Introduction - a Radical concept?
Two distinct 'philosophies' are at play here - firstly to produce a different concept in figure sets by producing three seperate (but complimentary) sets, which when combined can with a little effort produce a diorama of hand-to-hand combat. Secondly, to go against the current 'grain' by consciously producing figures which are highly animated. Another aspect, which after some dry-fitting and following an explanation by the Masterbox Ltd. owner was confirmed, that the figures are designed as 'Multipose'. This means that virtually all aspects are interchangable - leg halves with others, arms on different torsos and different torsos on top of other legs. This really HASN'T been seen since the 1970s when Airfix launched their much-lauded series of (1/32nd scale) military figure kits and goes back to the pioneers of the idea - Historex.
The Bare details MAS3524: WWII Hand to Hand Combat, 1941-1942 (Eastern Front Series, Kit NĒ 3)
consists of four 1/35th scale figures of two Soviets and two Germans.The figures come on a single sprue inside a side-opening box which has some extraordinarily well-done box-art. The reverse of the box has a simple construction diagram along with a color chart keyed for Vallejo, Tamiya, Lifecolor, Humbrol and Agama.
As the general level of quality is more or less comparable with the other two sets iin the series, I make no apologies for repeating myself in several areas:
: Following on from my comments about the heads in Set # 2 - Soviet Infantry, the heads, for a plastic kit, are simply superb - animated with good detail, these are, IMO, some of the BEST plastic heads every included in any manufacturer's figure set.
With the hands, moulding varies from excellent to the not so good. Curiously , the best are the open hands, the 'clenched' fists are a touch indistinct.
Two types of footwear are provided - the long boots and puttees. Definition is exellent with clear division between instep and heel on the boots.
Good, subtle creasing on the folds, good definition on pockets and equipment belts.
The bare mininimum - most of the typical German equipment is provided along with some nicely-sculpted Soviet haversacks and pouches.
only one Kar 98k is provided (along with bayonet) so, anyone wishing to enhance the set can do it by using weaponry from the other sets or using the spares box..
The 'provided' poses are as follows:
1) German Infantryman 'lunging' with bayoneted rifle.
2) German Infantryman attacking with bayonet
3) Soviet Infantryman attacking with entrenching tool
4) Soviet Infantryman defending himself using his helmet as a 'club'
The figures 'pair up' as #1 vs. #3 and #2 vs. #4..
The poses are the most active I have EVER seen in 1/35th scale figures. With some imagination and two-three of these, sets some extraordinarily-varied figures could be produced. It is absolutely correct to define thse figures as 'Multi-Pose'. Although the 'provided' poses are not perhaps to everone's taste, a little work could produce some very different figures. As I built the figures according to the instruction guide, they do, individually, look a little strange. However, in the photos at the bottom, you should get a rough idea of how the figures 'relate' to one another.
: Very straightforward. Each figure consists of just 5/6 parts (without weapons or equipment) and although there are a few seam lines to be removed, the moulding is clean and well-defined. I built the four figures quicker than I normally would - simply for the purpose of this review. Alignment of the two leg halves is excellent with the creases matching-up perfectly. The plastic which Masterbox are using now is also very good allowing detail to be held better in the mouldings. The headgear also fits better than before although a little care is required in lining it up.Construction was carried out using Tamiya Extra-Thin and Revell liquid cement.
Simply put, if Masterbox Ltd.
continue with the technical improvements to their figures and with this imaginative approach, they cannot fail to become one of the best figure manufacturers on the market - bar NONE, This set, combined with the other previously reviewed sets, has been a real eye-opener for me to demonstrate just what the smaller companies are capable of. All that remains, is for their technical flair to be rewarded as it should be - in the form of high sales..
The Other 'linked' sets
the other two reviews can be seen here:
Kit NĒ 2, Soviet Infantry in Action
Kit NĒ 1, German Infantry in Action