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Caesar - WWII Panzergrenadiers Set 1 (Parade S) (P801) _________(EXT)

                           

Manufacturer Caesar
Scale 1/72
Set Code P801
Year 2007
No. of Figures 6
No. of Poses 6
Additional Items None
Size Small
Material Soft Plastic
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Satisfactory (Superglue Gel)
Convert-ability Difficult
Optimal Period 1943 - 1945

 

Review  

In general, in 1/72 scale, Panzer Grenadiers are seen dressed in camouflage cloths, which is a fine approach due to the fact that such units were established in 1941, and in short time after, camouflage items became quite common for all German soldiers. Nevertheless, Panzer Grenadiers could be dressed and in M36 or M43 tunics, parkas or greatcoats, so any kind of uniforms are suitable for depicting such units. In this view, Revell in collaboration with Preiser were the only companies which had the courage to issue a set of figures dressed in M36 tunics and incorporating inside the title the word "Panzergrenadiers", attracting in this way several completely wrong critics, because, like it was just mentioned, any kind of uniforms are appropriate for this unit. Smocks are some of the most common camouflage garment items worn by the German soldiers and not only could include both Wehrmacht or Waffen SS patterns, but also were reversible, on a side having spring/summer and on the other autumn/winter patterns or even white, for taking profit by the snow. Worn over tunics or even great coats, the German camouflage smock had two major versions, M38 and M42, the difference between them at 1/72 being established just through the flaps of the two waist pockets of the M42 smock, a tinny detail that in many cases is unseen due to the pose or gear of the figure which cover them.  As it can be noticed from the name of the smocks, where 38 and 42 represent the year when the item entered in service, the German army was endowed with camouflage smocks since the beginning of war, in 1939, but in the early period of war this kind of garment was mostly addressed to Waffen SS troops. Tones of reference materials show Waffen SS troops dressed in smocks and between 1939 and 1942, when it became frequent for Wehrmacht too.

Caesar addressed for Panzer Grenadiers the largest part of the first sets in the Parade Series, the topic benefiting by four sets of figures and all are dressed in camouflage smocks, which is very good, the soldiers perfectly matching each others. The first set of Panzer Grenadiers, which in fact is also the first set of the Parade Series diverge from several points of view from the rest of the sets. Primarily and more than obvious difference is that this set incorporates six figures while the other sets have only five soldiers. The other dissimilarity is that in the subtitle of the set was included along with "attack poses" the expression "later set" meaning that the figures are designed for the late part of WWII, a truthful affirmation due to the gaiters worn by these soldiers, an item that came to troops in 1943. Except camouflage smocks, ankle boots and gaiters, the figures wear regular trousers and helmets covered by camouflage cloth. The equipment of all these soldiers consists in "Y" straps, gas mask containers, bread bags, canteens and folding combat shovels while only some have bayonets. Moreover, a figure who looks like being the NCO after his pose and gear, received a map case, too. The firepower of these fighters consists in two Kar98K and four MP40 and all of them have the correct ammo pouches for their weapons. Neither the type nor the thickness hampers the emplacement of the present figures in warm or cold environment, both possibilities being reliable.

For figures aiming attacking purposes, all of them are proper, with five figures standing and only one being crouched while developing related activities namely, three of them fire off their weapons, one throws a StiHg-r 24 grenade and two advance. Though the firing poses are really common for both the scale and the Parade Series, these are still useful and can bring a little diversity through small escapes from general such as the crouched figure who shots not straight like in most of the cases, but with a deviation to the left. The grenade-thrower is extremely convinced in what he is doing and has a nice pose even if it is also an universal one. The same attribute of ordinary goes and for the pose of the advancing figure with MP40. Regarding the NCO, he is also on the move, looking back, hastening his troops to follow him, with the left hand up in the air, and holding in the right his firing weapon, a MP40.   

The sculpture of the uniforms is not impressive, but accurate and these figures feature some small details on them, such as collar boards for displaying Wehrmacht or Waffen SS emblems, creases and even the strings of the smocks. All of them have the smocks and collars loose, so the tunics under the smocks were not buttoned till the last button. The weapons are accurate depicted, either kar98Ks or MP40 exposing tiny typical elements while their size is close to the other offers in the scale. The anatomy is fine, with well-proportioned forms and satisfactory facial expressions. The size of gear, weapons and body parts do not diverge from pose to pose and also match from this point of view similar elements or bodies from various manufacturers active in the 1/72 scale.

Like the entire Parade Series, and these figures are small and for this reason, as well as according to their uniform, they match the best with Armourfast's "WWII German Mortar Team" and "WWII German Machine Gun Team", Pegasus Hobbies' "Waffen SS - Set 2" and CMK's "Wehrmacht Mounted Infantry". The figures have flash that is simple to be removed, as well as excess of plastic, especially in the contact zone between the MP40 and chest. For getting rid of the undesired excess of plastic, there are required many operations such as heating a pin and making space for inserting a modelling knife and then cleaning the area with a file. The paint applied by the factory on these pre-painted figures does not affect the display of another layer of enamel that is accepted quite well. This is really excellent due to the fact that in this way it is avoided the intricate issue of removing the initial paint. The painting given by Caesar on the figures in the Parade Series does not amaze at all and many wargamers, collectors or diorama builders will want to repaint them not only for the reason that the factory paint has a gloss aspect, but also there are several items that the "painters" forgot to complete. In addition, the camouflage on the smocks and helmets is extremely poor and impossible to identify the pattern that was intended to be added. Just putting several tan and red brown spots on the smock and helmet, which were also painted in the same colour of the trousers, is not enough to illustrate the complex WWII German camouflage.

The figures come in a striking Plexiglas box which becomes standard for all the sets in the Series, but the one from here is a little larger than the rest, for accommodating the sixth figure. The content is clearly seen through the box that is protected by another cardboard box with one side opened. For fixing the figures inside the box was adopted an interesting system and for free the soldiers from its grasp, it is necessary to remove the front or back pin of the device. All soldiers were provided with bases, but who does not want them will clear out these elements very fast

Caesar sets from the Parade Series focused on Panzer Grenadier units are a nice completion for troops dressed in camouflage smocks, with attacking poses that can be used either in defensive or attack positions as well as for supporting armoured vehicles in combat, as a fulfillment of their main role, to offer protection to Panzer and other fighting vehicles especially against the attack of enemy infantry. Due to the fact that these sets are pre-painted, their primary targets are wargamers and collectors, but on the other hand, they could interest as well as diorama builders who would not have enough patience to wait for the possible appearance of the unpainted versions of the figures. Furthermore, the present set could attract more than the rest either because it contains six figures, with one more than the rest, or for the reason that these soldiers wear gaiters, item making them more appropriate for the late stage of WWII, as it is emphasized by the subtitle of the set, too. 

 

Historical Accuracy 10
Anatomy 8
Poses Quality 9
Details Quality 8
Mould Quality 8
Sculpture 9
Recommendation/Utility 6
Reviewer’s opinion 7