German Infantry Set (Late WWII)
These are not the Tamiya figures of the past! The out of scale, chunky plastic bobs have been replaced with well detailed figures that look the part. I was surprised at the time it took to construct the figures as the bodies are multi-part affairs, with separate heads and headgear, weapons, and gear, to make it easier to paint and detail. A bonus is the decal sheet for the uniforms and Panzerfausts (in both the carry and ready to fire position). To say I am impressed would be an understatement – especially at the price for five figures.
Upon opening the usual sturdy Tamiya box, you are greeted with three sprues, decal sheet, instructions, and a Tech Tips flyer. The details are well molded and crisp. The uniforms have indentations for the gear and weapons, so they are not just hanging next to the uniform, they look more realistically that the figure is wearing his uniform and combat gear.
There are five Wehrmacht late WWII figures, listed by Tamiya as:
- Unteroffizier (Non-commissioned officer): kneeling on right knee, signaling rearward with MP40 at his side; option of stalhelme helmet or M43 field cap.
- Infanterie (Infantry) 1: kneeling, with MP44 at the low ready.
- Infanterie (Infantry) 2: soldier standing with G43 in crook of right arm, left hand holding either a Teller 42 anti-tank mine or a M24 stick grenade anti-tank bundle.
- Infanterie (Infantry) 3: soldier standing wearing a camouflage zeltbahn with a G43.
- Infanterie (Infantry) 4: soldier standing wearing a camouflage zeltbahn with a Panzerfaust and MP44 across his back.
All the soldiers have gas masks, bread bags, entrenching tools and headgear, weapons, and mess kits (provided, but not called out or shown on the instructions, but easy enough to figure out). Additionally, two stick grenades, two extra Panzerfausts (three total – two in carry and one in firing configuration), an extra luger holster, and binoculars for the NCO. Two of the helmets have “fabric texture” for helmet covers. The weapons are made for the assigned soldier as the figures are molded as such (care should be taken to test fit as the fit is tight and looks like it belongs). The barrel on the MP40 is fragile, so watch it during assembly and painting.
I built the figures straight out of the box (the torso to combined leg parts are keyed, as are the arms to the shoulders, making assembly very easy and hard to get wrong) and primed them as displayed on the box art. The intent is to show the fit and overall appearance, and not to highlight my lack of figure painting skills. As the bodies are multi-piece affairs, with separate arms, legs, heads and headgear, these figures really stand out. Any gaps shown in the photos are most likely my fault and will be filled before painting.
These figures look the part and can easily be put together with a vehicle, vignette, or diorama for any late World War II scene (defined by Tamiya as early (1939-1940), middle (1941-1942), and late (1943-1945)). I enjoyed assembling the figures, although I have to question why two figures (Infantry 1 and Infantry 3) had two-piece left hands (while they look great holding the rifles, they have to be pried open to place the weapons after assembly). Pay attention to the sprue as there is an X and Z sprue with sub a, b, c callouts. The only real niggle is the lack of any weapon slings; this is minor as slings can easily be fashioned and attached for extra detail.
I had a lot of fun building this gem from Tamiya and look forward to painting the figures and placing them with a suitable late-war German vehicle (Tamiya rightfully recommends their new Panzer IV/70(A)).
Profuse thanks to Fred Medel, Tamiya America Marketing Manager, Tamiya and IPMS-USA for providing the review sample.