Articles

Juweela - WW2 German winter officers (JUW27116) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Juweela
Scale 1/72
Set Code JUW27116
Year Unknown
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Size Medium
Material White Metal
Colour Silver
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Medium (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1942 - 1945

 

Review 

Braille Scale cottage industry encounters known and unknown difficulties in marketing products and only an out of ordinary or brilliant sculptured offer succeeds to surprise and attract the target groups ensuring the survival and progress of such companies. As a representative of this industry, Juweelas strategy rests in focusing on 1/72 WWII Germans dressed in winter cloths, almost all their catalogue, listing around seven sets on the topic, featuring troopers prepared for cold weather. The company brings a major contribution in the field not only through a large number of figures, but also through an incredible diversity of winter garment. In this regard, an excellent example puts forward WW2 German winter officers, all its figures wearing clearly dissimilar and several extremely unusual items of clothing.

Title of the set is eloquent concerning content, the three minis really portraying commanders in a frozen climate. German officers are available in a huge variety of stances and attire while almost all 1/72 mass production and garage industry kits include one or more commanders. Still, from the multitude of tenders, there exist only few limiting only to WWII German commanders without subordinates such as Odemars German Commanders.

First Russian winter surprised the German army unprepared and not correspondingly dressed, the situation further aggravating after Hitlers famous order of not sending winter equipment to the army engaged on the Eastern front. Anyway, during the first year of Germanys Eastern campaign, the standard Army cold season cloths were completely unsuitable for the hash Russian winters, being more appropriate for Western Europe temperatures. The poor M34/36 greatcoat or its following variants were in impossibility to provide sufficient protection against temperatures often going to minus 30°C. In desperately searching warm, WWII German army-men, no matter rank, used various solutions, from putting on them different items of clothing one over other to tailor made or even borrowed from the enemies and happily worn with or without Red Army symbols. Such approach had as direct result the appearance of a bizarre mixture of winter cloths within the German army. Nevertheless, after the dramatic experience of the first winter spent on the Eastern front, where thousands of soldiers died because of cold, the German High Command ordered and during the next years issued to units specialised winter cloths such as parkas and padded trousers, fur anoraks, Luftwaffe ground personnel quilted jackets and trousers

A quite big and tall silver cardboard box, common for Juweela figure sets, will make the customer wonder what is inside, particularly considering the package has neither title nor artwork, just the logo of manufacturer in the middle. That is definitely wired and for their next kits it could be noticed the company has started attaching a sticker with the name and other information on the set in case. At the beginning, Juweela sells possibly restricted to on-line commerce and only after entering in shops, there was identified the need of having the names of kits on package. Returning to the box, after removing the lid, the three figures appear laid down on a very thick sponge and bearing in mind the matching colour of the figures, it might be considered the small 1/72 metal jewels have received the appropriate jewellery box.

The diversity of winter attire, particularly the non-regulated one is admirably caught by the here reviewed minis, two of the officers wearing un-issued items of clothing and another dressed in the standard parka with hood attached. According to regulations, officers and certain senior NCOs had to purchase their own uniforms either from the Army clothing depots or from civil tailors in a higher quality. The straight result of the regulation was the appearance of a wide diversity of colours, models and materials related to WWII German winter garment.

Parkas were submitted to units from 1942, which makes the set appropriate since that year till the end of war. The item proved to be very popular among privates and officers, being intensively used not only in winter, but also in warmer periods. By regulations, parkas were distributed to all German soldiers for the winter season, starting with 15 September and had to be returned to depots for repairs and cleaning on 15 April and redelivered the next year. Generally designed as a reversible garment with one side white and the other initially mouse gray and since 1943 featuring either autumn/winter or spring/summer Waffen SS or Wermacht camouflage patterns, the parka benefitted by matching trousers, but not all the times those were worn together. That might be the case here, the thickness of the officers trousers being closer to regular than padded ones. Nevertheless, it is just an assessment and the thin difference does not hamper the hobbyist to paint them either in Feldgrau or as padded trousers in white, mouse gray or camouflage patterns. The officer wearing parka is a skilful one, according to the Iron Cross worn at the last button of the tunic and clearly seen thanks to the realistic way f wearing the parka, unbuttoned up till the last button. He also has got a scarf rolled around the head and covering the ears, a common practice on front line soldiers often illustrated by photos and videos of the period. Appraising the item as a scarf and not the more ordinary toque is based on the fact that officers hair emerges quite clear. On the head he wears visor cap and shoes ankle boots, another clue that the figures are not designated for Blitzkrieg era. The board held in the right hand gives the opportunity to add a printed or decal map, UNICORN or MID supplying good choices in this regard. His weapon is pistol in holster and in the right hand he holds a map-board on which he points something with the other hand.

If the outfit of the just described officer brings nothing new, not the same thing can be said about the other two figures, definitely remarkable and unusual in terms of attire. One of them, holding in the left hand a briefcase seems wearing a greatcoat padded with fur and could be made either of woollen or sheepskin. On the unbuttoned collar and cuffs, fur appears clear due to sculptors excellent carving job as well as an Iron Cross worn on the tunic collar and easily perceived because of the shape of the coat collar. Under the visor cap the head is wrapped by a toque, an important element of WWII German winter gear, often shown by reference materials and during the last period more frequent portrayed on 1/72 soldiers after a long absence.  One hand is in the pocket but in the other holding the briefcase he has got a glove. Footwear is represented by jack boots, officers frequently preferring those no matter the season, a distinctive mark of their rank particularly after 1943 when ankle boots arrived to units.  As weapon he received a pistol in holster and a nice touch to this figure is his spectaculars that corroborated with the briefcase give a brilliant impression of an officer more accustomed with map and document studying than front line combats.

Certainly, the nicest attraction of the set puts forward the figure dressed in fur-coat, a superb realisation in the field not only due to his special attire, but also thanks to the marvellous sculpture work. It is nearly impossible to accurately determine what kind of fur was used to tailor the coat, but it looks closer to a wild animal than a domestic one. Maybe the officer hunted down the beast and then asked the tailor to make him a nice and warm coat, conferring increased protection in awful winters. Much easier to spot is the material deployed for the collar, this appears as made of lamb fur, a priced and intensively utilised fur for collars and caps in Eastern Europe and Asia. Armed with pistol in holster, he also wears toque and visor cap as well as jack boots and leather gloves. His coat, his attitude with palms crossed at the back and the fact that he holds nothing determine taking him as the highest in rank between the officers submitted by Juweela.   

In spite performing almost nothing, when set together, the three standing figs achieve to recreate an atmosphere full of realism while a hidden tension is felt. It clearly aims a briefing scene where the officer dressed in parka, perhaps just returned from the advanced lines considering his cloths, informs on enemy movements two high rank officers, maybe a general and his adjutant. He did it pointing on a map while the general holds his hands at the back in a meditative attitude, thinking what measures should be adopted, the adjutant with briefcase pays attention to the report. Officers running and waving weapons or arms up in the air are everywhere in 1/72 scale, harder is finding such minis staying still, in harmony with normal situations and with reference images, while in great extent the majority illustrate commanders in attitudes similar with the ones here proposed. 

Concerning level of details, the sculptor managed more than fine in catching the true appearance of fur, with an extra point for the collar of the fur coat, where the minuscule size of the notorious twirls are visible and effortlessly recognized. Likewise, buttons, collars, medals, buckles and creases come nicely shaped and accurate and a nice addition is the stings of the parka hood. Facial details are awesome, the feelings being put in valour by expressive eyes and eyebrows as well as mouths. Although pretty thick dressed, the rest of anatomy comes out fine and even wearing gloves, all fingers are in their places, authentically grasping the objects when it is the case.

Flash percent is very decent and immediately eliminated with any tool working on plastic or resin while excess of metal totally misses. Paining white metal unquestionably requires primer, otherwise the colours run down and erase at minor touches. All figures arrive on bases and those wanting to remove the stands will encounter few difficulties in due to sturdiness of material. Perhaps the most facile tool would be snippers for cutting the base as close as possible to the boots and after fill around for clearing the area.

White metal is a glue-able substance, cyanoacrylate  adhesives, especially super glue gel creating a durable connection between this material and resin or hard plastic. Nonetheless, glue is unnecessary here while the commanders are cast as single pieces.  Moreover, body parts are fine, so no need to replace any, the same being valid for the pistol holsters. Still, if a modeller wish to add supplementary gear like map cases, flash lights or binoculars, they might use without hesitation Preiser or DML items.   

On the basis of overall proportions, these figs belong to the medium side of 1/72 but excellent matching in size larger figures as Preiser, DML and Zvezda as well as Miniaturas Alemany and El Viejo Dragon, products of the last two mentioned companies being released in white metal, too. Bearing in mind not only the winter cloths dressed by these officers, but also their size, ideal companions or subordinates are particularly available in Revells German Infantry, Italeris German Elite Troops and WWII PAK 40 AT Gun with Servants, Escis Nebelwerfer 41, Warriors German Grenadiers Walking Set 1 & Set 2 as well as German Tank Riders Set 1 & Set 2, Miniatures Alemanys German Assault Gun Crew and Stug III Ausf.B with Assault Troops, Tracks&Troops WW2 German Nashorn SPG crew  winter, but the list is much longer. However, the figures enclosed within the noteworthy range of WWII Germans equipped for winter launched by Juweela perfect match and complete both in terms of poses and attire. Obviously, on account of number of figures and price, the set addresses more to diorama builders and collectors than wargamers. Anyway, their bases make them proper for wargaming table and the covered subject catches the attention of all interested parts.  

As previously highlighted, tailor-made and captured woollen or sheepskin coats lined with fur as well as fur coats were intensively used by German officers, a large amount of filmed and photographed images clearly revealing and supporting the idea. Moreover, the models depicted by Juweela are also appearing in such reference materials, a plus-point for their creator and an extra reason for acquiring the set. Not only a dynamic action draws attention, also attire, gear, accessories and lifelike stances can have an enhanced impact on the viewers. The incredible simple scene re-enacted by the three officers is impossible not to charm in its simplicity and authenticity, finding a fitting place on various dioramas or vignettes.  

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INFANTRY TANK HUNTING

German training and operations have both emphasized the importance of aggressive action against tanks by dismounted infantry personnel. All tanks, they teach, have certain vulnerable points which make them easy prey for close-combat weapons specially designed for the purpose and employed by aggressive, trained soldiers. The chief weaknesses of tanks are their relatively poor visibility, their inability to defend themselves within a close radius of the vehicle (dead space), and the time lag in shifting guns from target to target. They also need certain times, usually at night or in rear areas, to carry out maintenance and repairs. This is always a favorable time for the dismounted tank hunter.

Tank hunters, acting alone or in pairs, are also taught to use smoke candles, smoke grenades, and smudges to produce films on the vision slits of the tanks. By using these methods they can get within close enough range to employ hand weapons.

A German training instruction, issued to an infantry unit shortly after it had successfully repelled a British attack, sets forth the basic technique of infantry tank hunting. A translation of the document follows:

"The construction of our defensive areas has proved extremely effective, particularly the provision of antitank trenches. No casualties were sustained when British armored fighting vehicles penetrated our position. The troops were protected by antitank trenches and could employ their weapons on the infantry following the tanks, while the tanks were being engaged by antitank weapons.

"The lesson to be drawn is that the infantryman should allow the tank to pass overhead while he is in his antitank trench. If he attempts to jump clear, he draws fire on himself from the tank, whose field of fire is extremely limited. The infantryman's main task remains the repulsing of the assaulting infantry. In addition to this, however, enemy tanks can be knocked out by courageous action with close-combat weapons.

"The most important weapons for this purpose are the Molotov cocktail and the pole charge. The most convenient charge is the prepared charge (Pionier Sprengbüchse), which contains 2.2 pounds of explosive. Its strength is such that it can knock out a British infantry tank without unduly endangering its user by the explosion. The drag-mine is also highly successful.

"Molotov cocktails are most effective if they burst on the ribs of the engine cover. The flaming contents envelop the motor, which is usually set afire.

"The tank is particularly sensitive to the prepared charge in three places--on the tracks, the engine cover, and the horizontal armor near the turret. If a prepared charge bursts in close proximity to the tracks, the chain is damaged to such an extent that it breaks when the tank moves forward. A charge placed on the reinforcing ribs penetrates them and the engine cover, damaging the engine. The horizontal armor near the turret is weak in the English infantry tank, and the detonation of a charge there causes complete penetration and great blast effect within the tank. The drag mine can be effectively used by an infantryman in his antitank trench.

"In order to employ the close-combat weapons mentioned above, the infantryman must at least be within throwing range of the tank. He must, therefore, wait in his cover for the tank to approach. But this cover is useful only when it has been specifically constructed as an antitank ditch--that is, it must be level with the ground, well camouflaged, and not more than 40 inches wide, so that the tank can pass overhead without endangering the infantryman.

"The danger to the infantryman who finds himself close to a tank is slight. An infantryman in his antitank trench is always superior to an enemy tank that is within throwing range if he is properly equipped. The periscope of the British tanks is inadequate, allowing the driver to see straight ahead only, and the gunner can only see in the line of his gun. Because of the limited play of the weapons' mountings, they cannot be depressed sufficiently to cover the immediate vicinity of the tank. An infantryman in this dead area must inevitably use his close-combat weapons effectively."