ARM: DML German Halftrack Crew/Soviet Tank Riders

Kit Review: DML 1/35 Scale ?39-?45 Series Figure Sets: Kit No. 6193, German Halftrack Crewmen; 41 parts (34 in gray styrene, 7 in etched metal); price about $7.95 Kit No. 6197, Soviet Infantry Tank Riders; 88 parts in gray styrene; price about $9.95

Advantages: DML's excellent figure series now provided for two of their latest kits, the T-34-85 Early Model (#6203) and the forthcoming Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. C (#6187); well done figures are set for "average" use conditions, making them quite useful over a broad range of models and locales

Disadvantages: May be somewhat static positions for some modelers as molded

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: For German and Soviet ("Eastern Front") fans

DML has pretty much set the standard for inexpensive and broad-ranging figure sets, and only continues to build on that reputation as time goes along. These two new sets, geared to two specific kits but fully usable on many other models, are the latest in that tradition. All figures come in the now standard seven parts used by nearly all DML figures ? legs, arms, torso, head and headgear.

The German set is designed to provide the basic vehicle crew for their new kit of the venerable Sd. Kfz. 251 Ausf. C which replaces the 29 year old (and basically poor, as is it was found to have many errors right after it came out ) Tamiya C model. The kit provides four figures in the lighter "reed green" cotton twill uniform, which sets them in roughly summer 1943 for a period of time: a driver, a radio operator for the Funk F set found in all of the German halftracks, a machine gunner with MG-34 for the front mount, and a commander peering over the side of the vehicle to see what it is ahead of the machine. All are minimally equipped, as their kit would be stowed onboard the vehicle. They also come with either the peaked soft cap or side cap, no helmets. The etched metal is the now-standard DML fret for the radio operator's headset band.

The infantry tank riders - tankoviy desant in Russian ? provide six figures to go with the new T-34-85 UZTM Turret Model 1944 kit. These figures are given the "quilted" winter combat uniform, which sets them in the winter 1944-1945 period (e.g. the "East Prussian" operation period of combat.) The set provides five enlisted men and one NCO or officer with "pogony" or shoulder straps (epaulettes). They have a total of three helmets, two fur caps and one "pilotka" or side cap. Armament consists of three Moisin rifles (one with bayonet), three PPSh "burp guns", and one DP light machine gun, which a choice of open or closed bipod.

(It must be noted that one of the figures is not situated as shown on the box art. In the directions, he is apparently seated on the right side of the hull, whereas the artwork shows him sitting in midair on the engine deck! I am sure Ron Volstad will not be happy about that one!)

Overall, these are excellent basic kits from which to build outstanding dioramas or individual models.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review samples.

Cookie Sewell AMPS

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