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Set 81

German Infantry

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All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Date Released 1975
Contents Varying number of pieces
Poses 8 poses
Material Plastic (Medium Consistency)
Colours Grey, Green, Blue
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)


The Atlantic World War II range was generally poorly sculpted, and this set of Germans, which also went by other names such as Panzer Grenadiers, is as bad as any.

The eight poses are mostly very similar to the Airfix set, from which they are reputed to have been copied. However the figure running and the prone man throwing a grenade are original. The chosen poses are OK as concepts apart from the running man in the second row, who holds his weapon in an unusual way - by the trigger handle only. Only having eight poses does not offer the same possibilities as other sets with many more, especially when one is of a capped officer with his puny pistol.

As with the Airfix set, the uniform is from the early war period, with well tailored tunics and marching boots. In general it is correctly modelled, although the individual items of equipment - particularly the pouches - leave a lot to be desired. However it is the sculpting in general that dramatically lets these figures down. First of all, they look very awkward in their stance, and this set has the honour of including the worst sculpted figure ever produced on the face of the planet. The figure advancing with rifle (second in the top row) is looking to his left instead of where he is going - or more correctly he is looking behind him. His head is in fact turned well past his shoulder, which is a useful thing to do and of course completely impossible for any human.

As this set is examined more closely, more and more ridiculous features are apparent. All the men wear the two belts that meet at the back to form the Y shaped harness. However these straps pass under the pockets on the tunic! Also, while each man has more or less suitable ammunition pouches for the weapon he carries, those with the MP38 or MP40 sub-machine gun have a single set of pouches worn at the rear of the belt, which never actually occurred, not least because there are plenty of other things that should have been worn there, but are missing here. In any case in that position the clip would have been almost totally inaccessible when it was required. Each man carries his fluted gas-mask canister, but on some this defies gravity and is upright, and seems to have been largely randomly placed with no regard for how the real thing was actually designed. Many carry a bayonet, but none have the entrenching tool that was normally part of the same harness. In a particularly bizarre decision, every man carries a pistol holster, a weapon only ever carried by officers and a few heavy weapons crew.

Flash is not too bad on these figures, but several carry the usual mould marks where the plastic entered the mould, which disfigures the piece. The detail is not particularly clear or sharp either, even when it is reasonably accurate. We found plenty of reasons to dislike these figures, and no endearing qualities at all. Any other set would be better than this (of which there are very many to choose from), so this is one for the collector only.


Historical Accuracy 6
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 5
Sculpting 3
Mould 6

Further Reading
"Blitzkrieg" - Concord (Fighting Men series No.6001) - Gordon Rottman - 9789623616010
"German Combat Equipments 1939-45" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.234) - Gordon Rottman - 9780850459524
"German Infantryman (1) 1933-40" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.59) - David Westwood - 9781841764627
"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 (1) Blitzkrieg" - Osprey (Men-at-Arms Series No.311) - Nigel Thomas - 9781855326392
"World War II Infantry" - Windrow & Greene (Europa Militaria Series No.2) - Laurent Mirouze - 9781872004150
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