Articles

Ykreol - German Soldiers-Russia 1944 (YKRIP14) _________(BRF)

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Manufacturer Ykreol
Scale 1/72
Set Code YKRIP14
Year -
No. of Figures 10
No. of Poses 10
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour White
Flash Level High
Glue-ability Excellent (Superglue Gel)
Conversion-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1942 – 1945

 

Review

Regarding 1/72 WWII Germans, Ykreol is a company of controversies, on the one hand accustoming the clients with unusual topics and poses while on the other hand sculpting their figures quite poor, especially the facial details of their hard plastic minis range giving an unpleasant feeling. Ykreol catalogue might be split on three parts, hard plastic figures, Odemars reissues of soft plastic sets and new soft plastic sets. In terms of hard plastic figure kits on WWII Germans Ykreol’s offer include three sets, one dedicated to Panzer crews, one featuring casualties during the Berlin Battle and another, subject of the present review, portraying according to the title, soldiers on the Russian front in 1944 winter.

“Germans Soldiers-Russia 1944” might be apprised as the best of Ykreol’s hard plastic figure set due to several factors such as natural poses, uncommon equipment items and weapons as well as plenty of hoods on heads and scarves covering large parts of faces, satisfactory hiding the unattractive facial details. Nevertheless, another major contribution in not so visible faces is brought by the close to the ground stances adopted by all these soldiers. Although labeled as 1944 troopers, their attire and gear make them appropriate for 1942-1945 period, all the ten army-men wearing parkas, trousers and perhaps ankle boots, but footwear could also be marching/jack boots with trousers over the upper part. Furthermore, no Late War specific weapon like StG44, G43, Panzerfaust or Panzershreck is featured, so the utilization period is dictated only by parkas, an item entered in service in 1942 and ordered by WWII German Command after the first winter on the Eastern Front. Likewise, as a reversible garment with a side white and the other mouse gray or in various Wehrmacht or Waffen SS camouflage pattern, parkas were worn not only in winter, but also in spring, autumn, and occasionally even in summer, so the figs might be used throughout the year, not just in winter.

The ordinary Ykreol hard plastic figures box accommodates the ten minis and received as artwork the painted versions of two of the soldiers available inside. All figures come in different stances, fact that should be highly appreciated while all poses depict prone combatants. Perhaps to decrease costs, the manufacturer skipped detailing the minis on all sides by fixing them on larger bases, the parts facing the ground obviously featuring no detail. The large bases reproduce some groundwork and were also used for setting different tools or weapons. In the same purposes these might serve to hobbyists wishing to add further equipment or artificial snow, grass or other ground products. On the other hand, such approach disturbs modellers that have nothing to do with such gadgets and would prefer receiving normal figs. Likewise, a hard and time consuming removal work must be carried out by such persons but at least the not so sturdy material is suitable for surgery interventions.

As previously highlighted, the minis propose attractive and extremely useful poses, rarely benefiting by attention in the scale though depicting very normal activities and stances of front line troopers. Here we have the opportunity to encounter soldiers working with mines, crawling with grenades, MG ammunition belt, shovel or holding binoculars or map. One of the most interesting poses is of a soldier crawling and holding a trench knife or bayonet, perhaps preparing to attack an unvigilant sentinel. The only firing weapon of the set is a Kar98K held in the right hand by a soldier. Gear is appropriate and formed by gas mask containers, canteens, and bread bags for all of them while parts of ammunition pouches are sometimes visible on several.

Canteens looks a little over-scaled and bread-bags too small, but no too much disturbing. However, these could be easily replaced with Preiser, Dragon or Caesar hard plastic correspondents, superglue gel creating a powerful bond between this hard plastic and other hard ones or soft plastic. Likewise, supplementary weapons made available by the same manufacturers in a lot of sets find good places on or next to the present figures as well as a map on printed paper from MID, Minimali or Unicorn for the army-man holding the map.

Bearing in mind the way they are dressed and the size of bodies, weapons, and gear classifying them in the medium/tall side of the 1/72 scale, these Ykreol army-men fairly complete minis released by Caesar in “German Infantry-Winter Gear”, Esci in “Nebelwerfer 41”, Revell in "WWII German Infantry",  Italeri/Revell in "German Elite Troops", and Italeri in "PAK 40 AT Gun with servants",

Because of realistic stances and uncommon accessories that could group the figures in pioneering, scouting and combat soldiers corroborated with the fact that faces are mostly hidden by garment items and close to the ground stances, Ykreol’s “German Soldiers-Russia 1944” are appropriate not only for collecting and wargaming, but also for static modellers. With eventual upgrades, proper painting, and careful setting, they could be placed on various winter or other seasons dioramas. Plenty of companies entered in business with unimpressive figure sets, being severely criticized, but nowadays are some of the most appreciated. With their kits Ykreol team definitely proves both tenacity and brilliant ideas, and with some luck and improved sculpture their future sets on the matter might represent excellent solutions for all groups activating in the scale.    

 

Historical Accuracy 9
Anatomy 7
Poses Quality 8
Details Quality 7
Mould Quality 8
Sculpture 6
Recommendation/Utility 8
Reviewer’s Opinion 7