With this set and the sister set of German Infantry 42-44, Valiant have rereleased an old set of theirs (Classic German Infantry 1944/45) but rescaled to be in true 1/72 size. The infantry set took the majority of the original poses, and this second set takes the rest, focused on the mortar and machine guns.
As the box tells us, this small set includes some 81mm mortars and MG42 machine guns mounted on a tripod. Like the figures, these are now resized to be the correct dimensions, and both look very good, with great detail. Both require some assembly, but this is the best way to get good accurate models, and the hard plastic means they can be glued easily. They and the figures are identical to the originals in all but size, but this set also has some larger bases onto which the heavy weapons can be placed. For our photograph we passed on setting the mortar on this base, but the base was very useful for the MG42 thanks to the fragile ammo feed and the gunner barely touching the weapon. The result is great, and both weapons are really worthwhile.
The poses of the figures are the same as in the original, and can be used to man or direct the fire of the weapons. All the poses are good, and some come with separate arms so there is some choice both in position of arm and in what is being held. See the sprue image for what is available, but this does help to make the set quite flexible. In addition, the same spare heads are included as in the infantry set, which further adds to the utility of this set.
This set has been redated for 1942 to 1944, and the uniform works well for this era (better than the original 1944/45 dating in our view). The men have the short boots and anklets of the later war years, and while they do not have all of the camouflage clothing which became more common as the war went on, they are not inappropriate for the specified years. Personal kit is fairly light, but again nothing here is wrong, so good accuracy all round.
Now they are resized, the style of these figures does not look so different from many other manufacturers, and they should mix well with the rest now. Detail is very good and crisp, and while the models are a little tricky due to some very slender parts, this makes the resulting model all the better for it. The hard plastic is the perfect material for such kits, and there is no flash or other unwanted plastic, so again great quality.
Our reaction to this set is very positive, partly because it is great to see a manufacturer correct a past mistake, but also because the result is a highly-usable collection of weapons and their crews which will surely find a welcome from the customers. The addition of some command figures makes this a pretty thorough treatment of the specified weapons, and one any enthusiast of the Second World War will probably want in their arsenal.