Tuesday, December 29

Construction review: Masterbox’ new figure set “Pin Up” series in 35th scale

We had six ladies turn up unannounced this week – they were scantily clad and reminded us of the sort of woman you might see adorned on a WWII fighter, bomber or tank. They are Masterbox’s latest set of figures in 35th scale – Pin-Up series. We thought it would be nice to put them together in our construction review so you can see the cut of their jib(s)...
Construction Review:
Masterbox’ "Pin-up" figure set
Kit No# 35183
1/35th scale
Set contains six figures & 1 flag

Masterbox have hit a rich vein of figure modelling normally reserved for much more expensive white metal figurines sold for a lot more money. This set of six figures – in 1/35th scale is meant to be maybe a replacement for many of those little figures you see on the specialist market, but are they any good? 
The “Pin-Up” was first introduced to the people through mass-produced pictures that were intended for informal display, i.e. meant to be "pinned-up" on a wall. What most of us know to be pin ups started in the Esquire "men's" magazines in the ‘30’s which featured many drawings and "girlie" cartoons and also the “Vargas” girls. Prior to WWII pin ups were praised for their beauty and less focus was on their sexuality but during the war, the drawings transformed into women playing dress-up in military drag and drawn in seductive manners. The Vargas Girls were adapted as nose art on many World War II bomber and fighter aircraft; Generally, they were considered inspiring, and not seen negatively but mostly as inspiring female patriots that were helpful for good luck
Masterbox have taken the popularity of these figures, combined with the recent popularity of the burlesque scene which borrows from that era as well. Recently we saw the figure and young lady sets of the German Paratroopers & US Infantrymen kit doing a peeping tom act. This set is all USO tour, with six new figures of pin-ups that were of a lot of interest to modellers.

Artists like Romain Hugault carry on this tradition in his series of popular "Pin Up Wings" books (which we love)
From looking at the box it looks like the US navy, air force and army are covered in this release – Those who are worried about discrimination don't worry - if this set is popular we are sure there will be a German, Russian and British set as well!
Just how you explain buying it to your girlfriend (or your mum) is another matter…Let’s look at these figures now

The box art is a very glossy all-American looking affair that is glossy and full of stars and stripes and scantily clad ladies. This pretty much shows you a way that you might want to display your figures – all in one or used singularly on the wing of your airplane. Although these ladies are seen in a WWII era you could use them anywhere up to the late 60’s really I think.
The rear of the box is in a usual Masterbox style which has both the sprue map and the painting reference chart on it. Although the nature of this kit says you can paint these ladies in whatever colours you want. The shades are given in the better known brush painter’s colours Lifecolor and Vallejo. 
The sprue map is there because these figures do not have numbers associated with them. The good thing is with Masterbox figures is that each sector is dedicated to one figure. When they are all together like this it makes it dead simple to glue everything together.

The plastic is light grey and without too much in the way of seam lines and no flash. The face sculptures in particular are on a continual upward spiral from Masterbox, and seeing that these are ladies they had better look good! Well again we are impressed by the improvement in the faces and the rest of the body and small clothing details are very nice. We have seen better of course in resin and small run figures but these are pretty good.
Let’s have a look at these figures one by one… we can’t speak too much about the figures clothing as there isn’t much to talk about.

The lady saluting -  This air force babe (we know cause of the nicely done air force peaked hat she is wearing.) She is also wearing a short top and some short pants that don’t keep the cold away for very long.
The seven parts are simple to put together
And here she is all made up…

The lady sitting with her leg raised. This lady looks like she is in something that looks like a mechanic’s wall as she carries a monkey wrench in her left hand.
The seven parts again that make up this figure are a simple construction
And here she is all put together, the baseball cap and wrench are a nice addition to this figure.

The flagbearer: This lady is proudly flying her banner of the stars and stripes for all to see.
The figure is made from eight pats that are simply clad..
This figure comes with a plastic American flag – now this is good but kinda flat – so maybe some paper flag would have been better so you could twist it. This one is far too flat, but we are sure smart modellers like the readers of TMN could rustle something up!
And here she is all together 

Next we see the belle of the Navy – saluting just as well as her airforce sister did – she is definitely in the navy though as her hat and shirt tied up in the same manner as the navy servicemen would have.
The eleven parts of the figure are a simple construction and this time include a baseball bat for that “All American” feel.
Here she is – coming out swinging..

The next is the blonde bombshell…
Nice parts of grey plastic and a very prominent brassiere make up this lovely lass.
She is seen as she reclines on… whatever she wants to sit on really! A car, a jet a bomber’s wing – whatever you want. Here she is all made up. 

The last lady is here in US army helmet and with a short carbine for “self defence”…
And she will need it too! Although she has a top on it looks like she is topless apart from the straps on her belt – but she is clothed – if you want her to be…
Here she is together. Weapon(s) on show…
So there these are all made up – with not much explanation as they have virtually not a lot on – but the figures are smartly conceived and they look good. A little more of a clean-up on some areas will see these looking all the bit as good as some of their more expensive short run resin and white metal counterparts that you buy for a hell of a lot more. sure the skin around the neck joints especially needs a little work - but these were put together in about 60 minutes so you can see that they can be improved on more then you see here.

Nice body language, the ability to mix and match these and to use them singularly make this a really cheap and very cool set.

Here is one that our friends here Nic and Francois put with their Kittyhawk 32nd scale Sabre this year - she looks great doesn't she?
Adam Norenberg
This kit is available through all of Masterbox’s distributors Thanks to them for sending this kit for us to build up in this review...