Tuesday, May 29

MasterBox kit: - MB 3570 “Fraeulein, what are you doing today? German military men, WW II era” Review

MB 3570 “Fraeulein, what are you doing today? Was formerly named “Hat das Fräulein heute schon etwas vor? – I kind of like the original name first - It includes 6 figures of the German servicemen that could be combined in different arrangements. One of these figures being a lady service-”woman” hence the title and the poses of the figures in the kit. These figures can be included in the lovely MasterBox Tourenwagen kit complete with all figures or just a few – Let’s have a look at them in our review…
MasterBox kit:  MB 3570 “Fraeulein, what are you doing today? German military men, WW II era”.

Kit No:  3570
Kit type: Injection Moulded (1 sprue in tan)
Scale: 1/35
No. of Figures: 6

MasterBox from the Ukraine have become a regular on the 1/35th scene in figures – they are improving it seems all the time. Just recently they have been a leader in the resurgence of new “softskin” military vehicles such as the Mercedes 170V Tourenwagen and several other derivatives of this vehicle, with more to come. Next step it would seem is to populate them with figures – well one step ahead MasterBox are already on it – they supply us this month with an interesting set to review “Hat das Fräulein heute schon etwas vor? Or “Fraeulein, what are you doing today?”
These six figures come on one sprue in tan. The boxart is as always well illustrated with a sinister looking SS Officer asking the lady passenger in the car what she is doing. Truth be told though as we will see here that you can split these soldiers up to make a few different combinations, but more on this later – first we will examine the kit.  

The one sprue comes in a box with cover art on the front and “instructions” on the back – basically the numbers of kit parts are not on the sprues so you will need to refer to the kit box to assist you at certain points in assembly. The good thing is here the sprues are divided into six neat sections that each of your figures resides in. Easy to locate and good if you are not using all of the figures, some thought has gone into sprue layout here.

The colours (in Vallejo acrylics) are laid out with a photo of each of the completed figures on the rear of the box. These photos give you a few a head’s up to the final layout of the kit and make you think of different ways to layout your vehicle.

The tan plastic which is usually supplied with MasterBox kits is again in evidence here. No sink marks of deficiencies are present, and the figures- while they do have seams from the injection moulding process are easily cleaned up and are pretty standard with injection moulded figures. A little clean-up will solve this easily.
We will go through the figures one by one here now. Starting with the SS officer leaning against the car.

This SS officer is leaning against the vehicle (more like leering in the artwork) with crossed legs and this right hand leaning on top of his left whilst looking in to the vehicle. He is moulded in eight pieces, notably he has a knight’s cross on his chest and a leather strap around his shoulder coming from his belt.
Attached to his belt is the separate pistol holster. The details on his torso are well defined with details able to be picked out by most modellers quite well. His face looks realistic and details on his cap are well represented. He is wearing a nice looking uniform topped off with high jack boots.
The “miss” in the title is depicted sitting in the car with her “purse” and in typical “Helferinnen” uniform. This is the second time MasterBox has mas a female Axillary as they did in their set 3557 “Luftwaffe Helferinnen” in their women at war series – it’s good to have a different figure in this set.

Her head is moulded with her side cap on but her long hair at the back as separate.  I suppose you could depict her hair short, or tied up in a bun if you wanted which is nice. Her facial figures are fine and well suited to the body which is slimmer and to scale of the men.
Blonde, Brunette or red-head??
On her torso a double breasted jacket is well decorated with buttons and pockets clearly moulded while a little leg may be showing (under stockings of course) with her legs which are partially covered by the regulation length knee high skirt.
The two passengers in the back are next. Firstly the officer leaning to the left of the vehicle. This soldier you can use as fill in if the female auxiliary isn’t there – he is sitting there with his right hand leaning on his brief case which is supplied on the sprue.
This staff officer has a chest full of medals on his torso, you can clearly see his knight’s cross and infantry assault badge on his pockets and eagle emblem on the right upper above his pockets. His sideboards are also well detailed and you can pick out his “pips” if you want to.
He is wearing a full uniform with Jackboots and a detachable pistol holder as well.

This officer sitting in the right rear side of the rear seat – well he looks no more sinister than the SS officer! His facial features are well detailed here with slightly angular features and pointy nose – I am glad all of MasterBox’s faces don't look the same anymore!

Creepy looking dude isn’t he?
Again there is good detail to be picked out in his torso – with his (almost obligatory) Iron Cross and infantry assault badge on his left breast with pockets and eagle clearly moulded on his chest as well.
He sits with his legs crossed and is looking towards his fellow passenger in the rear and/ or the person leaning on the car if you choose – this figure (leaning in) is not needed though as this officer’s body language captures both of them.

The front passenger on the right of the vehicle is dressed as a regular soldier and wears a typical M43 style cap on his head. This was the common headgear of soldiers after 1943 who were not currently serving in the front line. He is looking out of the vehicle to the right hand side (it looks to me like he is purposely looking away)
This soldier is dressed in the normal field grey uniform with a double –holed belt and jus the simple eagle adorning his torso (no medals for this soldier) his blouse sits neatly over his belt in this sculpt/ moulding. This soldier wears long sleeves and pants with dress jack boots over the leggings. He has as well the option of a pistol in a holster on his belt as separate.
The Driver – the last soldier in this group - Again dressed plainly in a regular field uniform this time the soldier is fitted out with a side cap which was the other standard headgear of non-combat troops during the war. His facial features are pretty neutral as he is looking forward and to the left – I don't know what his left hand is doing though. Maybe this would be better on the wheel?
He carries no pistol holster and no equipment and a plain torso devoid of the usual uniform with no medals or trinkets which is totally realistic for a driver you would think – they can’t all be heroes can they!?
The smart thing about this figure set is the options you are given – you can have five in this diorama or just three – with the driver and his two rear passengers – having the leering type of body language on the rear right passenger and the SS officer leaning over the side gives you both options. It is handy as well to have the second officer as an option in the rear left - Very well thought out.

I think this is a well-executed set with the welcome introduction of a female it brings a lot of interest to this diorama set – most dioramas portraying a scene behind the action – so this set will be well received.

Nice points of interest as well are the “flat bottoms” of the figures who will sit much more realistically when in the vehicle. The options of mixing and matching these make this a really good little kit to me.

Great work from the guys at MasterBox – More like this kit is a good idea...

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to MasterBox for the review kit - 

Below are some pictures from their site giving you better an idea on the different ways you can display your figures in your car.
 And the unpainted kit assembled and unpainted showing more seating options...
These figures is available this month in all places MasterBox distribute their kits.