This is my 4th review on the recently released Resicast
British Tank Riders. This time we’ll take a look at the Tank Rider with a Sten
, who is the Junior NCO of the quad.
The other three reviews can be viewed here on Armorama:
Tank Rider with Rifle No 1
British Tank Rider with Bren
Tank Rider with Rifle No 2
The figures were sculpted by Pete Morton and those featured on the card inserts were painted by Christopher Nachtergael.
So let’s have a look at what you get.
The figure comes packaged in the standard Resicast zip bag with a card insert depicting the finished figure to aid painting. The figure itself is contained within a further zip bag for extra protection. Also included with the figure is a small paper insert containing a picture of the 4 new figures positioned on the front of a Sherman tank, again to show possible positioning when finished. Beside the picture of the 4 Tank riders is a small piece of text quoted below :
“These universal tank riders can be fitted to any vehicle (Churchill, Comet, Sherman,...) However to obtain a correct fit we suggest that the underside be adapted to the appropriate vehicle.”
This figure comes posed as sitting on the top right hand side of a Sherman front hull. Realistically, on the side or rear might be better choice. The figure is in a seated position, legs more or less at right angles to the thighs. He is shown holding a Mk II Sten Gun pointing forward. Personally I would have preferred if the Sten gun had been resting across his knees or held in a more casual manner.
Cast in the familiar light grey resin used by Resicast, the figure appears free from any damage or air bubbles. The quality of the casting looks excellent. The figure consists of 8 parts: the body cast as a whole, separate arms, the right hand one holding the Sten which also has the left hand moulded to it, the left arm, head, short stabbing bayonet, water bottle, small digging tool, and a backpack.
Dressed in what appears to be a good representation of Battledress Serge 37/40, the uniform has the right number of pockets in the appropriate places, although the rear of the trousers show a hip pocket on the left and right, not a style I have seen before. The uniform has nice folds and creases, and the pose looks fairly natural. On top of the uniform the figure wears a skeleton set of 37 Pattern Webbing, consisting of belt, left and right ammo pouches and braces. The webbing is very well done with nice front brasses and buckles where they should be. The figure is designed to sport a back pack, and the straps for that are present over the shoulders and at the sides. So a very small amount of work would allow you to model this figure without the additional kit. Slung over the left and right shoulders, and hanging across the left/right ammo pouches, are two 50 round bandoliers of ammunition containing the correct 5 pouches of ammunition. The tunic collar is slightly open at the top.
The arms come as two separate items and are designed to hold a Mk II Sten. This is my least favourite bit of the figure, not being a fan of hands moulded to weapons, and I would have preferred if he had a .45 Thompson rather than a Sten gun no matter how common they were. The figure represents a Junior NCO of an Infantry Battalion, and the stripes and unit/divisional badges are moulded to the arms so no decals are needed unless you want to add them. The detail on the hands is also very good.
The head, also a separate item, comes with a sharply cast interesting looking face with excellent detail. On the head is a MK II netted helmet with camouflage, with the strap running under the chin. The face is that of a young man. I like the facial features and the camo helmet is really well done.
To complete the figure you get a short stabbing bayonet, water bottle in a carrier, backpack, plus a small digging tool for the rear of the webbing and a magazine for the Sten gun. All these items are nicely done, although the buckles on the digging tool holder are a bit weak, but they are present nonetheless. So either full battle order or skeleton order is doable.
Clean up should be minimal with only 3 small pours on the main figure to remove and the casting blocks on the remaining parts, a sharp X-acto blade and file is all that will be needed, to quickly clean up the figure and get to building and painting.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin and sharp objects!
Not my favourite of the recently released quad, but still a very useable figure. Casting and detail is as sharp as before. The pose of lifting or lowering the Sten, to me, looks a bit out of place and I would rather the weapon was held in a more casual way.
Good thoughts have gone into making him a JNCO. Like all the others the sculpting is excellent, and the uniform detail looks good as well as the overall body proportions.
Ignore my personal preferences because this is another excellent figure and I’m delighted to see this quad of figures becoming available.
The figure should paint up really well and be of interest to both the individual figure painter and the diorama builder alike. Fairly versatile, he could be used in a number of locations.
General thoughts on the 4 Tank Riders
These are really excellent figures, well thought out and well posed. Good body proportions and attention to detail is apparent throughout. The casting is excellent as one would expect from Resicast. The addition of the extra pack and pick with a couple of the figures is a nice touch. A shovel would have been a good option too.
I have a thing about weapons moulded to hands as I believe it makes figures less versatile, but I can see the logic. My observation about the Thompson was for the same reason as with a couple of weapon changes these could easily be used in Italy as well as NWE. In fact they would be fine for the later Italian Campaign as the No 4 Rifle had been issued by then, but the Sten (although very common and issued in large numbers) doesn’t have the same appeal as a Thompson!!
Good to see them with separate back packs as little alteration is needed to show them in skeleton battle order. It would be good to see a little more variation in the style of pack, some with ground sheets rolled up on top and some rolled groundsheets for fixing to the belt/top of the small digging tool.
If this is a taste of things to come then interesting and exciting times lie ahead. Dare we hope for an Officer and Radio Operator to accompany them, or perhaps a medic with a stretcher?