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Built Review
135
Volkssturm. Berlin 1945
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The Volkssturm was created in 1944 and was made up of male German civilians between the ages of 16 to 60. Several of the men held jobs of importance to the German military which kept them from being in military service. Others were not in the military due to their age, medical conditions, etc. The Volkssturm was mainly armed with second-hand, obsolete and crudely made small arms and the now famous Panzerfaust.

The Volkssturm members were not issued military uniforms and so the members had to wear their personal clothing or if they were policemen, mailmen, etc. they were to wear those uniforms. All were required to wear a Volkssturm armband on the left arm signifying them as members of the Volkssturm (I have included a picture of the armband for reference purposes). The Volkssturm was to fill the role as a home guard unit to release members of the military from this duty to be used as replacements where they were needed on the front lines. They fought from the time of its creation until Germany’s surrender in 1945.

Zvezda has released Volkssturm, Berlin 1945 in 1/35 scale, kit number 3621, a set of four figures which represent WWII German Volkssturm members in Berlin during the fighting in 1945.

contents

The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box with artwork of the figures on the top. The bottom of the box has photographs of the completed figures. The box art can be deceiving as it shows the figures with magazine pouches, arm bands on all the figures, a Panzerschreck, the Panzerfaust with a raised sight and a sling on the Mauser 98K rifle. These things are not present in the kit. The sprue is sealed within a clear plastic bag.

There are no decals included in this kit. Decals of the Volkssturm armbands would have been a nice addition.

The kit comes with a two page instruction sheet with assembly steps for all four figures, line drawings of the sprues and a painting guide.

The painting guide references 13 Model Master brand paints:

- 1781 Aluminum
- 1795 Gun Metal
- 1550 Flat Red
- 1749 Black
- 2014 Feldgrau
- 1735 Wood
- 1736 Leather
- 1723 Gunship Grey
- 1583 Rubber
- 1702 Field Drab
- 1718 Flat Sea Blue
- 1516 Skin Tone
- 1701 Military Brown


The kit comes with one grey styrene sprue which contains 52 total pieces. The sprue comes sealed in a clear plastic bag. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprues contain more plastic the pieces that make up the kit. However that is not the case with this kit which makes for easy removal and less cleanup of each piece. When I examined the sprue I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces.

The sprue does not have part numbers on it. The modeler needs to refer to the instruction sheet for the part numbers.

THE FIGURES

As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash and seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing on the individual pieces is fairly decent.

The kit comes with four WWII German Volkssturm members. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash, gaps and how everything fits on the figures. I felt this would be a good way to show the work required on all of them.

The standing Volkssturm member with the Mauser 98K rifle:
This figure is made up of fourteen total pieces. The detailing on the face is decent. The figure’s coat that has three pieces which need to be assembled to give it a realistic 3-D appearance. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together, but the end result is nice. Both of the figure’s arms come in two pieces. The left arm has a molded armband on the upper arm portion. The figure’s hat comes in two pieces. The detailing on the figure’s clothing is nice such as the buttons and seam lines. His neck fits onto the collar nicely and the cap fits on the head well. The Mauser 98K rifle is a nice representation of the real rifle, if desired the modeler will have to scratch build a sling for the rifle. One major problem with this figure is that the Mauser 98K rifle does not fit into the figure’s right hand at all. To make it fit into the hand correctly some modifications to the right arm and to a portion of the coat will have to be made so that the rifle will sit lower. The pose of the figure is nice. There is what I would call a normal amount of flash present and there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled.

The standing Volkssturm member with the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle:
This figure is also made up of fourteen total pieces. The detailing on the face is decent. The figure’s coat has four pieces which need to be assembled to give it a realistic 3-D appearance. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together but the end result is nice. The detailing on the figure’s clothing is nice such as the buttons, button holes and seam lines. The figure comes with two choices for head gear. The modeler can use a Fedora style hat or a M43 field cap which both fit on the figure’s head well. The figure’s neck fits onto the collar nicely. The figure comes armed with a Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle. The rifle is a very nice representation of the real weapon and this is the first time I have seen this particular weapon in kit form so I was excited to see it included with this kit. The Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle does not fit in the figure’s right hand very well so some modifications to the hand will have to be made. If desired the modeler will have to scratch build a sling for the rifle. The figure’s left arm comes in two pieces and needs to be assembled and the right arm is one piece. There is no armband on the left arm. There is what I would call a normal amount of flash present and there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good, however there are gaps that will need to be filled.

The Kneeling Volkssturm member with the Panzerfaust:
The figure is made up of twelve total pieces. The detailing on the face is decent and the face has a nice youthful look to it. The detailing on the figure’s clothing is nice such as the buttons, pocket flaps, belts, etc. The figure’s neck fits onto the collar nicely and the M43 field cap fits on the head well. The figure is armed only with a Panzerfaust. The figure comes with two sets of arms. The right arms are one piece where the left arms are in two pieces. Both left arms have armbands on them. The two sets of arms enable the modeler to pose the figure as holding the Panzerfaust in two different positions. One position shows the Panzerfaust in an elevated position and the other shows it in a more level position. The hands on both sets of arms hold the Panzerfaust well and both right hands have the thumb on the trigger of the weapon. There is what I would call a normal amount of flash present and there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled.

The kneeling Volkssturm member with the MP-40:
The figure is made up of twelve total pieces. The detailing on the face is decent and it has a nice moustache. The figure’s coat has three pieces which need to be assembled to give it a realistic 3-D appearance. There are gaps where the coat pieces fit together however they are minimal and the end result is nice. The collar is also a separate piece. The figure’s neck fits into the collar nicely and the M43 field cap fits on the head well. The detailing on the figure’s clothing is nice such as the buttons. The figure is holding a MP-40 sub-machinegun which is a nice representation of the real weapon. The MP-40 fits in the figure’s hands well. If desired the modeler will have to scratch build a sling for the weapon. The figure’s arms are both one piece. There is no armband on this figure’s left arm. There is what I would call a normal amount of flash present and there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled.

The Weapons and Gear:

- 1 German MP-40 submachine gun
- 1 German Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle.
- 1 German Panzerfaust
- 1 German Mauser 98K rifle

The Mauser 98K rifle has a small hollow indention in the butt of the stock for placing the end of a sling. This is a nice detail that other companies should follow.

Extra Pieces:

- One set of arms for the figure with the Panzerfaust.
- One M43 field cap or Fedora style hat depending on which one you use for the figure with the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle.

CONCLUSION

It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures however it is a nice product. One thing I like about the figures not wearing a specific uniform is that the modeler can paint the clothing as he sees fit for the time period. I would have no hesitation to recommend this set of figures to others. This set could be used to easily create a simple diorama or the figures could be separated and used in different projects.

References:
http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/volkssturm/index.html

http://www.german-helmets.com/VOLKSSTURM Main.htm

http://www.bills-bunker.de/121101.html

http://hjandvolksturm.devhub.com/blog/59209-history-of-the-german-ww-ii-volkssturm/
SUMMARY
Highs: Decent detailing on most of the parts and the uniforms. The Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle. Nice representations of German Volkssturm members.
Lows: No part numbers on the sprue. The amount of gaps that need to be filled and seam lines that will need to be removed.
Verdict: All in all this is a decent set of figures. It represents German Volkssturm members well. The modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time removing seam lines, filling gaps and modifying a few of the pieces.
Percentage Rating
72%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID:  3621
  Suggested Retail: $10.95
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Jun 09, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.86%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I just enjoy reading Mr.Randy's reviews! Another amazing one. Kind regards,Sven
JUN 09, 2011 - 07:02 AM
Thank you very much Sven. I am glad that you like my reviews. I have more on the way. Thank you again, Randy
JUN 10, 2011 - 03:49 PM
Darn good review Randy. It's really helpfull to see the results of a straight build O.O.B. which shows us what we are in store for. Seems like this set would go nicely with the old D.M.L. set. Or there is a possability of Polish resistance fighters in Warsaw with a bit of weapon alterations. Zvezda has some interesting figure sets out and I will P/U a set or two of these. The possabilities of this set as plain civilians is there too. Thanks for sharing this set with us.
JUN 11, 2011 - 02:16 AM
Harv this is another in a long line of well written reviews from you thank you. I do have a question about the product though in terms of realism. Everything I have read and seen of the Volkssturm leads me to believe that they were 90% only issued with Panzerfausts, and this would make this set of figures unrepresentative of the Volkssturm. I accept that artistic license and possibly 3 of the figures having the Panzerfaust would not be the look the company were after. Am correct in this or have I mis understood something?
JUN 11, 2011 - 02:58 AM
Thank you Bob and Darren, I appreciate the comments. I do like this set myself. The subject matter and the variation of the figures is nice I agree with you Darren in that they should probably be armed with mostly the Panzerfaust based on most of the photographs I have seen. I am sure the diversity of weapons is a selling point and it does make for an intersting scene. Three of them armed with Panzerfausts and one armed with the Gustloff Volkssturmgewehr VG.1-5 rifle would have been just as cool and maybe a little more realistic. I should have mentioned that in my review. That is why I appreciate the feedback as it helps me to write better reviews in the future. Thanks again Bob and Darren. You guys have given me a swelled head this morning!! Randy
JUN 12, 2011 - 04:52 AM
   

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