Articles

Orion - German Panzer Soldiers Set3 (ORI7203R) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Orion
Scale 1/72
Set Code ORI72003R
Year 2011
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Resin
Colour Gray
Flash Level Tall
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945

 

Review   

Starting to signify a prominent name in the field of WWII German Panzer crews, Orion continues the topic proposed by the previous Basic Set and puts forward within Set 3 three new Panzer soldiers dressed in dissimilar attire, poses and garment, best suggesting a short break either during maintenance activities or even a march. Likewise, the incredible level of sculpture, delivering amazing details and high accuracy is supported by an improved cast, not diminishing the work of their author. The package is the common one for Orion’s resin kits, with the figures in a plastic bag fixed on a small piece of cardboard and the artwork showing the unpainted version of the troopers. 

The great majority of poses incorporated within Orion’s resin line on Panzer troops feature minis crafted having in mind outside vehicle emplacements. Still, together with Set 1, the third supplies a figure for occupying the hatch. In fact, this is the only solider of the series released until now with radio communication items set in position and because of those, he can take place just in a hatch, other locations being totally inappropriate for him. The limitation comes from the headphones, throat microphone, activation control switch housing, and related wires, all brilliantly illustrated. With the right hand holding the control switch, the left in the hip for preventing accidental falls inside the vehicle, and the legs shaped close, the mini excellent finds its place in the hatch and most important, does not require large openings, sneaking even inside those really narrow, including turrets made of resin. Except hatch openings, taking profit we get a full mini, though a little more difficult but achievable, another option emerges the open-top armour, positioned right near the radio, such devices generally endowing each WWII German combat vehicle. Dressed in wrapper, trousers, M34 overseas cap, and ankle boots, the crewman arrives unarmed, not wearing even the belt. The approach is in full accordance with reality, often Panzer troopers not keeping on them pistols, their personal weapon as specialised troops. Thanks to headphones, throat microphone, switch housing, and related wires, the miniature joins the exclusivist club of 1/72 Panzer crewmen featuring such key devices linked to their job, mainly accessible in few Warriors and El Viejo Dragon tenders. The breast eagle on his wrapper states that him, and indirectly his team-mates, belong to Wehrmacht and if the hobbyist wishes to enrol them in Waffen SS, than the eagle in case should be removed and repainted on the arm. However, the wrapper and trousers they wear are appropriate for painting in feldgrau as portraying Assault Artillery troopers as well as Wehrmacht or Waffen SS camouflage patterns.   

The two accompanying comrades may be used all over on a vehicle, dismounted next to it or in various places with no connection with armour. In addition, thanks to their attire, but with a small restriction described few lines below, these can be utilised in different armies implying maintenance such as Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe etc. One of them with both hands in hips proposes a very relaxed soldier, his facial expression giving the impression he smiles, simply sustaining and accentuating the peaceful attitude. He wears shirt with rolled up sleeves, Panzer trousers, M34 overseas cap, ankle boots, and belt without pistol holster.

Nevertheless, the most attractive mini due to his uncommon attire is the trooper dressed in coverall. Within the 1/72 scale, issued by mass production and cottage industry reps, there are more figures wearing work garment, including coveralls, but certainly the interpretation offered here occupies a leading position, maybe the best and certainly the most interesting. The sculptor succeeded to catch in an incredible manner all the particulars of a truly special WWII German coverall. Usually, the WWII German soldiers received either a work or fatigue suit together with the uniform, work attire recording a huge number of shapes, cuts, and colours. The army-men carrying out heavy tasks like maintenance got work suits and normally, for Panzer troopers coveralls were extremely ordinary and could be worn straight or over uniform. Various shades of gray, green, black, and blue were encountered as well as Waffen SS camouflage patterns while the model could be standard, tailor made or even civil. The real soldier appearing in the reference image from where the sculptor inspired wore an extremely controversial model, it seems he dressed a field converted coverall tailored from a shortened HBT M43 tunic and trousers joined through a band. For further increasing the strange appearance, to the trousers the tailor added extra front pockets from another M43 tunic. Of particular interest is that there had not been removed the infantry collar and shoulder boards as well as the breast eagle from the tunic, but the soldier added a Panzer Assault Badge. Definitely, a most interesting model that was issued to s.Pz-Abt 502 soldiers by a rear-front tailor unit. The charm and the genuine appearance of this garment are increased by the shoulder boards, breast eagle, and badge clearly displayed on it. According to regulations, insignia was forbidden on working clothes, but in spite acknowledged as the most disciplined army, the reality in the field, supported by plenty reference materials highlights that the WWII German soldier extremely often infringed the rules. Panzer crews, especially those of heavy vehicles exposed to frequent breakage used to wear working attire even in combat and anyway, here we receive an uncommon one. In addition, perhaps in order to emphasise his membership to Panzer units and his skills, the soldier disobeyed the regulations and added on his coverall the Panzer Assault Badge. As mentioned, such look is fully covered by photos taken in the period, the here presented figure being inspired by such an image. Furthermore, the sculptor took the excellent decision to depict an out-of-ordinary model, but this can be painted either as illustrated in the reference image or as a common one while various models and colours were dressed by Panzer soldiers. Likewise, it is well-known that shoulder boards on work clothes appear as a frequent small mistake at various manufacturers, but surely not applicable in this case. With both hands in pockets the soldier lays against the vehicle and he can do the same thing against a chair, ammunition boxes etc. It is a very simple figure but the impressive achievements in terms of sculpture of attire and facial expression, corroborated with ideal proportions turn him into a top mini in Braille Scale. Perfectly interacting with the crewman in shirt, the two soldiers succeed to transpose a tranquil atmosphere either near a deadly weapon such as a heavy tank or in other locations. Bearing in mind the stances and attitude adopted by these troopers, the presence of a figure designed for turret might surprise at the first glance, but such scene is commonly depicted by a large number of references, showing some of the crew members outside the vehicle while one or two mates remained in the vehicle, emerging through hatches.

With reference to anatomy, nothing alters the perfect, well-balanced proportions of the bodies while faces are purely gorgeous, with impressively reproduced eyes, noses, mouths, ears, and hair, giving personality to these resin pieces. As regards palms, sculptor escaped to depict two of them that are in pockets, but the remaining ones are faultless modelled. Expectations are wholly fulfilled in terms of attire carving, small details including uniform insignia, correct number of buttons and pocket flaps, natural folds, and stitches combine for illustrating magnificent items of clothing. Diverging from Set 2, which in fact represented Orion’s first attempt in resin, cast and mould have been clearly improved, flash and film level decreased and again, no excess of material or air-bubbles are encountered. The new gray resin utilised is of proper quality, attesting the company’s efforts in identifying the finest material. Like the previous sets, this resin flawlessly lodges enamel, acrylics or artistic oils, retaining hobbyist’s work even during severe handling.  

In the tall side of 1/72 scale, the figures fantastic fit near the rest of their comrades issued within Orion Panzer soldiers series as well as with the great majority of other manufacturers’ minis dressed for warm climate, listed through others, in Dragon, Preiser, CMK, El Viejo Dragon catalogues. 

Basic Set 3 enhance and emphasise producer and sculptor’s intentions to deliver the ultimate modelled and cast Panzer crewmen, in the same time also covering noteworthy items of clothing. In this regard, it should be pointed out one more time the here depicted coverall, the figure wearing it as well as his comrades best fitting near a Tiger I of s.Pz-Abt 502. Nevertheless, they do not limit only to that, in fact they can be deployed in a huge number of places, vehicles, and units, according to modeller’s needs or desires. Of note there are the improved cast and mould as well as the complete communication gear and the ideally shaped body of the mini in Panzer wrapper, ensuring proper entrance via the narrowest hatches. 

 

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