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Built Review
135
Who's that?
German Mountain Troops & Soviet Marines, Spring 1943
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]

introduction

During WWII, the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS raised a number of mountain infantry units. The divisions were lightly equipped with much of the transport provided by mules. The mountain infantry were equipped with fewer automatic weapons than the regular infantry, with the exception of the MG42, which were common. The MG42 gunners were provided with more ammunition than their infantry counterparts. The mountain infantry participated in many battles, including Operation Weserubung, Operation Silver Fox, Operation Platinum Fox, Operation Arctic Fox, operations in the Caucasus, the Gothic Line, the invasion of Crete and battles in the French Vosges region.

During WWII approximately 350,000 Soviet sailors fought on land. At the beginning of the war, the Soviet navy had only one brigade of marines in the Baltic fleet and began forming and training other battalions. The military situation demanded the deployment of large numbers of marines on land fronts and so they contributed to the defense of Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa, Sevastopol, Stalingrad, Novorossiysk, and Kerch. They conducted over 114 landings serving as regular infantry without any amphibious training.

Master Box LTD has released a set of six figures in 1/35 scale which represent three WWII German Mountain Troops and three WWII Soviet Marines about to encounter each other.

contents

The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box with artwork of the figures by artist A. Kapawyk on the top of the box along with a photograph of a German Iron Cross and a Soviet Order of the Red Star medal. The bottom of the box has a very basic assembly guide in the form of images of the completed figures, an image of the sprues and a photograph of a Soviet Marine holding a German MP40.

There is no separate instruction sheet included in the kit, only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. The basic guide leaves a lot to be desired and I feel that Master Box could have taken the time to produce a more detailed one. There is no painting guide included with this kit.

The kit comes with two tan styrene sprues which contain 85 total pieces and come sealed in clear plastic bags. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprues contain more plastic than the pieces that make up the kit. However that is not the case with this kit which makes for easy removal and less clean up of each piece. When I examined the sprues I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces. The individual pieces are not numbered on the sprue, so referencing the bottom of the box is required.

As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash, however there are seam lines present. I did not find any ejector marks on the individual pieces, and the detailing on the individual pieces is nice and crisp.

the figures

The kit comes with three WWII German Mountain Troops and three WWII Soviet Marines sculpted by A. Gagarin. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash and gaps. I felt this would be a good way to show the work required on all of them.

The German with the peaked cap and a Soviet PPSH-41
This figure is made up of twelve total pieces. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice. The figure is carrying a captured Soviet PPSH-41 submachine gun and has a PPSH-41 drum magazine pouch as well. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the submachine gun. The parka is nicely done and I am impressed with the way it looks, however due to the fact that it is made up of four pieces there are gaps where the pieces fit together that need to be filled. The peaked cap is done well and fits on the figures head nicely. I ended up with one piece to the figure that I did not know what it was for. I studied the picture and finally discovered that it's a scarf, a decent instruction sheet would have shown where the part was to be placed. The pose of the figure is nice although it looks like he is almost leaning too far back, but that is just my opinion. There is very little flash present, however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

The German wearing the great coat and carrying the engineer backpack:
The figure is made up of seven total pieces and the detailing on the clothing and face is well done. The figure is carrying a Mauser 98k rifle and is in the action of opening the bolt. This is a nice detail and helps give the figure some character. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. There are three pieces that need to be added to the bottom of the coat. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together, but the end result is very nice. The figure is wearing/carrying an engineer's backpack and pouches. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

The German wearing the field cap and holding the Mauser 98k rifle:
The figure is made up of fourteen total pieces. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice. The figure is wearing a sweater and also has his decorations displayed on his tunic; an Iron Cross and what appears to be an Infantry Assault Badge. The collar of the tunic and the sweater are a separate piece that needs to be added but it fits nicely. This figure is carrying a Mauser 98k rifle and if desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. There are gaps where the body halves fit together, but most of them can be hidden when you attach the gear to the figure. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. For some reason this is the only figure out of the six where I noticed there was more of a gap where the arms attached to the body. The overall fit of the rest of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

The Soviet with the naval cap and the SVT-40 rifle:
This figure is made up of eight total pieces and is armed with a Soviet SVT-40 rifle which you can display with or without the bayonet. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. He has a Soviet Vesh Myeshok backpack on his back, and is wearing the naval t-shirt as well as the naval cap. The cap, which fits on the head nicely, has the ribbons hanging off of the back. The ribbons attach separately and add a nice touch. The detailing on the clothing and face is well molded and smaller details, such as the red star on the cap and the belt buckle, are a nice touch. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled. One detail that I had to check was the length of the rifle as it looked too long (without the bayonet). I measured it and did the conversion and it comes out to 37mm which is too long. In proper 1/35 scale it should come out to 34.77mm. That isn’t much of a difference but it is too long, and in my opinion looks too big.

The Soviet with the helmet and the PPSH-41:
The figure is made up of eleven total pieces. There are three pieces of the coat that need to be added to the bottom of the coat. Due to the lack of a decent instruction sheet I had to dry fit the pieces to get them in the right position. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together, but most of them can be hidden when you attach the gear to the figure. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice and the red star on the belt buckle and on the sleeves of the jacket are a nice touch. You need to attach the drum magazine to the PPSH-41, and if desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the submachine gun. There is very little flash present however the ever-present seam lines will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

The Soviet with the Kubanka hat and holding the German MP-40:
This Soviet figure is made up of eight total pieces, and is carrying a captured German MP-40 submachine gun and has a MP-40 magazine pouch as well. He also has a pistol in a holster and carries a bayonet. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the submachine gun. The detailing on the clothing and face is well depicted once again, and the small details are a nice touch. The Kubanka hat is well done and is a nice representation of the real article. The hat fits on the head fairly decent, however a little clean up is required to make it fit well. There are gaps where the legs fit together as well as where the upper body and the lower body come together. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to be filled.

Weapons and Gear:
•1 Soviet SVT-40 rifle.
•2 Soviet PPSH-41 submachine guns.
•2 Soviet PPSH-41 ammunition drum magazines.
•1 Soviet pistol in the holster.
•1 German MP-40 submachine gun.
•2 German Mauser 98k rifles. One is shown with an open bolt.
•3 Soviet bayonets.
•2 German entrenching tools.
•2 German canteens.
•2 German Mauser ammunition pouches.
•1 German MP-40 ammunition pouch.
•3 Soviet canteens.
•2 Soviet PPSH-41drum magazine pouches.
•1 Soviet SVT-40 ammunition pouch.

conclusion

It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures, however it is a nice product and I would have no hesitation to recommend it to others. This set could be used to easily create a simple diorama, or the figures could be separated and used in different projects.

A modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time dry fitting pieces, removing seam lines and filling gaps. My biggest complaint is the lack of a decent instruction sheet and a detailed painting guide. Other than that I was very impressed with the kit and I feel that anyone who purchases this kit will be pleased with it.

References:

• World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

•Wikipedia
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing on the parts. Nice action poses of all figures.
Lows: No instruction sheet or painting guide other than the basic guide on the box. The amount of gaps that need to be filled.
Verdict: All in all, a decent set of figures. It represents the two different factions very nicely. I like the fact that all six figures are in different uniforms which helps create a more realistic scene. I was impressed with the detailing and the poses.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB3571
  Suggested Retail: $19.95 MSRP
  PUBLISHED: Jun 23, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Julien I see you have the same problem as me sneaking new kits into the house,if you have a sucessful method let me know....lol
JUN 22, 2010 - 11:26 PM
Good review, I built this set too. With careful clean up and some scribing around pockets and with replacement heads these are great figures.
JUN 23, 2010 - 03:31 AM
A good review with excellent pics and plenty of detail. Now a point I must make, and its not really just directed and you but all reviewers in general is the rating you gave the figure set. 85% to me implies a set of figures which is pretty flawless apart from a few small problems, however very clearly based on your photos the figures will require lots of filling and cleaning up. To me 85%, despite the cool subject, seems way to high a rating for these figures, that places them on par with DML figures in terms of rating which, it cannot be denied, are far superior in terms of detail and quality of molding. As I said this isnt really an attack on you, more an attack on what I consider the problematic rating system.
JUN 23, 2010 - 10:12 AM
Randy A great review thanks for sharing it...and your time. Kit does look good though and I agree about the SVT40 it looks massive Martyn
JUN 23, 2010 - 12:06 PM
Darn good review. To see the figures built up without any filling ect. is very professional. What you see, is what you get and is in my mind very important. Looks like another must have set for me. We can always replace the oversized weapon and the heads don't look too bad. Lots of potential for this set. Thanks Randy.
JUN 25, 2010 - 02:20 AM
Thank you for the feedback everyone. I appreciate hearing all of your comments. I am glad that you like the way I display and describe everything. It makes me want to continue writing the reviews. I do like this set and there are several possible uses for the figures. I have a diorama in mind that I will use these figures in, if I ever get a chance!! I really like the German in the greatcoat. For some reason he just has a cool look. I guess he just looks tired, worn out and ready to go home. Thanks again everyone. I really appreciate the comments. HARV
JUN 25, 2010 - 06:23 AM
A very nice review. It is always good when a reviewer actually builds the figures, then the public can see for themselves how the endproduct looks like! I also reviewed this set for a Finnish magazine. One thing you failed to notice is that these German troops are not actually Mountain troops. Like you said one of the Germans has an Engineers backpack and pouches. I suppose the name of this set is only some sort of a translation error? One odd thing I noticed is that the sculpting of these figures is not as good as the earlier MB figures had. The wrinkles and drapery are not as sharp etc. These figures are not bad and the poses are top notch. I only hope MB will regain their earlier level of sculpting.
JUN 26, 2010 - 01:13 AM
Randy, Thanks for the review! Nicely done and exceptionally helpful. I really like your built photos showing all the warts and problem areas one can expect (and actually see!) to have to deal with. Thanks again!
JUN 26, 2010 - 01:45 AM
Thank you for the feedback. I appreciate any and all that I get as it helps me write better reviews in the future and also gives me ideas as to what I should research more. I am glad that you liked the review. Thanks again, HARV
JUN 29, 2010 - 05:36 AM
   

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