Saturday, February 2

Construction Review: KFS- Miniatures 1/35th scale U.S.Goliath Rider

Kamil from KFS Miniatures has started off a while ago on his own line of miniatures that are often replicating interesting scenes in Military history. We received a set recently we thought would serve as a good construction review. See what KFS' 35th scale "U.S. Goliath Rider" looks and fits like in our build...

Construction Review: U.S. Goliath Rider
From: KFS- Miniatures
Kit No# 35-007
1/35th scale
PRICE: $15.00 / SHIPPING: $6.00
Directly from the KFS Website
KFS Miniatures has released a few resin products in the last few years. The last one we looked at was I think their first venture into production with the 120mm "Fraulein in Feldgrau" that I remember I liked very much. Since then we have sued their 35th scale Scammell set in Andy's truck build also to similar acclaim from us and modellers who read the articles.
Today we have a new set. The 35th scale "U.S. Goliath Rider"  that is set to suit Tamiya's kit that we also looked at and lucky for me I had built one last year. 
Seems all i have to do is to put this set together, and to do some surgery to my Goliath to make this fit into an interesting review. I will try my best...

Inspiration and background of the set:
We had seen something familiar to this set which turned out to be the inspiration for this figure. Basically some US Navy "Seabees" riding one of these machines in WWII.
United States Naval Construction Battalions, better known as the "Seabees", are from the Naval Construction Force (NCF) of the United States Navy. Their nickname is a heterograph of the first initials "C.B." from the words Construction Battalion. In this very famous picture from World War Two on D-Day 6th of January 1944 we see U.S. Navy men take apart a German “Beetle”, a miniature tank loaded with explosives.
These German built machines SdKfz 302  were called "Goliath" by the Germans. These remote-controlled mines (called Beetles by US forces) are seen on Utah Beach 11 June 1944.
The picture that inspired this figure is here, with the Seabee using the machine as a vehicle (hopefully after the explosives were taken out!)
The Kit from KFS Miniatures:
This set comes in a zip-loc bag with a cardboard artwork piece on the front and the rear. the bag opens up to reveal five parts in a grey resin that make up the soldier, the controls of the Goliath and the new top panel and a lid/cover that is opened up when the sailor's fet go inside the Goliath.

To make this you will need these parts - the tan coloured Goliath from Tamiya (you can use the older Italeri kits if you like) and the grey resin parts from KFS Miniatures
We will look at the parts now quickly before we put him together, adapt our Goliath and then stitch them up in a scene. Firstly the head.

The one head choice features a Seabee wearing an M1 US style WWII Helmet.

The helmet is in a good shape that pretty well replicates the original, where the face of the soldier has nice enough features to pass  my eye. The seam on the top of the helmet will need some careful removal here. There are some bubbles on or near the surface of the helmet that might need "a'fillin' "

The next part we will look at is the main body part of the soldier. I got a bit carried away and placed the controls which are moulded into his hands joined (at the sleeve cuffs) to the body.. The control and hands sit neatly in the cuffs with no problem and no glue.
You can see here that the casting block needs to be removed from both the controls and the soldier at his bum and his feet.  You may see that the insides of the sailors pants need a lot of seam removal. From the feet up to the nuts you will have to give him a lot of scraping with a scalpel. Nothing dramatic or risky, but just so you know it is there.
 The wrinkling of his thick issue clothing is nicely sculpted with rounded loose folds and gathering in at the waist. The feet are a bit oddly shaped but they are actually hidden inside the Goliath and the detail on the boots down to the laces is nicely done.
 The replacement part that gives you an open compartment of the Goliath so that you can place the sailor's legs in there is one piece. There is a lid for the compartment included that I suppose is placed on the ground next to the figure as he takes a ride.
The reverse angle with lugs inside just like the kit part, but with an open, fully formed compartment lid undamaged as you would have to if you removed it from the kit part. When removing the casting block be VERY careful otherwise you will split the thin side like I did
The resin part separated from it's casting block in grey on the left below, with the Tamiya part on the right. You would have to destroy the lid to remove it so that is why this part and the lid are provided
 This last part - I still don't know what it does...
Here is our man, cleaned up at the crotch and only needing a little lead or brass wire to link his control to the Goliath. I think after a clean up he looks pretty good.

I had already made both of my Goliath tanks in the Tamiya kit - so to replace the kit part with the open top I had to slit this one down the sides - lucky I didn't use a lot of glue when securing it and acted some delicate scalpel work it came apart.
The replacement part fits into the kit without glue once it is trimmed to correct size. It is still unglued in this picture to show you the snug fit after a careful flat sanding.
 Here is our Seabee ready to go for a ride. Like I said you will have to provide a lead or brass bit of wire to "hook him up" as there was no Bluetooth back then kids...
The original..
The figure in the kit from KFS
 Isn't he grand? I really like the charm of this figure, he fits in perfectly with the inspiration of the picture that he was obviously sourced from. The details are pretty nice also - wit the fit working out very nice after some careful trimming work.
He looks like a regular king of the road here, I like this figure a lot, and I think a lot of others will also.
Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Kamil at KFS Miniatures for sending us this Seabee to fit to our Goliath. He is available directly from the KFS Miniatures site

as a postscript, here he is all put together and painted up to bring him to life as seen on the KFS website...