by: Martyn Crowther [ ]
Gebirgsjager translates into mountain infantry, the first concept of the Gebirgsjager was tried in World War 1. The Alpen Korps was formed in 1907 and like the Gebirgsjager shared the Edelweiss insignia, the Edelweiss was worn on the collar of the uniform. The first Gebirgsjager unit was created in 1937 from Veterans of the First World War. By 1938 the Gebirgsjager had grown to division size. Therefore the 1st Mountain Division was formed. The Gebirgsjager first campaign during the Second World War was the Invasion of Poland as part of Army group south. The 1st Mountain Division captured the Dukla pass in the Carpathian Mountains. The Division also saw action in operations in Southern Poland, forcing the surrender of the Polish city of Lemberg. After the Invasion of Poland the Gebirgsjager served on the Western front capturing the Low Countries and France. The Division then took part in Operation Barbarossa. The Division took part in the battle for Uman and Stalino. In 1942 the Division took part in the battle for the Donetz region, after the Donetz region the Division took part in the drive through the Caucasus Region until it was withdrawn into Greece 1943. During 1944 the Division took part in hunt for Partisans until it was called into action. In December 1944 the Division was again moved to Hungry to stop the Soviet offensive. The unit was re named 1st Volks- Gebirgsjager Division. The Division fought in the South East of Austria until May when it surrendered to the Soviets in May 1945.
the kit The kit comes with the usual very high standard box art from Ron Volstad. On the back of the box you also get a colour chart for the figures. The back of the box also serves as instructions for the figures; each figure has its own picture with each part numbered for assembly. Opening up the box Dragon presents you with five sprues, the five sprues include: the main sprue which has the figures themselves.. The second sprue gives you Gen 2 accessories which include ammo pouches, water bottles, mess tins, gas masks, bread bags and other equipment. The third sprue has three gen 2 Mp-40 machine guns on it. Dragon also gives you a spare ammo clip and a stock which allows you to have the stock extended on the Mp-40. The fourth sprue has the Gebirgsjager weapons on it, these include: an Italian Breda 6.5mm machine gun, an Italian Beretta Modello 38 and the last is a short carbine. The fifth sprue is the third sprue of weapons and has two Walther designed G43 rifles on it. Sadly like the Italian weapons these are not Gen 2.
The first figure is a Gebirgsjager infantryman pointing his G43. He is broken down into head arms, hands, torso and legs. The Gebirgsjager is wearing a Bergmütze (Mountain Cap). However the cap is missing the Edelweiss insignia. Moving onto the face, I can really notice a difference in the heads, the lines in the face are more visible, also the face has a lot more character to it, compared to older heads released by Dragon. Moving onto the torso the figure is wearing a Pulovermantel (Reversible Parka) The parka is really well detailed showing very nice creases and the detail is sharp. Dragon also attach the hood separate, like other features this is evident in their Gen 2 sets and a nice touch. The belt is nicely moulded, so is the buckle; however a photo etched one would improve this figure nicely. Moving onto the arms, they are very nicely done with the creases in the arms being sharp and very realistic. The hands are separate from the arms, which is a nice touch from Dragon, they are obviously listening to the modellers and taking key parts from the Gen 2 figure kits and using them in there latest figure sets. Onto the lower half of the figure and he has trousers and Bergschuhe (mountain boots). The trousers are very well detailed with excellent creases. Moving onto the boots these are very nicely done with sharp detail. However the only slight glitch is the shoe laces; these are very hard to replicate in injection molding.
The second figure Is a Gebirgsjager loading a flare gun. Like the other figure he is also broken down into head, arms, torso and legs. The Gebirgsjager is also wearing a mountain cap with out the Edelweiss insignia. Moving onto the head area the face is really nicely done. He actually has a little bit of character in his face; he looks as if he is concentrating on loading the pistol. He is also wearing the reversible parka with really nice detail. Dragon also attach the hood separate, like other features this is evident in their Gen 2 sets and a nice touch The figure also has an ammo box for the flares. Moving onto the lower part the Gebirgsjager has the mountain boots. The overall pose of the figure is very well done. He is hunched over the pistol, which adds to his concentration on loading the weapon.
The third figure Is a slightly different figure. The Gebirgsjager is wearing a Wehrmacht tunic with edelweiss insignia on his left arm. Just like the other figures he is wearing a mountain cap. However with the War getting later and later more German units were mixing up uniforms, Dragon supply you with four Gen 2 steel helmets, by swapping the head gear this could add some interesting possibilities to the figure set. Moving onto the Wehrmacht tunic, the detail here is very nice with the pockets molded very nicely, the detail is sharp and the eagle insignia is very nicely done and will come up nicely in a coat of paint. Moving onto the arms and hands, I have noticed Dragon have really stepped up their quality with the hands, they look much better than previous sets. Next up is the field radio. The radio comes in six parts including the phone. The field radio is very nicely done and a nice effort from Dragon.
The fourth figure Is a Gebirgsjager With an mp-40; he is wearing a Reversible smock with mp-40 pouches hanging on his belt. Dragon has continued with a very high standard of detail in this set with all the same details in the last figure.
ConclusionA very original figure set with great poses and great potential. The moment I got this set I fell in love with it. A great set with additional Gen 2 gear sprue, high five for Dragon.