There have been many sets of World War II German infantry over the years, but this one is a little different as almost all the men are sitting down. The chance to ride a tank was always welcome if the alternative was a long march, and some marches such as those advancing into the Soviet Union seemed almost endless. Of course such figures can have other uses too such as sitting in trucks, so this is quite a versatile collection.
As with the other sets in this mini range from HaT most of the figures are ordinary infantry sitting. We have seven such figures, plus one man on one knee and an officer kneeling. The last two figures are of tank crewmen, and both are only part figures as they are intended to be emerging from some tank hatch. The poses are a really nice range of men relaxing in various ways, and we thought them all very natural. The man on one knee – possibly an NCO – has his submachine gun slung around his neck and is holding its ammunition clip to steady it. The officer, who is similarly armed, is doing what so many officers in this hobby do – holding a pair of binoculars. All the figures are very nicely posed.
The two tank crewmen wear standard uniform including the double-breasted jacket and the field cap, while the infantry are also in standard uniform. All wear the long boots that were more common earlier in the war, although they never disappeared completely. Most wear a helmet, but one has his field cap instead. The kit consists of the usual level of burden for men in action, and everything here is properly done. Weapons are mostly rifles but a machine gun of uncertain type is also being clutched.
The sculpting is not too bad but neither is it a strong point of the set. Both the detail and general appearance is not that great, and occasionally things go a bit awry, such as the front brim of some of the helmets, which virtually disappears entirely. Some elements are a bit misshapen too, and the man with the field cap has a remarkably strange sort of hand. No assembly is required and while there is some flash it is not too obtrusive.
As to how they look when in their natural environment – on a tank – well you can judge for yourself as we picture them on this Panzer IV. We think you will agree that they look pretty good, and make a very attractive scene, which as we have said could extend to other forms of vehicle, for example. Close up they do disappoint, but they are accurately done and make a nice addition to any column of troops advancing or retreating, and during the 1939-45 period German infantry did a lot of both!