Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Pilots & Pin-ups

Recently I've been trying to find pilots for some airplane models that I plan on building in wheels up configuration. The older Airfix and Monogram kits almost always used to come with pilots, but the problem with model planes nowadays is that they never come with pilots. I tried looking around for some pilot figures, but the pickings were pretty slim.

The first pilot is a WWII American Pilot (200MSC01) from Eureka. It is 20mm and seems to scale out close to 1/76. Next in line is a Hobby Master WWII US Pilot (HP0001). It comes in a set of five identical pre-painted figures in soft vinyl. The upper torso seems to match well with the Eureka pilot, but the legs are really short. The next three figures come from the Hobby Master WWII Pilots Set (HP0003), which contains two RAF pilots, two Luftwaffe pilots, and one VVS pilot in soft vinyl. The RAF pilot comes in a particularly wooden pose, but is not to bad as far as scale is concerned. The German and Soviet pilots however, are noticeably smaller than the other pilots, and are probably no more than 1/87 scale. The German pilot has a large head relative to his body, so would probably not look too out of place once he is placed in a cockpit, but the Soviet pilot is particularly poor, with a hollowed out back and a tiny 1/87 head to go with his puny 1/87 body.

Typical of model pilot figures, all of the figures are sculpted in the typical staring-straight-ahead-hands-in-the-lap pose. But really... someone needs to make a decent seated pilot figure. Maybe with his head turned to scan the sky, or giving hand signals to a wingman.

I'm not going to complain too much about the short legs, since this allows figures to fit more easily into a wider variety of cockpits, but using 1/87 figures for 1/72 planes just looks wrong. The only other pilots that I know about are from the Revell Pilots and Ground Crew: German Airforce WWII set, and those come with tiny 1/87 scale pilots as well.

And now, I shift gears and present Pin-Up Gals (PIN1) from Sgt Major Miniatures.

The pin-ups come languorously posed in typical pin-up fashion, but are much larger than the typical 20mm miniature. I would say that at least a couple of them are larger than 1/72, though their size is not so obvious because they are not standing up. The figures are decently sculpted, though I believe that the size of the head is out of proportion to the body. The first gal has the most promise. She looks about the right size, and could be used seated on the wing of a plane, or maybe on the deck of a boat.


Andrew said...

I've had a similar problem trying to find a 1/72 scale American GI driver. I just built an Italeri DUKW model and would like a driver, but they are so hard to find.

The pinups are a fun accessory for a diorama / model display. Too bad SGT Major Minis is so hard to get a hold of. I've been waiting on an email reply for weeks.

EY said...

The Airfix GMC comes with a driver, but if I remember correctly, it is way underscale like the pilots I found.

There is also a Preiser set with an American driver (and French, Russian, and British riders) for a jeep, but it would be fairly pricey for just one figure.

cstowl said...

have you tried the pilots from PJ Productions.

EY said...

Thanks for the heads-up. Those PJ pilots look fantastic, but resin as usual, comes at a premium price.

I'll probably end up buying some of them later when my hobby budget meter is not so close to E.