Articles

Mars - German Auto-Crew in Action (MAR72013) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer Mars
Scale 1/72
Set Code 72013
Year 2007
No. of Figures 10
No. of Poses 10
Additional Items None
Size Small
Material Soft Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level High
Glue-ability Low (Super Glue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939 - 1945

 

Review 

During the last years at several major companies has been registered the tendency of reissuing sets of figures that made history in the first decades of Braille Scale, most of them belonging to manufacturers that unfortunately do not exist anymore. It is the case of Italeri re-releasing Esci sets, Bum producing old Airfix sets or Nexus coming with Atlantic old stuff. Such an approach is very welcome, in this way the new generations can be in touch with figures that enchant their parents. Moreover, the reissues may address to the old modelers that from various reasons lost their collections and want to remember old memories accompanied by figures that offered them so many pleasant moments. Another trend in the field is that a set to appear and be sold in the same time under the label of the two manufacturers, sometimes with the name of the set changed. Several examples are Heller selling Airfix or Revell with Italeri's "German Elite Troops". This advance has good points, a label may be easier found in some countries, but has and some bad ones, an uniformed customer may buy both sets with the hope that he will get more new poses, but when he will open the box he will find himself in front of some soldiers identical with those from home. There are also cases when the same company launches on the market an identical set under the name of two firms like HaT - Armourfast sets related to WWII German Army. Nevertheless, in all the above-mentioned situations the quality of the figures is just the same, nothing is changed from the original to the copies.

Starting from a great idea, namely to gather inside the same box various figures appeared in sets including a vehicle and few soldiers, "German Auto-Crew in action" also proposes to reissue soldiers that could be encountered in vehicle kits or figures sets of different old and consecrated manufacturers. Unfortunately, the set lamentably fails in its tentative, both the poor quality of figures as well as the not inspired selection contributing to such a result. Exactly the same features were seen in Archipelago sets and furthermore, an identical sprue appeared in the WWII Kubelwagen set of this manufacturer, an unattractive re-release of the Fujimi kit completed and with other figures, below described. The identical sprues as well as the same country of origin straightly lead to the conclusion that Archipelago is now Mars. The differences between the two sets are that the manufacturer currently gave up to the plastic bags in the favor of a box and instead one sprue there are now provided four sprues with figures, renouncing at the Kubel. However, these are extremely insignificant changes, it would have been much better the company to improve the quality of the figures as well as the selection.

Benefiting by an attractive title, but with a content far from  accurate illustrate it, the set incorporates ten poses, in fact some very poor copies of soldiers previously enclosed in figure sets or kits created by Matchbox, Airfix and Fujimi. Though labeled as 1/72, the set mixes the 1/76 and 1/72 scales, and even the soldiers at the bigger scale should be enclosed in the small type of 1/72 figures. In order to enhance the totally poor, uninspired assortment there were incorporated figures that initially were designed as infantry or Africa Korps, but luckily, the last ones shoe ankle boots and can be used and on other fronts without any change. Taking into consideration the topic, Mars tried to bring both crews for entering inside vehicles and dismounted soldiers, suitable for guarding the vehicles or having a briefing than charging the enemy, so the action evoked by the title is a calm one. Likewise, it has to be emphasized the courtesy of the manufacturer, which on the other side of the box presents the fast painted versions of all the included poses, so a trained buyer will be able to anticipate the copies from inside.

All the 1/76 figures are easily recognized after the M43 caps and most of them have been extracted from the Fujimi Kubelwagen kit. The Fujimi soldiers are joined by a Matchbox figure originated in Afrika Corps set, namely the running soldier with MP40. Likewise, other two Matchbox figures were used at the creation of the present set, the officer covering his eyes from sunshine and the NCO with binoculars on the chest. The figures belong to German Infantry set, but were also employed by Matchbox as crew for the Sd.kfz 232 Radio Armoured Car, a very nice and old kit. In spite of issuing them as 1/76 figures, they are closer to 1/72 scale and in this respect they may be used without hesitation together with troopers from this scale. The last group comes from Airfix and the viewer will identify them as the soldiers included in German Reconnaissance Set. In spite of their quite small appearance, they are 1/72 figures and greatly match with the other 1/72 Airfix figures as well as with various Esci soldiers from vehicle kits. Here we get some really nice poses such as the soldier with the map and the officer holding something looking like a stick. In addition, the sat figure comes in two pieces and will need gluing though there is a pin and hole system for putting together the parts. Super glue gel has an unexpected good success with this plastic that looks quite cheap. In addition, the same plastic accepts very well the enamel, holding it even at intense handling. These figures were designed a long period ago and this fact is easily remarked from their appearance. On the other hand, some of them are pretty good even for present standards, particularly the 1/72 ones as well as the 1/72 Matchbox figures which benefit by great facial and uniforms details. The arsenal is composed by four MP40, one MP41, one Kar98K and two pistols in holsters. Most of the figures lack the ammo pouches related to their weapons and at some of them, these are more guessed than recognized.

Due to the mix of scales, anatomy is questionable and the mould is extremely poor, not only blurring the original details of the figures, but also sometimes deforming them. Flash is everywhere and due to the low quality of plastic, it is hard to be removed. The operation requires a lot of time and patience for succeeding to acceptable clean the figures and right when it is assessed as a finished step, there will be discovered some flash that did not want to disappear, practically it is an endless process.

Starting from a great idea of bringing inside a figure set soldiers enclosed in vehicle kits, "German Auto-Crew in action" still remains an unattractive set, not only the awful selection, but also the low quality of the product making it like this. Definitely, increasing the quality and choosing more careful the figures, such sets probably will attract many modellers, the soldiers included in vehicle kits representing a real source for enlarging the numbers of 1/72 WWII German Army troopers with quite smart poses. 

 

Historical Accuracy 7
Anatomy 4
Poses Quality 7
Details Quality 3
Mould Quality 3
Sculpture 6
Recommendation/Utility 4
Reviewer’s Opinion 4