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CMK - German pilots at rest WWII (F72112) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code F72112
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 1940 - 1945

Review 

Focused to provide 1/72 figures for particular topics within specialised armies like Panzer, Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe rather than the regular infantry subjects abounding on the market, CMK sets out as a most important supplier for hobbyists searching for their scenarios and dioramas such WWII German soldiers. In the Luftwaffe field, the Czech manufacturer shows off with four sets, portraying both pilots and mechanics in various stances.

A theme receiving enhanced attention within the catalogue of the company is represented by “rest”, plenty of sets highlighting the term in their titles. Nevertheless, the subject is of foremost interest while most of the time soldiers rest, march or do something else not combat, numerous static modellers wishing to depict similar scenes. Of course, when referring to Luftwaffe crewmen, the modalities of representing them are pretty limited, at rest and carrying out maintenance activities emerging as the main possibilities when not mounted in/on their planes. Images with Luftwaffe pilots in comfortable stances, waiting the alarm to ring or just returned from the mission and relaxing are extremely familiar. In a certain manner, those hypostases define not only Luftwaffe but also pilots of all armies during WWII.

Following the first and not so successful attempt to approach the matter, featured by “German Pilots and Mechanic WWII”, the second set, released under the name “German Pilots at Rest WWII” has arrived in a much better quality, in the style defining the nowadays standard of this producer. Likewise, CMK could not lose the opportunity of bringing something new and introduces a hard spotted item on 1/72 miniatures, but very often encountered at real pilots flying over waters, the life vest. In fact the company excels in the field, dressing many of their Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe figs with different models of inflatable and Kapok life vests, here being illustrated the10-32-B2 pattern for fighter pilots.

Placed inside the usual CMK package, the kit rests in four resin slots accommodating the components of three figures, an extra item being delivered as well, respectively a RZ16 or RZ20 parachute in its outer cover. All heads, two trunks and various limbs have to be glued but the entire operation goes fast and smooth while the pieces greatly match in the allocated locations, without leaving any gaps. Assembly instructions or part numbers completely miss, so once again the artwork is a key source for setting the pieces as sculptor designed them. In addition, the artwork offers proper painting references, showing in a coloured image the three soldiers while in the background, a black and white drawing presents an airplane while refilling.

Two of the pilots are dressed as prepared or just arrived from a mission, one of them standing and pointing in the distance or waving his hand while the other sits still and might look in the direction indicated by his comrade. They wear the two piece “Chanel Uniform”, formed by flight tunic and trousers, introduced in 1940. In accordance with the artwork and sculpture, it seems the jacket transposes the regular pattern and not the leather model, so these pilots perform in a warm environment. At least at the standing aviator, the shape of the large pockets on the knees induces the appearance of the regular and not electric model of pants. The pilots shoe Pst3 or Pst4004 flight boots, the upper suede leather and other specific details making clear again it is not about the electric version. Even if only one of the two aviators wears it on the head, both have got flight helmets, his comrade with M34 overseas cap keeping his helmet on the left knee. Understanding the need of protective head gear for their pilots, the WWII Germans tried finding a quick solution, the most accessible being the motor car helmets. Some modifications were done over those and around ten models of flight helmets were developed. In conformity with the attire dressed by the CMK pilots, they received a summer helmet, based on the integrated communication equipment most probably LKpS100. One of the pilots adjusted the flight goggles over his helmet, his colleague lacking that item.

Nevertheless, the most attractive piece is the inflatable back-less life vest, a clear clue these are fighter pilots while the vest for aircrew personnel were fully backed. On account the shape and details recreated on the vests, these aviators have got the 10-32-B2 model, the sculptor finely succeeding to reproduce small characteristics such as the vertical manual inflation tube and its bakelite connecting port housing set on the upper left breast bladder as well as the cylindrical pressurised air canister and the related bakelite connecting port housing fit at the bottom of the left breast bladder. Excellent presented are the webbing on the back but lacks the two part strap between legs, created for preventing the vest to slip upwards. Still, this is not an accuracy issue because the aviators are in relaxed stances and the vests are not set in final positions, so the straps in reference could be kept under the front part of the vest. Regulations stipulated that pilots flying over waters had to wear a life vest, most often made of rubberised canvas and could maintain buoyancy for 24 hours. For increased visibility in waters, in general WWII German life vests were painted in yellow, the same approach being found even nowadays inside airplanes. Within 1/72 sets targeting WWII Luftwaffe, there are just few pilots wearing life vests, Preiser, Revell, Hasegawa, and again CMK listing several miniatures on the matter.

The third figure seems embodying a base commander briefing his brave subordinates before or after a mission. He wears a M38 Luftwaffe service tunic and breeches, as well as a peak cap and officer boots. According to regulations, officers had to procure items of garment on their own expenses, either from military depots or tailor-made. The provision led to a huge diversity in terms of materials, colours, and cut of tunics and trousers, obviously officers looking for the finest quality. Boots were frequently purchased from private manufactures as well, the higher ranks appreciating that riding boots, a little taller, were more stylish than the regular marching/jack boots. Sitting in a very comfortable position, the officer holds in the right hand a piece of paper that can be a document with orders, a map, newspaper or simply a letter to/from his family. The artwork presents it as a piece of paper, maybe with orders or data regarding the mission the two pilots returned/should go. Perhaps this is the most valid approach in conjunction with the other figs. Nevertheless, bearing in mind the attire worn and the similarities between M38 and M36 tunics, his uniform can be painted not only in blue-gray as belonging to Luftwaffe, but also in field-gray, in this way the officer following to serve in Infantry or other ground units. The last advance is revealed in the below images, the miniature being painted as a Panzer-Grenadier officer. 

CMK chose to depict these pilots in tranquil stances and they perfectly can take position not only on the ground but also on the wing of an airplane, in a chair, log or in various other places, so these figs open the gates for numerous scenarios. Furthermore, in spite not doing special things, they excellent interact, the standing pilot pointing in the distance while the seated one looks in that direction and the officer stops reading the document for doing the same.

As separate piece is provided a RZ16 or RZ20 parachute outer cover, the artwork placing it next to the sitting pilot but of course, it can belong to the standing one, as well. CMK’s outer-cover comes without harness but the flaps are fairly clear represented. The first German Army parachute in WWII was RZ1, based on a civil airline model. Due to some accidents caused by malfunctions of static lines, in 1940 RZ1 parachute was replaced by RZ16, almost immediately followed by an upgraded model, RZ20, which stayed in service in the period 1941-1945. The innovative but problematic RZ36, featuring a delta canopy, saw limited action during Battle of the Bulge at the end of 1944. WWII German parachutes had common parts and all consisted in deployment bag, accommodating the folded canopy and schroud lines, placed in a parachute outer cover with four flaps secured with a securing pin attached to a 9 meter static line, fastened by a ring to the deployment bag as well. The outer cover always remained on the harness made of webbing to which was secured via D rings.

In terms of anatomy, the miniatures are great, the only criticism could be the palms a hair too big, but this is a common compromise done by CMK in order to provide outstanding fingers. Facial details strikes from the very beginning and the perfect eyes, eye-brows, noses, ears, cheeks, and chins make a pleasant impression. The heads in direct comparison with bodies respect the human proportions and even the larger palms do not bother. The small details on items and garment such as inflation tubes, connecting ports, cylindrical pressurised air canisters, buttons, natural creases, and fine goggles contribute to the excellent appearance of these miniatures.

Flash and carrier film arrive in extremely low quantities and excess of material has not found place here. Part removal from slots requires little care, hobbyists also having to eliminate the remaining material. The wonderful mould and cast ensured a product with crisp details and without any air-bubble.  Moreover, the high quality resin is strong enough to suffer medium shocks without damages, making the product good both for diorama builders and gamers. As for any resin item, cyanoacrylate should be employed for putting together the miniatures, super glue gel creating a tremendously strong bond. Enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils wonderfully integrate on the material and remain there in spite heavy handling. Not even the standing fig received a base, but considering the topic and the main target group, such stuff clearly has nothing to do here.

Encompass by the tall side of the 1/72 scale, these pilots perfectly work with the comrades from CMK’s sets on Luftwaffe. With some attention to emplacements, they can also go fine with Luftwaffe toy-soldiers released by Hasegawa, Preiser, and Revell in hard plastic.

While WWII German aircraft has a privileged position in the 1/72 scale, the market abounding in model kits as well as the huge number of persons interested in the topic, those wanting to have next to their planes first-rate figures, definitely must take into consideration the present CMK offer. Likewise, the small amounts of available Luftwaffe personnel corroborated with the top quality of these miniatures impose “German Pilots at Rest WWII” on a leading position on the matter. 

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