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Open Book RFC Pilot from MJ Miniatures

Discussion in 'Reviews , Video Reviews and Open Book' started by Nap, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. Nap Moderator

    Hi to you all

    The company's from Korea have certainly made their mark in our resin world amongst them many respected artists.
    So as always its nice to see the latest from the team at

    The release was announced here http://www.planetfigure.com/threads/new-release-of-mj-miniatures-for-aug-2016.79785/ and of course on their FB page as well.

    RFC Pilot in WW1


    The sculptor has chosen to depict a very pensive looking pilot wearing his flying clothing , perhaps having just returned from a fighting patrol over the horrors of the trenches , looking right at the unit photographer he does not need to say a word the pose says it all IMO , smoking on a cigarette , arms folded.

    Without doubt the sculptor is instantly recognisable as none other than Carl Reid , this is good to see him working with MJ Miniatures.

    Box Art has been videoed by the artist MJ Kim and is available over on You Tube , here i sthe link to one this will lead you to the others , so put your feet up , grab yourself a coffee , biscuits and enjoy seeing a master at work.

    Clothing was very much a personal choice with many variations being seen both issue and private purchase .
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    A brief history of the RFC

    With the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, it was clear that the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) would have to expand if it were to serve the Army in France and replace its own casualties.

    The Central Flying School (CFS) did not have the capacity to support this growth, so new training units were opened and civilian flying schools commandeered. The quality of the instructors engaged varied, however, and many of the aircraft used were unsuitable. Accidents were common and for most of the war casualties at training units were greater than losses in action.

    In early 1916, the RFC began regulating training standards, with pupils expected to fly at least 15 hours' solo. Unfortunately, the ever-increasing demand for pilots at the front, and a lack of resources at the flying schools, meant some students received insufficient training and arrived at operational squadrons unprepared for combat. Partly because of this, casualties rose sharply and by the spring of 1917 the life expectancy of a new pilot could be measured in weeks.


    A BE2c of No 2 Squadron prepares to start off on a reconnaissance mission, Summer 1915, Hesdigneul, France.

    At the commencement of the First World War Britain had some 113 aircraft in military service, the French Aviation Service 160 and the German Air Service 246. By the end of the war each side was deploying thousands of aircraft.

    The RFC was formed in April 1912 as the military (army and navy) began to recognise the potential for aircraft as observation platforms. It was in this role that the RFC went to war in 1914 to undertake reconnaissance and artillery observation. As well as aircraft the RFC had a balloon section which deployed along the eventual front lines to provide static observation of the enemy defences. Shortly before the war a separate Naval Air Service (RNAS) was established splitting off from the RFC, though they retained a combined central flying school.

    The RFC had experimented before the war with the arming of aircraft but the means of doing so remained awkward - because of the need to avoid the propellor arc and other obstructions such as wings and struts. In the early part of the war the risk of injury to aircrew was therefore largely through accidents. As air armament developed the dangers to aircrew increased markedly and by the end of the war the loss rate was 1 in 4 killed, a similar proportion to the infantry losses in the trenches.

    For much of the war RFC pilots faced an enemy with superior aircraft, particularly in terms of speed and operating ceiling, and a better flying training system. The weather was also a significant factor on the Western Front with the prevailing westerly wind favouring the Germans.

    These disadvantages were made up for by determined and aggressive flying, albeit at the price of heavy losses, and the deployment of a larger proportion of high-performance aircraft. The statistics bear witness to this with the ratio of British losses to German at around 4 to 1.
    When the RFC deployed to France in 1914 it sent four Squadrons (No.s 2,3,4 and 5) with 12 aircraft each, which together with aircraft in depots, gave a total strength of 63 aircraft supported by 900 men.

    By September 1915 and the Battle of Loos, the RFC strength had increased to 12 Squadrons and 161 aircraft. By the time of the first major air actions at the first Battle of the Somme, July 1916, there were 27 Squadrons with 421 aircraft plus a further 216 in depots. The RFC expansion continued rapidly thereafter putting considerable strain on the recruiting and training system as well as on the aircraft supply system.

    In the UK the RFC Home Establishment was responsible for training air and ground crews and preparing squadrons to deploy to France. Towards the end of the war the RFC provided squadrons for home defence, defending against German Zeppelin raids and later Gotha bomber raids. The RFC and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS) had limited success against the German raids largely through problems of locating the attackers and reaching the operating altitude of the Zeppelins.
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    Lets look at one of the pilots in particular

    2nd Lt. Seton Montgomerie
    Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force

    Born at Wanganui, New Zealand 25 June 1898. Arrived in England 16 August 1916.

    Cadet 2nd Lieutenant Sherwood Foresters, Notts and Derby Regiment. Commenced training as an officer at Queens College, Cambridge University 5 December 1916.


    2nd Lt. Montgomerie took his flying certificate [RAC certificate No.5405] on a Caudron Biplane at Ruffy-Bauman School, Acton, 23 September 1917 [one of the civilian flying schools providing basic pilot training].

    Ruffy-Bauman School, Acton
    Caudron G3 in foreground also known as the "skewing banana"


    Caudron G3 of the type flown by Montgomerie in his initial pilot training.


    HSM left with fellow students Holmes, Culver and Melville at Acton

    Montgomerie went on to the Central Flying School Upavon, and graduated on 30 October 1917 having completed a course at the Military Wing and being deemed "qualified for service in the R F C". His certificate (No 8554) was signed by Lt. Col. (Louis) Strange, Assistant Commandant.
    He was subsequently posted to No 2 Squadron RFC in France in December 1917. He travelled to France on Wednesday 12 December 1917 via Folkestone.

    After being wounded Lt. Montgomerie never returned to active flying in France, he had an operation to take a bullet out of his leg. He returned to flying in July and went to a training Squadron (37 TS (24 Wing) later redesignated 39 TS ) as an instructor.

    Thankfully he survived the war...one of the lucky ones for sure.

    Books are readily available on both the RFC and the uniforms here are some from my shelves

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    Continued in next post

    Viking Bob and Mike - The Kiwi like this.
  2. Mike - The Kiwi A Fixture

    Neat to see you feature a Kiwi Nap :)
    A number of our young men distinguished themselves in the RFC including the future leader who played a significant role in commanding the Battle of Britain defence - ACM Sir Keith Park https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Park

    I'll be working out how I can acknowledge their contribution in my version on day.

    Appreciate the details you've added as always in this review.

    Stay safe
    Viking Bob and napoleonpeart like this.
  3. Nap Moderator

    Lets have the resin now

    Details of the release:

    Title: RFC Pilot in WW1

    Reference: MJ10-006

    Scale: 1/10th

    Material: Gray Resin

    No of items: 7

    Sculptor: Carl Reid

    Box Art: MJ,Kim

    As with all of the release the contents were in a secure box with a colour picture of the painted model on the top and the side and also a nice message when opening the box up
    MJ 001.jpg MJ 002.jpg

    Contents being held in clear bags with them also being protected by bubble wrap envelopes, the parts consist of the main torso, head , 2 arms, gloves , a cigarette and a base

    MJ 003.jpg


    This was going to be an easy operation

    Torso..remove casting remnant from underneath
    Head...Remove casting plug from under neck
    Arms...Sand small blips on fitment areas on both and a casting plug on left wrist
    Gloves.. Sand away casting plug on glove edge
    Cigarette...fit into right hand
    Base...Sand slightly the edges and fit ( Pin it!!)

    All very easy and quick to do , then wash to remove any casting resin and fit together ...on this point I am happy to say that the torso has been sculpted with the parts fitting in really cleanly and to say it went together like a dream , no filler was needed.
    MJ 025.jpg


    The first thing to say is that this is a super smooth piece of casting , not a blemish could be found after the prep mentioned above had been carried out.

    The subject wears a typical coat , this could be leather or a gaberdine material , , folds are as needed , particularly noticeable when looking at the back , very smoothly worked , the coat shows a buttoned over front with the actual buttons being nicely defined, these are also the same at the back of the collar

    The coat is slightly open with the lining showing , folded over , nice work on the edges.

    MJ 005.jpg

    The collar is fur lined , the surface textures are well done , with at the opening we see a scarf...perhaps its his Oxford or Cambridge one..memories of an innocent time.

    Looking at the rear of the collar the pilot wears a buttoned down collar which could be removed if needed , although I doubt if it was in the cold high altitude battlefield.

    MJ 008.jpg

    The neck area is all ready to receive the head with no problems.

    MJ 006.jpg MJ 007.jpg MJ 009.jpg MJ 010.jpg MJ 011.jpg MJ 012.jpg


    The head is wearing a flying helmet very well shaped, the make up of this consists of 8 sections all clearly sculpted , fur lined at the edges with ear coverings , sharply done.

    On his head we have a version of the goggles again well shown , as seen in the pictures including the nose covering ...the challenge here is to paint the lens ...have a look at MJ's videos for this ...easy but very effective.

    Facial features are good with the eyes etc being cleanly cast , mouth is held together , defiantly

    MJ 019.jpg MJ 018.jpg MJ 017.jpg MJ 013.jpg MJ 014.jpg


    Again we have really good clothing folds , the left has no hand on it , fit to the torso is very easy and the pieces stayed in place well , no filler was needed .
    MJ 020.jpg MJ 021.jpg
    The Right arm has the uncovered hand positioned to hold the cigarette .

    Hand details are nicely done with the wrist into the arm well and with the sleeve having good edging .
    MJ 022.jpg MJ 023.jpg MJ 024.jpg
    Both arms show the correct seams on the clothing , well defined , making painting easier.


    These are long gauntlet types with the left being worn and holding the other glove , again good surface work and finger definition being seen .
    MJ 026.jpg MJ 027.jpg MJ 028.jpg
    Note : On all the parts they have been engineered very well , fitting into place very accurately .

    Base and Cigarette ( see parts picture)

    The base is the standard one we have seen with previous releases from MJ , textured , and suitable for purpose, fit to the underside is good , I would as always suggest pinning ..or use a brass rod ( as I will) and donate the base to your spares box.

    The cigarette is a simple length of resin , but don't forget no filter tipped ( see reference picture ) , should this vanish into the carpet monster then its easily replaced by a piece of wire.

    Final Thoughts

    A popular subject which has been well sculpted and presented by all concerned , a classic bust in style and one that will fit into a display with others that are on the market .
    The challenge is the painting , of the material and of course the goggles , but whichever you choose to do an enjoyable time at the bench is a certainty.

    For more information:

    Website : http://www.mj-miniatures.co.kr/

    Email : mjminiatures@gmail.com

    Where to buy : http://www.mj-miniatures.co.kr/where_to_buy.html

    Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/jminiatures

    Youtube : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkIwELXuSqJjazPkM8YlyOA

    Thanks to MJ Miniatures for the Review pitem

    Also to you all for looking in

    Enjoy the painting

    Franco, swralph and Viking Bob like this.
  4. Nap Moderator

    Lets have some pictures of the box art ...

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  5. Viking Bob PlanetFigure Supporter

    Beautiful bust and a superb review Kev, well done
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  6. swralph A Fixture

    Thanks for sharing another great review Nap:).
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  7. ometz Well-Known Member

    Wonderful review and what a great figure!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  8. Rich Sculpts A Fixture

    Great review Nap!
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  9. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Cracking review Kevin
    Thank you for the work you put in to this and all the other reviews you have posted.......they are by far easier than Google.
    Please keep up the grear work Mate
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  10. Franco Active Member

    Excellent review Nap

    Thank you
    napoleonpeart likes this.
  11. Nap Moderator

    Hi Guys

    Thanks for all the comments appreciate you looking in

  12. Red Five Well-Known Member


    For reference.
    Nap likes this.

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