by: Andy Herbert [ ]
I am building this figure set as part of vignette. The two paras are about to wax a dispatch rider and grab his map. I have a blog running over on Track-Link if you are curious. I'm painting the figures now.
I saw this kit soon after it was released, and picked it up for a good price on eBay. The kit comprises two British paras, one with rifle and pointing, the other with Bren gun. The figures are well molded, with little clean up necessary except for major sprue/plug attachment points on the weapons. All web gear, packs etc. are molded in place. Detail is very good, and they look about right compared to reference photos I have. Some undercutting of the bayonet scabbards and other gear helps improve things.
The rifleman has one major casting of head, torso and legs. The arms must be added. The left arm is molded with the hand separate (attached to the Lee Enfield rifle). The right arm is complete with pointing finger. The fit of the arms is good. There are two problems with this figure. First, the resin plugs on the rifle make it very difficult to free the rifle. The rifle is more slender than the gates, so guess what breaks first! A little superglue corrected the problem. Second, a real Denison smock has a piece of material on it that snaps over the crotch. This was used to tighten up the jacket during jumps. It appears troopers undid this flap to move around (prevent chafing etc!). This is represented as a slab of resin on the back of the jacket. It does not look like a piece of cloth hanging from buttons! On this figure this part is incomplete, on the other it is represented a bit better.
The Bren gunner arrives in four parts. The head, left arm minus hand, Bren gun with hands and right arm, and the body with legs. The pose of this figure is a bit exaggerated. The legs are spread way apart as if he is in motion or about to blast away with the Bren. Like the rifleman, the face is well sculpted with very nice detail. Just the eyes are a bit vague on each figure (you get an indentation with some detail, and you need to work the painter's magic to get good eyes). The Bren gun is deeply enmeshed in a resin gate. Mine arrived broken. Warriors/VLS sent me a replacement fast and free. Nonetheless, the barrel broke as I removed the resin plug, and the detail around the right hand and pistol grip are a bit of a mess. It looks like he has one extra finger from one side! I was able to repair the barrel, and I drilled out the muzzle to improve the look of the gun. The crotch flap is better on this figure than the other. The only problem this figure has in addition to those common to the rifleman is that the left arm does not match up with the hand on the Bren and the left shoulder. I tacked the right arm in place, then assembled the left arm to the hand, which resulted in a very poor join at the left shoulder. I used a blob of putty, and let the whole lot dry. Then I carved off about 2 mm of 'extra'; shoulder and made the shoulder joint look about right by carving the resin and putty. The left arm is now a bit shorter, but it does mate up with the hand on the Bren gun. I had to scrape off a corner of each of the ammo pouches to get better fit for the arms.
Overall, I really liked these figures in the bag, and they assemble into nice dynamic figures. Warriors appear to have settled on a pattern of supplying weapons/hands with very large resin plugs/gates. The figures lose one star based on the difficulties of getting a clean fit, and the hassles of dealing with those gates. The figures look like British paras, and match up well with the reference materials I have. Given the details, poses, and overall impression of the figures, I heartily recommend them.References: The British Soldier in WW2 Vol. 1, Bouchery, Histoire & Collections & Squadron's old British Paratroops in Action
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