ARM: Review - Italeri 1/35 scale Italian Paratrooper combat group

Kit Review: Italeri 1/35 scale Kit No. 6492; Italian Paratroopers combat gr oup; 59 parts in grey styrene; retail price US$24.00
Advantages: new mold figures of Italian paratroopers in North Africa; simpl er figures will appeal to some modelers
Disadvantages: simpler figures with molded on equipment will not appeal to all
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all WWII North African campaign fans
    Like other forces, the Italian army created paratroopers ? paracaduisiti ? in the 1930s and eventually numbered three understrength divisions and several small independent units in their forces. The best know of these wa s the ?Folgore? division, which fought in North Africa with the Axis fo rces as infantry.
    This new figure set from Italeri is a newly cut mold with six figures in v arious poses: a standing officer or NCO with beard, side cap and Beretta Mo del 1938 submachine gun; three soldiers, two kneeling and one standing firi ng, all armed with Carcano Model 1891 cavalry carbines; and two soldiers ma nning a Breda Model 1937 8mm machine gun. All are in the desert uniform wit h long trousers and jackets.
    The figures conform to Italeri?s latest designs, with each one consistin g of one to three basic components and separate arms. Each one has somewhat heavily molded sewing seams on their uniforms but all are nicely animated and have good facial expressions. While some items such as strapping and ca rtridge pouches are molded in place, additional kit items include canteens, bread bags, and small pouches.
    The helmets are of an airborne style with camouflage covers and bands for attaching other items such as scrim. The submachine gun appears to come wit h a 20 round magazine but is not bad; however, the Model 1891 carbines come with the ?switchblade? permanently attached bayonets which are too thi ck and make them look more like Winchester Model 1873 rifles. These will ne ed some careful thinning down to look more realistic.
    The Bread is not bad, consisting of seven parts (machine gun, grips, tripo d front leg, rear legs, and two side braces plus a 20 round ?stripper? feed). It will do well with some details which are missing (e.g. the cockin g lever) but is better than some of the more anemic ones Italeri produced b ack in the 1970s.
    The artwork is the new ?water color? style that Italeri has adopted fo r figure sets so is not as helpful as those from other manufacturers. While the box only cites Italeri?s own acrylic paint numbers, a conversion lis t inside the directions shows the equivalents for Testors ModelMaster paint s as well as some FS 595a equivalents. Note that whereas the figures are gr ouped as A to F the arms are also listed as I and H parts; Is are right arm s, Hs are lefts.
    Overall, this is a new set and not a re-release of a 35 year old set, so I taleri is to be commended for a nice new set with fresh poses. While more e xpensive than some other sets (four figures being the industry ?norm?) it does include six figures in the box so is equal in price per figure.
    Thanks to Ronelyne from MPC for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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