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1st Luftwaffe Field Division, Novgorod 1944

DML 1/35 1st Luftwaffe Field Division, Novgorod 1944 - Gen2 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2006 Manufacturer DML
Subject 1st Luftwaffe Field Division, Novgorod 1944 - Gen2 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6274 Primary Media 280 parts (260 in grey styrene, 20 etched brass)
Pros Another different type of German uniform modeled, good poses and nicely done definition Cons Uniforms and poses may not appeal to many German modeling fans
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $14.98

First Look

One wag once said that German figures sell so well that eventually somebody could put out a model of Michael Wittmann's baby buggy (pram to non-Americans) and if it had a "splinter' pattern blanket it would be a best seller. While that is somewhat over the top, it is a concession to interests that German figures do sell, and sell well.

This latest set from DML is a bit more obscure than most, as it points out the fact that by 1944 things were not going well for the Germans on the Eastern Front, and as units were destroyed or lost their equipment, they were reorganized. This unit, a relatively impromptu one, came about from what references I have due to a shortage of both aircraft and infantry yielding excess German Luftwaffe personnel that were converted into infantry. This is not to be confused with the elite "Hermann Goering" division.

The four figures in this set are wearing a winter "quilted" uniform set that appears to have been copied from Soviet ones. I have no information on it, but based on the fact that the Germans slowly realized the Soviets had been active in Siberia and the "Transpolar" areas they seemed to know how to keep their troops warm, and it appears to be a better piece of reverse engineering than some other efforts. Two styles are shown, one a diamond pattern on two figures and the other a rectangular one on the other pair. All of the figures appear dispirited and one is shown either injured or wounded, with a large tear in his trouser's lower left leg. DML has done a reasonably good attempt to replicate this, and the torn part is thin enough to be realistic.

As with almost all of the "Gen2" figures, each one consists of a total of 18 parts – torso (2), legs (2), arms (2), hands (2), boots (2), head (2), collar, hood and jacket skirt (4).  The parts are split in such a way as to provide the highest degree of definition and scale thickness possible.

Each figure may be used with either the Model 1943 "Soft Cap" or a steel helmet. The now "boilerplate" "Gen2" sprues GA and GB are included, which provide the standard German field kit of canteen and cup, mess kit, bread bag, ammo pouches, gas mask canister, bayonets, pistol holsters, and ponchos.

Weapons sprues include two WA ones (each with two "Gen2" Kar. 98K rifles with separate open or closed bolts, hollow-molded bores, and ammo clips) and one WB one (two MP40 submachine guns, a Gewehr 43 auto loading rifle and an MP44 assault rifle plus accessories.)  But due to the rather drab uniforms and dispirited positions of the figures, they may do better as Soviet POWs than combat troops, so weapons may not be needed in that case.

A small fret of etched brass is included, covering breast eagles, belt buckle plates, and rifle slings.

Painting directions and another great box top painting by Ron Volstead are included.

Overall, this is a nicely done set, but it does not seem to appeal to many German modelers or diorama builders who tend to desire flashier uniforms or combat attack poses over the more realistic look of fatigue and what John Keegan calls "The Face of Battle."

Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA of DML for the review sample.