During 1943, a cadre from 1.SS-Panzergrenadier-Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH) provided the basis of 12.SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend made up for the most part of 17 year old members of the Hitler Youth. Led by Eastern Front veterans from the 1.SS-Panzer-Division LSSAH, the HJ developed a fierce reputation during the battles in Normandy during 1944. After fighting their way out of the Falaise Pocket, they were refitted and took part in the Ardennes Offensive. Involved in heavy fighting around Budapest, they later marched west to surrender to US forces near Enns, Austria, in 1945.
PT-030 “Panzergrenadier ‘Hitlerjugend’ 1944” is a 1/35th scale resin figure sculpted by Tony Williams with box-art by Luca Cardoselli. The youth is portrayed walking carrying helmet in hand, with his Kar.98k carbine with attached Gewehrgranate Schiessbacher slung over his right shoulder.
There is nothing specific that would identify the youth with a particular front within the HJ’s existence. That said, the young Panzergrenadier wears typical garb for a SS infantryman of the late war period: the combination of M1942 camouflage smock and M1944 trousers, and ankle boots with canvas garters. He carries his helmet in his left hand. The helmet cover now has foliage loops attached.
The standard equipment of an infantryman is worn with M1911 cartridge pouches worn on both hips. Also worn on his belt are his bread bag with field flask and drinking cup (Feldflasche 31 und Trinkbecker), kidney-shaped cross-section M1931 Cook pot (Kochgeschirr 31) and M1931 tent quarter (Zeltbahn 31) and folding spade (Klappspaten) in late war carrier with bayonet attached. Slung around his torso to his rear is his gas mask case. Tucked in his belt is a Stick Grenade (Stielhandgranaten).
His weapon, hanging by its strap over his right shoulder, is the standard Karabiner 98k carbine with attached rifle grenade. The standard rifle grenade launcher was a 3cm cup-type discharge launcher (Gewehrgranate Schiessbacher) intended for the Kar.98k carbine and comparable weaponry. Issued on the basis of one per squad in combat units, it and its accessories were carried in a rifle grenade pouch (Gewehrgranatetasche), which is worn slung around his torso.
The set, moulded in Platoon’s traditional light grey coloured resin, comes in a kit form consisting of a total of seven (7) pieces. The kit is packaged in a small, soft cardboard box with the figure’s parts in a small zip-lock bag.
Figure PT-030 Panzergrenadier ‘Hitlerjugend’ 1944 consists of the following seven (7) parts: Full figure, excluding head and arms;
Left arm extended holding helmet;
Right arm bent at elbow;
Bare head with period hairstyle;
Personal equipment pack consisting of bread bag, field flask, cook pot, tent quarter, and gas mask case;
Folding spade and bayonet; and
Kar.98k carbine with attached rifle grenade.
Note: Disappointingly, but not all that uncommon, a rifle strap is not included in the kit, and the modeller is required to scratch build one should they wish to realistically represent the figure.
The figure is well sculpted by Tony Williams, but unfortunately while the casting is crisp it is generally not a clean as we have come to expect not only from Pegaso, but from other contemporary offerings on the market.
The head is nicely sculpted, and the face has quite a pleasant and well-defined expression. The slightly narrower face and school-boyish hairstyle give the figure a youthful look. The casting block is positioned underneath the neck and up the back of the neck until the base of the skull, so modellers should remove this carefully for fear of damaging any hair detail.
The figure proper is well detailed. The figure has a slender build which, like the face, serves to create an impression of youth. One gets a very good idea of the fit of the smock and the manner in which it flares below the higher waist band further accentuates the youthful appearance. Folds gather realistically for the materials portrayed. All the finer details such as SS runes, ammunition pouches, stick grenade and the rifle grenade pouch are satisfactorily detailed for this scale.
Recesses are provided for placement of the rifle and equipment. Casting is generally clean and crisp as one would expect. There is a light seam and a small amount of flash between the legs, seemingly a problem for most manufacturers, and a slight gouge in the inner left anklet. The more enterprising modeller may want to drill out the folds within the lower smock and thin the underside of the “hanging” straps for realism. The casting blocks are placed on the soles of the boots, and the hard resin should be cut away carefully so that the attached areas are not damaged.
The arms, as with the rest of the figure, are nicely detailed and generally well cast, and once again the slender theme of the gangly youth is carried though to the arms – but the forearms in particular. The folds of the right smock sleeve, which has been pushed up above the elbow, bunch realistically between the shoulder and the elbow. The right hand features a small rectangular groove which will facilitate the placement of the rifle strap – unfortunately this is not carried through on the palm or lower hand. The placement of the casting block of the right arm is a bit unfortunate, as the block runs over the folds, and the modeller should be careful when cutting it away.
Like its opposite number the left arm features the sleeve gathered above the elbow, which is represented very well. The helmet with helmet cover is well rendered, with plenty of detail to the helmet’s inner lining. The casting block is positioned above the helmet, but as there are no folds or detail in this area its placement is not an issue. There was a fairly large triangular piece of flash between the helmet and the elbow, and a fine seam runs along the rear of the arm.
The personal equipment pack consisting of bread bag, field flask, cook pot, tent quarter, and gas mask case and the folding spade and bayonet are both satisfactorily detailed. While the equipment packs lacks any seams or casting blocks, the entrenching tool features its casting block on the side of the case and a thin film of flash along the flat top of the tool. This can easily be cut away, however caution should be practiced when severing the casting block.
The detailed Kar.98k carbine with attached rifle grenade is attached to a lengthy casting block which although supports it and prevents it from being damaged prior to assembly should be cut away carefully. Once again the thin film appears between the part and the casting block.
WWII German SS infantry figures certainly are not a unique subject, but what sets this figure aside from the rest is the convincing portrayal of a gangly youth, and the inclusion of a unique piece of weaponry which seems to have been largely ignored by most model manufacturers: the rifle grenade. The figure is well sculpted, and despite a few small gripes the casting is still good. In addition to this, the figure’s pose makes it fairly versatile and can be placed in a number of scenarios.
For the painter, as with most SS subjects, there are a number of interesting ways in which this figure can be presented from camouflage smock over field grey trousers to camouflage smock over a broad selection of camouflage pattern trousers.
The following references were used for this review: “Waffenn-SS Soldier 1940-45”. Warrior 2. Bruce Quarrie. Illustrated by Jeffrey Burn. Osprey Publishing. 1993.
“Waffen-SS in Combat”. Robert Michulec. Colour Plates by Ronald Volstad. Concord Publishing.
“Waffen-SS (2) From Glory to Defeat 1943 – 1945”. Robert Michulec. Colour Plates by Ronald Volstad. Concord Publishing. 2000.
“German Combat Equipments 1939-45”. Men-at-Arms 234. Gordon Rottman. Illustrated by Ron Volstad. Osprey Publishing. 1991.