by: Darren Baker [ ]
When I was a kid just about every model aeroplane purchased usually had a pilot figure included, the problem with this is that the figures did not have what you would call good detail generally. In todayís aircraft model offerings it is rare to find a figure included unless it is a release of a much older model. Finding suitable figures for a model has become a little easier of late with ICM releasing figures in 1/48th and 1/32nd scale, but injection moulded plastic will never be able to provide the detail offered by resin products. In this review I will be looking at a 1/32nd scale World War 2 Tempest Pilot figure in resin.
This figure is supplied by Plus Model in a blister pack with a card hanger. The figure is supplied in three pieces in the form of a full body with separate arms. The parts are protected by a foam insert that reduces the movement of the resin pieces. There are no written instructions for this release but a coloured drawing is on the front of the card hanger as a guide to painting the figure. On the alternate side of the card is a larger drawing of the figure in order to assist further.
Being made of resin I am sure you will not be surprised to learn that there is some flash to deal with. The flash is on both sides of the body and between the legs, there is also a much smaller amount on the left arm. the pour plugs are easily dealt with on the body and right arm, but for reasons unknown the left arm is attached to the pour plug at the shoulder mounting point and this being contoured rather than flat will require careful clean up of the area.
The figure has been shown as flight sergeant in the colour drawing artwork, and is I believe walking away from an aircraft carrying his flying helmet in the left hand and a cup of tea held in the right given to him by the ground crew. The stance chosen does look a very natural one and so shows the figure in a very positive light.
The uniform starts with the correct boots for a pilot of the period covering the Tempest, these are the 1941 RAF pattern consisting of brown suede uppers with a zip at the front and lined with sheepís wool on the interior, this is often seen around the top of the boots. The flying helmet held in the figures left hand is I believe a type C helmet which was introduced to the RAF in mid 1941. I cannot be 100% sure as I cannot see the studs for the face mask present. The uniform elements displayed here are difficult to identify with certainty due to the Mae West being worn over it, but I believe it is a blouson worn over trousers. The Mae West is a particularly well rendered on this figure right down to the ties on the legs.
The facial features have been well tackled and will meet with the approval of the modeller who is skilled at face painting. The hair is very nicely textured and again careful painting will make the most of this aspect. The hands are not gloved, which surprised me a little, but it has allowed the reproduction of very natural hand features. One of the hard parts about hands are the fingers and is the reason many cartoons only show three fingers; that is not the case here as the figure has the correct number of fingers and these have been moulded naturally, two of the fingers on the right hand are gripping the handle of the mug. The mug is perfect for the period being an enamelled mug from the period, there is something in the mug and I was pleased to see that PlusModel has replicated a recess between the rim and the content. These enamelled mugs often had a blue line around the rim which I am told is to do with the enamelling process.
This offering from PlusModel is a nice figure for adding the effect of scale to a model. All aspects of the figure look to have been tackled skilfully and resulted in a very pleasing figure for the modeller. This figure could be displayed as a standalone offering or perhaps talking to another pilot still with their aircraft. If it comes to looking for fault the only negative I can come up with is the lack of decals which would have been a very nice inclusion for making this figure an easier prospect for all modellers.