is one of those companies that is gradually getting a well-deserved reputation for imaginative releases. Although it can be said, that one or two of their recent releases have followed 'well-trodden paths', this new set certainly shows an imaginative approach to a subject which other companies would be well-advised to take note of...
3512 - "British Troops, Caen, 1944",
is a hard-styrene, four figure set of British Infantry in summer of 1944. The set consists of the four figures on one sprue inside an attractively designed box. Painting instructions are given on the reverse along with the assembly instructions. The four figures are:
Two figures wearing berets
One figure with Mark II steel helmet
One figure wearing the Denilson (camo) smock with woolen cap-comforter (watch-cap)
All the figures are (substantively) correct for either Royal Marine or British Army Commando units - as the two fought side by side, there is little problem with combining the two units!!
Masterbox' figure set..
On first-examination, there are some mould lines present although, the moulding is good (if a trifle on the 'soft' side). There is a considerable amount of equipment included with this set...
Undoubtedly, the most welcome inclusion in this set, are two British 'Bergens' along with two haversacks. Sadly, the Bergens bear little relation to the actual subject, being too narrow . Nor is the representation of the (standard) toggle-rope entirely convincing - some replacement would be desireable. The rest of the equipmemt is, in general well-done. The level of casting from Masterbox
has improved considerably.
Only three weapons are included - a Bren LMG, a Mark 1(number 4) Lee-Enfield and a Sten Mark II. The weapons are well-moulded and correct although perhapsthe addition of weapons from other sets would be desirable.
The four figures are well-posed and come in good, relaxed postures. The variation in headgear could be further enhanced by replacement sets from Hornet
or others. Good definition in the uniform details and the heads are pretty good with some nice 'individual' touches.
Apart from a few reservations I hold over some of the equipment , the general impression I have of the set, is that it is, in general, good. It would, in the case of this set, be absurd to comapre this with what is now 'Industry Standard
- DML's GenII
sets as so far they gave done no allied figures in this series. What I have done, is compare them to the earlier
DML (British) sets and they do hold up very-well indeed. Far superior to the Tamiya British infantry for example. They COULD
have been improved by more variation in uniform (leather jerkins) Mark III helmets and a re-doing of the Bergens. Masterbox
would be well-advised to continue with this set and do a series of British Commando sets - technically, they are more than capable as they are now gaining much more expertise with the vagaries of plastic moulding. A good set, very welcome for British modellers indeed, which with some good research and enhancement should produce an impressive series of figures...
Firstly I would like to thank Alex Surzhenko, Director of Masterbox Limited
for supplying this review sample.
Secondly, evaluation of equipment and uniforms was (principally carried out using The British Soldier From D-Day to VE-Day - Volumes 1 & 2
which are published by Histoire & Collections
and should be in the library of every Allied Modeller....