Thursday, 27 August 2009

Review: LionRoar WWII U.S. Army Extra Attachments

Manufacturer: LionRoar
Item Code: LE35089
Medium: Resin
Review Publication Date: August 20th 2009

Period photographs typically show WWII vehicles, Allied vehicles in particular, heavily laden with a wide variety of items: some of these issued, others acquired and collected. But the one constant is the presence of tarpaulins and issue field bags.

LionRoar’s LE35089 “U.S. Army Extra Attachments” is set of 1/35th scale resin accessories, a variety of tarpaulins and general purpose bags, designed for use on WWII era US Army vehicles.

While some may find some the items featured in this accessory set easy to replicate (in other words scratchbuild), others may not have the time or ability to reproduce these items. And accessory sets such as these are targeted these, the latter, modellers. Personally I find this set rather versatile as the items can be used in a variety of scenes. The tarps most certainly need not only be used on WWII US Army vehicles, and would not look out of place in other time periods, on vehicles from other US branches of service, or even vehicles belonging to the armed forces of other countries. In fact, they need not even be used on vehicles. The M1936 field bag was used throughout the war by the US Army, and its use on a vehicle would not be out of place.

This is an excellent accessory set from LionRoar. The quality of the cast and the versatility of the subject should prove to be very successful.

Click here for my full review on Armorama

Monday, 10 August 2009

Review: Tamiya's Volkswagen 1300 Beetle 1966

Manufacturer: Tamiya
Item Code: 24136
Medium: Injection Plastic Mold
Review Publication Date: August 7th 2009

The Volkswagen Type 1, or “Beetle” as it affectionately became known to millions around the world, is virtually instantly recognisable in sight and sound. The mechanically simple“People’s Car” became the longest-running and most-produced automobile of a single design.

Despite having being manufactured for approximately 65 years, and having gone through a number of mostly cosmetic design changes, there are relatively few scale models of the Volkswagen Beetle still in production. One of those is Tamiya’s 1/24 scale“Volkswagen 1300 Beetle 1966”.

Tamiya’s 1/24 scale “Volkswagen 1300 Beetle 1966” has been in production for more than a few years now. However, despite its age the kit is nicely detailed with a full engine and under bonnet detail, well produced with very few casting blemishes and, in true Tamiya form, has easy to follow instructions.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Wee Friends' WWII German Infantryman, with PPSH Review

Manufacturer: Friendship Models/Wee Friends
Item Code: WF35020
Medium: Resin
Review Publication Date: August 7th 2009

The captured robust, reliable PPSh41 sub-machine gun was a favourite weapon of Heer and Waffen-SS troops engaged on the Eastern Front, and because of the similarities between its 7.62x25mm round and the Mauser 7.63x25mm round was easily supplied with ammunition. Indeed, so many were captured that the Red Army’s PPSh41 sub-machine gun, the trademark of the Soviet Army, became the second most common sub-machine gun used by Germany’s Wehrmacht.

WF35020 WWII German Infantryman, with PPSH, 1/35th scale resin figure depicts a Waffen-SS soldier, wearing late war clothing and carrying a captured sub-machine gun, directing troops or perhaps pointing out a enemy position. The figure, released under Friendship Models’ Wee Friends range of figures, is sculpted by Peter Morton.

The sculpting of the figure is, overall, very good. However it is the “hit and miss” nature of some of the finer details that lets it down. Things like the textured woollen socks, cleated boots, detailed PPSh and numerous awards are let down by the incorrect insignia and lack thereof. I also find it peculiar that such a highly decorated WSS infantryman holds such a low rank. That said the issues I have with the insignia are easily rectified.

The casting is perhaps where this figure is let down a bit. It is not as good as it could be: detail such as the shoulder boards, Y-straps and pockets appear soft; and the some of the casting blocks, on the binoculars and PPSh trigger guard, are positioned in such a way that much caution will need to be practiced during clean up.

The subject of the product is always an extremely subjective point to rate, and much of it goes hand-in-hand with sculpting. I like the pose of the figure: not just pointing, but directing while holding binoculars. The PPSh 41 differentiates the figure from others of a similar pose, and given the sub-machine gun’s common use is a great addition to the figure.

Despite its shortcomings this is a nice figure which, with a little bit of attention, will make a nice addition to a vignette or diorama, or even look great on its own.

Click here for my full review on Armorama