Articles

Kami de Koro Koro - German Infantry Poncho Camo Figure (KAD72-002) (Troops & Peoples) _________(EXT)

  

Manufacturer Kami de Koro Koro
Scale 1/72
Set Code KAD72-002
Year 2005
No. of Figures 1
No. of Poses 1
Additional Items None
Size Medium
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Average
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1943 – 1945

Review

Kami de Koro Koro, a small resin maker from Japan supplies for the 1/72 WWII German Army market three figure set, trying to cover some gaps in the mass production tender existing in 2005. Still, those are not sufficiently filled even after almost ten years since the first launch of those sets, so the offer might interest some collectors and static modeller builders, neither the number of included figures nor the price tempting gamers. Belonging to a very small manufacturer, the three Kami de Koro Koro sets are hard to find and get, especially outside Japan, the price applied corroborated with transportation cost turning those into an expensive acquisition for EU and US consumers.

In the first set the company decided to provide two figs but the following limited to a single miniature, indeed a dreadfully odd approach. Customers of 1/72 WWII Germans are used with the large number of toy-soldiers supplied in a set by mass-production companies as well as with more figures within garage maker tenders where three to five figs are the most common. Perhaps not so attractive from the commercial perspective, one figure sets are definitely extremely rare in Braille Scale, except Kami de Koro Koro’s two such sets, on 1/72 WWII Germans TQD Castings listing a couple of one figure sets but mixed between an impressive catalogue of complex ones. In addition, a single fig can be found within various vehicle with crew kits, Esci/Italeri, Force of Valour, and even ACE featuring such stuff.

For grabbing hobbyist’s interest, cottage industry reps have to focus on insufficiently covered domains and after depicting the Waffen SS Panzer tunic in the first set, the second Kami de Koro Koro offer oriented to Zeltbahn worn over uniform, a regular appearance of WWII Germans but extremely poorly depicted in 1/72 scale, particularly in 2005 when there was available only one miniature in Revell’s “German Engineers”.  Since then, Ykreol in “WWII German Soldiers-Zeltbahn, 1939-45” and Caesar in “WWII German Army with Camouflage Cape” have delivered full sets where all soldiers put on Zeltbahns over uniforms. Furthermore, figures wearing Zeltbahn are spread in different sets, namely Preiser “Military Police. Guards The German Reich 1939-45”, Odemars “Defenders of Berlin/The Last Defenders of Berlin”, CMK “German soldiers with Panzerschreck”, HaT “WWII German Bicyclists” and “WWII German Mounted Infantry” but it should be stressed each of those sets comprises a single mini in Zeltbahn.

As it can be noticed, 1/72 WWII Germans wearing Zeltbahns over uniforms are not so many in direct comparisons with the enormous number of soldiers putting it as an item of clothing. Issued in various Wehrmacht and Waffen SS camouflage patterns, Zeltbahn was part and parcel from the standard WWII German soldier equipment, designed as a multi-purpose item, as rain poncho, camouflage clothing or tent, for such utilisation being accompanied by related accessories as rope, three breakdown tent pole, and two tent pegs giving the possibility to form a larger tent by connecting more Zeltbahns. In order to attain its multiple roles, Zeltbahn had a large number of buttons and holes, 8 mm grommets and a bigger one (15 mm) as well as a middle slit with buttons for wearer’s head when put on as poncho.

Commercialised in a transparent plastic bag accommodating a folded piece of paper with the front and back artworks and the figure wrapped in another plastic bag fixed with a scotch band for increased protection during transportation, neither the parcel nor the figure impress too much. While the piece of paper is very ordinary, for enhancing package stability, between the sheets is sneaked a supplementary cardboard piece of paper. The front artwork illustrates a soldier in a similar stance with the resin trooper having a Sd.Kfz.251 in the background and on reverse the same artwork is copied in a smaller format, below being given information regarding the producer in Japanese. In fact, also in front, except the title of the Series “Troops & Peoples” no more data are supplied in other language than Japanese, so it is impossible somebody not knowing that language to understand any word. This is quite bizarre and perhaps stresses the set is mainly available on Japanese domestic market and occasionally in e-shops. After decrypting the title, “German Infantry Poncho Camo Figure” it is clear what is about, affirmation sustained by the artwork and the perceptible figure, too.

The great majority of historical sources like filmed and photographed scenes reveal soldiers wore Zeltbahns directly over gear, but most of the earlier highlighted sets keep making the mistake by adjusting all equipment, often even the “Y” straps over the Zeltbahn which certainly should be assessed as a fault. At his turn, Kami de Koro Koro soldier placed over poncho “Y” straps, belt, bread bag, gas mask container with gas cape pouch attached, entrenching tool, ammo pouches and perhaps a canteen but that is mostly hidden by the right arm, being little visible something that might be taken as its cup. In addition, another striking fact is the lack of any firing weapon although the soldier has the two StG44 ammunition pouches, unmistakably recognized after size and other details. In the purpose of the review two sets have been bought and the bags arrived in safe conditions, so the deficiency cannot be taken as an accidental miss from one set. Nevertheless, staying still, pretty relaxed, the pose is suitable to appear even without weapon, presumed as put aside while resting or preparing for an attack bearing in mind the shovel kept in front under the belt. However, modellers wishing to arm the soldier in compliance with the ammo pouches find excellent StG44s provided on separate sprues of weapons in Dragon figure sets as well as in Preiser’s “Advancing Grenadiers with MG”. The weapon might be displayed either in any hand or kept in front or back secured by a scratch-built sling.

Although wearing Zeltbahn, item in service from 1931 till the end of war, trooper’s ankle boots and gaiters restrict the period and he can be displayed from 1943 to 1945. Below Zeltbahn he wears either the regular uniform or rarer, a camouflage one, for the second case the poncho rather being dressed as an item of garment for foul weather. Also his steel helmet seems covered by camouflage cloth, the attire and equipment portraying a Late War soldier. A special remark should refer to palms, the artwork shows him without gloves but the quite vague details corroborated with the excess of material emerged between the palms and body may determine the hobbyist to paint the palms as wearing gloves. Moreover, such approach complies with the other Kami de Koro Koro figures, all of them being issued as wearing gloves, so probably sculptor’s main intention was the infantry-men in case to have gloves but the creator of the artwork did not know or forgot about.

In conformity with the arm eagle, armband with division name and camouflage pattern featured in the artwork, the army-man belongs to a Waffen SS unit. Nevertheless, the attire is suitable both for Waffen SS or Wehrmacht, so modellers might paint various camouflage schemes specific to such units, with the mention that neither Waffen SS pea dot nor Wehrmacht tan/water should fit because Zeltbahns have never been issued in those patterns. However, the helmet cover suits to more camouflage patterns but obviously should match the type of unit mainly highlighted by the finished Zeltbahn pattern. The trooper goes well both in warm or cold seasons, and the tunic and trousers cut grants liberty in painting, feldgrau or camouflage excellent working. An intricate issue is guessing if the figure wears or not a scarf or something related, the neck area being not so fine sculptured. For this reason, corroborated with the other Kami de Koro Koro figure from “German Early Palm Tree Pattern Officer” which wears a toque, it would be indicated painting a scarf even if such item is not reflected in the artwork.

The Zeltbahn does not astonish through sculpture or details, still it should be emphasised the proper appearance, particularly in front where the specific triangle formed when Zeltbahn was worn as a piece of clothing comes out pretty clear as well as the bigger grommet in the middle but other grommets and buttons were neglected. Some folds are quite nice on the Zeltbahn but the creases on the uniform are unimpressive. Foot wear and gaiters are poor as well, fine points almost missing. Overall, anatomy has good proportions but details on face are nothing special, reservations on palms being already expressed. With the facial expression the sculptor tried to illustrate the soldier while talking to a colleague, the head being turned to the right and the mouth opened. Still, the mouth is carved very big and nose, eyes, eye-brows, and cheeks do not succeed to confer a nicer look to the soldier. Likewise, sculpture of gear is average but the strap of the gas mask container is easily noticed. 

Cast and mould are meagre, except the excess of material recorded at palms and under bread-bag, flash and thin film cover lots of areas, so cleaning might take quite much. A small air-bubble was discovered on the figure of one set while on the other from the second set few more air-bubbles were noticed, including a larger one in the middle of the helmet. The resin quality is okay and the pose without sensitive areas increases the capacity of resisting to undesired shocks like accidental drops. Without stand, with little care when detaching it from the slot, the miniature might get a fine balance, standing without any support. The material fantastic answers to enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, and even after extreme handling maintains those unmodified.

In the medium/tall side of 1/72, from the pointed out sets with figures in Zeltbahns, due to his stance, the present one matches the best with Preiser’s soldier from Military Police. Guards The German Reich 1939-45” who stays still, perhaps guarding an objective. Anyway, the Kami de Koro Koro figure can join a huge amount of 1/72 WWII Germans dressed either for summer or winter and wearing both regular or camouflage items of clothing. Because of the size of body and gear, good recommendations would be CMK’s “German soldiers with Panzerschreck”, Pegasus Hobbies’ “Waffen SS Set2”, Armourfast's “German Mortar Team” and “German Machine Gun Team”, Esci’s "German Soldiers Smoke Units" and obviously, the comrade from the twin set “German Early Palm Tree Pattern Officer”.

As a one figure set, expensive, and putting forward a miniature not remarkable in terms of sculpture, mainly addressed to hobbyists interested in more soldiers wearing Zeltbahns as a piece of clothing or collectors intending to gather as many sets as they can, in the end the Kami de Koro Koro’s “German Infantry Poncho Camo Figure” appears as an interesting but not memorable effort.  

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