Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

Confederate Raider

Published: February 11th, 2011     
Confederate Raider
Reviewed by: Doug Hamilton, IPMS# 21985
Scale: Unkown
Company: Moebius Models

Editor's note: Although the scale is unkown, the figure stands Rider: 5" approx, Horse 7-1/2"

Originally produced by Aurora Models in 1958/1959, this kit has been around awhile, although until recently only in the kit collectors realm. Moebius Models has chosen to rerelease this gem of yesterday, with the same box art and instruction sheet guaranteed to bring you back to your childhood days of saving your paper route money to buy one of these babies for about 3 whole dollars. The horse looked very familiar to you when you got it home and opened the box. But that's only because this fella had been released twice before. The first time seating the mounted Gold Knight of Nice, part of the original Aurora Knight set. The second time around, an Apache Warrior was atop this fine steed's back. The third time being the charm, here comes the trusty mount again, this time carrying a Confederate Raider!! Talk about some mileage!!!

Advanced Modeling Skills; Salt Chipping & Water Diorama (3-disk set), Instructional DVD

Published: January 19th, 2011     
Advanced Modeling Skills; Salt Chipping & Water Diorama (3-disk set), Instructional DVD
Author: Matt Swan
Reviewed by: Pablo Bauleo, IPMS# 46363
Company: Swanny's Models

Matt Swan keeps providing us with more modeling blessing on the 4th installment of his instructional series. The scope of this set is water dioramas and salt chipping technique. The subject is a 1/48 Tamiya Rufe and a nice beach scene, including everything you can imagine, even scale fish in the water!

Towards the end of his 3rd set, Matt shows how to build some simple bases to display your model. This time he goes into town showing step-by-step how to create a base, a sandy beach, foliage and more importantly: water. That is not all, as he will build a Japanese float-plane and show how to replicate paint chips using the 'salt chipping' technique.

Before showing how to build a diorama, Matt devotes some time to cover the tools and materials needed to build a diorama, including where you can get most of them and some comments regarding the cost of them.

The video moves back and forth between the diorama and the airplane; which replicates what would occur in real life, as any modeler would likely work on both a diorama and the subject in parallel.

Wargaming on a Budget: Gaming Constrained by Money or Space

Published: January 8th, 2011     
Wargaming on a Budget: Gaming Constrained by Money or Space
Author: Iain Dickie
Reviewed by: Mike Hinderliter, IPMS# 45124
Company: Pen and Sword Books Ltd

This new book from Casemate Publishing is on how to Wargame on a budget because of how expensive it can be or when you don't have a lot of space. Ian Dickie shows you how you can enjoy this hobby without the large expense and a smaller amount of space if need be.

The book is divided up into 10 chapters not including an introduction. They are:

  1. Resources
  2. Basic DIY      
  3. Making a Table
  4. The Playing Surface
  5. Figures
  6. Terrain
  7. Man-Made Features
  8. Ships and Planes
  9. Storage and Transportation
  10. The Game

This book is a great guide for someone who is thinking to start out with wargaming and isn't sure whether they would be able to do it because of money or space. The author starts out right from the beginning and seems to answer every question I could think of about what to do. He really knows the subject and also adds a little humor in the telling so that the subject matter doesn't get boring.

Thermonuclear Rodeo

Published: December 20th, 2010     
Thermonuclear Rodeo
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 90mm
Company: Government Issue

As a devotee of SciFi and the related genres, I was always a fan of Stanley Kubrick's 1964 movie Dr. Strangelove. It had a great cast with George C. Scott, James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers and many more including the subject of this diorama, Slim Pickens as Major "King" Kong who most notably rides a nuclear bomb out of the bottom of a B-52 to detonate in Russia. I could go one more but you really need to watch is to appreciate the subtle and extensive humor thrown around.


Published: December 17th, 2010     
Reviewed by: Roger Carrano, IPMS# 45853
Scale: 1/35
Company: Master Box Ltd.

Master Box Ltd. is a company that makes many different injected molded kits with an emphasis on making their products for dioramas. Their kits have a huge range of themes and accessories for dioramas, including figures of people and various animals, carts, WWII tanks & motorcycles to mention a few. Each kit tells a story of its own and together can bring your diorama to a better level of realism. I know they have been around from at least 2006 but however long it might be, their products seem to be excellent.