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In-Box Review
135
German Heer Panzer Crew Set
German Heer Panzer Crew #1 & #2
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by: Rudi Richardson [ TAROK ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Amongst the most coveted of non-issue Luftwaffe flight suits was the home-produced black leather suit with distinctive zip-fastened slash pockets. With the occupation of conquered nations countless alternatives were readily available from civilian outlets wherever the pilot, and thus Panzer officer and crewman, was stationed and differences in cut, fastenings and pockets were prolific.

35086 – “German Heer Panzer Crew Set” is a set of two 1/35th scale resin figures sculpted by Krisztian Bodi. The two Heer Panzer crew members are portrayed in fairly relaxed stances: the commissioned officer wearing a leather aviator’s suit with hands behind his back; while the other indicates direction with a raised, directing right hand. Released during June 2009, the box-art is painted by Man-Jin Kim, his second such commission for Alpine Miniatures.

Both figures are also available individually as figures 35084 German Heer Panzer Crew #1 and 35085 German Heer Panzer Crew #2.

35084 German Heer Panzer Crew #1

35084 German Heer Panzer Crew #1 depicts a late war Panzer officer wearing, interestingly, a Luftwaffe one-piece leather flight suit. The figure is inspired by a photograph of a Heer Panzer officer standing next to a Sd.Kfz. 234/2 Puma heavy armoured car in Czechoslovakia.

This Panzer Officer wears one of the many slight manufacturers’ variations on the basic German-made black leather flight-suit. The garment was an expensive choice, and many chose not to adorn it with awards or even the breast eagle; here only the breast eagle is displayed.

He wears a pair of 10x50 Zeiß binoculars slung around his neck while his distinctive P38 soft-shell pistol holster is attached to his standard issue leather Officers belt. The officer is presented with two headgear options: the ‘old style’ M1934 Schirmmütze; and M1938 officer’s Feldmütze field cap.

35085 German Heer Panzer Crew #2
p>35085 German Heer Panzer Crew #2 is portrayed in a fairly casual stance directing attention ahead with a raised right arm.

This tank crewman wears a buttoned up M1942 Panzer jacket without pink collar piping but with the M1934 pink-piped skull collar patches and shoulder straps. He has a black Wound Badge and silver tank combat badge He wears M1942 reed-green herringbone twill Panzer work trousers with a large thigh pocket, ankle boots, brown officers belt, and P38 pistol.

The crewman is offered two headgear options: the M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze field cap; and the M1934 enlisted mans’ Feldmütze field cap. The M1934 field cap was introduced in black cloth during 1940 and was identical in construction to the field-grey version.

The Kit

The set, moulded in Alpine Miniatures’ traditional light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of thirteen (13) pieces. 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 35084 German Heer Panzer Crew #1 consists of the following seven (7) parts:

  • Full figure, excluding head and arms;
  • Left and right arms, excluding hands;
  • Left and right hands clasped;
  • P38 soft-shell pistol holster;
  • Head wearing M1934 Schirmmütze; and
  • Head wearing M1938 officer’s Feldmütze field cap.

    Figure 35085 German Heer Panzer Crew #2 consists of the following six (6) parts:

  • Full figure, excluding head and arms;
  • Left and right arms;
  • Luger P08 pistol holster;
  • Head wearing M1934 enlisted mans’ Feldmütze field cap; and
  • Head wearing M1943 Einheitsfeldmütze field cap.

    The Figures

    On the whole the figures are superbly sculpted and, as expected from Alpine Miniatures, the casting is crisp and clean.

    The heads are all well-sculpted, and both pairs of faces match in terms of facial details – it is merely the headwear that distinguishes them. The faces are cleanly sculpted and well defined, with well-textured hair (particularly the two Feldmütze heads which both have fairly thick, wavy hair) visible under the headgear, which itself is well proportioned and nicely detailed. The casting blocks are positioned under the neck for all four heads, so modellers can effortlessly remove these without fear of damaging any detail.

    The figures proper are excellently sculpted, and folds gather realistically for the materials and garments portrayed. All the finer details such as shoulder and collar insignia which stand proud, the enlisted man’s belt buckle, and the officer’s binoculars are well detailed and very crisply and clearly cast.

    The sculptor has succeeded in portraying the bulkiness of the one-piece leather flight suit. While I would have preferred to have seen a few of the zippered pockets rendered on the piece, the lack of them is not incorrect due to, as noted above, the many variants seen in these suits. The indented spot for the holster assists placement, but more importantly helps accentuate the bulkiness of the suit.

    Figure 35085 German Heer Panzer Crew #2 is similarly stunningly sculpted, with plenty of small details to admire, such as the right tip of the breast eagle sticking out from under the closed jacket front; the raised collar tabs (Totenkopf) detail; the thigh pocket, open with the tab tucked into the pocket which itself has contents (perhaps a box of cigarettes). The drapery in general is excellent, and shows the contrast between the close fitting Panzer jacket and the baggier work trousers.

    Casting is, overall, excellent. That said, while figure 35084 is virtually flash free (there was a smigdeon between the legs which is hardly worth mentioning), there is unusually more flash than normal (for an Alpine figure) around the legs of figure 35085. This however is extremely thin, can simply be flicked off with a sharp blade and frankly negligible. As per usual the casting blocks beneath the feet have been cut away and no more than a quick clean-up is required.

    The figures’ arms, as with the rest of the kit, are well defined and cast. 35084’s arms feature the casting lugs placed on the inside of the shoulders, while 35085’s casting lugs are placed inside the shoulder and under the bicep for the left and right arms respectively. In the case of figure 35084 (the officer), flat spots on inside of forearms for facilitate a closer fit to the body, thus again emphasising the size of the suit. The cuffs are also recessed to allow for fitment of the hands. Something that really stands out on these two figures is the hands themselves, which are well defined and cleanly cast.

    The pistol holsters are as always finely detailed and cast, with only the casting lug at the top requiring removal.

    Conclusion

    While some may find these figures rather limiting, I actually find them quite versatile. 35084 German Heer Panzer Crew #1 certainly need not only depict a Heer tanker, but a Waffen-SS tanker who were renowned for their use of leather gear, or even an aviator –he does after all wear a Luftwaffe flight-suit.

    As we have come to expect from Alpine, the casting and sculpting is superb, with only a negligible amount of flash on one figure.

    This is another exceptional couple of figures from Kristian Bodi and Alpine Miniatures. The quality of the cast and the versatility of the subject should prove to be very popular. Recommended.

    References

    The following material was consulted for purposes of this review, and is suggested reading for more information on the subject:

  • “German Army Uniforms and Insignia 1933-1945”. Brian L. Davis. Military Book Society. 1973.
  • “German Army Uniforms of World War II in Color Photographs”. Wade Krawczyk. Motorbooks International. 1995.
  • “Luftwaffe Air and Ground Crew 1939-45”. Men-at-Arms 377. Robert F Stedman. Illustrated by Mike Chappell. Osprey Publishing. 2002.
  • “The German Army 1939-45 (4) Eastern Front 1943-45”. Men-at-Arms 330. Nigel Thomas. Illustrated by Stephen Andrew. Osprey Publishing. 1999.

  • SUMMARY
    Highs: Unique attire of the leather flight suit. The casting and sculpting is superb, as always with Alpine figures.
    Lows: Some may find the poses rather limiting.
    Verdict: The quality of the cast and the versatility of the subject (in other words the use of 35084 as a Luftwaffe officer) should prove to be very popular. Recommended.
    Percentage Rating
    90%
      Scale: 1:35
      Mfg. ID: 35084, 35085, 35086
      Related Link: 
      PUBLISHED: Sep 30, 2009
      NATIONALITY: Germany
    NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
      THIS REVIEWER: 85.47%
      MAKER/PUBLISHER: 93.33%

    Our Thanks to Alpine Miniatures!
    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.
    View Vendor Homepage  More Reviews  

    About Rudi Richardson (Tarok)
    FROM: VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA

    I'm a former Managing Editor of the Historicus Forma historical figure modelling website. While my modelling and history interests are diverse, my main figure modelling focus lies in Sci-Fi, Pop-Culture, Fantasy, Roman and WW2 German subjects. I'm a firm believer that armour and vehicles accessorise...

    Copyright ©2018 text by Rudi Richardson [ TAROK ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.


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    Comments

    I find reviews of Alpine figures terribly boring - its nothing against Rudi, it's a great review - but how long can you go on saying "This figure is a state of the art resin casting" and still hold the reader's attention! SCOTT
    SEP 29, 2009 - 11:48 PM
    Thanks Scott Believe it or not I find it more difficult to write a review of a great product than of a poor one. But I can assure all readers that I don't pull punches, nor do I give undeserved praise (in reviews ). All the Alpine figure sets I've reviewed really have been deserving of the praise they've received. Rudi
    SEP 30, 2009 - 12:39 AM
    Agree with Scott. Terrible!
    SEP 30, 2009 - 12:40 PM
    I just wish Alpine would diversify and release more modern stuff. It would be great to have a selection of Alpine Modern Russian figures, or British Iraq/Afghanistan figs. There existing range is awesome, just mostly WW2. The few modern figs they have done have been really brilliant though.
    SEP 30, 2009 - 01:09 PM
    LMFAO, Taesung!!
    SEP 30, 2009 - 04:59 PM
    The only negative thing I can see here is the position of the pour plug on one of the arms. Good review of a very good product Rudi.
    SEP 30, 2009 - 05:15 PM
    I think Rudi's reviews are superb, and really address the excellence of the work being done by the manufacturer. I feel the negative vibes about Alpine come from their "Heroes of Socialism" poses that remind one of propaganda posters from the 1930s Soviet Union or Maoist China. Aside from that, the spread-legged stance makes it more difficult to use these excellent figures inside a tank. Yeah, I guess you could cut off or cut-down the legs, but that seems like butchering a very expensive figure. In any case, keep up the good work, Rudi.
    OCT 01, 2009 - 10:53 AM
    Just again a very good review BUT why are the pictures of the painted figures so small? if you compare to the parts-pictures? I would prefer them be a bit larger! Harald
    OCT 28, 2009 - 03:19 AM
    Hi all, A belated thanks for your comments. @ Darren: thanks - Alpine occassionally place the plug on the rear bicep. IIRC the position of this particular pour plug position is to reduce the number of cuts required to remove the part from the mould. I think... I stand under correction though... Fortunately the joint between the plug and the part on Alpine figures in these case is normally pretty thin and easy to cut through. @ Bill: thanks - you're making me blush! Watch this space, mate! I'm finalising a review of a recent Alpine set specifically designed to fit though (or is that "in"?) the cupola of a Pz V (although it should really fit most Panzers). The review should be ready over the weekend. @ Harald: thanks - for my reviews I generally add pictures of the painted figure (box-art photos) which I get from the manufacturer's website - you'll notice the watermark on the Alpine photos. So the smaller photos are from the manufacturer whereas the part phots are those I take personally - thus the difference in photo sizes. I do agree though that it would be terrific to get bigger photos are the box-art Rudi
    OCT 29, 2009 - 09:04 PM
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