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Historicus Forma

Tristar Figures - A Serious Alternative to Resin?

Why This Feature was Written.....
Many times in the forums of Armorama many of us ask the same kind of question, Who does figures of type X in 1/3th Scale? Inevitably the answer is the same - one of the many excellent resin manufacturers such as Alpha Image Workshop , Warriors , Wolf or Hobby-Fan (to name but four!) , however not everyone has the access to these figures or indeed the financial 'clout' to purchase the available resin castings available. Many younger modellers are in a similar quandary... Therefore I have chosen to highlight Tristar as going someway to filling the gap. This is somewhat qualified by the fact that the range (at the present moment) is nothing like as extensive as that of DML or Tamiya , concentating as they do, (with one exception) exclusively on German WWII subjects, however as most of these are vehicle crews - sometimes the addition of figures of this quality will raise the quality from the 'ordinary' to the (clichéd) 'Show-Stopper'......

Just What Is Currently Available From TRISTAR ?
Currently, Tristar has nine figure sets available. These are:
001 - GERMAN PANZER CREW (NORMANDY1944) This set contains FIVE crew figures in several different uniform types, including three in the camouflaged coverall.

002 - German Self-Propelled Gun Crew Set Four figures are included in this set along with a photo-etch fret set. They are equally useful as tank crew - Check Your References!

004 - German Panzer Grenadiers Set (Volume 1) Once again, four figures are included. All of these figures have a nice mix of the late-war (reversible) camo smocks which can easily be painted up to represent snow gear if one so desires...

005 - German Panzer Grenadiers Set (Volume 2) Similar to the previous set, this also contains four figures with a nice mix of uniform styles....

006 - German Officers Field Session Set This set contains four figures. As the title suggests, the contents of the set are officers - definitely field-grade and above due to the generous 'proportions' of some of the figures!

007 - German Self-Propelled Gun Crew Set Vol.2 The set contains five 'full' figures and one 'half' (for adding to a vehicle hatch) Similar comments to 002

009 - German Tropical Panzer Crew Basically a D.A.K. (Afrika Korps) tank crew. The set contains three 'full' and one 'half' figure with the 'Tropical' Uniform. The animation of these figures is truly superb. Two sitting and one standing figure are included as well as an optional (bandaged) head....

011 - German Africa Corps (Deutschen Afrika-Korps) This recent set consists of six figures. The subject is (obviously enough) D.A.K. Infantry. Once again, the animation is truly impressive....

012 - Russian Tank Crew Set This is the latest (at the time of writing) figure set and the only non-German set in the range. Seven figures are included in this set, five 'full' and two 'half ' figures. A multitude of uniforms are represented including the leather tanker's coverall. A nice (and often overlooked) bonus is the inclusion of a female tanker.

Tristar's other Products
Although this feature is primarily designed as an overview of Tristar's figure sets, it would be extremely remiss of me NOT to mention their small range of vehicles. The vehicle sets are: 35003 - GERMAN PANZER I ausf A Panzer I A Detail Interior Set (No reference number) This set includes full interior details for the Panzer 1 kit including: Driver set, Driver compartment, Transmission and Rear Engine Deck. Also included is Engine and compartment, Gun Mantlet, Turret Interior and Upper hull Details.... 35010 - German 20mm FLAK38・Sd.Ah.51 This diminutive model has to be simply one of the best detailed Flak 38s on the market:

An interesting and useful range of plastic figures which offer a very serious alternative to the resin figures. The only negative aspect of the range is the limited amount of nationalities available. However, in fairness to Tristar they have used considerable imagination in their choice of subject. Too few manufacturers have taken the subject of vehicle crew sets seriously. And sadly, few of the 'mass' producers employ sculptors of the standard who work for Tristar Final Credit: It would be insulting not to mention the sculptor employed by Tristar ,who is Yoshitaka Hirano
O.K. I'm Convinced, where can I buy them?
Logically, the first port of call to purchase Tristar Figures is their shop, which can be seen: HERE For U.S.A. / Canada: VLS CORPORATION For Europe Any offers?
  • 35010
  • 35008_b
  • 35012dr
  • 35011web
  • 35009s
  • 35007
  • 35006_web_m
  • 005_600
  • 004_600
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...