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First Look Review
135
Checkpoint
  • 3527big

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

Introduction - about this preview
The last few months have seen a series of reviews of the new releases from the Ukrainian manufacturer, Masterbox Ltd.. What has been notable has been several areas - firstly, the substantial increase in the quality of their range and secondly, the incredibly imaginative approach they are taking with their new products.

The Kitmaker Network has been very fortunate in not only getting samples of all the new products from the company, but, in cases like this, ADVANCE samples.

Now, as this is NOT a 'production sample' of 'Checkpoint', it wouldn't be entirely fair to review it in the conventional manner, rather, i'll try to give my impressions of it and with the aid of the images of the parts give the Site-User an idea of what to expect when it reaches the shelves....


The kit
3527 - Checkpoint consists (unusually enough for Masterbox)) of two largish sprues in dark-grey plastic. The set contains six figures, two German Shepherd dogs, a sentry box and a a pole-barrier. Breaking it down even furher, there are three (greatcoated) German Military Police - Officer and two soldiers and three civilians (man, woman and small girl) .
The PRODUCTION version will differ in that a 'Hedgehog' A/T barrier will also be included in the set.


Impressions
As mentioned earlier, I don't want to go into a detailed account of the set, but rather talk in general terms about the (first) impressions of the set.I'll do this by looking at each element in turn:

German Military Police

Bearing in mind that German sets outnumber Allied ones around 500 to 1, it's a little surprising that the German greatcoat has not figured too much in manufacturers' products. The three figures provided in this set are greatcoated and come with some very finely-sculpted detail for the MP 'Gorgets'.

The Civilians.

Three civilian figures are provided (first in styrene?) and initial impressions are very good . Nice additional details like the suitcase and the woman clutching her handbag along with good details on clothing and faces.

The Dogs.

Two German Shepherds (Alsatians) are provided which, will doubtless be another selling point for this set. Proprtions and anatomy look good and the fur is nicely textured.

Barrier and Sentry-Box.

Beginning with the latter, this is a simple, six-piece construction. As most of these were of wood, the sculptor has given it a good, 'wood-texture'. The Road-Barrier comes very well-designed with weights and all the usual fulcrum parts. Once again, real thought has gone into the design of a surprisingly complex construction.


Conclusions
Initial impressions are very favorable indeed, with every indication that a LOT of thought has gone into this set. The possibilities are also considerable and diorama builders will inevitable buy several sets to include various elements. The most useful part will undoubtedly be the civilians - a lot of modelers will buy this set simply for the fact of getting good, inexpensive civilians along with some other useful elements. It's a very ambitious set from Masterbox and shows that they really are a force to be reckoned with. It'd also be remiss not to mention the impressive artwork - it, like the sets themselves, seems to be getting better all the time.


Acknowledgements

Once again, my thanks to Masterbox Ltd. for giving the Site-Users of Kitmaker Network the opportunity (once again) to see their products long-before they become available...
SUMMARY
By way of an 'exclusive' on the Kitmaker Network, this is the first impressions of a set which is scheduled for release this summer. Make no mistake, this set is as innovative as they get - Masterbox is now probably the most original of the figure manufacturers in 1/35th scale...
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 3527
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: May 30, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 84.05%

Our Thanks to Master Box Ltd.!
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 Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2019 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Another interesting little vignette in a box, at an affordable price. Thanks for the review Jim.
MAY 29, 2007 - 11:23 PM
Hi, Thanks Jim for the review. Masterbox is doing really well : originality, details, price etc.. I love this set not for the germans which there is load of on the market (depite there is not so much feldgendarm if fact), but for the figure. This is the first time there afordable and nicely sculpted civilian figures on the market (the Preiser one are nice but rather undetailled and expensive). Thanks Jim and masterbox, keep the kit coming ! Julien
MAY 30, 2007 - 02:13 AM
As usual Jim agood detailed balanced review. The only thing I would mention, after studying the box art & the sprues, is that two out of three of the soldiers are clearly wearing the motorcycle coat rather than greatcoats, the give-away is the large "baggy" rounded pockets & the profusion of tabs round the skirts (so it can be fastened around the legs when riding a motorbike). This is even more rarely modelled, apart from some hideous old Tamiya figures & the Dragon MPs set, now OOP.
JUN 05, 2007 - 06:50 AM
Steve - yes, sorry, my bad It ISN'T the greatcoat, but rather the rubberized motorcyclists coat. This is also a bonus as it's the first time in plastic (not even going to consider the Tamiya one in the 1970s ). Thanks for pointing that out...
JUN 05, 2007 - 06:38 PM
   

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Photos
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