This kit which is one of two offerings on Gebirgsjager (not counting the more generic Ski troop set) comes in DML’s standard 1 piece box found in the majority of its older sets.
The boxart is done by Ron Volstad whose illustrations are always a delight for me. The illustration depicts the 4 figures in the Gebirgsjager’s element, the mountains presumably somewhere in the Caucasus highlands. As usual the back of the box comes with both easy to follow assembly and painting instructions.
Opening the box one will find the typical arrangement found in the majority of all the older DML sets, namely 2 sprue trees consisting of one for the figures and equipment with the other sprue tree holding the weapons.
The 4 figures are in various action poses with upturned heads to add to the impression that they are in an inclined or mountain environment. While not fully kitted out in totally cold weather clothes, 2 of the figures are wearing the double breasted Wind jacket, a third wearing an Anorak which is normally field grey reversible to white and a fourth in the standard service dress. What was a bit unusual was that the Anorak is shown as being a brown shade in the boxart but the painting code at the back suggests its actual color, grey. All in all their attire places them most likely anywhere from late spring to late fall but not winter as they are not kitted out for winter.
All 4 figures are also wearing wool puttees and mountain boots. The puttees although not unique to the Gebirgsjager but when worn in combination with mountain boots are typical of mountain troops who favor the more suitable and comfortable combo over the standard jack boots. As with most of the older DML sets, it is best to dry fit the weapons to the arms as it will often require some adjustment and possibly light puttying. The problem of weapon fit has been solved altogether in the Gen 2 sets which come with hands separated from the arms.
Weapons are pretty run-of-the-mill with 3 Mauser Kar98K, the standard weapon of the Gebirgsjager and a MG34 with a short belt feed which was surprisingly quite well detailed despite being pre Gen 2. Some variation was provided by having one of the Kar98K fitted with a scope.
DML has added some additional touches to further differentiate this kit as one featuring Gebirgsjager and one of them is the inclusion of rucksacks and ice-axes as seen in the close-up of the equipment sprue. Coils of ropes would have completed the mountain equipment nicely but unfortunately these were not included.
The other is addition of the Edelweiss badge to left of their Bergmutze or field cap and to the right sleeve of the figure with the standard service uniform. The badges on the caps were unfortunately not very detailed as can be seen in the last 2 photos but the one on the sleeve is well molded complete with stem and all.
It would be unfair to compare the detailing of this kit versus DML’s more recent offerings namely its Gen 2 kits. As such moderate amounts of flash are evident and expected whilst the level of detail in general is deemed to be adequate. However, one of the areas in which DML never disappoints whether its pre or post Gen 2 is their weapons and the molding here remains among the best I’ve seen for styrene exceeding some resin ones as well.
The pluses of this set for me would be the action poses, the nice addition of some mountain equipment and dressing, an attempt to include the Gebirgsjager most recognizable emblem, the Edelweiss and of course the price. The downside is the moderate but manageable flash and moderate detailing. However, all things considered it is still a decent set for those looking to add to their collection of WWII elite troops as well as to those intending to create an action diorama in a mountain setting. Despite their upturned heads the set would fit into an urban environment as well provided there are 2 storeys or higher buildings involved. For standalone figures there are always the more detailed but more expensive resin alternatives.
about german mountain troops-gebirsjager
Beginning back in 1915 with the creation of the Alpenkorps, the first Gebirgs brigade was formed in June 1935. Among one of its more famous commanders was in fact Erwin Rommel who won the coveted, Pour Le Merite during WW I when he led a unit of the newly formed Alpenkorps against the Italians.
While the Gebirgsjager were in all respect an elite unit, their general uniform, much of their equipment & weapons and even their pay were standard and similar to the rest of the Army. However, in terms of training and fitness was where the similarities end for they received extensive training in mountaineering skills as well as survival training to live and fight in a harsh, unforgiving, cold environment. . At any rate most of the recruits that joined and made up the Gebirgsjager ranks at least initially, were in fact experienced mountaineers prior to their call-up.
The other most visibly distinctive difference was in their official insignia, the coveted, silver-gray Edelweiss badge which they wore on the right sleeve of their standard service dress as well as on the left side of their Bergmutze , a shorter peak cap version of the standard M43 field cap. The Bergmutze was in the initial years unique to the Gebirgsjager until it was eventually replaced towards the end by the standard issue M43 field cap. The insignia either on the cap and/or the sleeve was not always worn by all Gebirgsjager.
While the Gebirgsjager were troops specialized in mountain warfare, they saw action in almost all fronts along with Germany’s other elite force, the Fallschirmjager. The Gebirgsjager distinguished themselves in the many diverse environments ranging from Norway to the Mediterranean including North Africa to the Eastern front.
Good posed German Gebirsjager figures in nice details like mountain gear, Edelweiss arm badges and Bergmutze caps. Very suitable for WW II dioramas and vignettes with its reasonable price.
About CK Tang (beachbum) FROM: KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
Like most forum members here I started with Airfix, Frog & Matchbox at a time when there was no Internet. From the first time I saw a photo of a vignette on a Ford GPA in a swamp (from Monogram I think), I knew dioramas was the thing for me. However, it took more than a 25-year layoff from modelling...