Rubicon Models continue to add to their excellent range of plastic model kits but have also added more 1/56th metal miniatures to compliment them.
The SdKfz 222 / SdKfz 223 1/56th scale model kit contains enough parts to create either version of this German light armoured car. Produced from 1936 until 1943, there are options to add a 20mm autocannon with an MG34 in a co-axial mount or a simple MG34. There is an anti-grenade mesh which may be modeled open or closed, and the SdKfz 223radio car may also be made using the bed frame antenna. The kit comes with crew in either mid-war or Afrika Korps uniforms, allowing either version of the vehicle to be used on more than one Front. Decals are included to add the details required for the different usage, as is a basic painting guide.
The second kit is a GAZ-AA / GAZ-AAA Soviet version of the Ford designed truck, with the option to create the four-wheeled AA version or the six-wheeled AAA version. This truck saw service with frontline and support troops from 1932 right up until 1950, with variants including anti-aircraft, ambulance and mobile workshop versions. Trucks are the often the unsung heroes of modern warfare, and can be used in most gaming to rapidly transport troops on the battlefield at minimal cost. Again, the kit comes with plenty of useful decals and a helpful painting guide.
Rubicon have branched out once more into providing more 1/56th scale / 28mm sized metal figures that are suitable for wargaming and diorama usage. The packs of German infantry now consist of firing and advancing ‘squads’ of three figures, with similar packs for the US, British and Soviet forces. These are more ‘realistically’ proportioned than most on the market, which means they more accurately reflect real people than most wargaming ranges. In terms of their overall appearance, the only other ranges I can think of that they would fit with are Stoessi’s Heroes or Heer46, forming part of a growing movement aware from the more caricatured appearance.
Rubicon still provide some of the best and most varied 1/56th plastic model kits on the market, although they aren’t always as ‘wargames friendly’ in terms of being handled on the tabletop. More recently, the move to provide various new metal miniatures in ‘true’ 1/56th scale is good to see. However, the 3-to-a-pack approach makes it hard to put together a unit, and I’d like to see them produce frames of plastic figures in the future.