by: Jim Rae [ ]
Introduction: The Subject matter and contents...
Tristar 35005 - German Panzer Grenadiers Vol. 2 is a 76 part, hard-plastic set to build 4 (late-war) German Infantry in what can best be described as 'cold-weather' gear. 42 pieces are for the figures while the other 34 parts are for the personal weapons and equipment. The kit comes on three sprues, the moulding is in a light grey hard plastic. The figures are sculpted by the well-known Japanese sculptor Yoshitaka Hirano who has done numerous, well-acclaimed figures, such as those in the Yosci 1/35th figure range.
The four figures are, as I mentioned earlier, moulded in a fairly hard grey plastic which on first examination contains few moulding imperfections such as mould-lines. Two of the figures are standing, two are seated. Three of the figures ae dressed in the reversible parka (white in winter, camo in other periods) the fourth is greatcoated. Three of the the figures have steel helmets, the fourth a forage cap. All the figures are sculpted for the cold with gloves and the very typical balaclava. Sadly, none of the helmets come with helmet cover... The poses of the figures are relaxed and natural looking and lend themselves to use in a winter diorama (Hurtgen Forest or the Ardennes?) Three of the four figures follow the 'standard' fomat of torso, two-part legs and head. The fourth is a one-piece casting with separate feet, arms and hands. Creasing on the clothing is very crisply done and subtle. Nicely smoothed and natural rather than the 'sharp' creasing on some figures.
Personal Equipment is nicely moulded with the usual assortment of rifle pouches 'bread bags' , respirator cases and other gear.
Weaponry - a variety of weapons are provided - G42 Carbines, Kar 98Ks, MP44s and a superbly executed MG42. What is also worth a mention, is a beautifully done Luger.
This is a truly excellent set. well moulded, nice postures and a good selection of weapons make this set definitely worth buying. The subject matter HAS been done before by various manufacturers, however, these figures do add to any diorama of the period. On the negative side, perhaps some more slight variation in uniforms would have been welcomed although combining this set with the previous one (35004) a good mixture could be obtained. The instructions (on the reverse side of the box) do require some care and some of the parts are a little on the 'fiddly' side. Once again, careful construction will pay dividends later... The box also has a painting guide with color references for four brands of paint - Tamiya, Humbrol, Mr.Color and Aqueous Hobby Color. As these are well-documented subjects, color references will be easy to find.
An excellent set which confirms Tristar as one of the most interestng of the 'newer' companies...