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Caesar

Set H074

WWII Late War German Army

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2011
Contents 34 figures
Poses 11 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey
Average Height 23.5 mm (= 1.7 m)

Review

We have to acknowledge that the world is not critically short of sets of plastic World War II German infantry in 1/72 scale. In fact, Caesar themselves have been prominent in this by producing several such sets, and we can at least say that this is one more. This time (though not for the first time) the emphasis is on the late war years, when uniforms were changing subtly and weapons were changing considerably.

Uniforms for late-war Germans varied only in small details until the introduction of the M1944 blouse, and these figures are not that late as they retain their earlier tunics. A major difference was the increasing use of camouflage clothing, but again none of that seems to be here. So there is really only one significant feature of these men, and that is the short boots and gaiters that they wore in preference to the tall boots of earlier years. Other than that all have the usual tunic and helmet (which is uncovered), and all carry a fairly standard set of kit items and belts which are fine for the period.

Things get a bit more interesting when it comes to weapons. True several carry the standard rifle or carbine widely used throughout the war, while others carry the almost as familiar MP38 or MP40 submachine gun. However two have the StG44 assault rifle that first appeared in numbers in 1944, and the first standing firing pose in the top row looks to have the Gewehr 43 rifle, which naturally first saw daylight in 1943 (although both weapons had earlier, relatively uncommon versions). Finally the first figure in the last row is using the highly effective Panzerfaust anti-tank weapon, which despite the sight being a bit too far forward is still a decent model.

Caesar have so often proved themselves masters of the realistic pose that it comes as no surprise that this particular selection is as good as any to be found anywhere. Weapons are at various natural angles rather than the oft-seen perfectly horizontal of some sets, and there are a good number of crouching figures, while the man running forward really makes you believe he is moving while in sight of the enemy. There are no apparent officers or specialists here, just a bunch of ordinary soldiers going about their business as best they can.

The usual multi-part Caesar mould makes for some great poses with plenty of depth, although unusually there are a few figures with areas of unwanted plastic where the mould has not reached. However this is no more than many sets, and the detail is very good, making identification of weapons and kit very easy. All the clothing seems to hang and crease in a lifelike way, and the proportions are perfect. There is no flash, and even what extra plastic there is does not really mar these figures.

Those looking for late war German troops are spoilt for choice, particularly compared with most other eras. Several of these sets are very fine themselves, so there was hardly a gap in the market for this to fill. Be that as it may, this is still a very well-produced and entirely accurate set which gets on with the job asked of it with quiet efficiency.



Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 10
Pose Number 7
Sculpting 10
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Infantryman (3) Eastern Front 1943–45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.93) - David Westwood - 9781841767802
"German Soldiers of World War II" - Histoire & Collections - Jean de Lagarde - 9782915239355
"Infantry Weapons of World War II" - David & Charles - Jan Suermont - 9780715319253
"The German Army 1939-45 (4)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.330) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855327962
"The German Army 1939-45 (5)" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.336) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855327979

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