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Built Review
135
Operation Milk Man
Operation Milk Man German Infantry WWII era
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction

This set from MasterBox depicts four German infantry personnel in the act of milking a cow or drinking from their mess tin, included with the infantry are two cows and a goat. This is one of MasterBox’s latest releases and an in box review was done by Jim Rae, a link to which is at the end of this review.

the Build

The Soldiers:
I will start by covering the figures as a whole. The figures are well equipped with fair to good detail throughout. The hem of the jacket is made of separate parts which creates some appealing undercuts. The figures are all in relaxed poses with three of the figures being depicted with their sleeves rolled up. One criticism I have is that where bare heads are used on some figures the top of the head looks very flat, but this is overcome to some extent by very well done faces, which while not up to resin standards, they rank alongside some of the best injection moulded faces to date. The faces all have clearly defined features with well defined mouths, and effort has been made to provide a cheek structure as opposed to just a general face shape. It should be mentioned that the hands are also of a good standard considering the material used.

Clean up of the figures will take some work, as mould seams are very evident in places, especially where they go up the side of the neck, over the ears, and then into the hair detail. Sprue connection points on some pieces are a pain and they could have been better placed on areas such as the bare arms and mating surfaces rather than the rolled up sleeves.

Part assembly is straight forward and should provide a reasonable join in most cases. I did struggle with the jacket hem on the standing figure shown drinking, as I just could not get a good join all the way around. The part I really like about these figures, and MasterBox’s figures in general, is that the equipment where applicable is shaped on the inner area to allow a very good join.

The Cows:
The cows included in this kit are good in that both cows are different, rather than taking the approach of just duplicating the parts, and the stature of the two cows is also different with one being taller than the other. Unfortunately the assembly of these cows is not the greatest and does not live up to the quality of the figures.

The two body halves really could do with some locating lugs, as without them lining up the halves takes a bit of trial and error to get right. Next I moved onto the neck and the two parts of the head. The heads go together perfectly with very little effort and are well detailed, connection to the neck however does not go as smoothly with the mating surfaces as one of the heads is larger than the neck. Upon joining the neck to the body I also found the join to be so-so, especially in comparison to the quality of MasterBox’s current figure releases. Lastly the udder and tail was added to the two cows, with the tail on one being very poor and the udders on both appearing to be nothing more than an afterthought of the sculpter.

The Goat:
Moving onto the goat, which is also female and so could be shown being milked as well, the texturing is excellent as is the head detail. The goat does however suffer from some of the problems of the cows, but to a lesser degree due to consisting of less parts. The body halves go together reasonably well but the neck halves which are part of the same moulding refused to go together cleanly, resulting in an open gap at the front of the neck just below the head. The head does fit well to the neck with the gap present, and so I believe there may be a problem with the mould. I, however, feel the goat is the best of the three animals included with the set.

Conclusion

Despite the obvious problems I had with the animals, I feel MasterBox has taken a step in an interesting direction with this set, and I am sure the animals in future sets will improve as MasterBox continues to improve. I believe that with some work these animals are not beyond help and will also start to show up in dioramas.

While on the subject of the animals I cannot help looking at the cows and thinking something is wrong, but I cannot put my finger on what it is. The figures in this set are excellent and should be a considered purchase for that reason alone. The fit and the stance of all the figures is between good and excellent, and despite some heavy mould seams will make their way into various dioramas I am sure.

In-box review of this set
SUMMARY
Highs: The figures in this set are of a very high standard with good detail and interesting stances.
Lows: The cows in the set are hard work to get together cleanly and will require some filler. The figures in some areas do suffer from some heavy mould lines, and the location of sprue connection points also make clean up harder than it could have been.
Verdict: Despite my reservations about the cows in the set, and taking into account the set as a whole, I will recommend it with the proviso that it will require a reasonable amount of work to utilise the entire set.
Percentage Rating
79%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MB3565
  Suggested Retail: $16.99
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Jan 29, 2011
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Historicus Forma or Silver Star Enterprises. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice review, Darren. I agree with the comment on the cows as well. They look round and clean, almost plump, very plastic. Dairy cows in general are very bony as the food they eat goes into the milk they produce. They should be more angular, with the hips in particular being more prominent. An image search on Google should yield some good results. For specifics on the goats, look up Toggenburg, Alpine or Saanen, which are the most common European dairy goat breeds. The type would determine where the soldiers were. This is an interesting set, with lots of potential.
JAN 29, 2011 - 01:36 PM
That could be it Russ but as I said I just cant put my finger on what is bothering me about them.
JAN 29, 2011 - 09:18 PM
Ah, armoured cows don't forget the weld seems Al
JAN 30, 2011 - 02:36 AM
Very different subject, once again! MB-staff: Thanks! keep on going this track. Though the heads do not look bad at all, we always might have some Hornet heads as a replacement, don't we!? I found an old Historex model catalogue, (in which horses do have a big part) that clearly tells you how to get a ' hairy' skin structure by using oil paints. At least that's the way I am going to paint them. It worked out very well on the MB wagon horses, as well as on the Cossack horses from Dragon. The ' only' thing you have to watch is the direction of the hair since there are quite some twists and turns. Just have a look at " cattle varieties eastern europe" pictures!!!
JAN 30, 2011 - 11:18 PM
Great Review Darren! About the cows (Switzerland being the cow country and all... ): You also have to consider that today's cows look fairly different than those of 70 years ago, they are "overengineered" so to say... Breeding has put the focus on milk and today's cows deliver a lot more milk than those of the time so they also look different. I would whink today's cows look more fragile/bony and have bigger udders. It would also depend on the breed. When traveling I always find cows in other countries look different than ours here in Switzerland. Maybe a dairy farmer can chime in here? Cheers! Stefan
FEB 03, 2011 - 08:34 PM
Paul my pictures may not be doing them justice as the faces in the latest releases from MasterBox are very good when it comes to expression, I accept they are not as good as resin heads but the differance between them is shrinking. You make a very important point about the animals in this set as regards direction of brush stroke. Stefan one thing that surprised me is how few people mentioned that the cows have horns as the normal practice today is for only bulls to have horns due to them being removed on calves to prevent injuries to the rest of the herd.
FEB 04, 2011 - 04:08 AM
Since a few days I am working on a small farm house diorama in a western Ukranian setting at the beginning of the Axis campaign into Russia. In those days Russian people expected the German troops to liberate them from the Stalin regime, therefore being quite friendly to German landsers. I want to use the new MB sets, operation milk man and the (not yet received) eastern European civilians, since they would fit very well together. Living between Dutch dairy farmers, as well as having a great interest in cattle, I collected quite some books about these animals. In the middle of the 20th century the Frisain / American / Holstein black and white's had not conquered the world yet, though there were already quite some Dutch influences. In those days cattle was far more region related. This implicates that also the skin color is not always black/with, but brown was more common. Even cows with a sort of dark brown on light brown tiger striped skin were not rare. ( I saw many of them during my IFOR period in Bosnia ). So, take a trip at Google and you are served very well. The horns nowadays are removed since most of the cattle stays indoors all their live, so the density of cattle in a stable is quite high. Without their horns there is less struggle between each other for ranking order, but also it is safer to work with. Also, thre is less harm in the feeding racks and milking station. In Holland both bulls and cows loose their horns at a very young age, done by veterianarians or farmers by burning the small horn pit with a special tool. About MB's cattle: I filled the openings between the various parts with putty, put some liquid glue on it and smoothend it with an old brush. I used skull white from Games Workshop, (61.54) as a basic. Now they are waiting for their first oil paint cover! (What a discussion about 'soft skins'on an armor hobby site!!! )
FEB 05, 2011 - 12:34 AM
Thank you for the information paul, very informative.
FEB 05, 2011 - 03:13 AM
I've spent far too much time looking at cow photos online because I really like this set. I think it really comes down to the cows being naked and smooth, when they are really quite hairy. If you figure out how to duplicate the texture of the coat and the whirl patterns that are present, particularly on the head, post photos so we can see how it's done. With all the animals coming out, painting and texturing them could become a major topic in the "techniques" forum. Will people fight over the proper body color and udder size of a cow like they do over red primer and exhausts?
FEB 05, 2011 - 06:14 AM
   

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