Sunday, May 12

Review: 1/35th scale Panzerwerk - three tank crew repairmen from Evolution Miniatures

Evolution Miniatures have recently made three 1/35th scale panzer crewmen – they do complement each other so we thought we would build them and review them all together to show you what they are like…

Evolution Miniatures Panzer Crewmen WWII set
EM 35068 + EM 35071 + EM 35072
Grey resin (4 parts each)

Evolution Miniatures are well known for their nicely sculpted works but I have to confess I had never put them together before – I thought for this review I should not just take pictures of parts - and to know what I was talking about I should indeed really see how they are to model and what the finished product looked like as that is the review I would like to see.

It is good to see soldiers who are almost idle – not shooting pointing or running – so these caught my eye straight away. I needed some soldiers to fill in my diorama I am planning in a warehouse – would I like these enough to use??? Let’s look at the quality..

These figures come in an attractive little box with the painted figures on the front as boxart. The figure itself comes in a zip-loc bag to keep him all together. The resin inside is a medium grey colour and is easy to cut. The smell isn’t too bad and the joints to the casting blocks are all in sensible places and only finely connected. You will just need some snips and a knife and superglue to assemble these. The resin is also bubble free and the sculpting is very fine. With details like fingers and noses and eyes well done – let’s look at them all individually.

German Tank Crewman WWII - Set 1 EM 35068
This crewman is seen looking casual with his hands in his long trouser pockets. The figure is made up of four parts all attaché to casting blocks – I’ll go through each of them in order with some pictures to illustrate each one..
The head is wearing a forage cap on his head with a tilt to the right and his ears and hair finely detailed. His expression is almost thoughtful one as his mouth is closed. He had high cheekbones and a strong chin. One thing I have noticed which will come into play later is the joint on the neck which is not really even..

The torso of this Panzer crewman wears a baggy pair of trousers that are loose all the way down to a quite open leg. They top off his standard issue boots quite realistically. The high pants are detailed with many buttons for the braces these soldiers often wore but in this case aren’t there. The long sleeved shirt on this soldier is open at the neck. Especially from the back the wrinkles in these pants looks great.
The two arms of the figure come on the casting block and are easily removed which is nice. The sleeves of this long shirt are rolled up at the fore-arm. The joints at the shoulders and wrists are not as flat and so I was worried about the fit - let’s take a look.

The parts all separated from the casting block very easily – the joints were my main concern though. The two arms joined into the pockets well, no issue – and the shoulder joints went together ok as well – the head though was another thing.

The neck joint was unevenly joined to the casting block and where to remove it proved the only problem with this figure. I carved what I thought was the proper place to remove it and joined it with some superglue to the torso – it did leave a little slit on the throat which can be filled with superglue and then painted to get rid of it. I don't paint to show any possible gaps in my review so you can see the slit – it will however be invisible under paint.

German Tank Crewman WWII - Set 2 EM 35071
Looking very studious and very Germanic indeed is this tanker in uniform shirt and pants sucking on a long pipe as was the fashion of older troopers and servicemen alike. On his waist he carries a P08 pistol holster on his rear left hip on his enlisted servicemen’s belt.
This figure is made up of four parts again all attached to some casting blocks but only fairly thinly so there isn’t any major removal surgery to go on. The points are also in sensible places to be sanded as well. On to the individual parts then, starting with the head…

The head of this tank man is almost flat nosed and a lot more thickly cheeked (if there is such a disposition) and he looks a little bit of a surly character. The neck again has a sort of funny join that left me a little puzzled as to where to make the cut.
The torso shows the tank crewman on the same long pants with baggy legs and buttons around the waist, though this time there is a servicemen’s loose belt almost slung around the figure’s waist. The tanker again wears an open necked long sleeve shirt with rolled up sleeves. The left arm is holding his right waist in a resting position. The neck is almost hollow ready to accept the head joint.
The right arm is bent at the elbow and holding a pipe in his hands. His P08 pistol holster which looks pretty big but it does in real life as well. There is a little hole on the inside of the arm for the tank man’s hand to slip under which is smart engineering. The joint on the arm is flat with no locating pin but it looks easy enough to join. Let’s build him and see.
Well he didn’t go together too badly. I didn’t have a lot of time to join these three up but he was an easy cut – sand and fit.  Again there is a slight gap in the neck you need to fill in with superglue, and the arm that holds the pipe can wander a little high above the mouth, this was because the small recess to fit the hand underneath his arm needs a little more work hollowing out – once this is done there won’t be a little gap when looking from the back under his right arm either.

German Tank Crewman WWII - Set 3 EM 35072
Looking like he is in a very complimentary mood whilst sitting and holding onto his forage cap in his hands whilst he scans on to something down the road. This soldier has a very flat bottom – it looks like he is meant to be sitting on something flat like the tank turret he is pictured on.
When looking at his head he is a very strong cheek boned – lick back haired Aryan looking posterboy! He has the short back and sides with longish hair that was the style in Europe back then. His hair and facial features will paint up very well as the sculpting subtly picks up the detail. He looks slightly brooding in his demeanour doesn’t he?

The torso is bent at the waist over forward, and again wears the standard long baggy pants and long sleeve shirt rolled up at the fore-arms. The pant legs sit up nicely showing off his boots (you can even see the laces) and are pants are baggy at the rear end – as they would be in real life –  as well as this I noted there are joints for the arms neat on each side of the torso that need a slight trim to make flat.

The two arms come on a casting block of their own which again is only finely joined and easy to clean up - the shirt sleeves look very good rolled up and wrinkled down this soldier’s arms. Of which the bottoms of the arms and hands look realistic and detailed – a wristwatch on the left and the soldier’s fold up forage cap in his other hand. The joints to the torso are flat. – How does he go together?

Well easily is the answer – again there is a slight slit in the neck where he is joined but he sits down very well (no body roll he he) and he looks like his legs are suspended and the body language is just right – casual and watchful. The joints in the arms fit well here. I like him the most of the three I looked at here.

The sculpting on these three tank men is first class – though the neck joins on all three really need to be carefully managed to get the best out of them, and maybe Evolution could do with making the joints into a “V” shaped joint which slips straight into the shirt neck. This is the one thing I would change with these figures.
 I think that once the one gap in the neck is filled that they are all understated but well sculpted additions to your workshop scene, their natural poses and wrinkled work wear look the part. These are not “in action” poses and sometimes you really need these – not every diorama shows soldiers fighting and the rare ones that do like this are great to have in your stash. I like these figures very much Ill be using them in my panzer workshop scene. Well done!

Many thanks to Evolution Miniatures  for letting us review their figures