Ian Hanratty at Friendship Models took a brave step a couple of years ago when he took on the Jakeri range of figures form Pete Morton. The costs, risk and finance for the small producer are high and I for one was delight to see this original range of figures being saved and developed. Ian converted all the originals from metal cast to resin, a good move I believe, and he continued to add to the range of figures which now stands at 27 x 1/35 scale WW2 figures, 7 x 54mm Historical figures and 3 x 120mm scale figures.
This is my first look at the new resin figures, the first up being the RN Seaman in a relaxed pose. Not too many Royal Navy figures around in 1/35 scale so I was please to see this one come out.
Wee Friends figures come in a clear snap plastic box with a fold out colour insert depicting the figure front and rear, to aid painting. The fold out also shows the Company Name and product reference number. The figure is contained with in a further zip plastic bag within the box. Also included is a small leaflet showing the contact address, and phone number for the company. This leaflet contains an additional safety warning regarding working with resin.
The figure comes in two simple pieces, the body which is cast whole and the accompanying head. The box art show a Sailor with a helmet but mine had a head with a sailors cap.
No matter, cast in a light cream resin the body contained no flaws or air bubbles that i could see and will require only the minimal clean up of two pour stubs on the feet. The resin is quite shinny and this I think is a little deceptive.
The figure is dressed in duffle coat, polo neck jumper, wearing trousers and sea-boots. He is in a standing position with his hands in his coat pockets and the lower left leg hooked over his right leg/foot, a perfectly natural pose for anyone in relaxed mode. There is nice detail and natural folds in the duffel coat, trousers and the toggles and arm/neck detail are present as appropriate. The details is quite fine, not pronounced but I think the body should paint up very well.
The head is that of a fairly young man, wearing a sailors cap perched back on his head. The detail is quite soft on the face particularly around the eyes and mouth but I think when painted up should be acceptable. There are plenty of alternative heads around if this should prove not to be the case. There is a small pour stub that will need removed.
Normal precautions apply when working with resin.
A very good figure that would be at home on a board most any RN Ship or on dry land. A nice relaxed and natural pose with hands in pockets. It is always great to see not often sculpted figures and there are few RN crewmen around, so this figure is a very welcome addition to the small but growing band of shipmates.
The facial detail is not as sharp as I would like to see, and some of the detailing on the body very subtle, but I believe this figure should paint up very well.
Highs: A very useful figure for modellers and dio builders alike. Good clean casting with very acceptable detail that should paint up well and add to any build or dio. Another really good addition to the small but growing number of 1/35 Royal Navy figures.Lows: The facial detail isnít as sharp as I would like to see, nor is that around the top of the boots but this is none the less a very good figure.Verdict: 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 ...