by: Darren Baker [ ]
There has been a good number of 1/32nd scale aircraft models made available covering RAF serving aircraft and now Black dog has released another great set of RAF pilots with which to furnish your latest build. These two figures are both described as RAF fighter pilots covering the years of WW2 and could represent any of the pilots who flew from Commonwealth Countries and the likes of free Polish and so on.
This offering from Black dog is supplied in an end opening card box. Inside there are two Ziploc bags containing the figures and these are protected further by foam peanuts. An examination of the mouldings reveals nothing of concern as regards production beyond some vent tubes behind the knees that will need to be removed. The figures are in their own Ziploc bags and that avoids any confusion when it comes to finishing the offering.
Both of these offerings are shown mounting or dismounting aircraft with the drop down cockpit doors seen on aircraft such as the Spitfire, Hurricane and Gladiator. The figures are wearing the leather flying kit often seen during the war, the lambís wool collar of the jackets have been very nicely textured and should with careful painting prove convincing; the cuffs of the jacket has also been well done. The high leather boots worn also have the sheep skinned lined offerings again with that nice texture if not quite so obvious plus the straps across the top front have been well done. At the risk of starting a war of words for getting it wrong; the chin straps that were rarely if ever done up have been featured and I like the internal earphone detail.
The webbing straps seen on these figures is especially well replicated and should add a great contrast to the leather browns of the clothing. Due to the legs being in a stepping up position it is clearly seen why jumping from a plane with a parachute is likely to raise your voice a tad. The four point harness catch looks to be another very nice feature of these figures. The parachutes have been moulded separately which as long as you add them the right way up fit very well to the figure. The faces of the figures are good if a little expressionless, some carful painting should help bring them to life. The hands are a surprise as I was expecting to see gloves, but when exiting or entering the aircraft I suppose they could be left in or not being worn. One of the figures does have a dodgy thumb, but I cannot satisfy myself as to the cause; it may be broken, an odd position, miss-moulded or a damaged mould I just cannot tell.
This offering from Black dog looks good in most respects. The thumb issue was unexpected but once positioned would likely never be noticed. I would have liked to see greater expression on the faces, but all of the needed features are well replicated. The flying clothing and harness detail are very well done and I also appreciate the fluidity of the poses are especially nice and will attract attention from viewers I believe.