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Zvezda - German Regular Infantry 1936-1943 (6178) _________(EXT)

Manufacturer Zvezda
Scale 1/72
Set Code 6178
Year 2012
No. of Figures 5
No. of Poses 4
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Average
Glue-ability Excellent (Polly-cement)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1940 - 1945

 

Review 

WWII German infantry-men dressed in Early War attire certainly benefit by the widest coverage within 1/72 figure domain, hundreds of plastic, resin, and white metal soldiers being forwarded by mass production and garage industry reps. Depicted in a huge range of hypostases, it is quite difficult finding out new poses, but Zvezda, recognized for the excellent knowledge of the market has come out with some fresh stances inside their second set on the matter titled “German Regular Infantry 1936-1943” (6178) and designed for “Operation Barbarossa” and other board-games as well as static modellers. Previously, the company released a Mini-Box targeting the same units, “German Infantry 1939-1942” (6105) and gathering the soldiers from the two sets hobbyists obtain seven distinct poses. Moreover, suitable to be incorporated in a large box on infantry there are at least the troopers from MG34, 81mm Mortar, Medics, and Reconnaissance kits issued by the same producer. These might be joined by the army-men fromGerman Infantry Platoon 1942-1944”, the single Zvezda regular plastic figure set on that army putting forward 14 poses and fully compatible in terms of material, style and level of sculpting, size, and garment with the infantrymen made available under “Art of Tactic” logo.

In addition, within Zvezda’s board-game series there are also featured figs embodying infantry-men operating specific infantry cannons such as PaK35/36 and le.IG18. Likewise, the gunners from FLAK38, FLAK36/37, and LeFH18 might act as proper infantry-men if the projectiles they hold are replaced with rifles or MPs as well as those from Pioneer set, so masses of infantrymen stances generated by this manufacturer are already at hobbyists’ disposal.

All the above mentioned 1/72 solders wear the M36 uniform and marching boots so they are properly dressed for temperate and warm environments and might work throughout the entire period of war, though ideal would be until 1943. Still, the only Zvezda creation in the field obviously referring to a very fine temperature is “German Regular Infantry” while except the officer, the soldiers have rolled up sleeves. A small contrast is done by their buttoned-up tunics, perhaps wiser would have been the collar to be loose at those with rolled-up sleeves. 

The package is the standard Mini-Box which gives plenty of room for hosting the single sprue of the kit, the assembly guide, and the game card. The artwork brings in front the poses offered inside, again confirmed by the photos set on the back of the box introducing the assembled but unpainted figs. As usual, in the same location customers receive complete information in Russian and English on the kit components as well as an image of the game card. The reference photo deployed for this set and emplaced in the upper part of the game card shows a long column of marching soldiers, without many connections with the poses which are rather linked to combat than marching.

Made of hard plastic, the sprue accommodates the parts for five figures, a pose repeating once. A similar approach has already been noticed in first Zvezda mini-set on infantry, but there were supplied two sprues with five figs in three poses while the Pioneer sprue multiplies a miniature exactly like in the here reviewed set.   Bearing in mind one main goal of the kit, inter-linked gaming accessories could not miss, the common flag and two trench representations as well as the large base and individual ones being delivered on the same sprue. Assembly finishes extremely fast, only arms and one leg having to be fixed in position by snapping. Even parts go great, for a better liaison, a drop of polly-cement would ensure better stability and will not permit the appearance of eventual gaps. The arms repartition per figure cannot be confound due to the way those snap, so detaching all from the sprue in the same moment is possible. The assembly sheet gives clear guidelines for setting both the parts and the figures on the bases, also reinforcing the gluing option.

All troopers put on the M36 uniform, marching boots and steel helmets, the officer being recognised after the peak cap, breeches, and specific gear. His tunic is a regular one and not officer’s M36 service tunic, although Zvezda dressed their previous officers in such jackets easily identified after the turned up French cuffs.Officers and certain NCOs purchased uniforms on their own expenses either from military depots or tailor-made, the regulation having as direct consequences huge differences in terms of materials, colours, and cuts. So, no issues with a regular tunic on an officer, the reference images even attesting the preference for such tunics than the model with turned up French cuffs. Correctly armed with MP38/40 and pistol as provided by KStN for platoon commanders, he has pistol holster, map case, and left hand side ammo pouch. Due to his rank, “Y” straps could have been omitted, but their presence is not annoying on front line low-ranked officers. His subordinates use Kar98K and received “Y” straps, ammunition pouches, gas mask containers with gas cape pouches rolled around, bread bags, mess-tins, canteens, and shovels with bayonets attached, almost the standard equipment apart Zeltbahns, but the lack raises no accuracy problem. Except the grenade-thrower, another has got a grenade, the soldier staying still sticking one in the right boot. Correctly equipped, it is a little surprising the troopers miss gas mask container straps while the manufacturer previously featured that detail on other figs. However, hobbyists can easily remediate the absence during painting, reproducing the related straps by drawing it with a thicker layer of paint. The more exigent modellers might try scratch-building new ones, the operation being uncomplicated if deploying wires made of melted sprue, the one where the soldiers formerly resided being perfect in this purpose. 

The troopers adopt different lifelike standing stances, one advancing, one throwing a grenade and another simply staying. The grenade-thrower credibly performs his job and proposes an interesting posture, not so often met in the scale, keeping the rifle in the left hand with the muzzle down. The advancing figure which is doubled on the sprue, holds his Kar98K near waist and might be interpreted as preparing to fire the weapon, too. However, the most useful pose emerges the soldier staying still and straight, in a tremendously realistic attitude, with his weapon close to the waist. He looks like either supervising the enemy movements but ready to aim and fire or just waiting for orders on the battle-field. Miniatures exemplifying so natural and often adopted stances are scarcely met in the 1/72 scale, where emphasise is given to combat ones. The officer, also standing, comes in a theatrical attitude, holding in the right hand his MP38/40 up in the air, quite ridiculous, like a veritable Rambo and signalling with the left hand to his troopers. Perhaps Zvezda intended to bring something original in the field, being known manufacturers, due to certain and well-founded reasons, strive harder in terms of commanders. Even the most propagandistic photos never depicted such hypostases, so the attempt is not successful, much better would have had the officer to hold his MP38/40 in a similar manner with the commander enclosed in Zvezda’s Paratrooper mini-set or with the muzzle down.

On those miniatures the small details are wonderfully achieved and anatomy is faultless, a plus point for the impressive faces, with irreproachable sculptured eyes, eye-brows, noses, ears, mouths, and cheeks, conferring outstanding  facial expressions. Bodies have the same size as the rest of Zvezda’ s WWII Germans and proportions are well balanced, without over-scaled palms and with neatly carved fingers. Clothes disclose a large array of tiny details such as buttons, collar and shoulder boards, stitches, creases and folds, pockets and flaps, all excellent reproduced. The correctly shaped and sized helmets and footwear again amaze through top accuracy and boots show the vertical spine to the reverse and a perfect profile and height. Gear and weapons are greatly detailed, except the gas mask container straps another miss, but not so relevant, coming out the small pouch generally stitched to the left hand side MP38/40 ammunition pouch, the officer lacking it.

Mould and cast are superb, the product arriving with an insignificant amount of flash and seam-lines and without any excess of plastic, the multi-part approach and the hard plastic facilitating such first-class appearance. Zvezda’s hard plastic formula not only impeccable host enamel, acrylics, and artistic oils, but also is capable to support various shocks and bends. In addition, it is extremely glue-able with standard modeling glue (polly-cement), so conversions and eventual supplementary gear or weapons cast in hard plastic by Preiser, Dragon, and Caesar are instantly fixed in any position selected by hobbyists. A modality for releasing new and attractive poses might be mixing limbs and heads both from the above mentioned produces and from different Zvezda sets. Taking into consideration a fig is duplicated, converting one is strongly recommended, even adding a strap to the weapon and setting the head in a dissimilar position work for changing the look and establishing visible differences.  

Modellers have at hand two options for basing, a large one hosting all the five troopers created for gaming purposes and individual ones for wargaming or other displays. The miniatures snap into bases via a pin in the boot and in case none of the supplied bases will be utilised, the pin can be immediately removed with a simple cut.

Fitting into the tall side of 1/72, these soldiers fantastic match those included in various Zvezda sets on infantry highlighted in the first part of the review as well as with hundreds of others issued in the same height and wearing the same attire made available by Preiser, Imex, Pegasus Hobbies, Dragon, Hasegawa, Airfix, Revell, Esci/Italeri, and HaT sets. At its turn, cottage industry proposes lots of comrades for troopers dressed in Early War uniform, TQD Castings clearly distinguishing on the matter.

Although troopers as those submitted by “German Regular Infantry 1936-1943” are available in huge stocks in 1/72 scale, most of its poses are useful not only for gamers, but also for static modellers which search figs suitable for other scenes than combat and here there can be found two of those. In addition, the top-notch quality of the product recommends it for such target group while the cheap price and smooth assembly make it addressing even to the youngest hobbyists. By launching this set, Zvezda intends portraying the famous WWII German infantry in all environments, the rolled up sleeves accentuating a nice summer day, their colleagues from the first Mini-Box and those from the regular set being for temperate climates but evidently can collaborate with them. Moreover, for 2013 the company has announced the appearance of a set with infantry-men in greatcoats for winter season as well as various exciting subjects starring WWII German infantrymen in M36 attire.  

 

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