Articles

Kami de Koro Koro - German Tank Crew Set (KAD72-001) (Troops & Peoples) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Kami de Koro Koro
Scale 1/72
Set Code KAD72-001
Year 2005
No. of Figures 2
No. of Poses 2
Additional Items None
Size Medium
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level High
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945

 

Review

The impressive 1/72 WWII German Army figures tender come from two main providers, mass production and garage manufacturers, the last casting sets in resin, white metal, or zinn and most often enchanting the customers with fine goods. The level of sculpture, small details, and accuracy may vary from producer to producer, some really impressing and others of a lower quality. Mostly addressing to collectors and diorama builders due to the quite restrictive price and fragility of material, the resin products are extremely important and useful for 1/72 WWII Germans. Lots of cottage industry representatives make available a huge assortment of miniatures, in principal focusing to release an attractive offer and to cover gaps let by the big companies. There are niche entrepreneurs having an incredible catalogue of highly detailed sets dedicated to 1/72 WWII Germans, TQD Castings, MIG Productions, CMK, Warriors emerging as proper examples. Still, near those world-wide recognized plenty smaller activate, casting one or few sets of figures, most times in resin due to an easier production process. During the years, in almost all countries, primarily in those with tradition in the hobby, is virtually impossible not finding an official resin maker, so counting and listing all the ones which carried or still carry out activities is extremely difficult, particularly based on the fact that such companies come and go very fast. As a country with long model kits practice, just to mention the legendary Tamyia, Hasegawa, and Fujimi, Japan has also local producers of 1/72 WWII German figures like Tristar/Orion/Sirius and Kami de Koro Koro.

Launched in 2005, the first out of three small sets on 1/72 WWII Germans by Kami de Koro Koro, an Osaka based manufacturer, aimed at tank crewmen and merely included two figures, more precisely one full and a bust, so it does not spoil the clients with too many miniatures. Neither quality says much, the figs not astonishing with details or stances, at the first glance being intricate finding pros in their favour. Still, the set brings something really captivating, respectively the Panzer wrapper which has the Waffen SS and not Wehrmacht cut, so regularly encountered on Panzer soldiers of Braille Scale. 

Practically, except Kami de Koro Koro’s tender, Waffen SS Panzer tunics are nearly impossible to find on 1/72 miniatures, so a big plus and a thing that might determine hobbyists wanting in collections accurate Waffen SS tankers to purchase the set. Nevertheless, as reference photos and films clearly attest, including well-known ones, the Wehrmacht cut Panzer wrapper was habitually adopted by Waffen SS crews and could be issued in the standard black or feldgrau colours as well as specific Waffen SS camouflage patterns and leather. The most important elements for distinguishing the two wrappers, especially in small scales, provide the collar shape, larger and with pointed ends on Wehrmacht tunics and smaller and with rounded tips on Waffen SS as well as with a seam down the middle of the back for Wehrmacht and none on Waffen SS jacket. Likewise, the Wehrmacht version wrapped more and the front edge was cut back diagonally while the Waffen-SS model didn't wrap so much and was cut straight down, but such dissimilarities are barely perceptible on an 1/72 mini. Another main characteristic differentiating the two tunics relies in the position of the eagle, breast right side for Wehrmacht and left arm for SS. On these figs the sculptor succeeded to correctly catch the true shape of the collar belonging to Waffen SS wrapper, so making the distinction with Wehrmacht is very easy. The detail is more evident at the full figure and partially covered at the bust due to adopted pose and headphones wires. As regards the Panzer trousers dressed by the full mini, those appropriately match with the tunic and are clearly the Waffen SS pattern while such pants missed the buttoned flap on the watch pocket and had only one rear pocket on the right side instead of two on each side as for Wehrmacht. An extra detail modellers should take into consideration when painting the buttons of the front flapped pockets is that they must put two buttons at the edges and not one in the middle as for Wehrmacht.

Appeared in a period when mass-production sets tackling Panzer crews were roughly accessible, only Preiser supplying two excellent hard plastic kits, and corroborated with the huge amount of 1/72 WWII German armour issued without related crewmen by famous producers, the incentive taken by Kami de Koro Koro was fully justified. Even nowadays the Panzer men domain is not properly covered by big companies, apart from Preiser, just Caesar and Orion treating the subject in plastic sets, few others being met inside vehicle and crew kits put forward by Esci/Italeri. On the other hand, niche reps send plenty offers on the topic, many of them really remarkable, but it should be reiterated authentic Waffen SS tankers are nearly impossible to get in 1/72 scale.

Feldmarshal Heinz Guderian, “father” of Panzer Armee, also decided the model of uniform for his “children”, inspired by a 1934 in fashion skiing outfit, as well as the colour, black, in order grease and dirt, normal at motorized troops, not to be so evident. Designed to match the needs of personnel working inside a vehicle, as war progressed and thanks to the experience gained in the field, the renowned Panzer uniform started to be replaced with other items of clothing, or kept the same or little modified cuts but made of different materials, the standard wool one proving unconformable when performing in a tank during a hot summer day. In addition, either in summer or winter, black did not provide too good concealment on the battlefield when crews were forced to leave the vehicle, so tankers rather worn other garment, especially in the Late War phase. However, appraised as a true symbol, the standard wool black uniform continued to be proudly put on by Panzer troopers till the termination of war, both on front and parades. Even nowadays, a slightly modified version of the Panzer wrapper is dressed everywhere in the world, symbol of motorized civilians, the classical motorcyclist’s leather jacket originating in the tunic made famous by Panzer soldiers.

Reverting to the set, Kami de Koro Koro wraps their 1/72 miniatures in a clear plastic bag, fixes with scotch band on a piece of paper folded in two and featuring front and back artworks, everything being sealed in another plastic bag. For increased thickness and better stability, between the paper sheets is sneaked a piece of cardboard paper. In case the set is bought from a traditional hobby-store, due to adopted package, the customer can visualise the content even before purchasing it, but scarcely this happens while the sets belonging to Japanese niche producers are mainly sold by e-shops. Except mentioning in English the series Troops&Peoples, everything is written in Japanese, so if not knowing the language, it is pretty hard to understand something from there, including the title. The front artwork gives a drawing of the two crewmen on a Panzer and on the back there is duplicated in a smaller image above some info related to the maker in Japanese.

According to the peak cap, the bust depicts an officer dressed in shirt, Panzer wrapper and with headphones in position. As usual for Panzer figure busts, it is intended for hatch emplacements, most recommended and additionally stressed by the artwork, being the cupola one though in some extent it works for another hatch as well. Having headphones, the person who carved the figure did not forget to recreate the wires which are very good, naturally folding and quite thin. Likewise, it seems it has throat microphone but the activation control switch housing of the micro is hidden by the way arms are kept. When planning hatch figures, options for stances are not abounding, but Kami de Koro Koro succeeded to bring a unique one, the officer seems taking out the right hand glove. Such items were quite a common presence at higher ranked army-men, and the sculptor properly caught the move, in his support coming also the artwork, highlighting the action for those having difficulties in understanding what the officer does. Moreover, the same artwork supplies the useful information that the officer has a unit cuff-band and after a better look, the detail might be discovered on the 1/72 mini, too.  

For his subordinate, a full figure, were considered outside the vehicle utilisations, and he simply stays still looking in the distance. He wears Waffen SS Panzer uniform, with wrapper, trousers, shirt, ankle boots, and M34 overseas cap. Though a belt is clearly noticed over the wrapper, no holster hangs by it, so the crewman let his pistol in the vehicle. This is not an accuracy problem, frequently Panzer troopers not wearing their pistols even in combat. Nonetheless, hobbyists wanting an armed soldier might extract a holster from Preiser, Dragon or Caesar sprues with spare equipment and stick it in position with super glue gel, the supreme adhesive for binding on resin plastic and metal parts. On the left side of the wrapper there are perceived an Iron Cross and a badge, possibly the Wound Badge, adjusted above belt. The last distinction is hard perceptible both on the figure and in the artwork while there is painted in black. However, as previously emphasised, the most important asset of the figure, and of the whole set, is the Waffen SS Panzer wrapper, with its correctly shaped collar.

The crewmen attire might be painted not only in classic black but also in various Waffen SS camouflage patterns, pea dot being the most encountered. In addition, these wrappers and even the trousers are some of the best available in Braille Scale for leather made representations, particular Waffen SS units receiving garment in leather after a large stock was confiscated by Germans from Italy in 1943, the new built attire respecting the Waffen SS cut of wrapper and trousers. Moreover, as images of the period show, many Panzer army-men, mostly officers, dressed leather tailor-made wrappers. According to regulations, officers and certain NCOs had to buy their uniforms from military depots or tailor made, resulting a large diversity of materials, colours, and cuts, for the great pleasure of nowadays hobbyists and collectors. In case the modeller intends to use these minis in connection with a Sturmartillerie vehicle, feldgrau imposes as appropriate colour for the uniform. No matter if clothes are black or gray, the ones from here might be employed throughout the whole war in warm or temperate environments because the collar is not buttoned up till the last button as it was in cold seasons.

Nothing keeps the hobbyist away in painting an eagle on the left arm but the symbol is not mandatory, it could also miss, as reinforced by the artwork. Emplacing the eagle on breast on this particular wrapper would be a big mistake while the Waffen SS cut of the tunic is extremely evident. Besides the potential eagle and symbols already proposed by the maker, modellers can easily add through painting others like Iron Cross ribbon.

Even not doing too much, the two tankers look great on a vehicle, giving a piece of humanity to the machine. The standing soldier might take position anywhere and the bust finely occupies not only large hatch openings but also narrow ones such as those of turrets cast in resin, which might be even better while the figure cannot fall inside. 

Although historically accurate, the details on uniforms do not make the strongest impression, being of an average quality, without too sharp folds, creases, and stitches. Except the properly shaped collars, wires, and the infamous skull fastened by Waffen SS troops on their caps, acceptable pocket flaps, shoulder and collar boards are carved. Anatomical details are in line with those on attire and gear, correct in proportions but not remarkable, facial expressions having not much to say, officer’s one being quite ugly but eyes, mouths, and ears are in their places, but the mouths are too big. Due to their size and fine fingers, the palms of the full miniature might be painted either with gloves as proposed by the artwork, or without.

Concerning mould and cast, figs come with flash and film in abundance as well as with a small quantity of excess of material at the right headphone and under the arms of the bust, so cleaning takes some extra minutes. Fortunately, removing such stuff from resin products requires no special skills or tools and the surgery intervention goes smooth. On the reviewed miniatures there was not discovered any air bubble but on other copies those might come into sight. Both resins used for cast the product are quite good, not very bridle and excellent reacting to enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, perfectly integrating hobbyist’s artistic endeavour.

According to their size, these tankers qualify in the medium side of 1/72, and through the large number of Panzer figures, even if those generally dress Wehrmacht Panzer tunics, they fairly match with Warriors, Caesar, CMK’s “German armourers for Tiger I” and some ESCI Panzer troops. For those aiming super realism, ideal will be orienting to comrades wearing other items of clothing put on by Waffen SS Panzer men such as shirts, coveralls, M41 HBT second pattern Panzer uniform, leather jackets, parkas etc. In spite slight size differences, Kami de Koro Koro’s soldiers might go quite satisfactory with the more numerous Panzer crews issued in the tall side of the scale by Preiser, Dragon, Orion, CMK, El Viejo Dragon or Miniaturas Alemany.

Hard to find as belonging to a not so well-known manufacturer, quite expensive, with not the best sculpture, and with the standing figure in a common pose, the set is not the most suggested for gaming, addressing more to diorama builders and having a certain collecting value. Beyond any doubt, the key feature of the offer consists in the nicely and correctly shaped Waffen SS Panzer wrappers, scarcely encountered in 1/72 scale, this aspect increasing with much the overall rate of the tender and making it appealing for hobbyists intending to depict a highly accurate armoured vehicle of the Elite together with its crewmen.

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 8
Poses Quality 8
Details Quality 7
Mould Quality 8
Sculpture 8
Recommendation/Utility 9
Reviewer’s Opinion 8