miércoles, 2 de mayo de 2018

Conte Collectibles German Infantry, my final take

I bought on eBay some loose figures from sets 1 and 2 of this remarkable brand, and my first impressions were mixed, for a long time, until I repainted them a few days ago, for the 1st episode of my stop-motion series "Plastic Commandos".

These figures are regular 1/32, quite size-compatible with Airfix and Matchbox 1/32, unlike their stunning American GIs which are 1/32+ or "Big 1/32".

These figures were manufactured in Canada with a material that is hard to like, a sort of rubber, easy to cut if you are doing conversions (cut a head or arm), but very difficult to clean flash or excess material, it rips apart, it's easy to damage a figure's face trying to clean flash. If you want to bond pieces, you must use superglue. I have not seen any other recently manufactured WW2 figures in this scale that uses this unusual material, I think it was an unfortunate decision given the shortcomings already mentioned.

These figures have some outstanding details in their sculpt, but also some defects that are rather uncommon for modern manufactured figures of this quality, like strong mold lines and excess material very difficult to clean. Therefore my mixed feelings with these Germans, which are nevertheless a valuable addition to WW2 German Army toy soldiers in classic 1/32, bringing action, drama and stunning detail that overpass Airfix and Matchbox Germans, but fails in other aspect to be mentioned soon after these pictures.

Can you see that Close Combat badge? stunning!

Besides flash and too visible mold lines, this figure also has "particles" of plastic very difficult to clean, all over the torso and back of the machine gun, what a pity because the figure is one of the best of the set, beautiful proportions and crisp details in weapons and uniform, nice face features too. Apparently I had bad luck with this particular figure, as other people haave the same figure without the "plastic dirt"

The official online catalog of Conte's German plastic sets (there are also metal ones) is this:

An independent review of Conte's German sets can be found on this useful Blog, which is a reference for all WW2 1/32 toy soldier collectors:

Some Conte figures also expose some proportions problems that coexist with their highly detailed sculpts, like in the following figures, basically: heads too small, legs too thick:

Although I must admit that once painted I feel less bothered by this lack of proportions in these figures, maybe the legs are not the problem but the head. Maybe the body proportions are not as elegant as those from Airfix Commandos or Airfix British Infantry, but Conte went steps ahead regarding uniform and weapons details, Airfix reached this level in their 1/32 multipose kits, which are astounding and mantain the elegant body proportions of their classic kits. I must make an exception regarding Airfix paratroopers kits, these were upscaled from 1/72, losing sculpt quality and have an incorrect scale, they are not 1/32.

Now my final paint job with these figures, following the technique I developed to paint my Airfix British Commandos this year (see article on this Blog).

The "Nazi Diva", it has so many interesting angles!

Many of the figures have remarkable Teutonic facial features, which is a very nice detail because
they really look like Germans

The inclusion of a dead and wounded figures is a plus in this set, much needed

Conclusion: I am glad I bought these figures, I wish I had more (I damaged an MG42 machine gunner in kneeling position), during the painting process I learned to like them more and more and be less bothered by their unusual defects, I am satisfied with the results of the paint-job, I am sure these boys will provide very good photographs for my stop-motion series. I hope Conte Collectibles will make a re-run of these sets in rigid plastic, like the new Airfix editions.

Long Live 1/32!

3 comentarios:

  1. Nice review. I started collecting WWII figures again. I have all of the Airfix sets and now am picking up the Conte WWII sets when I can.

    1. Thank you for visiting the Blog. I just "rediscovered" my Airfix pieces and I plan to get some others, Germans and figures suitable for Commando conversions. I don't like their paratroopers, because they are substandard, scaled up from 1/72, lack detail and the correct size. For German paratroopers I think the best option is Pegasus Hobbies, my box should arrive soon... another blog entry when ready

  2. The Conte Germans are my favorite. They have an energy in their poses where you are wondering what is going to happen next. I'm waiting to get the Action Castings WWII German Paratroopers. They should be available in September.