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Orion - German Panzer Soldiers Set6 (ORI7206R) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Orion
Scale 1/72
Set Code ORI7206R
Year 2012
No. of Figures 4
No. of Poses 4
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Resin
Colour Cream / Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945 (one since 1943)

 Review 

With the sixth set of the resin line, Orion continues to explore in a brilliant manner the huge assortment of clothes worn by Panzer soldiers and none of the here incorporated army-men dresses the same clothes. As the previous set has established, WWII German Panzer Basic Set 6 also supplies four miniatures, and a more than interesting aspect is recorded regarding the figure appraised as bonus. As the previous and following sets in the series attest, the bonus mini tries remediating cast or mould errors encountered at various figures included within the first three sets, as a compensation for the potential clients that purchased those and might be interested in buying the next ones, too. However, this is a notable market strategy and the manufacturer should be much appreciated for the incentive and efforts. 

Returning to the bonus featured within Basic Set 6, in the front artwork the distinct “+” mark is introduced before a figure that has never been issued inside all previous sets, so practically this is a new miniature as well as his other three comrades. The trooper in case has no close connection with any prior Orion toy-soldier, being dressed in a M33 HBT working jacket and shoeing marching/jack boots, so which one is the real bonus? It seems the sculptor and the company wanted to compensate the not so well achieved trooper in shirt and with M43 cap proposed inside Basic Set 2, and although producing a totally different mini, there are serious clues the army-man in Panzer uniform and with M43 cap is intended as a replacement of the just mentioned figurine. Bearing in mind these fact-findings, perhaps it would be better to consider that trooper as the true bonus of the set and maybe the inadvertence accidentally sneaked in the artwork, the “+” being set before the wrong fig.

Likewise, it might be useful to know that Orion’s soft plastic set titled “German WWII Panzer Soldiers (Basic Set 1)”, which practically copies the resin tankers previously incorporated within the mini-sets, hosts just two poses from Basic Set 6, respectively the soldier with M43 cap and the one in working jacket and with marching/jack boots. 

The package is now common for Orion’s resin kits, with content inside a plastic bag fixed on a cardboard and with front artwork featuring a photo of the masters and the back one offering excellent painting guidelines, being also sculptor’s creation. In this light, his recommendations on painting should be implemented without fear, but the modeller can give his own touch, the real items of garment here depicted registering lots of variations in terms of colours, so the base of selection is really huge. 

Figures worked by Boris Knokhov not only abound in small details, but also arrive in very natural stances, this time two tankers standing, one sitting, and another squat. Moreover, as emphasised from the very beginning, in Basic Set 6 Orion introduces an impressive assortment of clothes. Corroborating the stances and attire, it might be assessed that somehow the focus within the present set is maintenance activities, although the miniatures can be deployed both on the front and back lines. 

The only toy-soldier wearing the Panzer uniform, evaluated as the true bonus of the set, has got ankle boots, M43 cap, belt, and pistol holster. In addition, he can embody either a Panzer private or NCO or even officer, being medaled with Panzer Assault Badge and featuring the Iron Cross ribbon on the left hand side of the chest. Bending in front in a tranquil stance, with the left in the hip and the right in front laid on the turret, primary of a Panther, he is suitable for occupying position in various places, mounted on different Panzers or armoured vehicles. Likewise, he can be displayed on the ground as well, propping the left hand on a vehicle or other objects such as a chair, fence etc. This mini represents a completely revisited version of a tanker put forward by Basic Set 2, which dresses shirt, Panzer trousers, M43 cap, and ankle boots. That also bends a little in front, but holds his left arm on the knee in a habitual stance and had the visor of the cap damaged by a mould error. The new figurine on the matter from Basic Set 6, is not only differently dressed, but also keeps the left arm in a dissimilar position and gets out from the mould with an intact visor of his cap. 

Next in the attention of the present review is the so-called “bonus”, a tanker wearing the M33 HBT drill uniform, with M34 overseas cap and marching/jack boots. Nevertheless, because the upper area of the trousers is covered by the tunic, the visible part and cut make them suitable to represent many other army trousers. Photos taken to soldiers dressed in the same way are extremely numerous, including Panzer crewmen, and the great variety of the real colours available for such items gives modellers a multitude of painting options. Practically, the colour of his M34 cap and eventual insignia depicted there establish the parent unit for this miniature that can be not only a Panzer soldier, but also a mechanic, driver, artilleryman, infantryman, doctor, vet etc. With both hands deep in the pockets of the blouse and looking to the left, there are few images from the period illustrating similar Panzer men. Of great success is how the sculptor succeeded to recreate the pockets, ideally shaping around the hands from inside. A special feature of this particular figure is that he comes on a base, none of the previous or following Orion’s Panzer troopers cast in resin having alike devices. Indeed, he can be utilised on a vehicle or on the ground, but the basing argument is fairly unknown, while within the available tender there are more Panzer soldiers appropriate to be set either mounted on a vehicle or dismounted. 

Another army-man wearing M33 HBT working suit has been included, this time shoeing ankle boots and sitting on his hams. Adopting a lifelike pose, the squat miniature bends a little in front and looks straight, to something that he has to repair, to a friend, or simply in the distance. In a certain manner, the M33 HBT drill uniform was intensively worn within WWII German Army, and the tankers dressed it with the same frequency as the famous black Panzer uniform. Rather than tearing their distinct and highly appreciated uniform, the Panzer crewmen preferred to put on common drill attire, not only in free time and in maintenance, but also on the front line. In addition, such garment provided a better camouflage on the frontline, in case the crew was forced to leave the vehicle, the disruptive colours of working clothes being preferable to a black one. Obviously, the things related to membership to a unit, highlighted for the comrade in drill uniform, applies for this one, too. In the artwork the blouse and trousers of his M33 HBT drill uniform are painted in different colours, and this is a more than precise piece of instruction, most of the times films and photos taken in the period revealing such aspect. However, nothing retains the hobbyist to paint the garment pieces in the same colour, various shades of green, gray, or blue emerging more than appropriate. At least for the moment, this miniature is available only in resin, without being duplicated in plastic yet.  

The fourth figure proposed by the set is also included only here and illustrates a soldier in shirt, with Panzer trousers, M34 overseas cap, and ankle boots. The rolled up sleeves of the shirt indicates the environment where he should activate and fully complies with his other three team-mates. In a very relaxed stance and holding his palms together, he looks either in the distance or to a colleague. Various spaces on the vehicle or other places are suitable for this trooper, he can greatly take a sit in a chair close to a table or on a barrel, ammo boxes, tree-trunk etc. Although simple at first glance, the level of details is remarkable and impressive, the complete and complex characteristics of the pants he wears, especially in the upper panel, where we can clearly notice the front buttons of the exterior waistband, the side and back pockets with a single button closure, the vertical belt loops on the back, as well as the attractive haircut, reemphasizing the outstanding skills of the sculptor and the remarkable efforts deployed in order to achieve some of the most detailed miniatures in Braille Scale and totally comparable with larger scale figures. On account the clothes he dresses, this soldier can be enrolled in various armies, including land units, as well as Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine, of course, painting his M34 cap accordingly.

In spite doing almost nothing, all poses are fantastic in the designed purposes, charming with their simple but truly multifaceted appearance as well as with the assortment of clothes they put on, all being dissimilarly dressed. Nevertheless, they can occupy a single tank or to be used with other comrades forwarded by the eight sets of the resin series proposed by Orion so far. Three of the soldiers from Basic Set 6 are focused on maintenance activities, and in case they are incorporated in a five member Panzer, the rest of the crew, also wearing drill garment can be immediately completed, within the series being available lots of army-men in similar clothes. The same applies for the trooper in Panzer uniform, there are more Orion resin figures within the series dressing the legendary black outfit.

The sculpture is perfect on these tankers, both in terms of attire and anatomy. The various pieces of clothing have got full and accurate details and it is a real pleasure to welcome different combinations of items, often worn in reality but scarcely met in the 1/72 scale. Due to the noteworthy author’s expertise and skills, the garments reveal top-notch uniform insignia, buttons, shirt collars, natural creases and authentic flaps and stitches. Moreover, the footwear looks gorgeous, the level of details being at very high standards, the sculptor managing to reproduce authentic shapes and splendid soles, heels, and shoestrings. Anatomy is well balanced and fully complies with the proportions of human bodies, the faces making a nice impression with ideally carved eyes, eye-brows, noses, mouths, ears, and hair. Palms seem more than fine as well, with greatly shaped and easy identifiable fingers, but it should be pointed out that in one of the two sets procured for the present review, the left palm of the figure in Panzer uniform suffered a little because of the device which held it during casting. Furthermore, the M43 cap of the same figure, but this time in both sets, was damaged by an air-bubble in front, so hobbyists encountering the same problem have to fill in the gap with white putty or other materials, the position of that hole being in a very visible place and quite annoying. However, these are few production mistakes and in general the cast and mould of the product might be assessed as fairly good although some other air-bubbles can be discovered, particularly on the trousers of the squat soldier in drill uniform. The resin utilized is qualitative and these minis can support fairly powerful shocks without breaking and enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils outstanding integrate in the material, keeping the painting work in a proper manner during heavy handling.

Except the standing soldier with working jacket who received a base, none of his comrades arrive on stands. Anyway, they are created for vehicle emplacements and such devices would have been useless, especially bearing in mind one is seated and the squat trooper possesses a very good balance though his left sole is wonderfully flexed, pushing the reality in the scale to a border line scarcely achieved on such small figures. In the tall side of the scale, these soldiers may stand near lots of Panzer men issued by companies such as Preiser, Dragon, El Viejo Dragon, CMK. Additionally, they can be grouped together with figures in working clothes, Preiser and CMK having a comprehensive offer on the matter. Furthermore, as previously pointed out, a perfect match is achieved with their comrades from Orion’s resin line, all sharing the same sculptor in the person of Boris Knokhov.

Considering the more than attractive attire and the limited related tender within Braille Scale, corroborated with the high versatility of roles and the master work on these top-accurate figures as well as the fact that two of them are not displayed within the soft plastic “German WWII Panzer Soldiers (Basic Set 1)”, despite the few casting errors, it might be appreciated that Orion’s Panzer Soldiers Basic Set 6 emerges as a striking and worthwhile offer. In spite its higher price, due to its obvious qualities, this tender may charm not only static model builders and collectors, but also gamers because, although made of resin, these miniatures are fairly resistant and can induce a realistic atmosphere in any location they are displayed.  

 

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