Thursday, June 7

Ultracast 54014: Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot Battle of Britain 1940 in 1/32 (54mm) scale Review.

Ultracast form Canada has just released their new 1/32nd Luftwaffe Fighter Pilot, "Battle of Britain 1940" in 1/32 (54mm) scale onto the market -  we thought we would get one and show all of the ins and outs of this new Mike Good Sculpture
Code: 54014
Scale: 1/32 (54mm)
Material: resin
Pieces: 6
Sculpted by: Mike Good
Boxart figure painted by: Kevin McLaughlin.
...Now I own an Ultracast figure already, the later war Luftwaffe pilot in 1/32, sculpted by Mike Good. This is one of my more popular figures in 1/32 and it really turned me on to the work done by these guys. Last year we reviewed a 1/16th figure of Werner Mölders from Alpine Miniatures sculpted by Mr good – we loved it and so when we saw this figure we were naturally interested - but is the expectation as good as realization? We’ll have a look at this figure, construct him and then see what we think in this review.

The figure comes in a simple package with a cardboard backing with the figure painted up by Kevin McLaughlin, (he certainly has done a good job too) and this was one thing that drew me to the figure as no one really wants to buy something that looks average on the box-art - so keep Kevin painting them! I can say as well that it arrived no hassle from Canada to the UK in only a few days – one of the fastest posts of an item I have ever had, safely packaged in bubblewrap as well. So already I was happy.
The figure consists of six parts in a regular hardness cream resin. There are no bubbles or imperfections in this figure and although there is some excess material in between the legs (common of course with resin figures) there is nothing here that is out of the ordinary or excessive. The bonus is with this resin that there are of course no seam marks on the sides of the castings and the parts all come on little resin casting blocks which are easy to remove from their parts. The removal and clean up takes about twenty minutes total for the whole figure to be ready to construct.
The figure has some interesting features which should be noted. The inclusion of two different heads is a most welcome feature. Both of the figures have the same facial features with well sculpted nose, eyes and hair all feature on this pilot. He actually has a slightly dented shaped nose which, when painted as well as it is in the box art – makes for a realistic face with plenty of character.

Standard practice by many of the best figure makers, this pilot comes with the option the same face but with different headgear – the first option being what I think is a Model LKpS101 Summer Flight Helmet, complete with all radio components and throat microphones around the pilot’s neck. The pilot also has some lovely sculpted L008866 Leitz Flight Goggles or “Windschutzbrille” around his summer flight helmet – the connecting link between the eye lenses is particularly well represented.
The more casual Luftwaffe sidecap or “Fliegermütze” adorns the second head. He wears it in the correct fashion tilted to one side with it resting just above the right ear. This is the more “natural” selection of the two as you can see more of the Pilot’s features like the hair and ears – It certainly isn’t the better as both options are both lovely if you ask me – both are excellently sculpted. Very good work on this part of the figure which is usually a “make or break” part of any figure.

The other feature I like is the socketed fixtures on the body. A pretty widespread practice now with resin figures this gives you the correct way of assembling the figure so that it fits the sculptor’s vision. Although this can be of course changed if you desire but it gives you a solid place to start and takes the guess work out of the construction phase. It also helps keep the figure together after he is constructed as it gives a positive and negative adherence place for the superglue to affix to.

This feature pops up again on the pistol holster. I am sure it is a Walther P38 holster as the strap goes vertically down and there is an extra clip pouch on the nose of the pouch. These always look better separated from the body as it provides the figure with depth and this gives you the option of leaving the holster off if you wish.
L018566 Fighter Pilot’s Model 10-30 B-2 Life Vest or “Luftschwimmweste” was worn by all pilots who fought the battle of Britain due to the fact they travelled over the water of the English Channel. This example is the "back free" 10-30 B 2 intended for fighter pilots and it has all of the right straps and nozzles. The upper left breast bladder has a vertical, rubber, manual inflation tube with a Bakelite connecting port housing and mouthpiece, and featured on the bottom of the life jacket is an alloy and brass pressurized air canister that also could act to inflate the vest – both are well represented here. This life jacket sits very well (and suitably baggy) on top of the pilot’s regulation M40 flyer's blouse or “Fliegerbluse” of which not a lot is visible. You can see through the open collar with a collared shirt and cloth scarf on the pilot’s neck. There is some very fine and accurate sculpting going on there.
 The arms and hands are well rendered in resin too - note the glove being pulled off the palm here(left hand)?
M-37 Luftwaffe breeches with baggy leggings go into the pilot’s smart flying boots. These boots display their usual buckles on the outer ankles and the top of the boot to keep them snugly fitted over the breaches. Again they look very realistic and to scale (no tiny or clown shoes here!)
The figure as a whole is seen looking down at his gloves which he is pulling on, his right leg is slightly forward and his pose is neutral so you could have him in a variety of situations.
The alternative headgear I have shown the head looking slightly up and straight on – showing you can change the sculpture slightly if you want to.

Although this is an early Fw-190A3 that wouldn’t have seen action till late 1941 you can see the scale and general look of the pilot from this vignette, most of the gear would have been the same apart from some winter additions…
1/32 scale desperately needs more pilots for outside the aircraft - this figure helps fill that gap, it is is a great figure I am really pleased to have in my collection (painted) very soon

Thanks very much to Ultracast for the figure.

Below is the excellently painted up figure from the Ultracast website