Italeri 1/35 Italian Paratroopers Combat Group Kit First Look
Images by Michael Benolkin
|Date of Review||November 2012||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Subject||Italian Paratroopers Combat Group||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6492||Primary Media||59 parts in grey styrene|
|Pros||New mold figures of Italian paratroopers in North Africa; simpler figures will appeal to some modelers||Cons||Simpler figures with molded on equipment will not appeal to all|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$23.95|
Like other forces, the Italian army created paratroopers – paracaduisiti – in the 1930s and eventually numbered three understrength divisions and several small independent units in their forces. The best know of these was the "Folgore" division, which fought in North Africa with the Axis forces as infantry.
This new figure set from Italeri is a newly cut mold with six figures in various poses: a standing officer or NCO with beard, side cap and Beretta Model 1938 submachine gun; three soldiers, two kneeling and one standing firing, all armed with Carcano Model 1891 cavalry carbines; and two soldiers manning a Breda Model 1937 8mm machine gun. All are in the desert uniform with long trousers and jackets.
The figures conform to Italeri's latest designs, with each one consisting of one to three basic components and separate arms. Each one has somewhat heavily molded sewing seams on their uniforms but all are nicely animated and have good facial expressions. While some items such as strapping and cartridge pouches are molded in place, additional kit items include canteens, bread bags, and small pouches.
The helmets are of an airborne style with camouflage covers and bands for attaching other items such as scrim. The submachine gun appears to come with a 20 round magazine but is not bad; however, the Model 1891 carbines come with the "switchblade" permanently attached bayonets which are too thick and make them look more like Winchester Model 1873 rifles. These will need some careful thinning down to look more realistic.
The Bread is not bad, consisting of seven parts (machine gun, grips, tripod front leg, rear legs, and two side braces plus a 20 round "stripper" feed). It will do well with some details which are missing (e.g. the cocking lever) but is better than some of the more anemic ones Italeri produced back in the 1970s.
The artwork is the new "water color" style that Italeri has adopted for figure sets so is not as helpful as those from other manufacturers. While the box only cites Italeri's own acrylic paint numbers, a conversion list inside the directions shows the equivalents for Testors ModelMaster paints as well as some FS 595a equivalents. Note that whereas the figures are grouped as A to F the arms are also listed as I and H parts; Is are right arms, Hs are lefts.
Overall, this is a new set and not a re-release of a 35 year old set, so Italeri is to be commended for a nice new set with fresh poses. While more expensive than some other sets (four figures being the industry "norm") it does include six figures in the box so is equal in price per figure.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!