The humble British Squaddie in the present day is not the best represented in injection moulded figures, and that is true for a number of European Armies. Master Box
has taken a step to help rectify that issue with the release of ‘Modern UK Infantry Present Day’. This offering features five 1/35th scale figures suitable for a period covering the last five years or so.
I would like to pass on my thanks to Brian O'Donoghue
whose help was of great assistance to me during the writing of this review.
This figure offering from Master Box
is supplied in the usual end opening carton with an image representing the contents on the front and an assembly and painting guide on the rear. Inside the carton is a single grey sprue package inside a re-sealable plastic bag.
A look over the single sprue did not make me gasp in horror as there are no obvious issues as regards moulding present. The parts are free of the usual problems that can effect injection moulded kits such as flash, ejector pin marks and sink marks; the only thing at this point worth noting is the very minor seam lines that will need to be addressed. The gates between the sprue and the moulded parts are of a reasonable size and are not excessive in number, the only gates that may cause issues for the modeller are the arms, which for the most part are at the elbow; a pet hate.
The figures are all moulded in relaxed poses and you will not be surprised to hear presented in an arid setting, that said it would not take much to represent them in European setting or good old Blighty during the Summer or Autumn. The uniform looks accurate to me as regards pockets and so on, with the only possible negative I can see being that some of the sleeves look a little on the tight side. Crease detail is generally fair overall and particularly good on the legs. The boots look to accurate with a good level of detail.
The body armour looks to be a mix of Mk4 and Mk5 Osprey body armour. The Osprey body armour came in two variants - Mk4 & Mk5. The earlier Mk4 has a prominent plate on the front and rear and it came with an optional collar. The Mk5, designed in Hereford, has a prominent plate at the rear but the front has a cummerbund that wraps over the stomach. The Mk5 fitted closer to the body and the troops commented that it felt lighter.
There are two distinct helmet types in the box; Mk6 which has the traditional cover with foliage loops and the later Mk7 which looks smoother as normally it only had a net (scrim) cover, there is a new cover which matches the older Mk6 cover comes in the current MTP finish.
The facial detail is up to the high standards now expected of injection moulded plastic figures today, and while it is not as good as resin head offerings they are light years ahead of what figures used to be provided with. The hands are also very good, but unlike the box artwork not all of the figures have gloved hands which is a little disappointing however not a deal breaker in anyway. While on the subject it should be noted that there are slight differences between what is in the box and stances indicated in the box artwork, nothing major but I know this can upset some members.
The personal weapons are a bit of a mixed bag; The L85A2 with grenade launcher is the best of the 2 rifles in the box, the other offering looks more like an L85A1 but it is a tad off as regards accuracy. Both weapon sights are generic and neither matches the SUSAT or the newer ACOG sights. The GPMG looks rather nice to my eye, but the person who helped me with this review feels it looks a little on the thin side. There is a holstered pistol in the set, but I am unable to say if it is an older browning or the newer glock that is in service. There is a nice selection of packs in the set with the high point for me being that they are shaped to fit the figures rather than being one of those packs that looks as if it is defying gravity and fitting like a brick.
I am very happy to see this set released and I suspect that any modeller who has an interest in modelling modern vehicles will feel the same. The figures are overall very good providing you are not looking to model an action scene. The weapons are a little disappointing when it comes to accuracy and short in number as a best you have weapons for three figures; I would give consideration to picking up a set of L85A2 rifles from a company such as Live Resin if for no other reason than you can provide one for each figure. With that said I still really like this set and recommend it to modern military modellers.
L85A2 SA80 Assault Rifle with iron sight and ACOG scope review by Mario Matijasic