Thursday, September 19

We review Life Miniatures new 1/9th scale bust – ladies and gentlemen be upstanding for Gen. Douglas MacArthur

Sang Eon Lee’s company Life Miniatures is one of those small but perfectly formed model making companies that turns out quality bust after bust – their latest in 1/9th scale bust is another large personality of the Second World War and later the Korean conflict – So in time for the 60th anniversary of the Korean war we have for review - General Douglas MacArthur…

U.N. supreme commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur

60th anniversary of the Korean War armistice

Item code: LM-B007
1/9 scale
Resin bust including 6 parts
Sculpted by and box art Painted by Sang-Eon Lee


One of the most famous generals of the 20th century – and a challenger at one time to the US president himself – Douglas Macarthur led a very full life – from the Veracruz expedition to serving in the first world war through his dramatic retreat from the Philippines and his “return”, he was the mas to accept the surrender of the Japanese forces that signalled the end of WWII. He also served as the commander of the allied powers in the Korean War before he was taken from command by the President and later the US congress, by who were scared of just how far this man would go in the war with the North Koreans.
Life Miniatures has released Mac Arthur as a bust in 1/9th scale in grey resin. He will sit happily alongside their other wonderful works of historical figures of the same scale and notably their last bust of Sir Winston Churchill – he is in good company.

Here are some good pictures of the man to compare with – I am sure some of these were the inspiration for this sculpt.
And my favourite - "Where's my coffee?"
This kit has been released in time for the 60th anniversary of the conflict in Korea and it captures the U.N. supreme commander during that time Gen. Douglas MacArthur. The man had several affectations of appearance - the large pipe and high peaked cap and aviator sunglasses were all things we associate with the man.  Except one that is..
This figure was originally going to come with his trademark aviator sunglasses MacArthur wore but this plan was shelved at the last minute. It was left to the modeller to add his own glasses as this would have complicated the kit and held back release for too long. The resin on offer is sweet smelling (I know I’ve been here too long) and really easy to work – there were no bubbles on the surface of the resin or under the bust at all and the kit took just 20 minutes to complete!! More time to paint then hey?
I must say as well I was equally impressed with the box – cardboard with Sang Eon’s painted artwork of the kit on the box top and sides showing you just what the potential of this kit is when well painted – pipedreams for me I know – but some of you people out there I bet can match it. The inside of the box was really well stuffed with two soft parts of foam which held safe the kit which was in a zip-loc bag. Safe as houses and well presented.. Let’s start at by looking at the resin in the box then..
The hat is a replica of the same officer’s visor MacArthur wore in Korea – it has nicely rumpled and battered cloth on the top as well as a superbly detailed American eagle holding leaves and arrows in its claws - there are leaves on either so can see by the picture of a replica below the detail has been captured pretty well. There is a resin block stub on the rear of the helmet which is easily remove around the rumpled top of the hat – a nice choice as you do not damage the sculpt.
The reason it is here and not under the hat is the lump which located the hat on Mac Arthur’s head – snugly on top.
We get on to the most important part of the kit here – the face. Mac had a very distinctive face with a large roman nose slightly bent to the right hand side and high flat cheeks with large ears.

The sculpt mirrors all of these three features very well. Giving you a lot of depth to more effectively show off you paint job his neck and lobes on the ears and his large nostrils are effective at portraying his age of the man as well. Beautiful stuff even without paint.

The mouth is open at the right side – this fits in very nicely the corn cob pipe Mac is famous for toting. This is actually made from a real cob of corn I did not know until looking harder at it!! Made at the Missouri Meerschaum Company, located in Washington, Missouri, since 1869. They made MacArthur's pipes to his specifications. The company continues to produce a corncob pipe in his honour. Here it is with the stand as well.
The corncob pipe is perfectly set out in that the pipe and the stem meet almost in the middle which was an uncommon style but definitely the man’s favourite. The hollow pipe hole just needs some ash! Mine fit in without glue which is great if you want to take him somewhere like a show
A funny fact is that his staff car also had a fitted pipe holder in the armrest! I found out that his Packard car was made with several there special modifications – he paid for it with a check for $2600 at the time – which the company sent back to him “with thanks” This was a highly regarded war hero to the American people.
 
The torso is next - the A2 jacket he is wearing has some nice thick wrinkles a-la leather jackets in real life. The general’s five stars are on his shoulderboards and the space for the general’s surname is on his left breast.
Pockets and the zipper are well represented and the collar is wrinkly with wear as well. You can see in the sculpt on the seams where the jacket looks like it has been pulled into the joint of the leather. Under the A2 flying jacket there is also a regular shirt with the stars on the collar as well – some nice hidden away detail that people see on second look is always nice.
There is as usual a rod in resin which holds this sculpt up – I anchored mine on a stand easily enough. It fits in the base of the sculpt without glue even. (Just like the pipe – both can be removed for transport to shows or to someone who can paint’s house.)
Well that is it – it took an easy 20 mins to remove any casting blocks and superglue him together.  That time saving made me smile! (though i dont think he smiled once)

Well there you go – the figure says it all really – a gobsmacking likeness and the little bits like the detail on the visor – the corn cob pipe and the details of the jacket really set this off as one of the best busts/kits of the year in my opinion. As good a likeness as the Churchill bust.

This man is on to something - can we have what he’s having please? Well done – but you don’t need me to tell you that.

Adam Norenberg

You can now purchase this bust from Life Miniatures Distributors worldwide.

We would be remiss to not show you what can be achieved with this bust in a REAL painter’s hand – take it away Sang Eon