Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

SS Tiger Tank Commander 1944-45

Published: March 2nd, 2011     
SS Tiger Tank Commander 1944-45
Reviewed by: Floyd S. Werner Jr. - IPMS# 26266
Scale: 1/35
Company: Ultracast

With the new Dragon Tiger tanks on the market, more people than ever are building tanks. I'm one of them. Armor, more so than aircraft, lends itself to figures. Enter Ultracast with their line of resin figures.

Molded in light cream bubble free resin, this figure features two heads, one with a headset and one without. The headset head has a nice action pose of the commander yelling. The neck is nicely rounded so you can articulate the head as you want, up, down, and left or right, excellent flexibility.

You also get two left and three right arms so you can pick and choose how you want your figure to look. The arms are keyed with square pegs so you can alter the look of the parts easily. Amazingly the thumbs are not grouped with the others and articulated and perfectly molded.

The body has a natural lean to the side for posing it inside the turret. Unlike some figures this one is a complete body. It is also a single piece of resin with only tiny pour blocks at the bottom of the feet so there is virtually no cleanup. Amazing casting. The P-38 holster is particularly well done.

Crossroad Eastern Front, WWII era

Published: February 21st, 2011     
Crossroad Eastern Front, WWII era
Reviewed by: Scott Hollingshead - IPMS# 34786
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd

If some of this review seems like deja vu all over again, it is, as this is the second time that I have been afforded the opportunity to review a Master Box BMW R75 motorcycle. But there are some great changes with this release. Included in this delivery is a photoetch fret containing parts to build up the wheel spokes, as well as five figures (two Russian and three German). A separate sheet is included for instructions on the wheel assemblies, with directions for assembling the figures shown on the back side of the box; along with a photo of the parts sprue for them.

I am still very impressed by what the folks at Master Box have released, as this remains a solid representation of the R75.

Confederate Raider

Published: February 11th, 2011     
Confederate Raider
Reviewed by: Doug Hamilton - IPMS# 21985
Scale: Unkown
Company: Moebius Models

Editor's note: Although the scale is unkown, the figure stands Rider: 5" approx, Horse 7-1/2"

Originally produced by Aurora Models in 1958/1959, this kit has been around awhile, although until recently only in the kit collectors realm. Moebius Models has chosen to rerelease this gem of yesterday, with the same box art and instruction sheet guaranteed to bring you back to your childhood days of saving your paper route money to buy one of these babies for about 3 whole dollars. The horse looked very familiar to you when you got it home and opened the box. But that's only because this fella had been released twice before. The first time seating the mounted Gold Knight of Nice, part of the original Aurora Knight set. The second time around, an Apache Warrior was atop this fine steed's back. The third time being the charm, here comes the trusty mount again, this time carrying a Confederate Raider!! Talk about some mileage!!!

The kit is typical Aurora from back in the day. The plastic is heavy, but fairly flexible. The detail is fair, but not very realistic, and the model has an overall toy like appearance when complete.

Advanced Modeling Skills; Salt Chipping & Water Diorama (3-disk set), Instructional DVD

Published: January 19th, 2011     
Advanced Modeling Skills; Salt Chipping & Water Diorama (3-disk set), Instructional DVD
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo - IPMS# 46363
Company: Swanny's Models

Matt Swan keeps providing us with more modeling blessing on the 4th installment of his instructional series. The scope of this set is water dioramas and salt chipping technique. The subject is a 1/48 Tamiya Rufe and a nice beach scene, including everything you can imagine, even scale fish in the water!

Towards the end of his 3rd set, Matt shows how to build some simple bases to display your model. This time he goes into town showing step-by-step how to create a base, a sandy beach, foliage and more importantly: water. That is not all, as he will build a Japanese float-plane and show how to replicate paint chips using the 'salt chipping' technique.

Before showing how to build a diorama, Matt devotes some time to cover the tools and materials needed to build a diorama, including where you can get most of them and some comments regarding the cost of them.

The video moves back and forth between the diorama and the airplane; which replicates what would occur in real life, as any modeler would likely work on both a diorama and the subject in parallel.

Wargaming on a Budget: Gaming Constrained by Money or Space

Published: January 8th, 2011     
Wargaming on a Budget: Gaming Constrained by Money or Space
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter - IPMS# 45124

This new book from Casemate Publishing is on how to Wargame on a budget because of how expensive it can be or when you don't have a lot of space. Ian Dickie shows you how you can enjoy this hobby without the large expense and a smaller amount of space if need be.

The book is divided up into 10 chapters not including an introduction. They are:

  1. Resources
  2. Basic DIY
  3. Making a Table
  4. The Playing Surface
  5. Figures
  6. Terrain
  7. Man-Made Features
  8. Ships and Planes
  9. Storage and Transportation
  10. The Game

This book is a great guide for someone who is thinking to start out with wargaming and isn't sure whether they would be able to do it because of money or space. The author starts out right from the beginning and seems to answer every question I could think of about what to do. He really knows the subject and also adds a little humor in the telling so that the subject matter doesn't get boring.