Thank you to Video Aviation for providing this elegant aircraft accessory deck crew figure, and thank you to the IPMS Reviewer Corps for letting me review it! I am very appreciative of all you do for the scale modeling community. Video Aviation is a small Italian company that offers a variety of diorama and vignette accessories in three scales that will make a welcome addition to aircraft displays. The casting masters are completely CAD designed and rapid prototyped for production. This allows the same figure to be easily produced in different scales.
The crew member arrived in a small clear polystyrene reclose-able box. The five resin pour plugs were securely protected with bubble wrap. A succinct set of instructions and color images for painting suggestions are included. The light tan resin showed no sign of mold release and the minimal flash was easily removed without compromising the fine surface details. The separate arms allow custom positioning to suit the application, and the arm-torso join surfaces are a socket arrangement, easily allowing drilling or flexible wires or pins to reinforce the joint. The resin is not too brittle or too soft. Many surface details are slightly undercut, allowing highlighting washes a good place to pool and do their job. The figure appears to represent the last 30 or so years of deck crew “fashion”. The crew member is 5’ 6” tall in scale.
The legs, torso, and head are cast as one piece, in a forward stride. The arm attachments to the body provide a reasonable range of motion for customizing. Six holdbacks are included. I did not change the arm angles all. I referenced current flight deck ops images available on the U. S. Navy website, and found a wide variety of color variations for “green” shirt uniforms. I chose somewhat generic colors and did not over-detail to allow more specific color touchups and squadron markings later. I believe this figure could easily be adapted to other examples in the “Rainbow Wardrobe”.
The only problem I had with this figure had nothing at all to do with the figure itself. The detail is very crisp, which highlighted my novice figure painting skills! Goggles are a big plus, making the tricky eye painting problems a no-show. A small and much appreciated casting design feature placed casting “sprues” in the center of the palms, instead of the finger tips as others have done. This feature made for easy part cleanup without damaging the fingers. All-in-all, this figure was a joy to put together and paint, including the previous caveats.
I highly recommend this kit, for the ease of assembly and painting and the versatility for enhancing any USN carrier scenario. Thank you again to Video Aviation and the IPMS Reviewer Corps!