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Set 72516

German Paratroopers, Pilots and Ground Crew

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released Unknown
Contents 40 figures
Poses 40 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Green
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)


Preiser have made a fair number of 1/72 scale figure sets, but many have a fairly small number of figures in the box. This however is one of the largest, with 40 figures, all of which are unique poses. Several companies have made German paratroopers in soft plastic, and none have been outstanding, but with so many poses you might imagine this set would provide more of interest.

30 of the 40 poses are devoted to paratroopers, yet it has to be said that this is a wide selection of mostly dull figures. Most are just walking or running about, which is fine, but apart from the machine gun crew no one seems to be firing their weapons, so it is hard to picture these in contact with an enemy. Indeed the beautifully produced dioramas that Preiser use to decorate their box all show non combat situations, for which these figures are well suited. Most of the figures come complete and need no assembly apart from the addition of the separate weapons, so there is very little scope to vary the poses.

A close examination of the figures results in further disappointment, with detail being very vague and shallow. Detail on items such as weapons is all but missing, and what there is is anything but sharp. However, some of the figures come with empty hands, and several small sprues of separate weapons are provided. These weapons are superbly detailed, and are little masterpieces in themselves (and there is plenty of them too). It is easy to see these weapons on our scans as they are black rather than the green of the figures. Other separate items include various items of kit, and these too are great, but the figures simply don't deserve them.

In terms of accuracy we don't have any complaints. The paratroops all wear jump smocks and a few are geared up for the jump, including two that wear the external knee pads that protected them when they landed. The packed parachutes are all separate, but they are on the same sprue as the men so they are not well detailed. While it is hard to see, they appear to wear the neckerchief or scarf that was so common, and all wear the usual paratroop helmet apart from a couple that are bareheaded.

The few pilots and ground crew seem out of place and something of an afterthought. The same comments about the detail apply to these also, but at least the poses are reasonable and useful. The crew wear overalls, but the poor detail makes it difficult to identify too much on either them or the pilots.

The figures come with no bases, although a sheet of clear plastic is provided which is supposed to be cut up into squares and used to base them. At least being hard plastic they should successfully glue to such a base. The figures are mostly free of flash, but many have (admittedly faint) circular mould marks on their backs. This is a particularly under whelming set for these elite troops which will leave most World War II fans unimpressed.


Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 5
Pose Number 10
Sculpting 6
Mould 8

Further Reading
"Fallschirmjäger: German Paratrooper 1935-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.38) - Bruce Quarrie - 9781841763262
"German Airborne Troops 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.139) - Bruce Quarrie - 9780850454802
"Jagdflieger: Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot 1939-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.122) - Robert Stedman - 9781846031670
"Kampfflieger: Bomber Crewman of the Luftwaffe 1939-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.99) - Robert F Stedman - 9781841769073
"Luftwaffe Air & Ground Crew 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.377) - Robert Stedman - 9781841764047
"Uniforms of the Luftwaffe 1939-45" - Almark - Matthew Cooper - 9780855241759
"Weapons and Equipment of the German Fallschirmtruppe" - Schiffer - Alex Buchner - 9780887409646

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