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Plastic Soldier

Set WW2V20021

German Stowage and Tank Commanders

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2015
Contents 45 figures/part figures
Poses 15 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

As can be seen from the above images this is a set mostly made up of part figures plus a considerable quantity of accessories. With very limited space inside most tanks, it was only natural that crews stowed as much as possible on the outside, and kits of tanks often reflect the minimal, parade look that a tank might achieve when it was first delivered rather than the battle-worn and altogether more cluttered appearance it gained after a period in combat. This set allows the customer to remedy that to a point, providing many of the items you might associate with tank troops and their vehicles as they actually went about the business of war.

The most obvious omission most tank kits make is to provide a crew of any sort. Naturally when in actual combat the tank was usually sealed shut with no one visible, although on some the commander might still need to risk appearing at the hatch simply to properly see what was happening and look for targets and threats. The first couple of rows above show the various figures this set provides. They begin with the only three figures that are complete, and since they do not wear the standard tankers uniform they seem better suited to some of the other vehicles in use by the German Army. These three come with separate heads, including some spares (seen in the third row), so there is some variety and alternatives available here. The man holding the wheel obviously has this and his arms separate, but all are fairly inanimate but very useful additions to the many vehicle kits, even open-topped ones, that come with no one aboard.

The rest of the figures are clearly for placing in the hatch of some tank as all wear the usual uniform with the characteristic short double-breasted jacket as worm by crews of tanks and some mobile artillery. There are several basic poses, with the only difference between each being the type of headgear worn, all of which are part of the figure and not separate as for the seated figures. Naturally we find men wearing headphones and using microphones, or holding binoculars, and all are very appropriate to the task. Again a great way to add life to an armoured vehicle.

More than half the sprue is filled with a wide assortment of equipment and accessories. Here you will find everything including personal gear, weapons, containers or various types and spares for the tank itself. All this is excellent and perfect for customising your tank or creating a diorama showing tanks out of the line and being maintained, rearmed or simply resting. Some items such as the personal kit and the very nice containers (called 'Jerry cans' by the envious Allies) could equally well serve in all sorts of other military dioramas unconnected with tanks, so this is a great selection that almost any modeller of the Second World War will find useful.

Detail is generally very good on these hard-plastic items, although occasionally the detail on the figure’s clothing does get a bit vague. The kit and weapons are very nicely done and well detailed, while there is no flash and the hard plastic makes it easy to glue these to any kit. Although just an accessory to other kits and figures, this is a particularly useful collection of items which will be very widely useful, and the tank crewmen are a great extension to the sets of tank personnel already available which tend to concentrate on men fully outside their vehicle.


Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 9
Mould 10

Further Reading
Books
"Army Panzer Uniforms in Colour Photographs" - Crowood (Europa Militaria Special No.13) - Wade Krawczyk - 9781861263032
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"Panzer Crewman 1939-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.46) - Gordon Williamson - 9781841763286
"The Encyclopedia of Weapons of World War II" - Amber - Chris Bishop - 9781905704460
"The Panzer Divisions" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.24) - Martin Windrow - 9780850454345

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