This is part 2 of the Caesar releases of World War II German infantry ‘Combat Team’ - simply an imaginative title to distinguish it from the many other sets of this subject already made by Caesar. You don't get a lot of poses in this set, and plenty of those you do get only have one example, so there is no getting away from the fact that these figures rattle around in the box.
When we reviewed set 1 we commented on the many action poses it contained, all of which we really liked and thought realistic. The emphasis in Set 2 is less on action and more on some interesting poses that have seldom if ever been done before. The poses in the top row, each of which has three in the box, are certainly battle poses, and all of them are very fine. The running man is our favourite of this group, not least because this is a difficult pose to achieve, yet has been done very well here. The bottom row presents poses that are more unusual, and so perhaps of less interest to wargamers but more for collectors and modellers. The first figure is sitting and apparently resting, although he could still be in the middle of a battle of course. Next we have a walking figure, which is splendid, but why only one of this pose? There are very few examples of these soldiers on the march, so this pose is certainly very welcome, but of all the poses in this set this one cries out for a large number to be produced, so we feel Caesar could easily have justified having five or six of this figure. Moving on, the next two figures are particularly interesting. What is perhaps not apparent from our photograph is this is a pair of men with one lying on the ground and the other supporting his head (see these figures in their intended state here). Clearly the downed man is wounded and is being attended to by his comrade, and the first figure in this row also works well placed next to these. It makes sense to have just one of this sort of interesting but limited figure, and it is a really nice little tableau, but in a set with only 10 poses it is something of a luxury. Finally we have an officer, one foot resting on a low wall, observing through binoculars - another really attractive figure.
The clothing and weaponry is a perfect match for the first Combat Team set, with jack boots and smart tunics suggesting the early years of the war. Weaponry is the usual rifles and submachine guns, but the kneeling firing figure seems to hold a Gewehr 41(W) or, as it has a telescopic sight mounted, it could also be the Gewehr 43 (detail is not clear enough to be certain). The kit looks good, with one man having assault kit and the rest a mixture of the usual items, including bread bag, canteen, mess tin and gas mask case. All these are fine, although as with the first set a few of the gas mask cases hang magically in the air as they lack the strap that should be holding them. Ammunition pouches on the belts are appropriate for the weapon carried, but the kneeling man with the Gewehr 41(W) has what looks to us like two field lamps on the right side of his belt. This is strange for two reasons. First, this item was not designed to attach to the belt, but directly to the tunic, so unless these are similar privately-purchased items that could be attached to the belt they look rather odd. Second, why does he need two torches, and at the expense of ammunition which his self-loading rifle might consume in some quantity (although if used as a sniper weapon this would not be an issue). What he should have is the special pouches for this weapon, which were different from the standard rifle pouches, but he does not.
Our comments of the quality of sculpting and production of the first set apply equally to this one, which is to say the sculpting is very good if occasionally vague on such things as weapons, but otherwise very natural and nicely detailed. There is a tiny amount of flash in this set too, but also some excess plastic in areas the mould did not reach, particularly the running figure in the top row, although these poses, while far from flat, make fewer demands for a complex mould. At least one figure has been produced with a multi-part mould, yet this has not been widely used to remove the excess plastic entirely.
So this set is quite nicely produced, although not quite to the very high standards we have previously seen from Caesar. The excess plastic is an annoyance, but the poses, both conventional and unusual, are a delight and very well done. Aside from the missing strap for the gas mask, and the unexplained torches on one man, there are no accuracy issues either, so while this is only a modest selection of figures it is quite appealing.