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Hasegawa

Set 35007

US Pilot/Ground Crew Set

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 1985
Contents 16 figures and 1 vehicle
Poses 16 poses
Material Plastic (Very Hard)
Colours Grey
Average Height 25 mm (= 1.8 m)

Review

Like many manufacturers, Hasegawa produced many of their figure sets with the intention of using them to 'decorate' some of their other models, in this case aircraft. This set is part of their 'Aircraft in Action' series, and delivered the kind of figures you might expect to find around a US air base in the 1980s.

To begin with, some introductions are in order. Viewing our pictures left to right, top to bottom, the first six figures are pilots. The first three are clearly already in the cockpit, so would be useful for aircraft still on the ground, and they are certainly more animated than the very static pilot figures that normally accompany aircraft kits. The remaining three pilots are suited up but yet to board. The last of these is climbing the ladder which is also included in the set.

The next figures after the pilots are described by the makers as 'air policemen', although the second is clearly a woman. These are pretty inactive but are fine as far as they go. After them there are two ground crew, both of which seem to be directing planes.

The third row is made up of five maintenance crew, suitably dressed and working on various parts of the aircraft. Again a woman has been included, and all the poses are realistic.

Next we have the flight crew vehicle. This is a Chevrolet step van, a vehicle that was put to all manner of uses during its production run. Here it has been fitted with two bench seats running the length of the vehicle. The driver's door can be positioned anywhere between fully opened (as we have chosen) to fully closed. The rear double doors can also be either open or closed, at least according to the instructions. In fact, to have them open you would have to carve them out from the one-piece rear panel - a job which would be extremely difficult to achieve with anything like a neat finish. The vehicle comes with clear plastic windows and decals for dashboard etc, and also two metal axles. The rear wheel arches are not rounded, yet the axles are both the same width, which means there is insufficient room for the rear wheels without shortening the metal axle. As a whole however the model is very accurate and with a pleasing amount of detail.

Finally we have the driver of the van plus a selection of smaller accessories. The first is the cockpit ladder, followed by a maintenance platform and a wheeled fire extinguisher. The set also includes a length of vinyl cord which can be used as the hose for the extinguisher, and a hose nozzle (not shown) is also included (you can see the desired effect in the box art picture). Finally some bags, boxes, helmets and oxygen masks complete the package.

Many of the figures are complete as seen, but some come with separate arms or other parts. The whole sprue can be seen here, and we built all the figures as per the recommendations in the box. However in truth the parts do not allow a great deal of scope for variation from these suggestions beyond small changes in arm positions and the like. The figures are pretty well sculpted and well detailed, although the lack of any bases, separate or otherwise, will be an inconvenience for some. The van and larger accessories fitted together well, and since the set is made in a hard plastic gluing was both easy and permanent. There is almost no flash, and the assembly instructions were pretty straightforward.

The van takes quite a lot of space on the sprue, but you still get a good range of figures and some worthwhile accessories for your money. Anyone making an airfield diorama of the 1980s will surely find plenty of interest in this well-produced set.

Ratings

Historical Accuracy 10
Pose Quality 9
Pose Number 9
Sculpting 9
Mould 9

Further Reading
Books
"Air Force Uniforms 1 (Canada & USA)" - Bellona (Encyclopaedia of Military Aviation Series) - Andrzej Galazka - 9788311085572

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