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Preiser - WW II German Infantry Advancing (72504) _________(EXT)

  

Manufacturer Preiser
Scale 1/72
Set Code 72504
Year 1997
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 1939 – 1945

 

Review  

Advancing or marching soldiers behind the front line is one of the most photographed hypostasis of the Germans soldiers, reflected inside tones of coloured or black&white reference images. Such a major topic could not have been left untouched by Preiser, company famous not only for the quality of their products, but also for inspiring the poses of their figures from authentic pictures, a lot of them published in Signal. The troopers included in the present set obviously emerge in photos of the period and either the pose or even the haircut or facial details of the original soldiers were tried to be reflected by the manufacturer. On the other hand, in spite of numerous appearances in reference materials, in mass production sets of Braille scale, the subject is almost ignored, poses of German soldiers not rushed by enemy bullets or bombs, marching relaxed and full of trust to an uncertain destiny being rarely incorporated in several such sets. It is the great merit of Preiser for not omitting a major stance in the life of a WWII soldier and a topic promoting plenty ideas and possibilities for dioramas.

Due to the material from which they were made of, hard plastic, as well as because the way they come, in pieces, exactly like a vehicle 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 interesting 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. 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.

This set includes two identical sprues with six figures on each, four sprues containing complex equipment (two are the same) and a sprue with weapons. Both the gear and weapons sprues are the standard ones, being found in plenty of 1/72 sets addressed to WWII German Army belonging to this producer.

The weapons sprue features 9 Kar 98K (6 without bayonet and 3 with bayonet attached), 6 Schmeisser MP40 (3 with shoulder stocks folded and 3 with shoulder stocks opened), 6 grenades StiHg-r 24, 3 shovels, 1 trench knife/dagger and 6 ammo pouches for MP40 (3 for left hand side pouch having the additional small pocket stitched to the left side and 3 for the right hand side pouch without small pocket).

The first sprue with equipment 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 M-43 caps, 6 M-34 caps and 2 flash lights.

The second sprue bringing equipment comprises 12 ammo pouches for Kar 98K, 6 gas mask containers M-30, 6 canteens (Feldflasche M-31), 6 mess-tins (Kochgeschirr M-31), 6  bread-bags [(Brotbeutel M-31), 3 with mess-tins attached and  3 without], 6 Zeltbahn M-37, 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).

The box has the common size for Preiser sets with 12 figures and its front and back sides artworks represent the interpretation offered by the manufacturer on its own product. The front artwork is in fact a photo of a diorama with 9 figures while the back artwork shows 8 poses that can be attained using the parts of the set. Furthermore, inside the box there is a scheme where parts of the figures are numbered for making easy their assembly. 

As it was mentioned before, the set contains two sprues of similar figures, but the poses could almost effortless be customized for getting 12 distinct ones by each modeller, according to his own needs. Taking into account the identical appearance of the figures sprues, there will be described the parts from a single one. The uniform is that present, with few exceptions, in almost all Preiser sets, namely M36 tunic, regular trousers and marching boots, in other words, the early war German tiff. On the basis of their garment and its thickness, it can be assessed that these soldiers are addressed to warmer periods, but also colder season may receive them, even if such thing is not highly recommended. The figures come in more pieces, head, body arms and legs, and these can be not only joined as featured in the instructions or on the artworks of the box, but also mixed in various ways, different than the guidelines provided by Preiser. In standard approach, all the poses depict marching soldiers, and the way of holding weapons by the included separated arms is extremely varied and appealing. In most cases, the suggested parts for putting together a soldier come one near each other on the sprue, so no difficulty in finding the primer intention of the producer for bringing together a trooper. The body components of the set perfectly match, but if there are used other parts taken from various Preiser sets, it is recommended to try seeing how they match before or immediately after gluing. Moreover, on the sprue there are supplied 15 arms, with 3 more than the necessary, so diversity is facilitated. The large majority of right hands hold a weapon, either MP40 or Kar 98K, but still there are also free hands ready to receive weapons from the specialized sprue or even taken from other sets of the same producer, for example from "German Grenadiers with MG 1939-45". Likewise, in empty hands may be glued gear such as canteens, shovels or diverse items for covering the heads like helmets, M34, M43 or officer caps. However, any part of the body can be replaced by another taken from a different Preiser 1/72 set having as topic the German Army in WWII (and not only these). From the total amount of six figures, only a single one misses the "Y" straps and has straps for binoculars, clues leading to the conclusion that this pose is meant to be an officer, but it can be built as a regular trooper, too. Other significant items sculptured on the uniforms of these figures are two grenades stuck under the belt of a bust, another grenade is found in the boot of a soldier, while straps of gas mask containers are engraved on three busts. On the figure sprue there are offered 10 heads, with 4 more than required, thus remaining numerous heads ready for replacing some less successful hard plastic heads manufactured by other firms such as Hasegawa, Esci and some Matchbox. Some heads miss the upper side for better accommodating various covers. In addition, on the same sprue we get a cloth/leather case and two steel helmets covered by camouflage cloth, an important detail bearing in mind that the great majority of Preiser helmets are uncovered by camouflage cloth.

The uniforms are well reproduced, with visible small details like buttons, shoulder boards or creases and there are not differences between the size of weapons held by the separate arms. 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 requires a lot of patience and attention, especially at bayonets and other small items, but the final appearance can be great and rewards all the efforts. In spite of the presence of flash, this is easy to be removed while excess of plastic could not find its place here. The bodies are very well proportioned and the facial expressions are realistic and excellent sculptured, Preiser distinguishing as one of the best companies in this regard. Neither the glue nor the enamel cause any problem, the hard plastic used by the manufacturer for its products excellent accepting both, glue making a really strong bond between the parts and enamel does not suffer any influence from the material, maintaining its properties and resisting at hard handling. Like in all Preiser cases, the figures have no basis, but if desired, a lot of materials are proper for bases scratch building. Considering 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  Airfix  „German Infantry" (the 1/72 poses in that set). Another Preiser set treating exactly the same subject of marching troopers is "German Grenadiers with MG 1939-45", the two sets perfectly completing each other, increasing the numbers of soldiers on the move. The figures can be emplaced within the same diorama without any hesitation, and the same goes for the above mentioned sets. 

Not only the quality of figures, but also the large quantity of gear and weapons make "WWII German Infantry Advancing" a highly appreciated and useful set. To this should be corroborated the suitability of poses to transformations for covering personal needs, turning its content from marching troops into other roles as fighting, artillery or mounted in/on vehicles soldiers. The value is also increased by the great correspondence of the figures with the photos of the period, but this should not be a surprise, almost all Preiser products in the field having as starting point a reference image. A set requiring patience for putting it together, but the result may be exciting, paying back all the efforts.

 

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