Black Dog's pilots arrive in sturdy little cardboard carton with each multi-part figure in its own zip-lock bag. On the front of the box is a photo of the assembled pilots finely painted by Petr Kasiar. This is the only form of painting guide or instructions provided with the set, so it would have been nice if the pack had also inlcuded addition references.
The figures themselves look quite superb, beautifully sculpted by Radek Tomanec and perfectly cast in the review sample. The parts arrive attached to casting plinths, so you'll need to spend a minute or two removing them carefully, while close inspection reveals an inevitable slight mould separation line on each torso. But, other than that, no other clean-up will be required beyond a wash in detergent to remove any traces of release-agent before assembly and painting.
Figure #1 is dressed in a leather greatcoat, fur-lined flying boots and a flying helmet with goggles. Cast in pale grey resin, it comprises 5 parts and is posed as if consulting a folded map. The box illustration shows detail on the map, but there's no decal or printed chart provided, so you'll have to source your own - a quick hunt on-line reveals plenty of original maps, so it should be very straightforward to scale one down for a convincing effect.
Figure #2 is wearing britches and boots, with a pullover and service cap (very much like a well-known photo of Manfred von Richthofen), with one hand in his pocket and holding a cigarette in the other. The five grey-green parts include two styles of binoculars to hang around his neck if you wish - you just need to add a strap.
The detail and faces look excellent on both figures and will repay careful painting - Petr Kasiar's boxtop illustration certainly gives an excellent impression of just how good they can look in skilled hands.
The figures are also available individually as Items #32001 and #32002.
These are the first Black Dog figures which I've had the chance to examine and I'm highly impressed. They will look excellent together or separately posed next to a 1:32 aircraft to add life and give a sense of scale. Figure painting is a skill which I've long told myself I must master, and there could be no better incentive than top quality figures like these. Highly recommended.
Please remember, when contacting retailers or manufacturers, to mention that you saw their products highlighted here - on AEROSCALE.
Highs: Beautifully sculpted and cast with excellent detail.Lows: None really, but a painting guide in addition to the photo on the box would be the icing on the cake.Verdict: Black Dog's German fighter pilots are excellent, and I hope they are just the first in a series of figures in this scale. They deserve to be a great success with Early Aviation modellers.
About Rowan Baylis (Merlin) FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM
I've been modelling for about 40 years, on and off. While I'm happy to build anything, my interests lie primarily in 1/48 scale aircraft. I mostly concentrate on WW2 subjects, although I'm also interested in WW1, Golden Age aviation and the early Jet Age - and have even been known to build the occas...