Tamiya German Field Commander, 1/16 scale
Tamiya has been making a fair bit of hard currency over the past couple of decades with their 1/16 scale series of plastic figure kits, and their German Field Commander offers a mix of good detail and marginal parts fit.
Molded in # parts of gray styrene on one sprue, the figure consists of hollow-molded two-piece arms and legs; a two-piece upper torso with three-piece blouse skirt and separate blouse collar; separate boot feet; separate hands with separate thumbs and, in the case of the right hands, separate fingers.
A three-piece head with molded-on chin strap is topped with a hollow helmet. Separate gear to hang from the belt includes a map case and Walther P-38 pistol holster. The parts breakdown allows a realistic fit of the included P-38 (which I replaced with a Dragon flare pistol to represent what a company commander might use to signal movement or advance in an urban setting) in the right hand.You will need clamps and putty to ensure a tight assembly and eliminate a few nasty gaps on the legs, arms and upper torso – I recommend using a solvent cement instead of cyanoacrylate glue for assembly for just that reason.
While most insignia – Iron Cross First Class, infantry and assault badges, Iron Cross Second Class ribbon, collar rank insignia, epaulets and fastener buttons – are molded onto the blouse parts, a separate Knight’s Cross is provided on the sprue. Decals for the molded-on insignia and helmet decals are also included, and a Grossdeutschland cuff ribbon is included on the sheet.
The overall effect is of a helmeted Heer leutnant or oberleutnant circa 1940-43 wearing the 1935 pattern officer’s blouse with an unfastened collar, riding breeches and officer’s pattern knee boots.
I added sculpted magazine pouches and a breadbag from Milliput, Tamiya tape, lead fly-tying wire and plastic bits. The MP-40, binoculars and flare pistol came from an old Dragon Otto Skorzeny figure. I pirated a canteen from an old Tamiya figure to add to the breadbag.
I added a scratchbuilt wristwatch from lead foil and styrene pieces.
Weapons straps, the rubber helmet band and the camo covers on the epaulets were made from lead foil, while I used Tamiya tape to make the binoculars’ strap. I scratchbuilt the pocket torch from styrene stock.I used Vallejo Model Color acrylics for painting and Tamiya weathering powders for the boot dirt. The figure represents a Heer company commander during the invasion of Yugoslavia in April, 1941.
While I didn’t use the decals for uniform insignia, the helmet branch-of-service decal went on well over a dab of Future acrylic and under a drop of Micro Sol decal solvent.
The base was made from glued pine blocks, square dowels and basswood sheet. I used styrene brick-pattern sheet used for the wall and pavement.I covered the steps with a layer of Milliput standard-grade epoxy putty and sculpted the stone joints and wear and chipping on the steps. I plastered the wall with Squadron White Putty, scraping and chipping the dried putty to expose brick areas.
The railing is styrene I-beam, half-round rod, tubing, square stock, punched discs and hex nuts from styrene rod.
I rolled Milliput fine-grade epoxy putty into a thin sheet to make the scarf on the steps and the folded note on the pavement. The toy elephant was also made from Milliput. Shell casings on steps and pavement were cut from .020″ styrene rod and painted dull brass with fresh brass highlights.
4 additional images. Click to enlarge.