by: Craig Whitaker [ ]
DescriptionThe bust consists of two resin pieces for the body and head.
He is wearing a model M-1938 tankers helmet and winter combat jacket with slash pockets and knit collar.
InstructionsNone supplied with the kit. There is a good quality color photograph on the front of the box that will be helpful. A search using Google turned up a good bit of useful information and photographs.
CastingThe casting of both pieces is very well done with no air bubbles to fill on the subject surface, and only a couple on the back surface of the body. There was a hairline crack along the top edge of the back of the body that was easily filled and sanded smooth.
The head had a seam line located in the back running up the neck and on to the rear flap of the helmet. The seam did not run through any detail and was very easy to remove with an X-Acto knife. Both pieces had a casting plug that was also easy to remove with a circular saw blade mounted in my Dremel. Total basic clean up time was less than one hour.
EngineeringThe head ends at the bottom of the neck where there is a small stem cast into it that helps locate it into a cast hole in the body. With a deep neck hole in the body this may not have been necessary, but it also gives the builder something to clamp on to while painting. The body style is a bit different than the traditional bust in that it stops before it reaches the arms. Also, the back of the bust is sculpted with a shallow curve rather than the typical flat bottom style and rear detail. This works quite well with the body style and gives the bust nice proportions. There is a round rod cast up the back of the bust which gives the builder a good place to insert a support rod for mounting the bust to a base.
Appearance and AccuracyThe face and helmet are the prime focus of this piece and Anders has done a good job replicating the helmet. Some research on the Internet has turned up a couple of items that will be easy to add or correct to give the bust a little more authenticity:
First, there are two leather arms missing from the helmet. These were used to help hold the ear flaps and ear phones tight against the head. These were riveted to the helmet and could be swiveled into place over the flaps. Some styrene strips could be easily made to replicate them.
Second, on the rear flap of the helmet there are four snaps. These appear not to be centered on the flap, as they should be. It would be very easy to remove them and add new snaps in the correct location.
Third and last would be to add some wire for the earphones. Photos found show the wires coming out of the rear of the earflaps and meeting at the back of the helmet where they then run down the front of the tanker to their connection. Adding this would be a nice touch to finish off the bust.
The tankers jacket looks well done with the ribbing of the knit collar well sculpted as well as the collar of the shirt underneath and the scarf wrapped around the neck. Looking at photos found on the Internet, the slash pockets appear a bit high, but without the full upper torso for reference it's hard to say for sure. On every photo I found they appear at different heights from the waist. This could be due to different manufacturers as well as custom made jackets. Definitely nothing to worry about.
ConclusionsOverall a nice bust. It's not a visually striking piece. The uniform doesn't lend itself too much detail, as would a German tanker but the unique helmet helps give it style. I feel that for the price it's a good buy.
If this is a subject that interests you then it's well worth getting a copy. It'll help balance out all of those German tanker busts you have on your shelf :).