Articles

Warriors - U-Boat Crew Set1 (Conning Tower) (WA72006) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Warriors
Scale 1/72
Set Code WA72006
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 4
No. of Poses 4
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945

 

Review 

One of the most respected producers of resin figures, Warriors enriches the 1/72 WW2 German Army with just a limited offer but of marvellous quality, setting up an extremely high standard in terms of sculpture and accuracy thanks to the noteworthy collaboration with Bill Chilstrom, the author of all the 1/72 figure released by this company. Likewise, Warriors uses to focus on attractive topics, each benefitting by special attention within two or more sets. Treating subjects as Panzer crews, advancing infantry, and tank riders in pair sets, the U-Boat crewmen emerge as the single theme Warriors dedicated three figure sets for covering various locations on the deck as the title of each highlights. Until now, main gun, AA gun, and conning tower have been considered by the manufacturer, in other words the key positions on U-Boat engaging the enemy at the surface. As well-known, that represented a common tactic for ground objectives, attacking convoys far from escort battle-ships or aircraft danger or sinking damaged ships during night or in safe areas, saving in this way the precious torpedoes.

The two sets proposing gunners include just three soldiers while the one focused on conning tower feature an extra figure, the last kit following to be below analysed. As it would have been anticipated, Warriors’ “U-Boat Crew Set #1 (Conning Tower)” puts forward outstanding minis, in diverse attire and appropriate stances for taking position in the famous conning tower of a WW2 German U-Boat. Definitely, these figures have the great propensity of populating such emplacement, giving to it a more human touch, but utilisations do not have to restrict only to that.

The kit comes in the large clear plastic box type, often approached by Warriors and offering enough protection to the resin minis wrapped in a plastic bag, too. Likewise, the classic artwork showing great painted versions of the incorporated figures is deployed again and it might be taken not only as a simple advert, but also as a proper guide for putting together and painting the content, especially bearing in mind that no assembly instructions or numbered parts are given. Based on the fact that arms and heads are delivered on separate slots for each body, the artwork should be carefully studied for proper assemble the soldiers. However, identification to which body should be glued its projected arms and head is quite easy due to dissimilar garment items. Parts fit fine in places, although one or two arms will require little sanding or further adjustments for a more natural appearance. The white resin used by Warriors is quite fragile, so it will be wise taking more care when removing the pieces from slots, particularly sensitive ones as wrists or feet that may break quite fast. Even if an accident occurs, nothing to be scared of, the broken piece effortlessly is fixed back with super glue gel, this kind of adhesive being more than recommended for resin products. It achieves a strong bond wholly comparable with the one made by standard modelling glue on hard plastic.

The unconventional way of dressing and the enhanced diversity of garment items encountered on a U-Boat are fully revealed. Taking into account the conning tower was a position of foremost importance the set submits at least two officers, easily recognised after their peaked caps and from the remaining two minis, at least the one with Pudelmutze cap could be appraised as an officer or higher rank NCO. The officer holding binoculars in the right hand and the left leg and hand hanging odd in the air but the figure reveals its full potential when set in position while his left limbs are crafted as resting on a railing. He could wear a reefer or leather jacket, the pose and the close model of the two attire pieces in Braille Scale making suitable both interpretations. The larger appearance of his trousers indicates that he put on rubberised bad-weather over-trousers and because of that it is uncertain if he shoes ankle or long boots, although first interpretation seems more possible. Nonetheless, it is not mandatory representing his trousers as made of leather, those may be regular ones, too. Likewise, this officer has got a scarf and a quite long beard, detail mainly encountered at Kriegsmarine and extremely rare within other WWII German Army branches. Due to all these particulars, the figure might be assessed as the U-Boat commander or other high-ranked officer. Though his clothes permit transfer to ground units, the beard makes it a little intricate the issue, for instance in case of turning him into a Panzer officer best would be replacing the head with one having no beard. Nevertheless, in few extremely isolated cases, the beard would work for a ground officer, too and somehow is a pity changing this excellent sculptured head.

The second officer, screening the distance through binoculars is dressed in bordjacke and leather trousers, especially because of the reinforcement stitches quite clear visible on pants, but also other items of clothing would be feasible such as an overall. He is the single figure with a belt, perhaps the girdle of bordjacke, but that could be painted as a leather belt, the item hiding some details and permitting diverse assessments in terms of clothes.  At this figure appropriate is first glue his head and then the arms in order to achieve a perfect interaction between eyes and optical device. Finishing him as wearing an overall, the officer requires no modification for allocating him to a ground unit, particularly armoured or maintenance ones.  Furthermore, for emphasising his membership to such unit a Dragon or Preiser pistol holster might be added, his belt clearly supporting this idea.

Referring to the third figure, its position on the U-Boat and rank is harder to be determined while he covered his head with a Pudelmutze, a very common article on Kriegsmarine vessels worn by all ranks, but difficult to spot at ground units. He dresses the famous short U-Boat leather jacket, issued to various specialized army-men, the model being more spread after a large stock of leather was confiscated from Italy by the Germans in 1943, part of the tailored jackets arriving to U-Boat crews and another to some Waffen SS Divisions, plenty of them being allocated to 12th Panzer Division. A clue on his high rank submits the long boots and he keeps trousers that could be either leather or regular tucked in boots. He holds a pair of binoculars in the right arm and the left leg is bent as resting on a railing, step or similar things. He also wears a short and primp beard only around the mouth, so not only the Pudelmutze, but also beard hampers the unmodified utilization of the figure within a ground unit. His facial details are a masterpiece in 1/72 scale and are emphasized by the way of keeping the head-cover. Attire, binoculars and pose justify assessing him as an NCO, officer or even as an unconventional U-Boat commander.

The last miniature proposed by the kit portrays a soldier wearing leather, deck rain or wool jacket, these items being tailored in the same style and often worn by deck personnel. The larger appearance of his trousers is a clue in apprising those as leather ones, though the item can be easily painted as regular trousers. He shoe boots and on the head he received a M34 overseas cap, clearly indicating that here we are not in the presence of an officer. The mini was carved as keeping his arms on the railing, emplaced near the conning tower wall and to achieve the proper angle, the sculptor considered necessary to provide a flat area in the waist area, so for this figure is compulsory finding a location hiding the inconvenient. His cloths, head cover, and shaved face turn the soldier into one apt for almost all WWII German units without any alteration.

Just like in all Warriors 1/72 figure sets, we encounter impressive figures, highly accurate from all points of view. Anatomy is brilliant, with ideal proportions of limbs, heads, and palms featuring all fingers where those should be, outstandingly matching the intended positions. Likewise, facial details immediately charm any viewer with perfect sculptured eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths, ears and hair. Of particular interest are the beards, dissimilarly cut and with perceivable hairs, true masterpieces in the field. Clothes and head gear put forward in an accurate manner both the length and small details such as buttons, pocket flaps, creases or stitches. Earlier pointed out, the Pudelmutze make a strong impression not only through carving abilities of the knit material or shape, but also by the way it is arranged on the head, a little lower on the right eye. In fact it is widely recognised that Warriors figures excels in how natural wear head covers, restating the great attention paid by Mr. Bill Chilstrom for achieving extremely realistic miniatures.   

Cast and mould have worked very fine and the product is accompanied just by a thin film, fast removed as well as a really low level of flash. Excess of material is not encountered at all while only a single air bubble could be discovered on a figure, but even for that it is a matter of seconds to fill it either with superglue during assembly process or with paint in a later stage. At the beginning of the review it has been shown this resin is quite fragile, but I think it would proper repeating the warning for taking increased care when removing parts from slots in order to avoid breakage in thin areas. Nonetheless, the material is not as frail as it might appear, it even resist to accidental falls, of course if the figure will not hit the ground with the palm. For painting the product are no necessary any preparations, enamel, acrylics or artistic oils gorgeously integrating in the material, drying very fast and remaining there unmodified despite numerous touches.

In the tall side of 1/72, like almost all sets issued on Kriegsmarine subjects no matter manufacturer, these Warriors figs find plenty of comrades to occupy a U-Boat or ship, two other Warriors as well as Revell, CMK, or Hecker & Goros proposing reliable partners in this regard. Moreover, the 1/72 army-men enlisted in Kriegsmarine greatly match not only from the point of view of size, but also from the sculpture one, both mass production and cottage industry offering wonderful carved miniatures. On the other hand, if transformed into ground units, bearing in mind the attire, the minis would fit in a cold or temperate environment, again meeting many comrades in various mass production and aftermarket catalogues.  

The brittleness of resin and the not so accessible price make the product suitable for static modellers and collectors, in wargaming these army-men not finding pretty easy a place. Created for display in conning tower, these figures perfectly fulfil their role, either alone as monitoring the sea or used in conjunction with the next Warriors sets on the topic, as the command centre coordinating the attack. However, as most of the other sets on Kriegsmarine personnel, these minis can be quite easily relocated, more or less modified, within ground units. Still, for avoiding exceptions, heads with beards and Pudelmutze have to be replaced. Sadly, nowadays this set is listed as out-of- production, but fortunately we may accidentally run into it in some hobby shops as well as in different on-line stores and eBay. 

 

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