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Preiser - Military Police. Guards The German Reich 1939-45 (72532) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Preiser
Scale 1/72
Set Code 72532
Year 2007
No. of Figures 6
No. of Poses 6
Additional Items Weapons/Gear/Body Parts
Size Medium
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (standard model kit glue)
Convertibility Easy
Optimal Period 1939 -1945

 

Review 

It is well-known that 1/72 Preiser figures are the scale-up copies of the 1/87 products, the company‘s main interest focusing on that scale, particularly aiming the train fans. The custom is the figures to be launched firstly in 1/87 and after a more or less long period their bigger brothers will emerge on the market. Though most of 1/87 and1/72 sets receive the same name and content, there are cases when a 1/72 set incorporates figures from two 1/87 sets. A different situation applies to the present reviewed set, a part of its content being enclosed in 1/87 "Resting Infantry. Feldgendarmen", but other three poses are bright new and can be encountered in none 1/87 set. It is indeed a premiere from Preiser, it is for the very first time when we have the opportunity to see 1/72 fighters appearing strictly in this scale. The soldiers in discussion are one dressed in M36 tunic, one in M40 greatcoat and another really special, wearing Zeltbahn over tunic, which maks him a more than valuable warrior bearing in mind both the scarce offer in the scale and the intense wear of Zeltbahn over tunics, fact attested by huge number or references. This figure is the only one split, the front part needing to be glued, a method having s result probably the best Zeltbahn worn over tunic encountered in the scale. 

Like a lot of other Preiser sets, the one from here features six poses, and in spite the small number, the way of attire and the quality of stances turn this set into an extremely attractive one, of grand potential for the target groups. It also should be taken into consideration the excellent value for conversions, the multi-part approach as well as the separate sprues of weapons and gear, clearly facilitating such operations. Preiser has a fresh advance, including in a box a single sprue of figures, while in plenty of previous sets with six poses there have been provided two sprues for a total amount of twelve figures. The new manner brings advantages and disadvantages, lowering the price per box but forcing the supporters of conversions, and as mentioned above, this set has a huge convertibility value, to buy at least two boxes. Obviously the cost will be higher than for a single box with two spues of figures, still the financial effort might be rewarded by the released conversions. At its turn, the box format is also recent, but its artworks are in the classical Preiser style, with several of the delivered poses set in a diorama on the front while the back reveals all the figures and other two images perhaps extracted from a diorama. One of these it is quite exciting, showing both versions that may be achieved with the parts designed for the body in greatcoat. Inside the box we discover the standard assembly guide, generally not needed while the images from the artworks as well as the method of emplacing the bodies and their required pieces one near other on the sprue being more than enough clues for reaching the standard poses proposed by the manufacturer, emptying of content the assembly scheme.

Except the principal sprue, the one with soldiers, the box also accommodates the two standard Preiser sprues with equipment, missing this time the one with weapons. The first sprue incorporates 6 back packs (Tornister M-39) with rolled blanket, 2 binoculars, 2 map cases, 4 pistols holsters for 9 mm P-08 Parabellum/P-38 Walther, 4 pistols holsters for 7.65 mm Walther, 6 steel helmets, 2 officer caps, 6 M43 caps, 6 M34 caps and 2 flash lights. The second sprue comprises 12 ammo pouches for Kar 98K, 6 gas mask containers M30, 6 canteens (Feldflasche M31), 6 mess-tins (Kochgeschirr M31), 6  bread-bags [(Brotbeutel M31), 3 with mess-tins attached and  3 without], 6 Zeltbahn M37, 6 entrenching tools,  6 bayonets in sheaths and 6 cases that could be, due to the similitude in the scale, either for gas caps or first aid  (Verbandpäckchen) or even for keeping the reading maps tools (Kartenwinkelmesser 27).

As reflected in the title, the troopers can be grouped in various categories, in this light one might refer to uniforms and another dividing them in Feldgendarmen (Military Police) and regular soldiers. According to first category, we get three troopers wearing M36 tunics and other three dressed in different garment items, namely Kradmantel (motorcyclist's protective coat), M40 greatcoat and Zeltbahn over tunic in the unmounted way, an assortment of clothing rarely portrayed by sets dedicated to WWII Germans. Membership to Feldgendarmerie is easily identified, two combatants displaying the classical and dreadful gorget on their chests. Feldgendarmerie representatives are hard to get in the scale and it is a more than pleasant surprise finding on the sprue of figures a separate gorget. This tiny detail offers to modellers the significant chance to incorporate in Feldgendarmerie not only any trooper from the sprue, but also other figures from their collection. On account of the gorget size, highly recommendable are the Germans from the impressive series on the matter belonging to the same manufacturer. Familiar for Preiser is providing few equipment items on the sprue with figures, several "specialities" that cannot be acquired pretty easy in the scale and able to add more charm and authenticity to a trooper. Proper examples in the field might be the MG spare single barrel container ("Advancing Grenadiers with MG 1939-1945"), cloth/leather pouch/case and two steel helmets covered by camouflage cloth ("WWII German Infantry Advancing") etc. This time, except the mentioned gorget we also get a helmet with goggles on it, a positive element not only for its rarity as spare helmet, but also due to its versatility, appropriate both for motorcycle and motorised units. The main sprue, the one with figures, accommodates the just pointed out gear and a Kar98K as well as the demanded parts for putting together six figures. The presence of a separate Kar98K should not wonder on account that for this set is not offered the classical weapons sprue as well as the need of a fire-arm for the soldier dressed in motorcyclist's protective coat while the rest of figures receive the weapons held by the palms of their future right arms. The only superior right limb without weapon is the one of the figure with Kradmantel and for this reason, the Preiser team granted for him a separate Kar98K that in their view should be glued on the back of the figure. According to the good custom of the company applied in various sets, here there are offered fourteen arms and seven heads, exceeding the necessary required by the bodies, but opening the gates to various conversions. Of particular interest is the head with face wrapped by toque, the first Preiser such head in the scale. Toques were quite a common element of WWII German winter attire and in principal, here should be used in connection with the bodies dressed in greatcoat or even Kradmantel, as a superb photo taken in the war shows. Nevertheless, there are zero restrictions for displaying it on the other four bodies of the set while reference images show soldiers wearing M36 tunics, Zeltbans or Panzer jackets as having toques, too. Furthermore, the utility of this head might be enhanced by its suitability to depict the bandaged face of a wounded soldier. On the other hand, there are provided right arms with six Kar98K and one MP40 which together with a spare Kar98K represent the arsenal of the set. A quite bizarre decision was to include in the set two right arms holding exactly in the same way the rifle, under the armpit. Such modality is often encountered in photos of the period, but there are more Preiser sets where we run into similar arms, so it would have been advisable to get here a different one. However, the arm in case is one suitable for figures wearing tunics, and exist tones of offers in other sets of the manufacturer where it can find its place. Not the same should be said about arms designed for soldiers wearing greatcoats, while until now, the only Preiser figures in the scale dressed like that are in "Pilots and Ground Crew. Luftwaffe" and "Home Leave". For this reason, some limitations for conversions come across and because of that it is much appreciated the present set with its four dissimilar arms designed for greatcoats. If such pieces of clothing might be found in various sets, an unlike situation records for figures wearing motorcycle coat, the here reviewed being the only one delivered by Preiser with such garment. On the one hand, due to characteristic features of the Kradmantel sleeves, and on the other hand, the lack of similar sleeves registered in the scale, conversions are pretty limited. However, nothing keeps us away from changing the palms, head and its cover, as well as the gear in order to attain new and attractive poses. 1/72 soldiers dressed in Kradmantel are enclosed only in few mass production sets such as Armourfast's "WWII German Zundapp Motorcycle" and "WWII German BMW with Sidecar" as well as  Hasegawa's "Schwimmwagen & Kettenkrad". Moreover, Preiser has announced for 2008 two sets on motorcycle topics and with soldiers dressed in Kradmantel, so plenty options will be available soon.

As earlier emphasised, we get here a great assortment of WWII German attire, with three soldiers dressed in M36 tunics, one in M40 greatcoat, one in Kradmantel and one with Zeltbahn over tunic. All wear regular trousers, shoe marching boots and on the basis of their tiff, it may be assessed that Preiser wanted to provide figures for all seasons. Nevertheless, in some extent, each of them might be sent in any environment, especially the one dressed in Kradmantel and the one with Zeltbahn. The painters of the soldiers from the artwork chose to depict the figure in greatcoat and the one with Kradmantel as wearing gloves, but these do not appear so clear on the product, so painting them with gloves or without is at each modeller option. Only two figures with M36 tunics received "Y" straps, but both the third in the same tiff and the Feldgendarmen wearing Kradmantel have got gas mask straps. For the last mentioned, the strap is rolled around the neck, the gas mask coming in front and not on the back, fact in full accordance with the regulations provided for way of holding the gas mask during motorised transportation. The figures come in more pieces, head, body and arms that may be not only linked as featured in the instructions or on the artworks of the box, but also customised in a lot of variants, either with parts of the set or extracted from the multitude of Preiser offers. The body pieces from the set flawlessly match, and if there are exploited limbs from other sets, it is suggested to better check how these match before or immediately after gluing in order to get a realistic final appearance of the soldier.

Military police and guards is the definition given by the title and that is what we get on the sprue, two Feldgendarmen and four guards. In standard poses, both Feldgendarmerie representatives are dedicated to traffic control, a major task of the unit they belong throughout the war. They carry out their responsibility in a very energetic manner, signalling with the most common items, the one dressed in Kradmantel with a torch and the other dressed in M36 tunic with a truncheon. Guarding is perhaps a duty that almost all the soldiers worldwide did during the military service, no matter if it was war or peace. The guards in our case are depicted in the universal action during such a job, just staying immobile. Nevertheless, their way of holding the weapons, emphasising here the one propping the weapon on the ground, as well as the modality of keeping the heads and legs prove that not only figures in action, shooting and running may be attractive, but also those doing nothing are eye-catching. In addition, we do not have too often the opportunity to run into such postures within other Braille Scale sets, so the value of the present one is much increased. Likewise, their convertibility into stances similar with those seen in reference photos is greatly appreciated, staying still being probably the most photographed appearance. The large majority, in fact with a single exception, all the contained right hands hold a weapon or its related strap, while the left hands mostly are free, only two holding the instruments for signalling. In the empty hands can be glued gear such as canteens, shovels or diverse items for covering the heads like helmets, M34, M43 or officer caps, and all these may be taken from the provided sprue with gear. However, either the heads or the arms may be replaced by others taken from a different Preiser 1/72 set having as topic the German Army in WWII (and not only these).

Garment is in the acknowledged Preiser style, M36 tunics, greatcoat, Kradmantel and Zeltbahn being faultless reproduced, with perceptible specific small details like buttons, shoulder boards or authentic creases. We also get here other tiny elements requiring a skilful sculpture such as gorgets or goggles, and also these are maintained in the same high standard. The soldiers can be light or heavy equipped with components extracted from the gear sprue, according to the desires and references of the modeller. This is perhaps the most soliciting operation at Preiser figures, requiring a lot of patience and attention, especially at bayonets and other fragile items. Meanwhile, the final appearance of the figures represents a great reward for all the labour put in. Due to multipart approach excess of plastic is inexistent while flash is kept in normal amounts, easier to be removed, particularly before assembling the figure. Bodies have brilliant proportions with heads possessing marvellous facial expressions conferred by excellent sculptured noses, eyes, eyebrows and mouths. Either enamel or artistic oils wonderfully adhere on the hard plastic employed by the company for their products and the same applies to the standard model glue (poly-cement) which is able to make a reliable bond between the parts, capable to resist even at strong shocks and heavy handling. Figures come with no bases, but for sure the main target groups of the manufacturer will not complain about that. Moreover, these soldiers possess a great balance and can stay without any additional support. This is a good feature for better checking how the troopers will match in the diorama or vignette before gluing them in the final position. Of course, the balance will be influenced by the gear and arms added by the modeller and if wargamers or collectors want this set, there are plenty materials for scratch-building appropriate bases, clear plastic being regarded as a fine solution. On account of size of heads, bodies, gear, weapons, these warriors are compatible with a lot of offers in the field released by various manufacturers, but they best match with Preiser sets dedicated to German Army in WWII as well as with  Revell's "German Armoured Infantry" and Airfix's "German Infantry" (the 1/72 poses in that set).  

Benefitting by topics of large interest, with excellent sculptured figures dressed in a lot of styles and with few similar offers in the scale, it is assessed that Preiser's "Military Police. Guards" will easily find their way to many modellers' houses. There are plenty of buildings, depots, gun emplacements, check points or other military objectives that need to be guarded as well as convoys or vehicles to be controlled, and the figures from here remarkably fulfil such tasks. The suitability to conversions is another major attribute of these soldiers, and thanks to all their qualities disclosed along the review, it seems that a long and prestigious career in Braille Scale waits for them.

 

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