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1/72 REVELL- German Artillery (horse-drawn) (Img and Review)

September 4 2009 at 10:29 AM
Cristian Florescu  (Login Panzer_Grenadire)
Missing-Lynx members

Finally, after 4 months of quite hard working, I have succeeded to finish painting and writing the review for the set that I consider as the most complex and spectacular in terms of 1/72 WWII German gun and figures kits. It also depicts a favorite issue for me, namely horses.

In fact, the present topic wishes to bring a modest contribution to the promotion of the need of 1/72 WWII German cavalry and horse-drawn vehicles and to raise awareness of various manufacturers on the issue. More than 80 percent of WWII German transport was based on horses and in our scale we can count the kits featuring such horses on the fingers of one hand............

The review is definitely the longest I have ever written, but I hope that those having enough time and patience to read it to find some interesting and uncommon things there.

The numerous images present the content I used from three boxes of the same kit, one standard and other two conversions. Not only figures, but also guns, horses and limbers have been converted using Preiser and scratch built items. Making conversions was a real pleasure, especially bearing in mind that all the parts of this Revell set are practically scaled up Preiser products.

I do hope you will spend some moments at this post, finding it quite interesting and any comments or observations are highly welcome.

Cristian Florescu

REVELL 1/72

"German Artillery"

Manufacturer: Revell
Scale: 1/72
Set Code: 02515
Year: 1995
No. of Figures: 15
No. of Poses: 15
No. of Horses: 7
No. of Horse Poses: 7
Additional Items: 2 Cannons 10,5 cm leFH18; 1 artillery limber; various accessories for cannons; gear and weapons for soldiers
Size: Medium/High
Material: Soft Plastic
Colour: Gray
Flash Level: Medium
Glue-ability: Satisfactory (Super Glue Gel)
Conversion-ability: Difficult
Optimal Period: 1939 - 1945

Review:

The horse within WWII German Army played a huge role and the paradox rests in that even the army who invented Blitzkrieg, assessed as one of most mechanized and with the best motor vehicles, was also the one using, for the last time on large scale in a war, the oldest mean of transportation. In fact, WWII German Army was the one employing the greatest number of horses, and pack animals in the history of mankind wars. The aspiration for a fully motorised army remained just a beautiful and unreal dream of the German High Command, which according to statistical data, was forced to make use of around 1,100,000 horses during each year of war. Contrary to the opinion that their number decreases in the Late War period, the reality was that after 1943 the number of horses serving with the German Army had been enlarged. The situation mainly happened due to Allies strategic bombardments of motor vehicle factories, the production being seriously affected while the horse-breeding farms escaped untouched. Another determinant source was always available and at hand, civil population's horses being put in requisition by German soldiers when situation required, the army-men having no hesitations in applying the order. In this respect, within 1939-1943 over 1,200,000 horses had been taken from civil population and for the last two years of war their number is unknown. The establishment of a great number of farriers, veterinary units, and specialised hospitals for horses stresses once more the care and importance attached by the German High Command to this mean of transportation. While life expectancy for a motor vehicle limited at several months, for horses was settled at four years. Simple maintenance and resources for propulsion that could be found almost anywhere and anytime, not like petroleum, stand out as key features for enhancing the part played by horses in the harsh conditions in which their masters were forced to fight. Furthermore, to the massive number of horses should be added an unknown sum of mules, donkeys and oxen, all giving an essential input to the movement of WWII German war machine.

The position enjoyed by the noble animal within the German Army during the entire period of war can be as well highlighted through simply comparing the number of horses incorporated in a German infantry division. A 1939 such division registered approximately 5,300 horses, 1,100 horse-drawn vehicles, 950 motor vehicles, and 430 motorcycles while a 1944 infantry division enrolled about 4,600 horses, 1,400 horse-drawn vehicles, 600 motor vehicles, and 150 motorcycles. Significant for the Late War unit is reducing of motor vehicles and the increment of horse-drawn transportation. Another proper example on the matter might be the reports stating that on June 22, 1941 the German Army entered in Russia with about 600,000 motor vehicles, including 3,500 armored as well as with over 750,000 horse-drawn vehicles. Moreover, the figures do not take into account the number of horses used by cavalry/mounted infantry or other pack animals.

The contribution of horse was particularly amplified in rough conditions for motorised transportation, provided either by the Eastern Front, with its lack of paved roads and a huge amount of mud or by the large number of mountains in regions such as Balkans and Transylvania. Where motor vehicles failed to pass, the horse was called to manage the situation, as the one and only alternative for going forward. Nevertheless, it is completely wrong appreciating that the involvement of horse narrowed strictly to the just mentioned areas. Tones of images and films shot in the period clearly demonstrate their wide-spread utilisation on each and every front the WWII Germans fought. Starting with Poland, Norway or France and ending again with France or Germany in 1944/1945, the horse is a common presence, as a faithful partner of soldiers on the rack. In fact, weighting the overwhelming number of animals with the motor vehicle one, it might be said that during WWII in Europe, the horse embodied the main and most reliable mean of transportation for the Army acknowledged as having the best motor vehicles, but by far, in not enough amounts. It is estimated that around 80% of the WW II German transport was horse-drawn, which again, it is a quite shocking percent.

Existing since the beginning of war, and with roots going centuries back in old Prussia, WWII German cavalry/mounted infantry gained a more significant responsibility after the invasion of Russia. Both within Wehrmacht and Waffen SS there were established many cavalry/mounted infantry regiments, corps, divisions and brigades. Horses and various pack animals were usual appearances also in Fallschirmjager units, German paratroopers being frequently photographed as riding horses or donkeys. At the beginning of war within WWII German Army activated a single independent cavalry unit, 1st Cavalry Brigade, transformed in 1st Cavalry Division after the Polish campaign. Another important data related to WWII German cavalry is 19 September 1939, when cavalry as an individual army was abolished, but cavalry divisions and other units continued to exist until the end of war. Incorporated in "mobile troops" (Schnelle Truppen) together with reconnaissance, tank, antitank, bicycle, motorcycle and armored infantry units, cavalry, no matter the front, fulfilled major tasks such as reconnaissance, communications and quick interventions for filling the gaps in the front lines or occupying key objectives, as well as executing attacks against advancing or retreating enemy. At the middle of the war, except Cossack cavalry divisions and corps, there were founded in Waffen SS few cavalry divisions. Two of the most well-known Waffen SS mounted units are the 8th SS Kavallerie Division (Florian Geyer) and 22nd SS-Freiwilligen Kavallerie Division (Maria Theresia). Due to their accessibility in forests or other difficult terrains, some cavalry units received the unpleasant task of combating partisans, thing that cast a shadow over a number of platoons/regiments of the units implied.

Regarding the "classical" image of cavalry, a point of interest is that in Poland, 1939 seems to take place, for the last time in history, the final major "sword charge" opposing a German cavalry unit versus a Polish Uhlans unit. In the spirit of old times and although they had the advantage of spotting the enemy first, the Germans chose to charge the Polish with the swords, a pretty stupid decision, to fight Uhlans with their favourite weapon. For few centuries Polish Uhlans had maintained their fame as the best cavalry of Europe and of course, they did not encounter many problems in defeating those too proud and brainless Germans. As an irony of faith, the Polish soldiers had not time to enjoy the victory, while chasing the retreating Germans they entered in the cross-fire of the MGs of another Wehrmacht unit, being decimated. Probably in order to prevent the appearance of similar foolish ideas and considering its usefulness in modern warfare, the German High-Command removed the sword from the endowment of their cavalry units. This weapon can be seen at German cavalry only in the first year of war, generally in its scabbard attached to the saddle.

However, the role of standard cavalry is overshadowed by the great variety of horse-drawn vehicles employed by WWII German Army, either for towing artillery guns or carrying ammunition and other stuff an army needs. German Divisional horse-drawn transport addressed to infantry was divided in battle (Gefechtstross) and support or supply transports and as earlier pointed out, 80 percent of the total WWII German transport was horse-drawn. The vehicles towed by horses usually received various prefixes in the WWII German ordinance. Army vehicles were registered as (Hf.), artillery vehicles as (Af.), infantry vehicles as (If.), engineer vehicles as (Pf.), communication vehicles as (Nf.), vehicles of administrative troops as (Vwf.) and there were others without prefixes. Several of the most famous horse power vehicles were Hf1, Hf2 Hf7, Hf11, Hf12, If8, If4, Af12, Af4 as well as artillery limbers called after the towed gun such as LfH Limber 98E and LfH Limber 18, but the list is much wider. Furthermore, the Werhmacht appealed not only to various types of civil coaches, carts or wagons, but also photos of those times feature some more than strange and funny field conversions pulled by horses. Regular appearances consist in cars without engine or cut in two halves, the back part being used as a chart.

As stated by the several examples and figures above supplied, giving emphasis to the gigantic use of horses within the WWII German Army, in the 1/72 scale the distinguished contribution of this reliable friend is extremely poorly reflected. Moreover, it can also be easily noticed that the number of horses is superior to the one of the motor vehicles and this reality is far to be illustrated at 1/72. In the scale, the remarkable quantity of WWII German tanks, assault guns, trucks, cars and other motor vehicles, depicted in all their types, variants and field conversions have by far exceeded the underprivileged figure of available horses. Mass production kits aiming cavalry and horse-drawn vehicles can be counted on the fingers of one hand, represented in the scale by Revell - "German Artillery", Force of Valour - "German SS Cavalry Division" and HaT - "WWII German Mounted Infantry". Even cottage industry reps have not rushed to appropriately consider the horse in WWII German Army service, adding to the topic only several sets such as CMK - "Wehrmacht Mounted Infantry", Minaturas Alemany - "German Field Kitchen with Soldiers", TP Models - "Fahnenschmiedwagen Hf.1/13" and "Schwerer Feldwagen Hf.2". A further offer on the theme comes from Wespe Models's "Horse Drawn Convoy" delivering two wagons, but no horses. Likewise, because it might aim the 13th Waffen SS Mountain Division "Handschar", an ugly sculptured but proper equipped horse for portraying WWII German cavalry is encountered in Odemars's "Bosnian Infantry". Even its rider might be used with or without head removed for embodying a soldier in the WWII German Army. For quite a long time, HaT has made public their intention of producing two subject matter sets, "German Horse Drawn Multi Purpose Vehicle" and "German Horse Drawn Artillery Limber", but based on company's main focus of their WWII collection, the kits will address predominantly to wargaming.

Doubtless, the most complex set on the topic is the hereinafter reviewed one, namely Revell "German Artillery". The kit proposes to the hobbyist not only a horse drawn artillery limber with the appropriate number of horses, crew and cannon, but also another gun in firing position, its crewmen, and a rich range of related accessories. In spite being labeled as Revell, in fact we are in the presence of scaled up Preiser products and for an accustomed viewer, each and every item induce the marvelous atmosphere offered by most of Preiser sets. Revell has the merit of increasing the scale and gathering in the same box several Preiser kits previously released in the 1/87 (HO) scale, specifically "Horse drawn field howitzer 10,5 cm leFH18. Marching" (set 16513) and "Gunners for 10,5 cm leFH18" (set 16537). Furthermore, the cannon in firing position looks like being taken from Preiser's "10,5cm leichte Feldhaubitze leFH 18/40 (set 16534)" but leaving aside its specific muzzle brake for matching with the towed gun which is a regular leFH 18. The first quoted Preiser set portrays the horses, limber, towed gun and eight figures, the second aims seven crewmen for leFH 18 and the last features the related gun in action. Revell had the brilliant idea of combining under the title "German Artillery" the above mentioned Preiser sets, making available in the 1/72 scale a great market product and filling a serious gap in the scale. Nevertheless, this kit does not stand as the single example of Revell-Preiser collaboration, Revell's "German Armoured Infantry" also scaling up Preiser's "Panzer Grenadiers. The German Reich 1942" (set 16504). These sets have remained the only examples of cooperation between two of the most famous German companies activating in Braille Scale. However, extremely attractive and on uncommon subjects Preiser sets containing horses wait their turn for scaling up, the target groups aching for them. The best choice for fulfilling this desiderate would be Preiser, scaling up by themselves their own HO sets fortunately becoming a tradition at this company in the last period.

A special issue is opened by Revell's decision to switch the well-known Preiser's hard plastic to the soft one fitting their facilities, fact appreciated as a serious drawback. Even considerably smaller, Preiser's HO versions of all components are better than those encountered here, especially the thin details appearing much sharper. The soft plastic is to blame for swallowing some of the great efforts put in by Preiser sculptors in highly detailing all parts. In addition, perhaps due to the employed material and for moulding reasons, Revell was forced to apply slight modifications at two figures, changing the position of the right hand of a rider and linking to a spade an artillery-man. If in the original set the rider in case was petting his horse with that hand, in Revell's interpretation, he ended to caress his own forehead or to clean his sweat, still plausible and fine approaches. The other modification is even more insignificant, Revell just putting together the gunner and the spade. Anyway, this case illustrates in the clearest manner the disadvantages of soft plastic. For achieving their natural and vivid poses, avoid mutilations and excess of material, Preiser has adopted the multi-part approach, a nearly impossible thing with the soft plastic utilized by Revell. Being cast as a single piece, this figure arrives in a quite forced position, with an odd joint of upper trousers and shirt as well as with some excess of plastic in the neck area. Furthermore, Preiser delivers their figures without weapons and gear, leaving to the modeller the option of endowing his figures as he wishes. Again, due to the material employed, these Revell figures diverge from their HO cousins, coming already equipped with some weapons and gear. Casting the minis in one piece, excess of plastic found an excellent opportunity to install in narrow places such as the shoulder stocks or mutilating some of the items of equipment that at their origins are really outstanding. Mostly addressed to diorama builders, Preiser figures are delivered without bases, but the present Revell product targets both diorama builders and wargamers. In this respect, the last own contribution of Revell was attaching on bases not only the crewmen of the cannon in action, but also all horses. At least concerning horses, Revell would have better refrain from basing them, because the well calculated initial Preiser report between animals and limber was modified. Even without bases these horses possess a good balance and additionally, they are fixed to the limber through plastic traces, so no chance to fall aside. Considering the just stated issues, it is highly recommended to remove the bases of the horses in order to achieve a more realistic appearance of the hippo-train.

Content is delivered on two sprues enclosed in a standard Revell box for 1/72 figures, presenting in the artwork the determinant components of the set and several soldiers in close positions with those encountered inside. On the back of the box we receive a painting guide for Revell colours as well as a drawing of the cannon while on one side we get few historical data on the matter. In general on the back of Revell boxes there are showed drawings of the special things available inside. Seeing only the cannon, after opening the box, an uninformed customer will have the great surprise of finding inside a huge number of special items referred neither on the box nor in the title. The included instruction sheet is quite useful not only for assembling the cannons and limber, but also for finding out the manufacturer's vision on how to arrange the team of horses and place the crew of the gun ready to open fire. These are pretty useful guidelines while both the limber arrangement and the crewmen of the gun in action have as starting point some well-known photos. It is Preiser's strong point and very much appreciated characteristic to inspire the poses of their figures from reference images, mostly published in Signal magazine. This time, considering the large number of army-men as well as that the complete team of six horses and limber hardly emerge together in clear photos, the sculptors from Preiser were forced to appeal to more images, combining them for creating the present masterpiece. On the other hand, although some of the stances are not identical with those of the real soldiers featured by the references, these are still closely linked and identified without any doubt. No orientation is given regarding the spare accessories distributed to the troopers such as gas mask containers, Zeltbahns, bread bags, helmets or Kar98Ks. Bearing in mind the poses, attire and the fact that some figures have already been endowed with few items, we may assess these accessories as designed either for furnishing the limber or emplaced around the gun in action as belonging to its crewmen. Preiser almost always issues in their 1/72 figure kits various spare gear and weapons, allowing the hobbyist to equip the troopers as he wishes and the present set makes no exception in this regard.

Similarly, no indication referring to the glue that should be used is available, and on account of the material, only super glue can have success. With super glue gel is achieved a quite satisfactory bond, sometimes facilitated by the pin and hole system adopted by the producer for joining most of parts requiring assembly. The quality and durability of the bond makes us thinking once more at Preiser's hard plastic and how good it could have been if this product had been issued in that plastic.

Taking into account the content of the set and for acquiring a better picture, this has to be split in several chapters and the first will refer to the cannons. The box delivers not one, but two 10,5 cm leFH18, which was the standard WWII German divisional light gun howitzer, bringing it in two of the most common hypostasis, the firing and travelling positions.

The development of 10,5 cm leichte Feldhaubitze 18 was initiated in 1928-1929 by Rheinmetall and the first pieces were delivered to the Army in 1935. The cannon was maintained in service until the end of war, seeing combat on all fronts, not only in the service of German Army, but also together with their allies such as Romania and Hungary. Being a haubitze, it could act both as a howitzer and a gun, in anti-tank role often and successfully distinguishing in Africa and on Eastern fronts, areas where the lack of specialised anti-tank cannons was acute. For increasing the range, a more powerful propellant started to be utilised by 1941, but the recoil became much too heavy for the carriage. In order to solve the problem, a muzzle brake was adopted, revising also the recoil mechanism and equilibrators. The new type was listed as 10.5cm leFH18M (M coming from mundungbremse/muzzle brake). Drawn either by light tractor (Sd.Kfz 11 being the dedicated one) or by a six-horse team together with a limber, the 10,5 cm leFH18 was too heavy for its calibre. The request of the German High Command for a lighter version was fulfilled in 1943 when it appeared the 10.5cm leFH18/40. The new model implied a modified 7.5cm PaK40 chassis and the 10.5cm leFH18M gun and its shield, the latest version also changing the PaK40 wheels and tyres with wider ones. That was intended to become the standard, but like in plenty of other similar cases, it had never succeeded to substitute the older models of leFH18 which continued to be seen on the front line until 1945.

In conformity with the organization scheme provided for by KStN, a horse-drawn battery of leFH18 consisted in four cannons and their limbers pulled by sixteen heavy and eight light horses, transporting twenty eight troopers while the commanders of each gun rode a saddle horse. Based on the number of guns and figures fit in by the Revell kit, we might assess not only that we get almost half of a battery but also that it introduces the initial type of 10,5 cm leFH18 due to the lack of muzzle brakes. The absence of muzzle brakes borders the ideal period to 1939-1942, but still the kit can be used all over the war. An equal number of parts (ten) are necessary for putting together either the firing or travelling cannons. The assembly is facilitated by the pin and hole system adopted for all parts and not only for better resistance, but also for keeping all the pieces in normal positions, these need to be glued. Being manufactured in soft plastic, the standard modelling adhesive has no result, but a quite satisfactory job is done by super glue. Advocated is the gel one because for few seconds, the pieces may be rearranged for better matching, a major advantage in working with soft plastic. Both types of wheels have the proper size and feature plenty of fine and accurate details. A nice touch are the appropriate shields for each gun, for the one in action the shield coming opened while for the towed cannon it is folded in the transportation position. Made of soft plastic, it is almost normal that tools to be modelled on the guns and not separate, but their visibility gets better after painting. Fortunately, pieces remained unharmed by the quality of the material are the sight mounts and we have the possibility to recognise one more time the high class of Preiser sculptors. Even if tiny details like shield rivets do not make a strong impression, these are there and the assembled guns appear in scale and succeeding to catch almost all the distinct features of a 10,5 cm leFH18. Few small details either miss or are not so obvious or even mix with others and should be searched on the guns switching the product in the best light. The absence of hand wheels sets out as an annoying thing, in soft plastic probably it was impossible for Revell to correctly reproduce them. At a closer look there could be identified even the pins waiting for the related holes of the hand wheels, but these would not come, at least from this kit. Hand wheels from modeller's spare parts box will find their place really easy while the cannons feature the necessary devices where the hand wheels would have been installed. It is also advisable drilling holes in the muzzles, in soft plastic the operation being extremely easy and attainable with a large array of tools. In case of owning more boxes of the same kit with the purpose of bringing some diversity, a proper and effortless conversion of the gun might consist in changing the wheels of one cannon with those of the limber. There are plenty of references attesting 10,5 cm leFH18 with wooden wheels (only for horse-drawn transportation) and even much more showing the artillery limber using the standard metal wheels of leFH18 and the gun with the wooden wheels of the limber. An extra option is available for the cannon in action, its right spade being duplicated, one featuring a crewman attached to it and another without even if the figure can be easily removed from the spade.

For the guns there are provided a good number of well detailed related ammunition cases as well as boxes for powder bag containers or cartridges, excellent for topping up credible scenes. Particularly dedicated to the cannon ready to fire, in some extent the boxes might be added even to the gun in travelling position. An adequate location for emplacing several such accessories represents the trails, as some reference images reveal, the place is in full accordance with the practice of the 10,5 cm leFH18 crewmen. Except a wide range of gear and ammo boxes, the trails were often used to transport hay or grains for the horses. Diverging from 1/72 howitzers kits, predominantly offering spare projectiles, here we have the great pleasure of encountering not only a couple of sets of projectiles in their wooden cases and two projectiles in individual wooden cases, but also two large boxes. Designed for 10,5 cm leFH18 powder bag containers or cartridges, the boxes come closed and opened featuring just the empty racks. Moreover, it should be underlined that the just described boxes and cases are completed by various cannon accessories held by several of the crewmen of the gun in action which will be later addressed in the chapter dedicated to figures.

A key component of the set is the artillery limber on account that except the present one, the vehicle has been completely ignored in the 1/72 scale. Bearing in mind that in our case it tows a 10,5 cm leFH18, its identification name was leFH Limber 18 (sechsspg.leichte Feldhaubitzen, Protze) but to the same vehicle could be hooked a caisson or different cannons such as leIG18, PaK35/36 etc. Incorporating metal and wooden parts, the leFH Limber 18 was planned to carry four crewmen and their personal weapons, gear and ammunition for the related gun. Developed from WW I German artillery limber that, by the way, remained in service during WWII as well, the leFH Limber 18 was pulled by a six horse team grouped on three pairs. Formed by two light and four heavy horses in conformity with KStN, such a team normally not all the time reached the authorised strength. Infringements of regulations registered in plenty of situations dictated by front circumstances and a larger number of light horses in a team had to manage the burden. Apart from four leFH 18 gunners travelling in the limber, KStN provided for that three other members of the crew to ride the team horses. The procedure in force stated that soldiers should have ridden the left hand horse of each pair, the application of the norm being also sustained by the greatest amount of references on the matter. Nevertheless, there exist few images showing troopers riding the right hand horses, but these must be regarded as exceptions, most surely imposed by field conditions. The limber was driven by the riders, each of them controlling the other horse in pair. Extremely rare reference materials show an army-man from the artillery limber gaining control over the last pair of horses through bridles. If situation required, that could be easily achieved through quickly fitting bridles.

Same like the cannons, Revell's leFH Limber 18 is distributed in ten parts and is extremely easy to assemble. The pin and hole system was chosen once more for easing the operation and the pieces truly match very good. It is a matter of minutes for finishing it and although the parts stay together, the use of superglue for all pieces is again compulsory, otherwise some might stay in abnormal positions. Nicely sculptured emerge the wooden bench seats of the main box as well as the hook for towing the cannon. The four Kar98 fixed in the racks, representing the personal firing weapons of the seated crew, are other good items despite featuring a flat inner side which becomes hard to spot when setting the racks in their places. The limber pole and the devices for fixing the first pair of horses are pieces that have to glue to the limber and for both two front pairs of horses the kit supplies a system that must be stuck to the limber pole end. With this purpose, its regular hook was replaced by a hole, the inexactitudes of the invented mechanism, being partially hidden and hard to spot after emplacing the horses in the dedicated locations. On the other hand, the device facilitates setting the ensemble formed by the first two pairs in a number of positions. A little bit simplified on account of the scale, most of the characteristic parts for connecting the horses to the limber are satisfactory. For assuming their roles, each horse of the limber has got two holes while the traces received the associated pins. In order to achieve a proper match, it is better to shorten the pins of the traces before fixing these on horses together with the indispensable super glue. The traces provided by Revell are equal in thickness with the leather breast plate that is in fact a mistake and the difference perceptible even in the 1/72 scale. The referred traces/ropes should be thinner than the breast plate and a more exigent modeller can choose either to thin or substitute the Revell traces with wires, strings or thread. If the solution of new traces is adopted, these might be glued to the single trees offered by the kit, the parts in case looking accurate in size and deserving to be kept. A small piece of advice after getting rid of the provided traces, is drilling holes in the single trees, otherwise there will be encountered serious difficulties in gluing the new replacements, especially when working with metal wires. Another available option related to the traces targets strictly the ones allocated to the last pair. If to this limber are hooked only two horses, the delivered traces might be kept if these are not painted as ropes, but as wooden or leather. Some images from the period feature field conversions where the original traces were replaced by some made of wood or leather, obviously thicker and in this way matching the size of the traces encountered within this set.

One of the most important gains of the set embodies the six horse team, portrayed at pace or slow trout and not hurrying up to the action. Highly welcomed is the manufacturer decision of delivering all horses in different poses, not duplicating any as it is the trend registered in the field at various companies. The stances are wonderful and extremely natural, being also extracted from photos of the period. Heads, necks and legs are in dissimilar and vivid positions, bringing plenty of diversity while the outstanding bodies feature nice muscles and ribs. The whole proportions of the animals are simply perfect and in scale, greatly matching with the figures, limber or gun. At their turn, the size of hooves clearly attests that we receive genuine drought horses, fully capable to pull the entire load. For sure, it is quite intricate establishing which ones are the heavy and the light horses in this team. Mane and tails are impressively done while head details set out as a new proof regarding the extraordinary skills of Preiser sculptors. In spite the small scale, noses, eyes and ears are clearly and easily spotted, the heads matching the characteristics of the breed provided to the army by Eastern Prussia farms. Another striking realisation lies in the variation of opened or closed mouths, these having the capacity of increasing the naturalism of the animals with so much that we almost see their lips trembling and hear the sniff.

Based on their job as drought horses pulling a leFH Limber 18, of particular interest are the complex networks of harness utilised by the WWII German army and quite properly illustrated here. In this regard, there is provided the standard system, all webbing being sculptured on the animals. The bridles are correctly exemplified and put forward all major pieces such as crownpiece, browband, cavesson, nose band or throatlatch. The most important components of the harness are also appropriately located, in full accordance with the manuals in the field. Furthermore, in spite of the small scale, the hobbyist has the opportunity to identify many small elements on the harness such as rings and adjusting buckles. However, few details miss, the most obvious being the lack of proper number of "D" rings set above and below both sides of the breast plate, the manufacturer portraying just two such "D" rings. The WWII German standard horse webbing was very close to the one used in WWI, with most parts made of leather and it is still encountered in European countries where draught horses are luckily a common presence on the roads. Certainly, identical harness was adopted not only for artillery limbers, but also for many other WWII horse-drawn vehicles, so no fear in using them to other charts or wagons. Additionally, the webbing is extremely important in our case, determining the pairs of horses and limiting the freedom of randomly displaying them. In this light, the instruction sheet is relevant, featuring the appropriate pairs. The last one is the easiest to be recognised because the horses have the breast plates linked with the breechings, completely surrounding their bodies as well as two leather hip straps. Differently, the pairs in front of them possess only the breast plate and a single hip strap, but this does not contradict the reality. Likewise, somehow perturbed by flash, is the producer's intention of adding or not the two compulsory straps linking the hip strap/straps with the collar. These straps should pass under the saddle/blanket and without them the last back strap/straps could not stay. It is mandatory to represent these straps, especially because simply drawing two lines of paint is sufficient for an accurate illustration. An exciting detail is the ring emplaced in the middle of the horse collar and featured by all animals of the team. The ring provided the necessary support for hooking to the limber pole through chains each horse of the last pair, but the chains are not included in the kit. The normal role of chains was establishing a supplementary connection to the vehicle except the four outside traces, this time offered by the kit. In real life both chains and traces connected the last pair to the limber while the two front pairs of horses were linked exclusively through traces. It is not a mistake that not only the last pair, but all horses in the team possess the special ring for the chain. The detail is in fully agreement with the standard WWII harness of a leFH Limber 18 horse team, all of them having it for a fast changing of positions within the team. Hobbyists wanting to depict the chains may find several appropriate solutions inside diverse photo-etched sets for vehicles or naval modelling. In this purpose, some very good chains are available in Dragon's BergePanzer Tiger (P) especially because the model can be completed in a version not requiring the chains, too.

As previously underlined, ordinary the three left hand horses of the leFH Limber 18 were ridden by soldiers and for this reason these animals come saddled up. Likewise, the right hand horse of the last pair is saddled up, diverging from the other two right hand horses to which were sculptured only blankets. Such approach does not contradict the situation in the field, a large amount of reference materials recording it or even presenting all the right hand horses of the team saddled up. In many cases the right hand horses were put to carry various items of equipment, packs and ammunition. Moreover, saddling up both horses of the last pair, it is granted the modeller the liberty of switching the left hand horse with the right hand one. For the other two pairs this maneuver is impossible because the left hand horses always feature saddles and here their mates in pair have only blankets. Mixing the horses of the first two pairs is limited only by the need of respecting the left and right hand positions.

The saddles issued for the present horses are the standard M25 model with blanket beneath. On account of the size, manufacturers of 1/72 WWII German cavalry commonly sculpture stir-ups and their inter-linked straps on the rider's legs and the same approach is adopted here. Separately and modelled as a single piece, there is supplied an ensemble aimed to be attached to the saddle. For this part, formed by M34 left and right pouches, rolled blanket or Zeltbahn and steel helmet, super glue must be used again. The pin and hole system is ignored this time, but the wideness of the part provides enough space for adhesive to reach a durable bond. The large majority of reference materials from the period feature M34 left and right pouches set in front and the blanket at the rear of the saddle, but taking into account the shape and the rolled blanket, we can set this ensemble strictly to the rear. Nevertheless, the presence of M34 pouches at the rear of the saddle was not out of ordinary for WWII German horses, as it is revealed by some images. Inside the left pouch, known as Pferdegepack (horseshoe pack) were kept horseshoes, nails, brush and other objects for horse while inside the right pouch, Reitergepack (rider pack) the soldiers had their personal stuff. It also should have been better if the manufacturer had placed the helmet a little bit below than the actual location. Although four horses are saddled up, Revell offers only three ensembles and the instruction sheet advice us to fix them to the limber horses with riders. On the one hand it is not compulsory gluing these items, the modeller has the option of leaving just the saddles, and on the other hand, one such device might be attached to the right hand horse of the last pair, also saddled up and without trooper on its back. Both hypostases are sustained by materials recorded in the period. Besides, to the M34 pouches might be cemented some of the supplementary gear delivered individually, the most recommended being mess tins and canteens as the German soldiers usually did it. An alternative at hand to the modeller is cutting apart the M34 pouches and glue them in front of the saddle, and if desired, adding on the back other things such as Zeltbahn and/or helmet provided within the kit. In terms of interaction of riders with horses a special issue is raised by the lack of reins although all soldiers' left hands are cast as holding them. Due to the poses of heads, simply suggesting through paint the reins is not possible and those aiming to achieve a more realistic look should scratch-built them from various materials.

Last but not least, the drought horses supplied by Revell come out as a vital asset because they may be employed to draw the few wagons available in the 1/72 scale, especially those issued without horses such as Wespe Models's "Horse Drawn Convoy". In this light, if buying more sets, to a limber can be hooked less teams of horses for towing nothing or lighter guns such as le.IG 18 or PaK35/36, the rest of animals following to be utilised at other vehicles. An extra option for spare horses, although wearing towing harness, could be carrying on their backs different ammunition boxes or infantry gear. Likewise, the whole six horse team is appropriate to pull the 15 cm sFH 18 (medium/heavy field howitzer) hooked directly to the carriage of the cannon while such a gun did not require or have a limber like leFH 18. Additionally, the same six horse team or even less pairs of animals might be set to move out of mud or snow a large array of motor vehicles, horses often being involved in such actions, as references noticeably demonstrate.

Outside the six horse team for the limber, the set puts forward another horse, in this respect making available the seventh horse stipulated by KStN for the standard crew of a horse-drawn 10,5 cm leFH18. According to regulations, the outer horse was ridden by the gun commander who was theoretically armed with Kar98K. Featuring it represents not only a new proof of the professional research carried out by the manufacturer, but also brings a major contribution to the extreme low number of WWII German cavalry/mounted infantry horses. The role as a saddle horse is emphasised by a sculpture diverging to the one registered for the limber team, the animal, who is a stallion according to some relevant details, appearing taller, slimmer and with smaller hooves. The rhythm of this pure Hanoverian with one leg lifted fits with the slow speed of his colleagues connected to the limber. However, its stance is dissimilar, with the head up and not drooped by the pulled burden, emanating a general proud attitude put in valour as well by a superb facial expression. The tail is contrasting too, being the only one winded in the air and not linked to the body, like for the rest. Going very deep in analysing the anatomy of this horse, the single small reproach can be the fact that few muscles of the back legs are wrongly emplaced, a real horse having not so evident muscles there even if it had been running all day long since it was born. Anyway, this is a much too deep investigation for a Braille Scale horse and those muscles do not spoil at all the true value of the animal.

Normally, its harness is also different than the complex network of leather straps encountered at the horses of the limber. Appropriate girth, breastplate and bridles clearly showing again the fine crownpiece, browband, cavesson, nose band and curb reins are set in the right locations and most of their correspondents adjusting buckles are visible. The horse comes tacked up with a M25 saddle with blanket beneath and without M34 pouches which if desired, might be added from the ones delivered for the horses of the limber. In contrast with the other horses of the kit, at this one we get the necessary reins, matching pretty good in the hand of his master. In spite being delivered by a set mainly aiming drought horses, all qualities and details of this animal turn it into the best option accessible in the 1/72 scale for depicting a WWII German saddle horse.

A special place in Revell's "German Artillery" occupies the fifteen soldiers and as it was earlier pointed out, this 1/72 kit practically gathering in the same place soldiers previously made available to the hobby by two Preiser HO sets. The inclusion of fifteen army-men almost fully covers the necessary number of crewmen for the two leFH 18, in conformity with KStN only one trooper missing for getting two complete crews. Considering the implemented activities, the soldiers might be divided in two major sections, namely crewmen of the gun in action and crewmen of the cannon in travelling position. This last category splits also in two parts, troopers travelling in the limber and mounted on horses.

Crews of both cannons are dressed for summer and even some of them are stripped to the waist or with rolled up sleeves, facts undoubtedly attesting the intention of the sculptor and limiting the use strictly to very warm environments. The uniforms are the Early War type, illustrated here by M36 tunics, shirts, regular trousers, breeches, marching and riding boots. Headgear is composed by nine M34 overseas caps, two steel helmets and four troopers wear nothing on their heads. Items of exceptional interest are the suspenders worn by three gunners and the breeches dressed by five soldiers. Suspenders, which should not be confounded with the well-known and famous "Y" straps, are quite a rare presence in the scale, analogous items being encountered in Preiser "Tank Crew - The German Reich 1939-1945" (Set code 72507) as well as Miniaturas Alemany "Tiger Maintenance Group" and "German Field Kitchen with Soldiers". At these suspenders we can see not only their braided ends, but also the inter-linked buttons of the trousers, few niceties providing great opportunities for a good-looking painting. Breeches were the specialised trousers of mounted personnel but were adopted with slide modifications on wide scale by unmounted officers. The original mounted troops breeches had the seat and crotch reinforced with a leather panel, later replaced by a field-grey wool one due to leather shortages. Targeting mounted units, within this set the modeller have the occasion to identify breeches on five figures, not only all riders wearing them, but also the commander of the gun in action. Description of Revell's "German Artillery" featured attire can not end without stressing the difference between riding boots and the regular marching/jack boots, and the present set grants us this opportunity. Designed for mounted troops, the riding boots (Reitstiefel) registered small changes than the regular marching boots and had been worn not only by mounted units, but also by officers serving in unmounted. The differences consist in narrower and higher leg as well as in a small, extended, leather crescent at the heel for securing the spurs in the proper position. By regulations, mounted troopers had to wear spurs on their boots, the most common version being M31 and all the riders from here have them fixed in the correct locations.

All poses of the crewmen of the leFH 18 cannon in action are absolutely more than capable for transmitting the feelings around a gun in the middle of the fight, catching the most representative activities carried out by the crew in such moments. This was achieved thanks to the great abilities of Preiser sculptors which used as models real soldiers handling leFH 18 guns featured by a couple of photos taken in the period. The 1/72 poses are not identical, but very close to the ones they try to duplicate, extremely credible in what they implement. Because the tension is not so high, it is obvious that the enemy infantry and tanks are pretty far, this crew executing a regular bombardment over foe positions from a safe distance. The relaxation of the soldiers is emphasised not only by their poses, but also by the way they are dressed, as much as comfortable. Some of them are stripped to the waist, others retained the shirts but rolled up the sleeves and only the gun commander although keeping his M36 tunic on, is displayed in an unorthodox appearance, completely unbuttoned. Three of them wear nothing on their heads while two have M34 overseas caps and two chose to put on the steel helmets. Neither personal gear nor weapons are featured by these figures and might be completed with few such items taken either from those provided by this kit or by the specialised sprues abounding in Preiser sets on WWII German Army. Nevertheless, considering their positions as gunners and the way that are dressed corroborated with the fact that only have belts able to sustain gear, the best options are Kar98k ammunition pouches, pistols holsters, bayonets or even canteens. Except the gun commander who has breeches, the rest of the crew wear regular trousers and it might have been better to see at least other three with breeches for highlighting their horse drawn artillery membership. Based on the immense number of horses serving within Wehrmacht, it was ordinary that soldiers dressing regular trousers and not specialized breeches while riding horses not to be a mistake. Some reference images support this assessment, so the present figures could still belong to horse-drawn units without hesitation. On the other hand, their leFH 18 cannon might be drawn by its designated tractor (Sd.Kfz 11) or other motorized vehicle, having in this regard no connection with horses.

By regulations, leFH 18 was operated by a crew of eight, the chief of section being responsible for seeing that all duties are properly performed, all commands executed, and all safety precautions observed, the gunner operated the sights, no. 1 operated the breech, no. 2 rammed the round home, no. 3 operated the elevating mechanism and nos. 4, 5, 6 handled the ammunition. When releasing their initial HO set aiming the leFH 18 crew, Preiser decided to incorporate only seven gunners, but this is a common approach at the company, in another kit dedicated to a gun crew, more precisely PaK40, were included five figures, also an insufficient number for completing the entire crew. Scaling up Preiser's set on leFH 18 crew, the same situation intervenes in Revell's kit, the crew of the gun in action requiring another trooper for completion. The issue has a quick answer, the best solutions based on size and attire being available in Preiser's "Tank Crew - The German Reich 1939-1945" (Set code 72507) and "Luftwaffe Pilots and Ground Crew". Both the present reviewed set and those just named look like sharing the same sculptor.

For the gun in action the mini fulfilling the role of the chief of the section is immediately remarked, not only his stance but also the gear stressing his position. Holding on the chest his binoculars and with the right hand up in the air he prepares to order "Fire". A point of interest is the lens cover of his binoculars worn on the back. This is also a strong clue revealing its Preiser's origins, an identical approach of lens cover encountering at other Preiser figures. The tunic is unbuttoned and he is the single dismounted figure of the set endowed with breeches. Because of his trousers, he might be presumed either as a mounted artillery NCO or as an officer of any branch. In the team, the gunner is probably the soldier covering his ears with the palms in an attempt of reducing the noise produced by the cannon when fired. Stripped to the waist, with a bandanna rolled around his neck and with suspenders flowing around his hips, the figure teaches a very good lesson of anatomy in the 1/72 scale. An out of ordinary and really exciting item at this soldier represents his dog tag, clearly featured together with the related chain. No.1 could be the one wearing shirt and in a pose suggesting pulling the rope for opening fire while no.2 might be the figure holding a projectile to his chest and stripped to the waist, but with steel helmet and dog tag. Considering all poses and the developed actions, no.3 could be the one missing from the team, or his role to be acted by the one with the foot on the spade, but he is also good as a trooper handling the ammunitions in spite holding none at present. This is the figure with most mould problems as have been pointed out earlier inside the review. Except the one with steel helmet holding a round, two other figures are connected to ammunition activities. One of them clutches a projectile, rushing to bring it closer while the other figure gives birth to some suppositions in relation with what he holds in his hands. A clear perception on what he has in the left hand is blocked by the small size, pose and flash. Taking into account his part played, the item in case may be a cartridge or a powder bag container. The object held in the right hand is more evident and most surely is a standard wooden container accommodating three small containers for powder bags. Inspired by real soldiers appearing in several famous images, but slightly modified in terms of attire and stances, when set around the gun the whole crew succeeds to induce a very credible image that we almost can smell the sweat, hear the yelled orders immediately followed by the bang on the gun while the rope is pulled. With or without insignificant modifications, several of these gunners can be enrolled in other units such as tankers or maintenance personnel.

If the gun in action misses one trooper from its crew, not the same thing can be said about the gun in travelling position hitched to the limber. For this cannon we receive its complete eight member crew and another plus point is the full respect of the KStN on modalities of travelling for a leFH18 crew, with four members in the limber, three riding the left hand horses and one riding a saddle horse. Diverging from their colleagues from the gun in fire position, all the soldiers wear regular M36 tunics but with rolled up sleeves, so no problem in matching in the same environment with the other team and below tunics are put in evidence the shirts. All of them have M34 overseas caps, including the one in the limber who is bare headed, holds his cap in the left hand. At their turn, the four army-men from the limber are based on images of the period, but the mix of photos and modifications brought to poses was larger than those for the crew of the gun in action. The figures excellent fit in the vehicle, having the necessary space for comfortably sit and the instruction sheet promotes the display on pairs, on the front and rear benches. This setting is supported by the great majority of reference photos although some of them feature three troopers on the front bench, an impossible thing to achieve with these figures, not because scale inaccuracies but due to their poses. Diverging form the crew of the firing cannon, the ones in the limber received few items of gear, namely Kar98K ammunition pouches and bayonets. The ammunition pouches are very welcome especially bearing in mind that their personal firing weapons are in the racks of the limber. Regrettably, some of the bayonets are quite vague, ill-treated by the cruel soft plastic and mould. In relaxed poses, the troopers exceptional interact from their locations, and even the bare headed soldier, who looks like resting or sleeping after a tired service, finds its place in this lively limber. In addition, they are ideal to take a sit not only in a limber, but also in a motor vehicle, chair or ammunition box. Though not normally having bridles at leFH Limber 18, two figures have their hands set in a manner either facilitating the use of bridles at a conversion of the present one or at other horse-drawn wagons. Likewise, they even are just the thing for taking position at the steering wheel of an army truck or car.

The attitude of the three riders greatly fits with the one of their mates travelling in the limber, inducing a tranquil atmosphere in crazy times. The position of all left hands suggests them as holding reins, but the item misses and might be scratch built by hobbyist from various materials. The right hands are kept in natural positions when riding and one of them cleans his sweat from his forehead. Dressed in tunics, breeches and riding boots with spurs fixed in the right places, they received few gear components as well as Kar98K sustained by related straps on the backs. All of them were endowed with correct ammunition pouches, canteens, gas mask containers maintained in positions by appropriate straps rolled around the chest and a single trooper retained his bread bag. Initially bayonets were delivered to all riders, but the poor mould ruined at least one of these and it can be easily interpreted as flash and removed while cleaning the figures. Wearing on the head M34 overseas caps, they do not remain without steel helmets if there are added the spare parts designed for the back of the saddles, including the helmet, but also the M34 left and right pouches and a rolled blanket. The assembly paper designates the horse for each of them and the soldiers fit not only in the allocated saddle, but in all of the others, so no restriction in fixing them as desired. In order to avoid the traces, the lower inner part of the boots was carved, but the thing is not visible when the figures are mounted either on draught or saddle horses. Because they greatly stay in the saddles, it is unnecessary to use superglue for setting them in their positions.

Delivering the eighth crewman of the leFH 18 as an outer rider is a major gain of the kit and in full accordance with KStN which states that for the gun in case the gun commander was travelling in this way. On account of his gear represented by a map case and pistol holster, the figure is closer to an officer than a gun commander, who was endowed with Kar98K, just like the rest of his subordinates. However, in terms of weapons and gear exceptions were at their home within WWII German army and on the other hand, this figure can be the commander of the battery who was an officer. He wears the same attire like all the other troopers mounted on the limber horses, with M36 tunics, breeches, M34 cap and boots with spurs. Not only because he rides an outer horse, but also his gear and attitude increased by the opened mouth and head a little to the left for better supervising the maneuvers of the unit are strong clues on his rank. The horse he rides is the only one who received reins and the left hand of the rider matches pretty fine on them while the right hand rests on the hip. If it is the case, this trooper can be mounted in the saddle of any horse of the limber, but without modifications, the approach is not so recommended due to its weapon and gear. Moreover, these items and his uniform make the figure excellent for portraying not only an artilleryman, but also a mounted infantry. Together with his horse he is one of the few WWII German riders available in the scale and probably the best in the role of a mounted officer. As some might recognise, the pose was inspired again by an image published in Signal magazine, but the photo in case is not so famous.

A characteristic feature of Preiser consists in offering inside most of their figure kits spare sprues for weapons and gear and this set shares this particularity, restating its true origins. Here the spare weapons are four Kar98K and a pistol holster while gear is represented by two Zeltbahns, two gas mask containers, one bread bag, two canteens, one mess tin, one MG ammunition case and four helmets. These items are very welcome either for completing a convincing scene spread around the gun in action or might be displayed in various places to the limber. Anyway, in spite the quality level of details entirely comparable with Preiser, being made of soft plastic might determine the modellers to choose the hard plastic versions that are widely available in Preiser original kits.

The fine sculpture and accuracy in terms of uniforms, gear and weapons encountered in Preiser's 1/72 WWII German range is much acknowledged and praised, the content of the present kit making no exception in this regard in spite being labelled as Revell. Uniforms are more than great, with authentic and credible creases, featuring also tiny details such as appropriate number of buttons, collar boards, breast eagles and pockets for trousers. The care of the sculptors in forcing to the limits the detailing level of the product is really impressive and can be underlined by the almost invisible buttons of the shirts worn under the tunics by the crew of the hippo train. Particularly put in valour by the soldiers stripped to waist, the anatomy of all figures is faultless while the brilliant facial expressions and hair cuts increase a lot the charm, bringing a major contribution in sustaining the stances adopted by each trooper and achieving something tremendously realistic.

At first impression flash appears in normal amounts for a soft plastic set, but actually the level is quite high and even for an exercised eye it is hard to spot and remove all of it. In addition, the large number of pieces requires plenty of time and patience for a good cleaning, turning the present kit in one of the most difficult to finalise existing in the scale. Furthermore, as mentioned several times along this review, excess of plastic registers in various places on many horses and figures. The most notable are the spaces between legs and trunks at animals, while for the humans are the places between shoulder stocks of Kar98K and waist as well as the contact areas of some hands and bodies. In several situations, such as the shoulder stocks, the excess of plastic can be removed, in others it is definitely impossible without destroying the figures. The soft plastic used by Revell and the manner they put together these minis which were firstly created having in mind multi-part assembly not only facilitated the appearance of a high amount of excess of plastic, but also ruined few details. In addition, the material is not so gluable, the only adhesive with some success being super glue gel. In spite of its draw-backs, this soft plastic greatly receives enamels, acrylics, artistic oils and pigments, being capable to sustain the work of the modeller even at heavy handling.

Revell correctly scaled up all these HO Preiser pieces and the soldiers have exactly the same size of the figures included in most original 1/72 Preiser sets. An immense number of troopers matches with the ones here encountered, but being at its genesis a Preiser set, obviously the best solutions for completions should be looked for in the rich 1/72 catalogue of this company. The largest parts of Preiser WWII Germans are dressed in M36 tunics and more than suitable with the minis from here. Moreover, this manufacturer offers in a couple of sets few soldiers stripped to the waist, but the best alternative is again Preiser's "Tank Crew - The German Reich 1939-1945" (Set code 72507). Taking into consideration the rarity as well as the versatility of such figures this is an important issue, especially because there are found few completed naked arms that might be utilised for converting the stripped soldiers delivered by the Revell set. Likewise, bearing in mind the shortage of WWII German cavalry soldiers in Braille Scale, the riders met here are definitely very necessary. In case of owning more boxes, they represent a major alternative for increasing the number of Wehrmacht cavalry-men, a reachable goal without or with minor but effectiveness conversions in order to get a little diversity. Replacing heads can be the easiest modality, Preiser heads not only excellent matching, but also gluing quite satisfactory. For the great majority of hobbyists "Preiser" is synonym with "conversion" and seeing these figures many of them will not refrain in doing the same thing, but will have to overcome the difficulties delivered by Revell's soft plastic. In fact, making use of sufficient quantity of super glue gel, all hard plastic parts fix pretty fine on this soft plastic, the bond resisting even at intense handling and small accidents such as falling on the carpet (if the monster living there leaves them alone). Regarding the horses and possible animal partners, only few sets quoted at the beginning of this review feature in the 1/72 scale WWII German horses. Although size variations are ordinary at animals and not so disturbing like in case of figures where the discrepancies in size of bodies, gear and weapons are more annoying, Revell horses establish proper matches with those from CMK - "Wehrmacht Mounted Infantry", TP Models - "Fahnenschmiedwagen Hf.1/13" and "Schwerer Feldwagen Hf.2" and even Force of Valour - "German SS Cavalry Division". Except the soldiers allocated by the kit for taking sit in the limber, other first-rate passengers for the vehicle are available in Preiser's "Motorized Infantry/Panzer Grenadiers - The German Reich 1939-1945". They brilliant fit on the benches of the limber and can occupy the vehicle only them or mixed with the standard limber travellers coming within in the kit.

The longest convoys of horse-drawn vehicles and saddle horses ever encountered in the history of mankind laid all over Europe, but those were belonging neither to an antic or middle eve army, nor to a Napoleon one, but to the army acknowledged as the best ever existed and that happened in a period of high development of motorised transport. Even nowadays the WWII German army is intensively studied for its amazing performances. The prehistoric mean of transportation deployed by them shows once more that not always the quality of gear is determinant, but the quality of people behind the weapon and the WWII German soldier clearly distinguished in this regard.

We should thank Revell for the great incentive of scaling-up and gathering under the same name several Preiser sets, in this way creating the most complex and spectacular set regarding WWII German Army of the scale. Anyway, it should not be forgotten that practically Revell's "German Artillery" delivers the scaled up versions of several Preiser HO products, meaning high quality in terms of sculpture, historical accuracy, and tremendously realistic poses. The topic covered by the content of this kit is still unique in Braille Scale and represents the utmost source of 1/72 horses in the service of German Army, admired and priced both by diorama builders and wargamers.

Crawling through snow or mud, advancing through deep forests or under the desert sun, furiously galloping through the wide steppe or climbing rocky mountains, the horse never disappointed his master. As a true partner, he took the WWII German soldier out of difficulty, helping him going forward, many times to an implacable and tragic end for both of them. Plenty of dramatic and impressive images attest that the bullet or shell made no distinction between man and animal. Monuments acknowledging the heroically contribution of horse in humans wars are erected all over the world, but the 1/72 manufacturers, with few exceptions, are far from providing animals in enough numbers for modellers to recognise at high and true value the last major involvement of the horse in a war.

Historical Accuracy: 10
Anatomy: 10
Poses Quality: 10
Details Quality: 9
Mould Quality: 8
Sculpture: 9
Recommendation/Utility: 10
TOTAL: 9


STANDARD POSES

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STANDARD HORSES

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STANDARD GUN IN TRAVELLING POSITION

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STANDARD GUN IN FIRING POSITION

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AMMO BOXES

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STANDARD LIMBER

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STANDARD LIMBER WITH HORSES AND GUN

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STANDARD SADDLE HORSE

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SIZE REFERENCE

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THE BOX

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THE INSTRUCTION SHEET

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THE SPRUE

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THE STANDARD KIT IN ACTION

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CONVERSIONS

Converted Soldiers

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Size reference

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Converted Horses

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Converted gun with wooden wheels

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Camouflaged Gun in travelling position

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Camouflaged gun in firing position

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First converted limber

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Second Converted limber

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Converted Mounted Infantry

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COMPARATION BETWEEN REVELL (on the left) AND PREISER ORIGINAL (on the right) FIGURES

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ON THE BATTLE FIELD

GERMAN ARTILLERY

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GERMAN TROOPS ADVANCING

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FIRST CONVERTED LIMBER

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SECOND CONVERTED LIMBER

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This message has been edited by Panzer_Grenadire on Sep 4, 2009 11:05 AM


 
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(Login Francisco_Bexiga)
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Superb

September 4 2009, 11:09 AM 

Superb review here! I love this set of figures, I've built some of them myself and will build the rest in the future. I couldn't ask for a better review! Great work, thank you for your time.

Do you have any period photos showing this type of cavalry?

Francisco

 
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Cristian Florescu
(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Superb

September 4 2009, 2:37 PM 

Thank you very much Francisco for the nice words, and indeed, it is one of the best sets released in soft plastic.
Great idea of Revell for combining more Preiser sets and I wish very much Preiser to scale up all their kits featuring WWII German horse drawn vehicles....happy.gif
I also remember several of your great vignettes where you used some figs from here....happy.gif
For writing this review I studied few thousands of photos with German horse drawn vehicles, many of them featuring the leFH 18 limber. If you want, I can send you some...including rare photos featuring bridles and soldiers riding the right hand horse...happy.gif

 
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(Login Francisco_Bexiga)
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Photos

September 5 2009, 10:41 AM 

Cristian, mail me some of those photos if you can, please :D

fbminis @ gmail.com

I'm trimming one of those horses at the moment, hehe...

Francisco

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Photos

September 5 2009, 12:17 PM 

Hi Francisco,

On Monday I am going to send you some images on that email...happy.gif
Have a nice weekend either with modelling or parties...Mine will be with parties, but I finished the kit...happy.gif


    
This message has been edited by Panzer_Grenadire on Sep 5, 2009 12:19 PM


 
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(Login el-rancho-decomposo)
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Another great write-up

September 4 2009, 11:17 AM 

I've got that set and want to do it justice--now I've got inspiration! Thanks.

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Another great write-up

September 4 2009, 2:39 PM 

You are more than welcome Tom, this is one of the goals of these reviews...happy.gif

 
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(Login Duke_Maddog)
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Re: Revell German Artillery

September 4 2009, 11:28 AM 

I have this set too. I love what you did with yours.Now i'm going to have to try and finish mine.

Thanks Cristian! You are awesome!

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Revell German Artillery

September 4 2009, 2:42 PM 

Thanks a lot Mark, and I am looking forward to seeing yours...
I start working this set 10 years ago (only the camouflaged guns are from those times, but upgraded nowadays with artistic oils and weathering), the rest is bright new..happy.gif

 
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Robert Kru
(Login RobertKru)
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excellent paintwork

September 4 2009, 2:40 PM 

Hi Cristian
you did a really amazing paintjob. I am shure I never reach your painting skills. I like your eye for details e.g. hairy breast Just one small detail:
the ammunition was separate in bullet and shell. You should paint the bullet not in brass
Take a look at:
http://www.germanmilitaria.co.uk/ammu.htm#glefb18

Regards Robert

www.ipms.at

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: excellent paintwork

September 4 2009, 3:15 PM 

Thank you very much Robert for your message, I am glad you liked them as well as for the link. I know the site very well, it is a great one in terms of WWII German ammo. I tried painting the bullet in black and the shell in brass, you can see the same painting on the second leFH18 projectile on that site. I tried painting everything as close as originals, including the cartridge held by one gunner and the the powder bag container held by the conversion I did of that figure....happy.gif


    
This message has been edited by Panzer_Grenadire on Sep 4, 2009 3:18 PM


 
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(Login HenkofHolland)
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You are the master!!!!

September 4 2009, 4:10 PM 

Cristian
Really great work, my compliments!!!! Will be a great inspiration for most of the modellers!!!
BTW.is it me allowed to use the pictures for a review on my website?
Or if this review is allready on your own website, is it me allowed to made a link on the Revell page from my site? (and what is the url to the review?)

Regards, Henk

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: You are the master!!!!

September 4 2009, 4:33 PM 

Henk, thank you very much for your message and for your kind words coming from a true master.
Like me, I know that you enjoy Preiser figures and I assess this set closer to Preiser than Revell...happy.gif
I have not launched my internet site yet, and I do not think that it will happen this year....happy.gif
It will be a pleasure for me seeing this review on your excellent site, one of the best I know in the field of Braille Scale. You may use both the text and the images, like always.

You may also use there the below linked review, which I consider pretty good and interesting.

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47210/thread/1234871391/1-72+PEGASUS+HOBBIES-German+75+mm+le+IG18+Infantry+Gun+with+Crew+%28Img+and+Review%29

In addition, if you like to post there any other review that I did in the last period, just ask me on email.
Once again, thank you very much for all the efforts you carried out in promoting the 1/72 scale.

Cristian

 
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(Login HenkofHolland)
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Thanks!!!

September 4 2009, 4:49 PM 

Cristian,
Thanks for the permission. I inform you when the reviews are on my site.
Happy modelling. Greetings Henk

 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Thanks!!!

September 4 2009, 5:06 PM 

My pleasure, Henk...happy.gif

 
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(Login neilyall)
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hey !

September 4 2009, 7:05 PM 


Hi Cristian

great work with that set, and well done, on writing such a huge review, & posting so many great pictures, you put a heck of a lot of time and effort into it, (and from my point of view, it was well worth it)

cheers
Neil


 
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(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
Missing-Lynx members

Re: hey !

September 5 2009, 1:05 AM 

Thanks Neil, indeed I do not want to think how much time took me to finish this set. Only taking pictures was a nightmare, the session taking three days. At the end, my finger was hurting after pressing so many times on the button of the camera. And of course, taking photos was the easiest part....happy.gif

 
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(Login Panzermad)
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Wow!

September 7 2009, 8:04 AM 

Hi Cristian,

Been a while since i logged in, have to say, unbelievable post, the research you've done and the finished kits are amazing, fantastic!!

Adam happy.gif

 
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Cristian Florescu
(Login Panzer_Grenadire)
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Re: Wow!

September 7 2009, 9:17 AM 

Hi Adam,

Thank you very much for the message, I am very happy that you enjoyed how I painted these sets and also that you noticed the research. Indeed, it was really extremely difficult, not only due to the large number of uncommon things featured by the kit (harness, limber etc)but aslo the information in the field are scarce.
I tried covering almost everything encountered in the box, giving a helpful hand for all starting working this special kit.

Cristian

 
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