by: Andrzej Snigorski [ ]
Originally published on:
On 6th April 1941, Third Reich attacked Yugoslavia. Yugoslavia fell after twelve days of fighting, and was divided between Germany and their allies: Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria. Ustaša - Hrvatski Revolucionarni Pokret, a Nazi-like movement lead by Ante Pavelić was willing to separate Croatia from Yugoslavia and started collaboration with the occupants.
Serbian partisans, Chetniks lead by Dragoljub "Draža" Mihailović, and communist partisans lead by Josip Broz Tito, started fighting against the occupants. The war for freedom soon became a civil war because the occupants were supported by Ustaša and soldiers of the Serbian marionette government of Milan Nedić. Additionally Chetniks fought communist partisans of Tito. Draža Mihailović even signed a treaty with Italian occupants that allowed him to focus on fighting against Tito’s partisans. In this situation, help from allies at first sent to Chetniks, moved to support Tito’s soldiers in their fight with occupant forces.
In April ’45, the Red Army with Tito’s partisans liberated Yugoslavia.
The kit comes in the standard DML box with a picture of four soldiers as they would be fighting with Tito’s partisans in the Balkans during 1943.
Inside one can find 4 sprues with 83 parts in grey styrene. The figure sprue is a new mold, but the weapon sprues are from older sets – 6087 (including a very nice Mauser Kar98k with bayonet attached, 6105 with ammo boxes for MG, MG34 which is known from some vehicle kits and WA sprue with Italian weapon set (including Carcano carbine shown on assembly instruction).
The figure sprue contains:
•4 figure sets including 1head, 1 torso, 2 legs an 2 hands each
•4 optional legs for gunner and lead man (one can chose between two available position – on flat ground or on a slope)
•capercaillie feathers for Italian soldier’s helmet
•3 German haversacks
•1 Italian haversack
•1 pistol holster
•2 Italian ammunition pouches
•2 Kar98 ammunition triple pouches
•3 water bottles
•2 map satchels
•3 gas mask cans
•stone for laying figure’s support
The weapon sprues contain:
•1 Kar98k with bayonet
•3 ammo belts
•1 MP18 clip
•3 bipods (one closed)
•2 round MG34 magazines
•Italian light machine gun
•Light machine gun magazine
•Beretta submachine gun
•3 MG34 ammo boxes each including: box, cover, handle, ammo feeder and lock.
This kit allows the building of four figures. Three of them are SS soldiers in camo smocks. One of them lies on the ground and holds a grenade as if preparing to throw it. Two others are operating an MG34 machine gun in a stand-up position. The lead man stands with the MG’s bipod held in his hands with the barrel supported on his shoulder, and the gunner stands right behind him firing the gun (surely causing ringing in the lead man’s ear that may last for hours…). The lead man and the gunner may be placed on flat or elevated terrain (i.e. mountain slope).
The fourth figure is an Italian Bersaglieri (Eng. Marksmen) – member of high-mobility infantry unit. He wears a helmet decorated with black capercaillie feathers and an Italian uniform (basing on the cover picture it is difficult to tell with 100% certainty which uniform version this is). He leans while running forward and looking to the left as if searching for a better shooting position. He holds his rifle in both hands level with his waist.
The parts are made of good quality grey styrene. The figures’ details are sculpted with care, and coupled with good quality material assures that the details are clean and visible. Surfaces are smooth and flawless. Flash was not observed on any of parts, though delicate seam lines are visible on usual areas (on the torso’s sides, along arms, legs and on heads around the neck-jaw-ear line). Clothes (including uniforms, camo smocks and helmet covers) have a natural shape.
Also, the older sprues (with weapons) are free from flash and heavy seam lines. No upper-lower mold misplacement effect was observed on any part in the kit. The MG34 is connected to the sprue at the location of the cooler, so some rework of the cooling barrel details will be necessary after cutting.
Assembly instruction is shown on the box along with the painting instructions. The assembly instruction is clear and easy to follow. Painting instruction is simplified as always, so some external reference is needed to paint it as it should be (especially the camouflage scheme).
It sure is a very interesting kit, with good quality and pose variety. It is still not as detailed as recent Gen2 Dragon kits, but it’s sure to be appreciated by any modeler interested in German and Italian forces. The Bersaglieri figure may be a nice eye-catcher among the German figures. The variety of poses makes this kit very useful for the diorama builder, since the figure poses may be adjusted for different terrain types.