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Built Review
135
British/German Soldiers 1916
British and German Soldiers - the Somme , 1916
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction


Master Box have recently released their first WW1 1/35 scale figures in the format of a mix of British and German troops linked to the battle of the Somme in 1916.
The figures were sculpted by A Gagarin and the illustration is by Karaschuk.

I for one have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this kit, so lest see what you get.

The Kit


The kit comes packed in the standard Master Box format of a cardboard box depicting a coloured picture of the completed figures, product and manufacturers detail on the front and build instructions, painting guide and parts identification on the reverse.

The set consists of one tree of grey plastic parts providing the makings for 6 figures, two British Soldiers and 4 German prisoners. There is a bit of a discrepancy between the box art picture and the build picture on the reverse in so much as the box art shows two German soldiers carry a wounded British soldier whilst the reverse show two German soldiers carrying a wounded comrade. I suspect the wounded soldier could be from either side depending on the ID disc shown hanging on the chest as this figure only wears trousers. Also both the British Infantry have the 1908 wed infantry equipment whilst the box art shows one with this kit and the other with the leather pattern pouches.

The addition of a painting guide maybe a useful item if you use wither Vallejo or Life colour paints.

So lets take a look at the figures and parts.

British Infantry

Both figures are made up of the same basic parts, separate head, upper torso, lower torso and legs with separate arms. Both are dresses in WW1 tunics with putties and ammunition boots and both carry a full set of equipment and SMLE rifles with bayonets fixed.

The heads are quite well done with decent enough facial detail and the chin strap for the helmet in place. To add to each head you get a helmet covered with hessian. These look right for the time period.

The upper torso shows the tunic detail and 1908 webbing belt and straps with the buckles in place. Further straps to attach the various bits of equipment to are present also.

The lower torso and legs are nicely done with the putties and ammunition boots having good detail.

Both figures are standing walking figures and have the same arms with only the leg position being different. This is not really an issue as the set is based on a well published photograph.

Equipment comes in the form of a SMLE rifle with fixed bayonet. These look well done with good detail on the rifle and bayonet. To add to the figures you get a water bottle with the hanging straps in place, empty bayonet scabbard with tool shaft, backpack , small haversack, ammunition pouches and bandoliers and the web holder for the entrenching tool. All the web equipment has the straps and buckles in place and the ammunition pouched come moulded in the early configuration as the lower three don’t show the holding straps fixed to later sets.

Overall the figures seem to have good body proportions and all have the normal seems that will need cleaned up. As guards or marching infantry they should work well.

The only thing I could identify as being missing from the webbing were the buckles that held the backpack in place on the rear shoulder straps

German Prisoners

Three German prisoners come with the set all are dressed in appropriate uniform and one of whom is a medic. The medic and one of the prisoners are designed to carry the casualty and the third prisoner is marching along a bit dejected looking with his left hand in his tunic pocket.

The make up of the figures is standard, separate heads, arms, upper and lower torso. Again the body proportions look good, detail on the uniforms and cuffs of the jacket is nicely done.

Two of the heads come with caps attached whilst the third has the cap as a separate item as it is placed well back onto the rear of the head. All have good individual facial details.

The two ‘soldiers’ have the right looking collar and cuff detail whilst the medic shows the marking for his trade.

Hands for the two carriers are separate, one is a set of clasped hands whilst the supporting hand is on the underside of the casualties legs as all three figures will be linked together.

The Casualty

The casualty is designed to be supported by the two carriers. A simple figure made up of 5 parts he is bear chested with just a set of dog tags, trousers with braces and bear feet. The feet will need a little work, one is depicted quite well but the other foot will need some clean up.

Whether or not you show him as a German or British casualty will depend on how you paint up the dog tag and trousers. He has no visible wounds other than the fact he is being carried and wears no shoes.

Conclusion


Over all I think these look to be a really good set of figures, with good body proportions and a good level of detail. There are the normal seems to deal with but these chaps should paint up well one assembled.

The bayonet scabbards for the two Tommy’s are a bit square for my liking and the SMLE rifles have quite large stocks. If I have a grumble about this set it is that the hands supporting the wounded soldier are moulded to the underside of the legs making attachment of the three troops tricky, and I would suggest you pin the arms to the hands. The plastic is quite soft therefore easy to work with but this means it takes longer for a strong bond of the parts.

That said MasterBox have produced a very useable set of troops and the first new issue for some time and there are numerous possibilities for display either together as a stand along set or use separately used within a diorama.

I would hope MasterBox will expand their range of WW1 figures.

I have enclosed a few WIP shots of the troops as I have them ear marked for a specific project.
SUMMARY
Highs: A decent quality set with good detail
Lows: Linking the trio together is a bit tricky
Verdict: Highly Recommended
Percentage Rating
86%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB35158
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 18, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Master Box Ltd.!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2019 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of KitMaker Network or the British Bulldogs IPMS-UK group. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice one. It's really a great year for WW1 builders. I'm almost tempted to try one of the tanks...
AUG 18, 2014 - 11:19 PM
it's a very nice set, as are all MasterBox figures. The original photo on which the vignette is based can be seen here: LINK
AUG 19, 2014 - 01:46 AM
These will fit well with the new Ww1 armour. Al
AUG 20, 2014 - 06:42 AM
   

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