Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

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.

USAF Crew Chief - Marshalling

Published: December 29th, 2018     
USAF Crew Chief - Marshalling
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/32
Company: Videoaviation

VideoAviation.com has come up with another wonderful diorama accessory with this new kit. One of the most important jobs that a crew chief has on the flight line is the safe taxying of aircraft from or to their parking spots. Modern United States Air Force (USAF) crew chiefs wear reflective vests to highlight their visibility to the aircraft's pilot.

This is a four-piece resin kit, with both arms and the head molded separately. The figure comes molded in the "This Marshaller" pose, which is the very first signal that a pilot will get before any taxying or other aircraft movement happens.

Molding is fantastic, with just a minimum of seam lines to clean up. Most of these lines are cleverly hidden in the folds of the uniform, but there are a few that do stand out a bit - but a file makes quick work of them.

I chose to represent myself as an active duty crew chief with this kit. The uniform is molded as a modern USAF uniform, although it is easily backdated to the Battle Dress Uniform (BDU) that was the standard during my time in the USAF. An addition to the figure for marshaling large aircraft would be to add orange paddles to the hands.

USAF Crew Chief - Vietnam

Published: December 29th, 2018     
USAF Crew Chief - Vietnam
Reviewed by: Damon Blair, IPMS# 49062
Scale: 1/32
Company: Videoaviation

United States Air Force (USAF) crew chiefs work tirelessly around -the clock to ensure aircraft are available for missions, especially in combat zones. VideoAviation.com has captured this spirit of "Can - do" with their latest offering.

The kit contains 12 parts for two figures and a Vietnam-era flight line fire bottle. The standing figure has doffed his shirt, something that would be quite understandable in the hot tropics combined with constant combat sorties, and aircraft that needed around-the-clock maintenance.

The fit of the parts is excellent, and seams clean up quickly and easily with files. My only problem with fit is with the standing figure, whose arms didn't quite fit properly into place, and required just a touch of putty. My recommendation would be to dry-fit the figures into place on a diorama before gluing the arms into place.

French Foreign Légionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent

Published: December 29th, 2018     
French Foreign Légionnaire vs Viet Minh Insurgent
Author: Martin Windrow Illustrator:Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

Like a fireball in the night, the story of the Vietnam War dominates our historical consciousness. This new addition to Osprey's Combat series, focuses on the French Foreign Legion versus the Viet Minh from 1948 to 1952. The book concentrates on a four year period, marking the height of the French occupation and counter-insurgency against the Viet Minh. Combat is one of the newer series of Osprey Publishing and it follows a formulaic format. Each book is illustrated with original art work, depicting some of the combat scenes described in the book as well as historical photographs contemporary to the conflict. The first part of each book provides context for the combat, focusing on the issues related to the larger war and the composition of the armed forces involved in each battle featured. The heart of the book are short narratives of individual battles that also feature maps that allow you to follow along with the actions described in the text.

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