Wednesday, April 29

Build review: Ultracast’s new 32nd scale Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot by Mike Good

The very talented Mike Good has made yet another fine looking figure in 1/32nd scale for Ultracast from Canada – Let’s have a look at him in our review to see if he is ready to fly…
Construction Review:
Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot
Mid-Late War
1/32nd scale
Sculpted by Mike Good
6 parts in cream resin incl. 2 head choices
$24.95 (CDN Funds) each

Available from Ultracast and their Distributors Worldwide.

The figure is cast in cream resin and as you can see he comes with two head choices in this boxing. The sculpting is this time done by well-known collaborator with some of the best out there Mr Mike Good. He is a great “get” for Ultracast and my eyes pricked up the moment I saw this figure. 
The figure comes in six parts in cream resin. Of the resin on display there was one submerged bubble on the back that is invisible once it has the undercoat and paint on it. It would not break the surface either. There is a little bit of thin material to be removed from each part where the casting/ pouring block is attached and most of these snapped off easily and the clean-up was minimal.
The figure captured in this release is a mid – late war European/Eastern Front figure that I suppose could be used for southern climes as well in Italy and the Balkans. He wears pretty standard clothing though I am glad the almost cliché of a wrap of flare ammo around the leg is not present. Although Officers and certain Senior NCO ranks were responsible for purchasing their own uniforms and as a result were allotted a clothing allowance through the Luftwaffe’s Verkaufsabteilung, (Air-Force Sales Department), system the flight uniform items, (one and two piece suits, flight helmets, gloves/gauntlets, footwear etc.), were considered special equipment items and as a result were issued to all ranks. 
This flyer is dominated by the flight jacket and heated pants and boots. But first we will look at the head..

One of these head choices comes with the peaked flyer’s cap and the other with the leather flying cap and goggles. The details of both look quite easy to pick out here under some paint.
The figure looks to be wearing something like this pictures LKpW101 model helmet which was designed for winter wear and was outfitted with radio equipment as used by fighter pilots and bomber commanders. Originally the German military was caught unprepared and no specific headgear or uniforms for pilots were available. This resulted in the pilots utilizing commercially produced motor car helmets. These tight fitting, soft leather helmets proved to be ideal and future flight helmets were basically modified versions of the early motor car helmets. During WWII the Luftwaffe utilized no fewer than ten slightly different models of flight helmets with the main modifications being helmets issued for summer or winter wear and helmets with or without integral radio communication fittings.
The second head choice (or the first depending on your preference is the peaked Luftwaffe officers cap, had a grey cloth construction with a black woven band, which was highlighted by yellow “waffenfarbe” piping (for flyers and paratroopers), and on the front the German eagle and bullion badges, patent leather chinstrap, brown leather vented sweatband and tan and orange inner lining. All of these details are recreated on this sculpt with a little bit of a crushed look to the cap which the flyers liked to be compared with the “old hares” of the squadron.
I wouldn't like to say this but these two head choices are not the same - meaning you can use the one you are not intending to make on another figure - thus bringing it up quite a lot in the world. I am sure that most figures could do with a better looking (and better detailed) head. Even the details on the rear and top of the head gear like hair and straps are finely sculpted.
 This jacket draped over the high pants that the soldier is wearing. The jacket is a typical leather affair with two front pockets with flaps on them and just above the flaps an Iron cross for this no doubt very brave airman. The sideboards of this airman show two officer’s pips on them and the zippers and tabs are all details that sit proud of the surface of the jacket and so will be easy to pick out. 
The dual holed officer’s belt holds it all in at the waist and so creates wrinkles on the figure’s back which look natural and well suited to the rest of him. Speaking of wrinkles the flyer wears these heated flight suit pants that have the large front pockets for map, and equipment storage and they look nicely baggy around the knees as they are tucked into the heavy and thick lined footwear.
His arms are next – two arms clad in wrinkled leather - with cuffs and buttons clearly visible under the wrists. The fingers are well defined and you will notice the interesting holes in the sockets – could this mean they fit the joints on the torso?? Hope so…
We went together really easily because of the handily positioned and most helpful notches in the arm sockets
The two heads slip in and out of the neck joint which hides any joint seam - see the pips on the shoulder-boards of the jacket as well?
…and the Walther pistol holder which has a notch and slot sculpted out of it so the pistol just locks into the hip - you can put this in after the painting on the figure is done. Notice the zippers in the pants in this shot below...  the gluing took five minutes - and here he is all put together - First with the flying helmet head choice...
...then with the peaked officer's head choice..
 He is attired a little like these mid to late war Luftwaffe pilots. His body language is rather casual like these pictures pilots in the poses so i was very happy with what was offered in this pack..
With figures that rival market leaders Alpine Miniatures for their sculpting, resin quality and quality control Ultracast have again matched the best of their earlier efforts. This pilot has a great amount of fine detail sculpted into it by Mike good, the casting is very well done and the engineering of the kit makes for easy construction and a great fit. What else to say but this is a great figure and well done Ultracast. I can see him standing in front of my new Arado 234, Do 335, Fw-190A8 kits in the near future. 

Adam Norenberg
Thanks to Ultracast for sending this figure for us to review - he is now available from the Ultracast Website and from their many distributors worldwide

In these shots you can Figure shown painted by Kevin McLaughlin, UE. – he has done a great job of bringing this flyer to life and he has picked out the detail the sculptor has created quite well.