Articles

Minitoysoldier - Erich von Manstein Type 2_________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Minitoysoldier
Scale 1/72
Set Code -
Year 2014
No. of Figures 1
No. of Poses 1
Additional Items None
Size Small
Material Soft Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Low
Glue-ability Excellent (Superglue)
Conversion-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1939  - 1945

 

Review

A well-defined custom in the modelling field is to create and commercialise historical personalities, particularly the larger scales abounding in various leaders from ancient times to present. Of course, as one of the most representatives scales in the hobby, the 1/72 one could not omit such important topic and modellers can find a great amount of famous military or political commanders. In terms of 1/72 WWII Germans, as the best seller of the scale, there are available different categories of leaders, from Fuhrer to illustrious Panzer aces like Michael Wittmann. Likewise, often a famous character is included in a set without mentioning anything about, hobbyists following to identify him after seeing the miniature, usually inspired after a well-known image taken during WWII. On the other hand, there are figure sets or model kits specifically highlighting the presence of the personality, as a reliable method for attracting the customers.

Some key WWII German Generals and Field Marshalls have got their special place in 1/72 scale, perhaps the most depicted being Adolf Hitler, Erwin Rommel, Hermann Goring, and now Erich von Manstein. The genial Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein, assessed by a large number of publications and historians as the most important German strategist during WWII and a personality that certainly could change history and Germany to win the war if Hitler would have followed all plans and strategies drafted by him received several interpretations in the 1/72 scale. Two of them are put forward by Minitoysoldier as bonus figures, distributed free of charge to clients purchasing from the e-shop owned by the company, which also is closely-linked with the renowned Caesar label, the mass-production maker offering the richest tender on 1/72 WWII German Army troops.

The Taiwanese firm Mintoysoldier proposes two exclusivist figurines embodying the legendary Field Marshall, titled Erich von Manstein Type I and Type II. More details about Minitoysoldier, their list of free miniatures, and the criteria for obtaining these have been ample described within the review dedicated to Erich von Manstein Type 1. Moreover, a fairly extended article about von Manstein has been included within the same review, and for further information, the interested persons are kindly invited to visit that review already made available on the website.

After depicting inside Type 1 a von Manstein holding and pointing on a map or document, for Type 2 it was chosen a stranger stance for the illustrious Field Marshall, one in which he waves the right hand up in the air while in the left holds a binoculars. Von Manstein was often photographed or filmed on the front line, but a pose as portrayed by the 1/72 miniature here proposed is unknown for the reviewer. The closest stance is discovered in a picture taken during Sevastopol siege, with von Manstein and several German and Romanian officers, but still there are visible significant dissimilarities between the two hypostases, the main one being the position of the right arm, originally pointing in a direction and not waiving. Of course, the gesture proposed by the toy-figure could receive more interpretations such as saluting or ordering to open fire or start the offensive. WWII German officers or NCOs in similar stances are plentiful in 1/72 scale, some of the closest being the gun commanders from Revell/Preiser’s “German Artillery” and Armourfast’s “LEFH18 105 mm Howitzer”.  Although suitable for a high rank officer, the fairly theatrical pose could have been easily replaced by another more characteristic for von Manstein, the large number of references forwarding lots of options.

This von Manstein arrives dressed in officer’s M36 service tunic, spotted after the turned up French cuffs, breeches, and with M34 overseas cap and officer long boots. Both the uniform and the headgear is historically accurate, being notorious von Manstein’s preference on the battlefield for the regular M34 overseas cap than the standard officer peaked cap. Images with von Manstein on the frontline often shows him putting just the Iron Cross at the tunic collar, an Iron Cross ribbon at the third front button, and occasionally few other medals on the left hand side of the chest. This time, the present 1/72 von Manstein has just the Iron Cross, but the Iron Cross ribbon can be effortlessly represented through painting as well as the General stripes up on each leg and the specific uniform insignia and waffenfarbe soutache. Except binoculars, the figure received no other item of gear or weapon, though he has a belt, where if desired, modellers can immediately hang a pistol holster, both Caesar and Dragon having 6.35 mm Sauerpistol holsters on equipment sprues distributed in various hard plastic figure sets, a more than appropriate weapon for von Manstein, as photos of the period clearly attest.

Due to stance and attire, the miniature is suitable to portray not only von Manstein, but also a common officer or NCO belonging to any ground unit, of course refraining to paint the specific high rank officer uniform insignia. The area of action includes any front located in a warm or temperate environment throughout the whole period of WWII. With slight modifications such as removing the breast eagle and painting one on the left sleeve, this figure might embody a Waffen SS army-man, too.

The close similitude with the familiar Caesar miniatures in terms of cast and sculpture, as well as the material utilized and the shape of base are immediately spotted. The uniform received fine creases, buttons, collar and shoulder boards, and other small details as Iron Cross, breast eagle, and cap soutache. Facial details are sharp, eyes, eye-brows, nose, mouth, ears, cheeks and chin appearing well-defined and succeed to suggest a von Manstein. In addition, diverging from previous Type 1 figure, which comes a little bangle-eared, this one has got normal ears, which definitely constitutes an improvement. Hair is fairly depicted and must be painted in white for a correct reproduction of the illustrious commander. As usual at Caesar toy-soldiers, palms emerge a hair too big, but all fingers are in place and easily identifiable.

The proper mould and cast facilitated a clean appearance, flash and seam lines recording a normal percent and due to the pose, excess of plastic miss this time. The soft plastic utilised can produce some fluffs when removing the undesired things, and on this material enamel might get a shiny look even if the colours are matt and have been well stirred and shaken. The issue is quite unpleasant because matt varnish from various manufacturers cannot entirely save the situation, only it might reduce the shine. Anyway, the paint is greatly held in spite serious handling and also the material wonderfully takes super glue gel, so extra gear can be added without any concern. If wanting to get rid of the base, which has an obvious Caesar profile, then two cuts under the soles of the mini are required, a very simple surgery because the material oppose no resistance.

Fitting in the small/medium side of 1/72 scale, this von Manstein has got plenty of soldiers to command within the imposing Caesar catalogue in the field of WWII Germans, especially those dressed in M36, M43 or camouflage smocks for matching the summer attire of Ministoysoldier’s Generalfeldmarschall. Furthermore, except Caesar, there are other companies issuing figurines in a close size, HaT, Armourfast, and Esci constituting several examples on the matter.

The presence in the 1/72 scale of another Erich von Manstein can be very useful on the game table or inside a diorama, either finished as the famous Field Marshall or just as a common officer or NCO. Likewise, the perfect compatibility with the great majority of Caesar miniatures targeting WWII Germans, corroborated with the lack of officers in many of the sets released by that manufacturer, increase with much the value of the figure. Though the pose is quite widespread and little theatrical, there are plenty of utilisations for it and it should not be forgotten this von Manstein arrives as a free miniature and might have a special collectable importance. 

Historical Accuracy 9
Anatomy 9
Poses Quality 8
Details Quality 9
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 9
Recommendation/Utility 9
Reviewer’s Opinion 9