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Preiser - Advancing Grenadiers with MG 1939-1945 (72527) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Preiser
Scale 1/72
Set Code 72527
Year 2005
No. of Figures 12
No. of Poses 6 (12)
Additional Items Gear/Weapons/Body Parts
Size Medium
Material Hard Plastic
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (Kit Glue)
Convertibility Easy
Optimal Period 1943 – 1945

 

Review 

From the very first moment when looking at a reference image showing several  WWII German infantry soldiers marching, a detail is repeatedly remarked, any such group including one or more machine guns, the most common being MG34 and MG42. Such thing should not wonder, both weapons being extremely used by the Germans throughout the war on all the fronts, providing fire support not only during assault, but also in defence. The diagram of German Battalions incorporated MG Companies, Platoons or Groups and furthermore, according KStN, each regular Infantry Rifle Squad, the basic component of a Platoon, was gathered around one or two machine guns, its strength in principal relying on these weapons. Benefiting by the experience gained with "German Infantry Advancing", set released with eight years before which also reveals marching troopers, Preiser took the great decision to push forward and complete the topic, launching on the market its normal follow up, namely soldiers endowed with machine guns. Right from the title, the set announces us regarding a major detail, the MGs, but together with these, some other more than pleasant surprises wait for us inside a box having the standard size for Preiser sets containing 12 figures. The front artwork of the box is in fact a diorama where all the figures where used. A small painting mistake is noticed, the troopers wearing light grey trousers, a colour used in the early stage of the war and it is a little bizarre to see soldiers with M43 caps, ankle boots and gaiters or StG44 having the early model of trousers. M36 tunics continued to be delivered to the troops till the end of war, but starting with 1940, the light grey trousers were drawn back and replaced with field gray trousers, in 1942 the light grey ones becoming a real rarity on the front. Also a little strange, but possible even if I have not ever seen such a reference image, is the use of a head with officer cap to a body carrying not only a MG, but also its afferent ammunition belt around the neck. An officer transporting a MG and its ammo is really something, especially when around him are plenty of privates to whom only a simple order of the officer would have been enough for releasing him of the burden. The back artwork illustrates several poses that may be achieved with the content and are appropriate to be used for orientation. Inside the box we find the assembly guidelines with numbered parts of the figures for easing the operation of putting them together. Such instructions are not particularly essential due to the fact that the necessary parts for assembling a figure in standard approach are in general given one near other on the sprue. Much more useful could be the instructions provided on the side walls of the box, related to how to join the bipods and magazines of the heavy weapons from the set. Nevertheless, for better assembling, the issue must be studied a little more, images of these weapons being more complete than the scheme offered by the manufacturer.

All poses describe marching soldiers in a calm area, and of course, not only the poses are inspired from images of the period, but also facial details and haircuts noticed on bare heads copying those images. With a little effort supported by various parts taken from other Preiser sets, there can be achieved soldiers in still or combat poses from the marching ones. The recommended parts for creating a figure according to instructions match wonderful, but if there are used other parts, then it is advisable to try seeing how they match before or immediately after gluing. Like the previous Preiser set related to marching soldiers, and the present one incorporates two identical sprues with six different figures on each as well as one MG spare single barrel container and a pistol holster. Due to the way the soldiers are delivered, with separate heads, bodies, arms and legs, they can be assembled as instructions or artworks suggest, but also customized for getting 12 distinct figures, each modeller having the great possibility to put them together according to his requirements, in fact the one of the main charms of figures created by this company. Usually, for creating a soldier with common weapons and gear, in full accordance with reference photos, there are needed around 15 pieces, while for one with a heavy weapon some 20 parts have to be glued. The figures can be light or heavy equipped with components extracted from the gear sprue, according to the needs and references of the modeller. The operation implies a lot of patience and attention, especially at bayonets, flash lights and other small items, but the final appearance can be great and rewards all the efforts. Diverging from other sets of this producer, the present one has the sharp number of arms necessary for completing the six figures, but it brings us 10 heads, with four more than required. Such heads are very useful for improving the quality and general look of other figures without so successful heads.  No free hands are given, all of them holding either a weapon or a MG ammo container or even a bipod. Most of the left hands hold nothing, but one has a MG ammo container and another holds a Kar98K. If it is desired, any arm or palm can be replaced with one taken from other Preiser 1/72 sets treating the subject of German Army in WWII, but not restricting to these. A special detail of the Kar98K held in hands is that both of them has their straps attached, a point of attraction emphasising not only the close attention granted by the sculptor but also an upgrade to similar products for a more realistic appearance of these soldiers. 

In spite of the presence inside the title of the word „Grenadiers", unit established in 1941, the great majority of the figures wear the uniform specific to the Early part of the war, a single exception registering at a figure having ankle boots and gaiters, elements specific to Late War period. All figures are dressed in M36 tunic, regular trousers and shoe, with the just mentioned exception, marching boots. Several soldiers have their tunics unbuttoned till the last button and it can be observed the shirt worn below. Taking into account their tiff, its thickness as well as the fact that several arms are coming with rolled sleeves, the designation of these figures is warm environment. If someone wants to move them into colder periods, it is advisable to replace the arms having rolled sleeves with normal ones, both the brother set "German Infantry Advancing" or other Preiser sets being important providers, some of these sets incorporating extra arms. The figure with ankle boots and gaiters contradicts the stage specified in the title, 1939-1945, and who really wants to engage this particular soldier in Early War, can easily reach it, having to simply cut his legs a little down the knees and gluing a pair of nice marching boots taken from any Preiser figure. Likewise, another soldier wears his trousers over the boots, so it can not be identified what kind of boots he has. Nevertheless, there is no inadvertence in the title of the set when mentioning the period, the model of uniform appeared in the first part of the war continuing to be used till the end, so it can be given without any hesitation a M43 cap or a StG44 (weapon appeared in 1944) to a soldier wearing a M36 tunic. Related to other major details represented on these soldiers, it should be pointed out that only three figures wear "Y" straps and all, except the soldier with trousers over boots, have gas mask container straps. Moreover, on a couple of bodies were engraved specific details for soldiers dealing with MGs, respectively ammunition belts rolled around their necks (probably one of 50 rounds while the other is longer, so it can be considered that there are two 50 rounds belts linked together). In addition, one of these figures has also a strap for the MG spare single barrel container, but in order to bring more diversity during the conversion process, this strap can be used for a firing weapon, too.

Along with the figures sprues, in the box come some others too, namely four sprues containing complex equipment (two are the same), and two sprues with weapons, one of them being specific to the present set and making it truly special. Apart from this last mentioned sprue, all the rest are standard and are encountered inside plenty of Preiser 1/72 sets addressed to WWII German Army. The special sprue with weapons incorporates extremely diversified and several rarely met in the scale items, more precisely two MG34, two MG42, two Panzerbüchse (PzB)39, two Sturmgewehr (StG)44 and two Fallschirmjägergewehr (FG) 42. The weapons are accompanied by two 50 rounds drum magazines for MGs, four ammo containers for MGs, two magazines for PzB39, two cases for keeping the tools for MG maintenance, two MG spare single barrel containers, as well as 12 various models of bipods for the weapons given on the sprue (eight folded opened and four unfolded). Other two items seeming to be rifle-grenade devices (Gewehrgranatgerät) that could be attached either to FG42 or StG44 or Kar98K emerge on this sprue.   

With reference to the weapons brought by the specific sprue, it should be underlined their exceptional quality for the scale, the sculptor succeeding to catch in so small pieces most of the principal characteristics of these weapons. The selection released for the set is great and even if MGs are widespread in the scale, these ones are special due to separate bipods, the modeller having at hand plentiful of options for gluing folded or unfolded bipods in a large variety of positions, copying the way illustrated by images of the period. Through PzB39, it is indisputably registers a progress, Preiser filling an essential gap in the field of 1/72 WWII German weapons, enriching the domain with a weapon which pretty often appears in related photos, but which was almost completely missing in the Braille scale, even if around 40,000 pieces were made. Supplying it with its cartridge-holding cases is improved its magnetism which is pushed forward thanks to optional bipods, in the same way like for MGs. Concerning the cartridge-holding cases, these were disposed on each side of the weapon and included 10 rounds, not being magazines like at MGs and not feeding the weapon, but set there for enabling the gunner to faster extract the cartridge. PzB39 fired Patrone318 which was manually inserted into the gun and capable to penetrate a 30mm plate of steel at a range of 100m. Out of the ordinary is to see inside a set dedicated to infantry a weapon belonging to paratroops, the famous FG42, because this was specially created for Fallschirmjagers and no reference image or other information mentions its use by other German troops. Fallschirmjägergewehr or paratrooper rifle entered in service in late 1943 and was produced in around 5,000 pieces. FG42 was fed by 10 or 20 rounds magazines, but due to their small size, these were sculptured here in the weapon. Those who want to have a model with bipod will find the answer on the sprue, embodied by the smallest bipod.  FG42 has an odd characteristic, the spike bayonet which was kept under the barrel, but here is in the attack position. Nevertheless, who does not desire it, a simple cut with a model knife is enough to remove the bayonet. Like it was stressed few lines before, no information show FG42 in use by other troopers than Fallschirmjagers, but I assess, bearing in mind that in numerous occasions German paratroopers and regular infantry fought one near other, as well as the custom of soldiers to make use of weapons of dead colleagues or enemies, the situation implying a Panzer Grenadier picking up and firing off a FG42 is not impossible to occur. On the other hand, this weapon is very useful and can be successfully granted to some other Preiser figures encountered in "German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew", soldiers that definitely used in many occasions the FG42. The last weapon on the sprue is StG44, the present set being till nowadays the single Preiser set where we make acquaintance with this legendary weapon, the first genuine and source of inspiration for the modern assault rifles. Produced in over 425,000 pieces, StG44 is visible in plenty Late War photos while great companions for it in the scale are encountered in Preiser sets like "WWII German PAK40 crew" and "WWII German Mortar and Crew". These soldiers are dressed in camouflage smocks, a tiff more appropriate to the period of the weapon. Inside the here reviewed set, the best figure for receiving such weapon is the one shoeing ankle boots and gaiters, but even those having marching boots are suitable to hold it. 

A major topic related to machine gun represents its ammo and how it was carried, either MG34 or MG42 allowing magazine-fed and belt-fed ammunition. In this regard, the Germans developed more types, the 50 rounds drum magazine and the container including in general 250 or 300 rounds being some of the most common. With a so great rate of firing, 50 rounds would have flown away immediately and for fixing the inconvenient, the German engineers provided for the 50 rounds belts the option to be linked together, for making longer belts and exempt the loader to repeat the operation over and over again, avoiding losing precious seconds that could mean survival in combat. Preiser brings us here almost all the ways of carrying MG ammo, drum magazines, ammo containers and even one or two 50 rounds belts worn around the neck being featured. Benefiting by an notable rate of firing, MG34 could fire between 800-900 rounds per minute while the MG42 fired 1100-1500 rounds per minute, it is obvious that a lot of ammo was carried by the soldiers handling such weapons, so the rich offer of the company concerning the ammunition for MGs is more than useful and should be appreciated at its actual value. For most part of war for each MG team in a Rifle Squad, there were three soldiers who served the weapon, namely a gunner, a loader and an ammunition bearer. In the late war period the ammunition bearer was deleted and its load was transferred to the riflemen, but till that moment, the ammo repartition inside the Squad using a light MG was a 50 rounds drum magazine for the gunner, usually attached to the weapon, the loader had four more as well as 300 boxed rounds and the ammunition bearer carried two boxes, a total amount of 1150 rounds per gun. Inside On the sprue there is either enough ammunition or figures for somebody who wishes to represent such a Rifle Squad. Likewise, the MG ammunition cases, but even more, the 50 rounds drum magazines are extremely useful for being allocated to MGs emplaced on various vehicles in the scale, being well known the fact that a lot of representative manufacturers, like Revell or Esci/Italeri  do not provide ammunition for the MGs of the vehicles. The fact that the set is released in hard plastic can only help the case, for example, with its support the MG emplaced on the turret of a Revell's Panzer IV tank or in an Esci/Italeri Sdkfz 251 can get an authentic appearance. 

The other sprue with weapons, the common one, features nine Kar 98K (six without bayonet and three with bayonet fixed), six Schmeisser MP40 (three with shoulder stocks folded and three with shoulder stocks opened), six grenades StiHg-r 24, three shovels, one trench knife/dagger and six ammo pouches for MP40 (three for left hand side pouch having the additional small pocket stitched to the left side and three for the right hand side pouch without small pocket).

The first sprue with equipment incorporates six back packs (Tornister M-39) with a blanket rolled around, two binoculars, two map cases, four pistols holsters for 9 mm P-08 Parabellum/P-38 Walther, four pistols holsters for 7.65 mm Walther, six steel helmets, two officer caps, six M-43 caps, six M-34 caps and two flash lights. The second sprue bringing equipment comprises 12 ammo pouches for Kar 98K, six gas mask containers M-30, six canteens (Feldflasche M-31), six mess-tins (Kochgeschirr M-31), six  bread-bags [(Brotbeutel M-31), three with mess-tins attached and  three without], six Zeltbahn M-37, six entrenching tools,  six bayonets in sheaths and six cases that could be, due to the similitude in the scale, either for gas caps (Gasplane Beutel) or first aid  (Verbandpäckchen) or even for keeping the reading maps tools (Kartenwinkelmesser 27).

Thanks to the material from which they are made of, hard plastic, as well as because the way they come, in pieces, exactly like a kit, from the Preiser figures there can be obtained infinite number of poses. In this regard, they could embody marching or fighting soldiers, gun servants or troopers suitable for being mounted in/ on various armoured or transport vehicles. In addition, the components of a figure may be mixed with others extracted from different sets in order to get new and more than attractive poses. It is well-known that this manufacturer delivers almost always its figures without gear and need to be endowed by the modeller as he wishes. Furthermore, a major advantage of separate gear is granting the great chance for the modeller to be able to display these items in full accordance with reference images, with items hung in an entire mess. In spite the opinion that the German soldier in WWII was smart dressed and with all gear in order, the photos of the period really contradict such an impression. Moreover, benefiting by separate gear, the owner can glue them in a way more appropriate for better suggesting the move. Offering them separate, the producer also avoids inadvertences or excess of plastic, issues that are pretty often encountered at figures moulded with gear on them. The equipment and weapons which are given on separate sprues are genuine masterpieces in 1/72 scale and are suitable not only for figures, but also for being emplaced on vehicles or various diorama components in order to give an authenticity fingerprint to such things. Being made of hard plastic the pieces are easily fixed with any kind of glue used at kits.

The uniforms are accurate and include small details like shoulder boards, buttons or creases in correct shapes and angles. No discrepancy is registered between the sizes of weapons held by the separate arms, heads, bodies or other parts of the set.  Flash records small amounts and is effortless removed while excess of plastic does not exist at all. With awesome proportioned bodies and tremendously expressive faces, with clearly visible fingers, Preiser confirms here once more its status as one of the best companies in the field. The enamel is well accepted by the hard plastic, not influencing and holding it even at hard handling. Polly-cement used for plastic kits is superbly accepted by the hard plastic used by Preiser, making a tough bond between the parts. All figures of this manufacturer are delivered without basis, but those who want such a device, it can scratch it form a lot of materials. Taking into account the size of heads, bodies, gear, weapons and type of uniform, the soldiers are compatible with plenty of Preiser sets related to German Army in WWII as well as with  Esci's "German Soldiers"/Italeri „German Infantry", Revell's "German Armoured Infantry" and  Airfix  „German Infantry" (the 1/72 poses in that set). A similar topic with the present one, of marching soldiers is treated by the company in a previous set, "WWII German Infantry Advancing", the two sets outstanding completing each other and increasing the amount of soldiers on the move. All the figures from these sets can be emplaced within the same diorama without any hesitation, their size being almost the same.  

"Advancing Grenadiers with MG 1939-1945" is probably the best 1/72 set related to German Army in WWII ever produced, not only the high quality of figures, but also the huge numbers of weapons, including some rare pieces, granting it this honourable position. Such a place should be even more appreciated, considering that it happens in a field which is one of the most popular and in this regard benefiting by an increased attention of a large number of manufacturers, all major companies of 1/72 stuff manufacturing at least one set on the topic. Though figures of similar class are encountered and in various offers, the weaponry, in particular the special sprue with heavy weapons, are a truly work of art, exceeding the quality of other soft or hard plastic, metal or even resin similar items. In addition, the present set certainly redefines the report price-quality-number of pieces, delivering the most impressive quantity of top quality parts for a pretty modest sum. When assembling the content, special attention has to be accorded to the carpet monster, which really must be kept away especially from MG 50 rounds drum magazines and cartridge-holding cases for PzB39 which are only a few and would be pity to let him swallow them. On the other hand, this set gives the chance to customize a lot of MG gunners and loaders in a large array of poses, in full accordance with reference materials and accurate concerning individual gear. Furthermore, gathering in the same place figures from the present set and soldiers from the brother set, "WWII German Infantry Advancing", it can be created a nice diorama with a bulk of figures in marching poses, an image often occurring in photos or recorded materials of the period.

 

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