In-Box Review
British Tank Crew
Abbey Miniatures - British Tank Crew in Pixie Suite
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]

This is a look at the second set of figures from Abbey Miniatures. As previously mentioned Abbey Miniatures is a product brand name for some recently released ex-Resicast figures that have been acquired by SB Models.

The Crew Set
The figures come packed in a double zip bag with a paper insert containing a colour picture of the completed figures and outlining the new manufacturer's details. The set consists of two half crew figures and one quarter-size figure. The figures are cast in a light grey resin and appear free from and damage or cause for concern

This set was previously reviewed by Pat McGrath and having read Patís review I concur with it entirely. The figures in this new production have lost none of their original detail. I have included an extract from Patís original review about the Pixie suit that I felt was very appropriate and useful.

The Pixie Suit:
The pixie suit was a lined, buff/tan colored one piece cold weather overall suit issued to AFV crews. Despite being heavy to wear it was very popular with the troops. It had seven external pockets and also had two full length zips running down the front and along each leg allowing easy removal, and also easy access to wounds if need be. It came with a detachable hood. There is a good series of colour photos from November 44 showing a tank crew dressed in Pixie suits on the Imperial War Museum website-the photo reference numbers are TR 2566, TR 2568, TR 2570 and TR 2571.

Patís original review can be seen here.

So let's have a look at the figures:

1st half figure - Tank Commander
Figure one depicts a Tank Commander and consists of 3 parts: half body, head and two arms. The figure is dressed in a pixie suit with a camouflage scarf. Around the waist can be seen the pixie suit belt, over part of which sits a '37 pattern belt. The belt hangs down to the RHS of the figure. The brasses are present on the belt both front and rear. The detail on the pixie suite is excellent, the suite has nice folds and creases, with the pockets and fastenings being particularly well done. There is a large pour plug on the bottom of the figure and you may choose to remove this or not depending on how you wish to place the torso.

The head and arms are also very well done. The head shows the face of a young man wearing an AFV crew helmet over a set of headphones, and with a pair of goggles sitting on top the AFV Helmet. Detail on the face and helmet looks very good. No chin strap is visible.

The arms, which are separate items, also have nice uniform detail with the cuff fasteners present. The right hand holds a microphone and is designed to show the arm raised towards the mouth, The left arm is designed to rest on the side of the cupola.

You will need to add some wire from both the headphones and microphone, but other than that the clean up should be minimal, depending on whether you remove or leave the pour plug. You may also need to add an ammo pouch or the top of a pistol holster to the '37 pattern belt if this is visible.

2nd half figure Ė Crew member 1
The second figure is again a half figure representing a crew member wearing an AFV helmet and Pixie suit with his arms folded. The figure comes in two parts, consisting of a torso with arms moulded integrally, and a separate head. The uniform is again nicely done and the pose a natural relaxed-looking one. Again part of the pixie suit belt is present the rest being and covered over by a '37 pattern belt. Again the belt hangs down to the RHS of the figure. Attached to this belt on the RHS is a small ammo pouch. The uniform has nice folds and creases and parts of the breast pockets are visible under the folded arms. The neck of the Battle dress is shown this time rather than a camouflage scarf.

The head is nicely done with the face of a mature tanker and sports a neat little moustache, and there's a lock of hair showing under the front of the AFV helmet. On top of the helmet are a pair of goggles.

3rd figure Ė Crew member 2
The third crewman is a quarter figure in two pieces consisting of head and torso. The torso ends mid chest and has a large casting plug. Again he's dressed in a Pixie suit with a camouflage scarf around the neck.

The head shows the face of a crewman wearing an AFV helmet and goggles over the eyes. The chin strap is present and the helmet unadorned. The detail is again very good.

I have never been a great fan of half and quarter figures, but that doesnít mean they donít serve a very useful purpose when looking to crew up a tank or armoured car, and in some cases may have a distinct advantage. This set are very well done, with good sharp uniform detail and natural-looking poses. The heads also have excellent detail and overall make for a very handy crew that should paint up very well.

You will need a sharp razor saw if you choose to remove the pour plugs but these may actually assist in placement within the vehicle. Remember normal safety precautions apply when working with resin.
Highs: Excellent casting and detail
Lows: None
Verdict: Highly recommended
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35002
  PUBLISHED: Aug 19, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

Our Thanks to S.B. Models!
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 Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


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