Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

The Colosseum

Published: February 9th, 2019     
The Colosseum
Reviewed by: Ron Bell, IPMS# 12907
Scale: 1/500
Company: Italeri

The Kit

This is one in a series of architectural models that Italeri is producing. Kudos to them for doing some really different things in modeling, with their Leonardo Da Vinci line and now this architectural one.

No number of parts is given, but my guess is around 60 or so, most of those being the columns at the top. The parts are sharply molded in a light tan plastic with good detail. Included is a sheet of images of statues that are cut out and glued to the interior of the outer wall parts so that they show through the arches, which is a neat effect. You also get a few gladiators, a lion and what I think is a bear, but in 1/500 scale, they are pretty tiny and painting them is a challenge. You get a booklet about the colosseum with its history in Italian and English and the instructions are in this booklet. The history is pretty extensive and makes the model more interesting.

NATO Pilot Walking

Published: February 3rd, 2019     
NATO Pilot Walking
Reviewed by: David Wrinkle, IPMS# 45869
Scale: 1/32
Company: PJ Production

PJ Production is a Belgian company that is self-described as a company who specializes in the creation and production of resin scale models and accessories aimed at amateurs of military aircraft kits and aviation-related dioramas in 1/72nd, 1/48th and 1/32nd scale.

This is my first PJ Production product and overall, I found it to be a very nice resin figure. Included in the set is the pilot figure with separate arms, oxygen hose, and two helmet / hand options representing two styles of aviation helmets. The manufacturer includes a photo of the back side of the pilot figure to aid your painting the figure. The figure is molded in a light grey and has very fine detail although I did find several obvious pinholes in the resin. I quickly filled them in with my favorite resin filler made by Bondo. It is a very fine two-part glazing and spot putty that dries lightning quick and sands very well. (Bondo #801). Unfortunately, I missed the rather large pin hole on the chin of the pilot so I just opted to flood with paint while painting the face.

Men-At-Arms Series: French Naval & Colonial Troops 1872-1914

Published: February 2nd, 2019     
Men-At-Arms Series: French Naval & Colonial Troops 1872-1914
Author: René Chartrand; Illustrator: Mark Stacey
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

The world's perceptions concerning nationalistic colonialism have virtually reversed over the course of the last century, and the impact of such behavior and its aftermath by mostly European nations on less-developed areas of the world is still being debated today. That being said, for the figure modeler this era in human history is a goldmine of really interesting military uniforms, not least because so many of them combine European and local costumes in truly unique ways.

As far as global colonial powers during the 19th century go, France was certainly in the top three, having footholds throughout most of northern Africa as well as IndoChina and elsewhere. They incorporated large numbers of natives to help keep order in these regions, and in the process created some of these fascinating hybrids of dress. I can't think of any other colonial power of the period who embraced this idea quite so enthusiastically, although perhaps the British are a close second.

The Etruscans 9th - 2nd Centuries BC

Published: January 27th, 2019     
The Etruscans 9th - 2nd Centuries BC
Author: Raffaele D’Amato, Andrea Salimbeti; Illustrator: Giuseppe Rava
Reviewed by: Gino Dykstra, IPMS# 11198
Company: Osprey Publishing

The Etruscans are sometimes regarded as the fore-runners of the later Roman civilization, and they certainly appear to have had enormous influence over the development of that empire, and yet despite this, relatively little is really know today about them. Their language has only ever been partially translated and very little written documentation survives except later tomes by Romans and Greeks which are debatably accurate, to say the least. What is generally believed is that the Etruscans were something of an amalgam culture, having some seafaring antecedents as well as people from the Asian subcontinent and other places (which seems to suggest they were very much a merchant culture with extensive trade routes). However, there are other later writers who claimed they were native to the area of Northern Italy, so go figure. In any case they dominated Northern Italy for around a millennia, and even occupied Rome for a while before going into a steep decline and eventual extinction.

Bundeswehr. German Military Men, Present Day

Published: December 30th, 2018     
Bundeswehr. German Military Men, Present Day
Reviewed by: Brent Bristow, IPMS# 48487
Scale: 1:35
Company: Master Box

Over the last few years, Master Box Ltd. has produced numerous figure kits of varying scales and genres. Many of these can be used to enhance automotive or military vehicles, and some, such as their fantasy and sci-fi line, can stand on their own. For this out-of-box review, I will be looking at the Master Box release of Bundeswehr. German Military Men, Present day in 1/35 scale.

The kit includes five full figures, each of which have detailed uniforms and equipment consistent with the era. The poses for each are different enough to distinguish them from each other. Each figure is comprised of 7-13 plastic parts, depending upon the pose and the amount of gear. The basic parts for each include a torso (molded in 1 part), a head, two arms, and two legs. Two of the figures have a hat that is a separate part, while the other 3 have the hat molded onto the head.

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