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Primarily 1/35 AFV figure subjects. See Historicus Forma for others.
REVIEW
German 1st Cavalry Division
Teacher
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 02:07 PM UTC
Possibly the best Generation 2 figure set so far, here''s the German 1st Cavalry Division in all it''s glory!

Dragon Generation 2: German 1st Cavalry Division



If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
WildCard
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 02:15 PM UTC
hmmm... IMO I'm not sure if the anatomy of the horse looks right. The end for the front leg looks a bit muscular and the neck looks weird. What do you guys think?

DML's Flourian Geyer horse look much better. Maybe not as detailed as this one but looks much more natural.

WC
Teacher
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 02:34 PM UTC
It's the lighting. It was extremely late last night when the pictures were taken, and the lighting was odd to say the least, in reality the horses look extremely good.

Vinnie
spooky6
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 02:51 PM UTC
Yeah, I had a look at Dragon's 1/16 Heer Cavalryman (the fig dismounted next to the horse) at the LHS on Monday, and this looks much better.
WildCard
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 02:56 PM UTC
Whew! thanks Vinnie... I was waiting for this set for a long time!

what are those horizontal lines on the neck? are they veins? I'm trying to look for reference but dont see that in the German Cavalry photos. Is it the type of breed that makes the difference?

Not try sound nit picky, but I really want this set!

WC
jlmurc
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 03:05 PM UTC
Thanks Vinnie,

I have just got to add a set of these to my build list, as somebody who is often around horse compliments of my wife and with her looking over my shoulder, she says that the horses look very good, mush better than some that she has seen cast in plastic.

John
Alpenflage
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Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2006 - 06:32 PM UTC
Vinnie, excellent review. These figures and horses look very interesting. I did notice from the poster on the Dragon site that the riders seemed to be a lil "high in the saddle", and now after reading your review, it confirms my observations.

Other then that, these look great. Doing a mounted figure on a horse, and have it come out looking good, is a challenge for any modeller. Then again, if you dont challenge yourself while modelling, you wont learn anything, or improve your skill.

Too bad we couldnt have a "group build" just on this new set of figures. Everyone builds this Dragon German 1st Cavalry set, everyone learns something, and it will be interesting to see who does best. What do you think ? Dragon MoM with a twist for a change

Cheers !!

Robert
DesertRat
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Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006 - 09:57 PM UTC
Hello,

It would seem these are in the same vein as the earlier G2 releases - both for good and bad.

Although I would prefer to have them in hand before commenting, judging from the photos I'm not enthusiastic about the horses - their poses look bland, not to say stiff, and other details are suspect.

Some of the PE accessories are of doubtful effectiveness - the cinch for instance, I do not think this can be successfully adapted to the horse's belly. And PE reins... I think this is not the best option.

The riders look definitely better, although one should expect a good fitting, which apparently isn't there.

As is true for the earlier G2 references (which I have been working with), I think making truly good figures with these items asks for not inconsiderable work; and even then, depending on the box, getting more than one or two decent figures from each package is fairly difficult without an inordinate amount of work.

In my opinion, these (as the other G2) are good STARTING material, and excellent figures can me made of it if you put the required effort.

Please have in account than my comments are made with a FIGURE modeller point of view - if you are to use them as "diorama fodder", ;-) so to put it, probably you will have a different opinion.

Daniel Alfonsea
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Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006 - 10:15 PM UTC
Hmmm.... personally i find the term 'Diorama Fodder' offensive. As will most modellers on this site. I've seen figures in Dioramas that put so-called figure modellers to shame. :-)

Vinnie
garthj
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Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006 - 10:52 PM UTC
Hi Vinnie

This is a great set! I must say that the horizontal creases are a little odd, as someone who also spends quite a bit of time around horses too. However, I think you are correct, the lighting has made them stand out a little. I think once painted, the overall finish will be really good, a nice set!
The horses anatomy is pretty mush spot o.

Cheers
Garth

DesertRat
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Posted: Friday, August 18, 2006 - 11:54 PM UTC
Hello,

I did not mean the term "diorama fodder" as offensive, and in fact I even placed a ;-) , just to make sure.

The greater part of AFV diorama modellers do not assign the same care to the figures as they do to the vehicles, and are not so critical, nor pay the same attention/effort of the figures in general; this is not to say that EVERY figure modeller puts more effort, obviously, and the better diorama builders certainly make excellent figures.

BTW, I did not intend the term "figure modeller" to be understood as a "better" class of modeller; I want to emphasize that what I mean is a modeller whose main interest is the human element, or who dedicates as many time and effort to figures as to AFVs, architecture, or whatever, in a diorama.

Hence, a modeller with an interest in the human element is more inclined to do a more involved work with the figures of a diorama, than one who considers figures mere complements to the AFVs.

I hope I have explained myself; and my apologies if anybody has felt offended.

And, BTW, I am interested in historical figures, but especially WW2 figures, not only as individual subjects; I put them in vignettes and dioramas too -but, being more attracted to the human element, make them, and not the vehicles, the focus of the scenes.

Daniel
erichvon
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Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 07:14 AM UTC
The figures look nice...however...when is Dragon going to do some nice generic stuff rather than figures which are in a niche? They've done USMC, Japs but where are the Aussies or a British set for the Pacific/Burma campaign. There's a pile of German tank crews but no British or US ones. Figures ? Yeah they're nice. Will I buy them? No as I'm not interested in Germans on horses. Dragons marketting?
WildCard
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Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2006 - 07:34 AM UTC

Quoted Text

British set for the Pacific/Burma campaign.



Unfortunately Karl, those topic just don't sell. They are running a business and to open mold is expensive and German topic will give them the quickest profit return. I too want to see them doing some samurai figures with PE blades... but hey, I'm realistic about it.

WC
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AndersHeintz
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:54 AM UTC
The new Gen 2 figures are indeed very nice. The figures look ok in this set, and you get a lot of extra goodies that can be used else where as the kit is only of 2 figs.

However, the horses are not exactly great. The biggest concern I have are two things: The teeth are wrong...horses dont have human teeth and will look crazy when painted. The PE shoes that are supplied are nice, but useless, look at where the nails are set...there would be no horse with the placement of those nails, he would be quicked and crippled up and probably become food. You probably think that Im nuts and a rivet counter now, but the saying no feet no horse is very true

Lighting or not, the things that are in the pictures are there, the lines are acctually skin that have been repeatedly wrinkled from movment of the neck, which I´think is a nice touch. The muscelature of the horses look nice, the neck may be a bit long but some horses have longer necks. The horses may be a bit heavy and well fed, from looking at pictures of German horses during WWII they were far from well mounted, usually the horses were pretty scrawny looking.

I usually dont nit pick too much, but horses is something that I know very well, and its easy for me to spot stuff thats out of place. That being said, I once sculpted a horse which is not as nice as this one. I just wish that the sculptor would have bothered to look up simple things I mentioned before, it would have taken probably 5 minutes to do.

I hope the figure fits better in the saddle then he does in the picture above though.

All in all it looks like a pretty decent set and I am sure I will pick up it up, its like Dani says, a little work and you have a figure thats almost comperable with a resin figure.
Teacher
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:14 AM UTC
Anders, I have the set, and if you think they're human teeth, you need better dentists in your country! :-) :-) :-)

Vinnie
AndersHeintz
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:22 AM UTC
Vinnie,

Look at the picture of the horse head in your review, look real close, then look at a horses mouth then come back again and tell me the same thing again

Humans have teeth all around, horses have a gap between the front 6 teeth and the back teeth.







Teacher
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:32 AM UTC
There are 6 upper teeth if you look closely. What you think are more teeth are there due to the limits of injection moulding probably! :-) :-) Anyhow, I think you should calm down, remember you can always use the head with the mouth shut! :-)

Vinnie
AndersHeintz
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 02:48 AM UTC
Im always calm





DesertRat
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 01:27 PM UTC
Hello,

I think Anders has very aptly explained, and illustrated, the problem with the teeth, which in fact is a very common fault in miniature horses - and it derives from not being familiarized with the real thing, and from not doing proper research. The sculptor has simply assumed a horse has a structure of teeth similar to a human, which it has not. I do not think this is due to any moulding limitations. Dragon could have supplied the teeth separately, had this been the case.

Yes, one could use the head with the closed mouth, but I believe it would have been much better if the people at Dragon had done their homework.

Take another instance, the saddle bags, judging from the assembled figure's photo, are far too small - you can just look at the box art and compare.

Let's see, Dragon's G2 figures are probaly the best plastic figures around, and no doubt have set new standards, but this does not mean they are perfect. Some of their equipment is not very good, in some cases it hardly represents an improvement as compared to pre-G2 releases, and in others it perpetuates the same errors - bread bags are still too small, for instance, and in top of it now they have completely unrealistic overscale sewing thread effects.

The greater part of problems are due to not paying sufficient attention to research, not to any manufacturing setbacks. This is surprising because Ron Volstad, the box art's illustrator, provides them with more than enough excellent source material. Also, poses are more often than not stiff, wooden, unnatural, or at the very least bland - they seem to be unable to "translate" to 3 dimensions the excellent illustrations Ron Volstad paints for them.

And yes, I'm buying them, because they provide me with good material to work with. But work they need.

Daniel
WildCard
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 04:08 PM UTC
Ha! this is getting very interesting... slew of infos.

Thanks gentlemen, This helps alot!!

WC
lestweforget
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 04:48 PM UTC
Karl i agree with you on the subject matter and need for other areas.
Australians would be awesome to see! however...
I'm sure im gonna get snapped at for this BUT, so far DML has release 9 kits, i think one or two of those are currently in production, but anway, out of those 9, 1 has been allied themed, USMC at Tarawa...1...honestly, they have already lost my faith that we will be seing a magnitude of fantastic allied figure sets coming from them, and if they do release them, i doubt they will be of great use, most likely obscurely themed non-generic figures.
The thing about their german range, is because its so extensive, let's say you wanted to do a combat diorama, well you have so many figure sets to chose from whose uniforms will go together, you can achieve a wide variety of poses, and you have no worries.
Want to use DML allied figures for a diorama, then it becomes hard, as there arent as many, and most of them wouldnt go together due to their uniforms and such.
I surely don't think we will ever see them "concentrate" on giving us a wide range of allied figures of the same theatre of time period.
I know that "German" sells, but i really wish they would break from the norm and grant the other halfs wishes.
These are just my opinions.
Cheers
Tarok
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Posted: Sunday, August 20, 2006 - 07:32 PM UTC
Nice review, Vinnie.

Interestingly (or perhaps not ) Schiffer books have just released a book on this very subject, Horses of the German Army in World War II by Paul Louis Johnson. This book would make for an interesting companion to DML's latest equestrian set.

Rudi
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