by: Pat McGrath [ ]
Although we have, at last, some British AFV crews in Plastic and more promised, there’s always room in my stash for more. The subject of a crewman carrying a fuel can has been tackled before by other resin companies but this offering from SKP is a worthy alternative.
The figure comes in a ziplock bag inside SKP’s usual silver box. Again I have to say that the box art does not do the figure any justice. Cast in a blue grey resin, the figure consists of four parts: the main body including legs, the head, two separate arms and the left hand attached to the “Flimsy” fuel can.
At 52.5mm height from sole of boot to tip of beret he is quite tall for a 1/35 figure scaling out at just over 6ft, so let's say 5'11" without the beret.
He wears the P37 fly fronted battledress with pleated pockets, with the collar turned up at the back, and top three buttons open over a collared shirt. He wears no webbing and the cloth waist belt is well sculpted with good buckle detail. The field dressing pocket and large “map” pocket are nicely detailed. He wears web anklets, though these lack any buckle detail. The arms are well done with no molding seams that I could find. The hand holding the flimsy has good detail as does the can itself. The handle is very delicately cast and requires careful handling - as usual with any delicate resin parts I managed to snap it off.
The head, wearing a beret with a good representation of the RTR Cap badge, is the best I’ve seen from Skp with no flaws and is as good as any other resin head I’ve seen.
I removed the pieces from the molding plugs with a sharp razor saw and cleaned them up with a hobby knife. The figure is well cast with no seam lines on the outside that I could find. Between the figure’s legs, however, the mould seems to have been misaligned resulting in strong molding lines which need a lot of clean up. I did this with a brand new number 11 blade, but the position of the molding lines makes this tricky. I left the large moulding plug at the figures feet in place for ease of handling when painting.
The head is a perfect fit to the neck socket. It is when I tried to fit the arms that I ran into problems, as they don’t fit snugly to the body. The top of both of the arms fits nicely to the shoulder, but there is a gap at the bottom of the arm socket. The gap on the left is not too big, but the one on the right is quite large. To get rid of this without filling with putty I would have to sand away at the top of the arm which would make the arm stand out unnaturally from the body. I simply glued the arms in place leaving the void to be filled later. Looking back I should have placed a small blob of putty on each and squashed the arms into place and then cut away the excess, but the gaps should be simple enough to fill.
When I came to fit the left hand I found that there wasn’t enough of a wrist to make a good strong joint with the cuff socket which is quite deep. I drilled a very narrow hole in both the hand and cuff, and used a wire pin to strengthen the joint. As I said earlier I managed to snap the fuel can away from the hand. It was a clean break and I simply used CA glue to fix it back in place. I glued it back at a bit of an angle which makes the can look empty..... this of course was done on purpose (not)!
The good thing about having the hand cast separately is that it makes it easy to replace if you don’t want your crewman holding a can.
Despite the tricky clean up and gaps at the shoulders this is my favorite figure from Skp so far. He’s very versatile and with a little work and imagination can be used to represent a British or Commonwealth soldier from the beginning to the end of WW2. Replace the hand holding the gas can with an empty hand and he could be a prisoner. Give him a hand holding a Thompson or a Sten and he could be an SAS trooper or a Para.