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Revell - German Armoured Infantry (02511) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Revell
Scale 1/72
Set Code 02511
Year 1994
No. of Figures 50
No. of Poses 16
Additional Items Tripod with scissor binoculars, small ruin
Size Tall
Material Soft Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Tall
Glue-ability Poor (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 - 1945 (one exception)

 

Review

One of the most controversial set through its qualities and deficiencies, Revell's "German Armoured Infantry" induces the truly atmosphere of the front line thanks to some of the best poses portraying soldiers caught in the middle of a fight ever seen in the scale. Unfortunately, the good mark refers strictly to poses, while the way of manufacturing gives head aches, these figures bearing us from ecstasy to agony. The set should have been an exceptional one, aiming a special unit, but when opening the box we are shocked by two things, the large number of poses, unusual for a Revell set of the period that generally containing only 12 poses, and on the other hand, by the enormous amount of flash and excess of plastic. The explanation concerning the large number of poses is extremely easy, in fact here we are in the presence of Preiser set, Revell practically coping and increasing the poses from the original HO (1/87) to 1/72 scale, as well as casting them in soft plastic. The original approach of Preiser set was hard plastic and multi-part, in this way being avoided the nightmare of flash and excess of plastic encountered in the higher scale replica, made by Revell.

The style of sculpture, the details, the sizes of figures, weapons and gear straightly leads to Preiser, while Revell's manner of sculpting soldiers was really different. From all these clues it is inferred that the sculptors from Preiser are the authors, Revell's merely merit consisting in the scale increment. Sadly, Revell's decision to produce them in soft plastic as well as cast as single piece proved disastrous, from all the sets dedicated to 1/72 WWII Germans, the present one being probably the most affected by flash and excess of plastic flagella. In many cases the amount of undesired adds ruins the details in such a level than we do not know what gear component is there, being required not only serious knowledge in WWII German equipment and the way of wearing it, but also a lucky hunch for presuming on what element we put the brush.

However, "German Armoured Infantry", entitled by Preiser "Panzer Grenadiers. The German Reich 1942" is not the only one copied by Revell from their conational, the collaboration between the two firms materializing in the well-known Revell "German Artillery", where due to the poses of the figures and the lack of gear the flash and excess of plastic maintain very low. The title given by Revell for this reviewed set could either refer to the famous Panzer Grenadier or to the motorized German Infantry, but based on the uniforms, specific to the early part of the war, these soldiers are closer to motorized infantry than Panzer Grenadiers. Such interpretation comes from the fact that Panzer Grenadier Army was established in 1941, and at least in the 1/72 scale, such troops are most often perceived as dressed in late war uniforms or camouflage cloths. Nevertheless, Panzer Grenadier units were created from regular infantry units that were simply renamed, and many Panzer Grenadiers wore garment specific to the Early War even till the end of it. It is also true that the year 1942 indicated by Preiser is in full accordance with reality, in that year Panzer Grenadier units being dressed in the uniform featured here, the other model of tunic, M43, entering in service a year later while camouflage smocks were in the summer of 1942 more specific to Waffen SS than Wehrmacht. On the other hand, the figures may be used till 1945, the M36 tunic being delivered to troops from the beginning till the end. Moreover, details such as the thickness of the uniforms and the rolled up sleeves of various soldiers send them directly to a warm climate and make impossible their use inside a winter diorama. In addition, through the inclusion of a PPSh41, the famous Russian submachine gun highly appreciated by Germans, the producer reveals its intention of depicting some troops on the Eastern front and corroborating such information with those provided in the original title, we get the ideal environment for the present soldiers, a dusty Russian field in the summer of 1942. The artwork is totally different than Preiser's and in spite of not being extremely attractive, is still helpful for identifying a weapon, specifically the MG42. The artwork reproduces a part of the poses contained by the box and while the details of the included MG42 are not obvious on the figure, at least the artwork gives a helpful hand in this regard.

Except the officer dressed in leather or regular great coat and wearing officer cap, the rest of the commanders have received M36 tunics, marching boots and steel helmets. The trousers are the standard version for almost all, without one figure wearing M34 officer trousers, highlighting the rank and that we have got here at least two officers. Some received "Y" straps, some not and their gear varies, diverging from pose to pose. We are able to identify on them gas mask containers, gas cap pouches, mess-tins, canteens, shovels and entrenching tools with or without bayonets attached as well as bread bags. Concerning the ammunition pouches, each figure has those appropriate to the weapon in use. The arsenal is composed by seven Kar 98K, two MP40, one MG34, one MG42, one PPSh41 (Russian capture), and three pistol holsters, most probably with pistols inside.

Based on the fact the original figures were sculptured by Preiser, is normal than the poses to be realistic, perhaps some of the most excellent combat ones released in soft plastic. It is acknowledged that Preiser inspires their figures from images of the period, and it is no surprise recognizing in 1/72 scale several soldiers whose photos appeared in Signal. Certainly, all poses are extremely dynamic and really different than those encountered in other offers, the set bringing eleven standing and five crouched warriors. Some may wonder that even if there are incorporated a large number of poses, none is prone, but Preiser prone poses are extremely rare, so no revelation in this regard.

Between the special poses could be counted not only the running soldier with Kar98K who tries to maintain his silhouette very low, like in the reference photo which shows him, and the soldier with PPsh41 calling his comrades, but also those in standard poses, which have something dissimilar than their relatives from other sets. An out of the ordinary pose is the crouched fighter firing upwards, aiming an enemy located in a higher position, a tremendously useful pose for various dioramas. Another brilliant pose, rarely met in the scale is the soldier holding his Kar98K close to the chest, immortalized just with a moment before lifting his weapon to the shoulder and firing it off. A mostly useful pose which could be set in various positions in a diorama such as behind a vehicle or house, in a trench or in a bomb crater or even close to a door, as a reference photo depicts it. Furthermore, he has on his back an item of particular interest, while instead of a Zeltbahn he carries a rolled blanket. The pose here reviewed shares several common points with a figure from Caesar's "WWII German Panzergrenadiers set 4" - Parade Series, but that one is dressed in camouflage smock and also the way of holding the weapon and other things are totally unlike.  

In addition, the manufacturer has provided two MG teams, both truly out of the ordinary. The first team represents the gunner and the loader/ammunition bearer running towards a firing position while the other portrays a team firing off the weapon, with the gunner propping the weapon on the back or on the shoulder of the servant. The latter soldier presses his ears with the palms, a normal attempt bearing in mind the high rate of fire and the noise produced by MG34. Nevertheless, a significant item missing at this ensemble is the bipod of the MG34, held by the loader as most reference images showing groups in similar poses present. Another close band may be found in Pegasus Hobbies' "Waffen SS - Set 2 "1943 Kursk LAH", but those soldiers are standing and not crouched. Both MG gunners from here possess specific equipment according to their role such as MG maintenance tools case or pistol holster, and the crouched MG gunner has also at his belt two 50 rounds drum barrels. This crouched loader is the single piece coming in two parts and requires gluing. The parts match satisfactory and the super glue gel works pretty fine. Both  loaders are also pretty nice, the one crouched having on him as personal weapon a Kar98K, fact indicating that he is attached to a light MG, while the running one, holding two MG ammo boxes, has a pistol holster, meaning that he is loader for a heavy MG, either MG34 or MG42 being employed by Germans in heavy roles, fixed on a Lafette tripod. Likewise, in 1942 the German MG team was composed by three soldiers, namely gunner, loader and ammunition bearer. Preiser/Revell offers us inside this set another figure that at first view has nothing to do with MGs, the one looking through binoculars. On his back we find a spare MG single barrel container, meaning that this soldier is closely linked to a MG and could be the third crew member for both featured MG teams.   

As mentioned before, the set includes at least two officers, one dressed for combat and another, high rank, dressed in leather coat or great coat, peeking the enemies through scissor binoculars. This high rank officer, with goggles lifted on the cap, is unique in soft or hard plastic 1/72 sets thanks to his accessory, a scissor binocular Scherenfernrohr Sf14z fixed on a tripod. It should be emphasized that the officer greatly matches the tool, and the formed ensemble is ideal setting either in a trench or behind a wall. For this group the set also provides an unimpressive tiny ruin represented two walls that might be left aside. The combat officer is a genuine first line officer, and not his gear, but the M34 officer trousers attest his rank. The officer in case is one of the best combat officers that could be encountered in mass production sets of Braille Scale. He is armed with a MP40 hanging very natural on his shoulder and a pistol in holster on the left hip. His gear is completed by map case, ammo pouch for MP40, canteen, bread bag, gas mask container and binoculars. The charm of this figure is enhanced both by the leather case protecting the back lens of the binoculars, a detail reproduced by Preiser on other figures as well, and by his gloves. According to their thickness, these should be assessed as leather gloves, item often used by German officers in summer too. Another remark must be made in relation to this figure, concerning the pistol holster. This does not appear pretty clear and it can be replaced with one taken from a Preiser set. Despite endowing more figures with StiHg-r 24 grenades, only one holds in his hands a grenade being caught in the very moment of pulling the cord for priming it. An excellent pose, with strong origins in a reference image, and in this regard it must not be criticized the lack of his MP40 although he has the correspondent ammo pouch. A huge amount of photos of the period feature soldiers throwing grenades without having their personal weapon on them in that moment, in fact a normal thing if they wanted to throw it pretty far. The grenade thrower from here has also a pistol holster and definitely is one of the best poses of similar fighters in Braille Scale. Pointed out a few lines above, is that many figures have grenades on them, the manufacturer offering us a large array of places where the German soldier put this weapon. Here we can see grenades not only in common places like under the belt or in boots, but also in several not often encountered such as at the shovel, fixed behind the straps of this item and close to the belt, like a trinket, the German equipment providing this facility through a special item attached to the belt.

With reference to the uniforms, these are accurately done, but in some places the details are lost. However, we can see here buttons, collar and shoulder boards as well as accurate creases. A pleasant item encountered on many figures from here is the straps around the helmets that were used for fixing the camouflage cloth or branches. Furthermore, the bodies are extremely well proportioned, and though there are some discrepancies between the heights of figures, these do not contradict the nature at all. The good mix of heights and its accuracy with nature is enhanced by the fact that there are not differences between the sizes of heads, weapons and gear from pose to pose. At their turn, facial expressions are fine, and it should be paid more attention when removing the flash passing on the middle of some faces in order not to end with some mutilated warriors. Initially, weapons and gear were finely sculptured, with plenty details, but the mould used by Revell showed again its limit, loading with a lot of flash or excess of plastic many parts. As highlighted at the beginning of this review, the set makes an unpleasant impression through the colossal amount of flash and excess of plastic and in this respect is requires a lot of time and patience to get rid of these calamities. For instance, the figure firing off his MP40 comes cloaked in flash and excess of plastic in so quantity that at the first view it makes the impression that he wears a leather or great coat. In almost all cases, in the contact zone between the bodies and weapons we will find excess of plastic and sometimes we must carve in it to get back the weapon. The plastic accepts satisfactory enamel, not influencing it, but at heavy handling some parts may lose the paint.

Based on the fact that this set is practical a Preiser one at its origins, the figures are compatible either by uniform or by size of bodies, gear and weapons with all the sets of this manufacturer related to the WWII German Army as well as with Airfix "German Infantry", Caesar "WWII German Army" (Parade Series), Esci/Italeri "German Soldiers", Imex "German Troops" and Hasegawa "German Attack Group". In spite of registering micron differences between their sizes, figures from all these sets can be emplaced in the same diorama for achieving a German small army with soldiers in fighting positions and dressed in M36 tunics. 

Revell's 1/72 "German Armoured Infantry" aka Preiser's 1/87 "Panzer Grenadiers. The German Reich 1942" is definitely a set reproducing some of the finest combat poses, most of them having deep roots in famous images of the period. Regrettably, Revell's way of manufacturing them in soft plastic as well as casting in single pieces affected the level of detail, loading these figures with impressive amounts of flash and excess of plastic. Nevertheless, with patience, the issue may be solved, getting some good figures with unimpressive level of details, but in excellent poses, capable to satisfy not only wargamers, but also diorama builders, Preiser being one of the favorite companies of such persons.  It is recognized Preiser's excellent custom for increasing the scale of their HO figures to 1/72 and for sure the poses here presented deserve such a treatment. On the other hand, having them brought by Revell, it would be great that Preiser first turning into 1/72 all their impressive range of HO WWII German soldiers and then to cover this set, definitely not letting it aside.

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 9
Poses Quality 9
Details Quality 6
Mould Quality 5
Sculpture 8
Recommendation/Utility 9
Reviewer’s Opinion 8