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Built Review
135
German Elite Infantry
German Elite Infantry, Eastern Front, World War II era
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by: Randy Harvey [ HARV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

HISTORY

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of World War II between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union, Poland, and some other Allies which encompassed Northern, Southern and Eastern Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It was known by many different names depending on the nation, notably the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union, while known in Germany as the Eastern Front, the Eastern Campaign or the Russian Campaign

THE KIT

Master Box LTD has released German Elite Infantry, Eastern Front, World War II era, kit number MB3583, a set of five figures in 1/35 scale which represent five WWII German soldiers in different uniforms representing German Elite Infantry (the SS) on the Eastern Front during the WWII time frame. The figures were sculpted by sculptor A. Gagarin.

THE BOX AND PACKAGING

The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box with artwork of the figures on the top of the box by the artist Andrey Karaschuk and a photograph of a German Oak Leaves to the Knight’s Cross with Swords badge. The bottom of the box has a very basic assembly guide in the form of photographs of the completed figures, photographs of the 2 sprues and images of 2 variants of German camouflage colors. The photographs of the figures have numbers that correspond with numbers on the photographs of the sprues for proper part identification and placement. The sprues are sealed within a re-sealable clear plastic bag.

THE SPRUE

The kit comes with two grey styrene sprues which contain 175 total pieces. The sprues come sealed in a clear re-sealable plastic bag. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. When I examined the sprues I didn't find any bent, broken (other than one of the belts of machinegun ammunition) or missing pieces nor did I find any poorly placed knock out points.

THE PARTS

As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash however there are seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. The detailing on the individual pieces is nice.

THE FIGURES

The kit comes with five WWII German soldiers with varying uniforms and weapons. I assembled all of the figures straight out of the box without doing any work on them (other than removing the small bit of styrene where I removed the piece from the sprue) to show all of the seam lines, flash, gaps and how the equipment fits on the figures. I feel this is a good way to show the work required on all of them. This has become my standard for figure reviews and it has met with praise and appreciation from my fellow modelers.

Figure 1. Figure with Mauser Kar98 rifle over right shoulder
The figure is made up of 9 pieces for the main body; with the gear and weapon the figure contains a total of 18 pieces. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The modeler is given the choice of two heads for this figure. One without the helmet showing the helmet hanging on the ammunition magazine on the figures right side and the other head is designed to be wearing the helmet. The figure is wearing the appropriate uniform for the time frame with the M35 helmet with cloth cover, and a camouflage pullover smock. The smock comes with two separate pieces at the bottom which help create a realistic 3-D look. The figure is carrying the metal canister for the M1938 gasmask. He carries the M1931 canteen, a M1931 bread bag, two Kar98 Mauser triple ammunition pouches, and an entrenching tool. There are two indentations on the figures torso for correct placement of the two Kar98 Mauser triple ammunition pouches.

The figure is armed with a German Mauser Kar98 rifle which he is carrying over his right shoulder. The rifle fits into the figures left hand fairly well with some gap. The right hand is made into a fist and the rifle does not fit into it. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the Kar98. The Mauser Kar98 rifle is a nice representation of the actual item. An ammunition can for the MG34 is to be attached to the butt of the rifle and so the modeler will need to scratch build a handle for the ammunition can to go over the rifle butt if so desired. The figures neck fits into the collar nicely. The helmet fits well on the head and the detailing on the figures face is decent. There is a molded chin strap on the head designed to be wearing the helmet. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good and there are very few gaps that will need to be filled which is nice. The detailing on the clothing and other molded items is nicely done. The attachment straps for the bread bag and the entrenching tool will need to be slightly bent so that they make contact with the belt.

** Note** When I was taking the pictures of the figures I dropped Figure #1 and as a result the rifle broke free. When I was getting ready to re-glue the rifle to the figure's shoulder I bent the right arm up so that I could replace the rifle. When I was finished I forgot to bend the right arm back down and so that is why it looks like it does in the photographs. The arm actually rests on the rifle correctly, not like I have it.

Figure 2. Figure with Mauser Kar98 rifle and carrying a cabbage
The figure is made up of 9 pieces for the main body; with the gear and weapon the figure contains a total of 19 pieces. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing the appropriate uniform for the time frame with the M35 helmet and a camouflage pullover smock. The smock comes with two separate pieces at the bottom which help create a realistic 3-D look. The figure is carrying the metal canister for the M1938 gasmask which attaches to the molded strap. He carries the M1931 canteen, a M1931 bread bag, two Kar98 Mauser triple ammunition pouches, and an entrenching tool.

There are two indentations on the figures torso for correct placement of the two Kar98 Mauser triple ammunition pouches. The figure is carrying a German Mauser Kar98 rifle with attached bayonet (there is no scabbard for the bayonet provided with the set). If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the rifle. The Mauser Kar98 rifle is a nice representation of the actual item. The Kar98 rifle fits under the figures right arm well and is posed so that the figure is holding onto the rifle sling.

An ammunition can for the MG34 is to be attached to the butt of the rifle and so the modeler will need to scratchbuild a handle for the ammunition can to go over the rifle butt if so desired. The figures left hand is holding a cabbage (in the box art the figure is carrying a melon). The left hand is a separate piece that when attached can be placed against the cabbage to help create a more realistic look. The figures neck fits into the collar nicely and the helmet fits on the head well. The detailing on the figures face is nice and there is a molded helmet chin strap on the head. The attachment straps for the bread bag and the entrenching tool will need to be slightly bent so that they make contact with the belt. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with a few gaps that will need to be filled.

Figure 3. Figure representing an officer with a German MP-40 submachine gun
The figure is made up of 7 pieces for the main body; with the gear and weapon the figure contains a total of 12 pieces. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing the appropriate uniform for the time frame with the M35 helmet with cloth cover, cavalry trousers and a camouflage pullover smock. The smock comes with one separate piece at the bottom front which helps create a realistic 3-D look. I couldn’t get the piece to line up correctly on the figure. The figure is armed with a German MP-40 submachine gun which fits into the figures right hand fairly well. The left hand is in a closed fist with the thumb in the “thumbs up” position. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the MP-40. The MP-40 is a nice representation of the actual item.

The figure is carrying a map case attached to his belt over his right hip and a pistol holster attached to his belt over his left hip. One addition item that he is carrying a pair of binoculars hanging around his neck for which there is no molded strap on the torso. The figures neck fits into the collar well and the helmet fits on the head well however there is no molded chin strap on the figures head. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed and the overall fit of the pieces is good with minimal gaps to be filled.

Figure 4. Figure with MG34 Machine Gun carrying helmet full of eggs
The figure is made up of 8 pieces for the main body; with the gear and weapon the figure contains a total of 16 pieces. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing the appropriate uniform for the time frame with the camouflage pullover smock and the M35 helmet filled with chicken eggs. The helmet fits into the crook of the right arm nicely for a realistic look. The camouflage smock comes with two separate pieces at the bottom which help create a realistic 3-D look. The figure is carrying the metal canister for the M1938 gasmask which attaches to the molded strap.

He carries the M1931 canteen, a M1931 bread bag, an entrenching tool and a machinegun tool pouch. There is an indentation on the figures torso for correct placement of the machinegun tool pouch. He is armed with a MG34 Machine Gun. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the MG34. The MG34 Machine Gun is a nice representation of the actual item and comes with separate bipod and breech cover pieces. The attachment straps for the bread bag and the entrenching tool will need to be slightly bent so that they make contact with the belt. The detailing on the figures face is nice and the neck fits into the collar well. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to fill.

Figure 5. Figure with MP40 carrying chickens
The figure is made up of 8 pieces for the main body; with the gear, weapons and chickens the figure contains a total of 11 pieces. The detailing on the clothing is nice. The figure is wearing the appropriate uniform for the time frame with the M35 helmet with cloth cover, and a camouflage pullover smock. He carries the M1931 canteen, a M1931 bread bag, two MP-40 ammunition magazine pouches (one with the loading tool pouch), and an entrenching tool. He is armed with a German MP-40 submachine gun which hangs across his chest. If desired the modeler will need to scratch build a sling for the MP-40. The MP-40 submachine gun is a nice representation of the actual item.

An interesting detail of this figure is that he is carrying two stick grenades, one in each boot. The boots come with molded grenade handles in each boot which give the grenades and realistic look. The attachment straps for the bread bag and the entrenching tool will need to be slightly bent so that they make contact with the belt. The detailing on the figures face is nice and the neck fits into the collar well. The left and right arms come with the bodies of the chickens already molded in the hands and the modeler just needs to glue to wings onto the chickens bodies. All in all the chickens are nice representations of the real thing. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to fill.

Extra Pieces
You end up with the majority of the items on the weapons sprue for the spare parts bin.

CONCLUSION

All in all this is a decent set of figures. You get five figures with different styles of uniforms which are nicely detailed. I was impressed with the detailing and the poses of all five figures. A modeler will just need to be prepared to spend some time removing seam lines and filling the few gaps. Other than my few complaints I was very impressed with the kit and I feel that anyone who purchases this set of figures will be pleased with them. I would have no hesitation to recommend this set of figures to others.

REFERENCES

World War 2 Combat Uniforms and Insignia
Squadron/Signal Publications, #6013
Published in 1977
Martin Windrow with color illustrations by Gerry Embleton

World The Military Book Club Encyclopedia of Infantry Weapons of WWII
Saturn Books Ltd.
Ian V. Hogg

Guns of the Reich
Firearms of the German Forces, 1939-1945
George Markham
Arms and Armour Press

German Automatic Weapons of World War II
Live Firing Classic Military Weapons in Colour Photographs
Robert Bruce
Windrow & Greene

Waffen-SS in action
Concord Publications Company #6534
Gordon Rottman and Ramiro Bujeiro

Waffen SS – the asphalt soldiers
John Keegan
Weapons Book No. 16
Ballantine’s Illustrated History of World War II

SS – The Blood-Soaked Soil – The Battles of the Waffen SS
Gordon Williamson
Motorbooks International

Hitler’s Teutonic Knights
SS Panzers in action
Bruce Quarrie
Patrick Stephens Limited

The Third Reich
The SS
By the Editors of Time-Life Books
Time-Life

Waffen SS in action
Norman Harms
Combat troops Number 3
Squadron/Signal Publications

Hitler’s Elite
The SS 1939-45
Edited By Chris McNab
Osprey Publishing
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice detailing overall Five figures with varying weapons and poses Several spare items for the spare parts bin
Lows: No painting guide Seam lines and gaps that need filling
Verdict: All in all this is a nice set of figures that are in similar uniforms with varying weapons and nice non-combat poses.
Percentage Rating
87%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB3583
  Suggested Retail: $19.95 MSRP
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 02, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 91.62%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Stevens International!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Randy Harvey (HARV)
FROM: WYOMING, UNITED STATES

I have been in the modeling hobby off and on since my youth. I build mostly 1/35 scale. However I work in other scales for aircraft, ships and the occasional civilian car kit. I also kit bash and scratch-build when the mood strikes. I mainly model WWI and WWII figures, armor, vehic...

Copyright ©2019 text by Randy Harvey [ HARV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Armorama. All rights reserved.



Comments

Thanks for the review Randy. Nice group of figures, I will definitely be looking out for these. MB really go for out of the ordinary poses, I particularly like the guy with the chickens! Interestingly, on the box lid, the NCO is obviously an officer (round belt buckle and three pips on his collar, and the guy with the cabbage appears to be carrying a melon!
APR 02, 2014 - 12:01 AM
Some usful poses yet again from these guys. J
APR 02, 2014 - 02:40 AM
You're welcome Steve and I am glad that me review was of some use to you. Thank you for pointing that out Steve. I don't really know why I listed the figure as an NCO. I had the correction made. Thanks again for pointing that out. Randy
APR 02, 2014 - 11:42 AM
I like this set as well Jerry. I like Master Box Ltd's non-combat figure sets as they show a different view of war. I can definitely see these figures ending up in one of my vignettes one of these days. Showing them walking away from an angry peasant woman after they stole the items from her would be kind of a cool scene. Thanks, Randy
APR 02, 2014 - 11:47 AM
I like this set as well Jerry. I like Master Box Ltd's non-combat figure sets as they show a different view of war. I can definitely see these figures ending up in one of my vignettes one of these days. Showing them walking away from an angry peasant woman after they stole the items from her would be kind of a cool scene. Thanks, Randy [/quote] Now Jerry has his next project lined up. Masterbox always has great poses, don't think anyone would be upset if they were randomly given a Masterbox kit, not so much for other companies (DML Germans). Not sure if the guy with the chickens is the most inspired of figures; there have been a couple similar guys like that in the last year or so. But all the figures could pretty easily be placed in different scenes. Now if only they would box this with their BMW with sidecar which has a pig stuffed in it.....
APR 03, 2014 - 06:57 PM
Master Box - I really appreciate this company! These are really good looking figures and I like the theme.
APR 06, 2014 - 11:51 AM
One thing I have noticed that is a disappointment with this set is the weapons sprue which looks to be the same as the MB German weapons set. When compared to DML weapons, they're a lot like the old Tamiya weapons set in that the Kar 98's appear to be small and skinny (as all the weapons do)which is a shame as two have fixed bayonets and there's a couple with scopes which would have been useful. What highlights this is the difference in the size of the ammo pouches on the two sprues. The ones on the figure sprue are the right size for the figures yet the spares on the weapons sprue are tiny, more like 1/48th than 1/35th. How they could get it so wrong baffles me as the figures look great even though I've not started them yet. I'd debated buying the seperate weapons set for the fixed bayonet rifles and the rest to add to my spares but having acquired one in with these figures I definitely won't be now as it's unsuitable for 1/35th figures. Just thought I'd mention it in case anyone was relying on the weapons to arm these figures. You'll need to use something else as they won't be the same size as other manufacturers weapons and they'll look like kids toys in the hands of the figures which as Randy has said are very good.
DEC 27, 2016 - 12:53 PM
Thanks, Darren, for the extensive review. As have been seen earlier the MB staff knows about soldiering! Not only fighting, but also much worried to replace the ordinary food stuff from the field kitchen with something better! In the past we had already the stolen/liberated pig in a motorcycle, now these guys! I guess the weapon 'problem' might be easily solved by a tour through the spare part box. Looking forward to see a next set from MB with a surprising theme! (With Allied troops, maybe?!) I wish you all a prosperous 2017 and much modeling time!
DEC 27, 2016 - 02:48 PM
   

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