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1/72 Pegasus Hobbies 2 Storey Izba (7704)

 

PEGASUS HOBBIES 1/72

Russian Log House – Two Story Large Karilian Region Izba 

Manufacturer Pegasus Hobbies
Scale 1/72
Set Code 7704
Year 2008
No. of Parts 13
Instruction Sheet Yes
Additional Items None
Material Styrene (Hard Plastic)
Colour Light Brown
Flash Level Intermediate
Glue-ability Excellent (Polly-cement)
Conversion-ability High

 Review 

During the last years several major mass production companies have started to launch on the market diorama accessories, completing the older list of such stuff produced by Airfix, Esci, Hasegawa and even Matchbox. Both Italeri and Pegasus Hobbies have come with new and attractive buildings, an important part not only for dioramas, but also for the wargaming table. Great is the fact that the offer of the two just mentioned companies does not overlap, while Italeri grants attention to the Western front, Pegasus Hobbies treats mostly the Eastern one.

In the 1/72 scale, the Western front has been somehow more popular, but thanks to Pegasus Hobbies the roughest and important front of WWII, the Eastern one, benefits at present by an excellent gamma of soldiers supported by diorama accessories representative for the area. It is well-known the interest paid by this company to details and accuracy, most of their figures being inspired by reference images, and the same is valid also for their houses. 

Two types of products related to houses are made available by the manufacturer and none of the models is available in both categories. The houses are factory assembled and pre-painted, aiming the Ukraine and Russia region, or in parts, like any standard model kit, focusing on the Russia areas.

The subject of the review is representing the kit entitled "Russian Log House - Two Story", having as subtitle "Large Karilian region Izba". There is another kit from Pegasus Hobbies named "Russian Log Houses" and subtitled "Simple Izba Houses", but no confusion can be made between while both the names and the artworks are totally different. Obviously, and the content is not the same, or even closer, the Two Storey Izba being much larger than the model included in the other set. Furthermore, the box of the Two Storey Izba incorporates a single building, the other kit incorporating two identical houses.

Karelia is a historical province of Finland, at present divided between Finland and Russia. It lays from the White Sea to the Gulf of Finland and possesses two of the largest lakes in Europe, Ladoga Lake and Onega Lake. After the Winter War, Finland lost Karelia in 1940, but re-conquered it for three years between 1941 and 1944. However, the inclusion in the title of the provenience region does not limit the use of this house for some other regions from Russia. Furthermore, quite similar constructions may be encountered not only in Russia and Finland, but also in other countries from Eastern Europe such as Romania, Bulgaria etc.

Measuring 16 cm length, 15 cm width and 9.2 cm height this striking kit of a rural building comes in thirteen parts and the walls fix very fast due to the provided snap system. Of course, for durable assembly, these need to be glued with any standard model kit adhesive (polly-cement).The model is extremely simple to put together, and only few minutes are necessary to finish a building imposing though its size. An assembly instruction sheet is made available inside the box, without numbered parts, but mostly the kit consists in large pieces, easily recognised in the instruction paper. In addition, the snap system makes impossible the wrong assembly of any part. The artwork of the box features the house and gives reliable guidelines for painting the model.

The outdoor walls reproduce quite nice the logs, with a small reserve related to the ditches of the bark which are a little bit too enhanced. The inner side of the walls does not feature any detail related to logs, looking like being painted, and in addition, no interior or floor is given. A nice touch is that even inside, both the windows and doors are reproduced with the similar attention granted to the outside part. Perhaps some walls from inside would have been great to come taking into account that through the windows we can see till the other side of the house, a quite impossible thing at a real one. If it is desired, these walls might be quite simple recreated using a large number of materials. Emplacing the indoor walls in their locations is pretty simple, from the first glance we can imagine where these should be placed. In the large majority of cases, photos from the region show the interior of the log houses unpainted or painted in white or green. The windows miss the glass, that is a must have in order to increase the accuracy. These should be scratch-built from clear plastic and fixed at their places with super glue. Moreover, broken windows might embody another solution, especially if it is wanted to portray a house under attack. Reference images illustrate the frames of the windows unpainted or painted in various shades of brown or white for such a house. The windows are set in proper locations for 1/72 scale, fact emphasised by the great match of figures with windows. Likewise, if there is the intention to plant soldiers at windows, it is better not to remove the bases or to add such devices in case that these miss. Except increased stability and facile gluing, here the bases substitute the floor of the house, without them it will be more difficult to get through the window the barrel of a soldier firing off his weapon. On the other hand, setting figures at windows is quite imperative, especially if there are not inner walls added, the figures obstructing the view of the other part of the house. Both the front and the right side doors are modelled shut, still a sharp blade and a steady hand can make them to open.

The roof comes in two pieces linked between through a cornice featuring at both ends the folk art motive of horns. This is common to the Baltic region and originates from Vikings, a comparable detail being encountered at their Drakkars. However, the motive is often met at other rural houses from South-Eastern Europe or if it is desired, it might be removed. The particulars of the roof seem to reproduce timber, and in the same way the roof is presented on the artwork of the box. Photos of the period show more styles of roofs such as corrugated metal or the famous thatch. In case that is an intention to change the style of the roof, corrugated metal replicas are available in some train stores while thatch may be scratch-build from various models of brushes. The latter is quite difficult to be done, time consuming and requiring a lot of patience and material, but the final appearance of the roof might a great reward for the put in endeavour. Staying very fine on the house, the roof might be let unglued for better seeing the interior, if the modeller will add it. 

Delivered in two pieces, the chimney contains a pin and hole system for a better matching between the parts. A cavity in the roof marks the right location for the chimney and the excellent sculpture allows this part to be painted as being made of stones or bricks. In the middle there is the stove pipe which does not need to be drilled, the hole being already at its place when assembling the two parts of the chimney.   

The details are crisp, perhaps a little exaggerated on the logs, but their ditches diminish after painting. As previously highlighted, the size of doors and windows as well as their emplacement perfectly fit with the size of 1/72 figures. Flash is kept at a normal value and can be removed without effort. Manufactured in light brown styrene, the material excellent accepts enamel and artistic oils as well as polly-cement glue. All parts match fine, but after gluing, between them might remain a really tiny gap that can be filled with putty, white glue or other similar materials.

Thanks to its details, fine proportions and historical accuracy, the Russian two story log house from Pegasus Hobbies is addressed both for wargamers and diorama builders, being also extremely suitable for various upgrades. In addition, its value is enhanced by the fact that it may be used not only exclusively for Russia settings, but also for other locations in different countries from South-Eastern Europe. Around it can be set up not only a WWII diorama, but also a WWI or even a modern scene can take profit by this valuable accessory. Last but not least, this impressive structure greatly match with other rural buildings issued by the same firm as well as with various 1/72 diorama accessories of other companies.   

Historical Accuracy 10
Details Quality 9
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 9
Recommendation/Utility 10
Reviewer’s Opinion 9

 

 

 

 

 

 

1_76 Pegasus Hobbies German Army Infantry 1939 (7499)

 

 

Manufacturer Pegasus Hobbies
Scale 1/76
Set Code 7499
Year 2007
No. of Figures 42
No. of Positions 21 (over 35)
Additional Items None
Size Tall
Material Hard Plastic
Colour Gray
Flash Level Medium
Glue-ability Excellent (Polly-cement)
Convert-ability High
Optimal Period 1939 -1942

Review  

After Pegasus Hobbies has accustomed their target groups with sets addressed to not so often seen topics in the field, time has come for one attacking maybe the most common subject encompassed by 1/72 sets related to German Army. Obviously, it concerns figures dressed in M34 tunic, but in spite of this fact and according to company’s tradition, “German Army Infantry 1939” includes plenty of surprises, one of the greatest being that the whole set is at 1/76. It has to be underlined that the first intention aimed the present set to be issued at 1/72 and furthermore, the first test shots revealed soldiers at the just mentioned scale, but the final product turned to be at 1/76.

Designed and first produced in the same time with Waffen SS Set 2, sharing few common points, these early Germans reached the market with several years delay, due to scale issues. It’ appearance at 1/76 represents on the one hand, this is a happy event for the fans of the smaller scale, but on the other hand it brings sadness for the 1/72 collectors due to the fact that they lose an extremely interesting set, full of rare and unique items in the scale, as well very attractive poses. Happily, these figures are not lost for 1/72 fans because they have to take into consideration the manufacturer’s intention that in the far future to release the set and in this scale.   

Moreover, bearing in mind not only that at its beginning this set was designed as a 1/72 set, but also Pegasus Hobbies’ attention for details and accuracy, the final outcome is represented by maybe the most detailed figures ever enclosed in 1/76 mass production sets.

Another prepared surprise is the integration of several rare weapons or even unique in the Braille such as the MG15 and Kar 98K with Gewehrgranatgerät attached to it. Here it also has to be pointed out the MG34 tripod, which is indeed, a rarity at 1/76.

Even if it is not a surprise anymore, at the list could be added other major things such as the high quality of figures and the number of poses included in the set. Although on the box it is clearly stated that there are 20 enclosed poses, I think it is a good piece of news to find out that inside it exists 21 different ones. The divergence may rest in the fact that before the final version of the set to be settled, on test shots, there were two tripods for an MG34. Fortunately, at the commercial variant, the extra tripod was replaced with a new figure, a MG gunner, but probably the company forgot to recount the number of poses or the boxes had already been printed till the final version of the set was settled. If it is desired to make conversions, and the set practically invites the owner to do so, special attention must be paid here, because in spite their similitude, several poses are unique.

Furthermore, another premiere at this company rests in the art work of the box, reproducing an expressively black and white picture of two Wehrmacht soldiers. It was a real surprise for me to notice that form millions of such pictures, it was chosen exactly my favorite one, the one that I consider to best represent the German soldiers in action. It greatly reveals the tension of the combat and one soldier is using a grenade which means the enemy or even death is walking around. His face expresses the fact that he is totally aware that in few moments his life can be ended and all his dreams and hopes are based on that grenade. I have two photos taken from different angles of these soldiers and I do not know one hundred percent if they were realized in a real war situation or just for propaganda issues during training. If it is so, then the grenadier definitely deserves an Oscar for his performance.  This picture describes the best the atmosphere brought by the poses from this set, almost all being in quite a similar situation. Moreover, there are two figures that seem inspired after those from the box, but judging more carefully the poses from the picture, even closer to them is the soldier that throws the grenade from Waffen SS Set 2 (also Pegasus Hobbies) while his comrade pose is closer to a figure from Airfix’s Afrika Korps set.

As it was mentioned in the general data table, we are here in the presence of a hard plastic set. After “German Mortar Teams”, this is the second set related to the German troops launched by Pegasus Hobbies in hard plastic, an important issue which opens the gates for even more and effortless conversions. As in the previous sets, both hard and soft plastic, the figures require assembly. Absolutely sure, the present set involve the most such an action, arms, heads, legs, helmets, weapons and other pieces waiting and asking for glue. The box states that the set is composed of 136 pieces, so a little more than some assembly is required, but the effort will be greatly rewarded by the dynamicity, variation and class of these soldiers. Most of separate parts are arms with weapons, followed by shovels and heads, but still there are two legs and on helmet that need glue.  

The separate helmet does not fit proper, but with a little effort in this regard, like removing the superior part of the head, it should nicely adjust. Also, the separate helmet brings an advantage, giving the collector the choice of emplacing it a stranger but possible position, not pretty seen in the scale. Again, there is not provided any instruction for putting the figures together, but such thing would be almost useless due to the fact that the figures and their fittings are emplaced next to each other on the sprues. In addition, the parts have a specific Pegasus Hobbies guiding system that allows just the required one to match. Unfortunately, there are not provided extra arms or weapons like in Waffen SS Set 2, but through minimal modifications like removing the peg from the body, conversions can be unproblematic achieved and the arm of another soldier to proper fit.

For attaching these soldiers to their designed bases it must be used again the glue, although the operation is not necessary for everybody. Taking into account the high quality of all figures of this manufacturer, it is assessed that it aims more the diorama fans. In fact, inside their first German Army set, Waffen SS Set 1, there were provided bases just for three figures (the same pose), but the company has become very receptive as well to the requirements of wargamers which need bases for their soldiers. In this regard, in “Germans 1939” there are given separately bases for almost all the figures. I much appreciate this approach of separate bases because it satisfies both target groups, and while for wargamers it easy to link the figures to their bases, the diorama fans do not need anymore to cut these undesired elements. Likewise, separate bases allow more detailed soles, and even at these tinny figures, there are still seen the hobnails.

In addition, the present bases include a lot of nice details, such as MG34 ammo boxes, spare MG34 double barrel case and even a wall with an MG34 bipod is included. For diorama fans that do not use bases, it is recommended to remove the rare details like MG spare barrel case and to use it in another place.

Likewise, even if there are 42 figures which allow a large amount of customization, the present review makes reference just to the “standard” 21 different poses.   

As it was normal for the reference period, all the figures wear M34 tunics, regular trousers, marching boots and steel helmets. Nevertheless, their cloths make them fit for any period of WWII due to continuous deliver of M34 tunics till 1945 while the thickness of the uniforms mainly addressed the figures for warm periods and posting them in colder environments, even if not impossible, make them to look a little strange.

Although the “Y” straps are completely missing, this fact must not shock at all and underlines again the attention paid for details by the manufacturer. At the incipient stage of WII, the “Y” straps, which became a symbol of the German Army, were not available. However, the absence of this element does not hamper at al the use of these figures in any part of the war, plenty of pictures taken in the next years showing infantry soldiers without the “Y” straps.

Still, all the figures have the gas mask strap around their bodies and almost all possess the classical gear respectively gas mask container, bread bag, mess-tin, canteen and shovel. Concerning the shovel, it is almost a characteristic feature of Pegasus Hobbies to provide it separately for all figures. In this respect, they have a hole while the shovels have a peg to ease the fixing.  Again it is given just a single model, with the bayonet attached and there are offered in a larger number that it is necessary (42).  

The weaponry of the soldiers impresses through quality and accuracy and also can be found several items rarely encountered at Braille scale Germans. The included armament is typical for the period and for the regular endowment of a German Army infantry platoon in 1939 and the level MPs remains low, according to reality. The set features three MG34, one MG15 (extremely rare or even unique item in the scale) and three MP38. Obliviously, the rest of fire arms are Kar 98K, specifically twelve, and to one is attached the Gewehrgranatgerät, another pretty rare item at 1/76. A nice touch is the fact that two of MG gunners have pistol holsters, a weapon that according to KStN was designed for such specialized soldiers.  All the figures have the appropriate ammo pouches and it must be stressed again the fact that all the weapons have the straps attached. This is a very noteworthy and accurate feature, rarely found in sets from other companies and it is Pegasus Hobbies’ merit for depicting them in all their sets.

Regarding the poses, both the multi-parts approach and hard plastic fully show their notable advantages, providing vitality along with a terrific normal appearance for the figures, as well various chances for customization. From the 21 “standard” poses, six are prostrating, five are standing while ten are crouching. It is a perfect set of combat soldiers, especially taking into consideration that most of the figures, as in real war situations, try to make as small as they can in order to offer a small part of their bodies as targets for enemy bullets.    

The large majority of the suggested poses are unique or really different than the ones encountered in hard or soft plastic sets from other manufacturers. Anyway, several of them are clearly inspired from other Pegasus Hobbies sets and to be more specific, two are replicating poses from Waffen SS Set 2 and one is copying a similar pose met in Waffen SS Set 1. It has to be stressed that the differences are obvious, not only because of scale difference but also the uniform is dissimilar, the soldiers from Waffen SS sets being dressed in camouflage smocks. All these poses are uncommon for other producers and they are also extremely interesting. The figure inspired from Wafen SS Set 1 is the soldier that is running holding his helmet while the other two reproductions consist in the crouching soldier firing with both his knees on the ground and the prostrating one which fires aside.

Similitude with a pose encountered in Airfix’s German Infantry may be found to the crawling figure which prepares to stand or advance, but the one from here is better sculptured and it is the only soldier for which is given the separate helmet. Another figure that looks pretty familiar with one from the same Airfix set is the one of the soldier who fires from the “standard” crouching position.    

The authentic action is at home here and a great number of the poses are really unusual than those encountered in Braille scale sets from other manufacturers, and first of all it should be nominated the one firing from a crouched position with one leg in front of him and the other under him. The pose is very strange and never seen in pictures, but those who use to fire with weapons say that it is an extremely common and comfortable position for firing. Dead soldiers who lay down in authentic positions are rarely met in the scale, but definitely such poses are extremely useful for depicting a reliable war scene. Once again, the producer of the present set has identified the shortages and tried to cover a little the terrible part of the war through a pose too much seen in those years. In 1/76 scale, a wounded soldier with his hands on his face is included in German Infantry from Airfix, but the quality of 70’ shows it limits. 

The figure depicting the officer must be taken into consideration both for its nice stance as well for the fact that it looks more like an NCO. The assessment that without a doubt it represents an NCO rests in the lack of the pistol holster, a designed weapon for officers. Of course, he can be as well a trooper, because his gear and endowment is just similar with the others, but his MP38 corroborated with his stance leads to this assumption. He is the only figure form the entire set that stays still, perhaps looking and evaluating the actions accomplished by his troopers. To fabricate a set of these dimensions without a high rank soldier it is a quite uncommon approach.

The set abounds in MGs, but no regrets should appear since these are nicely realized and even one type it is extremely rare, even unique in the scale. This is MG15 and its gunner lies down in the classical firing position. The same figure was used to reproduce and one from the three MG34 gunners and to both these, except the MGs, more variation can be added through fixing their heads and shovels in differential positions. They do not have pistol holsters, but the issue can be easily solved with such items “borrowed” from a Preiser set. 

If those machine gunners are looking pretty close, the other two are really more than interesting. Especially for one of them, the set includes a small wall with the purpose of sustaining the MG34 bipod. The pose is evidently in need for something to hold the bipod, but if it is not wished to use the provided wall, there is not only the solution of removing the bipod from the wall and to glue it on the MG, but also to attach a Preiser one which fits very fine.

The set allocates for all these three MGs just the gunners and while the first two above described have attached the charges, for the other one it is necessary to connect a cartridge belt which is given on the sprue. Nevertheless the piece of resistance of all the MG34 is the one fixed on a tripod and it is also the only that has both gunner and servant. While the gunner is preparing, his comrade holds the MG34 cartridge belt that has to be glued in his hands or on the MG and tripod. For this assemble it is provided the nicest base, with three ammo boxes, a double spare barrel MG case and the servant Kar 98K. All these items, except the Kar may be easily removed and put in other locations if the base it is not going to be used. Their utility and quality highly recommends the surgery. It also must not be forgotten the tripod, delivered in two pieces and which represents one of the best such items in the Braille, thanks to its accuracy and excellent details.   

Once more, plenty of figures have StiHg-r 24 under their belts or in their marching boots, but just only one is making use of this representative weapon for Germans. Having in mind the art box, it is normal this figure to be one of the ambassadors of the set. It is indeed a really persuasive pose, full of dynamicity and vigor which throws the grenade from a unique and more than attractive position. For tooling reasons, one of his legs is given separately, but certainly the multi part approach brings its contribution to a very nice figure. 

With reference to the uniform, the correctness is impeccable and a lot of small details like buttons and creases are more than evident. The anatomy is very good as well the facial expressions, maybe due to their primal designation, like 1/72 figures. Concerning their size, there are tiny slight differences between various poses, but these are kept in common natural limits. The disparity is further evident at the size of several helmets, but the rest of gear and weapons has exactly the same size on each figure, which is a normal and excellent thing.  Although flash is present, its amount is not high and it can be removed without difficulties while a small excess of plastic appears just at the soldier who holds his helmet, perturbing a little the gap between the arm. In general, hard plastic accepts better the paint than the soft one and here we have no exception from the rule. The raw material utilized for producing the set has not the inclination to give gloss aspect to the paint as the soft plastic used before by the same manufacturer in their previous sets (except “German Mortar Teams which is also of hard plastic).

As it was stressed in many occasions along this review, especially thank to hard plastic and multi part approach, the set gives the chance of plenty customization and a greater number than the “standard” 21 may be attained from the duplicated poses. This is the main reason that in the general data table, at Poses in brackets is written over 35, but all the 42 figures may well be transformed in unique ones and the only limit is the spare box of each of us.

For customizing these figures may be used the parts provided inside the box, mixing them between the soldiers and in the same time the possibility of gluing in various positions the heads and shovels represents another advantage.

Moreover, some Preiser gear, weapons and body parts supply these figures with important and perfectly scale matched items. For alternative heads with M34 overseas or officer caps is highly recommended the German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew, because most of its figures are 1/76. Good offer of arms with MP38s can be found in Preiser’s German Motorised Infantry due to the fact these match the size. While the arms may require some diminishing, the pistol holsters and Verbandpäckchen/Kartenwinkelmesser 27 do not any surgery. In addition, along the conversion process, it will be noticed that for the present reviewed figures are needed a lot of palms. This must not be a problem; there are plenty of extra palms that fit inside various Preiser sets.   

Except Preiser’s first mentioned set, the present reviewed figures are wholly compatible by any point of view such as size, gear and uniform with those included in other 1/76 sets like Matchbox’s German Infantry and Afrika Corps, Airfix’s German Infantry (with half of poses from this set, the rest being at 1/72), as well with Fujimi’s German Infantry and German Infantry with Gas Masks (also manufactured of hard plastic). Moreover, these soldiers perfectely match by size and gear with other three sets from Airfix, respectively German Paratroopers, German Mountain Troops and Luftwaffe Personnel.

Nevertheless, “German Army Infantry 1939” is far superior to all above pointed out and it will meet the exigencies and aspirations of the 1/76 collectors, proposing them the possibility of depicting a genuine combat atmosphere through extremely energetic and highly detailed figures. Also, the hard plastic and the niceties that abound recommend it as one of the best choices in the field and to have in the same box almost or even an entire German platoon and none of the poses to be repeated is the dream of each of us.  Finally, it should be emphasize again for the diorama fans that these soldiers do not fit with the 1/72 WWII Germans, even some of them come closer to such figures. Nevertheless, for wargamers who do not care too much about scale issues, the present set is a real delight. When it will be manufactured in 1/72, these Germans will represent an important alternative for turning into combat the Preiser figures and vice versa, both producers distinguishing through high quality and details.      

Historical Accuarcy 10
Anatomy 10
Poses Quality 10
Details Quality 10
Mould Quality 9
Sculpture 10
Recommendation/Utility 10
Reviewer's Opinion 10

 

 

Wehrmacht and Waffen SS on Eastern Front Autumn 44

Few words about the plot of this small diorama involving more than 130 figs (none of the poses is repeated) and where I tried gathering more scenes in the same place (some of them inspired by reference images).

Finishing it took me a lot of time, not only the content, that it was done during the last years, but also the photo sessions also tried to reduce the number of photos incorporating in the same photo more images.

The action takes place somewhere near an Eastern Front forest in a 1944 late autumn warm day. The area, including of course and the house, was previously taken by Germans (bullets in walls, broken windows attesting the fights) but quite soon Red Army is going to strike back.

The area was secured by Wehrmacht but they start preparing to retreat, being changed with Waffen SS who are going to cover the retreat of their comrades. In the area also passes another Wehrmacht column meeting with another with horses. The latter waits the pedestrian column to pass in order to get in line.

For the moment enemy is quite far, over the forest. Waffen SS troops try to increase the camouflage of the movements done by Germans, firing Nebel (smoke) projectiles with the mortars.

A Waffen SS patrol is returning from the mission of searching the area, entering in the yard through the back gate.

A Wehrmacht mortar group is lined-up by an officer who gives them some instructions before starting to retreat. There are also few Wehrmacht soldiers gathered in various places while other individual Wehrmacht and Waffen SS are set in different locations on the diorama.

Except the group firing mortars and the one coming from patrol, there are also two groups of Waffen SS soldiers, one representing a radio team and other depicting soldiers spotting the area. Both these last two groups and those of Wehrmacht (the one in Zeltbahns near the fence, the group where one soldier holds a shovel on the arm as well as the two figs in front of this group, the two riders, the cart and its driver) are all trying to copy reference images. In addition, other individual soldiers on the diorama are inspired by images shot in the period.

Some may wonder about the head of the horse pulling the cart, but this one is a mix of breeds, a not so well-treated horse (quite skinny) and more important, is a so-called painted horse having in this case only and only the head in another colour. The situation is quite often encountered in East Europe and for example, a similar pattern may be found on some Appaloosas or other painted horses-Tovero pattern. Through this I wanted to depict a not so often encountered horse, but also matching the reference image from where is inspired together with its cart and driver.

Nevertheless, the central point of diorama is the marching column, grouping 60 solders and some of them are also converted to match with real soldiers appearing in photos shot in that time. I hope you will like how they hold weapons and gear, I tried depicting as many styles I could.

At the end, after Wehrmacht retreats, Waffen SS units will remain a little more and then they will do the same. It is just a small scene that often took place on the Eastern Front

There are a huge number of modifications inside this scene where I used products from Pegasus Hobbies, Preiser, Warriors, Revell, Hasegawa. The large majority of figures are Preiser and for acquiring a better picture what means an 1/72 figure, I also posted an image showing the process of putting together such a figure. Almost all figs on the diorama had to pass through a similar process.

Almost all figures are multi-part and plenty of them were converted and not assembled after guidelines. Many figs are based on real soldiers appearing in reference images and were heavily converted for matching those soldiers. In addition, scratch-built items like weapon straps, sticks for carrying ammo or cables were scratch-built. Except the horse in front of the column, the rest were also converted in the same purpose, for matching the real ones from photos of the period. The roof of house is scratch-built for depicting reed and I added glass at windows and bullet holes in the walls and some windows. The cart is completely scratch-built. Likewise, fences, WC, barbecue, trees and other things are scratch-built. The fallen tree trunks are Hasegawa. Plenty of scratch-building was done for both radios in order to look close to a Torn. Fug. d2. One of them is Preiser (the radio) and the other Pegasus Hobbies-used here as battery). For the ground work I add products of various manufacturers, Noch, Faller and a Polish small manufacturer (these were the best, but I cannot remember its name).

1/72 Matchbox Allies Converted into WWII Germans

While WWII German Army emerges as the best sold topic in the 1/72 hobby, figure sets on the matter seem to be the most numerous and comprehensive, covering a multitude of units, weapons, and attire. Nevertheless, in spite the abundant offer, for many modellers these are not enough or unable to fulfil all their needs or desires. For this reason, conversions represent an in-vogue and proper solution for solving the problems, plenty of manufacturers providing minis extremely suitable for this operation, especially those made of hard-plastic and multi-part. On the other hand, bearing in mind the huge diversity of WWII German clothes as well as the close appearance in Braille Scale of some of those to foe’s ones, several figures available in tenders on subjects other than WWII Germans might set out as sources for enriching the number of related minis.

Of course, if it is about civilians, combatant or not, those are easier to find, harder is to get uniformed people enrolled in army units. Perhaps the most convenient choice in the field puts forward sets targeting Allies army-men dressed in working clothes while these can be effortlessly turned into Luftwaffe, Wehrmacht of Kriegsmarine mechanics, or U-Boot and Panzer crewmen. Over 20 models of working garments have been officially worn by German soldiers, many of them similar with those worn by their opponents.

A couple of figures, fitted, even without any conversion, for being painted as 1/72 WWII Germans in working overalls are encountered in two Matchbox 1/76 vehicle kits, respectively “M19 Tank transporter 45 tons” and “LRGD 30cwt Chevrolet and Willy’s Jeep”. These two figures clearly belong to the 1/72 scale and not the labelled 1/76, in fact it is a well-known fact that many hard plastic toy-soldiers included in 1/76 Matchbox kits were over-scaled and totally inappropriate for the vehicles correctly issued, looking like giants next to true 1/76 miniatures.

The single army-man from “M19 Tank transporter 45 tons” and one of the four figures from “LRGD 30cwt Chevrolet and Willy’s Jeep” wear attire exceedingly suitable for being depicted as WWII German working overalls. In addition, on the heads they have got overseas caps that can easily pass as M34 German overseas caps and also their shoes or ankle boots do not differ to the WWII German ones, particularly in such a small scale. Bearing in mind their appearance, they can be straightly painted as WWII Germans, with overalls in related colours and eagles and other emblems on their caps. However, taking profit the figs are of hard plastic and in order to emphasise their membership to WWII German Army, some items of equipment specific of that army might be effortlessly added. For instance, if they are going to portray Panzer crewmen, pistol holsters, binoculars, map cases are recommended, such items being made available in huge amounts on dedicated sprues by various Preiser, Dragon or Caesar figure sets. Obviously, replacing heads or arms might be a choice and in order to highlight they belong to WWII German army, heads with specific head-covers are suggested, the just mentioned manufacturers offering a multitude of choices in this regard. Anyway, the figures accompanying the present article are painted as Panzer crew-men and are out-of-the-box, except pistol holsters which were added in order to bring something German on them.

The trooper from the M19 tank transporter does not impress by sculpture or pose, also anatomy being quite odd, with thick arms and a big head. In standard approach he depicts an army-men getting in a vehicle and if well emplaced, he can do it quite convincing. On the other hand, the figure incorporated in LRGD 30cwt Chevrolet and Willy’s Jeep” is a valuable add to 1/72 WWII Germans, in a relaxed seated stance and looking in the distance through his binoculars held with the right hand. A nice touch is the scarf tied around the neck, not only Allies, but also German soldiers wearing such stuff. Both minis can be easily mounted in/on a wheeled vehicle or Panzer as well as on the deck of an U-Boot or Kriegsmarine vessel. Likewise, they might find a place on an airfield or elsewhere, their potential being high and adaptable to diverse scenarios.

These two figs belong to the medium/tall side of 1/72 scale, greatly matching in terms of size and attire with plenty of 1/72 WWII German mechanics or Panzer and Kriegsmarine soldiers released both by mass production and cottage industry representatives. In a period when the offer of WWII 1/72 Germans dressed in working overalls was really poor, these two ancient figs represented a major solution for modellers in need.  As being incorporated in two Matchbox legendary kits, the minis are well-known and spread in the scale, popular between middle-age hobbyists. Although not impressing, these toy-soldiers should be appreciated not only due to their sentimental value, but also because they are still pretty nice even after almost 40 years since creation.

 

Horse drawn le IG18 and crew

Due to the lack of appropriate tractor or complete team of horses, German troopers often employ a single horse for towing light guns such as le IG18 or Pak 35/36 and this is what I tried to depict. A gun surely requires not only tractor, but also crew and here it is the complete crew of a le IG18 (6 soldiers). The gun is in autumn and is operated by Waffen SS Panzer Grenadiers dressed in smocks painted in autum/winter ribbed edge and oak leaf patterns.