One of the major talking points of the year was the Tamiya
announcement of a new Mk IV Male WW1 tank. To accompany the tank Tamiya
have provided a 5 figure set of attacking British Infantry. The set is also available under product No 35339 as a separate item and this is a brief look at what you get.
The set comes packed in the standard Tamiya
type large figure box. On the front is a coloured picture of the 5 figures included in the set, along with product and manufacturers details. On the reverse are the build instructions in colour picture format. On one side of the box are pictures and text identifying the various bits of equipment and on the other similar pictures identifying the weapons provided in the set. If you open the bottom end of the box there are 6 small signs for use in a diorama whilst the top end opens to display marking for the Officers tunic.
The set is cast in grey plastic. The parts are all clearly numbered and correspond to the picture diagrams on the reverse of the box. You get one large tree with the figure parts and two small trees of equipment parts. The set offers the making for 1 Officer and 4 soldiers for the WW1 period. This is an action type set of figures with an Officer with a pistol, a charging Infantryman with rifle and bayonet, a kneeling soldier firing a rifle, a prone Lewis Gunner and a soldier kneeling with the rifle in his right hand.
So let’s have a look at the individual figures and kit.
The Officer – Figure A, Part 1 on Box Rear
The officer consists of 6 basic parts, the head, arms, upper torso, lower torso and legs, all separate items. The left and right hands also separate items; the right hand holds a revolver whilst the left carries a swagger stick. An officer’s cap is provided to add to the head or you could choose one of the 2 types of steel helmet provided in the set. An empty revolver holster and a water bottle from the equipment set complete the build parts with the option of adding a gas haversack carrier if you wish to. It’s worth noting at this point that there is also a holstered revolver in the equipment set so with the change of a hand you will have a slightly different version of the figure.
The detail on the uniform is quite well done although fainter than you’d get on a good resin figure. The collar and tie are depicted under the jacket. The folds and creases in the uniform look natural and the outline of the officers rank is carried on the jacket cuffs. The Sam brown detail is not that well defined so you might need to do a little work there and on the small pistol ammunition pouch attached to the belt, but if you add the gas haversack most of this will be covered up.
The cap lacks a cap badge but is nicely done as are the pistol in the hand and swagger stick. The half head is reasonably good with the mouth shown open in an O shape and sports a very thin moustache.
The pose is of an Officer walking forward with the pistol outstretched in his right hand and looking at the picture I feel altering the head and arm positions slightly will give a more natural look. The revolver is nicely done.
Kneeling Infantryman firing rifle– Figure B, Part 3 on Box Rear
The basic figure is made up of 6 parts, the head, upper torso, lower torso and legs and separate arms. Again the hands are separate. It depicts a soldier in 1902 uniform and 1908 webbing in a kneel position firing a rifle. Detail on the uniform and webbing looks quite good, the ammunition pouches on the webbing are moulded to three parts of the body, more later on those. Missing of the shoulder straps are the rear buckles that the large pack threaded into. The hands are nicely done and separate items and the face is acceptable although no chin strap for the helmet is shown. The putties and boots look quite well done and the figure would appear to have a natural kneeling pose with the left arms supporting the rifle resting on the raised left knee.
Equipment for this figure comes from the ‘Y’ tree, consisting of back pack, bayonet/entrenching tool, SMLE, water bottle, entrenching tool, and gas mask haversack. Either a covered or uncovered helmet can be added.
Charging Infantryman – Figure C, Part 2 On Box Rear
This figure consists of 6 basic parts as above with the exception that this time the hands are moulded to the arms. Again ammunition pouch detail is spread across 3 parts. Dressed in 1902 uniform with 1908 webbing the figure depicts a running/charging soldier rifle held to the right. Basic uniform detail looks quite good, as do the putties and the boots. The half head shows the mouth open in the beginnings of a yell.
Again equipment is drawn from the ‘Y’ Tree. A SMLE with bayonet attached, is provided for this figure, as are side haversack with part bayonet scabbard and entrenching tool handle, water bottle, entrenching tool, and choice of helmet. A gas haversack can also be added if desired.
Lewis Gunner – Figure D, Part 5 on Box Rear
Again consisting of the same basic parts figure D give you a British Infantryman in the prone position firing a Lewis Machine Gun. In this case only the left leg needs added to the body along with the arms and head. The arms have the hands moulded in place and the jacket cuffs are nicely slid down the arm appropriate for the position of the arms.
Dress is appropriate jacket and trousers with skeleton webbing the figure has good detail with nice folds and creases in the uniform. The half head has a look for grim determination on the face and can be finished with either of the choice of helmets. The putties and boots look well done too.
The Lewis gun comes on the equipment tree but you get an additional two Lewis Gun ammunition pouches as separate items on the ‘Z’ tree.
Equipment from the ‘Y’ tree comes in the form of choice of helmet, small back pack, respirator, water bottle, bayonet in scabbard with entrenching shaft and entrenching tool. In this case the buckles for the rear haversack look to be in place on the webbing.
Kneel/crouching Infantryman – Figure E, Part 4 on Box Rear
This time you get a keeling Infantryman, with the right knee raised at 90% and left arm touching the ground. In the right hand is a SMLE part resting on the right knee. Of similar make up to the previous figures 6 basic parts make up the figure with the necessary equipment coming from the ‘Y’ trees. The overall detail looks quite good; again hands are attached to the arms. I’d have preferred to have seen him as the gunners mate with Lewis gun pouches attached but he will work equally well as a replacement or general infantryman.
All basic equipment needed is supplied on they ‘Y’ tree.
Equipment - Tree Y x 2
You get two equipment trees, consisting of
- 4 x SMLE with bayonets
- 4 x SMLE without bayonets
- 6 x water bottles
- 6 x entrenching tool carriers
- 6 x gas mask haversacks
- 2 x Lewis Guns
- 6 x plain steel helmets
- 4 x Covered steel helmets
- 2 x trench caps
- 2 x Bayonet scabbard with entrenching tool handle
- 2 x Bayonets in scabbards with entrenching tool handle
- 4 x small side haversacks with part bayonet scabbard and entrenching tool handle
- 2 x small back haversacks
- 2 x figure stands
- 2 x pistol in holster
The SMLE rifles are very nicely done, the water bottles lack any side buckles and the choice of helmet style is a welcome one. The bayonets and scabbards are nicely detailed as are the pistol holsters. The gas-mask haversacks have the two front studs but no side detail and the side haversacks have the part bayonet scabbard and entrenching tool handle but shown unfixed at the bottom. The entrenching tool carriers also look well done. As a bit of a bonus 2 trench caps are provided to add yet further finish options for the heads. The Lewis gun is made up of 4 parts and looks to be a fair representation of the real weapon. It comes with a magazine and the two magazine pouches mentioned above on the figure tree. My initial thoughts were that the gas-mask haversacks were a little long but I’ll see how they look when the figures are built.
All in all a very pleasing set of equipment that will leave you with some spare rifles and guns for other projects.
This is a very welcome set of WW1 action type figures. The poses and general appearance look good, although I don’t like the stance of the officer, too upright compared to the others. If you add the respirators you will need to add some straps, and the lack of buckles on the water bottles is a bit annoying.
You have a good choice of finish with the weapons and equipment and you’ll still have some very useful spare items. The uniform detail looks good. Given the stance of the figures I can see why they moulded the ammunition pouches to the figure bodies but I would have preferred these as separate items especially as you have extra pistols in holsters and the Lewis Gun ammunition pouches.
All in all a very useful set of figures and equipment I’m looking forward to building and developing. The addition of the WW1 signage on the inside bottom flap is a nice touch.
One last point about the equipment set is that it could equally be used for BEF Troops or the early days of the desert war which is handy.
The figures used in the review are from the set that came with the Mk IV Tank. The only difference in them that I can see is that those in the separate box are of a darker grey plastic. On closer inspection some of the ammo pouches are a bit blob like and I dropped the rating accordingly.