Articles

CMK - German Pilots And Mechanic WWII (F72037) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code F72037
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Medium/Tall
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Average
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1940 – 1945

Review  

Since the beginning aircraft has occupied a special place in 1/72 scale, plenty of manufacturers dedicating special attention to the topic and many of the nowadays modellers have made their first steps into the hobby building an airplane. Based on the major achievements in the field of flying and important battles carried out, WWII German planes received enhanced consideration. Some producers supply for their aircraft crew-members, but those are often insufficient or for cockpit designations and most of the times under-scaled. However, bearing in mind the impressive amount of 1/72 WWII German airplanes, the few sets putting forward specialised crewmen are by far not enough, in 1/72 mass-production industry Preiser saving the situation with two sets on the matter, completed by one Hasegawa set featuring two WWII German pilots as well as a Revell one which practically is a Preiser reissue plus a couple of new figs.

Such important subject as Luftwaffe pilots and personnel could not let indifferent one major resin manufacturer that strives covering the existing gaps, and here it is about CMK, whose sets on U-boot, Kriegsmarine, Panzer, and other inadequately treated issues are of key importance for those needing 1/72 WWII German specialised soldiers. As regards Luftwaffe, the company lists within their catalogue four figure sets, fact imposing them on a leading position in terms of resin WWII German flight crew.

Their first tender on the matter is “German Pilots and Mechanic WWII”, an offer including two pilots and one mechanic put in clear plastic box fixed on a cardboard and featuring as artwork a drawing that can be easily taken as guideline for assembly and paint while no other indications are supplied. The artwork presents in a correct manner the colours of all items of clothing and it is nice how the mechanic is represented, with trousers of a different colour than the blouse. Of course, such aspect is fully covered by reference images and even emerges quite often but another option would be painting the pants and blouse in the same colour. In the background there is a black and white drawing of an aircraft and these army-men have been clearly designed for a peaceful scene, most probably relaxing and sharing experiences after a difficult mission.

The parts for the figures come on three slots and all heads and three arms must be glued in positions by hobbyists. On the slots there are some numbers, but these have no connection, so just the artwork should be followed. Assembly is really simple and cyanoacrylate has to be employed for remarkable fixation results though the match of the pilot’s arms does not impress, it could be done better. 

Both pilots put on the two piece uniform introduced since 1940, commonly known as “Chanel Uniform” and formed by flight leather jacket and flight trousers. The footwear is uncertain but they might have either flight boots or more probably, ankle boots or shoes while they are clearly not preparing to fly. These pilots rather have just returned from the mission and now simply relax. One of them has kept the officer peak cap while his mate is bare headed. The mechanic is immediately identified after the drill uniform and has got M34 overseas cap and either shoes or ankle boots. Another attractive feature of the mechanic is that he wears the blouse in the trousers, the sculptor fairly succeeding to represent this.

While the stances of the mechanic and the bare headed pilot are comprehensible, both staying still and very tranquil, a little unclear is what the other pilot does. The pose is really odd, bent in front and pointing with one hand directly in the ground while keeping the other in the air, somewhere in the waist area. If not seeing images of the period it is virtually impossible to understand what he wants. There are several photos and filmed documentaries revealing pilots after missions telling to their comrades their last adventures and also highlighting with gestures the actions, how they attacked or avoided the enemy. Such stories were very useful for gaining more experience and perhaps the same thing is performing our pilot. However, better would have been to keep the hands upper, but still it is a plausible stance and hopefully clearer now based on the just mentioned explanation. Likewise, it should be pointed out that the bare headed pilot gives the impression that he tries transposing in the 1/72 the greatest WWII Luftwaffe fighter ace, Major “Bubi” Erich Hartmann, but also it might be a simple coincidence.

Within the broad catalogue of CMK’s 1/72 figures there are several sets slightly diverging than the rest in terms of anatomy and sculpture, the minis being thinner, with smaller heads, and less detailed, the here reviewed offer belonging to that short list as well. In this light, except the bare headed one, the rest of faces are poorer, with odd shapes, particularly the officer receiving a very sharp face. Anyway, eyes, noses, mouths, and ears are effortlessly spotted and the bare-head might pass as a nice try. Palms are properly modelled and generally not over-scaled, but certainly we have seen better attempts at other CMK miniatures. Neither weapons and gear nor bases are featured, but evidently those are not necessary now and the figs can be stuck directly onto the diorama or on other bases, if needed.  

Attire might pass as fairly good, but certainly not impressive although each item is unmistakably identified. The pants received the large knee pockets and can perform as the electrically heated or as the simple model, but miss the zippers characterising such trousers. Bearing in mind the scale, such details may be simply suggested by painting, so not a big concern in this regard, Even if the artwork shows shoulder boards on the flight leather jackets, on the models these do not arrive. Nevertheless, such items are not mandatory, the real jackets often not displaying insignia except the Luftwaffe eagle. It was a common practice of WWII German pilots to prefer jackets with no insignia to reveal their ranks in case they bailed out or crashed and could be captured by enemy. Likewise, the sculptor does not spoil us with very crisp folds or other niceties, but still the figures garment make a fair impression. More important is that flight crew wear the same clothes, so these figs can correctly stand near both bomber and fighter planes and on any front starting with 1940.

The quality of the resin allows the miniatures to take well medium shocks and finely integrate the artistic effort, enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils finding a great base. In terms of cast and mould, this is not the best CMK shot, as previously stressed, a couple of heads have got quite odd profiles and details are not so profound. Anyway, flash and seam lines are pretty low, as well as the carrier film and on the reviewed patterns there have not been discovered any air bubble. Some care should be granted to properly remove the remaining material where the miniature parts were fixed on the slots, but nothing to worry about, any modelling blade provides excellent results.

Concerning size, these pilots best integrate in the medium/tall size of the 1/72 scale and greatly interact with Preiser’s ‘”Luftwaffe Pilots and Ground Crew” and “German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew”, Hasegawa’s “Pilot Figure Set”, and Revell’s “Pilots and Ground Crew: German Air Force”. To some extent thinner, they also fairly work with the other CMK Luftwaffe personnel especially if arranged at a proper distance on the diorama. Converting them into troopers belonging to other units rather than Luftwaffe is extremely difficult while the flight pants, with their specific knee pockets, had been worn only by pilots. By removing the left knee pocket, the pants can be modified as M41 HBT Panzer trousers and the figs turned into armoured crewmen, but I assess such effort does not worth. Obviously, the mechanic raises no problem to be utilised as a Panzer or U-boot crewmen or other maintenance person, finding in the scale lots of similar comrades issued by CMK or various manufacturers of plastic, resin or white metal miniatures.

When talking about resin figs, expectations are certainly higher, but In spite its few draw-backs, “German Pilots and Mechanic WWII” comes out as a reasonable endeavour and can be useful for the large number of modellers focused on WWII Luftwaffe fighter and bomber aircrafts, especially to those wishing to depict a tranquil scene on one of the numerous German airfields. Moreover, based on the code numbers, this offer emerges as the first 1/72 CMK figure set, along the time the company clearly improving the quality of their products. 

 

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