Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

Soviet Insignia and Medals 1944-1945

Published: May 18th, 2011     
Soviet Insignia and Medals 1944-1945
Reviewed by: Andy Renshaw - IPMS# 35806
Scale: 1/35
Company: Eduard

Anybody who has seen period photos of World War II Soviet soldiers will note that many times their uniforms are decorated with medals and awards. Occasionally a figure manufacturer will provide these molded into the chest leaving the modeler to paint, but the majority of plastic figures do not. Eduard has been working through various subjects within its colored photo etch range, and now we get not just one, but two sets of Soviet World War II uniform insignia and metals in full color! This review covers the late war, 1944-1945 periods.

This small set is chock full of enough decorations to award an entire regiment of 1/35 scale figures. Included are both uniform rank insignia for officers and enlisted, as well as various medals and badges. You also don't need to be an expert to use these, as there are full instructions that cover each award, medal, and rank and its name and English equivalent. Insignia for artillery, infantry, engineer troops, and tank crew are all included. Detail is fantastic, with some having up to four colors printed on an area covering only a few millimeters!

RAF and British Commonwealth Fighter Pilot Mid-late WWII

Published: May 16th, 2011     
RAF and British Commonwealth Fighter Pilot Mid-late WWII
Reviewed by: Rod Lees - IPMS# 10821
Company: Master Details

I don't normally go for installing figures in my models; however, after this one, I may change my stripes and do so more frequently.

First

Thanks to master Details for providing this excellent product to us. It was quite a pleasant diversion from just slappin' together plastic... and an excellent addition to most WWII British kits!

What You Get

A torso, four different arms, and two legs in resin. And four different heads in white metal, along with an oxygen mask and hose for separate parts. One head with goggles down and no mask, one with goggles up and mask in place, one with mask and goggles in place, and one with mask in place, goggles up. The flight gear is for non-tropical situations, i.e. standard European issue. This is a mid-to-late war flight kit project; not appropriate warmer theaters of operation.

The sculpting on this kit is exquisite... detail is far better than injected plastic, and the overall final product looks the part. The goggles are perfect; they are set up so you paint the background, and use your favorite clear medium to simulate glass.

Italian Street Scene

Published: May 15th, 2011     
Italian Street Scene
Reviewed by: Chris Durden - IPMS# 29474
Scale: 1/35
Company: Dioramas Plus

Dioramas Plus was founded in 2008 and has been producing 1/35 bases and buildings for the diorama builder. These products are plaster cast and quite robust. When the box arrived I could tell that just walking it up my driveway tired the mailman out it was so heavy (OK, so maybe I exaggerate). Upon opening the box I found the content wrapped carefully in bubble wrap and an examination of the parts revealed no broken bits. You get 4 main cast pieces consisting of the walls and the street base; a thin wood laser cut sheet with window frames and a door, a clear sheet with holes and jagged edges for the window glass and a bag of loose bricks as well as some large debris piles cast as one piece. I was extremely impressed with the quality of the castings - the relief and detail is excellent and the damage convincing.

Soviet PAG-14 Airfield Plates

Published: May 2nd, 2011     
Soviet PAG-14 Airfield Plates
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo - IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/72
Company: ICM

ICM has a growing line of 1/72 soviet jets and now it is providing modelers with a simple and cost effective way to enhance how to display our models: PAG-14 Airfield plates. I must confess, I don't know anything about those plates nor I was able to find any online reference so I cannot speak as to their accuracy.

You get 32 individual plates, each one with dimensions of 82 by 27 mm. The plates have some nice texture which gets highlighted with either a wash or drybrushing. The parts have medium size attachment points to the sprue (typical of ICM) and some sanding is required to clean up the parts.

There are no decals nor instruction provided with this set, but the back of the box includes some recommended paint color and a generic configuration for the plates. Of course you can set them in any configuration you want, but the recommended one will likely match the general shape of any modern jet. Using the recommended configuration the base has dimensions of 362 by 216 mm

Domestic Animals

Published: May 1st, 2011     
Domestic Animals
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo - IPMS# 46363
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd

Kit Review:

The domestic animals set is a welcome addition to the 1/35 scale diorama, adding some more every-day objects (or animals) to the traditionally military-focus aspects of dioramas.

Master Box has released a single sprue of 26 parts containing two cows and one goat. The box shows two goats, but it is just two suggested painting options. The sprue attachment points are medium sized and some part preparation and cleaning is needed. Care is needed when removing parts from the sprue as to avoid damaging detail. Overall detail is good, with clearly detailed faces, eyes and ears. You can even see the ribs in the cow sides. The goat hair might be a bit overdone but that makes painting and washing easier.

The parts have no locating pins and there are some mold lines that need to be removed. The mold lines tend to run along the legs and bellies of the animals. The overall fit is below average. I've used a few clamps to get the parts to fit and I then ran liquid cement along the join. Still I needed some putty and sanding, mainly along the back and the neck areas of the cow. The goat parts have a better fit than the cow.

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