This set from MasterBox
depicts four German infantry personnel in the act of milking a cow or drinking from their mess tin, included with the infantry are two cows and a goat. This is one of MasterBox’s latest releases and an in box review was done by Jim Rae, a link to which is at the end of this review.
I will start by covering the figures as a whole. The figures are well equipped with fair to good detail throughout. The hem of the jacket is made of separate parts which creates some appealing undercuts. The figures are all in relaxed poses with three of the figures being depicted with their sleeves rolled up. One criticism I have is that where bare heads are used on some figures the top of the head looks very flat, but this is overcome to some extent by very well done faces, which while not up to resin standards, they rank alongside some of the best injection moulded faces to date. The faces all have clearly defined features with well defined mouths, and effort has been made to provide a cheek structure as opposed to just a general face shape. It should be mentioned that the hands are also of a good standard considering the material used.
Clean up of the figures will take some work, as mould seams are very evident in places, especially where they go up the side of the neck, over the ears, and then into the hair detail. Sprue connection points on some pieces are a pain and they could have been better placed on areas such as the bare arms and mating surfaces rather than the rolled up sleeves.
Part assembly is straight forward and should provide a reasonable join in most cases. I did struggle with the jacket hem on the standing figure shown drinking, as I just could not get a good join all the way around. The part I really like about these figures, and MasterBox’s figures in general, is that the equipment where applicable is shaped on the inner area to allow a very good join.
The cows included in this kit are good in that both cows are different, rather than taking the approach of just duplicating the parts, and the stature of the two cows is also different with one being taller than the other. Unfortunately the assembly of these cows is not the greatest and does not live up to the quality of the figures.
The two body halves really could do with some locating lugs, as without them lining up the halves takes a bit of trial and error to get right. Next I moved onto the neck and the two parts of the head. The heads go together perfectly with very little effort and are well detailed, connection to the neck however does not go as smoothly with the mating surfaces as one of the heads is larger than the neck. Upon joining the neck to the body I also found the join to be so-so, especially in comparison to the quality of MasterBox’s current figure releases. Lastly the udder and tail was added to the two cows, with the tail on one being very poor and the udders on both appearing to be nothing more than an afterthought of the sculpter.
Moving onto the goat, which is also female and so could be shown being milked as well, the texturing is excellent as is the head detail. The goat does however suffer from some of the problems of the cows, but to a lesser degree due to consisting of less parts. The body halves go together reasonably well but the neck halves which are part of the same moulding refused to go together cleanly, resulting in an open gap at the front of the neck just below the head. The head does fit well to the neck with the gap present, and so I believe there may be a problem with the mould. I, however, feel the goat is the best of the three animals included with the set.
Despite the obvious problems I had with the animals, I feel MasterBox has taken a step in an interesting direction with this set, and I am sure the animals in future sets will improve as MasterBox continues to improve. I believe that with some work these animals are not beyond help and will also start to show up in dioramas.
While on the subject of the animals I cannot help looking at the cows and thinking something is wrong, but I cannot put my finger on what it is. The figures in this set are excellent and should be a considered purchase for that reason alone. The fit and the stance of all the figures is between good and excellent, and despite some heavy mould seams will make their way into various dioramas I am sure.
In-box review of this set