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Orion - German Panzer Soldiers Set4 (ORI7204R) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Orion
Scale 1/72
Set Code ORI7204R
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   

Accustoming the clients with an impressive quality of the resin Basic Sets targeting WWII German Panzer crews, Orion ended the series in a terrific manner, the fourth set proposing again three noteworthy minis. Nevertheless, it should be highlighted as a special point of interest, Boris Knokhov, the creator of the army-men within the series has already carved several new marvellous sets on Panzer troops, unpublished by Orion yet. In this light, it might be assessed and wished in the close future these new sets to be commerciallymade available and it seems Orion would start working them by February 2012.

Both in terms of attire and material, Orion has chosen to end the series in the same manner it has started, two soldiers putting on the standard Panzer uniform and another dissimilarly dressed, wearing the M41 HBT Panzer uniform. Furthermore, one of the two soldiers in Panzer uniform added over the wrapper another piece of garment, most surely a drill tunic. Likewise, Basic Set 4 has been released in the non-breakable darker gray resin of excellent quality and its three soldiers have got a hair more robust physical construction than most comrades in the series, the skinny look of some previous figs completely vanishing. The explanation might rest in the fact that the fourth set was sculptured having in mind casting in resin while the previous three were created for polyethylene although those arrived in resin. Likewise, it seems the future Orion sets of the series will be sculptured for casting in resin, too. However, without question all sets go together very fine and the minis can be emplaced on the same diorama or vehicle, the slight size differences between the bodies not contradicting the human anatomy, but making even more credible the entire scene.

The obsolete plastic bag stapled on a cardboard fitting in the title and photo of the unpainted figs was used for packing Set 4, too. Anyway, this time the not sensitive resin corroborated with the non-existence of fragile parts assure proper delivery to customers even if the package itself does not confer protection to content.  

While most of combat activities were performed inside the vehicles, figure sets targeting Panzer crews are a little limited concerning poses, standing, resting, maintenance, and hatch emplacements emerging as the most usual depicted approaches in 1/72 scale, no matter the manufacturer. Nonetheless, these represent the main stances adopted by Panzer troops as illustrated by the great majority of reference materials although combat actions outside the vehicle were often carried out but evidently, rarer photographed or filmed.  

The three figures of Basic Set 4 refer to one main activity of Panzer crews, respectively loading projectiles in vehicle. Depending on the situation, an armoured vehicle could fire its shells in a short period, regularly reloading it even on the battlefield being mandatory. The clue on the activity implemented by this crew comes from the mini holding a projectile in his hands, but due to the relaxed attitude of his team mates, one with hands in pockets and another scratching his head, it seems loading is fulfilled far from the front line. The size and shape of the projectile indicate the crew belongs to a vehicle endowed with an 88 mm cannon such as Tiger I and II, Elephant, JagdPanther etc. On the other hand, the adopted stances make the figures suitable not only for an arrangement as loading ammunition in the vehicle, but also for emplacement within an open top armoured vehicle on the move or even preparing to fire, Nashorns setting out as an ideal location for them.    

One of the most interesting combinations of garment items available in Braille Scale proposes the crewman with projectile in hands, he decided to wear an unbuttoned drill tunic over the Panzer wrapper, perhaps in an attempt to protect his black uniform while handling ammunition. Furthermore, the tunic folds so natural that immediately captures the attention of the viewer and also allows modellers to perceive the brilliantly sculptured details of the under wrapper and shirt. Panzer trousers, M34 overseas cap, and ankle boots complete his attire and the projectile is not only nicely shaped, but also held in an appropriate way.

The other trooper in Panzer uniform reminds about a frequently photographed stance, with both hands deep in the pockets of his trousers. He does the common gesture extremely natural and sets out as an impressive miniature in spite doing almost nothing, just supervising his comrades while they work. He has got ankle boots, M34 overseas cap, and shirt below while a perfectly carved belt tights his wrapper.

Made of herringbone twill (HBT), the second pattern of HBT Panzer uniform reached the units in May 1941 and replaced the first version of the same attire that had a cut close to the standard Panzer uniform. Fast identified after the front large pockets on both tunic and trousers, the garment was designed for working as well as for protecting the black uniforms during maintenance duties. Except the chest pocket, the tunic had two rows of buttons, one for a tight fit in summer and the other letting enough space if it was worn over the black wrapper. Moreover, the back of the tunic was made from two panels with a middle guide tunnel for the back ties to give a snug fit on the trooper. Initially endowing Wehrmacht units, the M41 HBT Panzer uniform proved to be extremely well-liked and saw service with Waffen SS and other units, too. Issued in various shades of reed green, mouse gray or camouflage patterns but never in black, the uniform was worn even in combat, granting better concealment on the battlefield if the crew was forced to leave the vehicle.   

The M41 HBT Panzer uniform dressed by the third figure of Orion’s Basic Set 4 appears as an excellent choice for ammo reloading activity aimed by the set. Possibly, he takes profit of a short moment of rest using it for scratching his head until his comrade handles over the next projectile. A spectacular work of art succeeded the sculptor with the slung fit of the present M41 HBT Panzer uniform, the larger appearance clearly attesting the garment is not worn over the black uniform. Furthermore, the larger size of that type of uniform allowed the army-man to wear the tunic in pants and the sculptor had the genius idea of illustrating such way of wearing, unique in the scale. This reiterates the attention paid to each and every detail as well as the desire of innovative approach the WWII German Panzer soldiers theme. The trooper also received M34 overseas cap, ankle boots, and shirt, another point of attraction proposing the belt, due to impressive carving abilities we have the rare occasion to perceive its end part hanging in front as well as the guiding tabs of the trousers.      

A scarce presence in 1/72 scale, in spite intensive uses, M41 HBT Panzer uniform is incorporated in few tenders, Dragon’s “German Panzer crew & Panther G Early – “Achtung Jabo" France 1944” supplying the largest number of figures on the topic. In addition, several sets like CMK’s “German armourers for Tiger I”, Esci’s “Panzer IV Ausf.G” deliver minis wearing the same wrappers, but not the matching trousers. Still, a pair of M41 HBT Panzer trousers dresses a figure in Basic Set 1, but combined with the classical Panzer wrapper.   

A hair more robust than their comrades from Orion’s resin series, the minis belong to the tall part of 1/72 scale, fitting fine not only with those, but also with related products launched by CMK, Dragon, Miniaturas Alemany, and El Viejo Dragon. The anatomy is simply gorgeous, with well-proportionate bodies, and perfect facial details put in valour by ideally engraved eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths, ears, and hair. Likewise, palms are faultless, both matching in size the bodies and revealing all fingers in normal positions. As previously stated, small characteristic features of uniforms are available everywhere, brilliantly transposing in 1/72 pocket flaps and buttons, creases, shoulder boards, clothes insignia as well as other particulars. Of note is the absence of shoulder boards on the M41 HBT Panzer tunic, reflecting the proper knowledge and study carried out by the sculptor for creating these figs. In most cases of army-men wearing the same tunic released by other companies, those display shoulder boards, thing contradicting regulations that forbade any insignia on M41 HBT Panzer uniform.

The 4th set leaves the impression of being cast in the same time with the first and even flash is present, after cleaning them the perfect small details comes into sight. Likewise, no air-bubbles or excess of material are encountered, though the minis are modelled as single pieces. Similarly, this darker gray resin shares some attributes of hard plastic, not easy breakable, so though quite expensive, the product might meet the expectations of wargamers, too. Painting imposes no problem, no matter the hobbyist decided to do it with enamel, acrylics or artistic oils, all being well received and integrated by the material.  Evidently, bases miss and considering the poses, the mini with hands in pocket does not share the same stability as the others. The trooper with projectile and his teammate in HBT uniform have got an excellent balance, standing without additional help. Still, for better fixation on diorama, it is recommended gluing the soldiers in positions, superglue gel immediately solving the problem for a durable bond on almost all surfaces.

The breast eagle encountered on the wrapper of the figure with hands in pockets states the crew activates in Wehrmacht but if removing that detail, he and his colleagues could operate a Waffen SS vehicle right away. In order to give emphasises to such membership, clothes might be painted in various Waffen SS camouflage patterns.  Moreover, painting wrappers and trousers in field gray the crew would belong to Sturmartillerie, thus a lot of choices in front of modeller to work on these superb miniatures.

Basic Set 4 and the rest of sets issued by Orion within the resin line dedicated to Panzer soldiers deliver fresh and top-notch figures dressed in attractive items of garment, several unavailable until now in the 1/72 scale. The clothes put forward in the series provide a remarkable diversity in terms of WWII German Panzer attire and exceptional combine between them, the same applying to the interaction within poses from different sets despite the insignificant difference of some body sizes. This is extremely important taking into consideration that on the one hand the WWII German tanks or assault artillery vehicles had a four or five member personnel and on the other hand, the fact each Orion set incorporates just three minis. By mixing the poses of the four sets there can be achieved few complete crews depicted in various hypostases. Obviously, due to their outstanding features, these sets get a special place inside a market abounding in tenders aiming at Panzer crews and represent a major source for hobbyists in improving their collections with more than realistic, perfect sculptured and out of ordinary miniatures. The manufacturer has mentioned that few miniatures of the series less well-cast will be altered and republished or enter as a fourth bonus figure within further sets. Moreover, as pointed out at the beginning of this review, on account the master sculptor of these figs has already prepared several sets on the topic, Orion also confirming those, the continuation of the series is anxiously waited and most welcome.  

 

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