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Nikolai

Set KUK03

KUK Navy, Sailors 1

Click for larger image
All figures are supplied unpainted    (Numbers of each pose in brackets)
Stats
Date Released 2005
Contents 5 figures
Poses 5 poses
Material Resin
Colours Black
Average Height 24 mm (= 1.73 m)

Review

Look at the figure ranges of some companies and it's easy to get them confused. They have many of the old favourites - Napoleonic infantry, perhaps a few French cavalry sets, some American Civil War and, of course, a very generous helping of World War II. It's a formula that Nikolai clearly ignore, and as a result they have produced some of the most original and interesting sets of the past few years. While each set only contains a handful of figures they usually make several complementary sets to better depict the subject, and this set is their third on the naval arm of the armed forces of Austria-Hungary during the Great War. Unlike the other two, this set does not specifically mention the submarine branch, although as with them these figures can be used for many units in the service of many countries.

Simply labelled 'Sailors', this set has a more workmanlike feel to it than the submarine crew. Here the men are doing something, and given the presence of several kit bags we would suggest they might be either joining or leaving the vessel. Apart from the sailor just standing doing nothing we liked all the poses, with the man crouching to pet the dog being a particularly nice human touch.

Three of the men wear the normal 'square rig' while the other two have less formal working clothes, but all are perfectly suitable. The method of casting these figures means there is no excess material or flash to be removed, so for instance, although all the figures come complete the basket is hollow, not solid. The sculpting is up to the usual high standards of Nikolai, with perfect proportions and very good facial expressions. The only things missing are bases - we added those shown in our picture to allow them to be painted.

Some might bemoan the lack of figures at action stations in this particular range, but what you do get is a number of very attractive models that would significantly enhance any Great War vessel not actually in battle. Let us hope the hobby will long be brightened by such interesting and well-executed products.

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