Initially issued to motorcyclists and military police, from 1944 the rubberised motorcyclist greatcoat was privately acquired by many officers and senior NCOs in the frontline. This recent release by Alpine Miniatures is an excellent example of how the garments were worn.
35056 – “WW2 German Officer Set” is set of two 1/35th scale resin figures sculpted by historical miniature sculptor Krisztian Bodi (a misprint on the box insert states that the figures were sculpted by Alpine’s owner Taesung Harmms). The two German Officers, both wearing rubberised motorcyclist overcoats, are portrayed in a casual stance – the first leans against an unseen object with documents in hand, while the other poses with his hands in his trouser pockets. Released in October 2007, the box-art is painted by regular Alpine box-art painter Jaume Ortiz Forns.
Both figures are also available individually as figures 35054 WW2 German Officer #1 and 35055 WW2 German Officer #2.
Both officers wear the feldgrau heavy twill cloth M1934 motorcyclists’ rubberised coat. As this represents the later issue of this coat, the large feldgrau cloth collar should be painted with feldgrau facings – as opposed to the bluish dark-green facings that were used up until May 1940.
Under their coats they wear the black Panzer clothing (Panzerbekleidung) and the short shaft jackboots with associated with the Panzer divisions. While WW2 German Officer #1 wears the M1934 officers’ brown leather belt WW2 German Officer #2 wears the standard army version in black leather with an aluminium or silver-painted, steel buckle.
In addition to the efficient P38 pistol in its distinctive holster, WW2 German Officer #1 carries a standard issue set of binoculars, the modest 6x30. Although these are finished in black, by the latter part of the war most were painted in a colour known as ‘ordnance tan’.
The officers are presented with two headgear options, both being issued with Feldmütze field caps. Furthermore, WW2 German Officer #1 wears the ‘old style’ M1934 officers’ peaked service cap while WW2 German Officer #2 sports the newer special black Panzer version of the M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze.
The set, moulded in Alpine Miniatures’ traditional light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of ten (10) pieces - five pieces for figure 35054 and five pieces for figure 35055 respectively. The kit is packaged in a small, clear acetate box with each figure’s parts inside its own small zip-lock bag. A small card displaying the painted set of figures, as well as the individual figures is supplied.
Figure 35054 WW2 German Officer #1 consists of the following five (5) parts: Full figure, excluding head and left arm;
Holstered P38 pistol;
Head wearing M1934 peaked service cap;
Head wearing Feldmütze.
Figure 35055 WW2 German Officer #2 consists of the following five (5) parts: Full figure, excluding head and arms;
Left and right arms;
Head wearing Feldmütze;
Head wearing M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze.
The figures are impeccably sculpted. The casting is crisp, clean, and has truly captured the highly detailed and accurate sculpting of Krisztian Bodi. I am always amazed by the quality of the Alpine casts, for they are truly of the highest quality.
The heads are all well-sculpted, and each face matches the other in the pair in terms of facial detail – it is only the head gear that differentiates the two heads. The faces are cleanly sculpted and very well defined, with a well-textured hair visible from under the headgear. The head gear is well proportioned and nicely detailed. The casting blocks are positioned under the neck, so modellers can easily remove these without fear of damaging any detail.
The figures proper are extremely well detailed. One gets a very good idea of the bulkiness and weight of the rubberised motorcyclist overcoat. Folds gather realistically for the material portrayed. All the finer details such as epaulets, pockets, seams, zipper fronts, adjustment tabs, belt buckles, and the binoculars are well detailed and very crisply and clearly cast.
The arms, as with the rest of the figure, are well detailed and cast. The cut of the arm joint is a bit different to previous Alpine figures in that the joint has been cut from the neck to the armpit. This was done to facilitate the representation of a seam in the jacket that runs in this manner.
Removing the pieces from the casting blocks was effortless. I found a new knife blade easily cut through the resin with the ease of slicing through plastic.
Generally clean up was virtually non-existent, with only a tiny bit of flash along the legs of each figure and under the skirts of 35054 - nothing a sharp number 11 blade could not quickly sort out.
The arms line up easily with the shoulders on the torso. There was little, if not no, guesswork involved when lining the arms up to the shoulders; the arms virtually slide into place.
The heads easily slide into place and, as with all Alpine figures, are to a certain degree interchangeable between the two figures – in fact 35055 looks pretty good wearing the M1934 peaked service cap.
WWII German Panzer officers certainly are not a unique subject, but what makes these figures distinctive from the rest is the fact that they wear the rubberised motorcyclist overcoat. Furthermore, these figures need not only be painted to represent Panzer officers, but many other late war branches as well.
Add in the masterful sculpting of Krisztian Bodi and the high quality casting of Alpine Miniatures and you have a really nice set of figures.
The following references were used for this review: “The Panzer Divisions”. Men-at-Arms. Martin Windrow. Illustrated by Michael Roffe. Osprey Publishing. 1972.
“The German Army 1939-45 (1) Blitzkrieg”. Men-at-Arms 311. Nigel Thomas. Illustrated by Stephen Andrew. Osprey Publishing. 1997.
“The German Army 1939-45 (5) Western Front 1943-45”. Men-at-Arms 336. Nigel Thomas. Illustrated by Stephen Andrew. Osprey Publishing. 2000.
“Panzer Crewman 1939-45”. Warrior 46. Gordon Williamson. Illustrated by Velimir Vuksic. Osprey Publishing. 2002.