by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
WWII saw an explosion in the use of small, portable anti-tank and anti-personnel mines. The Germans were experts in their deployment, but paid the price as other nations caught up. The Russians in particular deployed them particularly effectively. During the battle of Kursk for example, they achieved densities of 1700 anti-personnel mines per square kilometre and 1500 anti-tank mines per square kilometre. In addition, Russian squads would often dig up German mines and re-use them against the Germans. In July 1943, the Commander of sPzAbt.505, Hauptmann Graf Kageneck, reported "III.Panzer Korps reported the loss of 13 Tigers in one Kompanie that had started out with 14 Tigers on the morning of 5th July, 1943. Nine Tigers fell out due to mine damage" Kursk - The vital 24 Hours (Will Fowler) Spellmount.
Open the box and inside you'll find the ubiquitous Dragon 'card', attached to which is a small photo etch fret and a small sprue containing Kar98K rifles. Also inside are the assembly instructions and 4 large sprues of their light grey styrene.
The set includes parts for 4 figures as can be seen from the photograph on the right. Three figures are standing, the fourth is kneeling. One figure is holding the Aachen 40 mine detector and has an electronics backpack, with headphones, another standing figure has the Wien 41 mine detector, again with backpack and headphones. The other standing figure is using a mine probe, which was basically a rod with which to probe for mines, in much the same way as the kneeling figure is with a bayonet. The kneeling figure is also wearing ankle boots and gaiters, I think these were introduced in 1943, so it may not be correct to use this figure before that.
Also included in the kit are 4 different types of Russian mines, a T-IV AT mine, M1938 AT mine, a TMD 1940 wooden AT mine, and a PM2 1940 AT & AP mine. The small sprue has two Kar98 rifles, both moulded with separate bolts and hollow-ended muzzles.
As with all the 2nd Generation figures moulded so far, the level of detail is astonishing. Separate torso halves, for better detail on the sides, separate faces, again so that Dragon can achieve better detail. Again, the gas mask cylinders and water canteen have separate tops, there is reverse detail on ammunition pouches, shoulderboards and medals are supplied as photo etch. Simply superb.
A stunning figure set from Dragon. They'll go well with one of their 251/7 Pioneer Halftracks. An injection-moulded figure set that will give any resin figures a run for their money, and at a very reasonable price. Recommended.
My Thanks to Dragon for the review sample