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Found 8 results

  1. Javelin – The Ukrainian Anti-Tank Crew (MB35229) Russian-Ukraine War Series #6 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd The Javelin Anti-Tank missile is a fire-and-forget missile that a small crew can carry into battle against tanks, firing it from a distance before making their getaway without leaving a tell-tale trail of smoke to their current position. It replaced the M47 Dragon in US service, and its automatic infrared guidance carries a HEAT warhead to the target, rearing up at the last minute to carry out a top-down attack on the enemy, where the armour is at its thinnest, increasing its chances of success. Of course, the new generation of infrared dazzler countermeasures can give the enemy a chance of surviving, assuming the detection of the threat occurs in time. The manufacturers estimate that around 5,000 engagements have been made worldwide using the system, although that number must be rising on a daily basis, given the fact that it is being used by Ukraine to defend their homeland from the invader. Usually crewed by two soldiers, the device is man-portable and can be lugged into position for use, making a soft ‘poop!’ sound as it exits the launch tube in what’s called a soft-launch, igniting the main rocket motor once it is a safe distance away from the launch-point, protecting the crew from burns, and if it is a close engagement it gives them an additional fraction of a second to down-tools and make tracks out of the danger zone. In top-attack mode, the climb at the end of the trajectory can take it up to 150m from the ground, but an alternative low-level profile rears up to only 60m to keep visibility to a minimum. The operator of the weapon can work alone for a one-shot mission, but if additional rounds are needed, the weight of the extra missiles requires a carrier to join the party, and during the set-up and aiming phase they act as target spotter and threat assessor, countering the tunnel-vision required of the operator to dial-in the target. The Kit This is a new figure set from Master Box’s Russian-Ukrainian War series, created by a Ukrainian company to honour their armed forces that are helping keep them safe from attack. There is a little bit about that on the back of the box, and they clearly state that a portion of their profits goes toward helping their fight, so you can choose whether to buy it or not, depending on how you feel about that. Nuff said. The set arrives in a figure-sized end-opening box with a painting of a Javelin crew on the front, and a depiction of the models, a sprue diagram, a swatch of camouflage and a paint chart on the rear. Inside is one sprue in grey styrene, although the box shows it in sand, so your boxing may include either colour, which is fine. One crewman is sitting down with his legs out in front, holding the Javelin launch tube on his right shoulder, looking through the sighting unit on the side, and stabilising the weapon with his opposing hand. His colleague is kneeling on one knee and pointing to a potential target, while his other hand appears to be resting on his friend’s shoulder. Both men are wearing BDUs with a tactical vest covered in MOLLE loops over their shirt. They are festooned with pouches, and the spotter has his AK-74 slung barrel-down over his shoulder by its strap. The Javelin is made from nine parts, and is a model in itself, with a patch of digital camouflage printed below the instructions. If you’re not a brave modeller, you could always paint them in a one-colour BDU, or pick up a set of decals from Breeze Decals (35-001), and apply small sections with plenty of decal solution. The colour chart shows codes from Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr.Color, Tamiya and AMMO brands, plus swatches that should allow anyone to choose their paints from their preferred range. The parts for each figure are found in separate areas of the sprue for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up. The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from Master Box’s artists and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model. As well as the AK-74, there is a Malyuk assault rifle that is a home-grown bullpup AK-74 development, sometimes called Vulcan-M, which is probably just as well, as Malyuk translates to ‘baby’, so isn’t all that aggressive a nickname for a weapon. Conclusion Building this figure set as a tribute to the brave fighters of Ukraine in a small diorama base of long grass or snow would look great in your cabinet, especially if you’re one of those crazy people that can create realistic smoke and flame from a recent launch. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Ukranian Soldiers, Defence of Kyiv, March 2022 (MB35223) 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd On 24th February 2022 Russian troops crossed the border into Ukraine on the pretence of a “Special Military Operation”. The less said about that the better. Ukraine mobilised quickly and have been fighting the invader ever since, making excellent progress at removing the attackers from the country at time of writing, although winter is coming and who knows what will happen next? Nothing bad, I hope. Please note: Any political statements on either side will be removed and the posters suspended for 31 days. This figure set depicts a quartet of Ukrainian soldiers, although their uniforms may not always match, fight well together and have each other’s backs when the chips are down. Inside the end-opening figure-sized box is a single sprue of parts to create a group of four soldiers wearing modern MOLLE combat vests and BDUs, some of them wearing MICH-style covered helmets while the others wear warm knitted hats and tube scarfs. The little slice of life that is the norm to fighting-age individuals in Ukraine depicted by this boxing is a rare moment of peace where three soldiers are posing for a photo being taken by a comrade with his smart phone. The photographer is holding his AK in one hand while he takes the snap, while one guy poses with his across his chest with a long pouch on his back, the second poser is crouching down with an RPG held vertically in his hand. The final subject of the photo is leaning with one hand on something with one foot on a shallow object, depicted on the box as looking inside a knocked-out tank. Sculpting is up to Master Box’s usual standards, with crisply moulded equipment, realistic drape and creasing of the clothing, and natural poses. The breakdown of parts is as you’d expect, with separate arms, legs, torsos and heads, each of the heads being fully represented, while the soldiers with helmets have their chin-straps moulded into their faces. Oddly, the box tells us that the smart phone being used to take the photo isn’t included, which seems odd, although it won’t take much effort to create one from a thin slip of styrene sheet and a raised round, or rectangular part to represent the camera of your chosen type. It’s a small omission, but strange given that it is at the core of the set. The part numbers for each figure are shown on the rear of the box, which has photos or renderings of the completed figures, some from a few angles to help with positioning of parts, plus a sprue diagram. An example of the digital camouflage often worn is also printed as a swatch on the box, with a colour conversion table for Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr Color, Tamiya and AMMO paint codes. There is also a QR code that leads to Vallejo and AMMO’s sites depending on which one you point your phone camera at. Conclusion A good-looking set of figures for a contemporary situation, which may be of interest to anyone wishing to build modern Russian AFVs without putting a controversial star on it. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. The Trench WWI & WWII Era (MB35174) 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Diorama bases are often fun and an opportunity to be creative. Having to make everything from scratch can be a bind though, so if you need to build a section of trench, this is a very useful option to save yourself some time in creating a dug-out with typical WWI style that was sometimes reused in WWII, as the Great War veterans had developed trench warfare over a period of 4+ years and had got it totally dialled-in by the time they finally went home. The set arrives in a figure-sized box, which from Master Box always seems to collapse, or maybe that’s just me being clumsy. Inside are two identical sprues in grey styrene that you may have seen before if you have any of their WWI diorama sets. The front of the box has a painting of a trench, while the back has a photo of the finished article with numbers and letters to point out parts and paint colours using the legend on the right, and the colour table in the bottom left. The trench parts form the U-shape of the trench, plus a small section of the ground lined with sandbags in front and behind. The sides of the trench are made of wooden planking, which has a realistic texture, as do the logs that reinforce the sections. Parts for a ladder are also included, plus a "shooting step" along the front wall to differentiate back from front. The ground parts are supported by sloped C-shaped brackets that hold the whole diorama to shape, although if you wanted to enclose the groundworks you could consider making panels from sheet styrene to hide the inner structure. Conclusion A neat short-cut to create a trench, and perfect as the basis for a WWI diorama with WWII dug-outs also an option. Lots of good-looking wood texture, and although a little bit of flash has crept into this moulding, it’s not difficult to remove with a sharp blade, and it’s always preferable to a short-shot part. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. German Military Men, WWII (MB35211) 1:36 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Even the baddies took time out from fighting to rest, plan and strategise, which is the theme of this set, showing a group of soldiers of various arms discussing the way ahead, or interpreting the latest orders from above, while clearly safe from the lead-based interjections of the Allies. It arrives in an end-opening figure box, and inside is a single bagged sprue in grey styrene containing parts for five figures, and the instructions printed on the rear of the box. As usual, sculpting is excellent and the parts are broken down into torsos, separate legs, arms and heads, plus caps, helmets, mag and other pouches, and even a few pencils moulded into hands. An officer, his sergeant and two military police figures form the centre of the group, with a member of the lower ranks trying to sort out a cable, probably in order to get the field telephone working again, although on first looks he appears to be more of a driver figure. The two MPs are wearing metal gorgets around their necks, one of whom is wearing a motorcycle great coat and goggles on his helmet, as if he has brought news from above. The other MP is wearing an MP40 over his chest and is holding a traffic lollipop behind him as he blimps over his colleague’s shoulder at the orders. The officer is sitting back with a pencil in hand, having been disturbed from poring over a map, and all wear standard Wehrmacht boots, field grey uniforms and rank insignia moulded into their torsos. There’s a surprise dog on the sprue if you look closely (parts 31, 14 & 15), which has a one-piece body, and a two-part head so that the floppy ears can be moulded more accurately. Don’t ask me what breed it is, but it’s not an Alsatian or a Chihuahua. Colour call-outs are shown on the instructions along with the part numbers, which match a drawing of the sprue to the right. The colour codes are shown in a table in the middle of the instructions, giving paint codes for Vallejo, and AMMO, which should be enough to allow conversion to your favourite brand if you don’t use those given. Conclusion Excellent sculpting, realistic poses and drape of the materials they are wearing, that will add realism to any diorama that they are placed into. Some insignia decals and careful painting should result in some great figures. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Desert Battle Series Kit No.2 (MB35214) Skull Clan – Long-Distance Raid. A New Leader. Hanna 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Master box have various series of figures that have themes unrelated to history, film or TV series. The Desert Battle series is a dystopian future (aren’t they all?) that’s not too far away, and based more than a little on the facts of today. A climate crisis happens in 2023 and throws the world into disarray on a global basis. Better get stocking up on toilet rolls and Pot Noodles then, folks! No really, don’t. Not again. If you check Master Box’s website, there are four individual figures being released (you can see them in the instructions), plus a few boxed sets to fuel your fevered dreams and fill your dioramas. They’d look equally at home in any slightly futuristic, slightly dystopian setting, so if you read the back-story on the back of the box, which you should be able to read below, and it doesn’t suit you, check over the figure in isolation instead and judge for yourself where you can use her and what her backstory is. The figure arrives in a slightly-too-large end-opening figure box, with a single narrow sprue inside, and instructions and back-story on the rear of the box. She’s very tall at around 6’3” if I’ve done my measurements correctly, so while she’s somewhat Amazonian in stature, it’s feasible but unusual that she’d be that height, unless the climate change caused everyone to grow toward the light? As usual, the sculpting is first rate and the recent nature of the tool shows in the detail, with the figure broken down into head, torso, arms, legs, thigh pouch, an optional axe with head-pouch, and backpack with moulded-in bedroll package. The weapon she’s carrying jauntily over her shoulder is a crossbow with cocking stirrup, a sight and lightened stock. Painting of the figure is entirely up to you, as in the dystopian future you can wear what you want. The box art gives you some useful clues however, but you might notice that her boots are different, with thinner soles and integral calf section with straps to snug them up to suit her calf size. The straps for the thigh pouch are moulded into her leg, so location should be simple enough. Conclusion An interesting and well-sculpted figure for you to use and abuse as you see fit. Build her as a stand-alone model or as part of a diorama with or without others of the series. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Danger Close (MB35207) Special Operations Team, Present Day 1:36 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Ltd Special Ops has its official roots in WWII, although its origins are somewhat older, where elite warriors were gathered into specialist units for dangerous and/or difficult operations. Today, these Special Ops teams are well-known although their individuals’ identities are usually a guarded secret during and after service, with a few notable exceptions. We have the SAS, SBS in Britain, Seal Team, Delta Force, Rangers and others in the US, Spetsnaz in Russia, and many more across the armies of the world. This figure set depicts US Special Forces, although sometimes it’s harder to tell the difference between modern “brands”, due to the convergence of equipment, weapons and even camouflage between units and even nations. It arrives in an end-opening figure box, and inside is one large bagged sprue in grey styrene containing parts and accessories for four figures, with the instructions printed on the rear of the box. As usual, sculpting is excellent and the parts are broken down into torsos, separate legs, arms and heads, plus caps, mag and other pouches, backpacks, and even a few hands separated from their arms to improve moulding detail. The ‘danger close’ strapline refers to the manner in which the figures are taking cover behind some barrier or other, while one pair dress a flesh wound to one of their arms, with the other two trying to draw out the shooter with a cap on a stick (does this still work after all those movies?), as they watch for a muzzle flash. The are all kneeling or hunkered down to avoid getting shot, and each one is dressed in a plate-carrier with MOLLE loops for mounting mag pouches, rucksacks, other pouches and a side-arm. They all wear ball-caps and gloves, except the guy with the poorly arm, and the medic, who has latex or nitrile gloves on to attend to his comrade. They’re all rocking beards except the injured man, who sports a moustache. Do beards offer some kind of bullet resistance? Rounds deflected by Tacti-cool facial hair maybe? Each man carries either an M4 derivative with Acog or red-dot sight, while the medic is carrying an AK derivative, the Israeli Galil. Contrary to the box art, only one man has a 40mm Underslung Grenade Launcher (UGL) under his rifle, while others have PEQ boxes (light & laser) and/or separate flashlights mounted to the rails. Colour call-outs are shown on the instructions along with the part numbers, which match a drawing of the sprue to the right. The colour codes are shown in a table in the middle of the instructions, giving paint codes for Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr Color and Tamiya, which should be sufficient to allow conversion to your favourite brand if you don’t use those given. Conclusion Excellent sculpting, realistic poses and drape of the materials they are wearing, that will add realism to any diorama that they are placed into. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Hand-to-Hand Fight – German & British Infantrymen WWI 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models Trench warfare was a common theme of the Great War, and a horrific one at that. Some of the stories passed down to me by my Grandfather would curl your toes, and it left an indelible impression on many millions of men at the end of the war. This set aims to depict some of that carnage, with a pack of five figures and a section of trench within the slightly oversized box. There are five sprues within, one of which holds the two British and three German soldiers, two for the trench itself, and another two in sand coloured styrene that contain lots of accessories for the figures. The figures are all in action poses as the subject matter dictates, the two Tommies defending and the three Germans attacking. Both British figures are in the familiar WWI battle-dress and are in dramatic poses that could be used either for bayonet attack or shooting at your whim. Two of the Germans are in poses that suggest clambering into the trench, with one in a bayoneting stance. The remaining German is an officer with a broom-handled Mauser in a semi-recumbent pose suggesting injury, which is reinforced by his free hand clasped to his stomach. Officers suffered the highest casualties in the trenches, so this is perhaps representative of those statistics. Sculpting is up to Master Box's usual high standard, as is the natural pose of the various figures. The accessory sprues provide more than enough weapons, tools and equipment to adorn the soldiers and the trench, with plenty to spare. As usual the instructions consist of photos of painted figures with their parts and colours marked on them, and a reference table showing the Vallejo and Lifecolor paint codes. The trench parts are moulded on two identical sprues in grey styrene, and when completed form the U-shape of the trench, plus a small section of the ground each side lined with sandbags. The sides of the trench are made of wooden planking, which has a realistic texture, as do the logs that reinforce the sections. Parts for a ladder are also included, plus a "shooting step" along the front wall to differentiate back from front. The ground parts are supported by angled U-brackets that hold the whole diorama to shape, although if you wanted to enclose the groundworks you could consider making panels from sheet styrene to hide the inner structure. No painting instructions are included for this part of the set, but brown mud, brown wood and light brown sandbags should do the trick! Conclusion The box is perhaps a little larger to echo the value presented over and above the standard figure set, and with some careful painting it should build up into an impressive diorama with little scratch-building on your part. With a little effort it could also be extended to include a piece of WWI armour or space for some more of the excellent WWI figures that are on the market now. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. German StuG III Crew, WWII Era (MB35208) ”Their Position is Behind that Forest” 1:35 Master Box Ltd via Creative Models This new figure set from Master Box is designed with the German StuG III in mind, although it will probably adapt very well to any similar WWII German AFV. It arrives in a figure-sized box with end-opening flaps, which is standard fare for figures, even though they’re a little easy to crush when stacked flat. Inside is a single sprue of grey styrene that contains parts for five figures plus some pistol holsters, helmets, magazine pouches and an MP40. Each figure is broken down into torso, separate legs and arms, plus head with flat top where a helmet or commander’s cap is fitted to allow extra detail around their brims. There is one German Wehrmacht soldier standing on the blocky front of the tank, pointing over to the forest that is described in the subtitle. The commander and one of his crew are fully out of the tank, while the other two are half out, or just poking their head out of the hatch, but all of these are full figures. Sculpting is first class as usual, with both seamlines and parts breakdown sensibly placed to improve or preserve detail during construction and seam-removal. Instructions are given on the rear of the box with part numbers on the right and a colour chart shoehorned into the centre giving colour codes in Vallejo, Lifecolor, Mr. Color and Tamiya shades, plus a colour swatch to help out further. Conclusion Figures give a model scale, and well-sculpted figures that are sympathetically painted are such a boon, especially when they’re so well sculpted. If you have a StuG III in 1:35, what are you waiting for? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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