Tuesday, March 10

Construction Review: MasterBox 35157 “The South of Europe, 1944 – US and German Paratroopers”

MasterBox  is in the art of cleaning up it’s act – it seems that they have been rudely interrupted by yet more US and German Paratroopers. With our tongue firmly planted in our cheek we build and review the bath time special in 35th scale- “The South of Europe, 1944 – US and German Paratroopers”
Construction review:
 “The South of Europe, 1944 – US and German Paratroopers”
Kit No: 35157
Kit type: Injection Moulded (1 sprue in grey)
Figures: six
Scale: 1/35

MasterBox from the Ukraine have always brought out kits with plenty of emotion in their figures. Each of their figure sets seem to convey a good deal of either human conflict or emotion. This set – their new 1/35th figure set of four guys and two gals again puts us – the viewer in an odd situation.

It has a long tittle “The South of Europe, 1944 – US and German Paratroopers” and included are two lovely ladies in a state of undress having what looks like an outdoor bath. The only problem is that there are some “Marty McFly” style peeping toms that are gate-crashing and not really having eyes for anything else (there was a war on) but the lovely ladies. The scene is wonderfully captured on the box art by Mr Varavin. I would bet from the attention this kit has gotten already the box art alone would have sold a bunch of kits. I am sure it has awakened many modeller’s imaginations.
There are six figures in this kit, all injection moulded on one sprue of grey (only one shade of grey and that’s the last movie related pun we will make.) There are two German Fallschirmjäger and two Allied US Paras as well as two ladies wearing only the barest of necessities. We only really need to get into what four of the six are wearing then!

The moulding on the six figures is relatively well done with not so much as earlier efforts, we see just the lightest of seam lines to remove on each of these figure’s bodies. The hair on the ladies and around the ears needs some delicate carving as do some of the thinner parts. Otherwise the figures all go together pretty easily without hassle and the construction phase really does not take long.
On the rear of the box there is a construction and painting guide of sorts. The figures are shown constructed in isolation and painted. The colour key matches the Lifecolor and Vallejo colours given as a guide.
There is also a sprue map on the back of the box. The sprues themselves do not have any numbers so this is a helpful guide as to where your parts are. As always Masterbox includes each figure in a “Sek-Tor” for each one so you need not look too far to put each figure together.

Speaking of figures let’s look at them shall we? Starting with the “Perverts”

The Kneeling German Fallschirmjäger
This German is seen leaning down on his haunches as he looks at the show going on before him. In long sleeve pants and shirt uniform he could suit a summer or maybe spring/fall scenario (when else would people be bathing outdoors.) Anyway this soldier wears the short brimmed helmet of the Fallschirmjäger and a full pack including gas mask, entrenching tool, bread bag, flask and canteen as well as his Kar.98 rifle and bandoleers of ammo in pouches on his chest. 

He is seen with his mouth open (surprised?) as he leans over on his haunches. His wrinkled clothing is seen wrapping around his limbs in a realistic fashion. He serves as a part of the duo as a leaning post and to be honest you could use him in a number of various scenarios.

The crouching German Fallschirmjäger
Leaning on is comrade – this fellow could be an officer or a NCO as his shoulder boards look a fraction thicker at the edges – he also has an iron cross at his throat and a pistol on his hip. He also carries an MP-40 machine gun and ammo as well as the cylindrical gas mask, and flask hanging from his webbing.
He is leaning on his junior comrade, again with his mouth a little open – maybe talking to his mate and maybe drooling. Again the wrinkled clothing and gear this soldier is wearing looks very much like a German para in all aspects.
And here they are together.

The Kneeling US Para
This US GI paratrooper is seen kneeling to the left and down on his haunches while he looks at the action across the way. He wears a cloth covered M1 helmet and a Garand rifle with cloth ammo bandoleer (a little like his German kneeling counterpart.)
Interesting with this soldier is that he has the US flag recognition. This was usually something soldiers wore after invasion when they were not familiar with the civilian population. You can also clearly see the “AA” 82nd Airborne Division patch on both of these GI’s left arms. A knife in his boot adds some cool detail as well. 

The Crouching US Para
This GI is looking very much like his compadre – baggy GI fatigues on his body and both the 82nd airborne and the US flag patches clearly visible on his shoulders he is again – mirroring his German opposite number – leaning on his crouched comrade and he is a corporal as you can see the two stripes on his sleeves.
Not only is he carrying his heavy backpack he wears a colt.45 in his hip with a large “US” visible, a knife on his leg strapped on and this man has a bare M1 helmet. Coolest thing about this corporal is his Tommy gun and ammo which is nicely reproduced.

The Ladies…
The muse of the sculptor in this diorama and the centrepiece must be these two ladies that are bathing outdoors un-aware of their being watched.
The two are without clothes except for their underwear. One of the ladies is seen with a water jug pouring it over her companion whilst the other lady is seen maybe washing he hair.
The lady with the water jug

the lady washing
All of the bits seem to be in the right places as far as my medical books tell me…

And here they are all together – seen just as they are- some loose clothing on the ground is also included.
..and here they are how Masterbox portrays them made up - maybe in a shower block?
No doubt this set will sell like hotcakes. No doubt some people will say “shame on you” but no doubt some people will just see how much of an interesting scenario Masterbox have cooked up here. In fact a woman on the Facebook site said that she was buying this kit for her husband. So yes I tend to agree with her and I think this kit is harmless. 
OK I'm off to bed – but first – time for a shower!

Great work Masterbox

Adam Norenberg
Thanks to MasterBox for the review kit