MiniArt Panzer Crew. France 1944 | Armorama™

New MiniArt kit is coming soon, 1/35 #35364 Panzer Crew. France 1944

This is partial text from the full article (usually with photos) at

It would have been helpful if one could see the figures’ faces. And why does it seem every tank crew set has to involve the SS? There were far more armor units in the regular Wehrmacht.

What makes you think that this is an SS crew? I see now SS runes on the lapel, and from a short google search, SS tank crewmen seemed to retain their black uniform side caps even when in the late-war flecked camo uniform.

The figure molds seem nice, are the arms and legs tabbed to make it easier to correctly position them on the torso?

Because, as far as I know, no Wehrmacht Panzer crew had this type of camo uniform

Also SS crews had the eagle on the left sleeve. Wermacht had it sewn on the right chest of the jacket.
The SS ‘deaths head’ is also slightly different in design than the Wermacht design.
Some Wermacht crews did have various bits of camo uniforms, either made for them privately or ‘liberated/acquired’ from SS units.

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It’s a sad story, but US soldiers would often automatically shoot captured regular tankers because their black uniforms resembled those of the SS. (Source: Military History Not Visualized, iirc)

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I’m no expert on panzer uniforms, but don’t both the wehrmacht and the SS tankers wear the panzer wrap? The SS adorn it with eagles in different places, use a different kind of camo if it’s not black, and different insignia, but isn’t the cut of the uniform otherwise the same?

I’d like to offer a correction:
After rewatching this video, it seems that this set may be SS units. The only thing that ID’s them as such is the eagle on the sleeve, though.

Only commenting on the uniforms as illustrated, Eagle on sleve, officer’s cap w/black band & death’s head below eagle, crewmen’s caps, all SS style insignia. Heer crews did wear various combinations of cammo patterns, (was just looking at photo of Heer PZ IV crew in France, 4 different types of uniforms), but they all had Army eagle on right breast and Army style cap insignia w/cockade. The writer above was correct, Army Death’s head insignia was different fromm SS. Uniform styles and materials were very mixed in France 1944, but I’ve never seen insignias mixed between Army & SS troops. (I know…“never say never…”)


The SS wraps had a slightly different collar profile.

And civilian Firemen too, for the same reason…
No nation in war has an entirely clean set of hands, there were rumors in Dad’s mob (15th Scottish, see the “Epsom” thread) of captured snipers being lynched and I once listened to one old chap describe how, on D-Day, being ordered to escort a group of prisoners to the beach he became convinced they were conspiring to kill him and escape (he was alone and they wouldn’t stop talking amongst themselves) so he herded them into a bunker and put a few grenades in with them. His listeners, apart from myself, were all veterans of the same conflict and none seemed shocked (or even surprised) or commented unfavourably on his actions. In the TV version of “Band of Brothers” there was mention of Ronald Speirs having killed German PoWs but it was implied that it was only a story put about to enhance his reputation; in fact this was not only true but he had also shot one of his own sergeants…



Back on toppic. 1. The set portrais SS tank crew no doubt. Take this from a person who spent hundred times more cash on ww2 uniforms then models. Point. 2. There were a LOT SS tank units in Normandy. Just check the unit lineups for DDay. Point. Miniart has already produced a lot of regular tank crew sets. This is the first dedicated to SS as far as I remember, so no complains here either. Dont turn this into polilics. Those involved are long dead and gone now.


Caps are distinctive to SS units also……

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The camouflaged field caps were standard SS issue from June 1942. Initially without insignia, they were later ordered to be worn with insignia, which necessitated the manufacture of eagles and Death’s heads in subdued colours. The caps were reversible, summer green to autumn brown in “oak leaf” pattern (i.e. they didn’t match the “pea” suit).
The SS Black Panzer Uniform differed from standard Heer issue in several features (apart from the distinctive SS insignia of course). The SS version had smaller and more rounded lapels, lacked the pink piping of the Heer model, but had silver piping for officers only. The front closure of the jacket was more upright rather than slanting and it lacked the prominent central rear seam of the Heer jacket. All or some of these differences could be present or absent however and SS units also used Heer stock. I have seen photos from the Normandy period of SS men wearing pink piped jackets, even including the pink piping around the collar patches.
The Camouflaged Panzer Uniform (shown here) was based on the Reed Green Panzer Denims, popular with Heer crews and especially reconnaissance vehicle crews. It was made of herringbone twill and came in varying qualities, the coarser ones following the SS pattern Black jacket, but with sharp pointed lapels, and a better quality version which followed the Heer cut.
No insignia was supposed to be worn on this clothing (including shoulder straps), except for the subdued green (yellow for generals) and black printed insignia (some were embroidered) devised by the Heer and adopted by the SS. However it was very common for SS men to wear the sleeve eagle quite unofficially, and sleeve rank badges and shoulder straps were frequently added, but not the runic collar patches. Pictures taken of Wittman’s crew of SS sPzAbt 101 in Normandy at a parade prior to the Invasion, show the clothing being worn with shoulder straps and even medal ribbons. This would seem to suggest the Black Panzer clothing was in abeyance.
There were five SS Panzer divisions in Normandy; 1 (“Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler”), 2 (“Das Reich”), 9 (“Hohenstaufen”), 10 (“Frundsberg”) and 12 (“Hitler Jugend”), so you would have seen plenty of these uniforms. There was also 17 SS Panzergrenadierdivision “Gotz von Berlichingen” which had a Stug abteilung.
One uniform not shown, which was also quite common, especially amongst Stug crews, was the one piece camouflaged coverall issued in 1943. It was a simple overall in oak leaf pattern, reversible green to brown, with a large patch pocket on the chest. It was quite widely worn in SS Panzerregiment 9 at least. Figures wearing this suit are available from Dragon, titles “SS Panzer Crew Kursk 1943”.


Oh yes, I forgot to mention, I will be getting one of these sets at least!

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Fantastic overview of the differences compared to my very simplistic comment about the collars.

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Thank you. I think this is at least MiniArt’s second SS crew, they did a set of “HJ” wearing the Leather U Boat clothing, which is emblematic of this division (although other units in I SS PzKp wore it, especially SS sPzAbt 101). It makes me smile that we are now getting complaints that there are too many SS units being modelled. Back in the 1970s SS figures were non-existent in 1/35th. I was reduced to smearing Tamiya figures with body putty to try to replicate the distinctive SS smock. The first specific SS figure was the driver to Tamiya’s Horch 1a.


There was an earlier France 1944 set as well with a crew in camo tank uniforms running and getting into a tank.

Whilst I do not agree with anything the SS stood for, and my camo painting skills are rudimentary at present, they are generally more visually interesting than their Wehrmacht counterparts.

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Thanks for clarifying the distinctions! Miniart also makes a set 35283 which the box art draws as Wehrmacht based on the location of the insignia. Do the coats of those look more like Wehrmacht than SS?

I guess I’m wondering whether the plastic is relatively more accurate for one or the other in each case, or is kinda muddled in between? (I’m not making an assertion, just asking).