Reviewers noteAfter I posted the review, it has been brought to my attention that the figure is not wearing a Battledress as such, but indeed the lighter 'Jungle' version. Whilst my conclusion that this figure can be used in any setting from 1942 onwards is therefore not entirely correct, it does not alter or affect my overall opinion of the figure. Please bear this in mind when reading the review
The lack of figures non-German figures in general, and soldiers in British Battledress in 1/35 scale has been widely discussed on many Internet Forums, so Jakrei Miniatures line of figures should be of interest to many Allied Model builders. The companies releases so far include such wide ranging subjects as an MP in Tropical Dress, Desert Tankers, Civilians (including British policemen) and the subject of this review, a soldier in British Battledress.
what's in the box?
The figure is packed in a small, high quality, black box with a separate lid. A photo of the painted model is attached to the lid. Inside the box the individual parts of the figure are packed in a small plastic bag, and protected from damage by a piece of foam. No separate instructions are included, which means that the single box top photograph has to double up as both a building guide and paint instruction.
The figure in detail
This figure is quite different from the majority of Jakrei's line-up, in that it is broken down in several parts, with some separate equipment. Both arms are separate, as are the head, backpack, canteen, shovel and bayonet. His Lee Enfield rifle,as slung over his shoulder,has been cast as part of the right arm, including the sling. This figure will not require the builder to add anything to finish it, other than paint.
All parts are cast in white metal, and the casting is flawless. There is just a small hint of 'flash' at the mating surface of the arms, a very faint seam line on the left arm, and a small left over of the pour stubs at the elbows to be cleaned up. The nature of the material used makes this the quickest, and easiest clean up I have come across. Let's have a look at the individual parts. The head The head is cast with the helmet, and is a very good sculpt. The facial features are not overdone, but give the figure a very clear expression. The down turned corners of his mouth, the slight forward tilt of the head and the raked angle of the helmet give the figure the resigned but determined expression of a veteran. Torso and legs As is often the case with resin or metal figures, the torso and legs are a single cast. The webbing and ammo pouches are part of the cast as well. All the details are sharp and well defined, and very crisply cast. The ammo pouches are well detailed, with just enough shape and texture. The only slight minus is that, because the pouches are cast on the body, there is no real definition between the back of the pouches and the body. The webbing is well sculpted, with very fine detailed buckles. Arms The left arm is simply hanging by his side, and is designed to hold the spade. To fit the spade in the fist will need a small amount of manipulation, because the fist has been sculpted so as to properly 'grip' the spade, unlike many plastic figures. The sleeve of the blouse is rolled up to just above the elbow, and again the shape and texture of the folds is enough, rather than excessive. A very faint seam line is removed with one pass of a No. 11 blade and the fit to the torso is simply perfect.
The right arm has the Lee Enfield rifle cast with it, and has been cast without a seam line at all. A small amount of flash needed to be removed from the mating surface, but other than that no clean up is required. The snug fit of rifle, arm, ammo pouch and canteen could have easily lead to fit problems and gaps, but the quality of the sculpt and mould results in clean fit, without any gaps or need for filler. Impressive. Sticklers for scale and detail may feel a need to thin the rifle sling, and perhaps add an adjustment buckle. equipment There are three separate items of equipment to attach, a backpack, a canteen and the spike bayonet. The backpack lines up perfectly with the webbing straps that are cast to the torso, and has very fine sculpted strap and buckle detail. The edge of the flap is somewhat lacking in definition though, and a little work with a scalpel will improve this. The edges and corners are sculpted very sharp and straight, and are perhaps just a touch to 'parade perfect' for this figure's veteran look. The canteen and bayonet simply fit to their respective places, and add a final touch of detail.
This is a very versatile figure, which, despite the title Far East, can be used in any late war setting where the British Battledress was worn. The Blouse is of the P40 design, with the buttons exposed rather than covered over like the earlier pattern. As this Blouse was introduced in 1942, the figure can be used in any time frame after this. As this type of Battle Dress was issued well into the 60's, you could even use it in a post war setting, perhaps combined with the Centurion from AFV.
I really like the way this figure has been sculpted, with folds and facial features which are sharp enough to give definition, but without having been overdone to comical effect. The posture of this figure makes it an ideal figure to add to a diorama or vignette, because rather than detract from the main subject it will add an extra 'line of sight' to focus the attention to the main subject.
Jakrei miniatures are stocked by Accurate Armour, and Friendship Models.
I highly recommend this figure, and I hope that we can look forward to more of his 'squad buddies' in the future.
Highs: A generic figure in British Battledress. Figure can be used in settings spanning from 1942 till late 1960's.Lows: Leg gaiters are missing the buckles.Verdict: Highly recommended.
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