Friday, August 16

"Uh-huh jump in my car" - Review & construction: Masterbox 35137 “German Infantry "Off to the front" Vehicle riders, WW II Era”

Masterbox have sent us their latest tricky little kit to make up for you this month – It features Germans – and lots of them – riding a vehicle in a variety of many different poses – we thought you would like to see them made up

Kit No: 35137
1/35th scale
Two sheets of grey injection moulded plastic

When you see pictures of the German army on the march it is often with a bunch of soldiers packed into a halftrack or truck heading into the battle – Indeed the German army still used horse drawn power but made more use out of vehicle travel than anyone in the opening stages of the war. Well we have a kit today featuring six German vehicle riders and their equipment – we thought a review and maybe a build was in order to see what they were like.
The kit includes 6 figures of Wehrmacht early/mid war /summer spring time soldiers that suit well for being set into the body and into the cab of any truck of any manufacturer in 35th scale. The kit includes a driver and 5 infantrymen that could be set into the body of a car/truck/horse’s wagon even – anywhere with a flat surface. Because the soldiers all share pretty much the same characteristics I’ll mention their similarities before we look at each one in more detail.
The rear of the box shows you how to put these troops together, as well as the variations on the “multipose” troops (more on that later) it also includes numbers that relate to the sprue map on the back s there are not any numbers on the sprue. These is also a painting key for use with the popular Vallejo and Lifecolor paints.

The Riders sprue

The fit is of these soldiers is as good as ay I have seen in injection moulded plastic – there were no seams to fill, the arms/legs/heads all fit as they were meant to and there were precious little seams to get rid of on these figures as well – I didn’t have to sit there for 5 minutes on each one removing seams along with the detail.

Each of these figures is pretty much identically attired - tunic and trousers, webbing, jack boots and steel M39 helmet. My guess is these troops are good for an early war/Barbarossa dio. As later in the war troops varied in appearance from each other as the German’s ran short of resources to equip everyone identically. There are arguments to the contrary – that the Germans had great equipment, but these were crack units, most infantry soldier’s code of dress relaxed during the war as well.

This is a special kit from the point of view of opportunities that open for the modeller. This “Multipose” assembly on three of these six soldiers enables you to change arms and poses a little on each – so if you wanted to you could combine two of these kits in the one vehicle without everyone looking like twins.

The Weapons sprue

This sprue however adds some spice to claim Masterbox are getting “samey” – I wish all kits included this – a pretty comprehensive break down of light infantry weapons for the German soldier. No less than ELEVEN choices of weapons (23 firearms in total) are on this sheet, MP40’s, KAR 98’s, MP44’s, a captured PPSH’s, Lugers, Walther P-38’s, an MG 34 and MG 42 machine guns. All of the clips and ammo holders for these guns are included – but not only this stick and egg grenades and belted ammo…
…Not only their equipment – which can be used or not to try to variate the appearance of the troops – including gas masks, entrenching tools,  mess canteens, water bottles and  steel helmets. This sheet can actually be bought separately and is top quality in the rendering of these weapons and equipment.  This is no “Gen 2” technically complex sheet of weapons and equipment – and I for one are pretty happy about that (have you ever tried to put one of them together – too much) – simple but great looking this is a perfect addition to this kit.

On to the six soldiers...

The driver: 

This soldier is seen with his arms up as if operating a steering wheel. He is different to the other soldiers here as he wears a forge cap instead of a steel helmet. This lets you see more of his facial features.

The soldier with an MP40: 

this soldier looks like he could be the unterozier or officer of the group. He sits with his hands in his lap so he could well be holding a smaller weapon – your choice.

The soldier leaning to the right with a rifle:

this soldier has the choice of either holding his rifle between his legs or having his arms up on the side of the truck

The soldier leaning to the right: 

This trooper is very much like his comrade – he has the option of using two different arms to either lean or hold his rifle with both hands. His head is turned to the right more than his comrade.

The soldier leaning to the right with a flat palm down: 
 has another slight variation, looking to the left, his left hand is open to hold his rifle.

The soldier looking to the left with his elbow up: 

is seen looking out to the left holding his rifle in his right hand – palm open
As I said they are all dressed exactly the same so I don’t have that much more to say than what I have already about their clothing - and I think a little variation in the clothing could make this even more attractive. even the choice of some different headgear would have helped as they have no hair so that would have been an option if they did.
Here they are all together -  with a bit more time you could sort out the helmets so they sit more naturally no problem - i was in a hurry!

The special appeal of the kit is, firstly, the presence of additional hands and position choices for them that allows creation of the figures in different poses (multipose assembly), and is, secondly, a separate sprue with weapons which is always handy to fit in with the several positions of the arms.

I think most people need extra troops just being normal and doing stuff rather than dramatic poses – and this kit brings you this six times over.

A great kit to have in your arsenal – and one you will probably use at some time -  and that's more than you can say about 3/4 of your stash!

Adam Norenberg
Here are the figures made up in several different poses in vehicles 

With all the poses available you could buy a few kits and use them without necessarily repeating your figures – a great little feature we thought.

Thanks to Masterbox for sending us this kit to build -  Three new kits for this month are available already from the MasterBox’ distributors worldwide