by: Darren Baker [ ]
A recent release from MasterBox offers a five figure set of German infantry listed as ‘early period’. To me early period would be prior to World War Two, but this offering would appear to cover the first couple of years of the war.
This offering is provided in the usual box style favoured by Masterbox, a card container that opens at each end. Inside is a single re-sealable plastic bag that contains 2 grey sprues. An examination of the sprues does not indicate any issues worth worrying about. The sprue gates are not the smallest I have seen, but they are not excessive in quantity and are by and large well placed.
The uniform featured on these figures offers the high collar and shaped scalloped pocket flaps, also the material running the length of the pocket is present. German uniform changed during the course of the war as materials became harder to acquire and the quality of materials decreased, the result was that production was simplified and the amount of material used in the uniforms reduced. Hugo Boss is said to have had a hand in designing German uniform and that is why the fit and look was so good, but it has also been argued that they only partook on production.
The figures are supplied in the usual breakdown that all modellers are familiar with and so should not present any issues the average modeller will struggle with. The moulding seam lines are very subtle and I feel these will again be easy to overcome to a satisfactory standard. The stances of the figures would indicate troops advancing under fire or moving forward in an unsecured area. One of the figures is scouting the area ahead through binoculars and I would also like to point out that no one is pointing!
On the figure sprue you get bread bags for the figures with a nice level of detail. The canvas straps shown as the connection method to the webbing/belt is indicative of a late war bread bag as early war these had metal loops. The bayonet in scabbard is covered well for the figures. Two of the figures are supplied with combat packs that hang horizontally on the lower back. The figure with the binoculars has been supplied with a map case that hangs from the belt.
The heads and in one case a hand are supplied as separate mouldings. The heads are full but have no hair detail replicated; this does provide the option of scratching some hair detail on the figure or figures if required. Facial details are good generally but the ears are weak in some cases; the expressions are fair for injection moulded figure, but they are not the best I have seen. The hand and finger detail is quite good, in particular where the thumbs are moulded in a position away from the fingers.
Included with this offering is the World War Two German infantry weapons set that was released as a standalone item. This offers a great selection of both weapons and equipment, but it must be remembered that some of the items are not suitable for the period these figures are aimed at.
2 canteens with drinking cup removed
6 gasmask holders
5 entrenchment tools
5 entrenchment tools in the webbing holder
4 MP40 magazine pouches in groups of three
2 closed ammunition boxes for the MG34/42
2 open ammunition boxes for the MG34/42 with separate lid
2 drum magazines for MG34/42
12 magazine pouches for the rifleman in groups of three
3 P-08 Luger
3 P-08 Luger holsters
2 Walther P38
2 Walther P38 holsters
2 Mauser 98K
2 Mauser 98K with two types of scopes
2 Mauser 98K with bayonet fitted
2 MP 40
2 MP 40 magazines
2 Gewehr 43 one with and one without a scope
2 Sturmgewehr 44
2 MP 717 plus two drum magazines, German name for the Soviet PPSh-41
2 Bergman MP 34 with two separate magazines
MG 34 with separate bipod and breach cover
MG 42 with separate bipod and breach cover
2 short lengths of ammunition belt for the MG34/42
The figures supplied in this offering from MasterBox are pleasing in their quality and the stances are very fluid in appearance. I did find an error with the bread bag connection method, but this is very minor and would likely rarely if ever be noted by a viewer. The addition of the weapons and equipment sprue is a very nice touch of which I greatly approve even though most of the items belong in the spares box where this set is considered.