Friday, November 20

Construction review: Masterbox' 35th scale "Desert Battle Series, Skull Clan - Death Angels"

With just a little nudge and wink to maybe Mad Max and most other post-apocalyptic movies you have ever seen Masterbox from the Ukraine conjures up this set of four lady figures ready to bring sassy into the cutthroat world of Fallout 4… Let’s take a look at the new set “Skull Clan - Death Angels"…

Construction review: "Desert Battle Series, Skull Clan - Death Angels"

1/35th scale
Kit no #35122
1 sprue in Grey styrene
Available thru Masterbox’ Distributors Worldwide

In the first of a new series in 35th scale called the "Desert Battle Series” Masterbox places us in a dystopian future, a war of energy resources, of violence and corruption and of people taking their own defence into their own hands in a violent way – welcome to…. 2015!
Seriously, this kit is from a series of figures meant to depict a future with zombies, warriors with steampunk weapons (and haircuts), this set is filled with four women of the post-apocalypse, post-nuclear world where people in small, united in bands and groups fight for a grim way of survival (I.E. soccer moms.) These figures look pretty bad-ass and are armed to the teeth and in lack of suitable clothing.
The box art on Miniart kits is always pretty well illustrated and props must go again to them for a cool looking box with our four protagonists kicking ass on top of a wrecked car. The rear of the box as is usual from Masterbox gets around their need to include instructions as the sprue map is there with all parts listed on it.
The completed and painted figures are on the other side of the rear of the box and the parts correspond with the sprue map. Not that you really need instructions as these kits are all segmented on the sprues very handily so you need not hunt around for them.
Colours are called out in their colour names and in the Vallejo colours which are easy to paint with a brush. A shame some painters might use Lifecolor or maybe some MIG or AK shades. As it is this is a guide and not necessity as these are not uniforms are they?

The plastic:
The kit consists of one plastic sprue with the parts for the assembly of 4 figures of the girls that are ready to fight for their life and for their loot.  The four figures are placed in their own respective corners of the sprue and the grey plastic is free of flash and large seam lines which is an improvement on their previous releases – if only a slight change, it is still noticeable.
One thing that IS very noticeable are the faces on these figures. I know the details are getting sharper all of the time as well but it is in the faces that this gradual improvement is really noticeable and where it makes the biggest difference. Kudos to the sculptor of this set he has done a great job and we cannot forget the injection moulders in this praise as well.

The girls are very vivid in their sculpture and they correspond quite well to the stereotypes offered by the cinematographers and writers that makes the kit very attractive for all fans of this subject. Let’s look at each of them in order and put them together so we see how they fit together.

The lady double wielding with a mowhawk: This warrior of the wastes has an exposed waist as she couches low with two large crazy cutting weapons – one is a large sickle and the other is a sort of spiked axe. 
The sprue parts are fairly simple and well detailed
This lady also carries a pair of two chackram throwing weapons on her hips like massive deadly hoops. The woman’s body is kinda bare but the protective knee guards and furry shoulders are slapped onto the body covering her top. Her shorts and rugged boots top out her garments along with armoured gloves and elbow pads.

The woman with a spear: This bad-ass chick is seen in a “come at me” pose with her arms and spear outstretched. 
Seen in much the same outfit as her buddy she is seen with longer hair and some dust proof goggles over her head – these are optional and they can even be places on her face if you like. Her faces is seen smiling like she has either just defeated a foe or about to just become heavily involved in a fight with more enemies.
On her body she is wearing a mesh brassiere and linked shoulder pads with again her midriff shown off over her short shorts. Although he arms are bare and she merely holds her long spear she has a forearm guard on her left arm and on her rear some nicely bent hatchets tied up and ready to be used on the next unfortunate person she has an argument with.
Her long legs are exposed but she wears knee high boots with a knife in the right boot and some handy packs strapped to her muscly thighs.

The third lady with twin Katanas: This lady looks like a seasoned warrior of a secret order that could have well been a swords(woman) before things turned to poo-doo. Although she is much more clothed than her compadres she still wears shorts, thigh high thick boots and shoulder pads with mail armour coming down the sleeves.
The several parts on the sprue are close together and pretty well detailed as you can see here. Her armour and lace up rears on her boots are a good example of the attention to detail now coming thru more and more with Masterbox’s kits nowdays.
The armour this woman wears is much more ornate and her head is covered by a long scarf or headdress which sits down at its ends around her shoulders. She is seen in a “ready” pose about to take on unseen enemies in the distance.
Her back is seen with some armour protection This can either be thick fur or chain mail. This hangs low over her behind and the packs on her thighs are extras that could be or not placed on the figure. 

The crossbow lady / Daryl Dixon’s sister: Straight out of The Walking Dead – this crossbow carrying vixen is seen looking pretty cool and also pretty bad-ass and her face and hair make her look attractive also.
This lady warrior is a bit more clothed than her buddies – as she stands ready with her crossbow uncocked as she looks on tea-pot style with her other hand on her hip.
She looks a little less wild and maybe a little younger than her sisters-in-arms but none the less deadly and pretty self assured. Her crossbow’s string is a little thick so you may want to replace that with string or E-line or something like that or you could just leave it as it is.

So play time! I thought I would use a dilapidated car in 35th to try and replicate the box art – this shows them in their poses pretty well.
So after putting them all together I was happy with the result. The figures go together pretty easily without much clean up and minimal hassle with fiddly parts. Nothing stands out as odd in their poses or facial expressions and I can say that you could probably pay three or four times this for a resin kit of the same quality. 
…and resin kit makers should take notice – this is as good as any resin kit on the market, It’s obscure but it also fills a gap in people interested in broadening their modelling horizons and it’s good to show girls kicking butt for a change, even if they look great while doing it….

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Masterbox for sending this kit to us to make – it is available through all of Masterbox’s distributors now…