Saturday, September 14, 2013

Esci WWII RUSSIAN Soldiers 1/72 set 203 Italeri 6057

We continue the WW2-themed reviews, but this time it's a set of soldiers which we are going to review. The Esci Russian Soldiers!

This is the original box. Typical Esci stuff, with a man portrayed very near and the rest in the background. Quite good and all poses are really included inside (only exception the crouched machine gunner).

This is the box of Italeri's reissue. I don't know why the "Rifle Forces" logo is there, just because there are so many riflemen? The artwork is depicting more action, but the colouring is a bit strange; they seem American infantry in the Pacific. The soldier outside the artwork looks strange and fat.

SCULPTING - 9.5 out of 10

These soldiers are very finely sculpted, with the usual perfect lifelike proportions Esci used to make. All detail is sharp, although, for example, I have my set bought in the mid-90s where detail is a bit blurred and not so sharp as always with Esci, and I have received some examples from eBay that were older and seem much sharper, so I assume that the originals had very good sharpness and the mould started to deteriorate with the years. I have no idea how Italeri's reissue is.

These soldiers can be found in grey, military green, and a sort of tan-egg colour and probably more.

The poses are well chosen, maybe the mortar-man looks a bit silly holding two projectiles and looking at the camera at the same time, or the man throwing the grenade shouldn't lift his foot, but the rest are very lifelike and correct. 


You can't go much wrong with a subject that is 100 % researched, the maximum you could do is go wrong with pouches, weapon proportions, etc. And this time, Esci keeps the proportions very well , much better than usually when it gets a bit carried away with the firepower and gives too many machine guns. 


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

In WW2 is hard to reuse soldiers, and in this case, impossible besides reusing the horse.


This set has very high funness . First, it gives a woman with a radio, which is both historical and a neglected subject by other manufacturers. Also, we are given a cossack with his horse, and although some people would prefer a cossack set and to leave this pose outside this one, in those days there wasn't a cossack set, so it was a good addition. As always, you have a leader, although strangely there is no unique man in this set (not that he is so much needed in a so standarized  army, but maybe a general and a officer would have been better). The Maxim guns are also a very nice addition.

Finally, there is the odd man holding his gun up, a bit like surrendering, or maybe celebrating, or simply drawing the attention of friendly troops from a distance. 

Maybe the most important thing that is lacking are some snipers, but representing in a general way the Red Army,  this is an absence that can be understood.


As we have commented, it has a very nice balance. The Cossack and its horse will be of little use, but you can always use it as a supply unit adding sacks to the horse. 


"The price value ratio of this soldiers will vary between any shops you go to, and the best I can do is judge by their average price on eBay"

46 men and two horses maybe looked a few compared with other Esci sets, but now it is a perfect quantity. You are also given 3 Maxims. You can get it shipped for 7 pounds, and  at a similar cost in shops. If you keep alert on eBay, you'll find them second hand under the Esci name for even half this cost .
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The Esci as always are slippery and flexible, a nightmare to paint and keep painted. The Italeri reissue solves this with their hard plastic. It is your choice if choose the sharper detail of the old Esci ones or the harder plastic of the Italeri reissue.


A very fine set, some of the best sets Esci made. And I frankly believe the best Red Army set on the market still. The Red Army in winter dress of Italeri is a interesting set, but it doesn't cover fully the subject and has some flaws (that will be commented in a future review).

In one phrase; simply a must have, after all these years, for any wargamer/collector interested in WW2.

Thanks to Gabriel, a superb painter and modeller, for giving permission to use pics of his painted figures.

Make any comment! We´ll love to read it! If you want to share your painted version of this set, send a email to tam_cob@hotmail.com with the subject "Painted Soldiers" and I will include them in this post.

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

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Airfix FAIREY BATTLE 1/72 AO3032 RAF Aircraft Battle of Britain

Welcome back to my reviews! after a long time and a summer break, it is time for more model kits. We start with the last kit finished this summer, the Fairey Battle of Airfix.

Let's see the box arts;

Here is the first one, the classic. It depicts a nice and vibrant action, with a bridge over the river Meuse on the background.

The next one, in my opinion is a bit poor, and has a weird perspective which makes it look strange.

I normally like Airfix early 90s boxes, but the kit made clean straight out of the box looks a bit silly. The undercarriage looks awful. It really puts me off buying it.

To me the winner is the last one (for once, I prefer the modern thing!) . I like very much  the mediterranean scenario, with the small Fiat's in the background, with the Greek markings, it creates a different theme. The only bad thing is that the 3d used to make the box art (or, at least, part of it) makes it a bit "unreal".

THE KIT - 3.5 out of 10.0 >>

This is a very old kit, and inaccurate as well. Airfix dresses a prehistoric kit with a supermodern box art, but the kit is the same as you could buy 40 years ago.

Besides the lack of small details, and small inaccuracies typical of early models, this kit has two gigantic errors; it has a short nose and wrong tail shape. You need to add 4mm of length to the nose, and reshape the tail. I haven't done this as I am not a perfectionist, but it looks strange and just by sight you can notice that the engine is way too short.

The only difference between this kit and the first release is the inclusion of two modern pilots (for modern I mean the ones released in the early 80s or before!).

Other problems include the undercarriage being massively thick, the propeller just fits in the two halves of the fuselage without detail nor anything that avoids the propeller rattling, and the poor fit of the rear canopy, which is also incredibly wrong and weird.

EXTRAS - 7.0 >>

  For your money you have 2 pilots and 4 bombs, which is good enough.


You'll hardly escape the mickey-mouse, but at least you can make a interesting turkish, greek or belgian version, besides the always colourful yellow trainers-target towing aircraft.

You can look here to see further camouflages;
Pics extracted from Scale Aviation Modeller International.


It costed me 10 € in a modelshop, thanks to Airfix retail distribution, you can find it nearly anywhere. If a toyshop has model kits, it will definitely have Airfix, and with a bit of luck this model too.You can buy it from eBay for around 9 £, but if you search a bit around and you buy a older version which will be the same with better moulding
 (except the nice Greek markings) you can surely get it for 6 or 7 £.


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.

It did affect the war, albeit if probably negatively on it's side (I am a detractor of the plane, one of those who think it was utterly inefficient). The production was very big (2,185), but few of these were operationally used.

OVERALL - 6.0 >> 

This is a good kit if you like to spend hours improving it, or if you are a beginner it is not a very complicated model, without many small pieces, and pretty easy assembly. If you want a nice finish without tons of work and a doubtful result, you better get the MPM kit, although when you see it in pics it doesn't look so different, but it will be certainly much easier and examining it carefully you will see it has much more detail (just compare the propeller vosp). The bad thing about the MPM is the price (double or triple the Airfix) and it's scarcity.

In one phrase; a kit quite like the real thing, with many errors and shortcomings. 

(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 (I added the antenna cable. The rearwheel broke before the photo session and I am still searching for it, so that is why it is not present!)
                                                          Until the next bombing mission!!!