Saturday, March 20, 2021

Rangers, Cyclopes, Anubians, and more

Dark Dream Studio has released their latest group of 1/72 fantasy sets. These miniatures extend their range of Middle Earth figures, and also include some generic fantasy figures as well.

The Black Riders don't seem to have made their way to North America yet, so a review will have to wait for another day, but I was able to get the other figures.

The first set are Rangers, and they are classified as Southern Kingdom Warriors (which I assume means they are Gondorians).

The set contains figures in 12 poses that include swordsmen, and male and female archers.

The figures are well sculpted and can be used for any type of medieval European fantasy gaming.

The next set is the Anubis Army, which I am guessing come from the 2001 movie The Mummy Returns.

These jackal headed creatures are often called Anubians in the FRP world, and the set includes 10 different poses armed with a variety of weapons.

The figures are well sculpted, and much taller than humans. They are also very muscular, so they're not quite like the more mummified movie versions of these creatures.

A couple of previous Anubian figures come from the Age of Mythology game and the Arcane Legions game, with the later probably being more compatible with the Dark Alliance figures than the former.

The next set are Cyclopes.

The set has 4 poses of classical cyclopes that are about twice the height of a human.

They fall somewhere in the middle as far as height goes compared to other cyclops miniatures which can be seen here.

The final two sets are a couple of older releases. The first being Light Warriors of the Dead (the companion to this set is reviewed here).

The set contains lightly armored figures in 10 poses.

The figure with the sling is supposed to be carrying a shield, but all of the figures in my set have their left arm short shot. I think the set I bought was a recent production run, so the molds may have some issues now.

Intact figure

The next set is the third installment of Light Alliance Elves. I was not a fan of the first set, but I think that these are a huge improvement.

There are 10 poses including swordsmen in heavy armor, one female with sword and dagger, and male and female archers. All of them stand at least half a head taller than a human.

They look more like the elves from the Lord of the Rings movies, and they aren't as bandy-legged as the figures from Set 1.

Overall, this is a nice group of sets from Dark Dream Studio. I think the Rangers and Army of the Dead are the most useful, while the other figures are of more limited use.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Generic no-name plastic soldiers

Generic plastic soldiers have existed for a long time, but not many new varieties are being produced nowadays.

The typical generic soldier was made in Hong Kong, and they were typically clones of Airfix figures. Among the most common were copies of the 8th Army set.

The variations in these figures is very interesting, and I imagine that you have figures that were modeled after or pantographed from Airfix figures, recast Airfix figures, and recasts of various recasts, all thrown into the mix.

Nowadays, I think copies of Airfix US Marines and British Paratroopers are what you will typically find.

Many of these are modified to be even more generic as WWII troop types have faded from public consciousness, and new poses have been added to the sets.

I bought this bag of Combat Force soldiers because they are 1/72 figures that I have never seen before. You can typically find them on eBay or Amazon if you use the search term "360 plastic soldiers".

Each bag contains about 360 plastic soldiers (I counted 361 in my bag). The figures come in green and tan, but the colors are not equally divided.

There are 12 poses that are distributed randomly, and I've listed out the numbers of each in the following images. If anyone has two of the kneeling riflemen in tan that they want to trade for something, please let me know!

The figures are crudely sculpted and rather flat, not to mention having a few awkward poses, so they will probably not be of interest to most people.

I did find that the plastic they're made of is capable of being bent into new poses that hold their position pretty well. I imagine they might be useful for other types of conversions as well.

The next group of figures are from the Mini Carry Case Playsets.

These sets seem to have been sold in Dollar Tree stores, but I have never seen them here in SoCal.

The Army set includes a random assortment of soldiers (9) in green and tan, along with some small plastic trees and barbed wire fences.

The Dinosaur set includes a few cavemen (4) in tan along with small trees and various smaller pastel colored dinosaurs.

I think there is at least one more pose similar to the first caveman, except with a raised club that I am missing.

The Dragon set includes knights (6) in black and silver along with various pastel colored mythical creatures.

There are at least two additional poses similar to the first knight, except armed with axe, and mace, respectively.

The figures are rudimentary, but a lot better than the Combat Force figures, though the knights are pretty flat.

If anyone has any of the cavemen that they want to trade for something (especially any poses that I am missing), please contact me.

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Calibre Wings VF-1S Valkyrie

The VF-1 Valkyrie is the iconic variable fighter from the anime series Macross.

The mechanical design was inspired by the lines of the F-14 Tomcat, which appeared in the film The Final Countdown that was in theaters during the time Shoji Kawamori and Studio Nue began their concept art for the series.

There have been a number of diecast Valkyrie models created over the years, but I believe that the Calibre Wings version is the only one in 1/72 scale (KitzConcept produced an earlier model that is purportedly 1/72 scale, but I think it may be closer to 1/65 scale).

This particular model is a non-transformable display piece of the Valkyrie in fighter mode. I believe it is limited to 1500 pieces, with an additional 300 convention exclusive pieces depicting the battle damaged version from episode 18 of the series.

Despite being a fan of Calibre Wings, I made the decision to buy the model second hand because of the whole Harmony Gold/Tatsunoko/Studio Nue controversy that has effectively stifled the international release of any new Macross related media for over two decades (but that's just me being salty about HG).

Of course this also meant that my model was slightly damaged and missing some pieces, but I don't think there is anything that can't be fixed with a little effort.

The front landing gear hatch on the starboard side was missing, but I'm working on a solution.

Two of the sensors on the nose were broken off/lost, but I think I can fashion some new pieces using the fins from a 1/72 missile.

The Roy Focker figure is supposed to have a small metal base to allow him to stand upright, but that was missing as well (not that it's even really necessary).

A few comparison shots of the VF-1S with a 1/72 Forces Of Valor F-14A (80010), showing the difference in size between the two aircraft.

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Model Train Accessories

Model train products are a great resource for 1/72 modelers. You can often find things in HO, OO, and even S scale that make great pieces of stowage and equipment for 1/72 scale models.

The following are some of the items that I have in the bits box.

The first sprue is from the Faller Tools and Barrels set (180906).

The only items that need to be assembled are the two wheelbarrows.

The handcart dollies are a bit rudimentary, but look fine from a distance.

I think the tools are all usable for 1/72 scale, though maybe some of the handles need to be lengthened to be scale accurate. A bit of work also needs to be done to remove ejector pin marks on some of the tools.

The next sprues come from the Preiser Beer barrels, Beer crates with bottles set (17105), and the Busch Ladegut set (1132).

The next pair of sprues come from the the Busch Ladegut set and the Preiser Farmers Market & Accessories set (10304). The tiny hand scale and weights are amazing.

The final sprue from the Busch Ladegut set are a bunch of long pallets.

The next sprues come from the Preiser Sacks set (17102), and the Preiser Cargo set (17100).

Next are some comparison pictures of similar items from the different manufacturers.

Various sacks from different companies. Merit is HO/OO scale, while the others are HO scale.

I think the second Faller sack may actually be a resin recast that was modified to have some burlap texture on the surface.

I just love the vintage Merit box.

Garbage bags from Busch, and potato sacks from Preiser.

Wooden crates of various size.

The Faller crate is not that great, having wood panel texture only on the top. It's also the only crate that has a hollow bottom.

Different types of cardboard boxes.

The boxes include ones sealed with packing straps, tied with string, and closed with staples.

Wooden barrels of various size and shape. The first barrel is made of actual wood, and it came in a random lot of train accessories that I bought. The Faller barrels are pretty much devoid of detail, and kind of poorly shaped.

Milk cans, metal cans, and beer kegs.

I'm actually not sure what the 4th part with the curved top is supposed to be, but I'm guessing it's some kind of metal can.

Last are a couple of cable spools (At least, I think that's what the Faller part is).