Monday, March 30, 2009 - 10:11 PM UTC
By way of an 'advance' here are images of Masterbox Ltd.'s first figure set of Japanese Infantry in 1/35th scale.
By way of introduction, a bit of background to this set. Masterbox were the company who effectively pioneered (in plastic), two different approaches. The first of these was the 'Vignette-in-a-Box' by this the company produced a series of 'linked' figures which served as the basis for a small diorama. The second innovation was to produce a series of sets for the same period/campaign. This was introduced in their Barbarossa-themed sets which consisted of a Soviet & German set along with a third which had troops of BOTH nationalities.

This set, is one of three covering the 1943 Tarawa Campaign. There will be three sets - one Japanese, one U.S.M.C. and the third containg figures of the two combatants. This is the first (Japanese) set:

3542 - "Japanese Special Naval Landing Force Tarawa, 1943"

This is a four-figure set covering Japanese Naval Infantry. As we have come to expect from the company, the level of animation is very high. Basically, what is being portayed is an infantry counterattack.

This set will feature in a FULL build Review shortly, meanwhile, as a 'taster' some images of the sprues and their contents.

My thanks to Masterbox Ltd. for giving me an example of the set!
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This kit and its two partners have been released. Pat or Jim, are you going to announce this? *whip cracks* *whip cracks* Chas
APR 26, 2009 - 04:21 AM
The rice sacks around the waist are a neat touch, but where are the mess-tins shown in the boxart? Not a major disaster, just a minor mystery. David
APR 26, 2009 - 05:22 AM
Figure I'd drag this back up. I am pretty stoked about this set and it companion sets and am vacilating about grabbing a set. As a japanese militaria collector is is neat to see some more japanese sets as so few have been released. The one reason I am hesitant is I have no experience with Master Box kits. I have only worked with dragon/DML (mostly) Tamiya (years ago) and a few resin figures. How does Master Box stack up? As far as the my initial impressions, I was also disapointed at the MIA rice cookers, though german ones are similar enough, I could use them with some modification. The tube carry all is a novel addition
JUN 21, 2009 - 09:05 AM
Very,very well indeed. They aren't without (like many manufacturers' products) the need for some cleaning-up. They have (along with MiniArt) become one of the leaders in figure sets - mainly because of a FAR more imaginative approach to subjects. In the last year or so, the quality has improved beyond all recognition - and continues to improve. Here is the link to ALL the Reviews of their sets we've published here:
JUN 21, 2009 - 09:36 PM
Just a quick note, These are available now, Saw them at Duxford.
JUN 22, 2009 - 03:53 AM
Are the flags on the rifles included in the set? If so, is the Hinomaru and assorted writing included? They look like a nice set of figures. Thanks for the announcement. "Q"
JUN 22, 2009 - 05:13 AM
Thanks for the feedback and the links. I went ahead and ordered the hand to hand set and the imperial marine set, I have a good bit of US marines on hand already so I opted out of the set of three. As far as the Hinomaru's go you could go to one of the japanese collector sites, such as gunboards(dot)com's japanese forum and look for some pics of simpler flags.Most didn't have huge amounts of writing, and alot were basic slogans.
JUN 22, 2009 - 06:30 AM
Hi I picked up all 3 sets at the Duxford show last weekend. On quick inspection they seem reasonably clean from any flash & have got some very nice detail . Waterbottle, rifles etc seem to be in scale. Have built a few MB figure's resently & have found that they build up to be very nice figure's. I have also found that the plastic used to make them is a little softer than the likes of Dragon. I like them & will be buying more especially if they keep adding sets of figure's that other comapny's dont seem to want to touch.
JUN 26, 2009 - 03:33 AM
I received the 2 sets I ordered (japanese marines and the hand to hand set) and on my first impression of them out of the box, I am not impressed, actually I am fairly disappointed. The quality of the figures and their details look good, but the devil is in the details and it is the weapons and equipment that bother me. The type 38 rifles are "okay" and having separate bolt handles are a big plus. In the Japanese Marine set one of the 4 type 38 rifles doesn't have a bayonet attached. While this option may appeal to some, it is not at all realistic for the set and its poses. There are very few situations in which a japanese infantryman would not have the bayonet attached, especially in a charge. If there were extra weapons this would be okay, but there isn't. The US Marines' M1s lack detail and look a tad chunky to me and may be replaced. I am undecided with the carbine, but it is also chunky. It was mentioned above that the mess kits were missing and they are. This stinks because they are illustrated on the box and if the soldier bothered bringing his pack, he'd likely have his messkit, but I will substitute some Geman kits. I haven't checked yet to see if the tube hold all was ever naval issue, but this could be debated and likely never proven one way or the other. I was delighted to see the proper Naval issue canteen on the box art and devestated to find standard army canteens with their distinct web carrier on the sprues. this kind of kills it as a japanese marine set to me. They are now standard army infantry and would not be on Tarawa, as it was a Navy garrison. The US Marines have the typical USMC issue crossflap canteencarrier, a nice touch that Dragon missed over the years, even in their vaunted Gen 2 set, even if they do have a bit of molding flash on my examples. On the USMC equipment some of the bottons are oddly missing. For those interested the flags are included as nicely done decals, though I am not sure how to employ them, they are there. Some things I did like were that MB molds the entire head and the helmets fits over it, (again my First MB kits, this may be the norm). So I am mixed, the quality of the kits as plastic figure kits go appears good, but the details shown on the box and missing from the kit or incorrect kill it for me. I would do an official review, but I haven't the gear at the moment for photos, I just wanted to share my feelings on the kits.
JUL 08, 2009 - 06:42 PM

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