by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
introductionDragon continue their inexorable march towards dominating the 1/35th scale injection moulded figure market, with this, their latest addition to their Second Generation line of figure sets, 'Eastern Front Tank Hunters'. The set is meant to represent four figures in action poses, all of them, obviously concerning themselves with various ways of defeating Russian tanks on the Eastern front.........as the box says!
the setThe figures are Second Generation, so expectations run high, and upon opening the box I wasn't disappointed! The usual Dragon Card is there, with all the goodies attached, but the rest of the contents as well, just ooze quality and attention to detail.
So what do we get? Well, as mentioned, on the 'Card' there are 4 small sprues of Dragon's light grey styrene, plus a small decal sheet and a small photo etched fret.
The four figures that can built from the set are all completely different to each other, the first is posed standing, in the act of firing or aiming a panzerfaust, and is depicted wearing a Deutscher Volkssturm Wehrmacht armband, which were issued from October '44, which dates this set after that, although they were mostly worn by any able-bodied male drafted in to fight, and these were worn in place of issued uniforms. This figure does have a uniform! He's wearing the M44 field blouse, and although the armband is not supplied as a decal, which would have been nice, the armband is moulded on, but without the writing, so you can either source a decal or carefully remove the moulding. The figure, being 2nd Generation is supplied with a choice of styrene or PE belt buckle and shoulder boards, and the Panzerfaust can be shown with the aiming sight up in the ready position, or down, as two alternative parts are supplied. It even comes with a full and exhaustive set of decals and a PE firing ring.
The second figure is lying on the ground firing a RPzB54 rocket launcher, and can be depicted wearing a gas mask for protection against flames from the launcher, or you can add the shield to the launcher and have him with a normal head wearing helmet. There are also alternative hands for this figure supplied, wearing mittens, again for protection.
The third figure is shown also lying down, loading the rocket launcher, and for this figure we're also offered a choice of heads, one looking straight ahead to the rear of the figure using the rocket launcher, the other head looking around to the side.
The fourth and last figure is depicted kneeling in an upright position, again firing a Panzerfaust. This figure wears a camouflaged parka.
As is usual with these Second Generation sets, all the weaponry and field kit is slide moulded, and the rifle sprue (of which two are supplied) comes complete with separate bolts and pre-drilled barrels...........quite an achievement in 1/35th! There are even small 5 round clips of ammunition included on the sprues!
Sprue GA again makes an appearance and includes various things for the spares box, such as helmets, canteens with separate cups, flask with separate cups, gas mask cylinders, again with separate lids, entrenching tools, knives (sheathed and unsheathed)........ in fact there is so much on this sprue it comes in extremely handy for upgrading some of your 'older' 1st Generation figures!
Sprue GB again hold more of the same, with mainly ammunition pouches for the Kar98's which are supplied both closed and opened, along with bread bags, open pistol holsters, bed rolls etc.
Specially for this release we also get two new sprues, which hold the rocket launcher and the panzerfaust. These are quite simply, beautiful! As mentioned earlier, the rocket launcher can be made as an early example, without the flame-shield, or as a later example with the shield. For the Panzerfaust, we get a wooden crate, which can be left open or shown closed, and two Panzerfaust, with a choice of open or closed sight.
The RPzB54 rocket launcher is supplied with four rockets, and again, a small wooden crate for unused rockets. This is a beautiful piece and is made up of multiple parts with a full set of decals.
The small PE fret included, as mentioned contains buckles and shoulder boards for all the figures, and also contains two firing pins for the Panzerfaust, and assorted rifle slings.
The decal sheet includes full markings for the Panzerfaust, rocket launcher, rockets, and crates.
in conclusionThe only thing I could possibly complain about in this set is the lack of a decal for the armband on one of the figures. It's another brilliant Second Generation figure set from Dragon. These figures require a lot more time to put together than a conventional figure set, but the effort is well worth it! Not only that, but the contents enable you to fill up your figures spares box and upgrade your older figures too! Perfect! Highly recommended!
My thanks to Dragon for the review sample.