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  1. Kursk Bailout from the Pocket (84417) 1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models Ltd The Battle of Kursk was the turning point of WWII for Nazi Germany where they were definitively beaten by the Soviets, who had finally awoken and revealed their military might that became the steam-roller to push the invaders back to their own borders and beyond. It began with an attempt by the Germans to cut off a salient or bulge that had developed along the front line at the insistence of Adolf Hitler himself, and against the wishes of some of his generals. It began in the summer of 1943 and carried on into August, with the reversal of role of the Germans from attackers to defenders – a role that they were trapped in until the end of the war. Figures of losses on both sides are difficult to be firm about due to the nature and scale of the conflict, but the German generals never recovered from the devastation of their forces, especially in terms of manpower, which could not be replaced quickly or easily by that stage of the war. It meant that more previously protected occupations were drawn into the military, which had a knock-on effect on the production of desperately-needed armaments. This figure set depicts a small group of four soldiers who are withdrawing from combat after one of their number has been injured, necessitating his being supported by two of his comrades, one on each side. The set arrives in an end-opening figure box with a single sprue in sand-coloured styrene filling the available space. There are four figures on the sprue, and their instructions and painting guide can be found on the rear of the box along with a colour chart giving codes in Mr Hobby (acrylic & lacquer), Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol brands. Three of the figures are wearing later war smocks with pea-camouflage patterning, while the directing officer is wearing a Feldgrau uniform with jodhpur-style pants and calf-length boots. The two supporting soldiers are carrying their comrade between them as he is unable to walk, his feet dragging limp behind him, exposing the hobnails on his boot. They have their Kar98 rifles slung over their shoulders, so you will need to make some thin strips of tape or foil to create the slings, to add a little realism to the scene. They also still wear their stahlhelms, as does the officer, but only one supplied helmet is fitted with the later war cover that is also likely made of the same or similar pea-camo material. The injured man has lost his helmet somewhere near to the front, and his head has hair moulded into it. Breakdown of the figure parts are pretty standard, comprising separate torso, arms, legs, heads with flat-tops and helmets. The soldiers’ pea-camo smocks with elasticated cuffs and cinched waists are well-depicted with realistic drape and form. They all have accessories such as mag-pouches, bedrolls, gasmask canisters and entrenching tools, plus water bottles and mess-kit canisters. The officer has an MP40 clutched in one hand, and on my example there is a little flash evident, possibly due to its proximity to the centre of the sprue where the injection point is. The officer is also pointing anxiously away from the nasty Russians, with a map case hanging from his belt and the top end of a potato-masher grenade sticking from his belt. Conclusion These figures are well-sculpted, and would look good in a diorama of troops on the road back to Germany. As mentioned earlier, there’s a tiny amount of flash creeping in around the edges of a few parts, but it’s mostly confined to the centre and on the sprue itself, and flash is only the work of moments to remove. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hi Guys Having spent some time admiring many of the dioramas depicted here, I've finally decided to try and tackle something with a bit of complexity (and, coincidentally, something that covers most of the subject matters on this site). I picked up the final part of the puzzle this morning: And the above will be added to the following that I've already 'collected': The plan is to do a layout as follows: From L to R (top) - Railcar with Panzer; Pilot Car with 'dismantled' 109; Br.52 Tender with Jaboschrek mounted at rear; Br.52 Locomotive From L to R (bottom) - SdKfz.7 with 88mm; Kubelwagen; BMW R-12 Also 19 figures (from various sets) labelled Tx for Troopers, Ox for Officers - plus a train driver (modified from an infantry figure) Total size is anticipated to be 640mm by 180mm. Using 'artistic license' this scene plans to represent a railyard somewhere between Germany and Russia circa late Summer/Autumn 1941. Pics to follow over the weekend. Kev
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