Classy Hobby released two versions of an M5A1 Stuart in 1/16th scale, and while I have not seen one of them I am also not aware of any complaints of these models. Classy Hobby have now released two 1/16th scale figures for these kits in the form of a Tank Commander and a Tank Crewman. 1/16th scale figures using injection moulded plastic can be questionable in quality and sometimes scale and resin offerings hurt the pocket, so let’s take a look at this release and see what we get.
This offering from Gecko Hobby is supplied in an end opening card sleeve with a flip top cardboard tray inside. There are two sprues in a plastic bag and a decal sheet plus photo etched element in a Ziploc bag. An examination of the mouldings reveals no obvious moulding issues, being clean and free from defects; there is some flash where the mouldings are very thin and so I can forgive that. The gates between the mouldings and the sprue are bigger than I like to see but removal and clean up was pretty much pain free.
The crew man is wearing the chest wader style bottoms, which I am lead to believe and told is cold weather uniform. These are being worn over a standard issue shirt as best I can tell. The jacket is the heavy cloth type which was another cold weather issue piece of kit for tank crews but became a general uniform item with elasticated waist and cuffs , features that were designed to help prevent catching your uniform inside the tank rather than just keeping out the cold. one visual aspect that appears to be missing is the pockets. The crease detail present meets expectations and so pleasing. Looking at the figure I have partially assembled gives me a positive impression of the figure.
The gloves worn are made of a material similar to chamois leather and have that distinctive yellow colour. The boots caused me some headaches to identify but are very good replications of the Dehnars Ankle Boot, these boots do not seem to have been in common use as images of them are like chickens teeth to find, these are brown leather to look at so no black here. Headwear presents you with a choice even if this is not covered in the instructions. You have an M1 helmet worn over a cold weather head covering or the standard M38 helmet, this was a light weight helmet designed to prevent against knocks rather than ballistics. Lastly a pair of goggles is provided and is a disappointment to me as they are not moulded in clear plastic.
The hand and face detail are a mixed bag for me as all of the detail is present, but in the case of the face the expression is dull and not showing any form of emotion at all which I do find a little upsetting. The hand and finger detail remembering that gloves are being worn are very good. I did a partial assembly of one of the figures to compare scale and checked it against an Alpine Resin figure. Height is good plus the head and hands are identical in size as best I can tell.
The difference is limited to mass as in the figure is more slight which is not a bad thing for tankers as smaller troops were better for tank units. The fit of parts is very good with the minimal of clean up being needed. I need a little bit of filler on the torso under the right arm, but it is a small area and realistically the location is hidden by the arm and Thompson MG. The Thompson while on the subject looks accurate in all regards and checking the barrel length and overall length I believe it to be spot on or at least within fractions of a mm. Creative Hobby has also provided a photo etched sling for the Thompson and a rear sight.
This offering from Classy Hobby is a very nice offering with everything needed for a complete figure. I cannot deny that I feel let down by the lack of expression on the face in this scale and the goggles not being moulded in clear plastic. With that out of the way the uniform detail with decals for insignia is top notch and finished off with photo etch for the Thompson MG. I have become a fan of 1/16th scale figures and this one will become part of my collection as I really like the uniform detail and fit of parts, but I confess I am giving consideration to a new head.