Articles

CMK - German tankers WWII (F72142) _________(EXT)

Manufacturer

CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code F72142
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items 3 Heads, 3 Left Palms, Binoculars
Size Medium
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1941 – 1945

 

 Review 

Released in 1996, Tamiya’s 1/35  “German Tank Crew at Rest” emerges as an important source of inspiration for Braille Scale manufacturers, at some years distance since its first issue, at least CMK, El Viejo Dragon, and Caesar creating figures in similar poses with those designed by Tamya. Initially produced for a larger scale and in accordance with a well-established practice, the sculptor of the Japanese maker used several images of real soldiers for transposing them in the hobby as plastic miniatures. By duplicating those troopers, it is obvious the CMK models come in attractive and natural stances, although not doing much, just sitting and relaxing. The Tamya set featured six figs which CMK decided to separate in two sets, three crewmen for Waffen SS Tankers WWII” and other three for “German Tankers WWII”. Each set includes one officer, buyers getting personnel for two Panzers or one team for an Elefant, JagdTiger, Sturmtiger, Mouse/E 100 or any other WWII German vehicle requiring a six member crew.  

All the Tamya inter-linked tankers wear the standard Wehrmacht Panzer wrapper, but with a single exception, the CMK versions arrive dressed in the Waffen SS pattern of the wrapper. Still, this is not the single distinction between the two sets and the Czech company certainly did not scale-down the Tamya product. From intellectual property point of view, CMK miniatures can be certainly assessed as an original work, so no copyright issues, the creative contribution of the Czech sculptor, even not the best, being more than evident.

After depicting in the first set  “Waffen SS Tankers WWII” one seated, one standing troopers and an officer wearing M43 tunic, within the continuation “German Tankers WWII” CMK provided the other three army-men, one officer and two privates, all putting on the Waffen SS wrapper.  Inspired by a famous ski outfit in fashion in 30’s, the differences between the Wehrmacht and SS wrappers were evident and can be spotted in Braille Scale, too. Considering the distinct cuts of the two wrappers, these miniatures are appropriate only for the SS service but if painting them as wearing the HBT uniform, the modeller escapes of insignia problems, only the shoulder boards having to be painted.

The box is the common model for CMK resin line, a clear plastic cover with a cardboard bottom, and features as artwork the three troopers on a drawn Panzer IV. In the image the crewmen dress the black Panzer uniform, but it can be easily painted as HBT type, having the same cut as the black one but reed green or camouflage colours.  These clothes were often larger for fitting over the standard black Panzer uniform, in order to preserve it during maintenance or combat activities. Bearing in mind the huge appearance of the uniforms sculptured here by CMK, it would be much better to paint those as HBT version than the black one, which never could make so many creases as we can see in this case. Furthermore, with the purpose of diminishing the oversized look, wise would be trying to suggest, in the collar area, that the black uniform is below, the troopers following to properly integrate in a colder environment. In addition, an attempt to reduce the over-scaled appearance of the palms might be painting the soldiers as wearing gloves. Though the artwork does not show them with gloves, the one of the interconnected “Waffen SS Tankers WWII” reveals the troopers with gloves.

As usual, no guidelines for assembling the miniatures are delivered, but the artwork and the low number of pieces ease the operation. The parts are set on five slots, one of those, accommodating a head with M43 cap, one binoculars, one pair of boots, and one left palm being repeated for three times. Another slot with three heads, one with officer peak cap, one with M34 cap, and one bare head was included for providing alternatives for hobbyists and to comply with Tamya set. All miniatures arrive without heads and boots, and except one case where it is necessary to set the right hand, the rest have palms in place. Extremely odd is the manufacturer provided three left palms, but none is useful while a right hand would have been mandatory and is not supplied. This represents quite a big mistake and the modeller must search in his spare box a right palm in order to anatomically complete the soldier.

For putting together the product super glue must be used and the pieces match very fine in places, obviously nothing being complicated to set few heads and boots.  Anyway, in terms of heads there are plenty of choices and hobbyists can arrange any head, as he wants or as the CMK artwork presents, respecting Tamya options. Likewise, in the artwork only the seated officer receive binoculars, but if desired, each trooper might be endowed with such item. Evidently, few heads and left palms and maybe some binoculars will remain for the spare box, but because the oversize issue, these are useless or appropriate just for conversions of giants as Valliant miniatures.

The officer introduced by “German Tankers WWII” artwork is in a seated pose and can be encountered not only in Caesar’s “WWII German Panzer Crews” but also inside Sd. Kfz.10 kits by the same manufacturer as well as in El Viejo Dragon’s “German Panzer Crew” (C72/2) and Dragon’s Mouse/E 100 kits but with different headgear. The adopted stance looks natural, sitting on an armoured vehicle during a break and except the binoculars, he also has got a pistol in holster.

Presenting manufacturer’s choice for the head with M34 cap, the pose of the standing tanker with hands on his hips is perhaps the most depicted stance of a Panzer crewman, apart the above referred CMK and El Viejo Dragon sets, also Dragon depicting twice a similar miniature. In spite that sometimes the figure has received different insignia or head-gear, mainly it has remained the same.

Evidently, nothing is new as regards the pose of the soldier resting his right leg on a raised point as an ammo box, fence, rock, or vehicle part, the artwork showing the last highlighted alternative, too. The artwork shows him bare-headed, but modellers could add to him any other head from the quite rich offer included in the box.

Although with finely detailed faces and palms, the anatomy of these figs can be easily qualified as very poor for 1/72 scale, not only the heads but also bodies and limbs being much over-scaled. Normally, head-gear also looks huge and the uniforms shock with gigantic and incorrect creases. The figures arrive fairly clean of flash and thin film and registering only few air-bubbles, so the mould and cast may be assessed as pretty fine.  As a resin product, it ideally reacts to enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, excellent fixing the painting work even if the figs are repeatedly grabbed. While these troopers are mainly envisaged to be mounted on a vehicle, no base is delivered but at least two of them fit for ground utilisations.

Generally, CMK’s 1/72 WWII Germans are in the tall side of the scale, but these miniatures are certainly much larger and almost impossible to be deployed next to true 1/72 comrades. Nonetheless, if needed, several completions are at disposal, not only CMK’s “Waffen SS Tankers WWII” but also all troopers made by Valliant and some Hecker & Goros sets, incorrectly labelled as 1/72, matching the size of these Panzer crewmen.

Having as starting point an excellent incentive, Waffen SS wrappers being hardly encountered in Braille Scale, both CMK’s sets inspired by Tamya’ s 1/35 “German Tank Crew at Rest” deplorably fail in their purpose, the miniatures being much bigger than the labelled  scale. The gigantic appearance makes their emplacement next to real 1/72 figs or vehicles extremely difficult and for these reasons, both CMK’s “Waffen SS Tankers WWII” and “German Tankers WWII” might be appropriate only from collecting reasons. Fortunately, the Czech producer realised the mistake and the following figure sets issued by them on Panzer crewmen are in the correct 1/72 scale, pleasing all categories of hobbyists.   

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