Stalingrad, Summer of 1942: Germans advancing rapidly with fluid front lines. The Stuka pilots depend on being able to locate the furthest advance of German troops by spotting the recognition flags that have been spread out by the advancing soldiers.
You cannot say that Master Box Ltd. hasn’t produced some creative and interesting figure sets over the last year or so. This kit continues in that line with a four figure set depicting troops signaling the ever present dive bombers the location of “friendly” troops (the title translates as “Stukas flying!”).
The kit consists of one sprue molded tan plastic with four figures and their weapons and kit included on this sprue. Two of the figures are kneeling while spreading out the air recognition flag. One is intently doing his task, while the other looks upward toward the sky. The other two figures are kneeling with one pointing skyward (presumably having spotted a Stuka) while the other readies a flare pistol as he looks in the direction his comrade is pointing.
Each figure is combat equipped with a K-98 rifle, bread bag, spade, canteen, gas mask canister and extra ammunition pouches. Two of the figures have the lower portions of the tunic separately molded in several pieces, Dragon “Gen2”-style. All the figures have rolled up sleeves exposing bare arms (it is summer of 1942). Six helmets are included, two with camo/cloth covers and four without.
Included in the kit are two small decal sheets: the first has a red air recognition flag with a blank white circle. The second small sheet has a German cross (presumably for folks living in areas where the swastika is illegal), and a two part decal that when put together replicates a swastika. I have never seen an air recognition marker with the German cross in a white circle on a field of red. Anyone who builds 1:32 aircraft should be able to get the “real deal” in the form of a vertical tail fin marking if you decide mating the two kit-provided decals to make a swastika is too much effort.
Yet another interesting theme piece from MB that can be worked into a larger diorama, or made up into a neat little "stand alone" scene. The detail is good and there is hardly any flash to be seen, but there are some pretty prevalent mold lines, particularly along the legs and boots. These should clean up relatively easily, but it’s always a pain in the neck when the line runs across folds in the pant leg. Still, in spite of the drawbacks of plastic molded figures, this kit still is very well-detailed, and with a little effort will make a great scene.
Highs: Yet another interesting theme piece from MB that can be worked into a larger diorama, or made up into a neat little "stand alone" scene. Lows: Lots of tedious clean up of mold seams in order not to mar any detail. Maybe a bit pricey for a four figure kit?Verdict: I will recommend this kit for the originality alone. Although it has the drawbacks of plastic molded figures, this kit still is very well-detailed and with a little effort will make a great scene.
About Charles Reading (CReading) FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES
I live in the mountains north of Santa Cruz California. I have been building now since the early 1990's when I rediscovered modeling. Most of my kits are built with dioramas in mind. I took a "creative block" hiatis for a couple years - 2011 to 2013. I wasn't active in the modeling world. During tha...