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CMK - Waffen SS tankers WWII (F72141) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code F72141
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Medium
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1941 – 1945

 

Review 

Bearing in mind the great interest around WWII German Panzer crews, particularly on account the majority of vehicle kit manufacturers supply no figures in the boxes, as one of the most important Braille Scale resin maker, with an impressive catalogue on 1/72 WWII Germans, CMK could not miss the opportunity and has put forward products in the field. Along the years the Czech company succeeded to create more sets, but the first two on Panzer troopers raise a serious issue, the figures fromWaffen SS Tankers WWII” and “German Tankers WWII” being much overscaled and perhaps the correct tagging of these miniatures rather have been 1/70 or larger than 1/72. Even next to very tall 1/72 toy-soldiers as those released by Italeri, Atlantic, Waterloo 1815 or Plastic Soldier, these tankers look gigantic, so it is virtually impossible to use them in conjunction with genuine 1/72 comrades. Nevertheless, there are several other producers making giants but labelling them as 1/72, all Valliant and some Hecker & Goros sets representing few examples in the field and these CMK figures could be an excellent choice for hobbyists interested in those tenders. 

The problem is further regretful while the crewmen from both sets put on the Waffen SS Panzer wrapper and not the Wehrmacht model. In the 1/72 scale, such wrapper still emerges as a rarity, most of the figs dressing the Wehrmacht  type, thus soldiers wearing the SS model would have been extremely useful if issued in the correct size. Even in small scales, the differences between the two wrappers are noticeable, the collar shape, with larger and pointed ends on Wehrmacht tunics and smaller and with rounded tips on Waffen SS as well as the front edge, cut back diagonally for Wehrmacht and straight down for SS being immediately spotted at a closer look. In addition, the Wehrmacht Panzer wrapper had a seam down to the middle of the back while the Waffen SS type featured none and the eagles were dissimilarly displayed, breast right side for Wehrmacht and left arm for SS. 

The first set in the series of CMK Panzer units, titled Waffen SS Tankers WWII” arrives in the usual package deployed by the manufacturer, a clear plastic cover with a cardboard bottom. If buying the set directly from a classic hobby store, the customer can see the content and might realise the overscaled aspect. However, the three minis composing the set, one standing, one seated, and one without legs below knees, are multipart and this might trick a little, especially in case of purchasing the product in a hurry. The artwork introduces the crewmen arranged on a pencilled Panther but there is a small difference between the head of the standing figure, in the image wearing a M43 cap while the model features a bare-head. The mistake might be somehow explained by the fact that all these soldiers are closely inspired by Tamiya’s 1/35 “German Tank Crew at Rest”, the same set that was later utilised by Caesar for creating some of their poses from “German Panzer Soldiers”. It is possible CMK’s sculptor wanted to introduce a plus of diversity and put a bare-head to the standing man which originally worn a M43 cap or is just an assembly option, the Tamya set enclosing a bare-head with a similar hair-cut that in standard approach is allocated to another standing trooper. It should be pointed out the original image that served as inspiration discloses Tamya’s interpretation as the authentic one. On the other hand, inside the following twin set, CMK intended to correct the inadvertence and made available some optional heads, including three covered by M43 caps, so if possessing both offers there is no problem for the modeller to follow the historical image. While there are obvious differences between the attire worn by the Tamya figs and the garment dressed by the CMK minis as well as other distinctions, the tankers issued by the Czech company cannot be assessed as scale-down or direct copies of the 1/35 Tamya product. The six poses contained by the 1/35 set CMK decided to split in two sets, three of them for Waffen SS Tankers WWII” and the other three for the continuation “German Tankers WWII”, each of them introducing an officer, so practically there are supplied crewmen for at least two Panzers. 

The necessary parts for putting together these CMK Panzer men are distributed on four slots, the smallest one accommodating just the left arm of the seated guy. Apart the just mentioned exception, each slot holds the components for one soldier, the pieces requiring assembly being heads, feet, three arms and palms, as well as a pair of binoculars. The maker does not submit a special guide, but both the artwork and the way of setting the parts are sufficient clues for a correct assembly. As a resin product, the proper adhesive for putting together the minis is cyanoacrylate, super glue gel providing excellent results, generating a reliable bond able to support powerful shocks without damages. Most of the pieces fit well in positions, but the separate arms do not properly match, some gaps between these and the shoulders being remarked. Because of that, there is a job for white putty which solves the issue and save the situation. 

All the Tamya inter-connected figs wear the standard Wehrmacht Panzer wrapper, but CMK sculptor dressed his versions completely different, the full minis receiving the Waffen SS Panzer wrapper and M43 tunic for the one without legs. As regards the SS wrapper, this comes in the proper manner, with accurately shaped collar, straight down front edge, and without the seam down to the on middle of the back. The M43 tunic, intensively dressed by Waffen SS Panzer soldiers in its camouflage version, has got here quite bizarre breast pockets but luckily, the odd appearance is diminished by the binoculars that should be glued on the chest. Additionally to the huge size, these crewmen shock with something else, namely the numerous and thick creases of all depicted items of clothing. Never ever such creases could materialize on a Panzer uniform, not even if it was with several sizes larger. There is no solution to remediate the fault, the only choice the modeller has at hand to merely give a more plausible interpretation of the creases might be painting garment in camouflage or reed green, as herringbone twill (HBT) Panzer uniform. Such clothes had identical cut and often were larger for fitting over the standard black Panzer uniform in order to preserve it during maintenance or combat activities. Work clothes were supplied in a multitude of shapes, cuts, and colours and together with the uniform the German soldiers generally received either a work or fatigue suit. For Panzer crews was frequently allocated attire made of HBT, with the same cut as the black one. Even the artwork recommends the same approach, showing the full figs in reed green Panzer uniform and the half one in pea-dot camouflage. On account the just emphasised aspects, the reviewer’s advice would be respecting the artwork indications but also to try suggesting, in the collar area, that below is worn the black uniform. The thickness of the garment makes these miniatures appropriate for a cold environment, and obviously, they exclusively address to Waffen SS due to the specific tunic. Besides, the artwork introduces the crewmen as wearing gloves, and it would be wise following the indications considering the huge size of the palms for 1/72 scale. Of course, the feldgrau option is available for the uniforms, a simple and reliable method for transforming the Panzer into Sturm Artillery troopers.  

When elaborating the 1/35 set “German Tank Crew at Rest”, Tamya’s sculptor drew inspiration from some well-known images taken during WWII, so while duplicating those miniatures, implicitly the CMK replicas come in lifelike stances. The poses CMK chose to include in Waffen SS Tankers WWII” embody a Panzer officer, immediately recognised after the specific peak cap and two crewmen. Clearly designed for emplacements inside various openings because he has no legs below knees, the officer poses very relaxed, resting his left arm on something that could be either the gun if staying as the artwork shows him, in the driver or radio operator’s compartments, or on the hatch, if he is moved inside the turret. Likewise, the officer keeps the headphones around his neck but the related wires, throat microphone and switch miss, although it can be assumed the binoculars allocated to him hide those items. However, hobbyists should pay little attention to arrange the optical equipment in the middle of the chest, where the related strap ends. Besides, this is the single figure armed with a pistol in holster though the others wear belts, too. Because the headphones are simplified and hard to spot due to the placement, hobbyists can easily make few cuts and transform those in an excellent collar of the black uniform worn below the camouflage suit.  

At their turn, the two troopers emanate a very tranquil attitude, the seated one lays his arms on the knees while his comrade keeps both hands deep in the pockets, this bare-headed figure capturing the interest from another perspective. As previously mentioned, Tamya proposed in their 1/35 kit a bare-head that could be attached not only to the indicated mini, but also to any of them. At the CMK one, though having the same hair-cut, at a closer look can be noticed it introduces something new, like a small goatee, although not very sharply carved. Both the hair-cut and the goatee might constitute clues on the intention to transpose in Braille Scale the famous Panzer Ace, the nonconformist Kurt Knispel, the most successful World War II and all time tanker, with an impressive number of 168 confirmed tank kills and with other unconfirmed victories totalising around 195. Such endeavour coming from a Czech producer is more than justified taking into consideration Kurt Knispel was born in Sudetenland, Czechoslovakia in 1921. However, from the beginning till his bitter end on April 28th 1945, with just 10 days before the end of war, happened as a faith irony also in Czechoslovakia in Wostitz, the legendary tanker activated in Wehrmacht not in Waffen SS, so the worn wrapper contradicts a little the reality. 

In spite the good intention of providing something new in the field of Panzer crew garment and even if the wrappers feature the appropriate Waffen SS characteristics, this attempt can be considered not very successful due to the inappropriate creases. Furthermore, the figs are a complete failure for 1/72 scale, their gigantic bodies and huge heads and palms making them quite unsuitable to stay near or mount on a 1/72 vehicle. Fingers and facial details are nice, but it is normal to be like that considering the enormous dimensions of heads and palms.  

The mould and cast are good as well as the quality of resin, the miniatures appearing very clean, without many air-bubbles and recording just a small amount of flash and thin film as well as few excess of resin in a couple of places. The material wonderfully takes enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, retaining the artistic effort even exposed to heavy handling. If modellers wish to add supplementary items of gear such as pistol holsters, map cases, binoculars etc, these are easily set in positions with super glue gel, for a long lasting and strong bond. On account the poses, maybe only the standing tanker could receive a base, but obviously, as a resin product, the stand is not supplied and certainly it would have been unworkable while this figurine must rest against a vehicle or something else. 

 Most of the times, CMK cast their 1/72 WWII Germans in the tall side of the scale, but there are also several issued in the medium side such as German armourers for Tiger I”. However, as emphasised on many occasions along the present review, the “Waffen SS Tankers WW II” are huge for the 1/72 scale, much bigger than all the other related miniatures proposed by various mass-production and garage makers. Practically, matches for them are the comrades from the continuation of Tamya set produced by CMK under the name “German Tankers WW II”, the Vaillant giants, and figs from some Hecker & Goros sets, also incorrectly labelled as 1/72.  

Pursuing an attractive and useful goal for 1/72 scale, Waffen SS Panzer soldiers wearing the appropriate wrapper of their branch of service, due to the clear overscaled aspect of the figs, the project might be appreciated as a lamentable fiasco and the low rates recorded below are because of this very annoying problem. The miniatures from Waffen SS Tankers WW II” are entirely unsuitable to stay near even the tallest true 1/72 comrade or to take position on a 1/72 vehicle. It should be reiterated the set might address only to particular collectors and completes with the troopers from the second CMK offer on Panzer crew “German Tankers WW II”. The hobbyists not interested in those and looking just for 1/72 army-men should stay away from these two above referred CMK sets. Furthermore, figures in almost identical stances but in a correct 1/72 scale are made available by Caesar, the sets of both manufacturers relying on 1/35 Tamya’s “German Tank Crew at Rest”.  

 

 Historical Accuracy 9
Anatomy 2
Poses Quality 9
Details Quality 5
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 2
Recommendation/Utility 2
Reviewer’s Opinion 2