Articles

Caesar - WWII German Sd. Kfz.10 with 50mm Pak 38 (7209) _________(EXT)

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Manufacturer Caesar
Scale 1/72
Set Code 7209; 7208
Year 2011
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items 1 Sd. Kfz 10 with PAK38 or FLAK30
Aspect Small
Material Soft Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent
Conversion-ability Difficult

Review  

Widely recognised and often criticised is that the great majority of nowadays 1/72 WWII German vehicle manufacturers do not provide together with the kit some crewmen or inter-linked figures, though in the early days of the hobby such thing was so common, companies like Airfix, Esci, Matchbox supplying the necessary army-men. Acknowledged as one of the most prolific producer of figure sets, Caesar has started to develop a line of vehicle kits, and in order to underline the excellent awareness of target group needs and expectations, inside each kit there are included one to three toy-soldiers for bringing a human touch to the vehicle. In terms of WWII German vehicles, those on Sd.Kfz10 chassis received three figs. Likewise, it is good to know that inside both “Caesar - WWII German Sd. Kfz.10 with 50mm Pak 38 (7209)” and “WWII German Sd. Kfz.10/4 with 20mm Flak 30 (7208)” there are found identical figurines.

Caesar’s Sd.Kfz.10 chassis is of fine quality, with crisp details, in scale parts, and other things pleasing the builders. Based on the first kit on the topic, “WWII German Sd.kfz 10 Demag – D7”, for the subsequent ones, with PAK38 and with FLAK30 have been added a special sprue with the gun parts. The sprue in case looks quite fine but casting is less qualitative than the rest of the pieces. However, in spite featuring photos with the sprues and assembly guide of the vehicle, the present review will limit only to the soldiers.

The artwork of the Sd.Kfz.10 with PAK38 shows a winter vehicle with crewmen wearing great coats but inside the box there are available figs in uniforms, more appropriate for temperate or warm environments than cold ones, particularly on account the tunics are unbuttoned-up till the last button. Furthermore, one of the miniatures holds a StG44, a Late War weapon while such vehicle was mainly used until 1944 inside recon troops for providing some anti-tank support to those.

The three figures accompanying the kit come in a separate plastic bag and are made of soft plastic, so clearly not specially designed for the vehicle, representing just an attempt to furnish few army-men for it. Cast as single pieces, no putting together is required and the vehicle assembly instructions do not refer at all to the minis though on the box there is stressed the inclusion of three figures inside. Two of them, wearing M36 attire, are unique in nowadays Caesar tender on WWII Germans, while the third, an officer dressed in Panzer wrapper and 1941 drill trousers could be previously met inside “WWII German Sd.kfz 10 Demag – D7”.  Without any doubt, this is a great miniature, depicting an officer sitting in a vey natural stance on a Panzer during a break and it seems the pose was inspired by a photo taken in Normandy. The most interesting combination is the wrapper with M41 drill trousers, clearly identifiable after the large pocket on the left leg. He also has got officer cap, ankle boots, belt, and a pistol holster. On the wrapper there are displayed a wounded or Iron Cross ribbon as well as a badge on the left. Due to the way he is dressed, his clothes might receive various combinations of colours, including black or feldgrau for the wrapper or even camouflage patterns for both trousers and wrapper.

As regards his comrades, they wear M36 uniform formed by tunic, trousers, marching/jack boots, and steel helmets and are equipped with gas mask containers, bread bags, and canteens. In addition, one of them has also shovel with bayonet attached. In terms of weapons, the crouched soldier got a Kar98K with appropriate ammunition pouches while the other, sitting on a vehicle, received a StG44 but the ammunition pouches are completely wrong, being those for Kar98K. Perhaps the initial plan was to put in his hands a Kar98K but in a later stage the weapon was changed, giving him the famous assault rifle but forgetting to modify the pouches, too. 

Previously highlighted, though made of soft plastic, these two figs cannot be encountered in other Caesar figure set, the same approach recording “WWII German Sd.kfz 10 Demag – D7”, but there all the three soldiers are unique. It is more than feasible the figures from the two sets to be part of a future set or sets, the manufacturer already stating the intention of dedicating a distinct set to WWII German tank riders. Moreover, inside the pre-painted Parade Series toy-soldiers there are several miniatures which have remained unincorporated inside regular sets, so those together with the figs from the Sd.Kfz.10s might represent the base for a further set on infantry.

Even if the crouched soldier would match the front line as well, the attitude of the three army-men is a calm one, suitable for a peaceful climate. Obviously, the minis can be used in conjunction with a large number of tanks, trucks, cars, horse-drawn carts or motorcycles, not mandatory the Sd.Kfz.10. Likewise, with or without the support of other objects, they can take position on a wall, fence, rocks, stairs, ammo boxes, trenches etc.  

Acknowledged for the skills in managing on tiny spaces, Caesar’s sculptors succeeded to illustrate again some very fine items of garment, with lots of characteristic features and details such as collar and shoulder boards, stitches, buttons, insignia, clear pockets, and authentic creases. Facial details are great, eyes, mouths, noses, and ears being easily distinguishable. The normal proportions of the bodies are mostly respected, the only issue raising the slightly over-scaled palms of the soldiers in M36 uniforms but their good point is that the palms have got very clear fingers. Gear and StG44 abound in details and are perfectly emplaced and hung.   

On the other hand, cast could be little criticised and not because of the flash which is really low, but due to the not so well calibrated mould, not all the time the two halves perfectly matching, the most evident error being visible at the helmet of the crouched soldier. Furthermore, the same figure has some excess of plastic in the contact area between the weapon and body, but luckily, the undesired material can be immediately removed with a modelling knife or blade. The same tools should be deployed for removing him from the base, the mini benefitting by a good balance even without the stand. The soft plastic used by Caesar finely accepts enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, retaining in time modeller’s painting effort even after long handlings. Nevertheless, there exist few problems with it, some paints might have the tendency of becoming glossy even if there are matt ones, another issue representing the fact it easily bends, the most exposed being weapon barrels of advancing or firing poses. Still, it is not the case here and if needed, the glossy aspect can be solved by spraying with the air-brush a matt varnish.   

In the small side of 1/72 due to the size of bodies, weapons, and gear, these minis are entirely compatible with the ones encountered in all Caesar sets after 2008 as well as with others released by different companies. Taking into account the figure in wrapper has already been launched by the manufacturer and that there is the possibility the solders in M36 uniforms to be put forward by a future set, conversion possibilities should be considered. Caesar soft plastic is extremely glue-able with super glue gel, the adhesive strongly fixing not only soft plastic parts, but also those made of hard one. Moreover, a huge quantity of gear, weapons, and heads, having the same size are made available by Caesar within “WWII German SIG 33 Infantry Heavy Field Cannon”, providing the hobbyists uncountable possibilities for conversions.

Both the Sd.Kfz.10 with PAK38 and the one with FLAK30 are nice additions to the notable WWII German vehicle gallery available in 1/72 scale, also reiterating an usual strategy applied by most producers, issuing a basic vehicle and start developing on its chassis more variants. Although not impressing, the two new figures increase the number of German troopers from the rich Caesar catalogue, collectors having something new in the field to grab. Likewise, even possessing the Panzer soldiers figure kit from where he was extracted, the third army-men might find a place on a tank or other vehicle, especially bearing in mind the great majority of 1/72 vehicle manufacturers deliver kits without crewmen.


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