by: Alan McNeilly [ ]
Firestorm Models have some interesting Australian subjects in 1/35 scale. I saw this figure some time back and always thought it would be worth the purchase if for no other reason than it depicts and Australian Infantryman in the Pacific Theater of Operations during WW2.
This was the forgotten war, over shadowed by events in Europe. It required soldiers to fight in some of the most extreme and difficult conditions on earth against an enemy who were well trained and cruel and ruthless in the extreme.
The figure comes packed in a double ziploc bag combination with a soft card insert showing product and manufacturers details. A colour picture of the built figure is included on the packaging label to aid building and painting.
The figure is cast in two shades of grey resin and consists of 6 main body parts, 2 separate 37 pattern ammo pouches, a water bottle, rolled bum roll, SMLE rifle, felt hat, helmet and what I believe is a respirator haversack.
The detail on the parts is very good.
The upper body is separate and needs joining to the legs to which you need to add individual ankles/boots. A half head is molded to the upper torso and depicts a nicely detail face of a mature, tough looking soldier. Also molded to the upper torso are the 37 pattern webbing straps and a small back haversack with rolled up ground sheet. There are nice buckles on the pack and front of the shoulder straps.
The uniform appears to be that of Australian Field Dress adopted in 1943, as a result of experiences in New Guinea. It consisted of a half buttoned pullover shirt and drill trousers. The material was rot proofed. The trousers of this style of uniform appear to lack any map type pocket. Normal anklets are worn and the webbing appears to have remained 37 pattern. The boots are the Australian A.B. Boots and are nicely detailed.
The legs and boots are separate items and need joining to the upper torso. Separate arms are supplied with rolled up shirt sleeves and to round off the figure you have some additional equipment to add in the form of ammo pouches, bum roll and water bottle. The 37 pattern belt is molded to the lower torso, the belt buckles are nicely done but no back buckles are provided on the belt as it is covered over with the bum roll kit.
Headgear comes in the form of either a Mk II helmet or felt slouched hat and the rifle is a nicely detailed SMLE.
Australian Troops continued to use the SMLE rifle and long No 1 Bayonet throughout the war.
Overall figure height is around 44mm and the body proportions are very good. Detail on both the kit and uniform should lead to a very pleasing figure once painted.
Strangely there is no No 1 Bayonet provided with the kit and I'm not sure of the worth of the respirator haversack for this theater of war.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
I really like this figure and the pose. It is good to have some digger specific type chaps for WW2. The pose looks natural, pausing to talk or get instructions somewhere on a jungle trail or awaitng river transportation! There is a decent set of equipment and pouches, the only thing I needed to add were some straps for the water bottle and the missing bayonet.
It would be nice to see a few more specific jungle soldiers as there are a lot of interesting reference pictures available for sculptors to choose from. As a stand alone figure or incorporated into a small scene this one should be of interest to both figure painters and diorama builders alike.
I have enclosed some build pictures at the bottom of the review. Fit wise I needed a little milliput around the waist and to smooth in the arm and ankle joints. Some progress on the painting but a WIP.