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1_76 Pegasus Hobbies German Army Infantry 1939 (7499)

 

 

Manufacturer Pegasus Hobbies
Scale 1/76
Set Code 7499
Year 2007
No. of Figures 42
No. of Positions 21 (over 35)
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent (Polly-cement)
Convert-ability High
Optimal Period 1939 -1942

Review  

After Pegasus Hobbies has accustomed their target groups with sets addressed to not so often seen topics in the field, time has come for one attacking maybe the most common subject encompassed by 1/72 sets related to German Army. Obviously, it concerns figures dressed in M34 tunic, but in spite of this fact and according to company’s tradition, “German Army Infantry 1939” includes plenty of surprises, one of the greatest being that the whole set is at 1/76. It has to be underlined that the first intention aimed the present set to be issued at 1/72 and furthermore, the first test shots revealed soldiers at the just mentioned scale, but the final product turned to be at 1/76.

Designed and first produced in the same time with Waffen SS Set 2, sharing few common points, these early Germans reached the market with several years delay, due to scale issues. It’ appearance at 1/76 represents on the one hand, this is a happy event for the fans of the smaller scale, but on the other hand it brings sadness for the 1/72 collectors due to the fact that they lose an extremely interesting set, full of rare and unique items in the scale, as well very attractive poses. Happily, these figures are not lost for 1/72 fans because they have to take into consideration the manufacturer’s intention that in the far future to release the set and in this scale.   

Moreover, bearing in mind not only that at its beginning this set was designed as a 1/72 set, but also Pegasus Hobbies’ attention for details and accuracy, the final outcome is represented by maybe the most detailed figures ever enclosed in 1/76 mass production sets.

Another prepared surprise is the integration of several rare weapons or even unique in the Braille such as the MG15 and Kar 98K with Gewehrgranatgerät attached to it. Here it also has to be pointed out the MG34 tripod, which is indeed, a rarity at 1/76.

Even if it is not a surprise anymore, at the list could be added other major things such as the high quality of figures and the number of poses included in the set. Although on the box it is clearly stated that there are 20 enclosed poses, I think it is a good piece of news to find out that inside it exists 21 different ones. The divergence may rest in the fact that before the final version of the set to be settled, on test shots, there were two tripods for an MG34. Fortunately, at the commercial variant, the extra tripod was replaced with a new figure, a MG gunner, but probably the company forgot to recount the number of poses or the boxes had already been printed till the final version of the set was settled. If it is desired to make conversions, and the set practically invites the owner to do so, special attention must be paid here, because in spite their similitude, several poses are unique.

Furthermore, another premiere at this company rests in the art work of the box, reproducing an expressively black and white picture of two Wehrmacht soldiers. It was a real surprise for me to notice that form millions of such pictures, it was chosen exactly my favorite one, the one that I consider to best represent the German soldiers in action. It greatly reveals the tension of the combat and one soldier is using a grenade which means the enemy or even death is walking around. His face expresses the fact that he is totally aware that in few moments his life can be ended and all his dreams and hopes are based on that grenade. I have two photos taken from different angles of these soldiers and I do not know one hundred percent if they were realized in a real war situation or just for propaganda issues during training. If it is so, then the grenadier definitely deserves an Oscar for his performance.  This picture describes the best the atmosphere brought by the poses from this set, almost all being in quite a similar situation. Moreover, there are two figures that seem inspired after those from the box, but judging more carefully the poses from the picture, even closer to them is the soldier that throws the grenade from Waffen SS Set 2 (also Pegasus Hobbies) while his comrade pose is closer to a figure from Airfix’s Afrika Korps set.

As it was mentioned in the general data table, we are here in the presence of a hard plastic set. After “German Mortar Teams”, this is the second set related to the German troops launched by Pegasus Hobbies in hard plastic, an important issue which opens the gates for even more and effortless conversions. As in the previous sets, both hard and soft plastic, the figures require assembly. Absolutely sure, the present set involve the most such an action, arms, heads, legs, helmets, weapons and other pieces waiting and asking for glue. The box states that the set is composed of 136 pieces, so a little more than some assembly is required, but the effort will be greatly rewarded by the dynamicity, variation and class of these soldiers. Most of separate parts are arms with weapons, followed by shovels and heads, but still there are two legs and on helmet that need glue.  

The separate helmet does not fit proper, but with a little effort in this regard, like removing the superior part of the head, it should nicely adjust. Also, the separate helmet brings an advantage, giving the collector the choice of emplacing it a stranger but possible position, not pretty seen in the scale. Again, there is not provided any instruction for putting the figures together, but such thing would be almost useless due to the fact that the figures and their fittings are emplaced next to each other on the sprues. In addition, the parts have a specific Pegasus Hobbies guiding system that allows just the required one to match. Unfortunately, there are not provided extra arms or weapons like in Waffen SS Set 2, but through minimal modifications like removing the peg from the body, conversions can be unproblematic achieved and the arm of another soldier to proper fit.

For attaching these soldiers to their designed bases it must be used again the glue, although the operation is not necessary for everybody. Taking into account the high quality of all figures of this manufacturer, it is assessed that it aims more the diorama fans. In fact, inside their first German Army set, Waffen SS Set 1, there were provided bases just for three figures (the same pose), but the company has become very receptive as well to the requirements of wargamers which need bases for their soldiers. In this regard, in “Germans 1939” there are given separately bases for almost all the figures. I much appreciate this approach of separate bases because it satisfies both target groups, and while for wargamers it easy to link the figures to their bases, the diorama fans do not need anymore to cut these undesired elements. Likewise, separate bases allow more detailed soles, and even at these tinny figures, there are still seen the hobnails.

In addition, the present bases include a lot of nice details, such as MG34 ammo boxes, spare MG34 double barrel case and even a wall with an MG34 bipod is included. For diorama fans that do not use bases, it is recommended to remove the rare details like MG spare barrel case and to use it in another place.

Likewise, even if there are 42 figures which allow a large amount of customization, the present review makes reference just to the “standard” 21 different poses.   

As it was normal for the reference period, all the figures wear M34 tunics, regular trousers, marching boots and steel helmets. Nevertheless, their cloths make them fit for any period of WWII due to continuous deliver of M34 tunics till 1945 while the thickness of the uniforms mainly addressed the figures for warm periods and posting them in colder environments, even if not impossible, make them to look a little strange.

Although the “Y” straps are completely missing, this fact must not shock at all and underlines again the attention paid for details by the manufacturer. At the incipient stage of WII, the “Y” straps, which became a symbol of the German Army, were not available. However, the absence of this element does not hamper at al the use of these figures in any part of the war, plenty of pictures taken in the next years showing infantry soldiers without the “Y” straps.

Still, all the figures have the gas mask strap around their bodies and almost all possess the classical gear respectively gas mask container, bread bag, mess-tin, canteen and shovel. Concerning the shovel, it is almost a characteristic feature of Pegasus Hobbies to provide it separately for all figures. In this respect, they have a hole while the shovels have a peg to ease the fixing.  Again it is given just a single model, with the bayonet attached and there are offered in a larger number that it is necessary (42).  

The weaponry of the soldiers impresses through quality and accuracy and also can be found several items rarely encountered at Braille scale Germans. The included armament is typical for the period and for the regular endowment of a German Army infantry platoon in 1939 and the level MPs remains low, according to reality. The set features three MG34, one MG15 (extremely rare or even unique item in the scale) and three MP38. Obliviously, the rest of fire arms are Kar 98K, specifically twelve, and to one is attached the Gewehrgranatgerät, another pretty rare item at 1/76. A nice touch is the fact that two of MG gunners have pistol holsters, a weapon that according to KStN was designed for such specialized soldiers.  All the figures have the appropriate ammo pouches and it must be stressed again the fact that all the weapons have the straps attached. This is a very noteworthy and accurate feature, rarely found in sets from other companies and it is Pegasus Hobbies’ merit for depicting them in all their sets.

Regarding the poses, both the multi-parts approach and hard plastic fully show their notable advantages, providing vitality along with a terrific normal appearance for the figures, as well various chances for customization. From the 21 “standard” poses, six are prostrating, five are standing while ten are crouching. It is a perfect set of combat soldiers, especially taking into consideration that most of the figures, as in real war situations, try to make as small as they can in order to offer a small part of their bodies as targets for enemy bullets.    

The large majority of the suggested poses are unique or really different than the ones encountered in hard or soft plastic sets from other manufacturers. Anyway, several of them are clearly inspired from other Pegasus Hobbies sets and to be more specific, two are replicating poses from Waffen SS Set 2 and one is copying a similar pose met in Waffen SS Set 1. It has to be stressed that the differences are obvious, not only because of scale difference but also the uniform is dissimilar, the soldiers from Waffen SS sets being dressed in camouflage smocks. All these poses are uncommon for other producers and they are also extremely interesting. The figure inspired from Wafen SS Set 1 is the soldier that is running holding his helmet while the other two reproductions consist in the crouching soldier firing with both his knees on the ground and the prostrating one which fires aside.

Similitude with a pose encountered in Airfix’s German Infantry may be found to the crawling figure which prepares to stand or advance, but the one from here is better sculptured and it is the only soldier for which is given the separate helmet. Another figure that looks pretty familiar with one from the same Airfix set is the one of the soldier who fires from the “standard” crouching position.    

The authentic action is at home here and a great number of the poses are really unusual than those encountered in Braille scale sets from other manufacturers, and first of all it should be nominated the one firing from a crouched position with one leg in front of him and the other under him. The pose is very strange and never seen in pictures, but those who use to fire with weapons say that it is an extremely common and comfortable position for firing. Dead soldiers who lay down in authentic positions are rarely met in the scale, but definitely such poses are extremely useful for depicting a reliable war scene. Once again, the producer of the present set has identified the shortages and tried to cover a little the terrible part of the war through a pose too much seen in those years. In 1/76 scale, a wounded soldier with his hands on his face is included in German Infantry from Airfix, but the quality of 70’ shows it limits. 

The figure depicting the officer must be taken into consideration both for its nice stance as well for the fact that it looks more like an NCO. The assessment that without a doubt it represents an NCO rests in the lack of the pistol holster, a designed weapon for officers. Of course, he can be as well a trooper, because his gear and endowment is just similar with the others, but his MP38 corroborated with his stance leads to this assumption. He is the only figure form the entire set that stays still, perhaps looking and evaluating the actions accomplished by his troopers. To fabricate a set of these dimensions without a high rank soldier it is a quite uncommon approach.

The set abounds in MGs, but no regrets should appear since these are nicely realized and even one type it is extremely rare, even unique in the scale. This is MG15 and its gunner lies down in the classical firing position. The same figure was used to reproduce and one from the three MG34 gunners and to both these, except the MGs, more variation can be added through fixing their heads and shovels in differential positions. They do not have pistol holsters, but the issue can be easily solved with such items “borrowed” from a Preiser set. 

If those machine gunners are looking pretty close, the other two are really more than interesting. Especially for one of them, the set includes a small wall with the purpose of sustaining the MG34 bipod. The pose is evidently in need for something to hold the bipod, but if it is not wished to use the provided wall, there is not only the solution of removing the bipod from the wall and to glue it on the MG, but also to attach a Preiser one which fits very fine.

The set allocates for all these three MGs just the gunners and while the first two above described have attached the charges, for the other one it is necessary to connect a cartridge belt which is given on the sprue. Nevertheless the piece of resistance of all the MG34 is the one fixed on a tripod and it is also the only that has both gunner and servant. While the gunner is preparing, his comrade holds the MG34 cartridge belt that has to be glued in his hands or on the MG and tripod. For this assemble it is provided the nicest base, with three ammo boxes, a double spare barrel MG case and the servant Kar 98K. All these items, except the Kar may be easily removed and put in other locations if the base it is not going to be used. Their utility and quality highly recommends the surgery. It also must not be forgotten the tripod, delivered in two pieces and which represents one of the best such items in the Braille, thanks to its accuracy and excellent details.   

Once more, plenty of figures have StiHg-r 24 under their belts or in their marching boots, but just only one is making use of this representative weapon for Germans. Having in mind the art box, it is normal this figure to be one of the ambassadors of the set. It is indeed a really persuasive pose, full of dynamicity and vigor which throws the grenade from a unique and more than attractive position. For tooling reasons, one of his legs is given separately, but certainly the multi part approach brings its contribution to a very nice figure. 

With reference to the uniform, the correctness is impeccable and a lot of small details like buttons and creases are more than evident. The anatomy is very good as well the facial expressions, maybe due to their primal designation, like 1/72 figures. Concerning their size, there are tiny slight differences between various poses, but these are kept in common natural limits. The disparity is further evident at the size of several helmets, but the rest of gear and weapons has exactly the same size on each figure, which is a normal and excellent thing.  Although flash is present, its amount is not high and it can be removed without difficulties while a small excess of plastic appears just at the soldier who holds his helmet, perturbing a little the gap between the arm. In general, hard plastic accepts better the paint than the soft one and here we have no exception from the rule. The raw material utilized for producing the set has not the inclination to give gloss aspect to the paint as the soft plastic used before by the same manufacturer in their previous sets (except “German Mortar Teams which is also of hard plastic).

As it was stressed in many occasions along this review, especially thank to hard plastic and multi part approach, the set gives the chance of plenty customization and a greater number than the “standard” 21 may be attained from the duplicated poses. This is the main reason that in the general data table, at Poses in brackets is written over 35, but all the 42 figures may well be transformed in unique ones and the only limit is the spare box of each of us.

For customizing these figures may be used the parts provided inside the box, mixing them between the soldiers and in the same time the possibility of gluing in various positions the heads and shovels represents another advantage.

Moreover, some Preiser gear, weapons and body parts supply these figures with important and perfectly scale matched items. For alternative heads with M34 overseas or officer caps is highly recommended the German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew, because most of its figures are 1/76. Good offer of arms with MP38s can be found in Preiser’s German Motorised Infantry due to the fact these match the size. While the arms may require some diminishing, the pistol holsters and Verbandpäckchen/Kartenwinkelmesser 27 do not any surgery. In addition, along the conversion process, it will be noticed that for the present reviewed figures are needed a lot of palms. This must not be a problem; there are plenty of extra palms that fit inside various Preiser sets.   

Except Preiser’s first mentioned set, the present reviewed figures are wholly compatible by any point of view such as size, gear and uniform with those included in other 1/76 sets like Matchbox’s German Infantry and Afrika Corps, Airfix’s German Infantry (with half of poses from this set, the rest being at 1/72), as well with Fujimi’s German Infantry and German Infantry with Gas Masks (also manufactured of hard plastic). Moreover, these soldiers perfectely match by size and gear with other three sets from Airfix, respectively German Paratroopers, German Mountain Troops and Luftwaffe Personnel.

Nevertheless, “German Army Infantry 1939” is far superior to all above pointed out and it will meet the exigencies and aspirations of the 1/76 collectors, proposing them the possibility of depicting a genuine combat atmosphere through extremely energetic and highly detailed figures. Also, the hard plastic and the niceties that abound recommend it as one of the best choices in the field and to have in the same box almost or even an entire German platoon and none of the poses to be repeated is the dream of each of us.  Finally, it should be emphasize again for the diorama fans that these soldiers do not fit with the 1/72 WWII Germans, even some of them come closer to such figures. Nevertheless, for wargamers who do not care too much about scale issues, the present set is a real delight. When it will be manufactured in 1/72, these Germans will represent an important alternative for turning into combat the Preiser figures and vice versa, both producers distinguishing through high quality and details.      

Historical Accuarcy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 10
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 10
Reviewer's Opinion 10