by: Mario Matijasic [ ]
Paracel Miniatures is a small aftermarket company producing 1/35 scale figures and accessories covering the war in Vietnam. Although all their sets so far were sculpted traditionally, the company recently decided to take a leap into the future and enter the world of 3D rapid prototyping, digitally developing two very interesting sets of 1/35 scale crocodiles.
This review covers both Crocodiles, set 1 (AN3501) and Crocodiles, set 2 (AN3502).
Each set is packed in a hard cardboard box featuring a small box art image, with two zip-lock bags safely securing pieces for building two crocs. The pieces are nicely cast in cream resin; there are no casting imperfections and all the details of the sculpts have been faithfully transferred to resin. The casting blocks are placed on the lower side of the animals, ensuring no detail is lost in the cleaning process. However, I would suggest being extra careful when removing the blocks as these can snap easily and damage legs or tails of these beasts.
Crocodiles, set 1 (AN3501) includes 3 pieces for making two crocodiles in 1/35 scale: one of the crocs is delivered as a single piece affair, while the other consists of a full body and the lower jaw provided separately. The lower jaw fits well and requires only minimal putty work. The first croc is depicted swimming, its body and tail fully extended, front legs tucked to the side and hind legs slightly splayed out acting as stabilizers. The second croc is depicted arching its body and long tail, with the jaw open, possibly to face the danger it sensed.
Crocodiles, set 2 (AN3502) includes 4 pieces for making two crocodiles in 1/35 scale: both crocs are supplied with a separate lower jaw. Again, the pieces fit nicely with no obvious gaps between them. Although the fit is great, some modelers might want to go the extra mile and rescribe the texture of the skin scales after joining the pieces. The first croc is posed with the body and some of the tail held slightly off the ground, which could depict a walking posture, while the other is basking with its mouth slightly open in a process called “gaping”which is a lot like panting and helps to regulate its body temperature.
The crocodiles have been digitally designed by Romix44. Being a biologist I could probably tell you the animals in this set look more like alligators (judging by their shorter U-shaped snout), but that is not of particular importance here… these reptiles definitely look very realistic. The crocs in this set feature nicely sculpted armored skin texture with oblong bony scales arranged very regularly in rows on the back, elevated into tall keels on the flat tail. Croc heads look good as well, with the elongated snout and rows of teeth well defined. The crocs in this 1/35 scale set are 9 - 11 cm long, which equals to about 3 - 4 m in real life. I would say the scale is OK, as crocodile size and morphology differs somewhat between species, as well as between males and females. Being social reptiles, crocodiles can group in river sections for feeding and basking, so I think all these crocs can even be used together in a diorama.
Crocodiles, set 1 (AN3501) and Crocodiles, set 2 (AN3502) are the latest additions to Paracel Miniatures catalogue. Both sets are absolutely great and each provides two crocodiles in 1/35 scale. Sculpted using 3D technology and nicely cast, the crocs look very realistic with all their characteristic features nicely rendered. With some paint on, these reptiles could very well become focal points of many vignettes and dioramas.
After producing two amazing sets of crocodiles, I really hope Paracel will continue to release new stuff in their animal line… water buffalos, river birds, fish or smaller mammals.
My thanks to Paracel for these review samples.