In-Box Review
British Troops, Caen, 1944 in 1/35th Scale (first-look)

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


Masterbox is one of those companies that is gradually getting a well-deserved reputation for imaginative releases. Although it can be said, that one or two of their recent releases have followed 'well-trodden paths', this new set certainly shows an imaginative approach to a subject which other companies would be well-advised to take note of...

The subject..

3512 - "British Troops, Caen, 1944", is a hard-styrene, four figure set of British Infantry in summer of 1944. The set consists of the four figures on one sprue inside an attractively designed box. Painting instructions are given on the reverse along with the assembly instructions. The four figures are:

Two figures wearing berets

One figure with Mark II steel helmet

One figure wearing the Denilson (camo) smock with woolen cap-comforter (watch-cap)

All the figures are (substantively) correct for either Royal Marine or British Army Commando units - as the two fought side by side, there is little problem with combining the two units!!

Masterbox' figure set..

On first-examination, there are some mould lines present although, the moulding is good (if a trifle on the 'soft' side). There is a considerable amount of equipment included with this set...


Undoubtedly, the most welcome inclusion in this set, are two British 'Bergens' along with two haversacks. Sadly, the Bergens bear little relation to the actual subject, being too narrow . Nor is the representation of the (standard) toggle-rope entirely convincing - some replacement would be desireable. The rest of the equipmemt is, in general well-done. The level of casting from Masterbox has improved considerably.


Only three weapons are included - a Bren LMG, a Mark 1(number 4) Lee-Enfield and a Sten Mark II. The weapons are well-moulded and correct although perhapsthe addition of weapons from other sets would be desirable.

Figure Poses:

The four figures are well-posed and come in good, relaxed postures. The variation in headgear could be further enhanced by replacement sets from Hornet or others. Good definition in the uniform details and the heads are pretty good with some nice 'individual' touches.


Apart from a few reservations I hold over some of the equipment , the general impression I have of the set, is that it is, in general, good. It would, in the case of this set, be absurd to comapre this with what is now 'Industry Standard - DML's GenII sets as so far they gave done no allied figures in this series. What I have done, is compare them to the earlier DML (British) sets and they do hold up very-well indeed. Far superior to the Tamiya British infantry for example. They COULD have been improved by more variation in uniform (leather jerkins) Mark III helmets and a re-doing of the Bergens. Masterbox would be well-advised to continue with this set and do a series of British Commando sets - technically, they are more than capable as they are now gaining much more expertise with the vagaries of plastic moulding. A good set, very welcome for British modellers indeed, which with some good research and enhancement should produce an impressive series of figures...


Further details/acknowledgements

Firstly I would like to thank Alex Surzhenko, Director of Masterbox Limited for supplying this review sample.

Secondly, evaluation of equipment and uniforms was (principally carried out using The British Soldier From D-Day to VE-Day - Volumes 1 & 2 which are published by Histoire & Collections and should be in the library of every Allied Modeller....

This new (about to be released) figure set from the Ukrainian company Masterbox covers one of the most sought-after subjects for Armor/Diorama modellers - British Commandos. Strangely enough, this is a subject which has been virtually ignored by the figure manufacturers, and, as such, will be widely welcomed although with some slight reservations....
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3512
  Suggested Retail: Variable
  PUBLISHED: Dec 26, 2005
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to Master Box Ltd.!
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 Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


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