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In-Box Review
135
Israeli Women Soldiers
Israeli Women Soldiers No. 2
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by: Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]

Introduction

Since before Israel’s War of Independence, women have played a role within the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). It would not be until the War in 1948, that mandatory conscription of eligible women would be made official. At the time, and subsequently for years to come, the role of women in the IDF were regulated to non-frontline combat related jobs such as security and weapons transportation; however, as the need presented itself, exceptions were of course made. Fast forwarding to the 21st century, the role of women in the IDF continues to evolve. Prior to the year 2000, women were forbidden to enter combat related roles directly based on religious law. The political climate would change things in 2000, and the formation of the Caracal Battalion, one of two fully combat ready battalions comprised of both women and men would be created; at the present, close to 70% of these troops are women. Currently, between three and five percent of all combat forces overall, are comprised of women. Around sixty-five percent of all eligible women will enter into service with the IDF, another twenty-five percent or so will opt to do their duty in a non-combat position as part of National Service; the ten percent (or so) chooses not to serve at all. At the present, around 1500 women are drafted into the IDF each year. This number continues to grow; both in the numbers of women soldiers and officers entering the ranks.

Black Dog has long been producing high quality aftermarket resin parts and figures for the modelling community. Capitalizing on the increase of IDF related subjects in the past few years, and of course the increase in the roles women provide within the IDF, Black Dog recently released two new figures in 1/35th scale; Israeli Woman Soldier No. 3 (35157) and No. 4 (35158). As a package deal, Black Dog also offers these two new figures in a combined set, Israeli Women Soldiers Set No. 2 (F35159). For this review, I am taking a look at this combined set.

Prior to now, Black Dog’s offerings of female IDF soldiers was more of a non-combat depiction, whereas the figures were depicted wearing standard service fatigues and aside from providing a weapon, there was no tactical aspects to the figures. This is seen with their earlier releases of Israeli Woman soldier No. 1 and 2. This new set, Israeli Women Soldiers Set No. 2 (combined F35157 & F35158) is a step forward in depicting the combat role of the female IDF soldier.

The Israeli Women Soldiers Set No. 2 comes suppled in Black Dogs signature end-opening black and blue with grey trim cardboard box. On the front there is an assembled view of the two figures contained within. Both of these figures were designed and sculpted by Hwang Jung Min for Black Dog. As I mentioned earlier, these two figures are presented in 1/35th scale and have been cast a light grey colored resin.

Contents of Israeli Women Soldiers Set No. 2


1 – Israeli Woman Soldier No. 3 (F35157)


- One cast figure cast complete minus the right arm
- One separate right arm
- One Standard issue IDF helmet
- One Mitsnefet (IDF camouflage breaking form helmet cover)
- One IMI Tavor C TAR-21 Assault Rifle

1 – Israeli Woman Soldier No. 4 (F35158)


- One cast figure cast complete minus the right arm
- One separate right arm
- One Standard issue IDF helmet
- One Mitsnefet (IDF camouflage breaking form helmet cover)
- One IMI Tavor G TAR-21 Assault Rifle w/grenade launcher


Review

Both figures come supplied separately sealed in their own Ziploc-type plastic bags. As I listed above, there is essentially five individual parts to each figure. The bulk of each figure has been cast in one large section with only the right arm provided separately. With both figures, the soldier’s combat vests have been incorporated into the larger molding leaving only the standard helmet, camouflage helmet cover and rifle as separately pieces to be installed. With both figures, they are depicted in a somewhat casual pose. Figure No.3 (F35157) appears to be relaxed holding a canned beverage. Figure No. 4 (35158) has her right arm raised to her ear and is holding what looks to be a cell phone in her hand.

At first glance, the details incorporated into these figures do pop right out. Careful attention has been made to create folds and stitching seams to the soldier’s uniforms as well as finely appointed detailing to the gear attached to the vest. Soldier No. 3 (F35157) comes equipped with a standard issue IMI Tavor C TAR-21 Assault Rifle while Soldier No. 4 (F35158) is supplied with the IMI Tavor G TAR-21 Assault Rifle with attached grenade launcher. In both cases, the uniforms, tactical gear and weapons appear to be accurately created.

Upon a closer inspection of the figures, a few issues crop up that the modeler should be aware of. With cast resin figures, there is the occasional pinholes created from air bubbles in the mold as well as flash left behind from the molding process. There does seem to be an inordinate amount of pinholes throughout each of the figures; most of which appear at or near the corners of the detail features. As for flash, which is certainly a typical occurrence with resin casting process, is present on both figure. There is a seam line, from the mold located on the backside of each figure. This seam is more prominent on the F35157 figure, where flash is still attached and leads up through the crevasses of the figure’s tactical vest. Other locations where one would expect to see flash, such as the inside seam of the legs and arms, there is light flash present. In most cases a quick swipe of a No.11 blade and/or sanding stick will smooth things out.

Another area of concern aside from what I mentioned with the figures, is with the rifles. In both cases, the attempt to render a true to scale copy of these rifles has been done well, however, I feel the casting process might have been lacking in this area. There is typical flash present, which is easily removed, however the molds are extremely thin and the pour looks to have been shallow. This is most noticeable on the C TAR-21 where on the actual weapon, small depressions that make up the detail were produced as through and through penetrations after casting. I conclude that the master sculpt was probably rendered nicely but these sections extremely thin or missing with hopes of casting flash to aid in filling them in…which they did not.

Conclusion

Well, I suppose it’s time for that honest evaluation of the figures as I personally see it. First off, I really do like these two figures. It is nice to see someone finally providing female soldiers geared toward the combat related roles. While the figures are not posed in a battle-ready position, the basic premise still works for me; probably not the cell phone to the ear part as much, but still nice see. However, I was not too happy to see numerous pinholes added to the expected seams and flash. This looks to be an issue with the casting process and probably not with the original master sculpt. I feel the cast could have been better to help eliminate the air bubbles on the main figures and possibly on the riffles. This is certainly a quality control issue that needs to be addressed with the manufacturer. All of the items I have seen in the past from Black Dog have more or less been extremely clean and free from these pinholes. One could conclude that this is a first production run of these figures and that measures have been taken to correct these issues. I would almost assume, judging by the quality I have seen in the past form this manufacturer, corrections have been made.

All in all, I do feel the figures are decent and the subject matter is very welcomed. All of the items I have seen in the past from Black Dog have, more or less, been extremely clean and free from these pinholes. One could conclude that this is a first production run of these figures and that measures have been taken to correct these issues. I would almost assume, judging by the quality I have seen in the past form this manufacturer, corrections have been made. All of the related issues I mentioned in the review are, for the most part, correctable with a little time, patience and some filler. Black Dog is certainly heading in the right direction as it pertains to 1/35th scale female combat soldiers and I hope to see more from them produced in the future. Aside from the added work cleaning up the figures, the Israeli Women Soldiers Set No. 2 would make a decent addition to anyone’s IDF related diorama or vignette, especially if they are looking to add the female element to their scene.
SUMMARY
Highs: A welcomed subject to the male-dominated pile of modern combat figures. Pleasing features.
Lows: Numerous pinholes with some flash. Cleanup is possible with care and patience.
Verdict: A decent set of female IDF combat soldiers. You do need to get past cleaning up the casting issues that have to be corrected but these figures would make for a nice addition to any IDF diorama.
Percentage Rating
89%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: F35159
  Suggested Retail: USD $47.17 / €41.65
  Related Link: Black Dog
  PUBLISHED: May 17, 2016
  NATIONALITY: Israel
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.50%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.33%

Our Thanks to Black Dog!
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 Todd Michalak (TRM5150)
FROM: MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES

I am building what I like, when I like and how I like it; having fun doing it. I have been building and finishing models on and off my whole life but the past ten years things really exploded. Just about anything goes when it comes to hitting the bench, but wrecked armor, rusted hulks, ships or ...

Copyright ©2018 text by Todd Michalak [ TRM5150 ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

this figure set of a pair of "idf-personnel)-female duo. with up-to-date equipment include the current auto-rifle the "tavor".
MAY 17, 2016 - 02:37 AM
Hmmm...post-apocalyptic zombie hunters?
MAY 17, 2016 - 03:57 AM
Ugh!! I took a closer look at their faces, and they look like the zombies! Could use some replacement female heads.
MAY 18, 2016 - 07:09 PM
And here I thought the women of the IDF were hot - these two, not so much. Also the boot in Image 8 is gonna be a bear to fix, time to change the mold.
MAY 18, 2016 - 07:29 PM
One of them looks to have a full-on Joseph Stalin mustache!
MAY 18, 2016 - 07:39 PM
   

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