This is my second review focusing on some of the excellent British/Commonwealth figures produced by the Canadian Manufacturer, Ultracast. This time the single figure depicts a Commonwealth Soldier in North West Europe in 1944 – 45.
The figure comes in a sealed plastic zip bag, together with a cardboard backing card. On the front of the card is the manufacturers name and a description of the figure inside. On the inside of the card is a good quality colour picture to help assist in painting and assembly. On the back of the card are the makers’ details including addresses, and stating that this figure was sculpted by Kevin McLaughlin. At the bottom on the back of the card are a small set of instructions detailing steps 1 through 4 of the simple assembly process together with a Health and Safety warning about working with resin.
The figure comes in 5 parts. Cast in a light cream resin the body is one complete piece, with the head and arms being separate items. His weapon also comes as the 5th piece. The casting looks very sharp with only some flash and the pour stubs to remove, and I could see no sign of damage or air bubbles. A sharp X-acto blade, razor saw and file being the only tools you should need.
Cast in a standing position with the right leg thrust forward and the left slightly behind. His upper torso is twisted slightly to the right giving the impression that he has paused and is looking, or about to shout back, over his shoulder. The figure is dressed in the early style Battle Dress with the 2 pleated breast pockets and the large map pocket on the left hand trouser leg. Also present is the small pocket on the top of the right hand trouser leg. No sign is visible of the hip pocket, although this area is covered by his water bottle.
The DB neck is open and he is wearing 37 pattern webbing, consisting of belt, left and right ammo pouches and shoulder straps. Hung from the belt is a fairly good representation of the short stabbing bayonet in a frog. Both the brasses and buckles on the rear of the belt are well defined. The shoulder straps sit on top of the epaulets, which is nice to see, and more in keeping with a soldier in the field. On his right hip is a good representation of the standard British water bottle and support webbing, with the buckles for the water bottle visible and clearly joined to the shoulder strap. He is what would be termed ‘in skeleton webbing order’.
On his lower legs he is wearing anklets with the trousers tucked into and overhanging the anklet. The bottom fastening straps of the anklets are visible, as they should be. On his feet he is wearing a pair of ammunition boots and again these have nice detail. Close inspection shows that some minor clean up will be required around the crotch and left hand pouch. The detail on his uniform appears to be correct, and the casting has some nice folds in the cloth on his arms and legs.
The arms come as separate items and are designed to be hanging loose by his side. The right hand is designed to hold the No 4 rifle with which he is equipped. There is good detail on the hands and I am pleased to see the weapon as a separate item thereby giving more choice in what you arm him with. From the picture both arms seem to hang in a fairly natural position. Again, these are very well cast and little clean up should be required.
The head has good facial detail, depicting a youngish soldier. His expression is one of determination and concentration. On his head he is wearing what I would say is a Mk II helmet complete with camouflage and netting. The head is designed to be looking back over his right shoulder. Again good crisp casting is evident on the head.
The No 4 Rifle:
This appears to be a good representation of the actual weapon, again a little clean up may be required, so a magnifying glass would be a handy tool to have. To the rifle you will need to add a strap by your chosen method.
There will be some clean up required but this is nothing dramatic. The option is there to add additional equipment if you wish, and again that offers more possibilities, as does the separate weapon and head. With resin figures I tend to like the less is more approach as it gives figures just that little bit more flexibility when deciding how to use them.
Although depicted as a Canadian Infantryman I can see no reason why he could not be used as a Commonwealth soldier from any country. Similarly, N.W Europe could easily be Italy given the open neck of the BD.
An excellent and user friendly figure that will add to any scene.
Highs: 1st Class detail and casting, offering the modeller some scope as to final equipment finish and placement. A very natural pose, everything you need to make an excellent figure.Lows: Whilst I like the less is more on his equipment, it would have been handy if a pack and entrenching tool had been included as options. Cost is something always to be considered.Verdict: Highly Recommended.
About Alan McNeilly (AlanL) FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM
Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...