The kit consists of three resin pieces and one sheet of photo etched brass. The resin parts include the head, body and a very nice square base for the piece. The PE includes two badges for the cap, one badge for the leather flying jacket, two copies of a Knights Cross and a name plate for the base.
The casting is absolutely beautiful. No seams to remove and only a couple of very small air bubbles to fill in. The casting plug on the body is on the underside (along with two smaller plugs that I believe are for air relief during the casting process). The casting plug for the head is located on the top of the cap, running front to back. This causes a small problem during removal as it is just on top of the piping. I wasn't able to remove it without damaging the piping. I opted to remove all of the piping, grind a groove and lay in new piping using 0.03" solder wire. The resin used is unlike anything I've come across before. It's softer than I am used to dealing with and has an almost plastic quality to it. Nothing wrong with this except I managed to remove a little bit of detail when I was using 0000 steel wool. So what I did was to remove the braided cords across the front of the cap along with the piping on the top and bottom of the front surface where the larger PE badge will be located. I then replaced the piping as previously described. To replace the braided cords, I used 0.02" solder wire and twisted it into two long strands.
INSTRUCTIONS & BOX ART
No instructions were provided with the kit but the color box art photograph makes it clear where the PE pieces belong.
The base and PE nameplate are a very nice addition to the piece. The base has a round pin sticking up from the top for mounting the bust. I've opted to replace both the base and the name plate for my version. But using them would be no problem whatsoever in my opinion.
I had to order mine directly from WCM in Poland. I had some difficulty getting their site to accept my order. After contacting them, they were able to help me and the order was processed and quickly shipped. Unfortunately, it took over two months for it to arrive (it was shiped airmail). I also had quite a bit of difficulty contacting them by email and using their site contact page. As a last resort I contacted one of ArmoramA's members who lives in Poland. He very kindly offered to call them and contact was then reestablished. Through it all the people at WCM were very kind and helpful in trying to track down my order. In the end I believe it was just a case of the order gettng badly delayed in transit and was no fault of WCM.
The purchase price of approximately $60.00 (US) was not too bad for what you get. But the additional charges for shipping it from Poland brought the final cost to almost $90.00 (US).
This is an excellent bust of a well known personality from WWII. Squadron Mail Order carries some of Mirage's product line but this piece is not yet available and I have no idea if it will be offered through them. I'm hoping that it and more of the Mirage busts will become available through Squadron someday soon. Based on this bust, there are one or two more that I'd be willing to purchase.
Mirage of Poland offers a line of busts of WWII personalities. This is an excellent piece which represents a very good likeness to Erich Hartmann based on pictures I've found on the internet.
About Craig Whitaker (mongo_mel) FROM: PENNSYLVANIA, UNITED STATES
I've been building models since I was a kid back in the '60s. I did everything imaginable until the mid '80s when I decided to try and get serious about it. Like most of us, I credit the Shep Paine diorama sheets found in Monogram kits for my inspiration. When I made this decision, it was armor all ...