Reviewed by Brett Green
Miniature Alliance have chosen three figures from the Pacific theatre of World War Two as their first offerings. The series is labelled "Dogtag Fighting Men". The scale of all three figures is 1/16.
I was pleased to receive the Commonwealth Soldier from the "Dogtag" series. The other two figures are a Japanese senior NCO and a US Marine.
The Commonwealth figure is made up of eleven crisply cast pieces in cream coloured resin. Three white metal part are also included. White metal parts suffer from some fine seam lines.
Optional headgear is provided - both a slouch hat and a helmet.
The figure is dressed in a generic tropical uniform consisting of shorts, long socks, gaiters, short boots and a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up. The slouch hat has the AIF badge cast onto the folded brim. Buttons, pockets, bootlaces, buckles and hems are well represented but the webbing seems to be missing some buckle-hole detail. The soldier comes equipped with two .303 ammo pouches, a bayonet scabbard, water bottle, haversack and full-length (ie not the jungle version) .303 rifle.
The drape of the uniform's fabric looks very convincing.
Although the figure is part of a Pacific War series, he could easily be used to depict a British or Commonwealth soldier in the Far East, North Africa or even Italy.
Instructions are small but very effective. Front and rear view diagrams are included. All the major parts are labelled, and colours are called out as part of the descriptions.
The casting blocks were easily cleaned up using a razor saw and hobby knife. Although there were no pinholes before the casting blocks were removed, a few minor holes were revealed after the parts were cleaned up. These were filled with Milliput. There are also a few fine seam lines that need to be removed.
Construction was very straightforward. The figure is well engineered and major parts are keyed with locating lugs and holes. The hole for the lower left leg needed a little cleaning up before assembly.
I was not entirely sure about how to pose the arms despite the useful mutli-view pictures in the instructions. Fortunately, the fit of the arms was so positive that they were perfectly positioned for the rifle and the bayonet.
The slouch hat seemed to ride a little high on the figure's head. I performed a little cranial surgery, using a razor saw to take off the top of the head. This improved the look considerably.
I "hung" the helmet from the haversack as suggested by the instruction diagram.
Following the main assembly I used a little Milliput to fair in the neckline, the right arm and left leg.
The modeller is required to source straps for the rifle, haversack and water bottle from Lead foil or paper. I used a heavy, metal backed photographic paper for this task. A short length of bayonet blade also needs to be added between the bayonet handle and the scabbard. A small scrap of styrene did the job.
It is always welcome to see a new Commonwealth subject.
I am not claiming to be an experienced figure modeller but I thoroughly enjoyed the construction of this kit. This is a very nice first effort from Miniature Alliance and will be suitable for anyone that has previously worked with resin.
Thanks to Paul from Miniature Alliance for the review sample.
Miniature Alliance products are available from their website at http://minially.com/
Review, Figure and Images Copyright © 1999 by Brett