team equipped with an MG42 weapon. The gunner is using the shoulder of his assistant as a support as the team hasn’t had time to set up the weapon’s tripod yet. The folded tripod is included in the set. Meanwhile, the two other Brandenburgers dressed in appropriate camouflage smocks are preparing to move forward to capture more territory in Leros. Of interest, the set includes a German weapon container of the type that accompanied paratroopers during airdrops. This is a dramatic combat set, and of course it will prove practicable for modelers wishing to portray other battles from a similar time period in WWII. **
** Quoted from the Dragon Models LTD website

THE BOX AND PACKAGING

The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box, size 6.4" x 10.2" x 1.9", with artwork of the figures on the top of the box. The bottom of the box has a figure painting guide, a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures and more detailed instructions for the MG42 tripod and the airdrop weapons container. The sprues are sealed within clear plastic bags.

THE INSTRUCTION SHEET
There is no separate instruction sheet included in the kit. There is only a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures and more detailed instructions for the MG42 tripod and the airdrop weapons container. There are a few simple mistakes made on the sheet such as wrong numbers. These are simple mistakes that should have been noticed and corrected. I like the fact that the two standing figures have front and back images to show correct assembly and gear placement. My complaint along these lines is that the machinegun crew does not have this available and so some creative guess work and dry fitting is required for assembly. The images on the box instruction guide could have been made smaller to accommodate the extra images or a separate instruction sheet could have been concluded. I find the assembly guide unacceptable as it is. The assembly guide for the MG42 tripod is equally unacceptable in my opinion. It is poor at best as it is difficult to follow and instead of showing the correct position of a part is just points to an area with the part number and shows the part already in place. There is no way of knowing if you placed it correctly as dry fitting is of no use. There is also a part left over for the tripod that is not shown in the instructions. As the sprue was made just for the tripod I am sure the part goes on the tripod somewhere but the modeler is not shown. This is one of the worst examples of instructions that I have seen from Dragon.

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
To paint the figures as shown the necessary colors are:
GSI Creos Corp. Aqueous Hobby Color
  • 12 – Flat Black
  • 47 – Red Brown
  • 81 – Flat Khaki
  • 303 – Semi-Gloss Green
  • 18 – Metallic Steel
  • 27 – Gloss Tan
  • 74- Semi-Gloss Sky (Duck Egg Green)
  • 321 – Semi-Gloss Light Brown
  • 16 – Gloss Yellow Green
  • 84 – Semi-Gloss Mahogany
  • 7 - Gloss Brown

GSI Creos Corp. Mr. Color
  • 33 – Flat Black
  • 41 – Flat Red Brown
  • 55 – Flat Khaki
  • 303 – Semi-Gloss Green
  • 28 – Metallic Steel
  • 44 – Flesh
  • 26 – Semi-Gloss Duck Egg Green
  • 321 - Semi-Gloss Light Brown
  • 7 – Gloss Brown
  • 64 – Gloss Yellow Green
  • 42 – Semi-Gloss Mahogany

Model Master Color
  • 1749 – Flat Black
  • 1533 – Light Brown
  • 2106 – French Khaki
  • 1713 – Medium Green
  • 1415 – Burnt Metal Buffing Metalizer
  • 1706 – Sand
  • 2100 – Signalbraun RAL8002
  • 1540 – Brown Gloss
  • 1787 – Green Drab
  • 2009 – British Crimson
  • 2049 – RAF Sky ANA61

The Sprues

The kit comes with 8 grey styrene sprues which contain 185 total 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. Please refer to my photographs of the front and back of the sprues so that you can see the individual pieces and their layout and location on the sprues.

Sprue 6743: 56 total pieces
All of the body pieces for the four figures – 24 total pieces
  • 8 German Fallschirmjäger double bandolier ammunition pouches
  • 4 German Fallschirmjäger single bandolier ammunition pouches
  • 1 pair of German binoculars
  • 1 German document pouch
  • 1 German Fallschirmjäger MP40 chest magazine pouch with loading tool pouch
  • 1 German machinegun tool pouch
  • 2 German Fallschirmjäger helmets
  • 2 German Helmets with covers
  • 2 pairs of German goggles
  • 2 German ammunition cans
  • 1 German MG42 double spare barrel carrier
  • 6 belts of MG42 ammunition – 2 long belts and 4 short belts
  • 1 German flashlight

Sprue 6070 (weapons): 4 total pieces
  • 1 German MP-40 extended stock
  • 1 German MP-40 submachine gun
  • 2 German Mauser 98k rifles

Sprue 6070: 11 total pieces
All required pieces to assemble the German Abwurfbehälter (supply drop canister)
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 WF: 16 total pieces
All required pieces for the German MG42 tripod

Sprue 24: 4 total pieces
4 German entrenching tools in carriers

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 nice.

THE FIGURES

The kit comes with four WWII German depicts four German Brandenburg soldiers, two of which are Fallschirmjäger in action attempting to set up a MG42 machinegun position. I assembled all of the figures, the supply canister and the MG42 tripod straight out of the box without doing any work on them, other than to clean up the spot from 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. This has become my standard for reviews and it has met with praise and appreciation from my fellow modelers.

Figure A
Soldier holding the bipod of the MG42. The figure is made up of 6 pieces for the main body, not counting the gear. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing an appropriate uniform for the time frame which includes lugged boots with gaiters and a standard German helmet with covering. He has two German Mauser ammunition pouches, bayonet and sheath, bread bag and canteen. The figures face is decent and the neck fits into the collar nicely and leaves a realistic looking gap between the neck and the collar. The helmet fits on the head good and the detailing on it is molded nicely. There is a molded chin strap on the figures head but it is faint. The hands and arms are easy to position so that they are holding the bi-pod of the MG42 machinegun. 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, mostly where the arms attach to the torso.

Figure B
Soldier firing the MG42 machinegun. The figure is made up of 6 pieces for the main body, not counting the gear. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing an appropriate uniform for the time frame which includes lugged boots with gaiters and a standard German helmet with covering. The figures face is decent and the neck fits into the collar nicely and leaves a realistic looking gap between the neck and the collar. The helmet fits on the head good and the detailing on it is molded nicely. There is a molded chin strap on the figures head but it is faint. The figure comes with a pistol holster, machinegun tool kit and a MG42 double spare barrel carrier. The MG42 that the figure is holding fits nicely in the figures hands. The modeler also has the option of placing an ammunition belt around the figures neck. I was leery of this at first as I figured the ammunition belt would break as I bent it. However the belt bent easily and hangs realistically around the figures neck. 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 C
Fallschirmjäger standing holding the MP40 submachine gun. The figure is made up of 6 pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapon. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing an appropriate uniform for the time frame which includes a camouflaged smock, knee pads and the standard Fallschirmjäger helmet. The figures face is decent and the neck fits into the collar nicely and leaves a realistic looking gap between the neck and the collar. He is armed with a German MP40 submachine gun which fits into the right hand very well. The weapon’s barrel will need to be hollowed for a realistic look. The helmet fits on the head good and the detailing on it is molded nicely. There is a molded chin strap of the correct Fallschirmjäger type on the figures head but it is faint. The figure comes with a chest MP40 magazine carrier with loading tool pouch, pistol holster, document case, flashlight, goggles and a pair of binoculars. 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 D
Fallschirmjäger crouching holding the Mauser 98k rifle. The figure is made up of 6 pieces for the main body, not counting the gear and weapon. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing an appropriate uniform for the time frame which includes a camouflaged smock, knee pads and the standard Fallschirmjäger helmet. The figures face is decent and the neck fits into the collar nicely and leaves a realistic looking gap between the neck and the collar. He is armed with a German Mauser 98k rifle with the bayonet and sheath on his belt and also carries the Fallschirmjäger bandolier ammunition pouches around his neck. The pouches need to be assembled on the figure but the look is very realistic and easy to conform to the figure. The helmet fits on the head good and the detailing on it is molded nicely. The goggles on the helmet will need some work to make them sit correctly. There is a molded chin strap of the correct Fallschirmjäger type on the figures head but it is faint. 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.

MG42 Machinegun Tripod
The MG42 tripod is a nice representation of the actual item and goes well with the scene. My main problem with the tripod is listed in the Instruction Sheet portion of my review.

Abwurfbehälter (supply drop canister)
The supply canister provided represents the rectangular metal version with wheels and a towing handle. It comes in 11 pieces with minimal flash and seam lines. It assembles easily however that is where my complaint with this portion of the kit begins. The canister is shown to be assembled upside down, in the instruction guide, with the lid being on the bottom of the canister and the parts are molded to be assembled that way. Part E5 is the main problem as it has a molded attachment point for the handle which is on the wrong part of the end piece. A modeler could simply flip the canister over and do some cutting and carving and make the pieces work. However I feel that should not be necessary. This is a mistake that should have easily noticed and corrected. One thing I would have liked to have seen would have been the weapons rack inside of the canister giving the modeler the choice of showing the canister with the lid open or closed. With the excitement I have heard from other modelers in regards to the release of the canister I am afraid that several modelers will be highly disappointed in it.

Extra Pieces
There are several extra pieces included with this set of figures. The extra pieces include:
Sprue 6070 – All 4 pieces
Sprue 24 – all 4 pieces
Sprue 25 – all 4 pieces
Several pieces from sprues G and W

CONCLUSION

All in all this is a decent set of figures. I was impressed with the detailing, especially on the uniforms and the gear. A modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time removing seam lines and filling the few gaps. I was not pleased with the supply canister, the MG42 tripod or the instruction guide. I would recommend this kit to others; I would just make sure to point out its shortcomings.

REFERENCES

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

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

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

Airborne
Charles MacDonald
Weapons Book No. 12
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of World War II

German Automatic Weapons of World War II
Live Firing Classic Military Weapons in Colour Photographs
Robert Bruce
Windrow & Greene


Fallschirmjäger in Action
Combat Troops Number 1
Created by Uwe Feist
Captions Norman Harms
Uniform Illustration Ron Volstadt
Squadron/Signal Publications

Storming Eagles
German Airborne Forces in World War Two
James Lucas
Arms And Armour

Hitler’s Eagles
The Luftwaffe 1933-45
Chris McNab
Osprey Publishing

The Fall Of Eben Emael – Belgium 1940
Raid 38
Chris McNab
Osprey Publishing

Fallschirmjager Live links
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing overall. Nice uniform and gear representations.
Lows: Very poor instruction guide. Mistakes on the Abwurfbehälter (supply drop canister).
Verdict: All in all this is a decent set of figures which represent four German Brandenburg soldiers in Leros in 1943 during World War II nicely.
Percentage Rating
78%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6743
  Suggested Retail: €20.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jun 30, 2013
  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

Wish to Christ Dragon hadn't changed thier box art. The old stuff was so much better. Nice group of figures and no doubt with Dragons latest generation mouldings they will be pretty sweet.
JUN 30, 2013 - 07:03 PM
Yeah - the "new improved" box art is pretty crap isn't it?! And about as inspiring as the rubbish Airfix boxes of the 1980s that showed just a (usually poorly done) finished model sitting on top of a generic blueprint. I much prefer the older boxes with Ron Volstad's excellent artwork. - Steve
JUL 01, 2013 - 08:28 AM
It appears that all four figures cannot be used simultaneously in the same diorama, as two are paras that have just landed, and the other two must be from the amphibious landing - two completely different units. At least the paras can be combined with any of the several other Fallschirm figure sets from Dragon. And the other two guys look like they could be Gebirgsjager.
JUL 01, 2013 - 12:02 PM
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