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Review Japanese Sniper from Tiny Leads

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Nap A Fixture

    Hi figure friends,

    We are truly blessed in that we have so many company's that are releasing pieces to tempt us with , none so more than a relatively new but very welcome one set up in 2014 by a rather classy modeller in his own right .....you might have heard of him...LOL;)

    it is of course .....Alex Varela

    The company...............

    TL logo.jpeg

    They are establishing their products in many ways , producing interesting and different subjects none so more than the release we are looking at:

    Japanese Sniper WW2

    Here is the drawing of the piece from Tiny Leads :


    Its a bust so immediately my eyes lit up when Alex announced the release here on PF , I like many others had the pleasure to meet him at Euro 2015.

    Lets have a bit of background on the Japanese soldier and armed forces in general , it is said that Japan was on a war footing since the 1931 Sino-Japanese war some say before that with the 1894 conflict.
    The Army was very much one of a soldier wanting nothing more than to give his life for the Emperor ..the living god 01.jpg , they were continually made to feel a subdued by even very junior NCO's and Officers , the gap between the men and officers was massive , total obedience was demanded at all times.
    The army training began with call up at 20 for 2 years then if he survived onto the reserve ...but more than not a constant call up . Often living and fighting in appalling conditions with minimal food , uniforms rotting away.

    The soldier was very adept at "getting by" using and foraging from the local area's .

    The best shots were trained in the art of sniping with the main push being on concealment and camouflage , giving them the ability to melt away into the vegetation , they used any suitable position often high up in the canopy of trees , climbing them using boot spikes and a strap.
    1a.jpg 1.jpg 0001.jpg 001.jpg
    Books are readily available here are a few of my favourites:

    IMG_5052.JPG IMG_5045.JPG IMG_5047.JPG IMG_5049.JPG IMG_5044.JPG IMG_5048.JPG IMG_5050.JPG IMG_5051.JPG

    Continued in next post:

  2. Nap A Fixture

    Well hello there,

    Here we have some reference pictures for the equipment that we will see on the bust:

    1e.jpg 1d.jpg 1c.jpg 1b.jpg IMG_5042.JPG IMG_5037.PNG IMG_5039.JPG IMG_5040.JPG IMG_5041.JPG IMG_5036.PNG

    Continued in next post:

    Steve likes this.
  3. Nap A Fixture

    Lets have the details of the release:

    Title: Japanese Sniper WW2

    Scale: 1/10th

    Reference : NA ( easily found in products on website)

    Material: Gray Resin

    No of pieces: 8

    Casting run: Limited to 150

    Sculptor: Juan Diego Iglesias

    Box Art: Alex Varela

    Art image: Maria Fernadez ( see 1st post)

    Those that have purchased from Tiny Leads before will of course know the thought that goes into each piece from the resin the way its packed and the goodies that are included in the box .

    The review piece was in the excellent strong black box TL Sniper 001.jpg with a very chunky and soft piece of foam above and below the resin (great protection, on opening the box lid we also find an insert with historical information , stickers , a pin badge , 2 cards ( both bank card size) one with the casting number and signed , the other with a full colour picture of the finished piece on one side , on the other we have the artwork by Maria TL Sniper 003.jpg TL Sniper 002.jpg .

    Contents consist of: the Torso , 2 neck pieces , the backpack, a pouch , the helmet and the top half of the rifle
    TL Sniper 004.jpg
    Prep...a small amount of sanding on the underside of the torso on the front edge TL Sniper 005.jpg , a tiny bit of flashing on the backpack between the spade handle and pack, the helmet again just a small amount of casting flash to sand on the under rim, small pouch fine casting line on each side , scope puch ..nothing , on the neck curtain a bit of filling if you wish where it fits in place over the ears ( to be honest it hardly shows when in place..if at all ), the rifle has a casting former to remove , you might wish to drill out the rifle.

    You will need to fit the neck pieces ( these actually hold on their own!!) , the rifle scope on the front left , the pouch on the belt opposite side , the rifle sits sideways into a lug with a corresponding hole ..I will pin mine though !! the backpack fits into a hole in the torso rear with the helmet sitting on top.

    In this part we will look at the torso and the neck pieces.......

    beginning with the Torso , this is sculpted with style and is the main chunk of resin working from the belt ,very good depiction on the buckle , with the many straps that criss cross the body being a thrill to look at , undercuts are first class , the folds of the uniform are very natural and in keeping for the wedding in use , what I particularly love is the way the distinctive cross band has been shown , great knots at the centre.
    TL Sniper 009.jpg TL Sniper 008.jpg TL Sniper 007.jpg
    Our soldier is lucky he is well served , a new uniform and undershirt , collar details are tight and sharp with patches for rank if you wish on each side.
    TL Sniper 006.jpg
    TL Sniper 012.jpg
    TL Sniper 011.jpg
    TL Sniper 013.jpg
    TL Sniper 010.jpg

    Moving to the face ...one word very oriental indeed , eyes spots on with the ears being the same , nice muscle work on the neck with the mouth being slightly open revealing the teeth.
    TL Sniper 014.jpg
    The cap is a area that concerned me ...would it be right in shape ...well I needed not to worry ...its great sitting on the head well great shape with a strap running around the front , the peak is another area to enjoy ( even the rows of stitching is shown) the peak also being the correct thickness as well and the position allows very easy access to the eyes for painting , we see an air vent on each side and a badge blank on the front ( normally in a material ).

    Fit of the additional 2 pieces of the neck curtain was very good indeed a tiny bit of filler might be needed, we have 2 different types of locating areas , ( holes on one side , cutout on the other ..so not even I can go wrong!!)with the opposite on the pieces themselves. the neck curtain is the 3 piece version with the main bit already being sculpted onto the torso itself.
    TL Sniper 015.jpg
    TL Sniper 016.jpg
    TL Sniper 017.jpg

    TL Sniper 020.jpg TL Sniper 019.jpg TL Sniper 018.jpg

    Note for the pictures I used blu tac hence the slight gaps

    Continued in next post

  4. Nap A Fixture

    Lets now look at the remaining pieces

    Starting with the Backpack this is approx 3/4 of the full item and is a really good piece of work we see stitching on the actual pack together with a blanket and greatcoat strapped to the top and sides , this is held in place by a tied strap on one side the other has a buckled one holding the handle of the spade , in the middle we have the mess tin.
    TL Sniper 022.jpg TL Sniper 025.jpg TL Sniper 023.jpg
    TL Sniper 026.jpg
    TL Sniper 024.jpg
    All straps are as good as those on the torso, with sharp buckle definition, the spade handle has been worked showing
    woodgrain with the mess tin details well up to the high standard , there is even the securing popper underneath
    TL Sniper 021.jpg

    Now to the Helmet, this is a pleasure to look at , the high profile of the helmet is evident as in the real item , its covered by a material , beautifully textured with a insignia patch added , over this we have the wide type of netting , knotted at the joins where it should be , again textured , intertwined we have some local greenery , various sized leaves again nicely worked TL Sniper 027.jpg
    TL Sniper 028.jpg
    .....and just to prove how well this has been researched we are also given the inside pieces in the correct shape and with stitching as well
    TL Sniper 029.jpg
    ...a real cracking bit of sculpting all over.

    Now to the pouches , the Front one is another good bit of work well shaped with securing tabs being shown and held in place on the top , fit is again really accurate to the torso.
    TL Sniper 032.jpg TL Sniper 033.jpg
    The Scope pouch.....as with the other this again shows the accuracy needed to represent this item beautifully cast as well , fit is a little awkward so I would pin this in place.
    TL Sniper 030.jpg TL Sniper 031.jpg
    Both pouches would have been made of leather ...great chance to get those effects going on the edges.

    Finally we have the Rifle or rather the top half , fit is no concern here , the weapons features are well done , with screws showing holding the metalwork in place , when in position it looks good ( see picture of rifle in previous post)

    No Base is included but this has been allowed for by a hole being drilled on the scalloped style underside ready to receive a brass post ( or whatever you wish to use)

    Final thoughts

    Well what can I say except this is so well presented and cast with really well thought out details all over , great undercuts and details , a fine subject and inspirational box art as well .

    Very highly recommended

    Really looking forward to seeing the next bust from this team of stars in the modelling world.

    I enjoyed sharing this review and thanks to Tiny Leads for the piece ...looking forward to adding it to my display cabinet.

    Great box art as I said so lets enjoy more views from the TL website:
    J2.jpeg J1.jpeg J3.jpeg J5.jpeg J4.jpeg

    For more details on this and others from Alex and the TL folk why not visit the website and check their shop or their news via facebook!

    Thanks also to you all for looking in

    Enjoy the modelling

  5. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Bloody hell Nap, did you have a Christmas break or have you been locked in the man cave. :happy:
    Great review and great reference pics.
  6. elgreco A Fixture

    Great review as always Kev! Lots of details and reference given there.

    Just a sidenote to say that we stock Tiny Leads here in the UK, although we are currently awaiting stock as they have all sold out over the Christmas period. As Kev said, their products are all Limited Edition releases of 150 units.

    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. Jimbo A Fixture

    Brilliant review Kev!.....Makes me want to buy the bust :whistle:
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Excellent review! Thanks!

    Will you be adding the references to the Uniform Reference section?

    All the best,
  9. swralph A Fixture

    Another great review Nap.
  10. smudger1960 PlanetFigure Supporter

    I purchased this at Euro and it's a beauty,it will be another project I have lined up for next year (y)
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  11. yellowcat A Fixture

    Great review, great bust. Is it just me? Something does not look quite right about the eyes.
  12. Nap A Fixture


    Thanks it is a great bit of work , to me the eyes look fine , they are very defined perhaps .

  13. akaryu PlanetFigure Supporter

    Received this bust some weeks ago and I can find no fault with the sculpting. The box art looks a bit comic-book like, but I think it's the painting of the eyebrows that gives a wrong impression. A more subtle painting style would avoid that 'right out of the beauty parlor' worried frown. Anyway he's on my list for 2016!
    napoleonpeart likes this.

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