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Mike

German Panzer Tank Crew - Normandy 1944 (84401) 1:35

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German Panzer Tank crew - Normandy 1944 (84401)

1:35 Hobby Boss via Creative Models

 

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Panzers need crews, and most kits don't include them so if you want to add some human scale to your model you'll need some figures.  That's where figure sets come in, and styrene injection moulded figures are the most cost-effective way to get hold of a themed set, which is why there are so many out there.

 

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This set depicts a German panzer crew during the late war, specifically Normandy 1944 around the time of D-Day.  The set arrives in a standard figure-sized box and inside is a single sprue in sand-coloured styrene containing parts for five figures, only one of which is cut at the waist to fit in confined hatches.  They're a re-release of the Tristar set that originates in the early noughties, and like their other boxes we've reviewed they're pretty well done and pocket friendly.  The half figure gives the impression of being stood with one elbow resting on the hatch edge, as does the seated driver type figure who does have legs.  Two more figures are stood in a feet-together pose with their hand(s) on the edge of a hatch with one wearing a commander's cap and black uniform while the other is in camouflaged overalls.  The final figure in the set is an officer with riding jodhpurs, peaked cap and ironwork on his chest, with a standing pose indicating he's on the tank deck or standing on the ground.  In addition to the pistol holsters a set of maps are included as decoration, and these cap be found printed on the side flaps of the box.  The instructions printed on the back of the box tell you to soak them in water and peel the printed surface from the card backing, then trim and fold them to your satisfaction, which is a nice touch and cleverly executed.

 

Sculpting of the figures is good, with parts breakdown assisting with the hiding of seams and separate heads giving a little flexibility in pose along with the arm parts.  Oddly, the best detail appears on the "rear" of the sprues which is why there are two photos of the one sprue.  It's an odd way of doing things, but a non-issue in practice.

 

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The instructions are printed on the back of the box as already mentioned, and the parts and colours are both pointed out on each figure in relation to a table of codes for Mr Hobby, Acrysion, Vallejo, Model Master, Tamiya and Humbrol shades, which should cover most of us.  In addition there are small samples of the camouflage patterns that were used by this stage of the war, which will be fun to paint unless you pick up some camo decals that are becoming popular for achieving complex camouflage patterns these days.  Check out eBay if you're interested.

 

Conclusion

A welcome re-boxing of a good set.  Five (4.5) figures for a good price with good detail.  If you have a Panzer you'd like to fit out with a crew for whatever reason (do you even need one?), these a great, cost-effective way of doing just that.

 

Highly recommended.

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Review sample courtesy of

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