by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
introductionThe Gebirgsjager or Mountain Divisions in the German Army during World War II were organised along similar lines as the ordinary infantry Divisions, but were seen by many, including the soldiers themselves as being part of an elite group. This set from Dragon is a first generation figure release.
the setThe set comprises four Gebirsjager figures, but essentially the poses differentiate themselves into two pairs of figures. Inside the box you'll find one large sprue of light grey styrene holding the four figures plus all their equipment and gear, with a small extra sprue holding three Kar98 rifles. All the figures and their equipment are fairly cleanly moulded, with just a tiny amount of flash that was easily cleaned off.
The first figure is posed standing in a relaxed pose, rifle slung over his left shoulder and pointing with his right hand. He wears the mountain cap with goggles, and double-breasted, loose fitting three-quarter coat over his tunic. The second figure is wearing a laced parka, mountain cap again, and stands holding binoculars in his right hand but raised. He also has a pistol holster and map case on his belt. Both of these figures also wear full backpacks.
The third and fourth figures will be the ones of most interest I suspect, in that they are posed in the act of firing a 5 cm leichter Granatwerfer 36. Both figures are prone, one firing, the other readying a round, and both are wearing mountain caps and a sort of steel frame on their backs which I can only assume was to aid in carrying the mortar? A nice touch is to include the holster for an entrenching tool, but without the tool fitted...........I think it's the first time I've seen it modelled like this? The mortar itself is supplied as five parts, and looks great, but you will have to carefully drill out the end yourself, remember this is not a Second Generation figure set! Also supplied is an open case of mortar shells, which should look good under a coat of paint.
All four figures are depicted wearing the hobnailed mountain boots, although the boots on the prone figures have smooth soles, and as the figures are depicted with these showing, detail will have to be added. Also the silver Edelweiss that these troops wore on the left of their caps is just a tiny blip on the caps supplied, and will really have to be replaced to look effective. They should also have an oval dark green cloth badge with the Edelweiss in white on their upper right sleeve, but this is not present on any of the figures. I also think that the trousers on each of the figures need to be much baggier! These were special trousers mde to be baggy for ease of movement, gathered in at the bottom with elastic putees.
The figures go together quite well, no need for any filler whatsoever, and the poses look natural. As mentioned earlier though, this is really two pairs of figures in one set, as the first two go together, and the second two do, but not with each other!
conclusionI like this set! I suspect a lot of other people will do too! Especially the two firing the mortar. I have no idea where a photo etched Edelweiss can be sourced, but if you know, then tell me, since they have to be replaced! Recommended.