Videoaviation is a small company out of Italy manufacturing big things; in this case, they provide large scale modelers the items missing from many of our 1/32 models to bring them to life, particularly in a diorama setting if you have room! In this case, a crew of modern day carrier crew members in action poses.
First, kudos to Videoaviation for providing total instructions, including basic painting for the figures. Some still do not have internet capability (gasp) so this is important. I found the instructions helpful.
This set comes in a top opening box containing resin items for five figures in various carrier launch poses… two "shooters”, one deck handler with holdback brackets (five included), one wheel chock handler (with parts for three chocks), and one Fly Operator. They have skull caps, ear defenders, goggles down, and basic uniforms as seen on recent and current (Desert storm to present) naval aviation operations. These all appear to be CAD designed, so the accuracy is spot on.
Construction: remove the personnel from their pour castings, or, like I did, use the pour blocks to hold the figures while painting. The resin is medium soft, so it is easy to cut or saw through. All figures have at least one arm needing installation; the holdback operator has two to attach. I used superglue with Vallejo precision tube white acrylic putty to fill the gaps, and it was time to paint. Primer gray was used on all figures, with the ensuing painting taking about four hours.
As usual, the colorful crew requirements for shooters and aircraft handlers (Yellow shirts), aircraft catapult crew (Green shirts), and the different uniforms (Battle Dress, desert camo tan, or blue utilities) is noted on the instructions. Nice. All you need to do is make microphones and cords and you are finished. The shooters already have their commo wireless in their pockets, so that's handled nicely.
At this point I tried a Vallejo red wash for the faces, but still ended up doing a dart black/gray wash to bring the detail out for photography. A better way would be to do the new dot techniques, but this is a time critical review. The facial features and details as a whole are VERY well done!
After taking the photographs, I decided it may be worthwhile to strip the figures down and re-do them properly for a small carrier display. 24" x 48" should about do it with a Tomcat… Maybe it would be better to do the Scooter?
My assessment is this set fills a large gap in the modeling world; the use of figures adds scale and realism to a display, and this set does just that. The Price is right, too… as are all Videoaviation items.
Once again I congratulate Maurizio for stepping up and doing this set. It's a great way to add life to your large scale catapult diorama. The figure sculpting is basic but accurate (not overdone gamer heads here) and will fill the bill for your need. Highly recommended, top marks to Videoaviation for this set.
Also, thanks again to Dave and Dick for making sure I had something to fret about over these weeks…. Finally finished these guys!