Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.6278; Last Battle Austria 1945 - Gen2 Series; 344 parts (296 in grey styrene, 48 etched brass); price about US $13.98
Advantages: first new DML figure set with the late war German uniforms, nice range of accessories, extra hands a plus
Disadvantages: may not be as popular due to generally dull appearance of figures
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German modelers and historians
Too often modelers get caught up in the idealized version of uniforms and tend to overlook the fact that most soldiers in the field rarely look like that. For example, quite often Napoleonic figure fans do up figures in their "parade ground" appearance and ignore the fact that most soldiers can only look like that for a very short while before the uniform tends to wilt and get dirty.
The same thing goes with many German fans, who like the late war camouflage smocks and uniforms, or the black or grey tanker's/SP gun crews uniforms. But for the average German soldier, as the war progressed and materials became scarce as well as the time needed to produce them, the uniforms became coarser, planer and more shoddily made.
But those rarely see the light of day among figure modelers, as they tend to be rather dull and unappealing to the eye. That's why this figure set is a major change of pace, as it is the very plain and nearly homespun appearance of the late-war German infantry uniforms.
This is really one of the nicer figure kits DML has produced, as one must realize that out of the massive number of parts provided only 108 are needed to produce the four infantry figures in combat poses. What DML did do is provide extra arms and hands for the figures, so that they may be shown in a number of poses with different weapons or levels of action. Each figure has the "boilerplate" components - two-piece head, collar, two-piece torso and two legs, and separate boots - but they also come with three or four arms and hands each to pose them as desired.
The now-standard DML "mix and match" weapons and equipment sprues are included as well. These are the GA sprue (mess kits, canteens, entrenching tools and bayonets), GB (magazine pouches, holsters, bread bags) and part of the GC sprue (14 grenades in both "egg" and "potato masher" varieties) plus two WA weapons sprues (2 x Kar 98 with open or closed bolts and "stripper" clips) and a WB sprue (1 x Gewehr 41 rifle, 1 x MP-44 assault rifle and 2 x MP-40 submachine guns plus accessories.) The etched brass set provides for rifle slings, collar tabs, assault badges and Eisenkreuz medals. On the kit sprues are a pair of Panzerfaust 60 antitank weapons with a choice of either carry or ready to fire sights and trigger assemblies. Decals are provided for these as well.
As with many of their vehicle kits, this now provides for shoulder straps to use in place of the etched brass ones for those modelers who do not like fiddling with etched metal. This is another nice touch from DML.
Overall this is a nicely done kit and more accurate in overall application than many of the figures which show up on dioramas, but I am not sure how popular they will be due to the plain grey color of the figures.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review subject.