Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

IRAQ EVENTS KITS

Published: December 17th, 2010     
IRAQ EVENTS KITS
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano - IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd

Master Box Ltd. is a company that makes many different injected molded kits with an emphasis on making their products for dioramas. Their kits have a huge range of themes and accessories for dioramas, including figures of people and various animals, carts, WWII tanks & motorcycles to mention a few. Each kit tells a story of its own and together can bring your diorama to a better level of realism. I know they have been around from at least 2006 but however long it might be, their products seem to be excellent.

Each of these kits had almost negligible amounts of flash and even the seams disappeared after a few strokes from a sanding stick. I found the detail in these figures very well done and they also supplied excessive amounts of guns and ammo included in the kit. The U.S. Soldiers also have many items that you can add for them to carry, i.e.: ammo, canteens, rifles, etc. which adds even more realism to the kit as a whole. Each kit contains four finely detailed figures with plenty of accessories that make it well worth it for the money.

Modern U.S. Army Rank and Regiment Insignia

Published: December 13th, 2010     
Modern U.S. Army Rank and Regiment Insignia
Reviewed by: Jack Kennedy - IPMS# 12511
Scale: 1/35
Company: Authentic Decals

One item that is the curse of all figure painters is that molded insignias and badges on the figures are way out of scale. They are usually raised and if in scale, they would stick out about an inch or more. Now, Authentic Decals has produced a set of decals for modern US soldiers with insignia, rank and regiment badges. With this release one would think that their prayers were answered. Unfortunately they were not with this set.

I realize that the modern US soldier does not have the colorful badges and insignia that were seen in WW II, but these are all monochromatic. Not only that, they are too small for 1/35 scale. I would also note that the regiment badges seem to be out of register.

There is only one set of each rank so if you screw up one, you will have to change the rank of the figure. The decals are so small that it is hard to distinguish one from another. They are numbered on the decal sheet, but there is no other reference as to which one is which.

German Kz 8cm GrW 42 Mortar

Published: December 9th, 2010     
German Kz 8cm GrW 42 Mortar
Reviewed by: Ken McDevitt - IPMS# 46356
Scale: 1/6
Company: Dragon Models

Description and History

Quoting from Dragon's web sitde product description:

"The kurzer 8cm Granatwerfer 42 (abbreviated to kz 8cm GrW 42) was developed as a lighter version of the standard 8cm GrW 34 mortar. It was commonly referred to as Stummelwerfer ("stump-thrower") by troops. The smaller size made it particularly useful for German paratroopers who needed a weapon that was easier to move around, but still offered more punch than the diminutive 5cm leGrW 36.

It had a shorter tube than the standard 8cm mortar (tube length is 747mm), but it could still fire a round weighing 3.5x the earlier 5cm mortar weight, two times as far. Furthermore, at 26.5kg, it was half the weight of the leGrW 36. Maximum range was in the order of 1100m. Produced from 1941-45, the kz 8cm GrW 42 could be broken down into three loads for transport. Its effectiveness meant it served with Wehrmacht and other units as well as the airborne users it was originally intended for."

Counterattack, Soviet Infantry, Summer 1941

Published: November 28th, 2010     
Counterattack, Soviet Infantry, Summer 1941
Reviewed by: Greg Wise - IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd

WOW! These figures are top-notch, high quality beauties. The set comes in a printed end-opening box. On the front side you see a scene of a young Soviet officer leading his stumbling squad across an open wheat field while under artillery fire, very inspiring to say the least. On the reverse side you'll find the instructions, sprue charts and a Vallejo color guide. A. Karaschuk did the colorful illustrations.

Inside the box you will find 2 sprues in a light shade of brown. Each figure comes with a selection of equipment, and some of them offer alternate heads, arms and weapons choices. Sculptor A. Gagarin is a true master of his art. The high quality soft plastic makes separating the parts a breeze. The majority of the figure parts follow the part numbers in sequence, making it easier to keep building each figure in a next up order.


My experience with this set was fun, enjoyable and pleasing. The parts fit perfectly and cleaning them up was minimal at best. "Made in the Ukraine" may have set the standard other companies will have to beat when it comes to 1/35 scale figures.

"Psycho" Bates Mansion

Published: November 9th, 2010     
"Psycho" Bates Mansion
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/87
Company: Polar Lights

For fans of the "Psycho" movies that starred Anthony Hopkins as "Norman Bates", this kit will bring back some fond or not so fond memories. This kit arrived just as my favorite time of year started, as I decorate for Halloween like no other holiday. I was also fortunate enough to have one of the movie channels recently run "Psycho", "Psycho II", and "Psycho III", which provided good references for how to paint the house. When first released, this was a new kit made by Polar Lights, and it does a nice job of capturing the look and feel of the Bates mansion of the original "Psycho" movies (the remake with Vince Vaughn has a completely different house).

As the original movie was made in black and white, the second and third movies are recommended for references, but you may want to watch all three (or four) to get into character for this build. For this new release, the folks at Polar Lights/Round 2 Models have added an LED light and battery pack to light up the mansion for your display. The 1/87, or HO-scale house, will likely also be a hit with railroad modelers, as well as horror movie fans.

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