Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No.6348; Panzergrenadier Italy 1943-1945 - Gen2; 333 parts (310 in grey styrene, 23 etched brass); price about US$14.98
Advantages: well posed figures with a wide variety of options to match to a specific situation
Disadvantages: Gen2 figures deemed "too busy" by some modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German fans and dioramists
Some of the hardest and most protracted defense in WWII was put up by German soldiers fighting in Italy, as the terrain benefitted the defenders and ensured that long and bitter battles such as Monte Cassino would become legendary. DML has now turned their efforts to create a set of figures which match the conditions of the two years of combat in Italy and appear to have done an excellent job of it.
The kit provides four "Gen2" figures with a plethora of options. Each one of the figures in this set includes two different heads (one for a helmet and one for a "soft cap") and a total of 17 parts to the basic figure's makeup (2 x head, 2 x torso, 2 x arms, 2 x hands, 2 x legs, 2 x boots, 1x collar, and 4 x coat skirt elements). Belt buckles and epaulet straps are also separate items, with these items also being offered in etched brass.
The kit provides seven of the now-well-known "Gen2" generic German equipment sprues for fitting the figures out, and this covers most of the parts in the kit.
One nice touch also included is a simple wooden chair for one of the figures to be seated in, taking up a very casual pose. All of the figures are in non-combat poses, but are very much suited to providing good accompaniment to a vehicle as the centerpiece of a diorama or vignette. While designated for use in an Italian theme, the figures are pretty much universal to any WWII combat location.
The artwork is provided by Ron Volstad as are the directions and painting instructions. No decals are included.
Overall this is another of the very nice DML "Gen2" sets, but it should be noted some modelers find them fussy to assemble and the two- piece heads may have seams which are hard to remove if not used with the proper headgear for each one.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.