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Esci

Set 244

German Paratroopers 'Green Devils'

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1989
Contents 50 figures
Poses 15 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Light Green, Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

There's really only one word for this set - dull. Since it's an Esci set we get 15 poses, all of which are lifelike and well sculpted. Uniforms are accurate, as is most of the weaponry, which is authentically diverse. One man is using a Panzerfaust, which was a light but effective anti-tank weapon popular with paratroopers and others. However the example here has a tube length of 18mm, which is about 130cms scaled up, which is massively longer than the actual size of 80cms. On a more positive note several figures are wearing the particular paratrooper ammunition belt around their neck, which contained 100 rounds of rifle ammunition.

However, the big problem is evident on glancing at the poses - no one is actually doing anything! OK, so that's a slight exaggeration, but not by much. There are two men firing rifles and one man firing a Panzerfaust anti tank weapon. Apart from that, everyone else is either strolling around or standing still. Even the guy apparently throwing his stick grenade seems to be putting so little effort in that he'll be lucky if it travels 10 metres. One of the men is even leaning on his machine gun, which is resting muzzle-first in the ground - a situation which would enrage any officer or professional soldier who witnessed it! Even more wrong is the fact that so many of these figures are left-handed. Regardless of their natural inclination all Germans, and indeed all Europeans, were brought up from childhood to be right-handed, and being left-handed was seen as deviancy. In the military, everyone leading with the same hand makes practical sense, and again no other possibilities were permitted, so none of these figures should be left-handed.

In fairness some of the poses are quite nice, but a set of figures doing very little is not going to generate much interest. The standard of sculpting is excellent - Esci managed to maintain the same high standard from their very first set to the last (this one), which is impressive.

This set has been around a long time, and more recently has been released under the Italeri label, and it seems the levels of flash vary as a result, although in most cases there is no noticable flash to report.

A very competent product technically but a poor effort in terms of design, this was a sad finale to the often excellent range of Esci figure sets.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Fallschirmjäger: German Paratrooper 1935-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.38) - Bruce Quarrie - 9781841763262
"Fallschirmjager" - Pen & Sword (Images of War Series) - Jon Sutherland - 9781848843189
"German Airborne Troops 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.139) - Bruce Quarrie - 9780850454802
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"Weapons and Equipment of the German Fallschirmtruppe" - Schiffer - Alex Buchner - 9780887409646
Magazines
"Military Illustrated" - No.96
"Military Illustrated" - No.153

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