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In-Box Review
135
U.S. Mechanics,WWII, 3 figure
Verlinden Production Item #2800, U.S. Mechanics, WWII, 3 figure set.
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by: Brian Culbertson [ BIGFOOTV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Verlinden Productions has been a major player in the armor, figure, and diorama aftermarket arena since the late 1970’s, when Mr. Francois Verlinden, who then was in the scrap-metal business, gave it up to pursue his love of armor modeling and creating dioramas. After opening up a hobby store in Lier, he soon found himself dissatisfied with the items that were on the market at the time. Soon after this the Verlinden Productions company was born.

In the 1980’s, Mr. Verlinden met with Mr. Bob Letterman, an American modeler and started a business relationship along with Mr. Verlinden’s other Belgian partner, Mr. Josef Stok, and in turn the three formed VLS. VLS imported Verlinden Productions products into the U.S. marketplace along with other product lines.

In the 90’s, Mr. Verlinden moved his Belgian operation along the VLS branch of the company to St. Louis, MO. The move would benefit both companies economically, but this was short lived. Philosophical and personality differences between the owners and staff lead to the split of the company shortly after moving the operations to the U.S. Verlinden Productions remained in Missouri and was directly competing with VLS until VLS was bought out by Squadron in 2007.

(Source information: www.usarmymodels.com/MANUFACTURERS/VerlindenProductions/verlinden.html.)

Now that we have the formalities out of the way, let’s take a look at the product.
Review

Kit #2800 from Verlinden Productions was packaged in a white cardboard flap type opening box with information about the item and a photo of the finished item on the outside of the box. The box itself measures 4”x4”x1.5”. Inside the box was a plastic zip type bag with pieces for three figures and two hammers. The figures are made of a cream colored resin and are set in three different poses. There is no visible mold flashing or imperfections in the pouring of the resin.

As I’m looking at the first figure, something goes off in my head, “I’ve seen these before, but not offered in a three figure set.” So I went back and did some digging in some old Verlinden catalogs and sure enough, found them in Catalog No.10, Winter 1991/1992 under Items 142, 143, 144, U.S. Mechanics No. 1, 2, 3.

  • Pose one we’ll call “Standing, smoke break”, which is No. 142.
  • Pose two we’ll call “Looking over the shoulder”, which is No. 143.
  • Pose three we’ll call “Tippy toes”, which is No. 144.

I may have the figures incorrect as I’m working with the old catalog as a reference point which at the time was hard to decipher which number matched which figure in the catalog. You had to make a trip to the local hobby shop and ask which was which and get a price also. These figures were also listed in the catalog as 54mm in size and where priced at around $7.95 (guess) per figure back in 1991. Verlinden now offers them as a 3 figure set.

I’d like to point out at this time that there is no instruction sheet for these figures, so figuring out which leg and arm combo goes with what pose maybe a challenge for those that are using these figures for the first time, but a look at the box image should sort you out.

Now, figure “Standing, smoke break”, No. 142 in the old catalog, is posed in a relaxed, legs semi-crossed, standing position holding a torch in the right hand and a cigarette in the left hand. The box art photo clearly shows the cigarette in the left hand, however it is not there in the kit supplied hand. The figure is molded bare-headed with a pair of welding goggles placed on top of the head. In the older figure this head was not present, and instead this figure was offered with three other heads depicting either a German, British, or American mechanics wearing their countries head gear, a soft cap for the German and American, and a beret for the British.

(Review source for older figures can be found here: www.usarmymodels.com/MANUFACTURERS/VerlindenProductions/vp0142.html.)

Detail of the “Standing, smoke break” figures leg area is decent. This figure appears to be wearing the 1st pattern HBT trouser with a belt and service shoes, type II, with the upper body wearing an Army “light shade” HBT jacket. Once again, the head has a pair of welding goggles on top of a cap-less head. The detail of the head is also decent. Facial features are noticeable with the goggle strip somewhat visible on the hair. Hair texture is lacking however. The fingers are noticeable on the hand and all digits are there. However, the cigarette is again missing from the left hand.

Now on to figure two, “Looking over the shoulder”, No. 143 in the older catalog.

This figure in posed in a standing, semi-leaning over position holding what appears to be a hammer or pry bar in the right hand observing figure “Tippy toes”, No. 144, working on a road wheel or sprocket. His left hand appears to be open as if holding a few bolts. This figure appears to be dressed in the same clothing as the first figure, HBT trouser with belt and HBT “light shade” jacket and service shoe, type II. However, this figure has a “Jeep cap” placed on his head. The cap lacks some texture, but the detail of the seams can be seen. Overall, detail for this figure is of the same quality as the first figure. The right hand that is holding the hammer is closed with no gap between the thumb and first finger to place the hammer, so some surgery on the hammer will be required.

Lastly we come to “Tippy toes”, No. 144 in the older catalog. This figure is posed kneeling over, balancing on his toes, hammering on a pry bar. The hammer is placed in the right hand and the pry bar is in the left hand. He appears to be dressed in the same trouser as 142 and 143 and is wearing the same service shoe, type II. This figures shirt is different however; it appears to be an M37 wool shirt and not the HBT jacket that the other two figures are wearing. The cap on this figure is different from what the second figure is wearing, and is either a U.S.M.C. P44 cap or an Army HBT cap. These caps are too close in style to make an accurate comparison on this figure. Again, the left hand is molded closed and has no gap between the first finger and thumb to hold the pry bar in place.
SUMMARY
Highs: Still holds good value in a very competitive market place. Price is lower than most competitors.
Lows: Lacks detail in comparison to other figure companies out there. Accessories are lacking to make figures more competitive.
Verdict: Verlinden, once the big dog in the aftermarket arena and the only company that put out better figures then those offered in kits for years, is facing serious competition from companies like Bravo6, TANK, Hornet, and Alpine figures.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: #2800
  Suggested Retail: Reg. $22.95/Spec. $22.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Oct 25, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.13%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 76.32%

Our Thanks to Verlinden Productions!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Brian Culbertson (BigfootV)
FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES

Retried Long Haul Truck Driver, currently attending Culinary school in Denver. Construction for 15 yrs., Drummer for 10 yrs. away from work. Married, one child, 20 yr old with Autism. Model builder since 1977. Started with 1/48 aircraft, WW2, lost interest. Toyed around with other scales, then fou...

Copyright ©2018 text by Brian Culbertson [ BIGFOOTV ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of AeroScale. All rights reserved.



Comments

Wow, great info in the review and it was a pleasure reading it. The photos however... most are blurry and do not show the details well. A shame as the review is otherwise one of the best I have read in a while. Mario
OCT 24, 2014 - 07:26 PM
Hi Brian, Thanks for the extended review. I bought this set in the 1980-ies in the Verlinden shop in Lier (a Walhalla for modelers in those days), painted them and put them back in their box again! Their size is too big, far too tall, for 1/35 models. Which was, and still is, a pity, since they make a fine mini dio. Their realy 54 mm figures. What is, so is my impression, a returning issue with the Verlinden models. Nevertheless, highly apreciated omwrie a review. P.
OCT 24, 2014 - 08:00 PM
Hello Mario, Thanks. I'm working on the photo end of things, used a Canon Power Shot A540 Digital with 6.0 Mega pixels for the photos set on a tripod. Larger items I can get detail shown, but with figures, still haven't quite gotten the bugs worked out there. Hello Paul, Thanks. I think Verlinden put them on a diet. These figures may have been recast. I can't be sure without looking at an 1980-ish set. I did side by side with some Tank figures and found these Verlinden figures are smaller at the waist and leg areas. They don't have the "bulk" like the Tank figures. I'll have to go back in the review and see if I touched on that area or not. See ya in the funnies..................
OCT 25, 2014 - 05:04 AM
I agree, I like Verlinden figures but they are out of scale, plus, they are being surpassed by other companies in detail areas.
OCT 26, 2014 - 03:29 AM
Verlindens could be hit-or-miss. Sometimes very good, and othertimes just trash. And sometimes over-scale!
OCT 26, 2014 - 04:25 AM
It would seem to me that Verlinden need to check their range of figures and make sure they are to scale and of course, release some New figures so that people can see just what they can do in todays market.
OCT 26, 2014 - 04:30 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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