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Hasegawa

Set 35008

WWII Pilot Figure Set

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1998
Contents 12 figures
Poses 6 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

For obvious reasons aircrew are a popular subject for manufacturers of planes, and this offering from Hasegawa covers many of the major powers of World War II. The first two figures are German, while the second pair are Japanese. The two figures on the second row are labelled as 'U.S./British', but sadly there is not a fourth pair of Soviet pilots, which seems like an obvious omission.

The first German wears his sidecap and flying jacket with uniform trousers and boots, plus a life jacket. It was normal in the early part of the war to wear standard uniform, but later the flight suit as worn by the second figure became the norm. This includes two large front pockets, which is typical, and proper flight boots. Both men are in nonchalant poses which is fine if they are posed next to a parked aircraft but a bit dull if an action diorama is required.

The two Japanese pilots are dressed much alike, with both having flight suit and parachute harness. The first figure has the flaps of his flying helmet clearly visible, which may be a fur-lined winter version. The other man, in the process of clambering in or out of his aircraft, has the parachute seat pack which his colleague lacks, and so is ready for immediate action.

By contrast the two US/British figures seem well away from combat. Despite the dual nationality we thought both figures seemed more American than British. The first figure wears a field cap and a jacket (something like an A-2) and what look like ordinary uniform trousers. The second man wears a flying helmet and life jacket, and presumably a flying suit although this is without any details such as pockets and openings, so its identity is unclear.

With such a wealth of uniform and flight gear in use during the Second World War, six figures can only begin to scratch the surface of how these men looked. However as far as they go they all seem quite accurate and reasonably representative. The detail is fair but not particularly sharp, though the figures are nicely done and do look realistic (including the lower stature of the Japanese). Since they are intended to 'decorate' model planes they have not been provided with bases, but these hard plastic figures all come as one piece rather than in kit form. Though this set barely begins to portray these very large subjects, what there is is well done and attractive.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 9
Pose Quality 3
Pose Number 4
Sculpting 8
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Imperial Japanese Naval Aviator 1937-45" - Osprey (Warrior Series No.55) - Osamu Tagaya - 9781841763859
"Japanese Naval Aviation Uniforms and Equipment 1937-45" - Osprey (Elite Series No.86) - Gary Nila - 9781841764658
"Midway 1942" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.30) - Mark Healy - 9781855323353
"Naval, Marine and Air Force Uniforms of World War 2" - Blandford (Blandford Colour Series) - Andrew Mollo - 9780713707250
"Pearl Harbor 1941" - Osprey (Campaign Series No.62) - Carl Smith - 9781855327986
"The Armed Forces of World War II" - Orbis - Andrew Mollo - 9780856132964
Magazines
"Militaria (English Language)" - No.9

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