First things first. I want to thank Aires for supplying this Aerobonus item for review and IPMS/USA for allowing me to do the review.
Aires Aerobonus has release several pilot figures lately. This review covers their World War II U.S. Navy pilot. This particular subject is molded in the manner of a pilot operating in the Pacific Theater during WW II. He’s posed as if stepping onto a wing or standing in the cockpit with a foot on the side console or cockpit sill.
The quality of this light gray resin casting is excellent. Attached to the pour stub are a body, head, two arms and protective side bars. I could not find any bubbles or voids. Mold seams are minimal if they exist at all. Details abound with crisp rings on the parachute harness, buttons on the shirt, appropriate folds in the clothing, and laces in the shoes. A subtle smile is on the pilot’s face as if he has had a successful mission. The only instructions are a colored painting guide. Color callouts are generic colors – no brand names. There is also a picture of the pilot in a suggested setting. The instructions also provide a list a naval aircraft for which this figure is recommended - practically any naval fighter or bomber used in WWII.
The casting material is wonderful to work with. Removing the parts from the stub is easily done with an Xacto knife and a razor saw. Cleaning the parts is a piece of cake as the resin yields quite easily to both sides of the Xacto knife. Be careful of the flaps on the cap. They are very delicate. Total removal and clean up took me about 15 minutes without any breakage.
Before proceeding further with the figure a good washing is required to remove the mold release material. After I washed and dried the parts I attached the arms and head. Be very careful about placing the head so as not to break off the helmet straps. Once broken they can be very difficult to replace – I know. There may be a small gap around the arm to body interface that may require filling. Once the filler is smoothed out and a primer is applied, the figure is ready for painting.
There is not much to do except to follow the painting guide. No brand name or type of paint is mentioned on the painting guide. I used Vallejo for the face and hands and Model Master acrylic for the remainder. The paint callout for the glass in the goggles is “glass”. I used gun metal then dry brushed with a little silver and touched them with clear gloss. The face and hands were covered with a clear matt and the remainder with clear flat.
This is a nicely cast figure and quite easy to assemble and paint. It can be the ideal addition to bring a little interest to a new or existing model. It certainly will lend life to your US Navy diorama. Aerobonus has a winner here and I don’t hesitate to give it a solid recommendation.
Thanks for the review sample. It was fun.