Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

Israeli Paratroopers, 1954-2016

Published: December 1st, 2018     
Israeli Paratroopers, 1954-2016
Author: David Campbell; Illustrator: Peter Dennis
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

Israeli Paratroopers, 1954-2016 is one of the latest offerings of a long running Osprey series that examines elite forces from around the world. The elite series follows a certain formula; something that Osprey is very good at. Each volume covers origins, a short chronology, organization and various operations that fall within the time span of the book. As with many Osprey publications, this one includes historic and contemporary photographs, and a series of plates that feature the uniforms, equipment, and lengthy captions that touch upon the history about the paratroopers. I am surprised that the Israeli paratroopers have not been covered until now. Regardless, this is a handy one volume history.

Chinese Soldier vs. Japanese Soldier: China, 1937-38

Published: November 26th, 2018     
Chinese Soldier vs. Japanese Soldier: China, 1937-38
Author: Benjamin Lai
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

For most Americans, when you ask them when World War Two began, I imagine most people would answer December 7, 1941, the day the Japanese attacked the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor. In my mind, as this book reminds us, I think it is necessary to push the timeline back to the late 1930s and the beginning of the Second Sino-Japanese War. Osprey's combat series is one the more recent additions to their catalog of publications. As the title suggests, each volume looks at the relative strengths and weaknesses of a set of combatants across the historical time line. Each volume follows a specific formula - an introduction, a look at the weapons, tactics, recruitment and training of each side, descriptions of several battles the opponents fought, then an analysis and aftermath. As is typical for most Osprey books, this volume is well illustrated with historic photographs, maps of each battlefield, and several custom illustrations that bring alive particular instances of the battles told in each volume.

Forts: An Illustrated History of Building for Defence.

Published: November 25th, 2018     
Forts: An Illustrated History of Building for Defence.
Author: Jeremy Black
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

In collaboration with Jeremy Black, Osprey has produced several coffee table style books to highlight the history of maps, naval charts, and now fortifications. Using photographs and illustrations from the National Archives of Great Britain, Black and Osprey have produced a concise history of fortifications from around the world. Black, to his credit, uses an international approach when telling the story of the development and evolution of fortifications. The books uses a chronological format, from the beginning of recorded history to the dawn of the 21st Century. The highlight of the book are the illustrations; there is not a great deal of text with each chapter. Black provides a broad overview to each time period and uses substantial captions with each chapter to expand the story. They are professionally produced and pop out as you go through the book.

Stan "Long Haul" Thompson

Published: November 22nd, 2018     
Stan "Long Haul" Thompson
Reviewed by: Dave Morrissette, IPMS# 33653
Scale: 1/24
Company: Master Box

Master Box Ltd out of Ukraine has found a niche in providing figures for both stand-alone scenes or add-ons for current kits. This kit, Stan Thompson, Long Haul Trucker adds to their series designed to add to and compliment 1/24 scale semi trucks of all kinds.

This kit is meant to represent a truck standing by his rig with his gloved hands hooked into is pockets. The kit is one sprue of seven parts which is well done and free of flash. Assembly is simple, glue to the torso together and the legs, Glue those together and add the arms and head. Sand the seams and minimally fill any seams and prime and you are ready for paint. It is to be noted that the only real seam was between the torso and legs and took a very small dab of putty to fill.

Doors Set

Published: November 14th, 2018     
Doors Set
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/35
Company: Matho Models

The Matho Models Doors Set includes one photoetch fret about 4 x 6", with seven doors. The fret also includes some miscellaneous hardware including latches, escutcheon plates, door knockers, key holes, and two flower designs for one of the doors. The doors are all different wood door styles and several sizes as follows:

  1. Colonial 2-11 x 6-11
  2. Half-glazed panel 2-11 x 6-11
  3. Glazed lite 3-1 x 6-11
  4. Panel door 3-1 x 6-11
  5. Arched top panel door 3-1 x 6-11
  6. Solid door with vision lite 3-6 x 7-0
  7. 8 Pane stile & rail 3-4 x 6-11

The door hardware is very small and difficult to work with. I couldn't get the flower designs off the sprue without crumpling them. The door knockers are also very thin, and I mangled one so bad it was unusable. Matho Models provides door hinges as separate sets for mounting the doors.

The photoetch is fairly thin, and to make a 2-inch door thickness would require a 1/16" backing of either styrene or wood.

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