Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

British Royal Engineers

Published: April 25th, 2011     
British Royal Engineers
Reviewed by: Tom Moon - IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

This set consists of 4 figures all conducting land mine removal.

The figures come on two sprues with 67 parts, the bulk of which are the odds and ends that the soldiers are carrying. The box art and instructions on the back of the box show the figures as completed. The first figure is using a probe to find mines, the second is digging with a spade, the third is removing (or placing) a mine, and the fourth is using a mine detector. The poses are well done and depict a reasonable amount of action.

The set had very minimal flash and no ejection pin marks. What mold lines that were there were easily removed with a sharp blade. There are no decals and the painting instructions are just for the major items. You will need to copy what you see in the illustration or consult your references for actual colors for the badges, shoulder boards, and metals. The paint colors are coded for Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, and Mr. Color.

"Vampirella"

Published: April 20th, 2011     
"Vampirella"
Reviewed by: Don Barry - IPMS# 46771
Scale: 1/13
Company: Moebius Models

Cleanly cast in pinkish-tan styrene the kit consists of 16 pieces, including 2 sets of arms and 2 sets of legs, a base textured in wood grain and cobblestone, and an ornamental bat. The fit is fairly good, and the parts snap together firmly, leaving the arms free to move if desired. I glued everything solidly together for this review.

The Gift of the Move - Operation Milkman

Published: April 20th, 2011     
The Gift of the Move - Operation Milkman
Reviewed by: Tom Jett - IPMS# 46082
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd

Operation Milk Man is another fine "vignette-in-a-box" from the folks at Master Box, and distributed by Dragon Models. This clever vignette depicts four German soldiers taking a brief respite from the rigors of combat to enjoy a few spoils of war ...fresh milk!

The four figure set shows two soldiers milking the cow (one doing the pulling and one to hold the cup), a third figure is supervising the milking operations while leaning up to the cow. The last figure is gulping down a cup of the fresh milk from his canteen cup undoubtedly wishing he had a big hunk of Apple Strudel to go with it!

All four figures are cast in dark yellow styrene. They are nicely and naturally posed, and generally speaking the detail is good for plastic figures. The weakest a part on all the figures are the heads, with one being particularly "block-headed", and the others a little on the "fat" side. These are all easily replaced by a good quality set of resin heads from your favorite producer, Alpine, Hornet, Verlinden etc.

French Dragoon (Napoleonic Wars)

Published: April 12th, 2011     
French Dragoon (Napoleonic Wars)
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Scale: 1/16
Company: MiniArt

This was a "mom saw it, and I bought it" modeling effort. Here in OKC (the home of Hobby Lobby Corporate) they have a discount outlet for the wedding crowd; and that is where they drop the occasional "model samples"; the store is called the "Basket Mart".... Depends on when you show up if you get cool stuff. 98% of the time, nothing... but in this case I walked in and instant birthday gift for the horse-loving mother of mine, who just turned 21 this week. (HA!)

Ya'll know I am an aviation/naval/sometimes armor guy. And in this case, I had an opportunity to do something a bit different. Waaaay different. Having visited Waterloo, I was aware of the time period this model represents; Warfare was changing again, and the use of cavalry was still being finessed. This kit represents a time period unlike any other... Muskets, Swords, and Horsepower.

Soviet Naval Infantry WWII

Published: March 31st, 2011     
Soviet Naval Infantry WWII
Reviewed by: John Lyons - IPMS# 47470
Scale: 1/35
Company: Zvezda

Short History:

Due to the nature of the war with Germany the Soviet Navy took a back seat during the Great Patriotic War (WWII). However, one of the areas they were able to contribute greatly was with personnel.

During Naval Infantry's early battles in 1941 and 1942 they showed high morale by their sheer willingness to accept high casualties during the desperate fighting for their own naval bases. Their stubborn tenacity unnerved the Germans, leading them to be nicknamed the 'Black Death' by their German foes because of this and their black uniforms.

The kit:

6 figures of the famous Soviet Unit "Black Death"

ZVEZDA has put out a nice looking kit, lots of details and equipment. All the parts come on 2 trees, with an instruction sheet that has nice painting directions.

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