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Built Review
WWII Hand to Hand Combat, 1941-1942
Eastern Front Series, Kit NĒ 3
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by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Originally published on:

Introduction - a Radical concept?
Two distinct 'philosophies' are at play here - firstly to produce a different concept in figure sets by producing three seperate (but complimentary) sets, which when combined can with a little effort produce a diorama of hand-to-hand combat. Secondly, to go against the current 'grain' by consciously producing figures which are highly animated. Another aspect, which after some dry-fitting and following an explanation by the Masterbox Ltd. owner was confirmed, that the figures are designed as 'Multipose'. This means that virtually all aspects are interchangable - leg halves with others, arms on different torsos and different torsos on top of other legs. This really HASN'T been seen since the 1970s when Airfix launched their much-lauded series of (1/32nd scale) military figure kits and goes back to the pioneers of the idea - Historex.

The Bare details
MAS3524: WWII Hand to Hand Combat, 1941-1942 (Eastern Front Series, Kit NĒ 3) consists of four 1/35th scale figures of two Soviets and two Germans.The figures come on a single sprue inside a side-opening box which has some extraordinarily well-done box-art. The reverse of the box has a simple construction diagram along with a color chart keyed for Vallejo, Tamiya, Lifecolor, Humbrol and Agama.

In depth
As the general level of quality is more or less comparable with the other two sets iin the series, I make no apologies for repeating myself in several areas:

The Heads: Following on from my comments about the heads in Set # 2 - Soviet Infantry, the heads, for a plastic kit, are simply superb - animated with good detail, these are, IMO, some of the BEST plastic heads every included in any manufacturer's figure set.

Hands: With the hands, moulding varies from excellent to the not so good. Curiously , the best are the open hands, the 'clenched' fists are a touch indistinct.

Legs/feet: Two types of footwear are provided - the long boots and puttees. Definition is exellent with clear division between instep and heel on the boots.

Torsos: Good, subtle creasing on the folds, good definition on pockets and equipment belts.

Equipment: The bare mininimum - most of the typical German equipment is provided along with some nicely-sculpted Soviet haversacks and pouches.

Weapons: only one Kar 98k is provided (along with bayonet) so, anyone wishing to enhance the set can do it by using weaponry from the other sets or using the spares box..

The Poses: The 'provided' poses are as follows:

1) German Infantryman 'lunging' with bayoneted rifle.

2) German Infantryman attacking with bayonet

3) Soviet Infantryman attacking with entrenching tool

4) Soviet Infantryman defending himself using his helmet as a 'club'

The figures 'pair up' as #1 vs. #3 and #2 vs. #4..

The poses are the most active I have EVER seen in 1/35th scale figures. With some imagination and two-three of these, sets some extraordinarily-varied figures could be produced. It is absolutely correct to define thse figures as 'Multi-Pose'. Although the 'provided' poses are not perhaps to everone's taste, a little work could produce some very different figures. As I built the figures according to the instruction guide, they do, individually, look a little strange. However, in the photos at the bottom, you should get a rough idea of how the figures 'relate' to one another.

Construction: Very straightforward. Each figure consists of just 5/6 parts (without weapons or equipment) and although there are a few seam lines to be removed, the moulding is clean and well-defined. I built the four figures quicker than I normally would - simply for the purpose of this review. Alignment of the two leg halves is excellent with the creases matching-up perfectly. The plastic which Masterbox are using now is also very good allowing detail to be held better in the mouldings. The headgear also fits better than before although a little care is required in lining it up.Construction was carried out using Tamiya Extra-Thin and Revell liquid cement.

Simply put, if Masterbox Ltd. continue with the technical improvements to their figures and with this imaginative approach, they cannot fail to become one of the best figure manufacturers on the market - bar NONE, This set, combined with the other previously reviewed sets, has been a real eye-opener for me to demonstrate just what the smaller companies are capable of. All that remains, is for their technical flair to be rewarded as it should be - in the form of high sales..

The Other 'linked' sets
the other two reviews can be seen here:

Kit NĒ 2, Soviet Infantry in Action

Kit NĒ 1, German Infantry in Action
Highs: Again, the animation although the general 'concept' of this set is more than noteworthy. Imagination, imagination and more imagination are the keynotes to this set.
Lows: Some of the detail in the figures are not as sharp as they could be.
Verdict: Of the the three (interconnected) sets, i'm torn between this and the Soviet Infantry as the best of the three.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MAS3524
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Mar 05, 2007

Our Thanks to Master Box Ltd.!
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 Jim Rae (jimbrae)

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright Š2021 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of ModelGeek. All rights reserved.


Thanks, perhaps I will get to see them before my trip to England/Normandy...
MAR 05, 2007 - 06:26 PM
Ok guys, we seem to agree on the fact they made huge progress.. I wait to have these figures in hand to make my decision. But Jim, I guess you made a lapsus, By writing "Minibox" instead of Miniart...Maybe it's a Join venture between Masterbox and Miniart. The soviet artilery crew at lunch, from the pics I see of the Nuremberg show, looked incredible !! This is what I call good competition effect in the scale modeling market !! I think we gonna be spoiled this year !!!!! Finally I hope the releasing date will be the same in the US and in Europe.. Best, Julien
MAR 05, 2007 - 07:31 PM
I just looked back at the review and compared the build sample with the box art....Is that just me or it's not 100% the same thing. As Julien said, the russian who's holding a shovel looks more like he been hit then struggling for his life, I don't see how he can be positioned to hold the Kar98 with the other hand. I think we'll to modify it a little to get what's on the box cover. And thank you for the answer, that was Tristar indeed.
MAR 06, 2007 - 12:21 AM
Yep - my bad i'm afraid . Rather than build the figures completely, they were 'tacked' together due to time constraints. As I said, there are 50 ways to build these figures - add another set or two and the possibilities ARE endless, The figure with the shovel - if slightly repositioned, could in fact be getting a bayonet in his chest...
MAR 06, 2007 - 12:42 AM
Jim Wow this hand to hand set looks great. I see what you mean about slightly altering the arms and equipment to get a slightly different attack pose. Since these figs as well as Set#1 and #2 are in your hands would it be possible to start a new thread featuring all three together? Maybe you could line up the Germans on one side, the Russians on the other and the hand to hand in the middle. It's your opportunity to play toy soldier while making shooting and explosion sounds!!! Pow Pow Pow!
MAR 06, 2007 - 05:06 AM
Great review ...I will need to have several of these kits when they hit the shelves. I like MBs figures so far and hope that they continue to produce more of these action-oriented figures in the future.
MAR 06, 2007 - 06:49 AM
I'm actually planning on doing another 'What's New' thread to link in all three reviews. Thanks for the suggestion anyway! What there is in the meantime, concentrating on their FUTURE releases, is this: http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2205
MAR 06, 2007 - 02:26 PM
i too like the animation of it.. keep up-
NOV 20, 2011 - 08:08 PM
This is actually a good idea. Mark "training on the use of my expandable baton and mastering it"
DEC 05, 2011 - 07:21 PM

What's Your Opinion?

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