Why can't Dragon make crew figures that actually fit

The Figures discussion group is hosted by Mark Bannerman and is dedicated to modelling military figures of any scale and era.

Why can't Dragon make crew figures that actually fit

Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

July 25th, 2012, 12:55 pm #1

What they are supposed to fit in/on !?!? I bought Dragon's Flakvierling 20mm AA gun specifically because it included a crew. Unlike a lot of Dragon kits that include an infantry set and some new arms to make a crew, this is a new, dedicated set of gun crew figures.

Still, the gunner just does not fit the gun! Problems are

1) the feet are too wide to fit into the lower area of the gun where the gunner's pedals are located
2) feet are at the wrong angle to fit the pedals which means the figure doesn't fit as deep into the gun
3) knees/hips too wide so they do not fit between the two knee guards on the sides of the gun
4) back/butt does not fit well in the gunner's seat unless you glue the seat at an angle
5) left arm needs to be rotated outward a few millimeters to engage the top hand wheel.
6) gunner's left shoulder hits the sight arm on the gun
7) gunner does not sit centered (probably because of the poor fit in other areas)

It is disappointing too that for a crew serviced weapon, the kit crew aside from the gunner aren't doing anything. Only one of the two ammo handlers is seated and neither of the two handlers can be built holding the ammo clips. One guy is just sitting with his hands on his thighs doing nothing, and the other two are dramatically pointing.

If they were not in winter outfits, I'd use the old Tamiya Flakvierling crew. At least those guys are actually doing something.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: February 16th, 2008, 3:20 pm

July 25th, 2012, 2:12 pm #2

I have never found crew figgies from any company that fit into anything they were designed for. If anyone has found an exception,I would like to hear it!
J
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

July 25th, 2012, 4:25 pm #3

Tamiya's 251D has a nice driver that actually fits and is doing something ! And I have the crew from their own Flakvierling that were in the Mobelwagen kit. The gunner there fits Tamiya's gun very nicely. He does not, however, fit the Dragon gun (I can understand that).

Dragon, on the other hand, never has made any crew figures that actually fit anything. None of their halftrack drivers come close.
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: January 25th, 2006, 9:16 am

July 26th, 2012, 11:27 am #4

What they are supposed to fit in/on !?!? I bought Dragon's Flakvierling 20mm AA gun specifically because it included a crew. Unlike a lot of Dragon kits that include an infantry set and some new arms to make a crew, this is a new, dedicated set of gun crew figures.

Still, the gunner just does not fit the gun! Problems are

1) the feet are too wide to fit into the lower area of the gun where the gunner's pedals are located
2) feet are at the wrong angle to fit the pedals which means the figure doesn't fit as deep into the gun
3) knees/hips too wide so they do not fit between the two knee guards on the sides of the gun
4) back/butt does not fit well in the gunner's seat unless you glue the seat at an angle
5) left arm needs to be rotated outward a few millimeters to engage the top hand wheel.
6) gunner's left shoulder hits the sight arm on the gun
7) gunner does not sit centered (probably because of the poor fit in other areas)

It is disappointing too that for a crew serviced weapon, the kit crew aside from the gunner aren't doing anything. Only one of the two ammo handlers is seated and neither of the two handlers can be built holding the ammo clips. One guy is just sitting with his hands on his thighs doing nothing, and the other two are dramatically pointing.

If they were not in winter outfits, I'd use the old Tamiya Flakvierling crew. At least those guys are actually doing something.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47209/th ... figures%29

I remember this review from ML - it's not German, but anyway...

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Joined: February 16th, 2008, 3:20 pm

July 26th, 2012, 3:15 pm #5

found figs that fit. It may be because of my advanced age and having returned to the model armor arena only recently. In the old days,there was nothing that fit!!
J
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Joined: August 12th, 2004, 3:14 pm

July 26th, 2012, 10:32 pm #6

nt
DAVID NICKELS
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Joined: April 18th, 2005, 2:49 pm

July 28th, 2012, 12:30 am #7

What they are supposed to fit in/on !?!? I bought Dragon's Flakvierling 20mm AA gun specifically because it included a crew. Unlike a lot of Dragon kits that include an infantry set and some new arms to make a crew, this is a new, dedicated set of gun crew figures.

Still, the gunner just does not fit the gun! Problems are

1) the feet are too wide to fit into the lower area of the gun where the gunner's pedals are located
2) feet are at the wrong angle to fit the pedals which means the figure doesn't fit as deep into the gun
3) knees/hips too wide so they do not fit between the two knee guards on the sides of the gun
4) back/butt does not fit well in the gunner's seat unless you glue the seat at an angle
5) left arm needs to be rotated outward a few millimeters to engage the top hand wheel.
6) gunner's left shoulder hits the sight arm on the gun
7) gunner does not sit centered (probably because of the poor fit in other areas)

It is disappointing too that for a crew serviced weapon, the kit crew aside from the gunner aren't doing anything. Only one of the two ammo handlers is seated and neither of the two handlers can be built holding the ammo clips. One guy is just sitting with his hands on his thighs doing nothing, and the other two are dramatically pointing.

If they were not in winter outfits, I'd use the old Tamiya Flakvierling crew. At least those guys are actually doing something.
It's been some years since I had anything to do with Dragon's figure production but even then I was never really informed of all the nuances of the processes involved. I do know that they have had a number of different sculptors and designers over the years. Finding the right talent is a struggle for any kind of business but it seems that finding good sculptors of 1/35 figures is extremely difficult.

While most sculptors in 1/35th produce exact size (plus or minus) in 1/35 using the armature method; that is to say, adding epoxy putty to a wire frame. This allows the sculptor to fit a figure exactly in the correct position right from the beginning. I've also heard that to produce enough detail for injection molded figures, the some masters are made twice the size and reduced to 1/35th for final production. I suspect that would make exact positioning a bit tougher.

I further understand that some current sculptors work in a classical manner, removing material from a solid block. I imagine that would make it almost impossible to design a figure that would fit properly in a specific position.

Of course there is always the pressures of scheduling to keep in mind and the knowledge of the talent(to get details right)

In the end, it seems to be mainly a matter of the talent of the sculptors involved and I suppose the processes a company is able to work with. Based on my experiences with both injection and resin figures, I am guessing that finding that sculptor is not as easy as one might wish. I agree that is is a frustrating part of our hobby.
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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

July 31st, 2012, 2:01 am #8

found figs that fit. It may be because of my advanced age and having returned to the model armor arena only recently. In the old days,there was nothing that fit!!
J
Whilst not the old , old days the Tamiya Flakv 38 crew did actually fit on the gun rather well and that was in the mid 70's when I built mine.
The Italeri and Tamiya Jeep crews were also good fits back then
Al
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Joined: April 24th, 2005, 12:23 am

July 31st, 2012, 2:03 am #9

found figs that fit. It may be because of my advanced age and having returned to the model armor arena only recently. In the old days,there was nothing that fit!!
J
Whilst not the old , old days the Tamiya Flakv 38 crew did actually fit on the gun rather well and that was in the mid 70's when I built mine.
The Italeri and Tamiya Jeep crews were also good fits back then
Al
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Joined: April 1st, 2012, 12:50 am

August 18th, 2012, 12:03 am #10

What they are supposed to fit in/on !?!? I bought Dragon's Flakvierling 20mm AA gun specifically because it included a crew. Unlike a lot of Dragon kits that include an infantry set and some new arms to make a crew, this is a new, dedicated set of gun crew figures.

Still, the gunner just does not fit the gun! Problems are

1) the feet are too wide to fit into the lower area of the gun where the gunner's pedals are located
2) feet are at the wrong angle to fit the pedals which means the figure doesn't fit as deep into the gun
3) knees/hips too wide so they do not fit between the two knee guards on the sides of the gun
4) back/butt does not fit well in the gunner's seat unless you glue the seat at an angle
5) left arm needs to be rotated outward a few millimeters to engage the top hand wheel.
6) gunner's left shoulder hits the sight arm on the gun
7) gunner does not sit centered (probably because of the poor fit in other areas)

It is disappointing too that for a crew serviced weapon, the kit crew aside from the gunner aren't doing anything. Only one of the two ammo handlers is seated and neither of the two handlers can be built holding the ammo clips. One guy is just sitting with his hands on his thighs doing nothing, and the other two are dramatically pointing.

If they were not in winter outfits, I'd use the old Tamiya Flakvierling crew. At least those guys are actually doing something.
One can make figures fit by first casting them in resin,
which of course is a skill unto itself, and then removing
them from the mould before the resin has fully cured.
They can then be bent into the perfect shape and will
harden that way. It's a lot of effort just to get a
guy's hands to touch the steering wheel, but it works.
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