by: Rick Cooper [ ]
Trumpeter continues to slowly add more figure sets to their catalogue. The latest set to hit the shelves is kit #00432, a German anti-aircraft gun crew in 1/35 scale.
The kit comes in an end opening box of the standard size for figures in 1/35th scale. Inside you will find a single sprue of desert yellow injection molded parts. There is no separate instruction sheet, just the back of the box with a computer rendering of the figures with arrows to which part goes where. Not really hard to figure out and anyone with the slightest idea of human anatomy should figure it out quicker than it takes to read this sentence! You also get the ubiquitous paint reference guide with call outs for Mr. Hobby, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, and Humbrol. Be aware however that outside of Mr. Hobby you get almost as many blanks as actual references such as no paint equivalent for German Field Gray or Light Gray from Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya, or Humbrol.
Well, what you get is parts for four relaxed German anti-aircraft gun crewman sitting around shooting the schnitzel. Not a single one of them is pointing into the distance; however, one of them is looking out across the horizon with a pair of binoculars; probably either checking out a fraulein or an extremely low flying aircraft.
Each of the figures is made of a fairly standard parts layout; torso, head, a pair of arms, and two legs. Two of the figures do have separate boots for somewhat better definition. That is pretty close to the sum total of all the parts as well. You do get a couple of pieces of mail that are molded in plastic as well as the pair of aforementioned binoculars but that is all. No helmets or other pieces of personal gear at all.
The molding and quality of the parts is a bit of a mixed bag. The sculpting is a bit soft with some rough patches here and there. It reminded me of an old figure set from Hasegawa years ago that old timers may remember. The poses were very generic and the moldings were both soft as well as somewhat rough in patches. When I say they were rough it appears that the sculptor got in a hurry to finish with some pieces. As a case in point, check out the head sculpt of the one figure I constructed, just below the hair line behind the ear looks half done. The head sculpts themselves look a bit odd, sort of Frankensteinish (Thank you, Monty Python!) the only thing needed was a couple of aftermarket bolts! One thing that Trumpeter has taken care with is the molding gates which are for the most part attached to the inside of the attachment point only.
The box art is an illustration from the talented Vince Wai. It shows several ammo cases and a helmet which unfortunately you donít actually get. The odd thing to my eye was how one of the crewmen looks like Christoph Waltz and another looks like Steven Baldwin. Unfortunately, neither likeness carries as far as the actual sculpting.
Like I said something of a mixed bag of plastic. The detail seems a bit soft and some of the sculpting is rough. The head sculpts; particularly the two bare heads will probably need replacements as neither really looks like a Hollywood star in plastic. I thought the paint reference guide was a bit lazy on Trumpeters part; really no one mixes a Field Gray? If you are looking for a set of relaxed Germans as filler for a corner of a diorama this might be it, otherwise I would keep walking.