Pegasus Hobbies - Waffen SS 1943 - Set1 (7201) _________(EXT)
|Year||2004 / 2008|
|No. of Figures||46|
|No. of Poses||17|
|Glue-ability||Excellent (Super Glue Gel)|
|Optimal Period||1939 - 1945|
"Waffen SS 1943 – Set 1” represents the first German Army set launched by Pegasus Hobbies on the 1/72 plastic figures market. Even if the first edition received a not impressive box, when opened, the owner could not be fascinated by the high quality of details and poses, most of them inspired by images of the period. These factors, corroborated with some innovations, led to a set exhaling a mix of vitality, force and realism and it might be considered as a reference set in the history of Braille Scale figures that increased the challenges, propelling the producer in the top of the best companies in the field. Furthermore, at the end of 2008 Pegasus Hobbies released the Second Edition of the set, after four years since its first launch, in 2004. The poses and number of figures are identical in both editions, but within the Second one there have been solved the minor complaints of the target groups. In this light, the figures were released in another plastic, soft but sturdier fixing the bending issue of some barrels, thinning few weapon straps as well as correcting the way of closing the smocks, namely strings were removed from the bottom part on the poses where that detail was visible.
The first artwork of the box showed a not very successful drawing with troopers in close poses with the ones encountered inside while on the back there were provided guidelines for painting the minis as well as an image of a small vignette using several of the figs. The box of the Second Edition was completely change in the classic Pegasus Hobbies style, namely depicting in a large format de small image of the vignette that was featured on the back of the First Edition box. Obviously, benefitting by distinct boxes, the two editions of the same set are easily identified and at present, on the market there are mainly available sets of the improved Second Edition.
As the title and subtitle stress, there are reproduced infantry men from Waffen SS, (1 SS Division „Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler”) during the Kursk battle in summer 1943. On the other hand, these soldiers can be used in any period of WWII, especially after 1943, representing both Waffen SS and Wehrmacht troops, the difference being realized through the camouflage patterns.
The uniform that equips all the soldiers consist in camo smock M38, regular trousers and marching boots. Moreover, all the figures have helmets covered by camouflage canvas. One of the advantages of the set is that the figures can be used not only in summer, but also in colder seasons, the thickness of the uniform allowing this fact.
All the army-men wear the “Y” straps and almost all have gas mask, bread bag, mess-tin, canteen and shovel. As regard the last item, this is provided separately for some figures that have a hole for this purpose. Even if it stays good, for a better fixing it is recommended to be glued. Taking into account the soft plastic, it should be used only super glue gel, which amazingly, has great success. The same adhesive must be used and for gluing the heads of two poses of prone soldiers for which the maker decided to provide separately, aiming to make them extremely credible.
Furthermore, concerning the entrenching tool, there are three different models. One has the bayonet attached to the shovel, the other has just the sheath and the frog attached and the last has nothing attached. The models can be fixed randomly on the figures, but at a careful look, it can be noticed that some figures have the bayonet handle sculptured in the area where it must be put the entrenching tool, so it is advisable in this case to fix entrenching tool that has attached the sheath and the frog.
The armament is characteristic for the period as well for the standard endowment of a German Army infantry platoon in 1943, in this regard not abounding in MGs or MPs. The soldiers have fifteen Kar 98K (one with scope), one MP40 one MG34, and each soldier has the appropriate ammo pouches. It must be emphasizes the fact that most of those with 98Ks and the one with MP have straps at their weapons, a very important and correct detail, but extremely rarely found in other sets.
The poses are realistic and very well done, nine figures standing, four crouching and four prone. All are really dynamic, most of them being different than other sets. From such poses can be mentioned the soldier preparing to fix the bayonet to the 98K, the soldier which gets ready to take out a grenade from the boot, the running soldier holding his helmet on the head and the soldiers that are to extract ammo from the pouches.
The officer’s pose is attractive, the details being well realized and like in reality, he does not differ too much than the rest of the troop. In fact, he is the only one possessing MP40 and his gear consists in two ammo pouches for MP, pistol, a grenade, map case and binoculars. The last mentioned item is special, being one of the few binoculars available in the scale with the back lens protected by a leather case, as it was at real models. From this minor detail it can be remarked the study and attention granted by the team for the set. A similar system for protecting the lens has some figures from „WW2 German Motorised Infantry” manufactured by Preiser, but the cases are on the back of the figures and not on the lens. In soft plastic, a related system can be found at one of the officers from „German Infantry (Late War) by Caesar, but and this one is not protecting the back lens.
At their turn, the machine gunner and the loader are excellent, even if they are in a so called “classical position”. A major detail rests in the fact that the loader has Kar 98K, as it was his personal firing weapon according to KStN provisions for light MG loaders. Unfortunately, the gunner misses his personal weapon, namely the pistol, but it can be assessed that he wears it in front where it can not be seen due to his pose.
Two figures are almost identical, those that are crouched and fire off Kar98K, but there is at least one major difference, one having the scope. More diversity can be made trough assembling on the soldiers different types of entrenching tools.
Many figures have grenades in their marching boots and one has a grenade under the belt. Moreover, there are provided two poses of soldiers throwing the grenades, and they do it very persuasive. Their poses are really dynamic and dissimilar than the other troopers doing the same thing encountered in almost each set targeting the WWII German Army infantry. As it was mentioned, both are excellent, but the prone one looks like it was inspired from a famous photo of WWII.
Regarding the uniform, within the First Edition there existed a small inadvertence at the M38 camo smock, corrected in the Second one. In this respect, it could be notices at some poses that their smocks had strings till the bottom, while the original type was pulled over the head, its opening being almost till the button belly. That detail was visible just at several poses, and taking into account the high quality of the set it could be overlapped, especially because it was easy hidden by paint. However, the manufacturer took note of the fault and within the Second Edition, the inadvertence has been solved. The upper part of the smocks are nicely realized, even if these are tight and not lose, like there were worn in general by the troops. Nevertheless, bearing in mind that during the referred period most of the reference materials show the troopers wearing the smocks and tunics in the way here reproduced, such detail reiterates the hard studying work carried out by the producer. Another attractive feature is that in spite of being infantry men, several figures wear goggles on their chests. The detail is in fully accordance with the reality, taking into account that in 1 SS Division “Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler” there were many SS Grenadiers Regiments, units that intensively used various types of vehicles, in order to closely support the Panzers in combat.
Furthermore, on the sleeves the figures have the ranks, like there were at the original models of Waffen SS camo smocks. It must be stressed out that if it is desired to use this set after 1943, the ranks must be erased. The anatomy is excellent as well the faces that are extremely expressively.
It should be emphasized that there are no differences between the size of the weapons or gear between different poses, flash is at pretty low levels and easy to remove. As well, excess of plastic does not exist and the used material accepts very well the painting, even if it has the tendency to give a gloss aspect to any paint. For this reason and to have a matt appearance, it has to be used matt varnish although not all of them provide proper results.
Another problem raised by the First Edition of the set rested in the very soft plastic deployed, several gun barrels might arrive bent. There were more solutions in order to solve the issue, the easiest consisting in soaking in hot water and immediately after readjust the barrels in the correct positions. However, within the Second edition, the material was replaced with a sturdier one, the bending problem implicitly disappearing.
In the tall side of 1/72, the figures reviewed here are perfectly compatible by size and camouflage uniform with the soldiers from Caesar “German Infantry with Winter Gear”, Italeri/Revell “German Elite Troops”, Revell „German Infantry”, Esci „Nebelwerfer 41”, Preiser „WW2 German Pak40 Crew” as well with some from Pegasus Hobby “Germans in Berlin 1945”.
Another set treating an equal theme is from the same company, namely “Waffen SS - Set 2 “1943 Kursk LAH”, Pegasus Hobbies having the brilliant idea to develop an identical topic inside two distinctive sets. “Waffen SS - Set 2” is a good set, more interesting at least taking into consideration the great number of poses and multi-part approach, but there are some differences between the figures of the two sets the ones from the Set 2 being smaller and encompassed by the medium side of 1/72. It should be highlighted that the two sets are quite compatible, completing each other, but nevertheless, some micron differences are noticed after a good look at the size of weapons, gear and heads. Anyway, the discrepancy is slightly observed and with little effort and studied positioning, it is possible to put together both sets on the same diorama.
„Waffen SS - Set 1” signifies indeed an elite set illustrating an elite unit, opening the road for other great sets manufactured by Pegasus Hobbies. Furthermore, it can be assessed as a milestone in the field of 1/72 soft plastic figures referred to the German Army in WWII, the set succeeding to put an end to the monotony of the “classical” sets, not only through the high quality of details, but also through the very energetic and realistic poses, having deep roots in stances adopted by real soldiers and illustrated by various reference images. Likewise, the incentive of correcting the minor mistakes remarked by the clients proves one more time the grand attention and importance granted by Pegasus Hobbies to their customers and company’s desire to fully satisfy them by offering perfect products.