Friday, April 18

Construction review Masterbox’s "German tankmen in the break between combats"

MasterBox has made a name for themselves with dynamic figure sets of soldiers on the charge and people actually doing things.  This set slipped under our radar this year and we didn’t get to build it so we thought we would build it up for you so you can see if this set is a win- loss or draw…
"German tankmen in the break between combats"
35149 -
1 tan styrene sprue of 33 parts
6 figures

This set of German tankmen sees a crew having a bit of fun playing football in a break between the battles. It sure makes a change from German tankers in a stiff pose pointing at something doesn't it?

Whilst a kameraden stands by and smokes a pipe these guys go at it with the help of two tree stumps for goals, a young child and a little doggie that wants to have a go too!

I have to give a little shout out to the box artist Mr Karaschuk again as he has done another great box art for this. The box art is complimented by the rear which has shots of the individual soldiers pus a painting instructions and map of parts and where they go on each figure – the box shows you the sprue map as there are no numbers on the sprue.
This kit consists of 5 figures in 35th scale – and a dog, and two tree stumps…and a soccer ball – and it all come son one sprue in the usual tan from Masterbox. Sculpted by Mr Gagarin to look at these figures have fairly fine details and are more than reminiscent in quality to the set I loved this year of the Allied boxing fight“British and American Paratroopers, WWII Era” these look in the same vein right out of the box –let’s put them together to see shall we?
The plastic
The figures themselves – well they look pretty nice on the sprue – no real flash to be carved off apart from the side seam which is not to prominent at all, even on the faces. Even though there are not many small details like some other figures such as medals or belt buckles the detail on each of these figures is very good – especially the faces which seem to be getting better from MasterBox all the time.
The handy thing here is all of each soldier’s parts are close together on the sprue in the one section.
 Included are some makeshift goalposts and a heavy leather ball..
The figures are together pretty fast with no real gaps and you should be ready to paint them pretty quickly - I won’t subject you to that here this review but I will make them up to show you how they go together. I will go thru them one by one now.

“The Goalie”

This German tanker is seen in his black tanker’s pants and shirt with the sleeves rolled up. You can see on the boxart that he has gloves on – upon why I understood why the arms had what looked like a bracelet around the wrist but they were gloves.

He is seen crouching forward – arms at the ready as he is ready to catch or deflect the ball – he goes together quite well and joins at the seam of the pants  and the waist so any gaps are naturally there.

“The striker”

This soldier is seen stripped down to his singlet (vest or tank top) and long shorts as he is pretty hot I’m sure from all the exertion. On the box art he has a German emblem on his vest which would be really hard to paint – I’m sure you would have to get a transfer from archer or somewhere similar.  

Each new recruit was issued a specific sport uniform that consisted of a pullover "tank top" style shirt, navy blue, later black, shorts and athletic shoes. This enlisted man’s sports shirt is a common issue of clothing especially in the early war when fabric was not so in demand.
There is some nice dynamic sculpting of this figure as he raises his leg to kick the ball through whilst his arms are up to counterbalance his weight. A good understanding of the human body is in evidence here. The sculptor – as evidence of the boxing match figures – does half naked guys pretty well!

“The tackler”

This man is seen lashing out with his foot trying to spoil or steal the ball from the striker - he is wearing the same garb as his striker opponent with the enlisted man’s sports issue vest.
Again he is a good study of the human physique – with muscles and legs all in symmetry and limbs counterbalancing each other. Again he is joined at the legs on the shorts seam and the belt of the torso. A little trimming and melting with hot glue fixes up any gaps on the arms which are partially evident here.

“The spectator”

Hanging back and leaning on a tank in the box art which makes sense if they are tankers. But to be honest they could be tankers or aircraft personnel – even infantrymen. A smart sculptor could make this any nationality that he wanted so this set isn’t just for German fans.

Seen casually leaning back sucking on a long pipe which was in fashion those days. There are some nice details in his uniform including pockets and collars and a belt. His hair comes pushing out his flat forage cap. He is of a quality amongst some of the best injection moulded sculpts as his pleats in the back of his shirt, seams on his trousers and laces on his boots clearly hint at.

“The football fan”

The little boy – (or midget?) is seen with his hands on his hips watching the event. He looks to me like an African boy but I suppose he could be any nationality. He is seen in much the same gear as the football players so maybe it was his ball?
His singlet is wrinkly and he is barefoot with his hands on his waist as he watches on. Hi shorts are a great baggy creating in plastic as well.

“The interloper”
The dog who is watching on and maybe joining in on the game – his tail is raised and he looks excited with his mouth open – I think he is great to join in on the action as excited dogs often do.
He looks like a sheep dog or a setter and his shaggy coat was not to scarred by seam removal. People like dogs and he is a neat little inclusion into this diorama scene.

Here they are all made up...having "a ball"
Well there you have it – from the box art to the sculpt to the fit and body language of this set MasterBox have made this set to a high standard again. The relatively simple set is sure to be popular with modellers who want to model their dioramas with something other than pointing shouting or shooting as a focus. A great little set indeed.

Adam Norenberg

These kits are now available from MasterBox’s Distributors worldwide