Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

3 Stooges – Moe, Curly and Larry

Published: October 17th, 2010     
3 Stooges – Moe, Curly and Larry
Reviewed by: Jim Pearsall, IPMS# 2209
Company: Polar Lights

The Stooges

The 3 Stooges started out in Vaudeville in the 1930s as Ted Healy and his Stooges, but moved into movies, first at MGM, then to Columbia. Their short films were wildly popular, and although shorts fell out of favor in general, the Stooges kept the Columbia short film department open long after other studios had given up on them.

There were actually 5 Stooges in the movies. When the act started, Moe (Moe Howard), Shemp (Moe's brother Sam Howard) and Larry (Larry Fine) were the original 3 Stooges. Shemp left the act due to Ted Healy's actions. Shemp was replaced by another Howard brother, Curly (Curly Howard). In 1946 Curly suffered a stroke, and appeared as a cameo in only one movie after that. Shemp returned to the act in 1947, and remained a Stooge until he died of a heart attrack in 1955. Nevertheless, he appeared in 4 more films, using archive footage made before his death. What a trooper! In 1956 the fifth Stooge, Joe Besser, joined the group. Besser's character was not Stooge-like, and the newer films made in 1956-1957 were not as popular.

Famous Pilots of World War II

Published: October 15th, 2010     
Famous Pilots of World War II
Reviewed by: William Seaman, IPMS# 41006
Scale: 1/32
Company: Master Box

If you haven't heard of Master Box Ltd yet, you soon will. They're a relatively new company from the Ukraine, specializing 1/35th scale plastic figures. Although they're young, they certainly have made a splash.

This release is their first entry into the 1/32nd scale market and it encompasses 6 of the most famous Allied and Axis aces of WW II;

  • Lidia (Lily) Litviak of the USSR, Top Scoring Female Ace
  • Saburo Sakai of the Imperial Japanese Navy
  • Richard Ira "Dick" Bong, US Army Air Forces Pacific
  • Werner Molders, Luftwaffe pilot
  • James "Jonnie" Johnson of the Royal Air Force
  • Albert Marcel, from the French Armeede l'Air

The box contains a single sprue of 49 sand-colored polystyrene parts. My sample was flash free. I suspect MB is using the same plastic supplier as their fellow Ukrainians, ICM, since it seems to be a exact match with some offerings from ICM I have. You get an 8 page English-German booklet, with a detailed biography for each of the pilots.

Metal Bridge

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Metal Bridge
Reviewed by: Mark Aldrich, IPMS# 39295
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

 

MiniArt definitely knows how to be creative with their sprues.  This kit is nothing more than eight of their F sprues used to make a metal bridge with handrails.  Sprue F is the sprue that was used in their "metal Stair".  This sprue is used to create the platform part of the stair kit.

Yankee Scout and Tracker

Published: October 12th, 2010     
Yankee Scout and Tracker
Reviewed by: Tom Moon, IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box

Looking over the figures, they had very minimal flash, and no ejection pin marks. What mold lines that were there were easily removed with a sharp blade. There are no decals provided and the painting instructions are for Vallejo only. You will need to refer to what you see in the illustration or any references that you may have access to. There is not even any part numbers on the sprue, just a picture on the back of the box with the numbers listed next to the part.
The figures went together without a lot of shaping and filling. They are all balanced so they can stand without pins or glue. The biggest problem with construction was the assembly of the Yankee scout. The rifle and saber were mostly guess work as to where the items went and how they were to be attached.

North African House

Published: October 11th, 2010     
North African House
Reviewed by: Chris Durden, IPMS# 29474
Scale: 1/35
Company: MiniArt

MiniArt has continued adding to their impressive array of buildings and accessories with the diorama builder in mind. Their latest offering takes them to the North African / Mediterranean theatre with the "North African House". At 130 parts, this kit comes in a large box with multiple sheets of vacuformed parts and 3 sprues of injection molded detail parts (most of which will end up in the spares box as extras. My sample kits had a "bonus figure" set which unfortunately were not applicable for the building setting (although I am sure that the German "Stalingrad '42" figures wished they were in North Africa during the Russian winter). Make no mistake; this is a substantial kit that makes up into a large building.