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TQD Castings - 1936-45 Great Coated Infantry Marching (TQD-GH29) _________(EXT)

Manufacturer TQD Castings
Scale 1/72
Set Code TQD-GH29
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 5
No. of Poses 5
Additional Items 1 Kar98K
Size Tall
Material White Metal
Colour Silver
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1940 – 1945

 

Review 

Recognised as the most prolific manufacturer of 1/72 white metal miniatures on WWII Germans, inside the TQD Castings gigantic catalogue there can be found a large array of topics, depicting the brave soldiers in a plenitude of hypostases. Of special interest benefitted the marching troopers, the company portraying them in more sets, covering both the spring/summer and autumn/winter common attire, namely M36 uniform for warm seasons, respectively greatcoats for cold weather. As customary at this major figure maker, the topic is treated within two distinct five figure sets, one aiming at infantry-men armed with rifles and MP and another targeting a complete three member MG34 crew accompanied by two riflemen. Putting together the content of the two sets, the hobbyist might assemble an entire ten soldier rifle squad, the smallest official unit within WWII German Army, the army-men being equipped with the weapons provided for such entity by KStN. “1936-45 Great Coated Infantry Marching”, the subject-matter of the present review, proposes troopers armed with light weapons such as Kar98K and one MP while the other “1936-45 Great Coated Infantry Marching INC MG34” delivers the MG team and other two riflemen, members of the same squad.

Reminiscence from Kaiser’s army, the greatcoat was still the most usual winter item of garment utilised by the WWII German army-men, especially in the Early Part but maintained in service till the end. After the dramatic experience of first winter on the Eastern Front, the German High Command perfectly understood the units had worn inappropriate clothes both for combat and warming, so since 1942, specialised winter attire such as parkas and fur anoraks started to replace the obsolete greatcoat. Still, due to shortage of dedicated winter clothes, the greatcoat continued to be delivered as winter outfit until the end of WWII. Various models were created, both standard and tailor made, but the most ordinary were M36, M40, and M42. The M36 and M40 types are easily identified after the French cuffs, in the 1/72 scale the main difference resting in the colour of the collar the modeller chooses to paint. Due to the presence of “Y” straps perhaps the model encountered on the here reviewed minis is M40 and since 1940 it had appeared without interruptions during the rest of WWII. It was more frequently met on the Western front, where winters were not so difficult as well as on the Eastern Front, mainly in the period 1940-1942, after that, although in service, its presence diminishing because of the newly issued specialised winter outfits.

TQD Castings products are primarily sold on internet and the sets miss either a box or a special package, the content coming in a small transparent plastic bag, without any tag or sticker to introduce the title, artwork or guidelines. Such information and sometimes painted and assembled figs, serving as inspiration model, must be searched on the web-site of the producer. Nevertheless, the sturdiness of the material ensures a safe delivery, the miniatures reaching the destination in safe conditions, even unwrapped in a special package. Though the title does not make any reference to the army it addresses, “1936-1945 Great Coated Infantry Marching” certainly refers to WWII German one. Moreover, in terms of the period, the same title includes an insignificant inaccuracy, due to their “Y” straps and M40 greatcoats, these army-men should have marched to the front line after 1940, when those articles entered in service. In addition, one figure received two separate arms, in the hand holding a Kar98K with either a bayonet or a grenade launcher. For scenarios encompassed in the Early Part of WWII, ideal is the one with bayonet because grenade launchers attached to firing weapons became available in 1942 and the here submitted cup-type just from 1943.

All five figures of the set are properly dressed for winter, with M40 greatcoats, toques, and gloves, items of garment classically supplied to troops for cold season. Designed for protecting the face and neck, the toque was a very ordinary winter item for the WWII German soldier. Likewise, the type of gloves featured here seems to be the standard five fingers knitted ones, but if desired, those might be illustrated as made of leather. Still, the recommended one would be knitted gloves, better matching the toques and also on the website of the producer, the painted figs look like wearing such gloves, too. As footwear, these soldiers have got the famous all season marching/jack boots, four of them wearing M34 overseas caps, a single one choosing the steel helmet. Because of their overall appearance, these minis can be best utilised in winter landscapes, but late autumns or early springs should not be excluded.

The traditional equipment resting in bread bag, canteen, mess-tin, gas mask container, gas-cape pouch, and shovel/entrenching tool is featured with slight variations. Two did not take with them the gas mask containers and three comrades rolled the gas cape pouches around the gas mask containers, fastened with two straps. The army-men are endowed with folding shovels and a single entrenching tool, having also the bayonet attached.

The whole arsenal of this small unit rests in four Kar98K and a MP40, but TQD Castings confirms again the desire of filling in gaps in the field of WWII Germans. In spite coming out ordinary at the first glance, practically the weaponry displays an extremely rarely seen item of equipment/weapon in Braille Scale. This most exciting article is represented by the Gewehrgranatgerät attached to the Kar98K, and it is about not only the device screwed in the Kar98K muzzle, but also the holster of that grenade launcher, clearly shown together with its shoulder carrying strap by a figure which still misses the specific ammo pouch. The miniature involves minor assembly, the manufacturer providing two options for the left arm. One arm comes with a Kar98K with bayonet fixed while the other introduces the Gewehrgranatgerät, a special device, initially issued in 1942, and since 1943 remodelled in a cup-type grenade launcher that fired various type of projectiles such as HE, anti-tank, illuminating, propaganda etc. It could be fixed in the muzzle of various firing arms like FG42, StG44, and evidently, Kar98K, as here displayed. Both arm variants perfectly works, keeping in mind also the earlier stressed remarks regarding time intervals. The holster of Gewehrgranatgerät does not hamper at all the utilisation of the rifle with bayonet, in this case it might be assessed the grenade launcher is in its holster but the soldier will get two bayonets. Anyway, bearing in mind the scarce presence of Gewehrgranatgerät in the scale, corroborated with the top-notch details the sculptor reveals here, maybe better would be selecting the arm with that weapon. In 1/72 scale, Pegasus Hobbies gives their interpretation over this innovative grenade launcher inside Waffen SS Set 2, a pose from there, inspired after a reference image, firing off a Kar98K with Gewehrgranatgerät. With the weapon held in the left hand, the soldier steps forward at a slow pace, adopted by his comrades, too. The team-mates of the figure with optional left arm are endowed with three Kar98K and one MP40, all of them receiving correct ammo pouches for the weapon in use.

Perfectly illustrating the topic referred by tile, TQD marching soldiers for winter advance in different manners and, as regular for the company, are sculptured in extremely natural stances, strongly sustained and put in valour by the perfect way gear hang, modalities of keeping the weapons, and clothes shape and fold. They can either march to or retreat from the first line and as previously stressed, the present set should be regarded in conjunction with the other on the matter delivering the MG34 and its crew, in this light, the soldier with MP40 emerging as the NCO of the squad. With the collar of the greatcoat up, he is in the middle of arranging something at it with the left hand while with the other keeps the sling of his MP40 hanging on the back. Perhaps due to sculpturing reasons, he received just the left hand side ammunition pouch, but this does not affect at all the great accuracy of the figure. One rifleman goes forward holding his weapon in the right hand and the left in the pocket although he wears gloves, his gesture is normal bearing in mind the difficult winters those army-men had to pass. The most conventional marching pose is adopted by the trooper with steel helmet, in the right having the sling of the rifle and the left down on the body. An extremely natural attitude also proposes the soldier advancing with the head little down and arms crossed on the chest in the attempt of keeping warm, the stance being supported by some reference images, too. That character did not take with him the gas mask container and on the right side of his face, a mould error found its place, a seam line mutilating the entire check and forehead. Still, with little imagination, the fault might be interpreted as an ugly scar, such wounds often occurring on the front line.

Both anatomy and fine points on gear and clothes amaze through high accuracy, proportions, and amount of small details the sculptor succeeded to disclose. Although heavily dressed, the forms of the bodies perceived wrapped in greatcoats are outstanding and also the facial details, with distinguishable eyes, eyebrows, noses, and greatly carved cheeks. Likewise, in spite wearing gloves, the palms are not over-scaled, leaving a good impression, particularly considering that all fingers are easily identified and excellent set in position. Tough modelled full at the bottom, the greatcoats are brilliant for this scale, of a correct length, and credibly folding in different manners, according to the moves the wearers do. Moreover, the sculptor finely illustrated the M40 model of greatcoat, shoulder boards, pockets, and buttons arriving marvellously shaped and placed. The niceties displayed on gear are striking, bringing a most important contribution to the charm of the figures. Through others, exceptional achievements are the “Y” straps, with clearly noticeable rings and reinforcements, a little over-scaled being the front buckles, but this does not perturb the stunning look of those straps. Likewise, extremely realistic and in dissimilar ways the M34 overseas caps are worn and fold, also taking into consideration the over toque settings. Due to casting motives, the weapons are slightly thicker, this time less the rifles and more the MP40, particularly its clip. In fact, the present Kar98Ks record close proportions to the famous Dragon and Preiser rifles, the perfectness of details being remarkable.

Except the scar on the face of the figure with crossed arms, moulding and casting are great, the miniatures turning up almost flash-less and without visible excess of material, including the shovel handle areas. In order to properly paint white metal, priming is the first step, otherwise enamel, acrylics or artistic oils will not appropriately fix and even minor touches will endanger the effort put in by the hobbyist. The figures are displayed on slot tangs that must be snapped and glued in round plastic bases and in case it is wanted detaching the minis from their locations, the hobbyist should make use of snipers because TQD Castings metal is extremely sturdy. If such surgery is applied, smoothing the area with a file comes as the second step, obviously before priming. The recommended adhesive is super glue gel, not only for gluing the slot tangs in bases and the separate arm, but also for potential conversions, the substance making a strong bond between white metal and other materials utilised in the hobby like resin or hard plastic. For instance, some Dragon and Preiser separate items of gear might be added as well as swapping heads, but these methods are advocated only if owing more identical sets, and just for bringing diversity between the minis. The presence of bases is an important clue these toy-soldiers address not only to diorama builders and collectors, but also to gamers, the sturdiness of the material clearly sustaining them in this purpose, too.     

Mass production tenders made available by different manufacturers put forward a large assortment of figs dressed in M40 greatcoats but marching ones are scarcely encountered, Preiser in “Military Police. Guards The German Reich 1939-45” and “WWII German Troops on Leave” as well as Caesar in “WWII German Army with Field Greatcoats” having several that can be adapted in this purpose. In the tall side of the 1/72 scale, the here reviewed minis find excellent comrades inside the interlinked TQD Castings and in few other cottage industry offers, so those whishing to recreate a WWII German marching column with troopers dressed in M40 greatcoats have at hand several solutions.

Fully sustaining TQD Castings desiderate of supplying to the hobby the necessary figures for depicting marching WWII German soldiers, “1936-45 Great Coated Infantry Marching” together with its continuation “1936-45 Great Coated Infantry Marching INC MG34” give the modeller the opportunity to recreate at least a complete squad, equipped in complete accordance with KStN provisions. In addition, the miniatures composing the unit are faultlessly detailed in terms of attire, weapons, and gear, transposing in the 1/72 scale a most realistic image of the embodied soldiers.      

 

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