Figures & Dioramas

Reviews of products for scale figures and diorama models.

Royal Netherlands East Indies Army 1936-42

Published: November 3rd, 2018     
Royal Netherlands East Indies Army 1936-42
Author: Marc Lohnstein; Illustrator: Adam Hook
Reviewed by: William Kluge, IPMS# 45849
Company: Osprey Publishing

The long held Dutch colony of the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) encompassed a huge swath of maritime territory across the southwest Pacific ocean, from the eastern end of the island of Sumatra to the western half of New Guinea, including the major islands of Java, Timor, most of southern Borneo, the octopus-like Celebes, and hundreds of smaller islands in between. For most of its history, the Netherlands East Indies Army (KNIL) was tasked with internal security, assisting the colonial police services in maintaining order when and wherever necessary. Defense from external threats was the primary responsibility of the Dutch Navy, supporting the far-flung KNIL battalions assigned to strategic areas throughout the colony. By 1936, in the face of growing Japanese expansion in the western Pacific, the KNIL began a five year modernization program that was just beginning to take shape by the time of the Japanese invasion in early 1942.

Kitty (Princess) James

Published: October 28th, 2018     
Kitty (Princess) James
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus, IPMS# 35035
Scale: 1/24
Company: Master Box

Master Box Ltd, out of the the Ukraine, has been a leader in 1/35 figures for a while. They expanded into 1/24 female and fantasy figures in 2016, starting with their first series of six female figures representing the World War II era. This current series, Truckers, is ideal for modern Class 8 truck vignettes and dioramas. Kitty (Princess) James is part of six kits in this series.

The kit comes in a standard end opening box. Pulling out the parts, you will first see that the box is probably three times too large, but in return you get a nice painting on the cover by V. Petelin, and instructions on the back with color callouts in Vallejo, Lifecolor, and Mr Color. I will note that the plastic figure sculpted by A. Gagarin is not identical to the cover paining, but it is close. The hair is slightly different and the blouse is cut differently. The figure represents a female passenger sleeping in the back of the truck with her head on a pillow. Packaging of the eleven parts are protected within a re-sealable bag.

Normandy, 1944: Hitlerjugend Soldier vs. Canadian Soldier

Published: October 28th, 2018     
Normandy, 1944: Hitlerjugend Soldier vs. Canadian Soldier
Author: David Greentree. Illustrated by Johnny Shumate
Reviewed by: Marc K. Blackburn, IPMS# 42892
Company: Osprey Publishing

One of Osprey's relatively new series is Combat. Each volume looks at a specific battle in a larger campaign and breaks down the relative strengths and weaknesses of the combatants (the key word in each title is 'versus'). This particular volume takes a look at the Waffen SS formation, Hitlerjugend (a division made up primarily of Hitler Youth) and Canadian soldiers from a variety of units. The first chapters look at the relative strengths and weaknesses of each force and then devotes the balance of the volume to a set of battles in a larger campaign. The legacy of the prowess of the Germans continues to linger seventy-five years on. Similarly, the citizen soldiers of the Canada seem to pale in comparison to their German adversaries. On the surface it a clash between the classic definition of citizen soldiers and what at the time was perceived as an elite unit.

Her Majesty’s Estafette

Published: October 3rd, 2018     
Her Majesty’s Estafette
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1:35
Company: Industria Mechanika

This is a high-quality resin kit of a unique steampunk vehicle with figures. The part fit is exceptionally good, but there are some small & delicate parts to work with, and resin experience is important.

Industria Mechanika is a low volume, high quality 'garage' kit company focusing on original concept designs of steampunk, airships, fantasy, fantastical figures, and other whimsical creations. Many of IM's kits are original designs created by its owner and designer, Michael Fichtenmayer, or other designers. The kits are produced in resin of the highest quality, and many include photoetch, decals, and other accessories.

Her Majesty's Estafette is designed by Christohe Desse, who has designed several other kits for Industria Mechanika. Desse is a special effect artist and modeler for advertising, tv, film, and games in France, Germany and Singapore. Christophe enjoys creating cartoony or stylized characters and supercharged muscle cars.

Ringtrichter Richtungshörer Horchgerät (German WWII Acoustic Monitor Tool)

Published: September 10th, 2018     
Ringtrichter Richtungshörer Horchgerät (German WWII Acoustic Monitor Tool)
Reviewed by: William O'Malley, IPMS# 46473
Scale: 1/72
Company: CMK

Background information from Wikipedia:

Ringtrichter Richtungshorer Horchgerat, or literally 'hearing aid for anti-aircraft guns' were developed in the First World War as military reconnaissance devices to locate guns on the battlefields. The successes were modest, however, because artillery fire is only short-term sound events, and there were several gun positions on the battlefields so that the localization was difficult. The directional receiver was much better suited for the localization of aircraft. By means of several devices, the true position of a relatively slow sound source moving in the subsonic range could be determined by cross-bearing. They were still used during the Second World War in order to locate enemy aircraft, even in weather such as fog or darkness. With the increasing speed of aircraft and the invention of radar technology, the Richtungshorer was largely obsolete.

This kit is from Czech Master's Kits (CMK), which is now part of Special Hobby.

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