Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

U.S. Army Field Safe

Published: March 16th, 2019     
U.S. Army Field Safe
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

Hauler produces photo-etched and resin upgrade sets for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs), airplanes, cars, railway vehicles, and dioramas. They also produce a few resin kits. Their products are in most of the common scale sizes, 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35, but they also produce a number of other items in common railroad hobbyist scales.

This diorama accessory is a US Army Field Safe. The safe itself is a resin box, with 3 additional pieces of resin representing the combination dial, door handle, and the actual door with "US" stamped on the front. There is a small photoetch sheet, which contains six pieces of photo-etch that will make up the inside shelves for the safe. A simple instruction sheet is included too.

Construction goes together very easily. The shelves are assembled, then fitted inside the actual safe. The 2 small pieces of resin representing the combination dial and door handle attach to the indentations on the front of the door, and the door attaches neatly to the actual safe body. There wasn't much clean up needed and everything went together in a matter of minutes to provide a very reasonable example of a safe.

Gold Bars

Published: March 3rd, 2019     
Gold Bars
Reviewed by: Mike Lamm, IPMS# 50139
Scale: 1/35
Company: Hauler

Hauler produces photo-etched and resin upgrade sets for armored fighting vehicles (AFVs), airplanes, cars, railway vehicles, and dioramas. They also produce a few resin kits. Their products are in most of the common scale sizes, 1/72, 1/48, and 1/35, but they also produce a number of other items in common railroad hobbyist scales.

This set of resin gold bars is an example of some of the unusual items they offer. The set includes a stack of 12 bars and another four individual bars. All of the parts are attached to their sprue stubs, and you'll need to take care when cutting them off. The stack of bars presented the most trouble for me to get off the stub while keeping the tops of the bars intact. I was able to sand down any imperfections and they came out pretty well. The stack and individual bars represent the "Good Delivery" bars that are very familiar to most of us from television shows and movies. Not sure too many people have actually seen or held one in real life.

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.

homepagelink