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Caesar - WWII German Soldiers (No.1) (S001) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Caesar
Scale 1/72
Set Code S001
Year 2015
No. of Figures 2
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 

One figure sets are fairly rare and occupies a special place in the 1/72 scale industry, where most of the times sets, particularly those cast in plastic, provide large number of toy-soldiers. In terms of WWII German Army, in order to attract customers and to be commercially proof, generally such tenders propose a well-known personality as Field-marshal Erich von Manstein or Erwin Rommel.

As one of the main producers of 1/72 WWII Germans, with tens of sets on the matter, Ceasar has accustomed their clients with numerous surprises, including limited or one figure sets. Within their remarkable catalogue some not so known figures or even complete sets emerge. Making use of various market strategies, Caesar also appealed to one figure sets variant, putting forward different WWII celebrities as Patton, Eisenhower, Montgomery, and von Manstein as well as the famous Roman from whom the company took the name.

Sneaked between these renowned characters comes across another one figure set, embodying a WWII German private “at attention”. This set, titled “WWII German Soldiers (No.1)” is little bizarre not only because it does not propose any special pose, weapons or gear, but also due to the fact that for some years the same miniature has already been disclosed to the public within the regular set “German Army”.

Initially these one figure sets have been tagged as Minitoysoldier, a closely linked company with Caesar, and distributed as bonus when purchasing from Minitoysoldier e-shop, in accordance with the free figure policy drafted by the company on the matter. Having as main criterion the total value of the order, one to nine bonus figures could be requested by customers which had the liberty to choose what they wanted, obviously depending on the availability instantly checked on the website. Few months later, the bonus figure policy was cancelled and most of those sets have been relabelled as Caesar and sold as distinct tenders on the same website. In terms of WWII Germans, notable is the disappearance of Erich von Manstein Type 1 set, only Type 2 still being available and recorded as No.6.

Commercialised in a small transparent plastic-bag, without any artwork or tag, the potential clients have to search on Internet information about the name and content. “WWII German Soldiers (No.1)” supplies a very basic figure, a soldier armed with Kar98K staying “at attention” that might be requested to do something else as guarding an objective, waiting the orders of a superior, or staying still. An interesting aspect is the bag contains two figures in the same pose while when it was delivered as bonus, the bag included only one miniature.

Dressed in M36 uniform, with marching/jack boots and steel helmet, also the gear of this soldier is minimal, featuring “Y” straps, ammunition pouches, bread-bag and canteen. Neither an exceptional appearance nor an unique topic for tempting the customers, the real advantage of the figure rests in the brilliant sculpture, featuring an excellent anatomy and spectacularly detailed uniform and gear. For their pride, the noteworthy sculpture is supported by a top-notch cast, with crisp details and no excess of material and almost no flash. These characteristics get special valences while we are talking about a soft-plastic figure cast in one piece.

The anatomy is gorgeous, not only the proportions respecting the human nature, but also the facial details impressing with the perfect eyes, nose, cheeks, ears, and mouth little open. Palms are not over-scaled and present exceptionally sculpted fingers, naturally bending. Anyway, the strong points of this figure are the brilliant details of the uniform, the creator proving outstanding knowledge and skills, succeeding to recreate even the thinnest characteristics. Buttons, shoulder and collar boards, pocket-flaps, stitches and creases are finely and authentically depicted. A certain prof of sculptor's master-skills and the high-level of detail reached by this 1/72 miniature are the adjusting holes of the “Y” straps, fairly in scale and visible only to good eyes and in the proper light. Practically, this figure is so wonderfully sculpted that next to it similar poses issued by famous and world recognised makers as Preiser might look very basic and with a toyish appearance. Somehow a direct comparison may make justice for the superior sculpture of most Caesar 1/72 WWII Germans, a characteristic often neglected or not appreciated at its true value.

As previously emphasised, due to excellent mould and cast, the miniature arrive flash-less and without seam lines and excess of plastic. It is an unusually clean figure in comparison with various 1/72 soft plastic figures, which even cast by most important companies feature stuff that need to be removed. The material deployed by Caesar here is their customary rubberised soft plastic and for improved results, washing the figure before painting is recommended, otherwise, some matt enamels might have the undesired tendency to shine a little. Anyway, the problem might be solved at the end with some matt varnishes, but not all work fine on this kind of plastic. On the other hand, a real advantage of the material is its ability for receiving super glue, the gel one making an extremely durable bond, incredibly fixing not only parts made of similar composition, but also hard plastic or resin ones. Because of this and bearing in mind the set offers two identical figures, converting one is highly advocated. Of course, due to the pose, only minimal modifications can be done, changing the head and adding few items of gear as bayonet, shovel, mess-tin or Zeltbahn bringing some diversity. The miniature is set on a round base that can be immediately detached with a simple cut under the soles, the fig keep maintaining the balance without the assistance of such device.

Categorised as a product in the small side of the 1/72 scale, there are hundreds of similar toy-soldiers similarly dressed, especially those issued by the same manufacturer. Moreover, the pose is perfect to join the fresh Caesar's “WWII German Infantry Marching”, excellent completing most of the army-men included in that set. Figures “at attention” or guarding objectives are pretty rare in mass-production releases, Caesar, Esci/Italeri, Odemars/Ykreol, Pegaus Hobbies and few other producers having several. Perhaps the richest on the subject is Preiser, not only putting forward “ “WWII German Infantry Riflemen with Mortar, Lined Up”, “WWII German Infantry Lined Up” and “Military Police. Guards”, but also supplying some others in close stances within various sets. A certain difference in size is noticeable between Caesar and Preiser figs, thus displaying those troopers in the same place should be done with little attention, at a safe distance.

Thanks to its perfectly carved details and noteworthy mould and cast, the mini available in “WWII German Soldiers (No.1)” can proudly stay near any top resin or white-metal figures and it is accessible even at a lower price. Nevertheless, while the same soldier is also incorporated twice within Caesar's “German Army”, a set proposing twelve poses and from which at least other three are of same awesome quality, it might be wiser getting the full box than this one pose tender.

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 10
Mould Quality 10
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 8
Reviewer’s Opinion 9