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Built Review
135
Coffee
Coffee
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by: Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]


Originally published on:
Historicus Forma

Introduction:

NATO in Miniatures started expanding their portfolio with modern figures depicting Bundeswehr, British, Russian soldiers and even Military Private Contractors... however, US Army figures are still the spearhead of the company. The latest US Army kit released under NATO in Miniatures label has a slightly different atmosphere to it… Coffee (USA-016) is a 2-figure kit showing a civilian man offering refreshment to American soldier.


The review:

The figure kit arrived in a well designed and firm cardboard box. The box is printed in ACU pattern, features nicely painted box art picture, but it does not list sculptors or the painter... Being a reviewer of modern figures for so long, I think I can identify the work of two different sculptors: Dmitri Shevtsov (US Army figure) and Michael Varlamov (civilian figure), while the box art painter is Dmitri Baev, the owner of NATO in Miniatures himself. 3 zip-lock bags containing resin parts are additionally protected inside polyfoam wrap. The kit is made of 9 parts:

US Army figure is composed of:
- full body with legs and head
- left arm
- right arm
- weapon with right hand
- helmet,

while the civilian figure is composed of:
- full body with legs and head
- left arm
- right arm
- kettle.

The parts are molded in grey resin. I found no casting imperfections; no air-bubbles or seam lines to clean... absolutely perfect. The assembly of the figures is pretty straightforward and the fit really good. Small protrusions and holes help in positioning the parts properly so I had no difficulties building the figures. The only problem was extremely fragile kettle handle; it is cast together with the right arm and is really difficult to clean without breaking it into pieces. I would definitely replace this part with some copper wire... not just because of the better and rounder appearance of the wire compared to the resin, but also to add some extra strength to the bond between the kettle, the handle and the figure's fist.

The US Army figure wears Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and Interceptor Body Armor (IBA) with ballistic collar and groin protector added. The MOLLE equipment is sculpted on the body armor and includes: M4 magazine ammo pouches (5x), FRAG grenade pouches (2x), triple pistol magazine pouch, several utility pouches, radio pouch with remote collar microphone and camelback hydration system. The figure also features tactical dump pouch for accommodating spent magazines and drop leg holster secured to the belt, knee pads, tactical gloves and combat boots. The Modular Integrated Communication Helmet (MICH) with goggles inside protective cover is cast separately.
The figure is armed with M4A1 carbine fitted with Rail Interface System (RIS) and several SOPMOD add-ons goodies attached: RIS handguards, AN/PEQ infrared illuminator, Aimpoint optics and tactical forward grip.
The figure is sculpted to the highest standard, it is posed naturally with perfect anatomy. All the uniform and equipment look great, but it is the small details where this figure really shines: PALS webbing, boot laces, coiled radio wire, camelback drinking tube... Dmitri Shevtsov has definitely done another great job for NATO in Miniatures.

The civilian figure is wearing casual sweater and pants. He is nicely sculpted and his clothes look good, as well as the face sculpt. However, I have some issues with the way the figure is holding the kettle and pouring the refreshment into the cup. The kettle is pretty far from the cup and it becomes obvious the figure is actually pouring the coffee into something which isn't a part of this kit. I'm thinking of adding a new cup to American soldier's left hand... I feel the small conversion would definitely work well as it would connect the two figures better.


Conclusion:

"Coffee" is a really nice figure kit, designed to show a peaceful moment with the civilian man offering refreshment to US Army soldier. Well posed, perfectly cast and extremely easy to build, the US Army figure is packed with details. The civilian figure is also very nice.

This kit is a cooperation between two sculptors with different sculpting styles and I feel the result is the lack of real interaction between the figures. Adding a new cup to the soldier's hand would help in establishing a better visual contact between two figures. Nevertheless, it is a great kit which offers something different from the usual action packed modern figures.


References:

http://www.globalsecurity.org/
http://www.special-warfare.net/data_base/index.html
http://world.guns.ru/assault/usa/m4-m4a1-e.html

SUMMARY
Highs: Perfectly cast and easy to assemble. The pose, equipment and details on the US Army figure look amazing.
Lows: Lack of real interaction between figures. Kettle handle is extremely fragile.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: USA-016
  Related Link: NATO in Miniatures
  PUBLISHED: Aug 18, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 93.37%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 90.69%

Our Thanks to Nato in Miniatures!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Mario Matijasic (Maki)
FROM: CROATIA HRVATSKA

You wonder how did this addiction start? I was a kid when my dad broght home a 1/72 Concord airplane; we built it together as well as couple of other airplanes after that. This phase was just pure fun: glue, paint, decals in no particular order... everything was finished in a day or two. Then I disc...

Copyright ©2019 text by Mario Matijasic [ MAKI ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice concept. Nice review. As for the the figures themselves, while well done for the most part, I think I'd be more interested if it were an Iraqi or Afghan pouring tea, as this probably occurs hundreds of times a day.
AUG 19, 2011 - 07:07 PM
Robert, I think the civilian actually depicts an Iraqi man. He's not in traditional clothes, which is a big plus in my book... Mario
AUG 19, 2011 - 08:08 PM
   

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