from Japan is a company owned by sculptor Kiyushi Tsuda
. The company has a wide range of metal and resin products differing in scale – small scale gamer and fantasy figures, hexsystem bases and accessories , 1/48 scale Panzer crew, 1/32 scale girls including fictious characters like Alice in Wonderland and Little Red Riding Hood, 1:20 head sets which are specially produced to fit with the SF3D Ma.K series power suits and lately a series of 1:35 scale military and civilian ladies from World War II. More than displaying alone, these figures can be very useful as complementary figures for European Theater vignettes and dioramas.
The figures on this review are ML-016
from German Army Signals Auxiliaries
series including 5 figures in different poses.
about the figures
The increase of the German occupied territories arose the need to fill huge numbers of administrative and clerical posts and such positions were considered perfectly suitable for women. The use of female auxiliaries in such posts would be considered as civil servants attached to the army and it also release manpower for fighting units.
Corps of Army Female Signals Auxiliaries
(Nachrichtenhelferinnen des Heeres
) was established on October 1940. The staff problem was solved by transfers from other female organizations like Red Cross, volunteers and conscrtipts. Signal Auxiliaries were trained at the Army Signals school at Giessen and then were given duties as radio operators, telephonists, switchboard operators and secreterial workers in communications units. They would serve in occupied territories primarily at higher level commands like Corps or Army Headquarters. Sometimes they were also employed together with Naval Auxiliaries to greet the u-Boat crews as they docked after succesful missions.
The basic unit on their organization was Kameradschaft
comprising one supervisor - Oberhelferin
and up to 11 auxiliaries-Helferinnen
. From 2 to 5 kameradschaft would be formed a Zug
, a unit roughly equivalent to a Platoon and commanded by a woman of leadership grade -Führerin
. From 2 to 4 Zuge would form a Bereitschaft
which is equivalent to a company and commanded by a senior leader-Oberführerin
Both of the figures wear the basic service uniform of German Army Signals Auxillaries. The uniform was a grey wool suit comprising a knee-length skirt and tailored jacket, worn with a white blouse and black tie. Silk stocking and black lace-up shoes were worn, and a field cap completed the outfit. They were also provided with a leather handbag with a long strap hanged especially on the left shoulder.
Uniform jacket was double-breasted with two rows of two exposed buttons, large collar and lapels. Two internally hung breast pockets were provided, with shallow-pointed external button-down flaps. On the right pocket flap, there was a machine-wowen national emblem in white on a black background. On the upper left sleeve, there was a vertical oval dark blue-green patch bearing in its center a lemon yellow lightning bolt signals badge named Blitz
. This insignia gave the auxiliaries their common nickname Blitzmadchen
- Lightning Girls
. The sleeve insignia for leadership grades was edged with lemon yellow cord. On the lower left sleeve, they had a special cuffband in yellow with black borders and the inscription NH des Heeres
in black Gothic script. ( Photo
The headgear worn by the Lightning girls was a side cap similar to the cap worn by Army units. The crown of the cap and the edge of the flap part were piped in lemon yellow. On the front side of the flap where the cockade in national colors was worn by regular Heer units, the auxiliaries carried a national emblem-eagle and swastika in white thread with a black background. On the left side of the flap, there was a smaller version of the sleeve Blitz insignia.
All ranks of Signal Auxiliaries had a circular metal cravat brooch pinned to their necktie. It was enamelled black with a yellow border and a centered Blitz motif in yellow color.
Aurora Model figures come in 12x7 cm transparent zip-lock bags with a company label stapled on the top of the bag. Inside the bag; there are 2 small paper sheets ; one with the information about the figure in Japanese and English, the other with a painted photo which can be used as a painting guide. It is noted on the information sheet that the metal of the figures contains lead.
Figure parts are secured in another plastic bag.
Both of the figures are sculpted by Kiyushi Tsuda
and cast in white metal. The cast is crisp and clean but there are some visible vertical seamlines . A fast cleanwork with a X-acto knife and sanding will be needed. Slightly brushing the figures with an old toothbrush in a mild detergent and water will make them ready to prime.
ML-016 German Signals Auxiliarie ver.4
The figure represents a Helferin sitting crossed her legs on the backseat of a Kübelwagen and chatting to the driver. The figure is made up of 5 parts.
Upper body with head : Facial details and hair are quite well represented. The uniform details like buttons, pocket flaps, necktie, national emblems on the right pocket flap and side cap are good.
Skirt with right leg
Left leg : It makes a good fit to the hole on the skirt to pose crossed legs.
Right arm : Posed to put her arm on the backrest of the Kubelwagen’s seat.
Left arm : Posed in a chatting pose. Note that this part needs some cleanwork for the excess metal on the fingers.
ML-017 German Signals Auxiliarie ver.5
The figure represents a Helferin sitting on her knees leaning forward on the backseat of a Kübelwagen and looking ahead. The boxart shows her as a Haupthelferin ,equivalent to a senior NCO, with a yellow chevron and one yellow pip on the left sleeve.The figure is made up of 4 parts.
Upper body with head : Facial details and short hair are well defined. She really looks German. The uniform collars,buttons, and necktie are good. National emblems on the right pocket flap and side cap are quite well represented.
Skirt with two legs : It makes a good fit to the upper part.
Right arm : Posed to put her hand on the backrest of the Kubelwagen’s seat.
Left arm : Posed in to put her hand on the backrest next to right hand. The cuffband, chevron and Blitz patch are represented on the arm to make painting easier.
The following books can be useful when painting these figures.
Osprey Publishing – Men at Arms 393 - World War II German Women’s Auxiliary Services
Osprey Publishing – Men at Arms 100 - Women at War 1939-45
Sculpting, posing and casting ofthe figures are quite good. Displaying them as single figures depends on the painters choice . On the other side; they are very nice and unique figures to use in World War II German dioramas or vignettes especially including a Type 82 Kübelwagen.