Throughout most of history, there have been instances where one dominating force seeks to occupy neighboring lands and spread their influence into vast new territories. Another given in these cases are resistance forces that spring up to try to counter these ambitions. In WWII, there were many instances where resistances in France, Belgium, Italy, and Eastern Europe and Asia were actively causing disturbances and troubles for Axis occupiers. My grandmother was originally from France and was an active member of the Maquis and was eventually captured and sent to one of the concentration camps. I always enjoyed hearing her stories growing up and have always had an interest ever since in partisans and resistance fighters and their stories.
So when I saw that Italeri was releasing a figure set with Partisans I jumped at the chance to request them. Let's be clear right from the start though-- these are not new moulds by any means- but are a rebox of original Esci moulds. Doing a quick search on Scalemates, it became apparent that these moulds are from the original 1977 Esci kit-- even sharing the same box art as the original. That said, for being over 40 years old, the moulds have carried pretty well. I also noticed no reviews on any of the previous boxings, so let's try to remedy that.
Inside the end opening box, you get two light gray sprues with the six figures featured on the box, and an assortment of weapons and equipment. There are no instructions in the box- just the back side which features painting instructions using Italeri acrylic paint codes and names as suggested colors. There are five male figures and one female. Three of the male figures come with berets, and there are also assorted rifles, packs, submachine guns, grenades, and Molotov cocktail bottles.
Overcoat halves that make up part of the socket for the arms
One figure is shown firing his MP40 submachine gun from the knee while another is holding a Sten submachine gun while winding up to throw a cocktail. Two other kneeling figures look to be coordinating to trigger a roadside bomb- with one holding binoculars and signalling the other holding a plunger to set off the explosives. The last pair include a wounded man being held up by the woman fighter.
In the box you get 6 figures-- first one is winding up to throw a Molotov cocktail...
The next two are meant to be together I believe- one is timing the rate of an enemy transport and signaling the other guy to drop the plunger on ax explosive...
Next up is a commando of some sort firing his MP40 from his knee...
The last two are also meant to be together- showing an injured resistance fighter being held up by his female counterpart.
Detail on these figures is quite nice-- with the kerchiefs around some necks, vests on two molded with depth, and the stretched look of the females clothes as she struggles with her friend. There are small bits of flash and some mold lines to be addressed, but again for being a few decades old, it's not too shabby.
OK...disclaimer-- I am nowhere near being a skilled figure painter, but I figure every one I do makes me a little better. Here is my attempts at painting these partisans...I left the arm bands unpainted as I am not sure which sort of partisans these will end up being- Free French or Eastern European and I imagine the bands would be different...
While these are not new tooled figures in the kit, they are most definitely more easily available than the old Esci set I'd imagine. The detail is pretty good for its age- there are some definite mold lines to be shaved down, but nothing out of the ordinary. These definitely fill a niche in the sense that in the box, you have essentially 3-4 possible vignette or diorama ideas if you choose to use only a couple few of the figures. Or all together, as part of a bigger scene you can pull off quite a convincing resistance attack. Whatever way you go, there is a lot to offer in the rebox and you can end up with something out of the ordinary to be sure.
Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders pending full build.
Thanks goes out to MRC and Italeri for this review kit.
Reviewed by Michael Reeves
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