Battles of Smolensk & Roslavl 1941 Figure Set
DML Dragon 1/35 '39-'45 Series
Dragon has produced a set of three figures and uniform accessories for two battles of the second phase of the Babarossa campaign in 1941. The actions around this battle took place during two summer months in 1941. The Soviet resistance encountered by the Germans caused the campaign to delay its drive toward Moscow.
Dragon has been producing figure sets for many years and has considerable experience with German WWII subjects. These early war summer uniforms are interchangeable for use in other WWII settings, east or west. This set continues that tradition with the addition of a bonus sprue of uniforms in Dragon's DS soft plastic. Uses for the separate uniforms are many. They can be thrown over an engine deck or added to a diorama, for example.
The figure poses can be described "at the ready" as they are not directly in combat nor purely at rest. Basic field kit is provided. As an unusual addition, one soldier is holding a Czechoslovakian Zb26 light machine gun.
Typical of Dragon figure sets is the end opening box with assembly guide on the back along with color reference. Molding is very sharp with no flash.
The layout of the sprues is typical of Dragon figure sets. Faces on the heads are very good but not to the level of a resin aftermarket set so some modelers will likely swap heads with a specialized supplier. However, the faces are serviceable and OK for my figure painting skills .
As usual with Dragon figure sets the equipment parts will service this build and provide some spares.
Here is the DS plastic bonus set of uniforms. You can see they have very good detail. Visually they seem a little large for the figures. But holding one of the uniforms against a completed figure proves they are to the right scale.
The Czech Machinegun is provided on its own sprue.
The assembly of the figures was without issue. Some care is needed to pose the arms so that they are holding the weapons but this is normal and not a problem is you build a figures in one sitting and add the gun while the glue cures. Some filler was used around the arm-to-torso joints. I added straps made of paper for the slings. Painting the kit and weapons is not a problem in this scale so I like to complete as much of the figure as possible before painting.
I looked for any fit issues after priming the figures in a light gray color. I found none. As was typical some filler was added to the joints between the arms and the torsos. I used Vallejo Model Color acrylic paints for the uniforms and kit.
For a good step by step painting tutorial go to Shane Symth's YouTube video on How To Paint 1/35 German World War Two Infantry TUTORIAL
Making the decision to build the figures separately from another project helped improve my focus on improving my figure skills. Completing the project was just as satisfying as any other build. The only issue I came on was that the box art shows the soldier with the ZB-26 machinegun resting the gun on the ground. My figure would only cooperate by holding the gun a few inches off the ground. This is an unlikely pose with a 23-pound weapon.
Overall this was a fun project. As these are fairly generic figures and are posed in a way that is not in direct combat you are likely to find many uses for them.
Thanks to Dragon USA for this review sample.
Review by Mark Norman, Hudson Valley AMPS
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