Articles

Orion - German Panzer Soldiers Set1 (ORI7201R) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Orion
Scale 1/72
Set Code ORI7201R
Year 2011
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Resin
Colour Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1941 – 1945

 

Review   

Orion sets out as a pretty well-known manufacturer in the field of 1/72 WWII Germans, issuing two soft plastic sets on the topic, one dedicated to Paratroopers and the other to Volksstrum 1945. Although proposing several innovative poses, those sets did not impress too much through sculpture or casting and could pass as medium. Nothing would have announced the new strategy adopted by the company, who took the decision to launch in resin a series of mini-sets aiming at the famous Panzer crews. The 1/72 market abounds in resin, white metal, hard and soft plastic offers on the matter, most of them highly accurate and excellent sculptured. So, the competition is tough but Orion has succeeded to produce probably some of the best figures available, with remarkable sculpture in terms of anatomy, facial details, attire, and gear as well as brilliant poses. Cast as one piece minis, epithets are scarce in praising the Orion resin series formed by four sets of three figures. Furthermore, the four sets have been launched simultaneous for a complete surprise and immense satisfaction, the series filling in gaps in terms of 1/72 WWII Panzer troops clothing, transposing in the scale almost all items of garment worn by such troops in warm or temperate environments.

The package is the model intensively implemented by resin manufacturers, content coming in a transparent plastic bag attached to a piece of cardboard featuring the title of the set and an artwork in which the producer presents the unpainted version of the minis. Anyway, the transparent bag permits the client to see from the very beginning what he is going to buy, the amazing quality of the product making a strong impression starting from the shop shelf. 

It is Basic Set 1 the most common in terms of attire, the soldiers wearing Panzer standard uniform except one of them who voted for 1941 HBT Panzer trousers, immediately identified due to larger appearance and specific pocket on the left thigh.  Below wrappers the shirts are visible, the troopers also receiving M34 overseas caps and ankle boots. Additionally, two soldiers are endowed with belts and pistols in holsters, in full accordance with KStN enforcing pistols as personal weapons for Panzer troopers.

Modelled in relaxed stances, two figs have to be set on the ground or in various places on the vehicle while the third, with arms crossed should take position in a hatch, his close legs clearly being crafted to facilitate access in narrow spaces. However, hatch is not mandatory for him, the soldier can be easily fit outside, holding his arms on something else or laying against the vehicle. A striking mini represents the one with right arm propped in the hip in an extremely natural stance and pistol holster realistically hanging for a genuine and outstanding depiction of a Panzer trooper. However, this figure has got some quite long legs, but the human nature records such cases, so it is not such a big fault. The third army-man with 1941 HBT trousers easily embodies a Panzer commander due to binoculars held in hands. An attractive facet advances his preference for the more powerful 10 X 50 binoculars issued on limited bases to specialised personnel requiring stronger optics. Common for Panzer troops was the standard 6 x 30 power binoculars, but as many reference photos attest, the 10 X 50 model was highly appreciated by those units, too. Moreover, the binoculars of this figure benefit by lens cover adjusted on the strap and shown on the back. The pose is familiar, but Orion achieves it in an eye-catching manner, the way his clothes stay, the normal stance adopted, and the complete lack of excess of material between binoculars and chest turn him into an exceptional figure. In addition, the sculptor has taken an admirable decision when dressing the soldier in the standard Panzer wrapper and 1941 HBT Panzer trousers while no existing mini in the field proposes such combination. 

The nicely engraved breast eagles on wrappers clearly indicate the crew belongs to a Wehrmacht vehicle and if the hobbyist wishes to enrol them in Waffen SS, the eagle in case should be removed and eventually painted on the left arm. However, the attire they wear is completely suitable to be painted not only in black as Panzer units, but also in feldgrau, depicting Assault Artillery troopers. Besides, various camouflage patterns are appropriate, so modellers have at hand plenty of options in finishing these faultless minis. Of course, the 1941 HBT Panzer trousers must be painted in various shades of reed green, mouse gray or camouflage, black being totally inappropriate for that piece of clothing.

As several times emphasised, we get here the perfect product, the level of small details immediately fascinating the viewer. Uniform insignia, buckles, authentic sculptured and folded clothes showing even the stitches, all are present here. Despite the longer legs and the slightly smaller head of the crewman with armed crossed, the overall proportions pass as satisfactory and anatomy impresses from the first glance as well as ideal facial details individualising each army-men through incredible eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths, ears, and hair. Palms are also nicely done, with all fingers in place and realistically bending when it is the case. Casting emerges more than fine, not affecting sculptor’s work despite the presence of some flash and amount of thin film that can be eliminated in few minutes. Although modelled as single pieces, excess of resin completely misses and no air-bubble, so specific to resin products, could be discovered on the reviewed set. The deployed resin is of highest quality, not breakable and perfectly hosting enamel, acrylics or artistic oils, holding paint in spite heavily handling. Similar with the rest of sets on Panzer crewmen, the figures received no bases and certainly, those would have been useless bearing in mind their designation. Anyway, the two figs that should be set on the vehicle or in other locations benefit by a good balance and can stand without additional devices, important thing for checking how they would go in the places chosen by modellers for them.      

Encompassed by the tall side of 1/72 scale, the crewmen match the majority of other manufacturers’ tenders issued on Panzer troops topics, with a plus point for the greatly carved Dragon and El Viejo Dragon figs. Moreover, these soldiers wholly fit near their comrades put forward by Orion’s Panzer crew series, though few differences in terms of size of bodies are noticed. Still, these are not annoying and do not contradict at all the variety of human bodies.  

The new resin line launched by Orion definitely strikes and raises the stake so high that it would be extremely difficult to future sets to reach the same performances, no matter the material those are cast in. Mainly addressed to diorama builders and some collectors, the non-breakable resin and compact poses, without fragile parts, turn them into a proper choice for wargaming table, too. The sets are a little pricey, but generally these deserve any penny paid. Basic Set 1 appears as an excellent ambassador of the entire German Panzer Soldiers series, brilliantly promoting Orion’s achievements and almost forcing the owner to hardly wait to get the rest of the sets.     

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 10
Mould Quality 10
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 10
Reviewer’s Opinion 10