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  1. German Soldiers at Work RAD (35408) 1:35 MiniArt viua Creative Models Ltd The Third Reich and their glorious leader had a huge programme of civic and engineering works that were used to bring the German nation to full employment, but also to prepare the nation for war. Especially important were the autobahns and railway systems that would permit rapid transport of troops and matériel, which were crucial for their expansionism and essential to feed the needs of the blitzkrieg tactics they were to employ. The Reich Labour Service (German: Reichsarbeitsdienst or RAD) was established to accomplish this, and furthermore to indoctrinate the workforce while they toiled on behalf of their Führer. They wore militaristic uniforms and rank insignia, with a flag based upon the red background of the Nazi swastika flag, but with a stylised shovel bracketed by diagonal ears of barley, representing both the engineering and agricultural intent of their organisation. The set arrives in an end-opening figure box, and inside are six sprues in grey styrene, and a small sprue diagram with instructions beneath for some of the accessories. Two sprues carry the parts for the five figures that are working hard at some task. Two men are using shovels, one is swinging a large pick axe, while the remaining two are carrying a log and pushing a wheelbarrow that can be filled with bricks from the accessory sprues. The figures are broken down sensibly into torso, separate arms, legs and heads, with additional breaks where detail and moulding requirements dictate. Two of the workers have caps, so their heads are flat-topped, but because they aren’t true military, their hair is perhaps longer than the usual buzz-cut that was usually foisted upon the enlisted man. The larger accessories such as a wooden wheelbarrow, shovels and log are included on the figure sprues, but there is an additional metal wheelbarrow on one of the accessory sprues, which is the one shown on the instructions. The other accessories include more shovels, a pick axe, sledge hammer, hammer, pry bar, and a stack of bricks, the latter having been cleverly engineered to give the impression of a palette full of bricks by moulding each side and the top in such a manner that it looks like the bricks have been individually and inexpertly placed in the stack, complete with the raised wooden palette at the bottom. One sprue is full of individual bricks, most of which are complete, but a few have been moulded as broken, with some moulded with a shallow “frog” on each side, some with a three-hole pattern, and some simple flat-sided bricks. As always with MiniArt figure sets, the sculpting, poses and fabric drape of the individuals is first-rate, with construction eased by the break lines of the parts being along the natural seams or bends of the various limbs, which extends to the accessories in equal measure. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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