Saturday, July 9

Verlinden 2650 Jagdflieger Tactics & 2651 Jagdflieger Aces

Whilst looking at the latest offerings from Verlinden this month, I saw two very interesting new kits. They caught my eye because they were both depicting pilots/crew of Luftwaffe aircraft from WWII in a scale that is severely bereft of figures to choose from. It seems if you model in 1/32 scale there are scant choices for "out of the cockpit" diorama figures around, and so I thought we must take a closer look at these.
Scale: 1/32
Figures:  2 in each box
Material: Yellow Resin
Head Choices:  1 for each figure

The Jagdflieger set comes in three separate kits. The first two of which I will review here now. Both parts 1 and 2 have two figures in each box. They of course can be bought separately, but I am lucky enough to be able to show you both kits here. The boxes are of a new type I hadn’t seen before from Verlinden, brown card with the sticker of the kit on the front. Neither kits come with instructions (it really doesn’t need any) but maybe some painting instructions for a beginner would have been good. Though not many beginners start on a kit like this, there is no reason for new modellers not to!

I will look at both kits here numerically, fresh from the box and also assembled. I shall go with the flow and start the first part first. So on with 2650 “Tactics” – then 2651“Aces” it is!
Pic 2
Jagdflieger 2650 “Tactics” depicts two pilots standing together, one looking on as the other does the old “pilot hands” gesture, telling of his planned moves to outwit an enemy. This pilot officer is wearing German officer riding boots and pants with a short leather summer flying jacket. He isn't wearing any headgear, but I think – and I probably wouldn't have noticed this if it  weren't for the cover art – he is wearing glasses. The sculpting here is very fine indeed. He goes together very well, without gaps in his joints, but I would say he has a slightly too long neck. This excess is very quickly removed with a sprue cutter. Here are some pics of him below…
Pic 3Pic 4
The second pilot looks like a slightly younger man; he is standing with his hand in his jacket pockets listening to the first officer who is advising him on flying tactics.
Pic 5
This pilot is wearing some lined flying boots with the buckles on the outside, and some uniform flying trousers. As I said earlier he has his hands in his pockets of what looks like to me (and is) his captured American fur-lined flying jacket. This is a good addition of colour to the diorama. This figure looks very much like he has not much long been out of his cockpit. He is also wearing a scarf and a service Fliegermütze - or side cap...
Pic 6
He goes together easily. There are no locating pins with any of these figures but with a bit of superglue and some accelerator to speed things up, they all go together with a minimum of fuss and casting block removal which is nice.
Pic 7Pic 8Pic 9
A major advantage over styrene is the lack of any seam lines on the figures. Both are bubble free, and the resin is easy to cut, sand and shape. These figures could be used in a summer or winter setting as the clothing is a little mixed, but I would guess for a colder climate rather than summer. On to the second kit!
PIC 10
Jagdflieger 2651 “Aces – again contains two pilot figures, this time both in regular flying gear. They have however different gear on, which was normal. As I mentioned earlier, it’s good to have some alternate colour to provide some extra points of interest with figures from the same unit.
PIC 11
The first pilot is seen exiting his plane with his arm aloft in triumph while his comrade is on the runway waving a celebratory bottle of wine, clutches two others for the night’s consumption. Let’s first look at the pilot getting out of his cockpit.
PIC 12
This pilot is wearing a summer leather flying cap and a leather flying jacket his under his “Mae west” life jacket/preserver. His hand is pressed flat on the forward canopy of his plan while his left hand, still gloved is raised in salute to his comrade on the ground and is holding his other glove.
PIC 13
He is climbing from his cockpit, and you can see some nice deep creases in his flying breaches. He is, of course, wearing some side buckled flying boots, on which you can clearly see the buckles. Of note on this figure is his unusual pose and the excellent detail in his life vest – he looks very good! There is a little gap in the arms on this figure and the next, but that is more down to a quick build and impatience rather than a bad fit. Now on to the last figure…
PIC 14
The figure on the ground is raising a bottle in salute to the pilot as he gets from his cockpit. They could be celebrating the first pilot becoming an ace – all we need is the guy with the tally on the plaque!

This pilot is wearing a nicely sculpted officer’s “Schirmütze” cap which looks nice and floppy at the sides (pilots often took out the wire reinforcement to give them a “crushed” look), and you can see the eagle insignia well on the front. The jacket the pilot has on is a jerkin style jacket that looks to be a light-weight thing. He is wearing this over his shirt and tie.
The pilot’s pants are channel breaches with a square pocket on each knee. And to finish him off he is wearing flying boots again with the buckles on the outsides. One thing I will say about the boots, they are well sculpted and the pilot doesn't topple over after they are cut from the casting blocks.
PIC 16
To sum up these two kits, they are well sculpted and all each figure has different clothing options and look real enough. The casting blocks don’t offer much of a handicap to remove and the figures are in interesting poses. The sets are indeed animated like none that I have seen for subjects of this nature and this scale. It’s wonderful to finally get a few more sets coming our way for 32nd scale aficionados – especially with the new Cyber hobby & Eduard Bf 109 kits coming out, for which these would fit perfectly.
PIC 17
I would recommend them to anyone who wants non-seated figures for their Luftwaffe diorama.
Below are two pictures of the other two sets recently released which I will review in the future and compliment this set. Part three in this series No:2657 Jagdflieger 3 Coffee Time,  and  2639 1:32 Luftwaffe Service Cart

Adam Norenberg

A very many thanks to the people at Verlinden for the review sample used here.