by: Pat McGrath [ ]
To go with their new Austin Tilly, SKP Model have produced this figure of an ATS driver “Samantha” who bears more than a passing resemblance to the Actress Honeysuckle Weeks’ character “Sam” in the TV Series “Foyle’s War”.
The Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) was formed in 1938 to allow women to serve in the British Army and by 1945 there were over 190,000 members, including Winston Churchill’s daughter and Princess (Now Queen) Elizabeth II. The A.T.S served as drivers, support gun crews, searchlight operators and in many other roles, thus freeing many men up for active duty in the front line from which women were barred.
The figure is in four parts: the main body including legs, the head, and two separate arms, cast in a blue grey resin. It comes in a ziplock bag inside the usual SKP silver box. If you were to judge this figure on the box art alone you wouldn’t buy it, and SKP could do themselves and the figure sculptor a big favour by improving the box art.
It’s not an easy thing to sculpt the female form in 1/35 scale and the appearance of a new 1/35 female figure in an Armorama news item can lead to much hilarity in the forum. Very often 1/35 scale female figures don’t look very female. Not so with this figure. I don’t know who sculpted this figure but SKP should sign him up for life.
Everything about this figure from the pose to the uniform details and folds as well as the anatomical details are excellent, and the head and face are on a par with the best resin heads available.
The figure wears first pattern Service with pleated pockets and a fabric belt, an A line skirt, khaki shirt and tie, Brown leather shoes, and what appears to be the second issue ATS service cap with a stiff leather peak. As a driver she also wears gauntlets.
The casting quality for most of the figure is very good. I found one tiny seam line on the back of the service cap. The casting plug on the left arm is well placed and easy to remove while the one on the right arm will have to be carefully removed. There was also a small seam line on the left arm. The main torso is very sharply cast but there has been some mould slippage on my sample with some excess resin to be cut away from the bottom of the skirt.
I removed the pieces from the molding plugs with a sharp razor saw and cleaned them up with a hobby knife. I used a new number 11 blade to clean off the excess resin below the skirt. As usual I used CA glue to join the parts. The head was a push fit into the neck socket.
As foreseen, the right arm was tricky to clean up and, in fact, although the fit was good the upper part of the arm which fits to the shoulder was slightly too big for both arms. I fit them flush with the front of the figure and sanded down the overlap at the rear.
I think their figure line is where SKP’s real strength lies. This is a really great figure at a quality that is hard to find elsewhere in resin for just 4.99 EUR.