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German Infantry in Wachtmantel - Leningrad 1943

DML 1/35 German Infantry in Wachtmantel - Leningrad 1943 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2009 Manufacturer DML
Subject German Infantry in Wachtmantel - Leningrad 1943 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6518 Primary Media 86 parts in grey styrene
Pros First plastic modeling of the heavy winter coat Cons Still using early production weapons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $10.95

First Look

The Germans were not prepared for the infamous “General Winter” when they failed to take Moscow and Leningrad before the winter of 1941; as a result, they found out the hard way why Napoleon and others had suffered at the hands of the Russian climate. But by 1943 they had compensated for that, and for soldiers pulling guard duty they had created this heavy sheepskin coat (too bulky for combat, but suitable for long stretches outside in the weather) along with insulated boots to protect soldiers from frostbite and trenchfoot.

DML now offers this new set of four figures in relatively static poses (but as noted these coats were not suitable for combat) with the full “wachtmantel” (literally watch overcoat) and boots. They include two soldiers on guard and two with binoculars scanning the horizon.

Each figure consists of a base element of torso, arms, and legs, to which are added a four-piece overcoat with separate collar, and then the head and hands. Three pairs of hands are all wearing what the US Army called trigger-finger mittens with only a separate thumb and index finger on each one, and the last one a pair of regular mittens. Accessories include grenades, goggles and a “squeeze” type flashlight. The coats are nicely done but experienced figure builders will want to “rough up” the edges to give them some texture with either putty or a pyrogravure.

The weapons sets are some of the earliest of DML’s efforts and I do wish they would replace them with their better quality “Gen2" generic sets.

The directions are unfortunately the “photo of assembled figure” type with a reproduction of the box art rather than the better quality Ron Volstad type with more detailed assembly instructions; based on some past kits the overcoats will take some work to fit together cleanly so I wish they would have taken more care with the directions than “stick here”.

Overall this is a different idea and one which will help a number of modelers get the feeling of COLD in a diorama.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • 6002 14 MG42, Panzerfaust 60, Gewehr 98, MP 40, MP44
  • 6005 7 2 x Kar 98K, 1 x FG42
  • 6518 49 Four figures and basic kit
  • 6518A/B 8 One overcoat and four hands
  • 6518C/D 8 One overcoat and four hands