login   |    register
Zvezda [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEBSITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
135
German Paratroopers 1939-1942
  • move

by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

At this moment in time MiniArt and MasterBox are for the most part leading the field with their injection moulded plastic figures. However companies like Zvezda continue to advance their moulding technology and snap at the heels of the new boys leading the field, and once in a while they release a figure set that really grabs the attention of the hobbyist. This product “German Paratroopers 1939-1942” from Zvezda may just be one of those times when the hobbyists out there need to rethink their opinions.

Contents

This figure set is packaged in a top opening box with artwork that accurately depicts the stances of the included figures and shows the contents assembled down one side of the box. Inside you will find three light grey sprues, a card bobbin with cord wrapped around it, and an A4 set of instructions.

Review

The instructions included in this set are printed in black and white and utilises the line drawing method on one side to show you how to construct the five figures in the set. The instructions are easy to follow and should not create problems for anyone to follow. The other side of the instructions shows the sprues that are supplied and the number of each piece (the sprues also have numbers). There is a very brief product introduction and painting instruction which lists paint from the Model Master range.

The figures, an overview:
Starting at the bottom and working up; the boots appear to match my reference, being high lace up boots where the lace is on the outside of the leg (as opposed to along the top or inner face of the boots). The only negative of this feature is that figures 2, 3, and 4, could have done with sole detail being replicated and are unfortunately featureless.

The trousers also appear accurate with regard to seams and the button up pocket on the trousers, the pocket is just below the jump smock. The jump smock appears to be 2nd pattern smock with all the appropriate pockets and detail. The main difference between the 2nd pattern and the original is that it is longer than the original and olive green in colour.

The belt and “Y” straps look to be correctly rendered with some effort having gone into depicting the detail on the belt buckle. The various widths of the “Y” strap look to all be present with the only possible negative being the ring on the rear being a little on the large side. The Fallschmirjäger’s iconic helmet looks to be faithfully reproduced in profile with the helmet strap having the accurate split below the ear, with one strap going up into the helmet and the other going towards the rear of the helmet.

Face and hand detail is very good and with the option of the hands being separate to the weapon or moulded on the weapon being a nice touch, a close look at the individual hands shows some of the best detail I have seen in injection moulded plastic.

The weapons included with the set are fair with a reasonable level of detail, the option of the hands being separate or moulded on also gives the user a choice of extra weapons if the hands moulded on the weapons is the option used. The only negative here is that the barrels will need to be drilled to improve their appearance. The pistol holster supplied with figures 1 and 4 is, I believe, a Luger holster but I am not 100% certain on that. Figures 1 and 4 are also moulded with a stick grenade tucked under the belt, this has created some work for the modeller regarding figure four as the stick of the grenade extends beyond the body of the figure. The result of this is that due to the limitations of the material there is a sizeable chunk of plastic at the rear of the stick that will need to be carefully removed.

The personal gear supplied with these figures all looks good with my only issue being that the crease detail on the bread bag is the same on all four supplied. The ammunition pouches for figure three with the Kar 98 are accurately depicted attached to the front chest straps rather than attached to the belt.

Figures 3 and 5 are wearing knee pads and the imparted detail is very good with some minor undercuts depicted, the straps that hold the knee pads in place have also been accurately depicted.

The parachute:
The parachute is depicted with 28 strands and which I am unable to ascertain if it is accurate or not, regardless, I suspect this chute will be making a lot of appearances at a model show near you either with or without its intended figure. The parachute pack and its webbing all looks accurate judging from my reference material. The parachute depicted in this set is an RZ16 as the straps are connected together across the shoulder blades. One area of concern when this set was announced in a news release was the thickness of the chute, well at the edges it is 1mm which I think is fair when considering the size of the mouldings and the material it has been moulded in.

The drop canister:
The air drop canister looks good and is a multi part item. This can be displayed open or closed depending on your needs, and if displayed open there are stores supplied with it as a separate part, the weapons rack which sits on the top is present and offers the modeller the choice of placing some weapons in the crop canister if so desired.


Figure 1:
This figure depicts a Fallschmirjäger leaning forward in a natural stance firing an MP38 with the Stock extended, and which looks a very natural firing position. The figure consists of;
• Torso and mid upper legs.
• Two legs from the upper mid thigh down.
• Two arms.
• Flat top head.
• Helmet.
• Two hands with the option of them being separate or moulded holding the MP38.
• Ammunition pouch for the MP38.
• Pistol holster.
• Water bottle.
• Bread bag.


Figure 2:
This figure depicts a Fallschmirjäger in a prone position firing an MG34 with tripod and drum magazine. The figures pose again looks natural and well composed. The figure consists of;
• Torso and mid upper legs.
• Two legs from the upper mid thigh down.
• Two arms.
• Flat top head.
• Helmet.
• Two hands with the option of them being separate or moulded holding the MG34.
• Water bottle.
• Bread bag.

Figure 3:
This figure depicts a Fallschmirjäger recovering a Kar 98 from an air dropped canister (which is supplied in the kit), the figure again has a natural pose and composition. The figure consists of;
• Torso and mid upper legs.
• Two legs from the upper mid thigh down.
• Two arms.
• Flat top head.
• Helmet.
• Two hands with the option of separate or moulded holding the Kar 98.
• 2 x2 Ammunition pouch for the Kar 98.
• Map case.
• Water bottle.
• Bread bag.

Figure 4:
This figure depicts a Fallschmirjäger Running while holding an MP38 with the stock folded. The figure again has a natural pose and composition and consists of;
• Torso and mid upper legs.
• Two legs from the upper mid thigh down.
• Two arms.
• Flat top head.
• Helmet.
• Two hands with the option of them being separate or moulded holding the MP38.
• Ammunition pouch for the MP38.
• Pistol holster.
• Water bottle.
• Bread bag.

Figure 5:
This figure depicts a Fallschmirjäger who has just hit the ground and is in the process of collapsing his chute. This figure is the star of the set for me, as it is a first to my knowledge where a manufacturer has attempted to show a figure in this configuration. The figure has a very good pose which depicts the figures required effort to complete his task. The figure consists of;
• Torso and mid upper legs.
• Two legs from the upper mid thigh down.
• Two arms.
• Flat top head.
• Helmet.
• Empty parachute pack and the deployed flap.
The parachute consists of eight panels plus the cord that needs to be attached to each connection point.

Conclusion

I think that Zvezda has really hit a high point with this kit with the negatives being minor and the highs being many. I would have liked Zvezda to include decals for the sides of the helmets but that is easily overcome with a number of after market manufacturers now supplying decals of this type cheaply. The detail missing from the soles of the boots will be more difficult to overcome unless given a liberal dose of mud. I still however thoroughly recommend this kit to you if for no other reason than the effort put into the landing parachutist.

References:
Fallschrimjager - German Paratroopers From Glory To Defeat 1939-1945 Warrior - Concord No 6505 by I.M. Baxter and Ronald Volstad ISBN 962-361-694-5

Fallschirmjäger German Paratrooper 1935–45 Author: Bruce Quarrie Illustrator: Velimir Vuksic ISBN 9781841763262
SUMMARY
Highs: If I had to choose one aspect of this model it would have to be the effort put into the hand detail and the option of using them moulded on or off of the weapons. Yes, and of course, the parachutist.
Lows: The lack of any detail of the soles of the boots that are visible on the completed figures detracts from the over all quality, as does the plastic that needs to be removed from behind the handle of one of the stick grenades.
Verdict: I highly recommend this kit as one of those must have products that hit the market every so often.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3628
  Suggested Retail: £11.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 28, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 82.86%

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review. I'd tempted by this one.
AUG 27, 2011 - 11:38 PM
I am in the process of writing a build review of this product and one thing I will say is that the figures go together very well with I believe thus far no filler being needed, but the pictures may show differently.
AUG 28, 2011 - 01:51 AM
Darren- nice review, thoroughly comprehensive. I agree this is something of a must-have kit. My only problem is that the quality of the weapons doesn't appear to be as good as that in the Afghanistan Paratroopers box although I suppose they look decent enough.
AUG 28, 2011 - 05:12 AM
Karl I don't have any issue with the weapons as they are better than some and not as good as others, however I thought that the MG34 had far more detail than seen in a lot of other offerings with the exception of those that are multi part. Thank you all for taking the time to reply.
AUG 28, 2011 - 05:38 AM
Darren, Thanks for the review, got this set yesterday and I am very impressed. Parachute canopy looks a little thick to me but I'm sure it can be thinned down. Looking forward to your build review. This site might be useful too, http://www.fjr2.be/Pagina E-26- German parachutes.htm Andy
SEP 02, 2011 - 11:26 PM
Thank you for the comment andy and the link to what looks to be an excellent ref site, I wish I had known about it when I wrote the review.
SEP 03, 2011 - 02:32 AM
Hi Darren Nice review. Great set. One very important question where can we purchase this set? Love to buy it but where? Thanks. Cheers Sean
OCT 25, 2012 - 11:19 PM
Hi Sean, Dont know about your part of the world but you can get them from a company called Net merchants they have both sets reviewed and discounted their a very well respected company and fast service.Have you tried Ebay?
OCT 26, 2012 - 12:41 AM
Sean I would have thought this set was now available just about anywhere that carries a reasonable range or stocks Zvezda.
OCT 26, 2012 - 06:13 AM
   

What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move