Articles

Caesar - WWII Panzergrenadiers Set 4 (Parade S) (P804) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Caesar
Scale 1/72
Set Code P804
Year 2007
No. of Figures 5
No. of Poses 5
Additional Items None
Size Small
Material Soft Plastic
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Satisfactory (Superglue Gel)
Convertibility Difficult
Optimal Period 1943 - 1945

 

Review  

Through dedicating four sets to Panzer Grenadiers, this German unit has become the best represented in Caesar's Parade Series of pre-painted figures, with an amount of 21 poses which are able to cover the necessity of two unpainted sets. Nevertheless, soldiers dressed in camouflage smocks deserve such a treatment, fitting not only the entire period of WWII, but also all the seasons. In addition, this kind of figures are also great companions for some of the most popular German vehicles such as Panthers, Tigers and other Middle-Late war armour.

The fourth sets of the series is also the one where it can be found one of the best poses of the series, as well as a weapon that it has not appear in the others, namely a Gewehr43.  Moreover, this set also include two poses of soldiers firing off their weapons from the shoulder, so the supporters of shooting poses can be more than happy by such an approach.  Like in the previous sets, the fighters are dressed in camouflage smocks, regular trousers, marching boots and possess helmets covered by camouflage cloth. They have almost the same gear encountered on figures of first sets in the Parade, quite light and specific for troopers in attack, incorporating "Y" straps, gas mask containers, bread bags, canteens and folding combat shovels for all, while only a few have mess-tins and a just a single one received bayonet attached to its shovel. With reference to their weapons, these are two Kar98K, two MP40 and a Gewehr43. The ammo pouches for almost all of them are correct, a question mark appearing in relation to the ammo pouches of the soldier with Gewher43. On one side it looks having the appropriate ones while on the other side he features ammo pouches specific to kar98K. It is a small issue not affecting the final appearance of the figure.  

This time the manufacture gave up to the crouched soldier and in this way we get five standing poses, all fulfilling their main function as attacking troops. Two of them shoot with their weapons from shoulder, one using Gewehr43 while the other has a MP40. In spite of the large presence in the scale of figures firing off MP40s, standing poses of soldiers with MP40 shooting from shoulder are extremely rare at 1/72, and based on this fact, the present figure is a nice and useful add. Within the fourth sets we also get the common pose for all the sets of the Parade Series, specifically the figure firing off his MP40 from shoulder. The here depicted soldier can either implement the just mentioned action or simply advance, with or without shooting.  The grenade thrower is very successful and reliable, preparing to throw a StiHg-r 24 with the right hand while in the left he holds his kar98K.  As it was earlier emphasized, inside the present set, there is perhaps featured one of the best poses of the series, representing a soldier that seems to look after a potential target, holding his weapon in a convincing position and ready to quickly lift it to the shoulder and release a deadly bullet.  Such a pose is extremely useful and can be emplaced in various positions in a diorama such as on or behind a vehicle or house, in a trench or in a bomb crater and the list endless continue. Doubtless such a pose is one of the most useful, and moreover, it is often reflected by reference images of the period. Despite all these facts, this sort of pose is merely reproduced in the Braille scale, a not identical, but similar one being encountered in Revell's "German Armoured Infantry" released in collaboration with Preiser. Diverging form the first three sets on the topic, the fourth does not incorporate any NCO pose, maybe the figure with Gewehr43 taking the place of the NCO.

The uniforms are not notable sculptured, but correct and including several details that will please the owner such as collar boards for placing Wehrmacht or Waffen SS emblems, creases and strings of the smocks. Several soldiers wear their tunics buttoned up, with collars tight, while others have the collars loose, either variant being in accordance with the images of the period. Weapons are correctly reproduced, matching in size similar items in the scale proposed by different manufacturers. The same thing is applying for both the size of gear and figures, in the 1/72 scale existing several sets with soldiers matching the Parade Series soldiers from this point of view as well as from the uniform one. Several good examples on the matter could be Armourfast's "WWII German Mortar Team" and "WWII German Machine Gun Team", Pegasus Hobbies' "Waffen SS - Set 2" and CMK's "Wehrmacht Mounted Infantry". Though the present figures are on the small side of 1/72, their facial expressions can satisfy a viewer, eyes, lips, noses and wrinkles being easily seen. The omnipresent flash of the entire Parade Series could not avoid this set, but this is not a tragedy, it can be fast removed. Not the same thing is valid for the excess of plastic and even more, here we have two figures to which we have to fight against this flagellum, at the two soldiers with MP40.  In order to get away excess of plastic, we have to allocate more time and carry out more operations such as heating a pin and making space for inserting a modelling knife and finally cleaning the area with a file. The factory paint permits the application of another layer of enamel, the details on the figures not suffering too much from this point. It is a great thing due to the fact that it is avoided the complicated operation of removing the original paint. On the other hand, the painting provided for these troopers by the company it is pretty simple and addresses more to the wargamers and collectors than to diorama builders.  Nevertheless, many representatives of all the groups will desire to repaint and improve these figs, not only because the factory paint has a gloss aspect, but also due to the impossibility of recognizing the camouflage patterns on the smocks and helmets. The same nice Plexiglas box protected by a cardboard box with one side opened is used and here as well as the same specific system of Parade Series for fixing the soldiers in the box.  The fans of figures with bases are again satisfied considering the fact that all fighters have bases, while those who want to remove them will spend only several moments with this operation, thanks to the softness of plastic. 

The Panzer Grenadier sets from Caesar's Parade Series represent an important effort for bringing figures in fighting poses to the scale. Particularly interesting is how the manufacturer succeeded to pass the complicate issue of soldiers in similar poses, but which still must me dissimilar, and here Caesar merits all the credits. Shooting form shoulder and chest as well as throwing grenade poses are featured in almost all the sets, but all of them are different, greatly realized being the grenade throwers, but also the others deserve some points. Likewise, the camouflage smocks provide the great opportunity for painting these soldiers in various colours, not only a multitude of Wehrmacht and Waffen SS camouflage patterns, but also white being suitable for them. Produced in a very soft plastic, some weapons could be a little bent, but the problem has a quick solution, namely soaking in hot water and immediately adjusting them in the correct shape. The pre-paint subject may attract some members of the target-groups, but also there will be numerous cases of people unsatisfied by the factory paint and decide to repaint them. In addition, some of us will be disappointed by the pre-painted issue and its direct implication in raising the price of the sets and will rather wait for the appearance of the unpainted versions of the Paraded series figures, but no details in this regard have been mentioned yet.  Being at the border between 1/76 and 1/72 scales, but surely closer to 1/72, the 21 poses of the Parade Series finely match other small size figures of the 1/72 scale belonging to various companies, and in this way on the same diorama can be disposed more than 60 figures dressed in camouflage smocks as well as supported by heavy weapons like MGs or Mortars for accurate depicting a war scene with several German WWII Platoons in action.     

 

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