Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.6375; German Tank Crew 1939-1943; 80 parts (69 in grey styrene, 11 etched brass); price estimated at US $13
Advantages: new crew specifically designed for something other than Tiger I tanks; great poses and selection of poses
Disadvantages: none noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor fans and dioramists
Occasionally DML has wandered far afield lately in seeking out truly obscure WWII German units to represent in figures, but have ignored some of the very basic sets needed to compliment their excellent vehicle kits. Somebody apparently did their homework, and now we have this new and very well done set specifically designed for Panzer III and Panzer IV series tanks.
DML had covered some of the earlier vehicle crews starting with a generic Tiger crew (#6014) and SP gun crew (#6016) and then expanding them to items like a "personality" set of SS tankers with Michael Wittman (#6028) and an early StuG III crew with berets (#6029) and working out from there. But until now there was no dedicated "meat and potatoes" crew for the essential workhorse Panzers, the Mark III and Mark IV.
This set brings that gap to a close. The kit shows three full figures and three half figures on the box art, but in reality this kit provides six full figures. Five are the crew to a Mark III or IV with the side turret doors open; there is a commander figure in the hatch, the gunner and loader sitting in the open turret hatches, and for a Panzer IV a radio operator and driver in their respective hatches. A six man is on the ground and is handing a bottle of wine up to the figure on the left hand side of the turret. All wear the "standard" German tanker's uniform of black canvas with pink piping, and three headsets are provided as well for the commander, radio operator and driver. As a bonus three "jerry" cans with brass seam inserts are included.
The figures are DML "Gen1" type - head, torso, legs and arms - with separate headgear and pistols for each man. All heads have unique faces and tilt to the head on the neck. The radio operator also is provided with a pipe.
With some spares and "mix and match" this set of crew figures could be used for any mid-war tank or self-propelled gun. The artwork and painting directions by Ron Volstad are first rate and make it easier to get the most out of this set (note that they are in grey with red trim so the inference for the easy conversion to SP Gun crews by changing from Panzer Black to Artillery Grey is provided for as well!)
Overall this is a great choice, with very casual relaxed poses and a nice selection for use in one or more vehicle projects.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.