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In-Box Review
135
Russian Maxim MG Team
Summer and Winter Soviet Machine Gunners with Maxim MG (Winter MG not included)
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

Tank is a Russian resin figure manufacturer. They have a reasonable catalogue of figures which are predominately World War Two Russian and German figures, with a small collection of Russian figures from the conflict in Chechnya between1994-2005. In this offering they depict a two man team of machine gunners in a prone position firing a Maxim MG.

Contents

This product is packaged in a small white card box in white, with a colour picture of the figures on the front. Inside are three zip lock bags with one figure in each bag and the MG in a bag of its own.

Review

The figures in this offering are cast in light grey with the alternate head, MG, and MG gun shield in a dark grey resin. The zip lock bags are stapled together but they are not secured in the box. Fortunately, no pieces in my set were damaged although some have very large pour plugs, in some cases the pour plugs look big enough to have made another figure. An extra bit of packaging material such as bubble wrap is something that Tank should take into consideration, (it also gives the wife and kids something to keep them busy as well).

The 7.62 mm M/1910 MAXIM-SOKOLOV:
The MG is made up of 17 parts, which all appear to be in good order, free of air bubbles or distortions. The overall size of the MG appears to be slightly short by 1.1mm, however I cannot be 100% sure of this as the measurements I used give a measurement for overall length, but does not clarify if the overall measurement includes all features of the weapon.

The detail of the weapon appears to be accurate and should look good when completed. Included with the MG parts is a small piece of paper covering the construction of the MG in a line drawing format. There is a beautifully molded ammo belt included with the MG, which being resin will be easy to bend to any shape you wish with the use of some hot water.

I am very disappointed in that when examining the parts of the weapon the ski assembly for the Winter MG is not included in the kit, there is no mention of this on the web site at the time of this writing. The only place it is stated is on the end of the box in small red text, and this will not be discovered by the purchaser until the kit arrives if mail order is used. I consider this to be false advertising of this product, and while the text on the box may meet legal requirements it does not in my opinion work within the spirit of the law. I cannot believe Tank would not include the pieces as from what I can see it would not require that many more parts to be included.

The Gunner:
The first figure I will cover is the one shown operating the MG. it is made up of five or six parts depending on if you decide to depict the summer or winter version provided. You are provided with a torso with the legs attached, the two arms one of which is modeled with the handles of the MG being gripped in the left hand and the right hand of the other arm attached to this piece also, there is then a collar and a choice of two heads. The heads that are provided depict one wearing an M1940 helmet for the summer version and the other in a hood which shows the face from just below the chin to just above the eyes.

The facial features of both heads are well proportioned and should give a pleasing result when painted. The facial expression of both heads is hard to discern, but looks to be neutral. The clothing on this figure is well suited to the winter version as the clothing is just loose fitting white trousers and a pull on top, the detail is good bearing in mind it is minimal with this type of clothing and has some nice undercuts which only resin figures can really depict well.

If you wish to depict the summer version I do have a few concerns as the clothing being a simple trousers and top does not meet the usual Russian summer clothing and would best depict a Russian snipers clothing which does not really suit a Maxim MG setting. The boots being worn are detailed, but I am unable to discern if they are Sapogi boots or ankle boots worn with putties.

The parts are a very good fit and should not require any filler in the construction stages judging by the joint of pieces I have been able to check thus far. The two arms being very well engineered, as when attached the separate arm and hand connect perfectly as does the collar piece. The bottom of a water bottle is visible on the figure, however no other equipment is provided.

The Loader:
The second figure is also made up of five or six pieces depending on which version you decide to make, the pieces are in the same format as the MG figure, with the same strengths and weaknesses in the clothing. The facial details and hands are of equal quality to the first figure, with a small amount of filler required on the top joint of the left arm and the bottom of the joint on the right arm in this sample. It is again shown with the bottom of a water bottle protruding from beneath the top with the relevant under cuts nicely depicted.

Included with this figure is a Mosin-Nagant rifle which is accurate to the dimensions I have for this weapon, it is cleanly molded with the finger guard and trigger clearly visible rather than being a general shape. The figure is not provided with any other equipment, and I would have expected to find some ammo pouches provided with this figure. The only down side to this figure is that the feet look too long, but that could just be me.

Conclusion

I am unable to recommend this product due to a number of reasons, the main one being the lack of clarity to the purchaser as to what they are getting before the product is purchased and delivered. The figures are clearly better suited to a winter setting, and yet the winter MG version is not included while clearly being shown in the advertising pictures both on Tanks website and the front of the packaging.

It is my considered opinion that this should really be two separate products with these figures provided with a winter MG, and the MG provided with figures in a more traditional summer Russian uniform. It is a pity that this has not been done as these are some nice models taken as separate pieces.
SUMMARY
Highs: Moldings are of a very high quality which all appear free of the more usual faults that occur with resin products.
Lows: Product supplied is not as advertised on Tanks website which is misleading, and the products supplied are not the best possible combination.
Verdict: I am very disappointed in what could be an excellent product, however if you are aware of the faults of this product you will be pleased with the other aspects of it.
Percentage Rating
50%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: T-35111
  Suggested Retail: £21.69
  PUBLISHED: Jan 06, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.04%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.00%

Our Thanks to Tank!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2019 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I think in all fairness that this review is rather unfair. Instead of focusing on the quality of the product the reviewer scored it lowly just because he wasn't happy with the lack of skis in the set. I don't think it's misleading advertising, it clearly states on the box that the winter maxim setup is not included in this set (in two languages), I don't understand what else Tank could do to make that clear. Plenty of box art include conversions on the cover... personally I think a 50% score is rather harsh and a little uncalled for. At no time did Tank say the kit included this in writing, If it specifically said "included in the kit" then sure thats a another matter. A simple "it's a shame that the skis aren't included" would have been sufficient with maybe a score of 70-80% based on quality of product.
JAN 11, 2010 - 05:06 AM
I believe Darren did a very fair review on this product, the absent skis were not the only negative point found. The main disappointment I find in this set, which Darren points out cleary, is the apparent mix and match between the figures and the MG. As Darren stated, taken separately these are both done well, and probably should have been marketed as such. Granted it's stated on the box top that the winter variant of the MG is not included, although I'm not versed in the language. The English version is on the box end, which may not be viewed if buying online, and at this time TANKs website only shows the image of the finished kit (both summer and winter). It does appear that TANK is updating their website to include the same style box image that Darren submitted for the review.....a very good move on their part.
JAN 11, 2010 - 02:21 PM
Jon I have no problem with your comments but I do not agree on this occasion, my problem with this product is that it is mix and match. In that an excellent winter crew is provided with a Summer version of the Maxim, or what I consider a good Maxim model saddled with a questionable summer crew, that in my books makes this offering 50/50 to start with. Then check Tanks website and sites selling the product, as there is no mention of the omission of the winter version of the Maxim in the several I checked, and it is clearly shown in the artwork. Some do not even provide a picture of the box, just a picture of the two possible finished models (one of which is not possible with the included parts). I will admit that if I could read what I believe to be Russian I would know it is not included however I suspect a large number of potential customers also do not read Russian. The moulding quality is very good, as is the fit of parts, and it does score highly in these areas. Look at this from another angle, if I advertised a selection of resin figures manning a tank by use of a picture but in a language you did not understand said only includes one of the figures depicted, I would expect you to be royally P----d at me when the product arrived. However I would be covered if I include that information somewhere on the box even if it is not visible or understandable in the advertisement in a language you understand, even if the picture provided leads you to believe you are buying something else. The highest quality model if inaccurate for what ever reason becomes of questionable value. When I review a product I do not see it as “I must score this item highly” I want to give everyone reading a review I submit as much information as I am able while also providing my personal view of the product/s, be that positive or negative. I accept that not everyone will agree with my opinion and conclusion, but I hope that they gain something from it even when they don’t agree. I would like to thank you for making a reply ref this review, as all comments are helpful.
JAN 11, 2010 - 03:27 PM
Thanks for your post Darren, I think your points come across a lot better actually now here in this post than they do in the review. From another point of view maybe one way to look at this set is that is a Summer crew with a free winter crew? You can buy the winter Maxim setup as an extra from Tank. I agree with you that its an odd choice of combination for a set, it would make more sense to include the full winter set as a separate box set as they do make one anyway. However I still think that i terms of sculpting, casting, and quality of product Tank are a good firm that produce some great work. I just felt that this aspect was a little overlooked. Maybe I am too kind as a critic/reviewer!
JAN 12, 2010 - 01:27 AM
Jon the kit provided does supply a very good Winter crew. If Tank provided this crew with the winter Maxim I would be very generous with a score of the product. The Maxim provided would also be very good and score well if provided with a dedicated Summer crew, rather than what has been done here where two figures are supposed to represent two differant items of clothing. Tank with this offering look to have tried to be all things to all people, and on this occasion they have failed in my opinion to make one model set represent two alternate finished kit options. By providing the parts for the winter Maxim to this kit (as shown in their product picture) and removing the summer version they would have a very good product.
JAN 12, 2010 - 05:40 AM
   

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