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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

RedBox IRISH TROOPS War of the Roses RB72044 In depth review 1/72 figures soldiers miniatures

Today I will make the review of a super new release, the Irish Troops from the War of the Roses!




Box; A complete success in my opinion. Okay, is not a very perfect drawing, but it very nicely depicts the subject, with lots of charisma, showing the figures you get.I was hooked when I saw it and the box art prompted me to buy it. 





THE FIGURES - 8.0 out of 10 - (40 figures, 10 poses)










Detail; Are these figures really RedBox, or some alien with sinister sculpting powers have substituted them? no, RedBox have improved, and these are figures with sharp detail, reminding me of the first Strelets sets, but maybe even better.They lack the fine detail of Italeri or Zvezda, but these are figures that will be easy to paint, as every piece of detail is clearly defined.


Poses; Good set of poses, we have the famous "Kerns" (Skirmishers), a sort of leader, nobles, archer, many halberd troops and one spearmen. The bad thing is that there ares just 10 poses, and really, 12 is the minimum. All the same, if we have to live with 10 poses, then the choice was quite good.

One of the things that annoys me is that both men with two-handed swords are not actually using them. Both two-handed sword poses are realistic and lively, but I miss a figure in slashing pose.

Also, I would have given one spear to the armoured halberdiers, as 3 armoured halberdiers seems a bit too much.

About the poses themselves, all very nice, active, and well executed. The skirmisher running is one of the best attempts at this pose I've seen.

Anatomical proportions; Excellent. Not as good maybe as Esci or Caesar, but in the top league. They aren't giants as Zvezda, don't have big heads as Italeri, they are not trolls like Strelets, etc. 

Execution (how the company has made the figures); there is a certain quantity of flash, but if we compare with other sets of RedBox this is nothing. The good thing is that it is easy to remove, it is a "clean flash". In other words, it is a bit of excess of plastic here and there, but clearly defined. Not like the Koreans or Chinese light infantry, where it is everywhere, and when you try and remove it, the figure ends up scruffy and looking awful if you are going to paint it. 

Also, the sword of the leader is not flat, but in a cross shape, clearly to help casting, and you will have to cut it to leave it flat.

Plastic used; very dark grey, quite good for painting, semi-elastic.


HISTORICAL ACCURACY - 8.0

Sadly, the War of the Roses is one of the few themes I don't have much knowledge about, basically because it escaps my scope of interest. Then, why on earth I am reviewing this set? because of it's Medieval (and Dark Ages) usage. After consulting the matter with somebody with more knowledge than me, and after a bit of research, I can say this is a solid set, with no big inaccuracies.

Maybe, there shouldn't be two so well armed nobles in a 10 pose set, but this is a thing of proportions not historical innacuracies. The light troops with the standard round shield is maybe a bit strange, but in any case, RedBox have actually tried to make something different, where there was not much historical info, they have tried to get what there was, and do it as best as they could. And they have succeeded in my opinion.

ARMY REPRESENTATION - 8.0
"The army representation score is the potential of the soldiers to be used for other purposes different to the one originally intended"

Besides the two men with the strange hairdress, the rest have plenty of usage. First, all men can be more or less used as late medieval Irish (1350 on). Many men can be just medieval troops from the north of europe, the light troops could be used as many sort of barbarians and,  
with some conversions, these figures can even have more possibilities. 


FUNNESS - 8.5

"I feel that many reviews are oblivious to this point - there are fantastic figures, which you can´t say anything against, but they are just too "correct", maybe too static, and so just boring. So I feel that this is an important point when deciding if you buy a set"

As I've said, RedBox have gotten a bunch of loose historical info and has made a solid set with a distinct "flavour" and appearance. All men are active and combative, except one. And they all have a sort of personality.


The only bad thing is the small number of poses, and the 4 leaders you have to accept, so conversions will be mandatory.



WARGAMING VALUE - 7.0

Even with few poses, the good choice of them gives a minimum score. 

PRICE-VALUE RATIO - 7.7

"The price value ratio of this soldiers will vary between every shop you go, and the best I can do is judge by their average price on eBay and online stores"

They are nicely done, and at the average price of 10 € roughly, where most sets are  today. There are just 40 figures, but at least they are not as expensive as some new Mars sets of worse quality.



OVERALL VALORATION - 8.5

This is a set not only good for those who like the War of the Roses era, but also to the Medieval collector/wargamer. I hope that this improvement in quality with RedBox continues, and if they keep this level they will soon disbank Strelets and become one of the best 1/72 manufacturers in the market.

Conclusion; A set as sets should be, as they were in the golden days. 

Would I recommend buying them over other alternative sets? ; There is no alternative, and will hardly be ever I think. But if there was, I hardly think it will be better.


If you have enjoyed this review and want to say thanks, the best way is to click in one of the advertisings in the blog. Every little help will be appreciated. 






PAINTED EXAMPLES

I haven't painted mine yet, but if you do, please send me pics to tam_cob@hotmail.com and I will include them here!

At the moment, I don't know if they have been painted yet by anyone! Be the first on the net to show them!








Thanks for reading, and see you in the next battle!

Airfix RAF Air Sea Rescue Launch boat 1:72 A05281 R.A.F.

Today we review a entirely new subject to this blog, a 1/72 boat, the RAF Rescue Launch from Airfix.

Let's see the box arts;




The original one. Personally, not very good, it deforms the shape of the boat, ok, it is to give sensation of "speed", but this would be fine for a comic-book, not so much for model kit box art. 



As with nearly all Airfix models, in the 80s they decided it was better to actually picture the models instead of box art. In this case, the kit was very nicely built, and it turns out really well. This is the one I bought back in 1998.



And finally, 34 years later, it is considered that mankind hasn't evolved so much, and the same artwork than in 1979 is reused,  just adding a realistic sky, which gives a quite sloppy effect. Certainly Airfix doesn't want to spend too much in unnecessary things. Even the number on the boat is not valid anymore, as Airfix has changed the numerals.



THE KIT - 9.0 out of 10.0 >>

This is a kit of good detail, very good really if considering it was first made in 1979. It has no major inaccuracies, and it builds into a very nice and good looking model.

As negative points, I would say that the machine guns do not stick out enough from the turrets, and that as the turrets are given a rotational movement, the side machine guns and cannon in the back should also have a rotating mechanism (which I had to make myself with tons of problems back in that day)

Probably the worst error in the model kit is that the side machine guns are way too tall. Their own men as provided can't use them in a proper way, as they should be;



All the same, this can be very easily solved by trimming the pole.

EXTRAS - 8.0 >>

 
The 4 crewman are a very good extra, even if one or two pilots struggling or being rescued would have been perfect. It also includes a inflatable boat.

POSSIBILITIES - 2.0 >>

Not much to do here, besides making a commando version, or maybe a captured one by the Germans.


PRICE/VALUE RATIO - 7.0 >>

It averages between 15 and 20 pounds on eBay. It is quite a big model, but not too cheap, considering that there not many more parts than a twin-engine.


HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE - 6.0 >>


The historical importance score is determined by how many were built, and how much operational service they had, and how much influence they made on the conflicts in which they were involved.

70 boats were built, and they saw plenty of usage throughout the war.

OVERALL - 7.0 >> 

There are not many 1/72 naval model kits out there, and much less kits priced at affordable prices. This is one of them, a kit that will please and interest both aircraft, naval and general ww2 kit builders.

In one phrase; one of the triad from Airfix boats. A true classic.



If you've liked this tutorial and want to say thanks, one way is just to make a click on the advertising below, that will help me buy modelling materials and dedicate more time to the blog and less to work!






IMAGES OF FINISHED JOBS 

(What? You have built this model? I'd love to include the pics here in this section so everyone can look at it. Just email me at   tam_cob@hotmail.com    !)











Model kit made by myself. .
                                                     
  Until the next rescue mission!!!



Friday, December 6, 2013

Tutorial; HOW TO MAKE A STONE BUILDING in 1/72 for WARGAMING and DIORAMAS How-To

Welcome to my fourth video tutorial, this time something that will be useful to all wargamers and diorama makers, making realistic stone buildings. 

As always, you can follow this tutorial with some of the most basic elements you can find; clay easy to find everywhere (if you live in a suitable area, you could even get it from nature) and cardboard (you could also use transparent plastic, but it would not bond together so well).

Hope you find it useful;





See finished pics below;



If you've liked this tutorial and want to say thanks, one way is just to make a click on the advertising below, that will help me buy modelling materials and dedicate more time to the blog and less to work!





















Thursday, November 28, 2013

Esci Revell Italeri Vietnam War NORTH VIETNAMESE VIETCONG army 1/72 soldiers figures

Today I will make the first review of a modern era set, the Vietcong!




Here is the classic Esci box, quite nice, but a bit dull and lacking the force that theme deserves.


Same artwork, in the ERTL era.


This is one of those sets that has also been released by Revell. The artwork is interesting. It is a good idea to represent while fighting in a crop field. But the quality is quite low.

And well, this is probably the worst. I actually had to convince myself "forget the box, there are nice Esci figures inside", maybe, without counting the Caesar Trojans, the box that has put me more off buying something. Thanks to Plastic Soldier Review, I knew they were very nice figures. If you analyze it coldly, it's not a so bad artwork, but it seems more a modern Chinese army set, forgetting the deformed man in the foreground, which seems he has half a torso.

As a curiosity, in Italy it seems that many Esci sets were sold by A-Toys in this type of packaging, being exactly the same. If they were done with authorisation or not is a mystery.















THE FIGURES - 9.0 out of 10 - (50 figures, 16 poses)

I keep the innovation determined in the last review of separing the figure score;

Detail; It depends on what release you have. If you have the original Esci, it is standard high quality, but in the Italeri reissue the detail is slightly "blurred". Maybe it is the hard plastic used, or just the moulds are old. Anyway, all releases have a minimum quality, which is high still in our days.


Poses; Good, with some more imaginative than the typical Esci, but with several omissions and strange choices. We are lacking prone figures! Nearly all Esci sets have them, and curiously, this set that would need several has none.

Also, without explanation, we are just given one grenade-thrower, as if it was something very special. There aren't any mortar troops either.


Finally, at least two poses are very similar to others (the two men running are practically identical, just with differences of clothing/equipment.The same with the two poses moving with kalashnikovs) that could have given more exciting poses.


The man asking for help, and the man giving it, is a very unusual never seen again pose. Sure, Esci have done more or less the same thing (soldier helping wounded) a zillion times, but not in this way. However, it is not clear if he is being dragged, at the point of being pulled or what, but it doesn't look natural either way.

Anatomical proportions; As usual with Esci, nearly perfect proportions. Height is ok too (thank god they are not basketball players, as other oriental soldier sets). Maybe they are a bit fat, as some would be very skinny.


Execution (how the company has made the figures); simply perfect. Flash is absolutely non existant. Zones without detail are very few and perfectly tolerable.

Plastic used; it depends on the release. Esci has a very flexible plastic very bad for painting and gluing, and Revell and Italeri has a hard plastic very good for painting and gluing.


HISTORICAL ACCURACY - 9.0

This set is really a mixture between professional army of North Vietnam and the rebels.But really  needs much more representation of the rebel part.In other words we miss several civilians wearing various typical vietnamese  costumes.

Also, some man should have been wearing the big fisherman conical hat, and instead something similar is done but much more smaller and rounded.

ARMY REPRESENTATION - 6.0
"The army representation score is the potential of the soldiers to be used for other purposes different to the one originally intended"

They can be used for other oriental modern armies, or simply oriental rebels, but as many are wearing sandals or go bare-footed, only some will be ok to convert them into regular armies. 

With some modifications they would make good Cambodjan, Malaysian or Timor rebels, or North Korean troops.


FUNNESS - 6.0

"I feel that many reviews are oblivious to this point - there are fantastic figures, which you can´t say anything against, but they are just too "correct", maybe too static, and so just boring. So I feel that this is an important point when deciding if you buy a set"

The Vietcong is a fun theme, and Esci did very well to make every soldier different , but much more could have been done. Men digging tunnels , preparing explosives for sabotage, snipers, stabbing with knifes, opening their way through the jungle with machetes, setting up mines, even children with grenades! 

The subject allowed it and encouraged it all, and we get a very dull set instead.


WARGAMING VALUE - 6.5

Not very good wargaming value, they could have done at least a general, or some officials. All the men are fighting which is good, but we miss staff.

PRICE-VALUE RATIO - 8.0

"The price value ratio of this soldiers will vary between every shop you go, and the best I can do is judge by their average price on eBay and online stores"

At an average 10 € for 50 figures, the value is good. These figures might be old, but they are not any worst than the most recent releases.




OVERALL VALORATION - 7.7

If you were born before the 1990s, the Vietnam War was everywhere in series, films and books. It is an powerful and famous theme, such as Vikings, Cowboys or Spartans. This is a good set, above average, but not fantastic, and it was easy to get it right, better than what we have. But better not complain much, as there isn't any alternative made, and I can't see any manufacturer doing a set, as the Vietnam War is something quite forgotten now. We can only wait that HaT or a similar manufacturer gets interested in the subject and starts doing everything.

Conclusion; Good Esci set, but much more could have been done.

Would I recommend buying them over other alternative sets? ; Maybe, if it existed any alternative :) .


If you have enjoyed this review and want to say thanks, the best way is to click in one of the advertisings in the blog. Every little help will be appreciated. 






PAINTED EXAMPLES

I haven't painted mine yet, but if you do, please send me pics to tam_cob@hotmail.com and I will include them here!

Here there is some examples I found painted on eBay;














Thanks for reading, and see you in the next battle!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Revell HORTEN IX 229 (Gotha Go 229) 1/72 model kit Review nÂș04312 (04329)

Today we review a kit I've just finished to build (so I have fresh in my memory it's flaws and strong points) the Horten IX;

Let's see the box arts;




This is the first box art, in which it appeared in 1994. I remember at the time being very impressed, and considered impossible that this was something out of WW2. It certainly gives a very modernistic look.




Here is the new artwork, (the kit is the same, they have just added the decals). I don't find this artwork so appealing, basically because it seems that the artist has based on the model kit rather than on the real plane. This normally won't be a problem, but in this case the kit looks a bit different than the real thing. And, if you fix your attention on the wing on the right, you will see that the balkankreuz is "floating", having a different perspective than the wing. 

THE KIT - 7.0 out of 10.0 >>

The kit is made up to good standard and technology, as there isn't any flash whatsoever, and all detail is very crisp, panellings well detailed, good interior finishings, very fine and realistic undercarriage, etc. `

But I find that the overall dimensions of the central aircraft (the cockpit and engines) is slightly too small. If you compare with the pics of the real thing, the engines in the model nearly don't stick out the wing , and in the real aircraft they seem much bigger.

The instructions are not very clear as to how the undercarriage plates need to be glued, I have determined they have a slight inclination.

Besides this, the cockpit makes quite a poor fit, it seems that it has been made to build the model with the open cockpit. 

One of the strange things is that even if they give you some parts for the interior, they leave a gap behind the control panel, where there should be cables and other gear, it is just empty. the Interiors in kits are always  a bit neglected, but Revell having done some of the structure, it just looks strange from outside to see the control panel unplugged to anything.

One of the good things is that Revell gives you the option to build the kit without wings, as it was captured by the Americans. So it gives the detail of the cannons inside, but they haven't done the inside of the engines, so it is a bit "half-done".

EXTRAS - 6.0 >>

 
You could count as a extra the interior of the cannons, so not a too bad valoration here. 

A pilot is not provided, and the cockpit, as all modern Revell cockpits, seems made for 1/76 figures at best. Revell sells a set of german pilots with reduced dimensions to allow you to fit them, although this is a hardly realistic solution, and admits the problem. Worst is with the RAF Pilots, which are absolutely gigantic (more like 1/70). What I have done myself, is as I don't have yet the Pilots and Ground Crew: German Airforce WWII set, is to get a tiny old Airfix pilot, which is nearly absent of detail, and glue a head with mask from the RAF set which I've got, and it gives a nice result if carefully done.

POSSIBILITIES - 7.0 >>

Well, the real possibilites are limited; it is reduced to the prototype that flew and later crashed or the one that was captured. But of course such a theme sparks a lot of possibilites as "what ifs" the Horten had entered into full production and combat.


PRICE/VALUE RATIO - 6.5 >>

It costed me 13 € in a model shop, if you hunt through the auctions in site like eBay you can find it cheaper, but it will probably cost you around 10 £. Not too cheap for a tiny model.


HISTORICAL IMPORTANCE - 3.0 >>


The historical importance score is determined by how many were built, and how much operational service they had, and how much influence they made on the conflicts in which they were involved.

In WW2 it's impact was zero. But it probably affected the course of aeronautic history, as it was evaluated by the Americans and British, and probably it's revolutionary design inspired later aircraft.

OVERALL - 7.0 >> 

It is at least a kit of a airplane that did fly and was built, which is more than other Revell kits such as the Flitzer. And it certainly looks revolutionary compared with all other WW2 aircraft, before painting, it seems more a Star Wars Naboo starship than anything else. Before buying the kit, I was thinking it was quite bigger, and it ends up being a bit small, for the price you are charged.

Is there any alternative you will ask? just the Pioneer Models kit, quite old and with some heavy inaccuracies, although they have gotten better the proportions of the cockpit and engines, but they misplaced the later ones. And it is quite rare and expensive too.

In one phrase; the design says it all. A must  for aircraft enthusiasts.



If you've liked this tutorial and want to say thanks, one way is just to make a click on the advertising below, that will help me buy modelling materials and dedicate more time to the blog and less to work!






IMAGES OF FINISHED JOBS 

(What? you have built this model? I'd love to include the pics here in this section so everyone can look at it. Just email me at   tam_cob@hotmail.com    !)
































Model kit made by myself. Pilot is a conversion of an Airfix pilot with a Revell pilot set head.
                                                     
  Until the next raid!!!



Tuesday, November 19, 2013

HOW TO MAKE WATCHTOWER Tutorial 1:72 Wargaming Diorama Scenario creation

This is my third video-tutorial, this time how to make a fast watchtower (it took me 15 minutes, with practice, and in factory mode, you can do them as fast as chips) and I hope I have improved about the other ones. I've made clearer, faster (x2 speed) and made sharper pics in the end. 


Thanks to the collaboration of the Byzantine soldier, the Varangian guard and the Alan archer who will remain anonymous to pose for the final pics :) . 

Hope you find it useful;




See finished pics below;




If you've liked this tutorial and want to say thanks, one way is just to make a click on the advertising below, that will help me buy modelling materials and dedicate more time to the blog and less to work!