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Built Review
135
US Tank Crew
U.S. Tank Crew, NW Europe
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by: Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

I don’t want to beat a dead horse here so if you are looking for a full review with photos and the like please check out Darren Baker’s excellent work from last month:

In-box Review

Thanks again Darren for your excellent review!

the build

I built up two of the figures from the set, the fellow sitting on the upper hull and the standing figure with hands in pockets. I’m always drawn to the figures with hands in pockets, no hands to paint and I think that is where I would have my hands on a cold winter day as well! I liked the look of the sitting figure mostly because on the excellent box art he looked a bit like one of those 5’5” fellows that seemed to make up so much of the tank crews that fought in Europe.

There was more than an ordinary amount of flash on the sample that I had, even though the clean up was easy it seemed odd for a brand new molding. The fit of each of the figures was adequate; I used a bit of Tamiya surface primer mixed with shavings (my homebrew figure filler recipe) to fill the gaps. I was sufficiently happy with the two figures at this point; neither had the head sculpt or helmet work done as yet.

When I moved onto the heads I did encounter a few issues. The first time that I attempted to add the five part tankers helmet to a head I encountered a bit of a problem. The fit of the helmet was more than a bit off, I shaved and sanded trying to get everything to fit but it was to no avail; the straps for the goggles were molded so thickly that the helmet ear cover piece wouldn’t fit properly. I thought about ditching the whole process and going with an aftermarket head, but that seemed to defeat the whole purpose of constructing a figure for review, so I stuck it out.

The second one, on the sitting figure went together better knowing that I needed to shave off the goggle strap. The standing figure ended up with somebody else’s head, I gave him the slouching figures soft cloth cap which worked out to everyone’s satisfaction. The addition of the goggles for both of the figures finished them off.

The painting was accomplished with an undercoat of LifeColor paint, a top coat of Vallejo as called out in the instructions. I used deeper Vallejo shades for the shadows, folds, and creases. Each of the figures had a decent amount of folds and creases which went a long way toward making each of the figures appear as if they are wearing clothing made of nice, heavy cloth. I would have liked to have seen more definition around the leather strapping areas, the next figure I build from the set I will make sure to clean out a bit more around these areas.

conclusion

You can probably do a better job of painting these guys up than I did, I just wanted to show that they can be put together but that it does require a bit of work. If you want some really top notch figures you probably will want to replace the heads, I agree completely with Darren on this in that the heads are a bit soft in detail and they all look like identical twins!

Like Darren I wish they had included a small set of decals for the division insignia, I had only one left from an old Verlinden set. Now I have to try and source one or put some dots of paint to suggest one on the sitting figure.

SUMMARY
Highs: Allied figures! Great box art, good value for the money.
Lows: Poor fit of the helmet to the figures head, some flash and soft facial features.
Verdict: Not as well done as some in the past but it is an Allied figure set. Probably not going to be the centerpiece of too much but it will allow you to put a figure or two onto a vehicle.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35070
  Suggested Retail: ~$12.00
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 14, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.63%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.82%

Our Thanks to MiniArt!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Rick Cooper (clovis899)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I have been modeling for about 30 years now. Once upon a time in another century I owned my own hobby shop; way more work than it was worth. I tip my opti-visor to those who make a real living at it. Mainly build armor these days but I keep working at figures, planes and the occasional ship.

Copyright ©2017 text by Rick Cooper [ CLOVIS899 ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Good review Rick. I was surprised the detail with the heads , 5 pieces to make the head up and its a challenge to get the pieces sitting in the right spot . The level of detail for a plastic figure is quite high and getting better by each set they release . A small note would be the instructions on the back of the box had been a little vague when it came to placing things on the figure. Maybe as a suggestion is to have a more detailed instruction sheet inside the box . The bases of the feet need a little sanding back on all figures as the boot detail is sitting quite high.The plastic is soft as mentioned and easy to shave and slice with an exacto No11 blade. The good thing about the rank and unit patch's on the arms is that the Archer emblems will sit straight on the plastic . This will be a good enhancement on the figure detail Having just finished the figures as well I was so impressed with the figure quality for a plastic figure set I ordered a Tasco Jumbo for them to be posed on . I'm going to use the same heads that come in the kit. Michael
NOV 13, 2011 - 09:25 PM
Thank you for the build review Rick it is nice to see what I will be in for when I start using the figures in this set. I will say that seem to have gone together pretty well on the whole despite the problem with the helmets and goggles.
NOV 13, 2011 - 10:02 PM
The figures are great, I'm placing most of them in and around my Italeri 1/35th M24 Chaffee. By replacing the heads with ones from leftover DML kits one could improve that feature but the remaining parts on the figures are very detailed.
MAR 29, 2012 - 03:50 PM
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