Master Box 1/35 Cold Wind
By Don Barry
Kit # MB 35103
This is a 5 figure set, depicting German troops on the Eastern front, ostensibly during the first winter, perhaps in front of Moscow. This reviewer finds the posing and sculpting effective and very evocative of the conditions endured during the first winter of the war, with German troops facing record-breaking cold and ill-equipped do so. Clothing and equipment appear accurate for the time period, with the possible exception of the MG-42.The parts map and part numbers are depicted on the back of the box, and there is no printed instruction sheet. Special care must be taken with the coat skirts. They match up very well, but must be assembled in order so as to match up properly. I started with a back section, looking to see which appeared to be the lowest section. One section overlaps the other front and back; the side seams are flush. The wind-blown skirts are especially effective, suggesting higher winds since the overcoats were fairly heavy wool. All five of the bread bags are sculpted to fit a specific figure, conforming to the back of the coats. Surface folds are different on each, so much so that it seemed a shame to cover it up with canteens and/or mess kits. This reviewer has not seen an injection molded figure set with such bags. All faces are unique, showing distress or numb resignation; one appears to be walking with eyes closed. Three full heads with scarf detail all around are supplied, the other two have caps with down turned flaps.
The personal gear is not quite up to the best levels available, with the exception of the above mentioned bread bags. The ammunition boxes are 4 piece items, and so need serious sanding to eliminate joint lines. The rifles are good, but the MG-34 and MG-42 are a bit soft on their surface texture. About 1 hour per figure was the build time, and with the exception of one arm, fit was 99% perfect, a tiny bit of filler was needed on one shoulder and two of the coat skirt joints. With more careful dry fitting this may well have been avoidable. This is a ready-made vignette or mini-diorama as is, or as part of a larger project. This set is well designed and well executed, and a worthy addition to your figure collection. I rate this highly recommended, and sincerely thank Stevens International for supplying my review sample.