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Built Review
135
Italian Paratroopers
Italian Paratrooper Anzio 1944
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Dragon Models has released a new set of figures featuring four Italian Paratroopers in action as a group, and this is a step away from the four individual figures that has been the normal figure releases from Dragon Models of late.

Contents

Inside the now usual end opening box from Dragon Models you will find 2 grey sprues and a small decal sheet. These are packaged in a plastic bag which all looks to have prevented any damage to the product.

Review

I should admit from the start that Italian Paratroopers are not a subject I know a great deal about and that my reference material tends towards Italian forces generally rather than specifically. That said my reference does provide some details and pictures of the Italian paratroopers of World War Two, and I can say that looking at the figures against this reference does show that Dragon Models have done a very fair job of replicating that detail in injection moulded plastic. Dragon Models has unfortunately decided not to supply weapons of the standards we have come to expect from them; by this I mean that slide moulding technology has not been used and so the barrels of the weapons will need to be drilled. The weapons are none the less acceptable for most and the addition of a decal sheet for certain aspects mostly the Panzerfaust included in the set. The Panzerfaust in the kit is I believe a 60m.

Parts placement on the sprues is good both in that the sprue is laid out in a logical manner and that the sprue gates are small and minimal. Surprisingly there are no moulding nipples of plastic attached to the parts; which is unusual to say the least where Dragon Models is concerned. Detail throughout is good but not as crisp as I have become accustomed to from Dragon Models, that said it is again acceptable. One thing that I was very surprised by is how hard the plastic is; a good example of this are the mould seams present on all figures could not be removed to my satisfaction with a scraping of a knife blade, I had to resort to cutting the seams away in a number of places which indicates just how hard the plastic is. The hardness of the plastic has also resulted in a very shiny finish as indicated by the pictures, and I do have some concerns about how well paint will adhere to the plastic. I have to believe that this is the result of a faulty batch of plastic rather than I hope a new direction Dragon Models has taken with their plastic.

The hand and facial details are very good with the hands being especially so in my opinion. The three separate hands being particularly good examples of how good the detail is and which I hope can be seen in the attached pictures.

The build

I have assembled a couple of the figures to check out some aspects that cannot be defined any other way. The two figures I opted for are the prone one and the one moulded throwing a grenade, I have not utilised the weapons provided as they are not needed to check the fit of the figures themselves and would have made painting difficult.

Removal of the parts from the sprues is easy enough with a good set of clippers, however due to the hardness of the plastic I very strongly advise that you do not attempt to cut the parts free to closely to the moulding; this may not be an issue if as I believe this is a faulty batch of plastic. If you do get a set made with the very hard plastic, then cutting close to the parts could result in damage to the moulding which may be difficult to rectify. As mentioned earlier clean up of the parts is made harder by this very hard plastic but it is not an insurmountable problem.

Once all of the parts were cleaned up I used Tamiya extra thin glue to stick it all together. Any of you who have used this glue are aware of the properties of this glue know how well it works; on this plastic it did stick well but was not able to soften the plastic to the point where small gaps were filled. That said I was very pleased with the fit of body parts which were of a very good standard overall. I wish that Dragon Models would take the same care with the fitment of equipment that is flexible and so would mould to the body rather than standing proud of it.

Conclusion

Overall these figures from Dragon Models are of a very high standard and well worth picking up. The qualities of the plastic used in this sample is not a high point and I hope and believe it is because of a faulty batch rather than a new direction by Dragon Models. The inclusion of decals with the figures is good to see and that I wish more manufacturers would do. The weapons are acceptable but disappointing due to knowing how good a job Dragon Models can do when they put their minds to it. All things considered and the novelty of the subject do make this a figure set worth seeking out.
SUMMARY
Highs: An interesting choice of figures with a great fit and especially well moulded hand detail.
Lows: The very hard plastic that does its best to make things harder than they need to be.
Verdict: Well worth seeking out due to the subject matter.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6741
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Jan 30, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Italy
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís 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 70ís, 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

Darren, I agree with most of your review, I just got two boxes yesterday and am dissapointed with my kits... Weapons are terrible, the Baretta smg on the figure sprue has a shorter barrel than the weapon sprue one, main MG barrel bent (looks to be a production line issue possibly due to the plastic you mentioned)and in both of my boxes too..! Para helmets look like little bowls..! Anyway, lucky I have recast Royal Model and Model Victoria Para heads that I can use. Its a shame Dragon dont put more effort into other Axis and Allied figure/ weapons kits as they do with their German/ Gen 2 weapons kits.....
JAN 30, 2014 - 08:07 PM
Apologies to Dragon as I did some research on the Beretta SMG's and now realise it is the early version of the Model 38, the Model 3842 that is on the figure sprue....however the barrel is still shorter and should be narrower than the Model 38.
JAN 31, 2014 - 05:28 AM
Just horrible , the type of plastic used really blur's detail. They look like figures from the early 90's. I think it would have been worth them to cast them as their "Gen2" line. Very different subject that would be great. At least it's not another GERMAN kit.
JAN 31, 2014 - 05:43 AM
Does any one make replacement heads for Italian Paras? Before I consider buying this set I would like to know what my options are. I searched the usual suspects (Hornet, Ultracast, Royal, etc.)but can't find a set of 4 - 5 heads. They're some mixed head sets with one or two para heads, but it's too expensive to buy 2 or more head sets just for 4 heads. Guess there's not too much demand for Italian para heads!
JAN 31, 2014 - 01:10 PM
Wish that Ron Volstedt would make those illistrations again cause at the moment they are simply awful.
JAN 31, 2014 - 10:49 PM
BIGGLES 2, Do what I do and buy a good figure like the Royal Model Italian Para and some pinkysil and recast your own heads/ helmets, drill out the same head from the helmet if casted all as one and put other heads in...just an option. Or buy the Italeri Para kit and use the helmets out of that on other heads. The Dragon helmets are like little bowls to me (no depth as per the real thing).
FEB 01, 2014 - 06:31 PM
Hmmm...kit bashing Dragon and Italeri? Are the Italeri helmets better than Dragon's? Sounds like the way to go.
FEB 02, 2014 - 11:23 AM
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