by: Darren Baker [ ]
Armies in the field have held religious services in the field for hundreds of years. In the British Army this is called a Drum Head service due to the practice of stacking drums with a flag or such laid over the top in order to create a makeshift altar. Moving into the 1900ís drums were no longer used to provide orders to the troops, but services are still referred to as a drum head service. Bronco Models has now released a figure set depicting a religious service in the field titled ĎGodís Blessingí. This set consists of six figures, one of which is a priest.
This figure set is packaged in one of Bronco Models end opening boxes. Inside the box there are two sealed plastic bags and a Ziploc bag. The contents break down as follows;
2 grey sprues
A decal sheet
The infantry soldiers depicted in this set are I believe American Forces, I believe this as the rifles shown on the box top look to be the M1 Garand and M1 Carbine, and the general look of the Uniforms and the gaiters specifically further enforce this belief. The mouldings are as I have come to expect from Bronco Models, free of flash and moulding issues generally. The gates between the sprues and the moulded parts are of a reasonable size and are not excessive in quantity. The only downside in the moulding as fair as I am concerned is that some of the gates could be in better locations, for me this is gates on the elbows of arms rather than the mating surfaces.
The poses of all five of the praying figures are variations of kneeling, what did we expect? The uniform detail does have me a little bothered and that concern relates the jackets/shirts, my checks seem to indicate that US infantry shirts/jackets, with the exception of a short leather jacket had breast pockets. The figures in this set have waist pockets with the exception of one that does have breast pockets, US Army tank crew uniform is an exception to this and could be the answer to what is bothering me; however I am aware that the uniform detail may be perfectly correct and it is my knowledge that is adrift. The only other negative observation is that there is no sole detail on the kneeling figures boots and that is a shame when they are so clearly exposed.
Moving onto the positive aspects of the figures set. The crease detail on the clothing is very good and so should look good when painted and shaded. The facial details are very good for injection moulded plastic and one aspect that many companies struggle with is hair, Bronco Models has down a pretty good job of this aspect with this offering. the hands for the most part are not the easiest parts to inspect, 3 of the figures have clasped hands and the other two are clasping what I presume are Bibles; I cannot decide on the clasped hands, but those holding the Bible do have fair detail. Regarding the praying figures I do find myself wishing that Bronco Models took the set a little further and replicated all of the detail on the box artwork; no I do not mean supplying a Jeep, but I did expect to find the water bottles and personal weapons in the set and perhaps if Bronco Models was feeling generous photo etched rifle slings and decals to represent the cloth shown over the bonnet of the Jeep. That said Bronco Models has supplied ammunition pouches for the figures.
The priest, padre or name of your choice is the star of this figure set. The robes have been approached in a way that has allowed undercuts to be replicated and so giving the material a thin natural look. The detail around the bottom of the frock is nice and subtle, but still allows for modellers to pick out this detail as needed. The cross details for the outfit have been supplied as decals; while on the subject of decals Bronco Models has also supplied a series of ranks badges and a red cross for the medic armband. The facial detail for this figure is very good as is the hand detail. Included with this set is the Chaplains field kit, this consists of a carrying case, 2 candles, a chalice, a cup and a crucifix.
I am a big fan of the figure sets that Bronco Models release and this one is no exception. This offering is unique on the market to my knowledge and will I am sure attract attention due to that uniqueness. I would have liked to see Bronco Models take this offering a little further in terms of content, but weapons and equipment can be added from the spares bin as desired by most modellers.