Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

USMC Tank Crew [Modern]

Published: September 14th, 2017     
USMC Tank Crew [Modern]
Reviewed by: Charles Landrum, IPMS# 26328
Company: MiniArt

When I model military vehicles, I like to have a figure or two with the vehicle to give it more animation and scale. If you like to model modern US armor, there have been limited options for tanker figures in the most modern of US military uniforms. Mostly, suitable figures are found in resin, but injection molded options are few. To be fair to the manufacturers, the US military has kept changing uniforms during its 15 years of conflict in the Middle East and Afghanistan. When figures are available they tend to be US Army, which wears a different uniform than the US Marine Corps. MiniArt to the rescue.

Drain and Manhole Covers

Published: September 14th, 2017     
Drain and Manhole Covers
Reviewed by: Phil Peterson, IPMS# 8739
Company: Hauler

Hauler has been making photoetched sets in multiple scales including my favorite, 1/72nd. This set is about as easy of a PE set as you can get. It contains 6 grills (4 of one style and 2 of another) and 15 manhole covers (5 each of 3 styles one of these is square). They literally are just cut from the fret and add to your diorama.

As such no instructions are needed but there actually was a set included with mine. Turns out it is for one of their Typhoon sets. Whoops.

I have been unable to track down what countries the manhole covers are from but pretty sure they are from Europe and should look good in a WWII setting. If anyone can find a location that fits please post the info.

All in all, a nice and easy to use accessory that will liven up that street scene.

Thanks to Hauler and IPMS/USA for the review kit.

Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol. 2

Published: September 14th, 2017     
Operation Market Garden Paratroopers Vol. 2
Author: Author: Piotr Witkowski - Color Plates: Andrzej Glinski
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Company: Mushroom Model Publications

This tome appears to be Piotr Witkowski's second book in English and it's a follow up to Volume one of his Operational Market Garden Paratroopers that focused on uniforms, equipment and personal use items. The positive feedback he received from Volume 1 encouraged him to move fast on this volume to get it published. You can find the review on Volume I at the IPMS USA Review website. I've found two prior books in Polish: Polskie jednostki powietrzno-desantowe na zachodzie (Bellona, 2009) and a second edition of this book titled: Spadochroniarze Sosabowskiego : Dzieje polskich jednostekpowietrznodesantowych 1939-1945 (Bellona, 2012). Volume 3 is in preparation by Piotr Witkowski and will focus on Transports used in Operation Market Garden.

Crane Ruger H-3D

Published: August 22nd, 2017     
Crane Ruger H-3D
Reviewed by: Allan Murrell, IPMS# 49715
Scale: 1/48
Company: Plus Model

This is another great unusual subject from Plus Models which is a super addition to a diorama of any sort.

This resin kit of the Ruger H-3D Crane (Engine hoist) used in all types of maintenance shops Military or civil. The kit is very easy to build as long as you watch the instruction details carefully.

In the box is:

  • 31 resin parts
  • 1 small photoetch sheet
  • 1 metal chain
  • 1 brass wire
  • 1 instruction sheet

All the parts are all very well detailed with only a few bubble mark defects.


The build is a little difficult and fiddley at times. I found an issue in the build with a few air bubbles that needed filling. Also a few of the part numbers were missed from the instructions, and a couple were mixed up, but this is easy to work out from the parts. The other thing I did was drill out the holes as some of the pins were too tight. Also, I drilled holes for the wire attachment points to make this better for assembly.


This is excellent kit and was a lot of fun to build. The fit of the parts is very good