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In-Box Review
135
Off to the Front
German Infantry ‘Off to the Front’ Vehicle Riders WW2 Period
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Having reviewed the Dragon Models ‘German 3t 4x2 Truck w/2cm FlaK 38 (2 in 1) - Smart Kit’, I decided to treat myself to some crew to go with the truck as I intend to build it as a transport. I picked up a set of Dragon Models German Half-Track Riders and the Master Box German Infantry ‘Off to the Front’ Vehicle Riders WW2 Period, it is this second set of figures that are the subject of this review. This is a six figure set from Master Box of German World War 2 infantry in a mix of relaxed seated positions and a driver.

Contents

This figure set from Master Box is packaged in the usual end opening card carton. The carton itself is not up to the rigours of postage without further protection. Inside the carton is a single re-sealable plastic bag. The bag itself contains two light grey sprues.

Review

Giving the contents of this figure set an examination; I am pleased with what I find. There are no serious moulding issues such as flash, sink marks or ejector pin marks of note. I did find 2 ejector pin marks on the bottom of each of the ammunition boxes supplied with the set, but as these are raised they will be easy to remove with a light sanding. Otherwise I am very pleased at this point in the review.

The figures breakdown in the usual manner of injection moulded figures, but you are provided with a couple of extra arms and separate hands in some cases. The heads are not the flat tops often provided and so with a little work could be shown minus any headwear; perhaps sat at a pub having a drink as some of the figures have raised arms and are all seated. The facial details are good for injection moulded figures, one of the heads does look a little tubby though. The heads are also all separate mouldings and so if you are a modeller who likes to go down the resin head route, some of the work has been done for you. The hands are also very nicely done in my example, if I had any issue it would be that on some hands the fingers all look of a similar length, but there is good definition on the fingers and thumbs.

The uniform represented is, I believe from the early to mid war period, but I am not an expert on these matters. The crease detail represented is very good, being both natural and well defined. The figures do have flat bottoms for placement on vehicle seats, but that should not bother most of us if used as the provider intended. The webbing detail is well refined on these figures and so should look good when painted. The instep on the jackboots has been well represented, but no tread detail is present. Ammunition and bags are well catered for on the sprue, and in the case of the bags the rear faces have been moulded to fit the figures.

Perhaps the most noteworthy thing about these figures is that they are all different; I am sure many of us remember the Tamiya halftrack crew where they were all sat rigidly in the same pose looking straight ahead. This offering could not be more different, the poses of the four passengers for the rear of the vehicle are a mix of bored and day dreaming stances, almost like the kids in the back of the car on a 5 hour drive. I really like the approach taken by Master Box with this offering. I should add that the finished figures are not exactly as indicated on the artwork of the box in two cases. The driver for a vehicle looks the part, and is the only figure with moulded on headwear. The front seat passenger would be the officer or ranking NCO is more likely, this figure also has a relaxed look about him and so this is perhaps not the figure set for riders in the middle of a battle.

The weapons for these figures are supplied on a separate sprue, and a nice mix of bits and bobs are as well. The weapons and equipment break down as follows;
2 KAR 98 rifles
2 KAR 98 rifles with scopes fitted
2 KAR 98 rifles with bayonets fitted
An MG 34 with a collapsed and deployed stand, the breech is also a separate piece
An MG 42 with a collapsed and deployed stand, the breech is also a separate piece
2 closed ammunition boxes for the MG’s
2 open ammunition boxes for the MG’s with 2 short lengths of ammunition belts
6 gas mask containers
6 water bottles
2 water bottles with the cup portion removed
5 entrenchment tools in their webbing holders
5 entrenchment tools out of their webbing, but not opened
6 helmets
4 MP 38 ammunition pouches in groups of three
2 MP 38 MG’s
A pair of binoculars
12 KAR 98 ammunition pouches in groups of three
3 stick grenades
3 egg grenades
3 standard grenades
4 Lugers
2 Walther P38s
6 holsters for the automatics
A G43
A G43 with scope fitted
2 Sturmgewehr 44
2 Bergman MP 34 with separate magazines
2 MP 717 MG’s with round magazines or straight magazines for a Soviet or German mod

The detail on these mouldings is very good and provides the modeller with a host of choices on how they wish to equip the troops.

Conclusion

I really like the figures on offer here from Master Box as they provide options other than those intended by the manufacturer. The weapons selection is excellent and will greatly add to the modeller’s spares box. I particularly like that Master Box has provided a driver as well as riders in this set.

Related Reviews

German 3t 4x2 Truck w/2cm FlaK 38 (2 in 1) - Smart Kit
SUMMARY
Highs: A good selection of stances for the figures and a great set of weapons that offers a wide choice to the modeller.
Lows: Nothing obvious at this time.
Verdict: If you are in the market for some relaxed seated WW2 Germans and a driver, this could be just what you need.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB35137
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 01, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

Nice review Darren, Since seated figures are not quite that common, this set is great for bringing many open-top (and closed-top) vehicles to life — lots of possibilities — just mix-n-match the limbs. Note: For some vehicles, you may need to do some Franken-figuring in order for the boots to touch the floor properly. In a Dragon Sd.Kfz.10 build, I actually needed to go a step further and ditch the vehicle's seat-cushions as well. Regardless, this set is a very useful offering from MasterBox. And yes … designated driver included! —mike
MAR 01, 2016 - 09:03 AM
I really am very pleased with this figure release and it is one of the best figure sets I have bought of late. It is because I was so pleased I wrote the review.
MAR 01, 2016 - 10:59 AM
Is this a new set? I really like the looks of this set, and could be good to have. Thanks for the review Darren.
MAR 01, 2016 - 11:48 AM
No this set was released about 2 years ago.
MAR 01, 2016 - 04:13 PM
Yes, nice review as usual, Squire. The detail looks a bit soft, but I have been working with a lot of resin figures lately. Dragon have a set of Sd.Kfz.7 riders, but other poses are always nice, especially with Hornet making killer replacement heads and hands.
MAR 02, 2016 - 03:44 AM
I am in the process of reviewing that set as well
MAR 02, 2016 - 06:09 AM
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