by: Randy L Harvey [ ]
During every war there have been civilian witnesses and casualties to the conflicts. Most of them have been unwilling participants and witnesses to the horrors of war, however they were there none the less. Civilians have been present throughout military history and they will continue to be there on into the future.
Master Box LTD has released a set of four civilian figures which represent two adult male civilians and two children civilians, a boy and a girl, and a small wooded wagon (Telega). The kit was released in 2011.
The box that the kit comes in is the typical soft cardboard open end box with artwork of the figures by artist A. Karaschuk. The bottom of the box has the assembly guide, a photograph of the sprue, and a painting guide for Vallejo paints. The one sprue is sealed within a peel open clear plastic bag.
There is no separate instruction sheet included in the kit. There is only the basic assembly guide on the bottom of the box. There are no decals included in this kit.
The Painting Guide:
Included on the bottom of the box is a painting guide for a total of 28 Vallejo paints. Some of the other Master Box LTD figures sets have come with a paint cross reference guide for several different brands of paint. However that is not the case with this set. The paints listed are by number only. There is a color shown with the number but not a specific color name. I would have liked to have seen a better paint reference guide.
The kit comes with one tan styrene sprue which contains 48 total pieces. The sprue comes sealed in a peel open clear plastic bag. All of the pieces are attached to the sprue with a minimal amount of contact points. I have seen some kits where it seems like the sprues contain more plastic the pieces that make up the kit. However that is not the case with this kit which makes for easy removal and less clean up of each piece. When I examined the sprue I didn't find any bent, broken or missing pieces. The individual pieces are not numbered on the sprue. The only place they are numbered is on the bottom of the box.
As I examined the individual pieces I found what I would consider to be a normal to minimal amount of flash however there are very obvious seam lines present. I did not find any push out (knock out) marks on the individual pieces. I only found them on the sprue itself. The detailing on the individual pieces is nice and crisp.
The kit comes with two adult male civilians and two children civilians, a boy and a girl, and a small wooded wagon (Telega). I assembled all of the figures and the wagon (Telega) straight out of the box without doing any work on them to show all of the seam lines, flash and gaps. I felt this would be a good way to show the work required on all of them.
The figure is made up of seven total pieces. She is wearing a dress and a short sleeved shirt. She is also wearing ankle socks and ankle strap flat shoes. The detailing on the clothing, face and hair is nice. The girls crossed arms come as one piece as opposed to two separate arms. The arms do not fit that well to the body and will have to be bent slightly to make them fit correctly. I left them as they are to show the problem with the fit. The arms are lacking detail and I think they would have been better if they had been molded individually. The skirt portion of her dress comes in two separate pieces to give it more of a realistic look. The effect is nice however it does create gaps that will need to be filled. The box art shows the girl wearing rolled down socks and lace up shoes however this is not what is on the actual figure. There is very little flash present, however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good although there are gaps that will need to be filled.
The figure is made up of eight total pieces. He is wearing shorts, a jacket and has on knee high socks with ankle height lace up boots. The modeler has a choice of having the boy wear a soft peaked cap or a beret. The box art shows the beret with a pom-pom on the top of it however this is not present on the actual beret that comes with the kit. The box art also shows the boy’s boots as having an opening at the top of the tongue area, this is not present on the actual figure. One other box art mistake is that it shows the boy looking towards his left shoulder, again this is not present on the actual figure. The detailing on the clothing and face is decent. There is very little flash present, however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The figure is standing at an odd angle, I guess he could be positioned as if he is leaning and looking around something or someone. His hands are lacking detail. The main problem I have with this figure is the size of his head as it looks very out of proportion to the rest of the body. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled.
The adult male wearing the suit:
The figure is made up of eleven total pieces. He is wearing a three piece suit and dress shoes. He comes with the choice of a fedora style hat or a Jewish Yamaka. He is also using a cane and is carrying a package. The cane and the package are molded with the arms and are not separate pieces. The cane is the proper length as it touches the base correctly. The suit jacket has three addition pieces to add to the bottom of it to give it more of a realistic look. The effect is nice however it does create gaps that will need to be filled. I also had a problem with getting the three additional pieces to match up with the upper portion of the jacket. So some extra work will be required to make everything fit flush and look correct. The box art shows a watch chain on the vest however there isn’t one molded on the actual figure. The detailing on the clothing, face and beard is nice. There is very little flash present however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good, with the exception of the jacket pieces, however there are gaps that will need to be filled.
The adult male with the rake:
The figure is made up of eight total pieces (ten if you count the rake). He is wearing trousers, a shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a sweater vest, work shoes and a mariner style cap. The detailing on the clothing and face is nice. The box art shows the shoe laces and his hair sticking up and out as in a 3-D type of effect. That is on the box art only and not on the actual figure. The box art also shows the cuffs of his pant legs as being down to his shoes. The pants length on the actual figure is much shorter. The left arm comes in two pieces and I am not sure as to the reason for this. The wooden rake comes in two separate pieces, the handle and the rake head. The rake head has a hole in the middle that needs to have the flash removed before the handle can be inserted. Some of the teeth on the rake head are different lengths and are not all the same angle which makes for a very realistic look. There is very little flash present however there are very obvious seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good however there are gaps that will need to be filled.
The wagon (Telega):
The wagon (Telega) is made up of twelve total pieces and has nice wood grain detail. It can be used in virtually any European setting. It can be displayed as being used by civilians, soldiers or by itself loaded with military equipment, straw, milk cans, firewood, etc. It is a very versatile piece. There is very little flash present however there are seam lines which will need to be removed. The overall fit of the pieces is good with few gaps to fill. All four of the wheels have flash in the holes where the axles fit that needs to be removed. The front axle and the handle can be positioned in the modeler’s desired position. I managed to break both of the cross support pieces (part number 6) when I was assembling it, so they do not look straight. So obviously that is my fault and not how the actual pieces look.
The kit comes with two extra pieces. They are the spare hats for the boy figure and the adult male figure wearing the suit.
It isn't what I would call a perfect set of figures however for the most part it is a nice product. I would have no hesitation to recommend it to others other than I don't care for the boy figure. This set could be used to easily create a simple diorama. One thing I do not like is the deceiving box art. They might be minor details however I don’t like to see things represented that are not present on the actual item. The one thing that I really like about the civilian figures is that the choice of colors used when painting the figures is up to the modeler. As opposed to a military uniforms, there are no specific color guidelines for civilian clothing.