Wednesday, July 29

Masterbox’s 35th scale “Modern UK Infantrymen, Present Day" build review...

Masterbox’ modern warfare figures are now a good supplement for all of their WWI & WWII figure sets in 35th scale. Even better is now we see British modern soldiers in the mix. Would the figures themselves equal the good premise? Let’s have a look in our construction review…
“Modern UK Infantrymen, Present Day"
Kit No# 351830
1/35th scale
Set contains five figures
Available from: MasterBox Stockists Worldwide

Masterbox have been steadily widening their figure focus to not only include the standard WWII fare, but also Napoleonic, American Civil War, WWI, Vietnam and now modern warfare subjects. We have been sent their latest kit of not only the un-typical modern warfare set of five figure – but British Army figures which we haven’t seen that many of until recently.

The scene is somewhere in the desert wars of the last 10 years. We see a squad of men in their lightly armoured but heavily armed land rover patrol 4WD on patrol. The British Land Rover WMIK (Weapons Mounted Installation Kit) is the vehicle they are riding in and although this isn’t imperative to these figures it makes for a good base for these guys to ride on. 
A gunner stands by idly while his commander talks to the two soldiers returning from their tasks while three comrades looks on. Maybe two of these soldiers are returning from a task and their officer is telling them to get in the car? Let’s have a look at these soldiers, the box art and instructions and then we will put them together to see how they fit.

The British Land Rover WMIK (Weapons Mounted Installation Kit) these chaps are “rollin’” in…
The ART/ Instructions:
The boxart by Miniart is always pretty good. Mr Karaschuk has done his usual good work on the typical black and white box from Masterbox.

The rear of the box sees the sprue map laid out – this is important because the sprue itself does not have any numbers on it. The sprue is laid out so each soldier sits in a little sector of his own, making the parts easy to find. The more useful instructions if you like to call them that are the pictures of the made up soldiers also on the back.
Serving both as a general guide on posing and construction, this part of the rear box shows the soldiers made and painted up. Painting instructions are in Vallejo and Lifecolor as they are good for brush painting. A reference to the two types of camo patter is also in close up on the rear box. Again I say this but I would like to see the colour name next to it if you want to use someone else’s shades. 
The Plastic:
The single sprue in light grey is well moulded with only the regular amount of seam lines and no flash to speak of. The soldier’s faces are a far cry from what we used to see from Masterbox when they started and the sculptor Mr Gagarin just keeps on lifting his own bar. His sculpts are more detailed in weapons and equipment as well.
These soldiers are all dressed Multi-Terrain Pattern (MTP) uniform which was issued in 2010 after desert-coloured DPM proved inadequate across the varied landscape of Helmand. These light weight British Army fatigues we see so often in the wars of today are well sculpted with lots of baggy pockets and creases on them.
Let’s look at the five figures now – each in turn…

The man holding the MG with a beard: This man looks like a bit of a Bad-ass – he has a very un-hipster like beard and carries a massive pack with ammunition and packs all over his body.
He looks like a real monster and not a man to be messed with…

The soldier riding “shotgun”: This “tommy” is seen leaning back, not really ready I would say so I would think that these guys are not in a lot of danger.
Seen in his camo covered British bowl helmet with personal ammo pouches on his chest and self-protection pistol on his chest armoured vest. He has no other packs on his body.

The other soldier returning from mission: He is buddied up with the bearded fellow and although he looks straight faced he is still carrying his large SA80 A2 UGL/ L85A2 rifle fitted with German-made 40mm grenade launcher which as a combination is a vast improvement on the original rifle.

This soldier was also wearing a lot of packs on his back, a full complement of armour and ammo. These two with full packs suggest that these guys have been on a long range patrol.

The fourth soldier is the officer talking: He is seen gesturing to the two returned men in I think “get in the back” or something like that.
Sitting in the front of the vehicle he is lightly armed with just a pistol and some spare ammo on his osprey vest. He carries nothing on his back which is flattened out so you can sit him snuggly in the seat which is nicely done.

The fifth soldier looking on is seen here with his right arm leaning on the roll bar of the land rover. He is a passive in this scene really but just as well sculpted as the others in this scene

Again he is in limited pack with just his personal weapon & ammo hanging from his chest.
Well that is them all together. I like these soldiers from Masterbox. The smaller details like the packs and the faces, fingers and weapon details are pretty much spot on. Some of the equipment is a little bit older than the stuff you might see at the present day but I can forgive that with soldiers suffering shortages sometimes equipment can be mixed up. I like how it is sculpted and the body language of the figures are great.

Another very nice and timely set to match the Hobbyboss armoured land rover, a heavy Saracen MATV or even a “Snatch” lightly armoured vehicle – any type of British AFV really. Nice!

Adam Norenberg

This kit will be available through all of Masterbox’s distributors in May 2015
Here are these soldiers in theatre and in Land Rover from the Masterbox site showing just how you could feature them in your own dio setting...