Most modellers know AK Interactive for its acrylic paint and informative books, but it’s also now offering styrene figures and equipment, as CHRIS CLIFFORD explains.
The acrylic paint revolution in modelling has been led, in part, by Spanish company AK Interactive. Weathering materials and superb ‘how-to’ books followed, but like many firms these days it’s diversifying. This has manifested itself recently in the shape of different figure/accessory sets in 1/35 scale, with a multitude of applications for vignettes and dioramas.
Three different examples have been sent to Key Model World, the first being AK35015 ‘Photographers: different eras’ (€12.95, above)… this providing four subjects. You get a US Army World War Two propaganda photographer holding what appears to be a large format Speed Graphic PH-47 ‘still’ camera and a same-period German equivalent, but he’s armed with a cine camera.
Above and below: The photographers' clothing detail is reasonably good for styrene examples.
Above: Camera equipment is well moulded and looks accurate.
Move forward a few decades and the next two men, rucksack-adorned civilians, wear obvious modern attire. One, standing with camera in ‘shooting’ position, sports a t-shirt and cargo trousers, while the other wears denim jeans and a hoodie, and crouches as he captures an image. Both these two wield 35mm SLR cameras.
The detail in general is good for styrene items, with standout features being the laced gaiters and camera bellows on the wartime American, while the detail on the German’s camera is impressive too. I like the beard moulding on the face of the standing ‘civvie’, and the rucksacks for both are convincing. Any number of scenes can be enlivened by these figures.
Imagine the US ‘snapper’ photographing Border Model’s 1/35 Bf 109G-6, for instance… while the modern photographers could be employed in scenes depicting various conflicts, civil wars and the like. More ingenious diorama modellers could also use them to populate purely civilian scenarios, limited by imagination alone.
Set AK35016 – ‘Children Set 1: Boys’ (€12.95, above) – is just as useful for modellers wanting to tell a story with their scenic endeavours. These lads range in age from around four to 12-13, and can fit into many different settings. Dressed in both short and long trousers, they are posed thus, sitting playing a trumpet; standing, hugging a soft toy; painting a fence or wall; fishing; sitting cross-legged reading a book; leaning over as if studying something on the ground.
Above: A decent attempt at offering different facial expressions on the children has been made.
Above: One of the kids has a fishing rod and reel.
Above: Other items with AK Interactive's 'children' set are a trumpet and paint bucket.
Their footwear and clothing places them in the more modern realm, due to features such as Velcro straps on trainers. But the poses, and indeed how you paint each child, can have them in a multitude of scenes around the more developed world. This set is a winner for its well-considered details, such as the teddy, fishing rod and musical instrument.
Last to be highlighted here is AK35006 IDF Accessories (€14.95, above), which is a busy – mixed-media package. It provides a plethora of styrene arms and equipment for Israeli Defense Force builds, comprising three types of Uzi, a Galil and an FN MAG heavy machine-gun. More general gear includes a superb military radio set with stand, an army hand-held radio, and small portable civilian radios, plus 10/20 lit water containers and 20 lit jerrycans. There are also various tools, Thermos flaks and cooking/eating apparatus, tool boxes, a bucket and even a large high-lift jack.
Above and below: Moulding on the Israeli armament is superb, as it is on tools such as the high-lift jack.
A neat inclusion is that of styrene ration boxes with open flaps (emulating cardboard boxes). A sheet of well-printed waterslide decals is supplied, for markings on boxes, food cans and the like, and you also get a superb colour printed paper sheet featuring scale maps, magazines and newspapers. All this is ideal for enlivening armour/softskin scenes and more.
This is a thoughtful and pleasing move by AK Interactive, as it offers many unique scale items unavailable until now. These, and other sets can be found at the AK Interactive website.
Above: Various radios come with AK's IDF Accessories package.