German Infantry, 1916–1918

Revell 1:72 Scale Figure Review

German Infantry of World War One, 1916–1918, 1:72 Miniatures Revell 02504

Universal soldiers: The miniatures pictured here are Bulgarian infantry in the Balkan campaign of 1941, or Hungarian infantry in the Russian campaign of the same year. Conversion is not required, the figures need only be painted in khaki uniforms.

Timeless Design

The German steel helmet design was based on a similar helmet worn in the middle ages, which covered much of the wearer's face and neck and offered excellent protection. The front of the M.1916 steel helmet could be fitted with an additional plate of armour which rested on metal pegs on either side of the helmet and was secured with a leather strap around the back. The armour plating was impratical in the field, but it was used by sentries during in the many months of protracted trench warfare. The basic helmet design was changed very little when the M.1935 version was issued, and it became a symbol of oppression in the years until 1945.

The German Bundeswehr did not adopt the politically incorrect helmet after World War II, opting for a version based on the American M1 helmet instead. However, in 1982, the US Army re-discovered its practical shape and issued a very similar helmet design which is now popularly know as Fritz helmet. Experience from the Grenada invasion showed that the new design and the Kevlar material does offer much better protection than earlier models of steel helmets. The Fritz helmet is now seen in the French army, in the Franco-German brigade and it is worn by German UN forces.

Contents

  • 8 Pieces + 48 Soldiers with 13 Poses
  • 23 mm equal 166 cm Height
  • 2 Officers & 2 Observers with Binoculars
  • 3 Sentries in Body Armour
  • 6 Grenadiers
  • 4 MG Crew
  • 2 heavy MG in entrenched positions
  • 4 marching in field cap
  • 16 firing, standing, kneeling & prone
  • 11 advancing
  • 2 Medical Rescue Dogs

Evaluation

Nicely detailed figures. Folds in the uniform, steel helmets, blanket rolls, mess kits, canteens, haversacks, puttees, entrenching tools, stick grenades, pouches and weapons are well sculpted and easy to paint. The figures are correctly proportioned, they are slightly taller than the French infantry from the same manufacturer and their heads and helmets are noticeably larger.

Very useful poses, these figures are nearly perfect. The chosen standard poses are very natural in appearance, they seem almost tame compared to some of the excessively heroic figure types we have seen elsewhere. Interestingly, when they are displayed in large groups, these figures appear to be more variably posed than they actually are. They make excellent diorama or wargaming figures.

Good casting quality, very little flash.

Soldiers in M.1916 steel helmets are not different enough from the German soldiers of World War II to make this set a success in the market. Revell has missed an historic opportunity, they might have chosen the Pickelhaube spiked helmet as the most stereotypical piece of German equipment in the Great War. However, the figures in steel helmets are more versatile, they cover the entire German infantry after 1916, allowing the gamer and collector to ignore the confusing variety of headdress of the early war years.

Historical Employment

  • German Infantry 1916-1918
  • Bulgarian Infantry 1941
  • Hungarian Infantry 1941
  • Anti-Tank dogs of the Russian army, 1942

These Revell figures set a high standard in figure design and sculpting detail. The soldiers are correctly proportioned, naturally posed and properly equipped. The figures are very compatible with eachother and a useful figure mix has been chosen. These soldiers look really spectacular when they are painted and displayed in large groups; they form a cohesive unit and not one of the poses disturbes the overall effect. We would like to see more figures sets of this quality, WWI British infantry and Highlanders perhaps.

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