Articles

CMK - German mechanics (F72078) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code F72078
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1939 - 1945

Review  

WWII German mechanics set out as a tremendously functional subject, able to cover a wide range of activities and suitable for all branches, Infantry, Panzer, Luftwaffe, and Kriegsmarine requiring related personnel. In a certain manner, the membership to any kind of unit is facilitated by the often lack of cloth insignia and the huge diversity in terms of attire worn by personnel carrying out maintenance activities, over twenty models of coverall and drill uniforms being dressed. Regulations enforced that the WWII German soldier should have received either a work or fatigue suit together with the uniform, the work attire arriving in a huge number of shapes, cuts, and colours and being delivered by army depots, tailor made, of civil origins or captured. In addition, the army-men carrying out heavy tasks like maintenance had got work suits that could be dressed straight or over uniform.

In the 1/72 scale, there are several figure sets on the matter, expressly highlighting in the title “mechanics” or “maintenance” but such personnel is also encountered in various offers on Panzer, Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe topics. From the long list of companies that issue 1/72 WWII German Army figures, Preiser, Revell, CMK, Orion, Track&Troops, and Miniaturas Alemany distinguish with different sets incorporating figurines suitable to act as mechanics.

CMK is renowned as one of the most important manufacturers of 1/72 Kriegsmarine, Luftwaffe, and Panzer soldiers, their sets putting forward a vast range of mechanics even if not all the time the titles make reference to those army-men of foremost importance. Such idea is also emphasised by the title of the set here reviewed, the producer refraining in expressly mentioning the branch but clearly stating the subject matter under the name “German Mechanics”.

Commercialised in the universal CMK clear plastic box attached to a cardboard, the set proposes three multi-part figures, with separate heads and arms, one of them having legs and feet provided as individual parts as well. The whole content is supplied on four slots and has got as artwork the painted version of these mechanics working at an airplane, so the envisaged destination is Luftwaffe. Nevertheless, based on the above mentioned arguments, the figures perfectly fit to fix any vehicle or on board of a Kriegsmarine boat or U-Boot as well as mounted on an armoured vehicle, such items of garment being intensively worn by Panzer troopers not only when performing maintenance duties, but also in combat. Particularly crewmen of heavy tanks like Tiger and Panther, exposed to often breakages, dressed on the battlefield items of clothing designed for maintenance. Likewise, U-Boot crewmen did not have time to change and kept the maintenance uniform in combat, too.

As customary for this firm, no assembly guide is available but the artwork gives enough hints to put together and paint the miniatures. Parts match extremely well and no gap remains after gluing the limbs and heads in positions. In spite aiming at maintenance, these mechanics come without any tool, as the artwork shows, performing their activities with bare hands. They can easily portray soldiers fixing a plug in place, screwing up/off a nut, plugging a cable, or other similar things. Delivering mechanics without tools definitely represents a more than interesting and realistic approach, additionally facilitating the use of the figures in diverse purposes, almost without any limitation. Hobbyists wishing to add tools can effortlessly do it with items from their spare parts box, the shape of the palms of the standing soldiers being more than suitable in this regard. Nevertheless, it would have been wise supplying related tools and gear as separate pieces, inside various sets CMK advancing accessories for better reflecting the activities performed by the army-men in case.

The present team rests in two standing and one crouched members, fulfilling diverse tasks, CMK proposing the two standing soldiers to prepare fuses for refilling airplane tanks while their colleague works at the engine. With the exception of the figure wearing M43 or tropical cap, the worn attire entitle these soldiers to work along the entire period of war and on any continent, theoretically acting in a warm environment while the crouched guy has got rolled up sleeves.

The standing mini with M43 cap put on a drill uniform formed by trousers and blouse, shoe marching/jack boots and seems he holds the fuse in the tank. However, he can easily do something else, even handling a projectile or a MG in the turret of a Panzer or operating a hand wheel of the deck gun on a U-Boot will not appear out of place duties for him.

His standing comrade is dressed in the same way but he prefers M34 overseas cap and ankle boots. Bent a little in front, in the artwork he grabs a fuse but certainly he can perform other actions as well. For instance, loading projectiles in a Panzer or StuG or handling ammunition or provisions on a Kriegsmarine vessel or submarine are excellent choices for him.

The last mechanic, the crouched one, is bare headed and shoe ankle boots and due to pose, hiding key features, a perfect identification of garment is almost impossible. The artwork presents his outfit painted differently as well, with tropical shirt and trousers. Still, a coverall can be possible and even more plausible taking into account the thickness of the “shirt”.  He looks like fixing or adjusting a part or a cable with the right hand while the left is used to maintain the balance. Nonetheless, as for his mates, the tasks given by modellers to this soldier can be endless.

Though extremely basic, without gear and weapons, the figs impress through an excellent anatomy, the facial expressions really striking. CMK is acknowledged for excellent heads and again, the sculptor succeeded a perfect job, the crisp eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths, ears, and cheeks conferring a very realistic appearance to these 1/72 miniatures. Bodies are well balanced and the palms make a strong impression, too. Indeed, considering that hands represent the tools of these mechanics, an extra effort and care have been put for recreating ideal palms, with all fingers in place and naturally displayed. Bearing in mind their type, the clothes are simple but have got excellent folds and the proper creases reiterate the notable skills of the sculptor. Likewise, footwear is very nice, especially the separate shoes/boots of the crouched soldier as well as the head-covers and hair. 

A high-quality resin is deployed, not fragile and even if the miniatures are exposed to various shocks, including powerful ones like accidental drops, they can support those pretty well, without damages, ability also increased by the absence of thin parts. Moreover, the product benefits by a fine cast and mould, arriving without annoying air-bubbles or flash, and the thin film carrier can be immediately removed. Few supplementary efforts must be done in order to clean the marks where the pieces were fixed on the slots, but nothing difficult and without affecting the final appearance of the figs. Cyanoacrylate should be employed for putting together the components, and this kind of adhesive, especially super glue gel, makes an incredibly strong bond. In addition, the same substance is recommended for fixing plastic or metal parts on resin, useful in case the modellers intend to make conversions or just to add gear or weapons. For instance, while all have got belts, appending hard plastic pistol holsters made by Dragon, Preiser or Caesar would transform them in great Panzer troopers. During painting, enamel, acrylics or artistic oils encounter no problems in perfectly integrating in resin and hobbyist’s artistic effort will be retained despite heavy handling. As usual for resin figures, bases miss but those are not important, considering both the product mainly addresses to static modellers and the fact the figurines can be mounted on vehicles, planes, or vessels where additional stands would have looked strange.  

In terms of a potential collaboration with other maintenance personnel, these figs belong to the tall side of the 1/72 scale and obviously, the most recommended are soldiers made available by CMK, bearing in mind most of the sets share the same sculptor and the miniatures feature the same proportions and level of details. On the matter, remarkable collaboration will be achieved with comrades from “German driver and personnel for FAMO”, “German Soldiers for FAMO”, “U-VII armament crew in port”, “U-VII crew (provision)”, “U-VII crew at rest (Part I and Part II)”, German bomber pilots and mechanic”, “German Pilots and Mechanic WWII”, but these are just few examples, inside CMK catalogue being found much more maintenance personnel. In addition, different figures put forward by MIG Productions’ “German Mechanics”, Orion’s “German WW2 Panzer Soldiers Basic Set1”, Miniaturas Alemany’s “Tiger Maintenance Group” and “Panzer 38 (T) with German Mechanic Team”, Tracks&Troops’ “WW2 German tank mechanics with welding set”,  Warrior’s “U-Boat Crew Set2 (Main Gun Crew)”, Revell’s “WW2 German Navy” and “German Artillery”, Preiser’s “Luftwaffe Pilots and Ground Crew”, “German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew”, “WWII German Tank Crew 39-45”, and “German Tank Crew”  come out as proper completions in case of representing a large workshop.

As a multi-purpose set, with universal applications eased both by garment and lack of tools, “German Mechanics” emerges as an extremely useful set, able to serve ground, air, and sea units. Furthermore, they can be deployed not only by diorama builders or collectors, but also by gamers, if the price that should be paid is assessed as not too high. In addition, with head conversions and on account similar working outfits were worn by mechanics of all armies, they might activate in others, not just restricting to the WWII German one. An excellent offer forwarding figs that should be appraised and considered by vehicle, plane, and vessel fans, either in the principal maintenance role, or as crewmen for Panzers, U-Boots and other Kriegsmarine boats as well as Luftwaffe ground personnel, in accordance with manufacturer’s proposal.    

 

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