Articles

TP Model - Personenkraftwagen SdKfz 247B (TP72164) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer TP Model
Scale 1/72
Set Code TP72164
Year -
No. of Figures 4
No. of Poses 2
Additional Items None
Size Medium
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level High
Glue-ability Excellent (Superglue Gel)
Conversion-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1943 - 1945

 

Review 

Generally, it is extremely rare to encounter figures within a resin vehicle kit, most of manufacturers casting such kits completely ignoring this aspect and letting the companies specialised in figurines to fill the gap. However, some exceptions still exist and TP Model emerges as one of the few resin makers that occasionally offer within their vehicle kits related crewmen. One of those is “Personenkraftwagen SdKfz 247B”, the vehicle receiving two troopers for a more realistic appearance. In fact, in the box there are provided four figures, the poses being duplicated one time. Definitely the approach is unusual for a resin kit and would have been better if the minis had been more elaborated, but is is not the case this time. 

Though SdKfz 247B is an out-of-ordinary vehicle in 1/72 scale, completely missing from mass-production tender, the present review will focus only on the supplied crewmen. Nevertheless, it must be highlighted the vehicle appears quite nice and in scale, and an image with all its parts and another with the assembly instructions are included at the end of this text, so the interested modellers might get a better picture on what to expect if deciding to purchase it. There is kind of contrast here, the well elaborated and cast vehicle with the poorly made soldiers, highlighting that is maybe one of the first TPM’s attempts in the field of figurines. 

The kit arrives in a secure cardboard box, featuring as artwork a photo with the assembled and painted vehicle, obviously introducing the two crewmen, too. Inside the box there are few plastic bags with the vehicle parts, the assembly guide as well as another printed piece of paper with directions for use when working with resin. The figures have to be searched on a carrier film, mixed with vehicle parts. Thus, flash level is quite high and modellers will spend some time cleaning them. Still, bearing in mind minis are made of resin, the operation is not fairly complicated and the material does not make fluffs.  

The two poses, one full and one bust, are designed to be set in the vehicle, as the artwork of the box shows while the assembly guidelines make no reference to these soldiers. One crewman wears M36 tunic and M34 overseas cap, the other putting on a shirt with rolled up sleeves, drill trousers and M43 cap, so army-men appropriate for a warm environment in the middle/late stage of WWII. Because the clothes they have, these are excellent figures for AfrikaKorps as well, the differences between M43 and the tropical tunic being almost inexistent in 1/72 scale. Furthermore, there the soldier in uniform can embody a Panzer trooper as well, being well-known in Africa such troopers did not put on the famous Panzer wrapper but the regular tropical uniform. 

The bust has got belt and headphones, but neither related wires nor throat microphone are visible. Nevertheless, the problem has a fast and easy solution, simply suggesting by paint those things is sufficient, the approach being also facilitated by the way the soldier stays, with arms crossed on the chest, a position that definitely would have covered most part of wires and eventually the switch housing.  

While the crew-member with shirt has to occupy the hatch, his comrade in uniform comes in an interesting stance, suitable to several emplacements, either mounted on the vehicle or in other places. Propped in the left hand, and with the right on his knee, the artwork illustrates him with his legs and part of the torso inside the vehicle. Anyway, he is also suitable to stay outside and just with feet inside or near a fence, wall, etc, hobbyists having the possibility to identify many settings for him. Because this seat figure misses the end part of his right foot, ideally would be a location where his feet are hidden, but it should be pointed out the mistake is not so evident due to the way the soldier holds his legs. The lack of any item of gear, not even belt emphasises the relaxed attitude of this fighter. 

Anatomy is unimpressive, with pretty big heads in comparison with palms and other body proportions. In addition, faces are quite ugly even if eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths and ears are easily spotted. Fingers have an odd appearance and at least the palms of the full figure seem slightly bigger than normal. The work on attire is strange, alternating fine details as buttons, collars, and shoulder and collar boards with some poorly sculptured creases and areas.   

Both mould and cast are weak, apart the high level of thin film, also featuring a large amount of flash, excess of material, and numerous air-bubbles, practically different mutilations proliferating here. Luckily, the material fits to smooth cleaning and provides a reliable base for painting, enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils having no problem in perfectly integrating and maintaining despite heavily handling.  

In terms of cooperation with figures issued by other producers, they match well with those arriving in the medium/tall side of the scale, and the offer in the field is really huge. In addition, these soldiers suit to be involved not only in continental missions, but also DAK, excellent comrades following to be found in Retrokit’s “Afrika Korps tank crew, relaxed”, as well as inside different vehicle kits released by Airfix, Esci/Italeri and Matchbox. 

No matter the encountered faults, in a certain manner it is preferable receiving some figs than none, so TP Model’s incentive should be praised and encouraged. It is just a matter of sculpture, maybe in time the company will start issuing much better soldiers, comparable with the good level of details noticed on their vehicles. Due to the reduced offer on the topic, the two troopers might be recommended with reservations to DAK fans although those wanting just the vehicle and have no spectacular expectations from the supplied crewmen can be fairly satisfied. Of course, this is not a vehicle kit attracting with its crewmen and is less probable that many modellers would buy such a quite expensive resin tender just for the figures. 

 

Historical Accuracy 8
Anatomy 6
Poses Quality 7
Details Quality 6
Mould Quality 6
Sculpture 6
Recommendation/Utility 4
Reviewer’s Opinion 6