Escape From Stalingrad models

Escape From Stalingrad Z is a weird fiction game in a World War II setting. After painting some models for Raybox Games before, we had a chance to collaborate on another project, this time for Escape From Stalingrad Z.

The first batch of models was done by Thymos.Theos, and here is what he created:

First model on the left is Becker, a tank commander:

Next we have a combat engineer, Til:

The third soldier is Dasha, a Soviet sniper:

Finally we have Unteroffizier Reiser:

And if you would like to see the whole group on a black background, here they are:

Somebody even asked if we will have any special offers for painting Escape From Stalingrad Z models. 😀
Well, if you have read this fat, contact us and we’ll work something out for you. 🙂

Romeo Models: Jean Bart – Review

Don’t we all love presents? Especially when we get them. 🙂

Today I will tell you about a present I got from my wife – Jean Bart from Romeo Models. The company is an interesting alternative to such known companies as Andrea or Pegaso. It doesn’t have such long history and that’s why it’s good to know what do you get for your money. 😉 So let’s move on to my Romeo Models “Jean Bart” review:

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review


Jean Bart (21 October 1651 – 27 April 1702) was a Flemish sailor who primarily served the French crown as naval commander and privateer. He captured a total of 386 ships and also sank or burned a great number more. You may find the wikipedia entry about Jean Bart interesting to see, because of a portrait from another painter.

The miniature is a 3D copy of a painting from French painter Jean-Léon Gérôme.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review
Original painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

What’s in the box

The miniature measures 75 mm. It came in a big box, everything was well packed. The sponge was so thick, that the parts were tight in it. The miniature consists of 23 parts plus a mirror-like sticker:

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Jean Bart – the corsair

Jean Bart is made of 11 parts from white metal. At first it is a bit tricky to put it all together, but after a bit of playing with it you find a way. 🙂 The casting is very detailed. You can see how good it is on scarves, hair or ring on hand. The surface on the face is flat and doesn’t need much work. Of course there are mold lines, but nothing that needs more work and should be easily removed.

Parts fit well together. I wouldn’t call it a perfect match, because there are gaps, but nothing special that you wouldn’t fill with a bit of modeling putty.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Wait, there’s more!

The other objects are table – 4 parts and chair – 4 parts. Those are super detailed and really great sculpted. They need a bit more cleaning from mold lines and I am not sure why. Especially detailed fragments will need some extra attention.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

The floor and wall are made from resin. Here is a bit of disappointment – the quality isn’t that good as metal parts. There are some bubble holes on the side and much more cleaning will be needed. I also think that there is a difference in the wood texture between floor and wall. The wall has much more details, and those aren’t casted that well at some part. Fortunately the worst part is under the table and will not be that visible.

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review

A really nice addition is mirror sticker that you can stick as a mirror. Of course you can try to paint the mirror reflection on your own. 😉

Photo: Romeo Models: Jean Bart - review


I can easily say that it is a piece of art. Full of character, great composition and a really demanding piece to paint. From artistic point of view I would rate it 10 points out of maximum 10. With my new love for big scale models I am not being very objective…

When talking about this mini, you have to mention the price. It is expensive – 75 EUR and I am not quite sure if it’s worth that much money. Other 75mm miniatures from Romeo cost 45EUR. Of course here you get more parts – table, chair, resin floor and wall, but does it make it so more expensive? That is why -1 point here.

There is a difference in quality between metal and resin parts. Maybe resin is a new technology to Romeo and they are still learning to master it? I mean new in production, not that Romeo didn’t sooner know about it. These parts aren’t perfect, but also they aren’t that much visible and will be easy to fill/clean. But still -0,5 point.

Final score: 8,5/10.

I came up with an idea of going to see the Jean-Léon Gérôme’s painting in real, but unfortunately it is in hands of a private collector. It would be nice to have a picture with this miniature painted and the real painting behind my back 🙂 I you are that private collector or you know him, send me a message on Chest of Colors forum 😀

My plans for the model? You will see it in person at Hussar 2012.

— Czlowiek.morze

“Somewhere in Europe… 1944” – Review

It is time for yet another review of historical models in 1/35 scale. I’m gonna cover Master Box LTD company of Ukraine, and their “Somewhere in Europe… 1944” set.


I found these models by accident while searching for horses. This box includes two nags, two Germans, grandpa with granddaughter and a cart. Germans are also available separately in the “Supplies, at last!” box, and the cart in the “Farmers Cart” box, Europe, WWII Era.

4 human models, 2 horses and the cart were very cheap, so I didn’t hesitate to buy that set.

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review


These multi-part models are made of plastic and come in sprues. I know quality and precision some companies provide for models cast in plastic, so I was quite scared… horse is made of 5 elements, but there are about 23 pieces for a soldier. Frankly speaking you don’t have to use all these bits, but you need about 12 bits to make a soldier without the equipment. I was then really surprised, because elements could be removed from sprues easily, and mould lines disappeared after short sanding. I also found that the manufacturer provided additional bits, so we can personalize their models, e.g. there are 2 different headgears or water bottles in excess.

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review


The best glue for these models is glue for plastic elements. Standard cyanoacrylate super glues should be avoided.

Seriously, both material and parts were meant to be glued with the glue for plastic elements. Bits have excessive material which gets melted by glue. This automatically fills gap between two parts. That was another big surprise. Some of the bits looked unfriendly in sprues, even worse after removal. Nevertheless, after gluing almost all pieces fit perfectly! If there was something wrong it was usually because I’d forgotten about few pieces (like haversack or pouches).

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review


The general level of details is pretty good, especially considering the material. Of course, details are not as deep as in resin models. Also, newer models have more details sculpted. I was able to check contents of few more boxes. Those released in the past are pretty simple, while new sculpts are looking much better and have lot of details. The set I purchased is somewhere in between when it comes to details and sculpt quality. By the way, there are no nails sculpted on fingers, I think all historical models have the same issue.

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review

Photo: Somewhere in Europe... 1944 - Review


  • plastic, not resin – quality of details,
  • be careful while cleaning the model. Material is quite soft, you can easily scrape details off.


  • price!!
  • general quality,
  • range (see below).

Range (a.k.a. what I have seen)

Models in 1/35 scale are usually not to my liking due to very stiff poses. Soldiers stand at attention, point a finger at something, shoot from the hip or crawl – all of that like they had a long and stiff stick in their… well, you know where.

I was therefore even more surprised to see that soldier with a bin assuming a very easy stance; his mate also looks like an easy fellow. This made me check other products released by that company. It looks like there is more “easy” sculpts and several very dynamic ones. I recommend taking a closer look at:

  • “Frontier fight of summer 1941, hand to hand combat (4 fig.)” – hand to hand combat with helmets and shovels??
  • “Skatspieler” – soldiers playing cards.
  • “Casualty Evacuation”, German Infantry, Stalingrad, Summer 1942 – rarely seen scene with wounded/killed soldiers
  • “Deutsches Afrika Korps, WWII Era” – repair workshop.

There is more of that; and some civilians too.

I also suggest you find the diorama produced by Kenichiro Hebitsuka from Japan on the manufacturer’s website – it clearly shows what you can make out of these models.


I haven’t observed any bad reaction between the material and spray primer or any signs of wearing.

I painted mine for the 5th Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange and painting process was fun and quick. I’d love to use oils for few elements, but lifted that idea due to time constraints. Anyway, these models surely can be painted with oils. The only lacking thing were deeper details characteristic for resin models. Newer models are much better with regards to details though.

True historical colour scheme is shown on the box with reference to specific paints given (Vallejo, Tamiya, Lifecolor, Humbrol, Agama). Of course, you can always check available publications (e.g. Osprey books) by yourself or paint a model as you wish.

Photo: Somewhere in Europe - Review
My paintjob for Chest of Colors Miniature Exchange


I don’t think you will find a better quality/price ration within this price range. The casting quality is not as good as in case of resin models, but many of these models would look better than standard resin models, especially “top sets” like “US Check Point in Iraq /3591/”. A box with 2 – 5 models with loads of equipment will cost 15 – 45 PLN (4 – 10€, 5 – 15 $), and “MB 3560 German Motorcycle Repair Crew (1:35)” set comprising a full diorama with 4 soldiers, table and motorcycle stripped to pieces costs about 60 PLN (14 €, 18 $).

My opinion is that this is a very good offer for people who want to try a new scale or new techniques (oils, anyone?). You will not despair if something goes wrong due to low prices. Of course, advanced painters could easily make a masterpiece of these models like Kenichiro Hebitsuka did.

— Maru

Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket – Review

It’s time for another historical model. I’d bought it few months ago and finally found some time to describe it. So here it comes: Full Metal Jacket – review. Beware though, I do feel like writing today, so there might be quite a lot of text below…

Introduction to Full Metal Jacket review

This pretty big chunk of resin with some additional bits is made by Verlinden Productions and has the same name as one of the greatest Vietnam war-themed films, the Kubrick’s “Full Metal Jacket”. There is also second name on the box “G.I. Vietnam”. G.I. is a general abbreviation used by US forces to describe to military units (or Government Issue, or Galvanized Iron), and Full Metal Jacket is a popular kind of a bullet.

I was considering purchasing it for a long time already, as Vietnam War is my second most favourite historical period, just after the WW II. VP range actually includes more small dioramas like this one: “Good Morning Vietnam” (name taken after the film with awesome Robin Williams), “Flower Power” and others… I’m thinking about getting them all to make a big camp, but for now this scene will suffice. 🙂

The model – overview

As of now I’ve chosen – in my opinion – the best quality product: a soldier lying with Playboy in his hands and his gear all around him. A classic scene, lots of details and true Vietnam feel 🙂

The model is in 1:35 scale. The catalogue number is 329, as you can see on the box.

It is packed in a plastic bag and nice box with picture of the painted version. There are 6 elements inside, which you can use to create the whole scene – diorama, 2 arms, 2 heads and a radio.

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review    Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review


My review will start with the biggest element: the whole terrain around the soldier. The quality is of the highest level. Anyone familiar with this company will conform that their products are still considered to be one of the best on the market. Verlinden range covers loads of elements for vehicles (e.g. boxes, barrels, weapon, ammunition) as well as models. One can expect a whole lot of junk for dioramas from them as soon as bigger models (like the Abrams tank) are released. Majority of their products are provided for 1:35 scale.

The whole element is a one-piece cast. Nevertheless, the cast is perfect, as you can see on the photos. Cavities, holes, details and other shapes – there is nothing to complain about, even for myself 😀 I noticed just one issue, which is also visible on my pics – the scene was cut away from something else. I’m not sure what was it, but the cut is evident. Perhaps a bigger batch was cast, hence the cutting… there are this protruding bits around the sand. Anyway, these are not cast imperfections, just material excess cut off. One just need to cut and file it to solve the problem.

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review


Quality and precision of details is astonishing. If you don’t believe me, check the glasses frame, wrist watch, boxes with excellent wood texture or the peace symbol hanging from the soldier’s neck. I won’t even mention details of the radio, cans, cigarette boxes, facial hair or boot soles.

Photo: Verlinden Productions: Full Metal Jacket - Review

Even the M-1 helmet has a material pulled over it, with folds! By the way, don’t sand this element, as there are not mould lines 🙂 My only remark would be lack of visible nails, there are “only” perfectly executed hands;)


The model doesn’t have too much flash to be removed, and ones I’ve found result from the manufacturing process only, not the poor quality of forms. There are also just few delicate mould lines – careful filing and sanding will be sufficient to remove them. You could use a knife to scrape them off, if you feel confident, but remember this is resin, which can easily get damaged, especially in case of thinner, smaller elements.

My plans

My plan is to paint this model realistically, so I’m sure I’ll first watch the best (in my opinion) film about the war in Vietnam: “Apocalypse Now” (the director’s cut, of course, which I saw 3 times recently) with M. Sheen and great M. Brando, then most probably “Platoon” with Sheen’s son 🙂 So many famous actors there, and both are very good films. Anyway, I grew up watching them (and who didn’t? :)), so it will be nice to see them again. Not everyone is a fan of the subject, but most of us know these two productions.

And there is also my favourite chopper and workhorse of that war – Bell UH-1 Iroquois… but that’s completely different story…

Back to the model…

Painter’s opinion

Painting shouldn’t be difficult for anyone. One just need to get some pics and start painting. Colours true for that period are well known and you can find any required information in the internet. Of course, if you want to get deeper, you can get many books covering this subject, e.g. from the Osprey publications. Use green and olive shades for uniforms, with some tiger-stripes camouflage patterns, and Marlboro, Winston or Lucky Strike cigarette and you’re free to go;) I think you know how to paint ammo boxes too. Pastels and dry pigments might be useful to recreate dark ground and dust.

As for papers and centrefold… well, you can print these in proper scale (Playboy cover should not be a problem) or even paint, if you feel adventurous 🙂


I will rate this model 9.5/10 – almost perfect. The slight drawback (there always is something) are all these small bits, excessive material and mould lines. Nothing difficult to remove, but one needs to spend some time on these, as any observer would notice those on all the details.

I do recommend this model. The box might be a bit pricey at more than $21, bit it’s worth every cent! You pay for the quality, and quality to price ratio is really good in this case. You can be sure that you’ll get a top shelf product, and I’m sure you’ll have fun painting it.

— Slawol (who would like to thank Nameless for his translation and making this article available to our international readers)