Articles

Ykreol - German Soldiers (YKRIP20) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Ykreol
Scale 1/72
Set Code YKRIP20
Year -
No. of Figures 10
No. of Poses 10
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour White
Flash Level High
Glue-ability Medium (Superglue Gel)
Conversion-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 - 1945

Review

While mass production industry has not paid enough attention to Panzer crews and bearing in mind the huge number of armoured vehicles available in 1/72 scale but issued without personnel, numerous cottage industry representatives have put forward a series of figure sets on the topic. Most of those are impressively sculptured and highly detailed though sometimes the reverse is encountered. Perhaps the worst set on Panzer troopers comes from Ykreol and includes ten bust figures of a doubtful sculpture, the facial details rather turning them into mutants, not soldiers.

The French manufacturer Ykreol has a quite interesting story, at the beginning producing mini-sets cast in hard plastic and sold in small boxes. After some years, the company has purchased Odemars’ moulds and continue to sell under slightly modified names the soft plastic sets previously launched by that firm which is out of business nowadays. Moreover, Ykreol has carried on the projects started but not finalised by Odemars, succeeding to launch on the market several of those. Nonetheless, the soft plastic miniatures created by Odemars were not outstanding but targeted attractive topics and covered some gaps in the field of 1/72 WWII Germans. Continuing to release and even enrich that series is a wonderful idea from many points of view and certainly Ykreol should be congratulated for taking such incentive.  

Commercialised in the mini-box characterising the company, the artwork of “German Soldiers” features two painted figures and since the very beginning the customers are announced about the quality of the minis. The title given by the manufacturer brings little confusion while the artwork illustrates Panzer crewmen inside the hatches of a Panther tank. Even if Panzer troops were German soldiers, a more appropriate name would have been “Panzer Crews” or something related considering the kit puts forward only rmy-men for armoured vehicles.

Taking into account the small area offered, generally on bust figures producers focus on facial details and attire, trying to make them as attractive and accurate as possible. This is not the case here, both anatomy and garment items emerging extremely poor. These troopers have huge heads with awful facial expressions while clothes and headgear are very difficult to recognize. Still, it seems that we get figs dressed in Panzer wrappers and in overalls or M44 pea dot uniforms.From the total number of ten poses, seven of them wear Panzer wrappers and three have got overalls or M44 pea dot uniforms. Obviously, if painted the Panzer uniforms in gray, they can be turned into Assault Artillery soldiers but also these items can be finished as made of HBT. In terms of gear and accessories, two received maps, one has got binoculars and another holds a bottle in the right hand. Headgear is diverse but disastrously reproduced, particularly the two officer caps that almost lack the visors because of the awful cast. Except the officer caps, three soldiers put on M34 and two M43 caps, another preferring a steel helmet with cloth cover, and two showing bare-heads. In addition, seven have got or gives the impression they have got headphones, some wearing the equipment in position others keeping those around the neck. However, the items of communication are odd and miss the related wires, throat microphones being impossible to be detected, too. Although in a hatch a soldier could not do many things, the sculptor strived to introduce some action and diversity but the great majority of poses arrive tremendously flat. Apart the soldiers with maps and the one holding the bottle, most of them stay calm with hands on hatch. However, there are two weaving their right arms in the air in extremely bizarre and unnatural positions.

The only good point of the set is that none of the poses is repeated and also several deliver something novel in the field such as the busts holding maps or the guy with bottle. For those with maps, there is an opportunity for improvement by adding maps on printed paper as those commercialized by Minimali, MID or Unicorn. Anyway, the effort and extra costs are definitely unjustified, so better would be letting them like that, simply painting few data on the maps. 

The sculptor made timid endeavours in showing few cloth insignia, medals and other small details, but those do not change the general appearance of the minis. Clothes, head-covers, and gear are recreated very basic and crude. Anatomy scares with hideous eyes, noses, and mouths, ears often missing, mistakes that are unpardonable bearing in mind the heads are even over-scaled, slightly larger than it should be in 1/72 scale. Hair-cuts are funny and most often palms either completely skip or present horrible fingers.

Furthermore, the miniatures are emplaced on kind of bases used during casting and certainly those must be removed, so an extra carving operation for hobbyists. Created as one part figs, flash is present everywhere as well as lots of air-bubbles, big holes, and other enormous mistakes emerged during casting. Painting goes fine on this plastic and eventual upgrades with Preiser, Dragon or Caesar hard plastic body parts and gear can be done with superglue gel. The hard plastic used by Ykreol is pretty strange, not as the regular one and it should be kept away from heat while it can start melting at temperatures where other soft or hard plastic troopers have no problems. This aspect should be considered if taking pictures, especially in case of using powerful professional lamps. Belonging to the tall side of 1/72 scale, because of their ugliness, these toy-soldiers do not deserve any partners albeit on the market there are tens of sets on Braille Scale Panzer crewmen, it is hard to find something more dreadful or even similar.

It seems a not skilful child has played and sculptured these figurines and due to the repulsive appearance, in spite few good ideas put forward, Ykreol’s “German Soldiers” merely have a collectable value. Likewise, some gamers preferring sets with good numbers of figs at quite accessible prices or hobbyists wanting to see and count in their collections the worst set ever made on 1/72 WWII Germans, where grotesque reaches its climax, could be interested in. If not belonging to the just mentioned categories, than wiser would be staying away from this set in order to avoid binning. Losing time to paint the miniatures is an honour and privilege granted to these soldiers by any person that has the courage to start doing it. Rather than spending valuable time and throw money through the window, as well as scary the young generation of modellers with sinister zombies, cleverer should be adding few dollars and purchasing a better set. 

Historical Accuracy 2
Anatomy 1
Poses Quality 3
Details Quality 2
Mould Quality 1
Sculpture 2
Recommendation/Utility 1
Reviewer’s Opinion 1