Wednesday, January 2

MasterBox 35148: 1/35th Scale “Women of WWII Era” Review

MasterBox from the Ukraine has sent us their latest kit of VERY lovely figures – I say lovely because we are getting the chance to admire the female form -in 1/35th scale – in their latest kit “Women of WWII Era”

Kit No: 35148
Kit type: Injection Moulded (1 sprue in tan)
Figures: 6
Scale: 1/35
MasterBox from the Ukraine have had an interesting run of kits recently – they seem to be doing a varied schedule of lots of different figure kits from every genre, Vietnam, WWII, American Civil war. The thing that seems to separate them from other kit makers now is the poses of the figures and the fact that more often than not there aren’t any other figures like them around. We already have a plethora of kits on the market that look like a bunch of guys standing at a bus stop or pointing at something dramatically like a propaganda poster.

MasterBox however are going a different path. The “Friendly boxing match” we reviewed recently, the civil war cavalrymen “charge, and the “Cold Wind” of the German retreat across Russia stick in the mind as unusual and unique sculpts. This kit is of an indeterminable set of six ladies from the western world in the 1940’s. They could be American, British, German, and French – pretty much from anywhere really on the European and American (Anywhere western ladies would be) continents.
These ladies are in Civilian clothes; this is as a change from many recently released “Auxiliary” women in uniforms. These “Dames” are dressed up to the nines and looking very lovely indeed in their “Civvies”. They will fit into any non-combat scene of the era really easily – adding some colour and variance to your diorama – enough of the design of these beauties – let’s look at the contents.
The rear of the box doesn’t have a colour guide this time – I suppose because you can colour these lovely ladies any way you want to - There some small pictures of each figure with numbers on each of them - these painting diagrams also act as a construction guide – showing you where to put the parts on each of the nine (yes nine!) figures supplied in the box.

There is one sprue made from a tan plastic – soft and easy to work and very detailed in the finer points of each figure – Each of the girls’ parts are neatly divided as I was saying into a section (usually a quarter each) for each figure. The plastic has no distortion and is really good in the area of no flash and very little in the way of seam lines – these are a bug-bear of the injection moulding process – just the lightest of scrapes is needed here to remove any seams. I think MasterBox has improved their quality in this area and I would congratulate them for this.
 As MasterBox’s figures are a pretty basic construction – the parts being laid out very logically in their own section on each sprue – I made these six figures with just a cursory glance at the stance of each figure only. Such a simple layout on the sprue is to be commended. Although there aren’t any numbers on the sprues there are some for the modelling challenged on the rear of the box.
There is some nice detail in the injection parts – with the faces all looking different and conveying expression. Little details like the ribbons on the hats, the flowing lines on the various different clothing (everyone seems to have a slightly different outfit on here) they are very well sculpted.

There are the usual small gaps in some of the arm joints of these kits though very easily fixed and not worthy of note – I have shown the Au-natural so you know what you are getting – they are however an easy fix with just a little sanding and light filler in some places – more care in construction I might add could solve all of your problems.

We will go through each of the women figures as they appear on the rear box art with close ups of each of them constructed. –

The women holding up her purse
This lady is wearing a wide collared blouse and a knee-length skirt. She is holding her purse up and reaching into it with her other hand.
She isn’t wearing a hat and her hair is a two part thing with the top cropped and – like most of these other women figures the longer part sits in snugly into the back of her head. Impressive to me on this figure is the small derrière of the lady with thin legs and delicate knees and ankles. Her rectangle purse and gentle folds of her blouse are very delicately moulded here – she looks young and attractive in plastic.

The woman looking back – hands on her hips
This woman in a “Teapot” pose (one hand on her hip) dressed very similarly to her counterpart we just looked at – she has a knee length skirt on with a fully buttoned wide collared blouse. This lady wears a small turned up brim hat which was popular at the time – she is looking back and maybe talking to her friend.
 Her two-part hair sits well on the figure’s neck and the skit which is made up of two parts are equally impressive as is her delicately sculpted face and rumpled material on her blouse.

The woman putting on lipstick
This mademoiselle is seen applying make-up while holding her purse around here left shoulder. She looks like she could be a bus conductor or maybe a ticket attendant at the cinema – or even just an ordinary woman on the street.
She wears a long curly mane of hair which looks better than the two part type slightly as you have no crack whatsoever to cover up. Her little round hat is lovely and different to the others here and interestingly she is wearing flat shoes whilst her skit was the only slight disappointment here as the crack for the three parts is at the front – this though could be just a crease or a seam in the material. This woman’s jacket is amazing in detail – especially in the buttoned detail at the rear and the front.

The Mother with the Daughter
The mother is shown her with her daughter – in a slightly more sensible two-piece jacket and skirt. No less dressy it seems she is dressing slightly more mumsy than the others here.
She is wearing a small hat with little ribbon detail slightly to the side and her small clutch purse in her left hand – The detail on this arm is slightly awry as the arm looks a little funny – I would bend mine a bit to make it straighter. She looks the part though with her daughter in her hand.

The little girl
She looks so cute! With her short – almost boyish hair and short dress she looks like a little lady terror – holding on to mum’s hand and looking on towards where her mum is – maybe they are crossing the road?
Her hair is detailed lovingly and her little rumpled dress looks very lifelike – putting on her legs were TINY and she looks in good scale in relation to her mother.

These figures are true to scale, detailed and look every part the young lady. One thing I thought was interesting was the skirt on each of them. They fit together with two or three parts to the skirt which make a shell over which the legs are joined together and inserted. I found the construction of these slightly fiddly – but with some time taken – and the occasional little bit of plastic trimmed off the derriere on the inside of the skirt I was left with lady figures with legs that come OUT of the skit not just glued onto the bottom. This gives a real feeling of depth to the legs – a much better way of doing things.
It is great to model things like this – the ladies are not a typical subject and so it was a pleasure for me to model them. What couldn’t you do with colour combinations I think? There are many choices as colours then – although subdued can still be varied. Lovely pastel and rich shades will be a great counterpoint to all of the drably uniformed soldiers all around them.
Congratulations to MasterBox who have created yet another interesting figure set that was a pleasure to build. Great work!

Adam Norenberg
Thanks to MasterBox for the review kit