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1/32 US Navy / Marines Fighter Pilot - Tropical


nmayhew
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US Navy / Marines Fighter Pilot - Tropical
 

Master Details
Catalogue # 32035
$17.25 available directly from Master Detail

 

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Master Details make resin detail and upgrade sets for 1/32 aviation, including figures. I have not used their products before, or indeed seen any first hand, so this is very much first contact for me. The subject here is a WWII American pilot, who can be either from US Navy, or US Marine Corps. With the recent announcement of Tamiya's 1/32 F4-U Corsair, and its use by said Marine Corps, this would seem to be a very timely release.

 

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First things first, we have one figure, but with two possible head options. The heads are cast in white metal, everything else in grey resin. The torso and legs are cast as one piece, with separate arms. Per Master Details, the figure features the tropical short uniform with early 'Mae West' life preserver, officer shoes and web belt with holstered .45 calibre pistol and magazine pouch.

 

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The quality of casting on the resin parts and detail depicted is very good. I have a fair amount of experience with Alpine Miniatures' resin figures in 1/35, and I consider these the industry benchmark. I would put the resin details here as very good, to an Alpine's excellent.

 

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The figure is depicted with right hand in pocket and left hand on the holstered pistol. The right arm ends at the wrist, with the hand not being visible. The left hand's position makes him almost look like a Wild West gunslinger in my mind - but given the holster is still buttoned up perhaps that's my imagination?! In reality, I can imagine this figure being displayed on his own in front of his aircraft, or maybe positioned talking to other pilots / groundcrew (if you can find other figures to match - they are rather thin on the ground).

 

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So far so good, but now the heads: they are a big let down. I am not sure I agree with Master Details decision to use white metal here. The medium is just not as suited as resin in my opinion for the rendering of complex shapes and sharp detail. I really think they would look better in resin.

 

As mentioned above, we get two heads: one is plain with officer "ball cap" and one is ready for flight with 1092-S summer flying helmet and Mk. II goggles.

 

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The goggles are cast 'hollow' – I did some digging on the Master Details website and found that they suggest filling the depressions with clear epoxy; I have never tried this myself, but I can see how if you get it right the effects would be very good. Talking of their website, I think they need to add some decent quality pictures of their figures – on the basis of what is there I really couldn't make a purchasing decision.

 

Conclusion

This is the first Master Details figure I have seen up close and it is a mixed affair. The subject matter is interesting and certainly very timely, whilst the resin castings are worthy of praise. However, I can't help feeling that the use of white metal for the heads lets everything down. I am undecided as to whether I would buy this with my own cash; and if I did, I would be inclined to see if there was maybe a 1/35 head from Alpine that I might get away with, even though it would not be a true pilot's head.

 

High quality resin body; metal heads could be better

 

With thanks to Master Details for the review sample. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

 

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