by: Todd Michalak [ ]
Continuing with their Historical Figures Series, MiniArt Ltd gives us the third plastic model kit in their Historical Figure Series: The Red Baron: Manfred Von Richthofen – WWI Flying Ace. Like with previous offerings in this series, this kit is a plastic molded kit in 1/16 scale figure of one of the many flying aces from WWI.
Manfred Albrecht Freiherr von Richthofen is one of the most iconic as well as enigmatic individuals to engage in the battle for air superiority. With the heroic acclaim within his home land and the loose translation of Freiherr to the ‘Baron’ added to the trademark red Fokker Dr.I triplane he was soon dubbed The Red Baron. By the time of his death on the 21st of April, 1918 he had racked up and astounding documented win count of close to 80 victories, but the number was probably closer to 100 as there were undocumented victories along the way.
The kit comes in a standard top slide-off box with a depiction of the model contained rendered on top. The Red Baron: Manfred Von Richthofen – WWI Flying Ace kit contains part to construct one 1/16 scale figure of the Red Baron and includes a model of his dog Moritz. There is twenty-five parts to this figure and dog set all contained on one light grey sprue tree. There are twenty parts dedicated to the Red Baron and four to the dog and a red colored styrene plinth for mounting the figure on.
All of the parts within this set are molded crisply and free from flash. The Red baron is molded wearing his dress uniform, Blue Max and Iron Cross medals while holding on to his rivet laden cane. Along with the molded figure included in this kit is a molded version of his dog Moritz. Again, the four parts that make up the dog are cleanly molded.
Having the chance to clean up some parts and get this kit together I did notice a couple of small items. Although this is a well-made kit there are a few seam lines that fall in less than desirable locations. Other than running down the front flap of the Baron’s dress boots right next to a recessed seam making it difficult to keep from removing the recess itself, there is a seam that fall right down the center of the face. This seam can be removed easy enough but honestly this just makes it much harder to clean up the head part.
All of the parts fit excellent to their adjoining parts with the exception of the upper and lower sections to the jacket. There were two small gaps that need a little sanding or filling once together. After looking through some old pictures there is a seam in the original jacket at about the same point where the kit designer decided to join these parts and even if there is a hint of a line encircling the jacket at the waist it should be acceptable as a tailored seam.
The instructions are MiniArt’s typical one page assembly showing the parts numbered on the sheet with assembled and painted figure with corresponding number bullets pointing out the parts and the colors. The Painting schedule outlines ten different colors needed to paint this figure with choice over seven different popular paint suppliers.
I am wondering why the dog, Moritz, was added to this kit. He does not appear in the art and there is only enough room on the plinth for Manfred himself. I can only assume an alternate placement was foreseen somehow.
All in all this is a decent looking kit and should prove to be fun to paint. I would think that it would be enjoyed by anyone interested in the subject matter or that is in to large scale figures. There is not a high parts count and most of the parts need little clean-up which should ensure a fun filled build and being 1/16 scale, not too bad to paint either. The kit runs about $20.00 US, which might seem a bit high for some but I don’t feel this is too bad. The detail is decent and builds into a nice 1/16 scale figure.