ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale German Infantry in Wachtmantel - Kharkov 1943

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6518; German Infantry in Wachtmantel - Leningrad 1943; 86 parts in
grey styrene; estimated retail price US$10.95
Advantages: first plastic modeling of the heavy winter coat
Disadvantages: still using early production weapons
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for German modelers doing a winter subject
    The Germans were not prepared for the infamous “General Winter” when they failed to take Moscow and Leningrad before the winter of 1941; as a result, they found out the hard way why Napoleon and others had suffered at the hands of the Russian climate. But by 1943 they had compensated for that, and for soldiers pulling guard duty they had created this heavy sheepskin coat (too bulky for combat, but suitable for long stretches outside in the weather) along with insulated boots to protect soldiers from frostbite and trenchfoot.
    DML now offers this new set of four figures in relatively static poses (but as noted these coats were not suitable for combat) with the full “wachtmantel” (literally watch overcoat) and boots. They include two soldiers on guard and two with binoculars scanning the horizon.
    Each figure consists of a base element of torso, arms, and legs, to which are added a four-piece overcoat with separate collar, and then the head and hands. Three pairs of hands are all wearing what the US Army called trigger-finger mittens with only a separate thumb and index finger on each one, and the last one a pair of regular mittens. Accessories include grenades, goggles and a “squeeze” type flashlight. The coats are nicely done but experienced figure builders will want to “rough up” the edges to give them some texture with either putty or a pyrogravure.
    The weapons sets are some of the earliest of DML’s efforts and I do wish they would replace them with their better quality “Gen2" generic sets.
    The directions are unfortunately the “photo of assembled figure” type with a reproduction of the box art rather than the better quality Ron Volstad type with more detailed assembly instructions; based on some past kits the overcoats will take some work to fit together cleanly so I wish they would have taken more care with the directions than “stick here”.
    Overall this is a different idea and one which will help a number of modelers get the feeling of COLD in a diorama.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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