Author Topic: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916  (Read 941 times)

Offline Dave W

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Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« on: July 18, 2020, 11:26:46 AM »
MASTER BOX – BRITISH INFANTRY Somme 1916



Reviewed by David Wilson
Kit # 35146. Produced by Master Box Ltd, Ukraine
http://mbltd.info/
Scale: 1/35th
Price $A 22.50 plus postage; £12.99 in UK .
Stockist: Available from quality model retailers world wide
Contents: Plastic parts for five figures



Comment:
The 100th anniversary of WW1 worked as a stimulus to revitalise a neglected side of the hobby- the land war. While aircraft modellers enjoyed a renaissance, the range of armour and figure models was sparse.
Fortunately the Centennial has kick started an increased focus on 1/35 scale armour, armoured cars and figures to enhance displays and dioramas.
Among the leaders has been Ukrainian company Master Box Ltd. Whose catalogue is somewhat unique as it covers figures from both world wars, plus an esoteric range of figures in various scales covering subjects such as the American Civil War, Zombies and even a futuristic “Mad Max” type world.
Master Box’s 1/35th military range is impressive and its WW1 issues cover six sets of figures.
This review deals with a five figure set depicting British infantry in the Somme battle period of 1916. Four rather war-weary soldiers are briefed by their officer in a scene that could be a stand alone diorama or form part of a wider scene.





The figures are sculpted by A. Gagarin and detail is quite nice – not the fine detail you get with resin but for $A22 you get five figures so it’s a real bargain.
The figures are on two sprues packed in an end-opening box. Figure assembly instructions  and painting details are on the box with colours usefully keyed to Vallejo and Lifecolor paints.



Mould quality is good and after some clean up the parts assemble easily. The set includes the soldiers’ weapons for .303 rifles and a Lewis gun are included.




A real appeal with the Master Box range is how the figures can be mixed and matched with others or adapted to different dioramas.
For example I used the officer from this set to be a central figure in my WW1 entry for the Forum’s WW1 diorama group build.



 
There’s debate on whether 1/35th scale figures can be used around 1/32 scale aircraft or vehicles. It’s for each modeller to decide but I find the scale difference barely noticeable – mindful that the average height of combatants in WW1 was apparently shorter than people today.
There’s also the trick of visual perspective- place the 1/35th scale figure slightly to the back in a diorama and it appears as if the figure is a bit further away which actually lends depth to the scene.
The Master Box range of figures is excellent because the figures are sculpted to be part of a story rather than just posing in front of an aircraft. As such they can be adapted to any WW1 land war scenario.

Conclusion:
Highly recommended.

Our thanks to Master Box Ltd for the review sample. Please support the businesses that support our Forum.

Owner and Administrator of ww1aircraftmodels.com and forum.ww1aircraftmodels.com

Offline MikeNZ

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Re: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2020, 06:28:48 PM »
Dave appreciate you taking the time to review these fellows.
You’ve convinced me to grab a set.
I’m going to do some work on different plastic figures sets to see what is possible with a bit of extra work.
See if we can land something like Collector figures.
I’m also keen to encourage others to use these as an entry into figures - a scary project for some.
I like variety of poses & equipment.
Also agree it is possible to use with 1/32 aircraft if carefully consider viewing perspective.
MikeTheKiwi

Offline Bonehead

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Re: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2022, 04:00:26 AM »
"There’s debate on whether 1/35th scale figures can be used around 1/32 scale aircraft or vehicles. It’s for each modeller to decide but I find the scale difference barely noticeable – mindful that the average height of combatants in WW1 was apparently shorter than people today.
There’s also the trick of visual perspective- place the 1/35th scale figure slightly to the back in a diorama and it appears as if the figure is a bit further away which actually lends depth to the scene."

I have been a full-time professional figure sculptor for over 35 years now. I have been a model builder for even longer than that. As a figure sculptor, making figures that go together with models has always been my forte. The mixing of scales by modelers has been going on forever. I suppose if you are a causal modeler, then such considerations may not be an issue. But I have always strived for "realism" in both models and figures. To my mind, realism entails a mindfulness to relative sizes and scales, among many other factors.

As for figure scales and relative sizes, manufacturers are all over the map. I do figures in both 1/35th and 1/32nd scales. The relative sizes of the figures in these scales is, indeed, not greatly differentiated. I take 50mm as an "average" size for a man in 1/35th scale. For 54mm I take 54mm as my average. Indeed, I do make figures shorter and taller than these sizes, so these are rough guidelines. Many manufacturers use different "averages" for their figures. For instance, my 1/32nd scale Model Cellar figures do not work with those of Kellerkind. The Kellerkind figures average about 5 feet to 5 feet, six inches in 1/32nd scale. My figures average about 5' 10" in scale. They look ridiculous together. Furthermore, my heads are a bit larger. So, even within scales, compatibility is tenuous at best.

When you start adding in different scales to this, the differences can be quite extreme. The things that most clearly indicate figure scale are heads, and equipment. Heads do vary in size among individuals. But overall, they vary much less than say, the overall height of a figure. With equipment, well, it is in scale or it isn't. These sizes should not vary at all (even though they frequently do!).

Caveat emptor. If you are into realism at all, or scale conscious like me (as I must be in my profession), then mixing of scales should really be avoided. I am sorry, a 1/35th scale support vehicle looks ridiculous with a 1/32nd scale airplane. It is too small and noticeably so. With figures this can vary more, either in your favor or against it. But, I feel, it is always best to stay conscious of scales and sizes. Realism demands it. That is my opinion at any rate....

As for forced perspective, I have seen this used very effectively, especially in box dioramas where the viewing angles are carefully controlled. In an open diorama, not so much. Building a diorama with smaller scale models "in the distance" can look pretty good from the front of the diorama. But turn the base around and the thing just looks ridiculous from the back.....

Mike

Offline pepperman42

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Re: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2022, 12:41:09 AM »
Thanks Mike. As many members of this board are very well versed in the size/proportions of machines vs figure size I think we too can spot the discrepancy between the two. It's a tough row to hoe. 1/35 figures being released gives the aircraft modeler ideas "I just have to remove pockets" or "I just have to change the hat" etc. and that's where the failing lies. Fortunately the 1/32 aviation figure field seems to be expanding but the vehicle situation is definitely pretty lean. Some old Lindberg, Revell, Monogram or Pyro cars are out there but they're a bit difficult to find. After that it's resin and suddenly the support vehicle is costing more than the aircraft model you're building. Diorama builders may commit to the cost but many aircraft modellers, who just wanted a little something to add more interest, pass. Border Models has gone the opposite route and have released 1/35 aircraft but the large scale "purists" seem to be frowning on them. Interesting dilemma but since you are an experienced figure maker I can only ask you to keep going!!....if only Tamiya had got it right back in the day...."it's not under scaled it's...1/35 yeah...1/35"....

Steve     
« Last Edit: July 25, 2022, 01:10:05 AM by pepperman42 »

Offline gedmundson

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Re: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2022, 10:24:19 AM »
"There’s debate on whether 1/35th scale figures can be used around 1/32 scale aircraft or vehicles. It’s for each modeller to decide but I find the scale difference barely noticeable – mindful that the average height of combatants in WW1 was apparently shorter than people today.
There’s also the trick of visual perspective- place the 1/35th scale figure slightly to the back in a diorama and it appears as if the figure is a bit further away which actually lends depth to the scene."

I have been a full-time professional figure sculptor for over 35 years now. I have been a model builder for even longer than that. As a figure sculptor, making figures that go together with models has always been my forte. The mixing of scales by modelers has been going on forever. I suppose if you are a causal modeler, then such considerations may not be an issue. But I have always strived for "realism" in both models and figures. To my mind, realism entails a mindfulness to relative sizes and scales, among many other factors.

As for figure scales and relative sizes, manufacturers are all over the map. I do figures in both 1/35th and 1/32nd scales. The relative sizes of the figures in these scales is, indeed, not greatly differentiated. I take 50mm as an "average" size for a man in 1/35th scale. For 54mm I take 54mm as my average. Indeed, I do make figures shorter and taller than these sizes, so these are rough guidelines. Many manufacturers use different "averages" for their figures. For instance, my 1/32nd scale Model Cellar figures do not work with those of Kellerkind. The Kellerkind figures average about 5 feet to 5 feet, six inches in 1/32nd scale. My figures average about 5' 10" in scale. They look ridiculous together. Furthermore, my heads are a bit larger. So, even within scales, compatibility is tenuous at best.

When you start adding in different scales to this, the differences can be quite extreme. The things that most clearly indicate figure scale are heads, and equipment. Heads do vary in size among individuals. But overall, they vary much less than say, the overall height of a figure. With equipment, well, it is in scale or it isn't. These sizes should not vary at all (even though they frequently do!).

Caveat emptor. If you are into realism at all, or scale conscious like me (as I must be in my profession), then mixing of scales should really be avoided. I am sorry, a 1/35th scale support vehicle looks ridiculous with a 1/32nd scale airplane. It is too small and noticeably so. With figures this can vary more, either in your favor or against it. But, I feel, it is always best to stay conscious of scales and sizes. Realism demands it. That is my opinion at any rate....

As for forced perspective, I have seen this used very effectively, especially in box dioramas where the viewing angles are carefully controlled. In an open diorama, not so much. Building a diorama with smaller scale models "in the distance" can look pretty good from the front of the diorama. But turn the base around and the thing just looks ridiculous from the back.....

Mike

Mike - I couldn't agree with you more, and myself can't turn a blind eye to scale equipment/vehicle/aircraft miss-matches. I'm just working on the Model Cellar 1/32 figures of Lothar, Manfred & Moritz at this time, then I read your post. I know that the sculpts have the two men slightly different heights, and appreciate the effort you put into your research, and getting just the right look to your 1/32 creations.
Cheers,
Gary

Offline Bonehead

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Re: Master Box British Infantry Somme 1916
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2022, 09:57:39 AM »
Thanks Gary!   8)