German Panzer Grenadiers, Vol. 2
When I received this set of Hobby Boss figures for review, something about it struck me as being very familiar. Rooting around in my figures stash, I came up with an old Tristar figure set that was identical in every way. The color of the styrene used ( tan for Hobby Boss, and a medium gray for the Tristar boxing ) in the moldings was the only difference. The sprues are exactly identical. Even the packaging looks quite similar ( see image below ). In looking at the Hobby Boss products offered at a large US based mail order hobby dealer, it appears that Hobby Boss is now doing most if not all of the old Tristar armor line.
As seen on the box art, this set contains 4 figures; by their equipment load out and uniforms they are late war period. The poses are pretty specific, these guys will almost need to placed on a later war tank such as an Ardennes Offensive Panther as shown on the box art.
Okay, so this "new" set of figures from Hobby Boss is a re-box of of a previously released Tristar set. The good news here is that the Tristar release of this kit was highly regarded. So, we'll examine this Hobby Boss boxing of this set and see how well the molds have held up.
What's in the Box?
Main figures sprue
Sprue figure detail - note nicely rendered face molding.
more figure sprue detail - another strongly done face.
Above - weapons sprue
Weapons sprue detail - very nicely done Gewehr 43 rifles
More weapons sprue detail - nicely done MG-42, and belt of 8mm Mauser ammo
Above - misc. equipment sprue, includes helmets, MP-40's, Kar 98k rifles. There will be some spare weapons.
Above - kit assembly and painting directions are on the back of the kit box.
Parts quality - examination of the sprues shows that the molds have held up pretty well. There is just a wee bit of flash here and there, but nothing too bad. Mold seams do not look to be excessive, but sprue attachment points are rather large. Parts detail is crisp and well defined for the most part, with the faces on the figures being exceptionally well done for styrene. The uniforms are rendered very well too, with very realistic draping and folds in the "fabric". The weapons and misc. equipment are quite well detailed as well. Overall, I'd say that parts quality for this set looks quite nice.
Building this Set
Above - typical parts breakdown of the figures is fairly standard.
Above - basic construction ( less some detail equipment and weapons ) complete.
Above - two figures are seated. The guy in the greatcoat to the right is holding a pipe in his right hand.
Above - two figures are standing / leaning
Parts quality is really very nice, the uniforms look quite convincing with good detail, and well executed folds and draping. I have left most details off of the figures at this point to make for easier primary painting. Parts cleanup was quick and easy as the mold seams are quite small. The parts fit wasn't too bad, but it wasn't quite up to the level of how well the the parts were mastered. I had quite a few small gaps, and the fit of the heads to the torsos was not great. If I were to rate parts quality and fit on a scale of 1-10, I'd give parts quality / sculpting a solid 9/10, and parts fit a 7/10.
After assembly, I painted the figures with a mix of Scale 75, Vallejo, and Tamiya acrylic paints. I'm not much of a figure painter as unfortunately, I currently aspire to mediocrity. A good figure painter will be able to really bring this set of well sculpted and posed figures to life!
NOTE - no slings are included in the set. I used UMM-USA flat lead wire to make slings.
This is still a very nicely done set of figures, and it's good that Hobby Boss has continued to make them available for armor builders.
The detail on the parts is quite well done, and the heads for these figures are near to resin aftermarket heads in level of detail. The weapons and other equipment provided with these figures is also of a very high quality. Fit of the parts isn't quite as good as the detail on them, but it's still acceptable. You will need small amounts of filler.
The poses of these figures is just a bit limiting, as they are clearly made for mounting on a tank (most likely a Panther, as shown on the box art). You'd have to be somewhat creative to use them in other settings, but it could probably be done easily.
All things considered, this figure set is of very good quality, and will be of use to late war German armor builders.
Thanks to Model Rectifier Corporation (MRC) for the review sample
Reviewed by Chuck Aleshire, AMPS Chicagoland
AMPS 2nd Vice President, Midwest Region
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