German Regular Infantry

Kit #: 6178 Preview by Rob Haelterman

German infantry sets have been produced by the thousands by uncountable manufacturers but this one is slightly different as it has a distinct summer feeling to it.

In this box you get a single sprue carrying 5 figures, in 4 different poses. As this sprue contains a base to support all five figures or five individual bases (always handy when painting), a wargaming flag and two unidentified "ridges", it is obvious that the useful amount of plastic is only a small percentage of the total.

The box leaves nothing to the imagination as both the drawing at the front and the pictures at the back clearly show what to expect. Together with the instructions there will be little doubt about the way these figures assemble. Diorama potential is obvious even before opening the box.

The boxtop says "1939-1943" which I consider correct, even though I would limit its use to 1939-1940. The reason for doing so would be that the boots appear to be of the earlier, higher type, and the uniform is the M36/M40 type (but could easily pass for a M41 or M42 model). As the M40 model was still very common in 1943, Zvezda is correct with its boxtop timeframe, even when they show the M36 uniform on the boxtop indicating that they realize an earlier setting is more accurate. However, 4 of the figures have their sleeves rolled back, indicating a hot day, but the collar is closed. The latter feature is rarely seen after the start of Operation Barbarossa, under combat conditions.
The figures have a convincing vigilant pose, that would conform to a diorama depicting rear guard action (e.g. mopping up small pockets of resistance in an urban setting.) All the figures are wearing limited gear, attached to the belt, supported by Y-straps. This also means that the typical gas mask strap is not needed. The gas mask cape rolled around the gas mask canister on four of the figures is another indication of an early war setting. All but one of the figures are armed with the standard Kar98k rifle, one is throwing a grenade and one has it in his right boot (later in the war, they were more commonly tucked under the belt). The fifth figure is the squad leader armed both with an MP38/40 and a Luger. (Later in the war a Walther would become slightly more common.) He is probably a senior NCO and not an officer, as the tunic doesn't have the rolled back cuffs and larger collars and the Schirmmütze has the battered look that the NCO liked. He has taken the liberty to wear breeches, which would normally be reserved for officers. (Note that later in the war, officers were ordered, without too much effect, to wear the standard uniform as well, though.)

Obviously, these sets are aimed at the wargaming community (with a stats card - not shown-, flag and base) and while this might drive up the cost due to extra parts not needed for static modeling, it also reduces the cost due to a larger sales potential. Besides, I actually like the bases as they are very practical for handling the figures during painting, while the flag is a good source for thick plastic when scratchbuilding.

Casting and detail is really good, except at the level where the two mold halves meet. In this area some resculpting will be necessary. The joints between the parts will also need a bit attention, but as the plastic react well to MEK, they can easily be smoothed out.

As far as I can tell, these figures have accurate anatomy, gear and uniforms, even if they are a bit on the tall side (around 6 feet). No longer does the moniker "wargaming" on a box put dread into the hearts of the static modeler.



Review sample purchased by the author.


Zvezda kits can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated:
09 August 2017

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