Back from hiatus, I have been busy with work and life. Been working on the Russian MMG's and have them damn near done...
The Russian FiB fellows have me a bit irked. A veritable contradiction in quality, they are great in some areas and poor in others. While face and boot detail are excellent, helmets are plainly wrong, the ammo cans are all too small for the Maxim and there are some issues with straps and clothing folds. Another area that they lose out is the way most figures are holding their weapons. Most look off, a few awkward and some just plain wrong. The German HMGs are really bad for this.
I would have to say that overall, for the German and Russian figures, I prefer Battlefront. Not that BF is without problems too (see their EW figure reviews on this site) but it seems that there is still some areas that FiB need to work on.
On another note, I got in some Micro FLAT from Microscale Industries and it is anything but. It come out more of a satin. Bummer... I have also discovered an issue with the Mother of all flatcotes, Testors DULCOTE, when used with Acrylic paints. It seems that it doesn't like to work with them like it does with enamels. The result with a single cote on cured acrylic paint (2 weeks drying) is a slight sheen. Not shiny - but not flat. Two coats work better but not as good as Dulcote works on enamels...or so my testing has found. Maybe they have changed the formula?
I have instead turned to mixing in a blob of white Lepage glue with a squirt of Folkart Artists Matt Varnish and a little water. This yields a DEAD-flat finish. The Folkart varnish seems to increase the durability of the finish so that it can be handled without damage compared to white glue and water alone.