Master Box "Famous Pilots of WWII" in 1/32th Scale (MB 3201)
This is a very interesting set (and I not all that interested in aircraft/Pilots) but it is surly a have to have set for aircraft builders in 1/32nd scale.
First off let me say that I am in no way an authority on Aircraft, Pilots or Uniforms for pilots, but I will do my best. This set comes with a nice booklet that gives a brief history of each of these famous pilots in English and German.
During World War II many countries took to the air and fought in the skies over Europe, Africa, Asia and any one of the bodies of water that boarder them. This is the 1st release by Master Box of 1/32nd scale figures and I am looking forward to see what the next set will hold. This set holds six (6) figures of famous “Aces” of World War II.
This figure represents the famous Japanese Naval Ace of the Asian and Pacific Campaigns, the figure looks great and they give you two sets of flaps for his helmet (one with the ear flaps down and one with them blowing in the wind. (I think that it's a nice touch). His uniform looks correct. Find some good reference photos, if you don't have any, You can use the art work on the front of the box as it shows him with a green life vest and not a khaki one like the figure painted on the back. I have seen their gloves painted leather brown and black.
James “Johnny” Johnson:
This figure represents the famous British RAF Ace who fought during the “Battle of Britain” and in the European Campaigns, (who also lead Canadian RCAF personnel). The first thing you notice is that he does not come with the dog. It would have been nice, but it didn't seem to be a deal breaker with this set. Again, get some good reference pictures. The art work on the front of the box shows him in RAF blue and that is the way he should be painted. The back is showing him in a leather jacket (which is the figure that you will get), although the British did have a leather cold weather jacket, this appears to be more like the US Bomber jacket (and could very well be the British style)? The problem I see is the RAF uniform jacket should be sticking out below the cold weather jacket, and his uniform should be painted blue vice green (Unless the Canadians used a green uniform that I don't know about)?
The highest scoring Soviet Female Ace who fought on the Eastern Front Campaigns. I really like this figure, it seems Master Box hit a home run with her. The art work on the front of the box and the painted model figure on the back are spot on. I would like to know the exact color of the patch on her left arm? (Once again I admit that I am not all that up to date on pilots, insignias and their equipment).
Ira “Richard” Bong:
This figure represents the US Army Air Corps Ace who fought in the Pacific Campaigns and is really nice too. The art work on the front of the box is a perfect image of him and his uniform (right down to the cigar, which comes with the figure). The painted figure on the back has his leather jacket (something I don't think I've ever seen a picture of him without) painted to match his uniform. Again I can only recommend you have some good reference information to use while you are painting them.
This figure represents the famous German Luftwaffe Ace who fought in Spain, France and on the Eastern Front. Once again the art work on the front of the box is outstanding (although It appears that he might have worn a black leather flight jacket too)? The figure painted on the back of the box might be correct, but I don't know that the German Luftwaffe had black wool in their jackets? Again I cannot stress having good reference material.
This figure represents the famous French Ace, who fought in Russia with the Soviet Air Forces under the French “La France Combattante”. It would appear that the art work on the front of the box is correct again. Although I'm sure that they might have replaced the pants with ones like the figure on the back of the box with Soviet made pants if they had to?
Contains 1 sprue with 49 pieces that have no flash.
It has six 1/32nd scale Fighter Pilot figures: One Japanese Naval Pilot, one British RAF Pilot, one Soviet female Pilot, one US Pilot, one German Luftwaffe Pilot and one French Pilot.
The uniforms and equipment look accurate (except as mentioned above) and two have sidearms.
Conclusion: It appears that Master Box has another big hit on their hands geared towards the 1/32nd scale aircraft builders. I would really love to see them come out with more aces sets and maybe even a set with pilots sitting in their respective aircraft (Not with their hands on their laps). Even a flight crew (US, Japanese and British Naval carrier flight deck crew) US, Japanese, British, Soviet and German ground crews for each theater of the war would be great too. This would give you the chance to make endless diorama's.
The uniforms and equipment are covered in numerous books, so information on these units should not be too hard to find.
My “Build Review” for Lidia Litviak is done and is already posted in the “figures section” and is highly recommended for anyone who enjoys 1/32nd scale figures. I would like to thank Alexander Surzhenko of Master Box Models for the review kit.