ARM: Review -- DML 1/35 Scale German 1st Cavalry Division Russia 1941

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.
6216; German 1st Cavalry Division Russia 1941 - Gen2; 294 parts (211 in
grey styrene, 83 in etched brass); price estimated at US $14.98
Advantages: Gen2 "magic" worked on both horses and riders, very
nicely rendered animals;
Disadvantages: All horse furniture is etched brass and may prove
difficult for intermediate level modelers or below to install
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and "real cav" fans
Over 40 years ago a small French company, who began making premiums
for insertion into cans of ground coffee, branched out into Napoleonic
figures in the odd scale of 1/30. They prospered and to this day
Historex of France is considered one of the premiere companies in the
world making styrene kits of Napoleonic era figures and related wagons
and artillery.
When it came to making horses, Historex created one of the most
enduring systems to create a model horse going. They molded the horse
itself in seven parts: two sides, head and neck, ears, fetlock, mane
and tail; six initial horses were created, based on twelve body halves
and six head/hair sprues. By creating a number of different
combinations of parts, an infinite variety of horse positions could be
modeled. Later, more were added to create a wider variety, including
giving the horse modeler a option on the gender of the animal.
Others tried, such as Airfix in 1/32 and ESCI, Zvezda and DML in 1/35
but most other horses were rather inflexible and static. Now DML has
used their "Gen2" system on horses in this new kit, and the results
are the first ones to approach Historex.
DML provides two horses and riders in this kit. Each horse consists of
ten separate parts: sides, face, ears, mane, tail and separate hooves
with horseshoes in place. The horses are well detail with even vein
detail modeled and two faces are provided for each one to change the
horse's personality as well. The hair is somewhat static, but most
Historex modelers understand the concept of pyrograveur styling using a
hot pin to "fluff" up the hair and create a more natural look from
styrene. This is done by using a heated straight pin to separate
strands of plastic to form "hair" and add both body and depth to
it, so when painted and drybrushed it looks more like natural hair.
The horses each come with a blanket molded on their backs, as well as
a pack saddle and riding saddle that fits on top of it. The horses are
also provided with bedrolls, packs and other kit as needed.
However, all horse furniture is etched brass, which is somewhat tricky
to use in such circumstances and the first step for all flexible items
(e.g. cinches, reins, leads, bridles, etc.) is to anneal them over an
open flame to make them easier to manipulate. The hardware (bits,
horseshoes) is also etched brass as well, so you may wish to remove
them from the fret before annealing.
The figures are typical of the DML Gen2 series. Each rider comes in 19
parts: torso (2), legs (2), boots (2), hands (2), head (2), collar,
shoulder straps (2) and coat skirt (4). However, this kit offers no
option hands or faces/heads for different poses.
The kit has the now-standard German kit sprues GA and GB with all of
the normal German infantry kit (canteens, ponchos, mess kits, bread
bags, gas mask canisters, bayonets, helmets, etc.) as well as one
weapons sprue WA with two Kar 98K rifles with separate bolts and ammo
Cover art is by Ron Volstead as are the painting instructions, which
are as usual very well done. But in this case it would have helped if
DML had provided more than a single page flyer with a finished rider
and only foolscap outlines of how the bridle and reins assemble.
Overall this is another great effort by DML but once again one where
the directions do not provide a way to get the most out of the model
for first-time figure modelers or those not experienced in either doing
horses or working with etched brass.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
Reply to
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Painted cigarette paper works quite well for reins.
I would suggest getting an older copy of Riding Logic by Wilhelm Museler (ISBN: 0413532208). He was a German cavalry officer in the 1930's and WWII. Older editions have excellent photos of German riders at the 1936 Olympics showing the standard German military harness. Without extra combat gear of course.
Reply to
Ron Smith

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