Thursday, June 4

Build review: 1/35th "Volkssturm. Ammunition to the Frontline" from Masterbox

We have the new Masterbox kit that features the two children of the last days of the war doing the work of the adults who were no longer around. Called "Volkssturm. Ammunition to the Frontline", this 1/35th scale kit features two kinder and a cart they are pulling through war-torn streets on the box art. Let’s see if the kit is as evocative in our build review…
Build review:
"Volkssturm. Ammunition to the Frontline"
Masterbox Models
1/35th scale

Kit no# 35167
3 grey sprues
1 Photo Etch Sheet

Available from Masterbox's  Distributors Worldwide.

Children were never Volkssturm – that is one of the comments about this kit I noticed when we previewed it recently. Now I kind of agree – more like they are Hitler Youth members, but at the time of the war these kids are portrayed at, anyone helping the germane cause not in uniform would be considered Volkssturm.

The children of the war often paid quite a price and they were also often innocent victims.
OK back to the kit - there is some lovely box art on this kit - Set in a similar vein to the pictures above..
Lovely box art and the depiction of children in a wartime setting has made this kit quite a point of interest. Masterbox always seem to capture an emotion or a scene of interest and modellers have responded. You often see at least one of their figures in a diorama. I have to say that the faces of their figures has improved as well which helps the modeller to choose to use their figures. Masterbox have not been afraid to make smaller vehicles as well, and we see the use of a small bicycle tired cart in this boxing. Let’s see what this release is made up of.
The rear of the box has a dual purpose. Serving as a painting and construction guide. The sprue runner map is on the right hand side and it portrays the numbers and position of the sprues.
The other side is a construction and painting guide for both of the figures. Although we do not see what colours to use for the cart I think most modellers will work something out! These numbers correspond to the sprue map on the other side of the box rear. Colour call outs are given in both Vallejo and Lifecolor paints which are modeller’s favourites due to their ability to brush on without streaking. 
The kit consists of three plastic sprues and one photo-etched parts sprue. The plastic inside is moulded in medium grey and there is not so much of a seam on these as there was on the very earliest of Masterbox’s kits. In fact as we will see the detail of the sculpts is quite good – hat’s off to the sculptor. Not much flash on these parts make them easy to get ready to construct and paint. The parts fit together relatively easy as well.
The first sprue we will look at features a young man probably just or maybe not yet a teenager. With longer hair than most soldiers at the time and clothes that resemble a German uniform with lapel patches clearly showing. Cuffs on the arms come down to almost cover the exposed hand. There is also two steel German helmets, three Panzerfausts an automatic rifle and funny enough a STEN gun as well on the sprue. These weapons go into the trailer. 
Here he is together. You can see the uniform a little too big on him – the wrinkling of his pants at the knees and his little boots.
The other sprue features a young lady. The sprue also features some weaponry – two KAR.98 rifles, three gas mask cylinders, a German steel helmet and two stick grenades. These are detailed quite well also and they and they go into the trailer as well. 
Maybe a friend or maybe related to the young child soldier. She looks very chic for a girl and her large jacket is tapered at her waist and her beret sits atop her head. Her platted long hair comes out of the sides of her hat. She looks very much like a girl acting older than her size and age. Maybe that is the way it was in the war.
The skits has a little gap in it that can be fixed with some superglue like I did. Maybe I should be a better modeller next time? 

The model of the bicycle cart  is the thing that combines these two. The inclusion of the photo etched parts allows the modeller to make this car to a high standard of reality. 
The cart goes together relatively easily and the two things that need help are the wheels that the frames they are encased in do not join up without a bit of “persuasion” and the photo etch wheels which need some care and thin superglue to clamshell into the plastic.

The Photo Etch provided is made again by North Star Models and features the spokes of the cart wheels and the straps which hold it together.
When putting the cart together I found the spokes needed maybe a cone shaped plastic part to shape them. Vulcan model did this recently with their motorcycles as did Miniart.  This helped a lot in shaping them. I left mine straight as they are very delicate.

Instructions are of course given for the cart build. For my build I only included the external straps of photo etch as it’s full of weapons so you wouldn’t see anything inside. Though it is there if you want extra detail.
I drilled a hole in both the “soldier’s” hands. This enabled them to be free standing without support and to hold onto the trolley without glue and potentially breaking them. It worked OK the first time!
These two young “warriors” pull a bicycle trailer loaded with military ammunition, the two figures in question are a teenage boy and girl who are pulling the bicycle trailer. The story of the kit is simple but tragic and is emotionally filled in its own way. The events of the last days of the Third Reich are shown. Military operations were being conducted in German territory and the units of Volkssturm took an active part in the protection of the country. Two such young Volkssturm members are pulling weapons and ammunition to an advanced position, so that their unit can protect the hopeless position. Despite the restrained poses, the kit shows quite a bit of emotion.

The cart and pullers ready for loading up with an empty tray
The figures interact well with each other and can be used either for creating a mini-diorama with the parts offered, or creating a larger story with the use of models, equipment and accessories of other manufacturers.

Here they are all together. They look great don’t they? 

This is an evocative pair of figures which only benefit from the cart and weapons offered. I think they could be carrying anything that could fit inside the cart. So belongings, water or whatever you want. They would be great for a post war dio as well.
This is a great little figure kit that I think a lot of modellers will buy. The sculpture is very good and the cart’s foibles of construction do not affect the enjoyment I had when I saw these two kids holding a full cart of weapons for the front line.

Masterbox – well done on this one.

Adam Norenberg.

This new kit and all of their other great stuff can be seen on the Masterbox Website