by: Darren Baker [ ]
Tamiya is often overlooked when it comes to models these days as it seems to be a spent force. With everyone having their new favourite manufacturer, and Tamiya not really competing against the new boys in town, a lot of their products fail to be seen. In this review I will be taking a look at a set that is of use to the diorama makers out there, the 1/35th scale livestock set.
This set consists of two white plastic sprues which are packed in a sealed clear polythene bag, and come in an end opening box with the construction and painting instructions printed on the rear of the box.
This set consists of five domesticated animals and one which I class as a game animal.
Included in the set are;
1 adult female pig.
2 standing chickens.
2 nesting chickens.
1 adult Alsatian.
A puppy of unknown breed.
2 dead hares/rabbits.
The adult pig consists of 4 parts which are;
2 body halves
The adult pig looks reasonable but the head in front of the eyes looks to be an odd angle to me. I do accept that there are a host of different breeds of pig and so I may just have missed this one. Proportions are acceptable with a scale height of 32 inches, which is a little short to my mind, however as I said I dont know what breed this is. There is a very fine patina on the pigs body which will easily be lost if the paint is too heavy. Having scanned the box more closely the pig is identified as a Landrace sow, which the model does seem to depict. Some pictures are included of the real animal in order that you can decide for yourself.
The 3 piglets only consist of 2 body halves and are unfortunately all identical, they are however a good scale and have good detail considering their size. The piglets will look right when displayed with the sow as it has been depicted with swollen teats. The mouldings are free of flash, moulding seams, and ejector pin marks.
The mule consists of 5 parts which are;
2 body halves
The mule looks reasonable proportion wise, with a scale height of 60 inches to the top of the head. The depicted stance is of a relaxed animal and the stance looks to me to be realistic. The only negative is the complete lack of texture on the skin of the mule. The moulding is first rate as far as there is a complete lack of flash, moulding seams, and ejector pin marks.
Chickens and Geese:
The 2 standing chickens are cock birds which are moulded complete except for the 2 feet. The detail is good and texturing is fair considering the size, the proportions look right with the only downside being that both cocks are identical. It is worth mentioning here that some British units have a cockeral as their unit mascot.
The two sitting hens also are well detailed, again with reasonable detail imparted to the plastic, the flat bottom half of the hens will require some work to hide but is not impossible to achieve.
The chicks do not live up to expectations as they are to my mind way too big to be accurate as chicks and the wrong detail to be juvenile chickens. There is no texture rendered to the chicks and so I feel these are unusable if realism is your goal. The eggs included in this set are of a reasonable size if a little large, the shape is correct and will add that little touch that can make all the difference.
I really like the two geese as everything about them looks right from size, shape, detail, and scale. The only downside is again that they are both identical and so will not look good or natural together.
The Alsatian, consisting of two body halves, looks good but a little short, that is no great problem though as dogs can be of various sizes and there is nothing to say it is not a young dog. The texture imparted to the moulding is fair if a little light, but careful painting should result in a reasonable finish.
The pup is also well proportioned but is a little soft on detail, it will I believe help give a relaxed feel to a diorama if depicted on a soldiers lap or beside him being petted.
The two dead rabbits/hares should look good either hung or laying on a bench, another idea I had was to show them tied to opposite ends of some string and thrown over the great hunters shoulder. Scale wise these look good with a reasonable muscle tone depicted, they do however suffer from a complete lack of texture on the skin.
All aspects considered I will not hesitate to recommend this set to you all, as it has a host of uses to bring a diorama or vignette to life and adds a lot of eye catching possibilities. Animals and food items are often neglected in dioramas and vignettes, and if you think about soldiers at war when not performing a soldiers duty they are usually eating, drinking, or sleeping. Yes this set has its problems but nothing that is insurmountable and it does go some way to addressing the lack of animal life rarely seen in a vignette or diorama.