Articles

CMK - German driver and personnel for FAMO (F72155) _________(EXT)

 

 

Manufacturer CMK
Scale 1/72
Set Code CMKF72155
Year ?
No. of Figures 3
No. of Poses 3
Additional Items None
Aspect Tall
Material Resin
Colour Cream
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (Super Glue Gel)
Convertibility Easy
Optimal Period 1939 - 1945

 

Review 

After a long period, one of the most awaited half-tracked prime mover in the 1/72 scale has finally appeared, and furthermore, its fans can enjoy it manufactured in various versions by two major companies of model kits, Trumpeter and Revell. On the other hand, both producers deliver their 1/72 vehicles without figures, and based on this fact, Czech Master's Kits (CMK) assumed the task of completing those with the necessary crew for a representative WWII German half-track not designed for direct combat, the famous 18 tone Sd.Kfz 9 FAMO. The kits made either by Trumpeter or Revell are finely finished, and the same is valid for CMK's interlinked minis, appropriate for use and matching the high standards imposed by the vehicles. Likewise, it might be outlined CMK granted more attention to FAMO while this vehicle has received two distinct sets of three figures, enough personnel for a prime mover generally accommodating eight men on its seats. "German driver and personnel for FAMO" and "German soldiers for FAMO" represent the offer of the company in the field, but these crews are useful not only for the named halftrack, but also for a large number of other cars, trucks and armoured vehicles available in the scale. 

Diverging from the other set where all the soldiers are seated, the present one comprises only two men in such poses, the remained figure being sculptured as standing. The content comes in pieces delivered in a standard CMK small box featuring an artwork that may be assessed as a guide for assembly, too. Same like in the complimentary set, the drawing is not so accurate concerning cloths, at least the standing soldier wearing other drill attire than shown in the artwork. The necessary parts for putting together each figure are planted on individual sprues, together with the body. There have to be glued only heads and arms that match in places pretty fine, so in few minutes we are able to end the assembly stage for the entire set. A longer period will take removing from sprues the bodies of the two seated guys due to the fact they are fixed with the whole back to the sprues. The manufacturer chose a not recommended solution, not only time consuming, but also affecting the details on the tunics and inevitably marking these with some lines virtually turned by the modeller into potential creases. Nevertheless, if the figs are used as seated in a vehicle, such details will be covered and will not disturb at all the general appearance of the two soldiers. A better approach is noticed at the standing army-man, fixed on the sprue by his boots, in this way faster detachable and more important, keeping his tunic unaffected by annoying gashes.

Neither the details nor the poses facilitate a clear identification of the model of the tunics allocated to the seated crew, but these might be painted as drill or M36 tunics. The artwork of the box illustrates them as M36 tunics, but as mentioned above, we could not trust 100% this drawing. Easier to establish is the tunic of the standing man, clearly looking like a drill one. The rest of garment for all personnel is composed by trousers, M34 caps and boots. The thickness of the uniform permits deployment in any environment, but the rolled up sleeves of the driver prescribes the minis for a warm period. No piece of equipment is granted for these troopers and even the belts of the two seated persons are not so obvious, the back part being affected by the way of attaching them on the sprues. As crew for a rarely implied in combat vehicle, gear or weapons are not mandatory, even the real soldiers with a similar role were revealed by reference photos in an equal manner. The poses of the seated figures are suitable for depicting the personnel of a vehicle, more exactly the driver holding the steering wheel and another crewman simply resting on a seat. In addition, the pose of the standing figure which according to its cloths could be a mechanic, emphasize sculptor's idea of portraying the atmosphere inside and around a stopped FAMO. Probably the main purpose of this soldier rests in talking to somebody from the vehicle, but however, the figure may be mounted between the seats or in the cargo area and all to go on their way.             

The tunics depicted at seated crew do not incite at all, being closer to drill ones or even M36 or M43 tunics. Still, both tunics as well as the one of the standing figure include small details like buttons and shoulder boards. In spite their presence, neither on trousers, nor on tunics the creases make a strong impression. Anatomy may be appreciated as the strong point of the set, with bodies in scale, excellent sculptured facial details and countable fingers, no figure missing one. At their turn, flash or thin film is kept in low amounts, excess of plastic completely misses and the resin is cast without any bubble. For this high quality resin primer is unnecessary, the material finely accepting enamel or artist oils, holding them even at heavy handling. On account of higher price and lack of bases, the collectors and diorama builders represent the main targets of the set, but even in wargaming similar figures are a priority and a lot of people implied in such games had no hesitation in purchasing the CMK product. Like the great majority of resin sets, also this one requires assembly and in order to achieve a strong and reliable bond, capable to resist at shocks, super glue gel is very recommendable. Moreover, the same binder is suitable to join hard plastic to resin, consequently the ones wanting to equip and arm these soldiers should use without hesitation Presier or Dragon gear and weapons. The last prescription aims the fragility of the resin parts, easily breakable and entailing more care when removing from the sprues than the pieces made of soft or hard plastic or even white metal.

The appearance in the scale of a wide range of WWII German trucks, armoured vehicles and cars has straight led to an increased call for related personnel capable to fit easy a vehicle. Solutions covering the topic might be traced not only in CMK's two sets on the matter, but also in Preiser's "WWII German Motorised Infantry", "WWII German Infantry Resting", "German Air and Ground Crew", "German Tank Crew", Warriors' "German Tank Riders Set 1 and Set 2", Miniatures Alemany's "German Panzer Grenadiers" and Mars' "WWII German Autorcrew in Action" (collection of figures copied from other manufacturers). Furthermore, another available source consists in model kits incorporating both the vehicle and the figures, proper examples in this light issuing Hasegawa and Esci/Italeri. However, an excellent solution for further increase the numbers of similar personnel put forwards again CMK in its comprehensive range of sets dedicated to Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe topics, incorporating minis wearing overall or drill attire.

"German driver and personnel for FAMO" and "German Soldiers for FAMO" greatly interact, matching from all points of view, inclusively one of the most important criteria, size. Corroborating the congener sets, the modeller may not only fill in almost all the seated of the prime mover for which these figures were designed, but also improve any other vehicle for reaching a more realistic appearance. Bearing in mind their cloths, a wide area of developments is suitable for the personnel that made the object of the present review, though different roles are proper, like Kriegsmarine/U Boat crews and Luftwaffe or Panzer maintenance units.      

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