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Hasegawa - German Infantry Attack Group (31130) _________(EXT)

 

Manufacturer Hasegawa
Scale 1/72
Set Code 31130
Year 1997
No. of Figures 24
No. of Poses 12
Additional Items Gear/Weapons/Accessories
Aspect Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (polly-cement)
Convert-ability Medium
Optimal Period 1939 – 1945 (without one exception)

Review 


In spite of finding plenty of figures in various vehicle model kits manufactured also by Hasegawa, the present set is the only one of this company that has as exclusive topic the German soldiers, depicting infantrymen in different poses. As title stressed, "Attack Group" should imply most poses in combat, and this we are going to find inside. Taking into account that the product is done in hard plastic, as well as the way some figures come, multi-part, there can be reached an increased number of poses, larger than the standard one. Not only the arms, but also the weapons can be mixed, getting new and if not interesting, at least satisfactory poses.  Being made of hard plastic, the parts are easily glued with any kind of adhesive used at model kits, and furthermore, those parts match pretty well. On the other hand, either in correction purposes or simply conversion ones, Preiser accessories, weapons, heads or even arms can be used without fear for improving or enlarging the content. The set incorporates two identical sprues with twelve figures in ten poses plus some accessories very well detailed and useful for dioramas. Bearing in mind that the set possesses two identical sprues, it should be mentioned that only one sprue makes the object of the review. The artwork of the box features very close not only some of the poses encountered inside, but also an accessory, a tree trunk that emerges much larger than is should be.

Stated above, the great majority of figures are multi-part, while others were cast in a single piece. In this respect, four poses come in single pieces and six are multi-part, requiring some assembly. The uniform of all figures characterized the Early Part of WWII, with M36 tunics, regular trousers, marching boots and helmets. The presence of a weapon developed in 1943 does not affect at all the accuracy, the M36 tunics continuing to be delivered to the troopers till the end of war. The set has the advantage that its soldiers may be used not only in warm climates, but also in colder ones, the thickness of the uniforms facilitating such thing. All fighters possess "Y" straps, canteens and gas mask containers, the last item being replaced with a mess tin in a single exception. Unimpressive models of shovels complete the gear of some figures and the weaponry consists in four Kar 98K, two MP40, one MG34 and one Raketen-Panzer-Buchse43. Those with Kar 98K have the pouches related to their weapons but instead three pockets on each side, present just two, an issue that definitely contradicts reality. Furthermore, those with MP40 totally miss their ammunition pouches.

In general, almost all poses are realistic and pretty well realized, with three figures standing, two crouched and five prone, the set distinguishing as a reliable source of prone soldiers, ideal for the purpose highlighted in the title. Most of the warriors are in fighting poses and between the nice ones can be pointed out the running/firing figure with MP40 and even his crouched mate with a similar weapon. If you want a rabbit, you surely find it here because the set brings a figure in an odd pose, the running/jumping guy with Kar98K. In fact, his pose is closer to a rabbit than to a soldier, jumping exactly like that animal. This genuine Bugs Bunny is the single figure that needs more assembly, his torso being delivered as separate part. However, good inspiration was proved by the producer while taking the decision to reproduce two teams serving major WWII German weapons. Regarding the RPzB43 crew, first of all it should be pointed out that the RPzB from here is the 43 model, without shield. In spite of looking quite similar with an American M9A1bazooka, from where it was inspired, it is still a German weapon and not a captured one. The similarity between the German and American models is enhanced by the fact that the RPzB43 misses the shield, an element later designed to protect the gunner, the shield becoming a characteristic component for the next generation of German such weapons, RpzB54. In the initial phase, the RPzB43 had not shield and the crew handling it used in general the gas mask for protecting their faces against the flames produced while firing off the weapon. Moreover, a gas mask with the filter removed was also issued to those handling the weapon. Remarkable is the fact that the RPzB43 crewmen from the set in case have on their faces the gas masks, a plus point that both increases the authenticity and makes it also extremely useful for conversions due to the fact that figures wearing on the faces gas masks are almost inexistent in the 1/72 scale. At its turn, the ensemble formed by the MG34 gunner and loader is well done too and for better achieving the poses and mould reasons, the MG, its bipod and the ammunition box are provided separately. The MG gunner lacks his personal weapon, the pistol, and not only him, but also the loader may receive the MG double spare barrels container that is also offered as separate part. It is an interesting detail, especially because we meet here a double spare barrels container and not a single barrel one, like it can be seen in Revell "German Armoured Infantry" and Preiser "German Infantry Advancing with MG". Anyway, another double MG spare barrels container is encountered in Pegasus Hobbies' "Waffen SS Set 2". The set incorporates two figures holding StiHg-r 24 grenades, one crawling with a grenade in his hand while the other is just in the very moment of throwing, doing it extremely persuasive, even if at the first impression he is not quite impressive. Some reference images suggest exactly the same move, so Hasegawa sculptors greatly did their job in this case. A pretty uncommon issue inside mass production sets related to 1/72 WWII Germans is the absence of the officer, the present set confirming the exception and not including any high ranked trooper.

Though not extraordinary, the uniforms are well depicted and bring enough small details like buttons, shoulder and collar boards as well as natural creases. The bodies are satisfactory proportioned, in spite mentioning that some palms and heads look a little too big, but the large appearance made possible great facial expressions. The biggest head, a little annoying has the crouched figure with MP40. Moreover, there are not differences between the size of weapons and gear between various poses. Weapons are satisfactory depicted, a minus registering at Kar98K, with a quite bizarre shape in the barrel area as well as at the MG34 and its ammunition belt which are much too thick. Even if there is, flash remains at a moderate level and due to multipart approach, excess of plastic does not appear pretty often. Nevertheless, a drew back is that each figure bears in different places the mark of the mould, where the plastic entered the mould. Fortunately, it is only a small circle that can be easily removed and then covered with paint.  As emphasised a little bit earlier, the anatomy of the figures has a weak point at heads, some figs having the heads too big because the size of some helmets. There are more solutions, either to replace them with some Preiser or even Imex heads or paint the actual helmets as if covered with camouflage cloth. The present set is not a spectacular one, but luckily it has been manufactured in hard plastic and for this reason, its soldiers can be upgraded or converted very easy with the support of the amazing Preiser accessories. Likewise, bases are provided in the ideal way, separate for all the figures, and even a base for the prone grenadier is given. Furthermore, a special base including some ruins comes for the crouched soldier with MP40, his arms and legs positions requiring such device. The separate bases approach satisfies both the wargamers which can easily glue the figures on them and the diorama builders which should not lose precious moments with the removal operation. The Hasegawa hard plastic is one of the hardest ever encountered, but finely accepts enamel and artist oils, maintaining the properties and sustaining them even at intense handling.  

The content is compatible with figures made by different companies and equipped in early style uniforms such as the large majority of Preiser sets related to WWII Germans, Esci "German Soldiers"/Italeri "German Infantry", Revell "German Armoured Infantry", Atlantic "German Infantry", Airfix  "German Infantry", and last but probably the best, Imex "German Infantry". The troopers from these sets may be mixed inside the same diorama, the differences between the sizes being insignificant and hard to identify. Moreover, taking into account the size of bodies, uniforms and gear, this set excellent matches Pegasus Hobbies' "German Mortar Teams", which is also made in hard plastic. Along with Imex's Germans, all these three sets may switch parts, heads, arms and weapons can be changed in order to attain new poses or to improve some others. Regarding the accessories, on each sprue there are included three ammo boxes for MG34 or MG42, an opened box with a RPzB projectile, an opened box with three grenades, a MG double spare barrels case and two different trunks of trees.  All of them are well sculptured and very useful, not only for dioramas, but also for wargames. In addition, some weapons come separately, namely a MG34, a RPzB and three Kar 98K and a part of them, especially the RPzBs are ready for being used for converting other figures.

Despite not being in the presence of reference set, it is still one interesting and helpful thanks to more factors, such as allowing a lot of conversions, including plenty of rare encountered topics in 1/72 and possessing many valuable accessories for dioramas. In the list of main attractions of the set could be cited the heads with gas masks, the RPzB43, the hard plastic material, the possibilities for conversions and the rich and nice array of accessories. A valuable set, especially for those needing some of extra parts or for those that want to spend some time and imagination for working to convert or embellish various poses.

 

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