And here is on of those products you never thought you’d buy. There is a huge air carrier from Trumpeter in my closet. A 1/350 scale USS Nimitz to be specific. I have a few after market accessories for it including a set of 1/350 scale photo etched naval figures from Eduard. I wanted to use some figures on the recent 1/350 Russian Submarine Kursk. Obviously, the benefit of having the painted photo etched figures was a downside for this Kursk submarine project. I wanted to use the figures to add some scale to the model kit.
Like the illustration on the box, they are depicted wearing an orange life jacket. So that’s when Tamiya’s 1/350 crew set (Item 12622) came to the rescue.
Unlike the Eduard set, these figures are more realistic because they are 3-D. A 3-D effect that many modelers are after when modelling kits of this scale. The 3-D is on the front side of the figure whereas the backside of them is pretty much ‘flat’. Tamiya molded this set absolutely with crisp detail and nothing, nada, zip flash to worry about. They are clean and fresh from the sprue. Airbrush the base overall color of your choice, and add the shoe’s color and skin tone to their faces. It took me some 15 minutes to paint around 20 figures this way.
Photo Etched vs Injected:
I prefer both but definitely my vote goes towards the injected. If your model kit project requires a lot of these tiny figures, photo etched is the route to go.
If you want or need these figures on a different scheme no available then injected styrene would be the better choice. Did I mention that styrene is also cheaper than photo etched? While you get 108 figures from Eduard for about the same price of the Tamiya set, you get 144 figures with Tamiya. But wait, There’s more! Check out the new Fujimi sets and they do offer a set of 213 and a whoopping 350 figures set.
I don’t want to sound biased here, but another plus on the styrene figures is the fact that they can be glued with regular styrene glue. The styrene figures have a larger gluing area on their shoes. That glue, paint and all will make it to your subject creating a better bond than that from photo etch to surface paint. I do believe that as a modeller there is room for both. For my personal needs and the nature of my model kit building habits, the styrene figures will work better for me. Good to have both choices ;o)