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A Cotswold Shopping Trip: Part 3

Gosh... Leo is such a slave driver! In order to meet his impossible deadlines, I've had to cobble together a another mixed bag. I'd like to remind you that all tasteless images and outrageous opinions expressed here are purely my own, so don't flame Leo! (unless you want to. ;^)

First off, I'd like to point out how natural Hasbro's Patton head looks as a war-weary German officer! Hey, no sacrilege intended, but I was surprised when I plunked the Cotswold officer's cap on his head. Ike's trenchcoat even comes in handy when creating the "just slummin' it" look.

Other points of interest: It's just a personal preference, but I like buttons at the proper scale. They're really easy to create with Sculpey/Promat, and you can superglue 'em on. It's quick & cheap.

The guy on the left is not sculpted to be who you probably think he is, he's just painted that way. He's not finished and looked so terrible that I added the moustache, for grins. Anyway, he's wearing parts of the "Soldiers of the World" WWI German Infantryman's outfit.

The left picture shows what I did to Cotswold's dagger (mentioned in a previous review). The blade was just a strip of styrene, and the scabbard is an altered SOTW. Some reshaping of the handle was necessary, and the paint job helps define the lines. The scribbling on the blade says something like "My dog has fleas", and I couldn't paint the "SS" symbol at the top of the handle. The ring is just a loop of guitar wire, and hangs from the belt with a small chain.

Cotswold's P-38 is a nice piece. Of course, you have to bore out the muzzle and it would probably look better if repainted. I was too cheap to buy one of their holsters, so I made my own out of scrap vinyl. There's great reference material on the back of some of Tamiya's 1:35 scale models.

This is a detail comparison of KAR-98's: SOTW's is on the left, and Cotswold's is on the right.

As you can see, there is quite a difference in size. I suspect that Cotswold's is more in scale. (nb: Matthew Price states that "That gun is the WWI Mauser Gewehr 98 or Kar. 98. The sling swivels are in the correct place. The overall length is correct as well. There is only one flaw in the front barrel-band (it should look like that on the Cotwold gun, too.) Also, the more common version of this gun has a bolt handle which sticks out. The one on that gun was first adapted for bicycle troops, then sniper-scoped models.
Cotswold sells the Mauser K98 kurz--the shorter WW II version of the gun. But, if you're trying for WWI--the SOTW version is the correct gun to use."
--I humbly bow to his more informed opinion!) With its level of detailing, Cotswold's looks more like vintage Hasbro-issued gear. The thing that's interesting about the SOTW version is the wood grain detailing. I think it actually looks better than the vintage look. It makes you wonder why they loused it up with the ugly sling rings!? (which you can't see here)

On the other hand, you can't argue with the price of the SOTW line. While some of the quality of their stuff is abysmal (the choice of cloth, the cheap uniform details, the belts & harnesses), some of it is very good (the boots, the head sculpting, the weapons).

This is a detail comparison of Thompson SMGs: Hasbro's is on the left, and Cotswold's is on the right.

Again, there is quite a difference in size. Cotswold seems dedicated to producing gear which matches the original vintage Joe line. I suspect that today's trend for oversized weapons is due to the oversized hands that come with most figures. (Maybe it's a stylistic thing, like the oversized eyes in Anime?) Another difference is in the plastic: Hasbro uses a soft, rubbery plastic, whereas Cotswold's weapons are made of the same stiff plastic used in the vintage Hasbro weapons.

Finally, here are two of Cotswold's German belt buckles.

These are made of cast metal and the relief detailing is quite good: However, they're both so shiny that it's hard to appreciate that detail! They need to be toned down with Testor's Dullcote, after you apply a dark wash to bring out the detail.

Accuracy-wise, they seem to be too rectangular; maybe that's just because of the metal flanges that are used to fasten the leather belt? Another thing: the Wehrmacht belt attaches to the buckle differently, making it look more bulky, and less securely fastened. I think this was an attempt to make the leather belt join closer to the buckle. Using the guitar wire which I've mentioned before, you could probably improve the way these look, but the trade-off is that they'd be more difficult to unbuckle.

Finally #2, on a controversial editorial note: Hey! They're just toys, so have fun!

Signing off,

Jimbob-- 10/12/97


Last modified: Saturday, January 6, 2001 6:20 PM