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Kami de Koro Koro - German Early Palm Tree Pattern Officer (KAD72-003) (Troops & Peoples) _________(EXT)

Manufacturer Kami de Koro Koro
Scale 1/72
Set Code KAD72-003
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

The small resin producer Kami de Koro Koro from Osaka/Japan entered on the 1/72 WWII Germans market with three sets, grouping four soldiers in total, two of them being single figure sets. This is definitely extremely rare encountered in the field, not only mass production plastic sets but also those made by cottage industry in resin or white metal generally comprising more figs. Still, similar approaches are notorious, TQD Castings listing a couple of one figure sets and different vehicle with crew kits put forward only one army-man,  Esci/Italeri, Force of Valour, and ACE representing well-known examples.

If in the previous sets the manufacturer concentrated on rarer depicted items of clothing such as Waffen SS Panzer tunic and Zeltbahn worn over uniform, the last, titled “German Early Palm Tree Pattern Officer” proposes an army-man wearing camouflage smock, a piece of clothing commonly met in the scale, Pegasus Hobbies, Armourfast, Italeri, Caesar, Preiser, TQD Castings, and CMK offering plenty of figures dressed in the famous smock. However, Kami de Koro Koro respected its blazon and strived bringing something new to the figure, respectively the pants which are not the regular ones but M43-H, recognised after the large pocket on the front of the left thigh, very similar with second pattern of HBT 1941 Panzer trousers. Due to sculptor’s limitations, the feature is not easily identified at a quick glance, but studying a little more careful, the pocket on the left thigh comes into sight, making the recognition very easy and clear. Such combination of camouflage smock and M43-H trousers missed in the scale, so a plus point for the company as well as another for the smock and toque arrangement, also atypical but perfectly plausible and seen in reference images, smocks being often used in winter. Being reversible, occasionally the smock had a white side, although most usual were issued in spring/summer and autumn/winter camouflage patterns. 

This producer’s approach to an officer certainly passes as unconventional, armed with MP40 and pistol, in full compliance with KStN provisions enforcing front officers to be armed with MPs and wearing steel helmet and not the traditional peak cap. If the title did not highlight the rank, the present officer could be taken as an NCO as well. He has got ankle boots and gaiters, items together with trousers emphasising the Late War membership and he wears gloves and toque, so definitely it is about a soldier in a cold place like the Ardennes. Lightly equipped, this officer comes only with weapons, a hand grenade stuck in front under belt and the left hand side ammo pouch for MP40 while on the other side hangs the pistol holster. He sets out as an excellent choice for portraying an army-man preparing for an assault, regularly soldiers getting rid of the unnecessary gear for better move in combat. An item of equipment the sculptor could omit is the “Y” straps, offices habitually not wearing those even if exceptions existed, especially at lower ranks like platoon commanders, one of those probably embodying the present miniature.          

The package is the standard Kami de Koro Koro, a transparent plastic bag and the figure wrapped in a supplementary one for better protection, fixed on an ordinary folded piece of paper where there are printed the front and back artworks. The front image shows the soldier in a drawing, having as background a black and white tank. Those succeeding translate the title find out it is about a soldier wearing early palm tree camouflage pattern smock. The name is certainly odd because modellers can paint any camouflage scheme they desire and match on smocks, not only Waffen SS as the one mentioned, but also Wehrmacht or even white. Anyway, in order to give a hint on the referred pattern, a close-up section of palm tree scheme is reproduced in a cartouche in the front artwork. Doubtless, such pattern is one of the most difficult to paint on a 1/72 figure, the specific palm tree leaves being almost impossible to be accurately done for an easy recognition by viewers. Based on the various shades of brown, the company illustrates the autumn/winter version of the palm tree pattern, but again, not only the type, but also the season can be chosen by hobbyist, greener spring/summer colours well functioning in spite the presence of some items of equipment designed for cold periods. The back artwork repeats in a smaller adaptation the front one, additionally giving some information on the manufacturer in Japanese. Apart the name of the series “Troops & Peoples” and scale, no other data are in a language or characters understandable by people not knowing Japanese.

As usual, the figure is single piece except the MP40, in fact there are separately provided two identical weapons, quite bizarre while for the trooper from “German Infantry Poncho Camo Figure” no firing arm is supplied. Perhaps the producer whished to deliver an extra for preventing eventual transportation damages or losses but even if granting two MPs, both are extremely poor, quite small, full of thin film and with excess of resin. Much better would be leaving those aside and adding one hard plastic MP from sources like Preiser, Dragon or Caesar, those making available separate weapons in large quantities within their figure sets. For a more equipped soldier, from the same place can be imported other items such as binoculars, map case, bayonet, mess tin, canteen, bread bag etc. All those can be excellent fixed in position with super glue gel which makes a reliable and durable bond between hard plastic and resin.

Holding his MP40 in the left hand, this officer with mouth open yells orders to his subordinates while walking, pointing to something with the right hand. The pose is a little weird while he does not look at all in the direction he points to, but in motion, such stance could be possible.

The entire sculpture of the figure does not impress, actually the best achievements are assessed the face and hands. Partially covered by the toque and with expressivity enhanced by the opened mouth, it depicts quite natural an officer, the eyes and nose being fairly done, too. The artwork let us know the soldier wears gloves and those are evident on the figure. WWII Germans wore diverse types of gloves and here it seems we get the knitted five finger model, although leather ones are suitable, officers putting on such gloves even in pleasant environments, not necessary in winter. With reference to clothes, the details are quite vague, the front placket of the smock and its string as well as the pocket on the left thigh of trousers astounding with nothing. In addition, creases and folds are scantly carved and also the other small details such as collar and collar boards of the tunic the soldier has under smock. In a simplified manner are crafted the ankle boots and gaiters, camouflage cover of the helmet as well as the pistol holster and grenade. 

Both weapons and figure arrive with lots of flash and thin film but at least excess of material misses. Apart of a small air-bubble on the right leg and another at the wrist of the right arm, the figure from one set featured no undesired problems, but the other from a second set had in abundance air-bubbles, particularly annoying being those on the left arm where around five small bubbles were spread between the wrist and elbow as well as those on the helmet and in other locations. The resin is of fair quality, not bridle and well taking in shocks. Still, some care should be given when removing the figure from the slot in order not to damage the footwear. As always, the resin awesome comports during painting, brilliantly hosting enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, retaining the artistic effort even if the product is exposed to repeated touches.

In spite sculpting and casting limits, the body proportions are good for a medium/tall 1/72 figure and he greatly interact with his comrade in Zeltbahn. In fact, bearing in mind that soldier is with opened mouth as well, perhaps the two army-men were planned having in mind a potential discussion between an officer and his subordinate. Moreover, this officer can command not only that soldier, but also others dressed in smocks, parkas or various winter or regular attire. Troopers wearing smocks and matching pretty well in terms of size are displayed by Pegasus Hobbies’ “Waffen SS Set 2”, Armourfast’s  “German Mortar Team” and “German Machine Gun Team”, Preiser’s “8 cm Granatwerfer 34 in combat” and “German PAK 40 Crew”as well as CMK’s German soldiers with Panzerschreck”.

Though issuing a limited tender, Kami de Koro Koro’s merit rests in the attempt of filling gaps related to attire worn by WWII German soldiers. Even if developed in 2005, before the boom of 1/72 WWII Germans, the items of garment to which the Japanese producer oriented are not well covered even nowadays, so its figures might interest collectors and static modellers. Furthermore, the miniatures from the three sets perfectly work together in case it is intended to illustrate a Late War scene with an armoured vehicle and its crew accompanied by two infantry-men.     

 

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