Monday, November 4

Our favourite figure set in injection plastic this year…Masterbox's “Soviet Marines, Attack!" Pt 3

MasterBox has got a great name for themselves with their dynamic posing of figures and emotion in the scenes they depict - and these storming Soviet marines in adjustable poses will no doubt deepen a lot of people’s affection for this Ukrainian model producer. We put them together for you to see how good a solid set of figures in injected plastic can be these days..

1 Grey sprue of 66 parts
5 figures

This kit consists of 5 figures in 35th scale - and represents a group of fierce Soviet Marines in the attack.  These guys were called the “black Death” by the Germans who faced them because of their dark uniforms and the mortality for their enemies they often brought. These five figures are seen in full flight in some (again) really excellent artwork from MasterBox.
This is a third in the series of kits of these marines – the second is actually being released next month and is just as dynamic. These figures match with German sets of these infantrymen in mortal hand to hand combat that could be made into an amazing and not to mentioned large diorama. The desperate look of ferocity is conveyed through these figures in their dynamic and realistic poses. These men look like they are running for their lives at the enemy.

The kit is constructed in a “multipose configuration” which means that a simple change of bodies and legs of the figures makes it possible to assemble the figures in a different way so the soldiers don’t always look the same. You can therefore combine two kits from MasterBox - 35152 “Soviet Marines and German Infantry, Hand-to-hand Combat, 1941-1942. Eastern Front Battle Series, Kit No. 2” and our future kit 35153 “Soviet Marines, Attack, 1941-1942. Eastern Front Battle Series, Kit No. 3” make up a story whole with 35102 "German Infantry Defence, Eastern Front Battle Series, Kit No. 1" kit that makes it possible to make both a single big diorama and separate vignettes.
Physically you have the box with great art on the front – pictures of the soldiers individually on the back with pointers showing both how to put these figures together but also the colours recommended. These are given in both Vallejo and Lifecolour – both of which are popular but maybe some other colour makers could be included?
There is a sprue map as there are no numbers on the plastic. These are pointed out on each figure showing you any variations you can use as well. The handy thing here is all of each soldier’s parts are close together on the sprue in the one section.
The figures themselves – well they look pretty nice on the sprue – no real flash to be carved off and the detail on each is very good – smaller stars on caps, insignias on sleeves are clear and will look just that little better when picked up with a deft paint job. 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 Marine with flat sailor’s cap and rifle with bayonet

– This marine has a traditional "beskozirka" peakless sailor’s cap with two little flaps of ribbon billowing in the wind. He carries a nicely sculpted 7,62 mm Tokarev SVT-40 rifle in his hands with a bandoleer of ammo for said rifle around his chest.
You can see clearly the face of the soldier with his open mouth in full voice as he charges head down bum up at the Germans. Equipment wise he carries a water bottle, a grenade pouch on his left rear hip, a bayonet, an extra square ammo pouch on his hip and an entrenching tool with a cloth “boot” on it. His coat has emblems of the soviet marines on his sleeves and on his sailor’s hat.
He went together very well but his rifle needs some work to sit in both of his arms properly as you could see mine was a bit raised in his hands – a little work with him will I think solve this but I was pressed for time and did not want to break him.

The charging Marine with a steel helmet and rifle in right arm:
He looks a little unsteady on his feet doesn’t he?  You can see he is running forward a little distressed by it all – looking not where he is running but to the side (maybe he is almost falling over?) – This is very natural enough I think.
Again this soldier carries a rifle with bandoleers of ammo draped around his torso. His long boots meet with his trousers and long tunic with unfortunately this time isn’t flapping like the ribbon on his comrade’s sailor cap.
Along with his canvas covered canteen and entrenching tool he carries a large bag on his left hip which I cannot quite place (but it looks full and weighty) and has a large strap which sits over the ammo bandoleers and gives some depth to the torso. He also carries some ammo in pouched on his belt as well.
His steel helmet sits at a jaunty angle on his head and the marine’s face is very well sculpted and that brings him to life. He went together very well with no gaps like his brothers here in this box.

The Soldier with the machine gun:
This marine is seen wielding a Degtyaryov machine gun (DP 27) light machine gun that he seems to be aiming or firing from the hip – pretty "bad-ass" as the young kids might say – his body pose is pretty good as he is leaning into it so he indeed looks like he could be firing his gun. 
The most “casual” dressed of his comrades – he wears the typical Soviet navy striped white and blue shirt with long trousers and boots. He carries a large pouch on his rear right hip along with a grenade pouch on his left hip.
Interesting about his figure is hi bandaged head with his hair poking out of the sides. This figure impressed me as well

The Officer:
This is the multipose figure of the set – he has the choice of a long barreled pistol or a revolver with a matching holster for each choice on his hip. These pistols are of course moulded into his hand which he is pointing aloft as he charges forward with his men.

In full officer’s garb including peaked cap and a map pack on his left hip and binoculars on his chest - which may be a poor choice in a charge but the straps are moulded on the torso so either cut off or embrace it.
His wrinkly torso pocket and sleeves along with his double holed belt and insignia on his cap and jacket sleeves stands out here.

Marine with the PPSh-41:
This is my favorite in this set. Simply because his flat sailor’s cap has again the ribbon’s billowing in the wind, he is firing as he runs into the battle – I pointed my figure’s gun upwards a little as he tends to lean forward as sculpted.
Whilst brandishing his  PPSh sub machine gun in anger he also carries a spare ammo mag for his “Pe pe sha” on his belt (Pe-Pe-Sha from its three-letter prefix and Papasha  Russian meaning daddy). He also carries a canteen covered by cloth, a grenade pouch and that large bag again which I think is a gas mask bag.
I really liked the use of his flared trousers and traditional "beskozirka" peakless sailor’s cap on this figure – his face is excellently sculpted as well.
Well there you have it – from the box art to the sculptor they have done outstanding work. The only thing I could think of to make this set better would be decals for the patches and insignia. These can be sourced however but a deft painting on the raised details could make just as good a figure. Here they are all put together.
And here they are matched in with some of the other sets and the opposing Germans which are of course sold in other sets.

This is the best figure set I have seen in injection moulded plastic (so far- only a month to go) this year. In ease of construction, body language, accessories and sculpt quality they are top of the top shelf and give resin figures in the same scale a run for their money.

Hats or "beskozirka" - off to you MasterBox!

Adam Norenberg

These kits are now available from MasterBox’s Distributors worldwide