Articles

TQD Castings - WWII Era Kriminalpolezei (TQD112) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer TQD Casting
Scale 1/72
Set Code TQD112
Year 2008
No. of Figures 4
No. of Poses 4
Additional Items None
Size High
Material White Metal
Colour Silver
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Conversion-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1933 -1950

  

Review 

 

TQD Castings is one of the most important sources for 1/72 WWII German figures, with an impressive catalogue, including not only regular Army soldiers, but also trying to cover unusual topics, filling the blank spaces let by mass production companies. Designed by Tony Boustead, the figures are made of white metal and from the first glance, these amaze through a high accuracy, emphasised by the large number of extremely small details added on various things, proving the great skill, research and attention paid by the designer to everything. The anatomy is exceptional and also the gear and weapons, a major value representing the brilliant compatibility with figures made of plastic and resin from the point of view of size. In fact, such compatibility corresponds to one main objective of the producer, a reliable approach taking into account another goal of these sets, of covering the existent gaps in the offer brought by mass-production sets. For few years TQD Casting products have not been on sale, but are now available from Sgt Mess UK, so their great figures will soon start marching to private collections again.

An exciting topic within the wide range of TQD Castings range is revealed by the set "WWII Era Kriminalpolezei", both its versatility and rarity making it more than attractive for various diorama builders or collectors of 1/72 figures. Kriminalpolezei, meaning of course Kriminalpolizei, represents a subject that has never been treated inside a dedicated mass production set until now, even if one or two figures on the matter might be encountered in several such sets. Most of them are available in sets aiming either Berlin 1945, proper examples consisting in Pegasus Hobbies's "German in Berlin 1945" and Orion "Volkssturm" or Resistance such as Caesar's "WWII Underground Resisters (Partisans)" and WWII Partisan in Europe (French and Balkan)" or even Odemars' "Operation Antarctica - Haunebu". Nevertheless, the set released by TQD Casting symbolizes the crème de la crème in the field, with some extremely detailed and well researched products.

In 1936 Kriminalpolizei (or Kripo), embodying the professional detective service of Germany, worked under the leadership of SS and since September 1939 Kriminalpolizei became Amtsgruppe V, subordinated to the new established Central Office for State Security, the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (or RSHA). Organized in a hierarchical system, Kripo had central offices in all cities and smaller towns, its main attributions focusing on major crimes such as rape, murder and arson as well as  "blackout burglary," a sensitive problem during bombing raids when criminals would rob abandoned homes, shops and factories. In spite that most of Kripo were full members of the Allgemeine-SS with a parity SS rank, they also held their corresponding Kripo rank, many detectives preferring to refer to themselves by police investigator titles and not SS ranks. Likewise, plenty of Kriminalpolizei personnel were politically "unreliable" or even anti-Nazis, rejecting to be involved in crimes against humanity. Furthermore, there are a lot of cases when Kripo agents tried to mitigate the worst of Nazi atrocities, a famous example being when they tried to arrest the commander of Sachsenhausen concentration camp on charges of sadism. Unfortunately, the single witness was murdered, and the Kripo officers were escorted off the camp by SS guards. In addition, in order to emphasize the anti-Nazi activity and actions of a part of Kriminalpolizei staff, it should be mentioned that its commander, Artur Nebe, was involved in the July 1944 plot against Hitler, being denounced and executed after the action failed.

In general, the Kripo agents were dressed in civilian clothing, including leather coats, trench coats and water proof coats, and worked in collaboration with the "Ordnungspolezi", the uniformed branch. Within the current set of TQD Casting we get an accurate image of Kripo, but the figures might also depict in the same way other WWII German well-known organizations whose members wore ordinary clothes, (such as the Gestapo). However, according to the way they are dressed, not only Nazi entities could be represented by these figures, but also civilians, members of Volkssturm taking part  in the battle of Berlin or in other places as well as resistance people from different countries fighting against the Nazi occupation. Moreover, except the just mentioned uses, the figures might be successfully employed to depict representatives of various nations' civil or secret police services during WWII, for instance the Romanian "Siguranta". Last but not least, someone needing several 1/72 1920-1940's gangsters to rob a bank or to fight for territorial supremacy in a neighborhood from a US city will find these miniatures more than appropriate to fulfill a task like this.

For the moment the artwork of the set is unknown, but at present short information on how the figures may be painted is available on the new Martello International site as well as on CP Models site. Each figure comes on a slot tang, with a single exception implying the assembly of an arm, all the rest being cast in one piece. The parts needing to be put together benefit by the pin and hole system, but for an appropriate fixing, these have to be glued. The adhesive with great results on white metal is super glue, particularly the gel one based on the fact that it allows further re-adjustments before getting dry.

As you would expect, the Kripo investigators from TQD Castings set come in civil attire, in full compliance with the fashion of the period. All wear suits, even if two of them have long coats over theirs. Ties, hats and shoes or ankle boots complete the garment of few very fancy figures, perhaps some of the most stylish available in the Braille Scale. Remarkable is that each of them has a different hat, including one similar with the model worn by hunters and Tyrolese people, with a feather stuck under the ribbon of the hat, in vogue during the war and still seen on the street nowadays. The figures without long coats illustrate two suites dissimilar tailored, extremely detailed and in full compliance with the mode of the period as well as with the present one, being re-launched from time to time by some major fashion designers.

One of the most striking garment items are the long coats dressed by two figures here. These can be reproduced either as leather coat, trench coats, water proof coat or wool overcoat, the cut being universal suitable for all types. The here represented long coats are really impressive, their small details like buttons, including those of the sleeves or collar boards, specific stitches, cords or creases bringing a foremost contribution in depicting some of the best such coats in the scale. In addition, the way these were sculptured at the bottom, folding around the body in a natural manner and allowing to be seen the legs, defines a highly appreciated plus point of the set. Exactly like in reality, the ends of the sleeves of the jacket appear a little longer than the ones of the long coat, an aspect that it was correctly noticed and revealed by these figs. The same situation is applicable for the shirts and suit jackets, stylists always advocating that the sleeves of shirts should exceed in length those of the jacket. Inside this offer we receive diverse shoe wear, particularly interesting being the ankle boots of the running man with pistol, in his case we can see even the socks, a thing proving once more the great attention granted by the sculptor to each and any apparently insignificant detail, but the total amount of such tiny characteristic features makes the difference between sets, the more such details are, the best set we get and the more fans acquires the manufacturer. The topic illustrated by the set facilitates plenty of painting options, according to what period and people the modeller wish to represent. The notable characteristic features of the present long coats provide the owner the opportunity to replicate the famous black leather coat extensively worn by Gestapo and other secret police agents, but not restricting only to these. However, the black leather long coat is almost perceived as the uniform of Gestapo, in general assorted with a black suit and white shirt. Except black, the most intensive colours for suits in WWII Germany were gray and brown, being more than recommendable for bringing more diversity to these figs. 

Our Kripo representatives are appropriately armed, the largest part making use of the common weapon of the branch, the pistol, and only one holds a submachine gun. An appealing advance is that the three figures possess diverse models of pistols and as normal, two of them are endowed with the most frequent small firing arms in Kripo usage. Of course, Walter Polizei Pistolen Kurz (PPK) could not miss inside a set having as topic Kriminalpolizei, being a weapon specially created for police, as even its name points out. The Walter PPK was the downscaled version of Walter PP, being preferred by plain clothes detectives because it could be easier hidden under the jacket or in the pocket. Except police, the pistol was also officially issued to army officers and Luftwaffe. Nevertheless, the most renowned German pistols are Luger P08 and its upgraded version Walter P38. Here we get a P08, and bearing in mind that the weapon served not only in WWII, but also in WWI, the figure might be used as a police officer in early 1920' or even earlier, the cut of the suit allowing this as well. The last pistol looks pretty close to a Colt-Browning M1911 or its Spanish copy, Echeverria SA Star' Model B, such pistols being largely spread in German service in WWII. However, taking into account the similarity in shape, this pistol might represent another model as well. According to the information provided by the manufacturer, the single MP of the set is not German, but French. In this regard, it seems that our Kripo investigator took a Pistolet Mitrailleur MAS modele 38, often used by Germans under the name 7.65 mm MP722(f). This weapon is famous because it was used by Italian partisans to shoot Benito Mussolini.

The poses are really gorgeous and illustrate usual actions carried out by Kripo agents in mission in a very natural manner. While the figures dressed in overcoats are running, those wearing suits are more tranquil. The one with hat with feather holds in the right hand his Walter PPK, identifying himself as Kripo to a potential culprit through the small badge held in the left hand. The badge can be removed and the figure becomes ideal for an undercover officer knocking on a suspicious door. The other agent in suit walks pretty calm holding in the right hand his P08 down the body in standard approach. Based on the fact that his right arm is given separately, he can be turned into an officer firing off the weapon.

Brilliant elaborated are the figures with long coats, full of dynamism and naturalism, extremely credible in their motion, they seem to rush to occupy a position for giving a helpful hand to their colleagues or even run after a criminal. The agent with the French MP holds his weapon in front of his lower body and has the long coat buttoned, visible being just the knot of his tie as well as the collars of suit and shirt. The other Kripo with long coat is one of the most remarkable figures issued in Braille Scale in terms of vitality. With the pistol in the right hand in a way allowing firing or simply holding, the unbuttoned long coat ordinary folding, the weaving tie on the shoulder and the legs naturally bending confer to this figure a rarely encountered energy. In addition, the figure received on the left collar a quite visible badge, usually the Kripo and Gestapo agents wearing this distinct sign under the collar in order not to divulge their true identity, but sometimes the badge could be fixed in visible places, too.

As previously pointed out, these civil cloths are magnificently reproduced with all small details at the right places, including even the smallest like buttons and specific stitches. Cloths made with such attention and skillful sculpture could not be put on by figures with poor anatomy, the size of bodies, heads and palms with clearly distinct fingers being truly in 1/72 scale, perfectly copying the human nature. Furthermore, in order to underline this idea, the figure in suit with separate arm is a little fatter than the rest while his colleague also in suit is shorter and thinner. All these dissimilarities are clearly done with the purpose of enhancing people diversity, in full compliance with various human body proportions, and not as a result of a mould or sculpture mistake. Moreover, the facial details are not only greatly executed, with visible eyes, eyebrows, noses, ears and mouths, but also stunningly fit with the actions performed by each figure. A single observation should be done with reference to the investigator with hunter hat, on his face has been carved an extremely tiny mould line, (usual in metal miniatures) but nothing disturbing, it can be easily repaired through filling the place with more paint or just left as a scar on its face. No discrepancy is registered in the size of the weapons with similar items from various manufacturers, being released in a correct 1/72 scale. Excess of material cannot find place here, but flash is present in a low quantity on every figure. While flash is painless eliminated, a little more difficult for the novice modeler will be to remove the Kripos' slot tang. This white metal is pretty sturdy and the proper method consists in firstly using snippers for removing the figure from the slot tang and then filing around the feet in order to get rid of the rest of undesired material. On the other hand, white metal necessitates priming for the enamel, artistic oils or acrylics to better adhere, so it is advisable not forgetting about such operation before starting painting these Kripo. Supporters of bases will salute the existence of dedicated devices, the standard model used by wargamer's. These bases are separately delivered and the figures need to be attached on them through using again super glue. The model in case features a ditch where the sprue can be fixed, so no need in making supplementary efforts with the snippers and file if these bases are going to be employed.

Through "WWII Era Kriminalpolezei" TQD Castings has the great merit to select an unusual and exciting topic, covering a serious gap in the field. Despite the fact that the subject has been let outside by mass production manufacturers, few potential colleagues for our Kripo agents can be identified in their offer, as it has been described in the first part of the present review. More or less, in a vignette depicting a period starting with the early 1920's until late 1950's, no matter the country, the content of this set may find an appropriate place. In some extent, the figures might represent nowadays people, there are plenty of cases when the same attire is encountered on the street even at present. Not only the impressive sculpture abounding in a huge number of small details, the diversity and accuracy, but also the suitability in portraying various periods and different nations turn these figures into an extremely valuable and highly appreciated product.      

        

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 10
Mould Quality 10
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 10
TOTAL 10