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      Ongoing DDoS Attack causing Forum Slowness   26/04/17

      In case you have missed the announcement, the reason that the forum has been slow at times since the minor version update the other day is due to a Denial of Service attack, brute force attack on our email, and judging by the lag with our FTP response, that too.  If you're feeling like you're experiencing a glitch in the Matrix, you're not wrong.  This is the same MO as the attack in September 2016 that occurred when we transitioned to the new version 4 of the software.  We're currently working with US and UK cyber-crime departments, who specialise in this sort of thing, and we're hopeful that we'll be able to track them down this time by using the accumulated evidence already held.    We are pretty certain that it's a continuation of the same attack last year, only at a reduced intensity to deter people from using the site "because it's terribly slow", rather than taking it down completely, and we're also sure of the motivations of those responsible.  Spite.   Please bear with us in the interim, and wish us luck in dealing with these.... "people".

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Found 52 results

  1. Hello ! Decided to dilute the military theme with a civilian version of the German truck. If I placed it wrong, please correct it. This is a new MiniArt's set with civilian inscriptions, beer and milk boxes. I wanted to make it clean, but as always the tank turned out :-)
  2. Greetings, all ! I present to you my recent work: test-build T-54B from MiniArt #37011 Painting with acrylic Vallejo, toning with 502 oil and chemistry AK pleasant viewing :-) foto is clicable
  3. US Soldier pushing motorcycle MiniArt 1:35
  4. MiniArt

    T-54-1 Medium Tank 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models The WWII T-34 was an excellent all-round tank, combining armour, speed, hitting power and manoeuvrability into a war-winning package that served the Soviet Union well until the end of the war. After the war a new design was needed, and this was based upon the T-44 that had been in development during the final years of the conflict. It was decided that a larger 100mm gun was needed to counter the new tanks that were being developed in the West, but the T-44 chassis couldn't handle the turret that would be required. A new enlarged chassis was designed and was named the T-54, which went through such rapid development and many changes that it soon became a new prototype, the T-54-1. That too suffered teething troubles and after fewer than 1,500 units, production transferred quickly to the T-54-2, and then the T-55, which we've all probably heard of. The T-54-1 kept many of the successful traits of the T-34/85, but with a larger turret the shot-trap was significant, which ultimately led to the familiar domed turret of the T-55. Although outdated, the T-54 stuck around in smallish numbers for quite some period in a number of guises, although by the time the last operational vehicles were drawn down, it was seriously outclassed in every way. The Kit This is a complete new tooling from the good folks at MiniArt in the Ukraine, and it is a major new tooling because it has a complete interior within the box, which is weighty beyond usual expectations. On lifting the lid you are greeted by a glut of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. There are sixty two sprues in grey styrene plus another twelve for the tracks (in the same colour), a sprue in clear, plus two frets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, the decal sheet and finally a rather thick and glossy colour instruction booklet with painting guide included to the rear. That little lot fills up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues – quite daunting to repack too! When MiniArt say "interior" they're not just referring to a couple of seats for the crew and a few black boxes. They really do mean full interior. This starts with the V-54 engine that is built up from crank-case through rocker-covers and is sat upon a trestle engine mount, with a high overall part count. The lower hull is then constructed so that it can take all the interior parts, with the torsion bars and suspension arms slid in and located at the opposite ends in pairs, after which the floor under the turret is slipped over the top of the centre bars, and ancillary equipment is piled in along with more suspension details. The driver's control levers are built up and added to the left front of the hull floor, with a surprisingly comfortable-looking seat added next to the bulkhead that forms a wall of the shell magazine later on. The hull sidewalls are added with interior skins providing the detail and thickness, with yet more equipment studded along their lengths, and some holes need opening up for the shell racks, as shown in a scrap diagram. The two perforated frames attach at the front of the starboard sidewall, and individual shells slot inside the holes, with drop-down gates holding them in place during transport. You could probably get away with painting only the percussion caps and the ends of the shell casings for those that will be stuck in there, so don't go mad unless you will be going for a cut-away in that area. The engine is then added to the rear of the hull on its mount that latches into slots in the floor, and a pair of box-like air intakes are added at the starboard end. A firewall is then constructed with fan, extinguisher and other boxes to fit between the two areas, after which the port side is added, and the glacis plate is fitted into place, the latter having a scale thickness armour panel, foot-pedals and periscopes for the driver installed. The roadwheels are made up in pairs with a central hub-cap, and ten pairs are made up, with five per side held in place by a pin and top-cap in the same way as the two-part drive sprockets are fitted at the rear. The idler wheel is installed right at the front of the hull on an tensioner axle, and is made from two parts, held in place by a pin and top-cap like the rest of the roadwheels, although it is noticeably smaller. The rear bulkhead has two sets of brackets for additional fuel drums, which are included in the box, and this assembly is installed at the rear along with two other small facets, one of which has the rear light cluster mounted. The hull roof is fabricated from shorter sections to preserve detail, starting with the turret ring, which has the driver's hatch within, and once in place, armoured periscope protectors, rotating hatch and pioneer tools are added around. The engine deck is split into three main sections, within which are access hatches, grilles and louvers to allow the engine to breathe and be maintained. The louvers are covered by an additional layer of PE mesh, and the extra fuel drums are strapped in place by a pair of PE straps each if you decide to fit them. The fenders are festooned with stowage of various types, which are loaded up before being added to the sides of the hull along with the obligatory unditching beam and spring-loaded mudguards at the rear. Some PE parts are used as tie-downs and handles here to improve the scale effect of details. Additionally, a pair of ender mounted machine-guns are added in small casemates, one on each fender at the front, with a removable lid for repair and maintenance plus reloading. You get the full breech and interior, which leaves you with some options. Spare ammo cans are stowed next to simplify crew reloading, although doing that task under fire would be no fun! Tracks. Always a divisive subject, as some like band-type, others like individual links, link-and-length, or metal. The list goes on. You might have noticed already that this kit provides individual link tracks of the glue-together variety, which don't do anything fancy such as click in-place. The tracks are built up in segments of 9 links, with 8 links having guide-horns, and one without. All you need to do is remove each link from the sprues via their four gates, trim them flush, glue the parts together in batches of 9 in a run of 90 links each side, and whilst still soft, wrap them around the roadwheels and set the sag with sponges, cotton buds or whatever is to hand to hold them in position. When dry they can be removed with care, especially if you have left an idler or sprocket loose to facilitate. Take care when prepping the track parts, as the plastic is quite soft, and easily marred with careless handling. With the tracks done, the fenders go on, with the duck-bill shaped exhaust crossing the port fender in the rear, with a deflector attached over it. The turret will be a focus of attention for most viewers, and it is filled with detail. The two layer turret ring is added to the lower turret part, and the inside of the turret is then strewn with equipment on both sides, with a stack of ready-ammo at the rear of the bustle in a compact rack that hold seven shells. Crew seats are added, dipping down through the aperture, and the breech of the 100mm gun is constructed from a host of parts, with two being left off if you wanted to move the barrel later. This is mounted between two brackets that sit on the front lip of the turret, with the sighting gear and a stack of four ammo cans to feed the coaxial machine gun slung underneath. The upper turret is similarly bedecked with equipment inside, and at this point a large portion of the roof is missing, being made up in a later step with the crew hatches, periscopes and mushroom fume vent, plus an antenna base. The gunner's cupola has a ring fitted to it that mounts a huge DShk "Dushka" 12.7mm machine gun, which can be used with great effect against soft targets or as an anti-aircraft mount. It is made up from a considerable number of parts, with scrap diagrams showing how to mount the ammo box to the breech with a number of PE parts as well as a length of link for good measure. The upper turret, mantlet armoured cover, coaxial machine gun and the mantlet itself are all brought together at the end to finish the turret main construction, after which a large rolled tarpaulin is draped over the rear of the bustle, with a choice of one of the two driver's "hoods" strapped to the top of it for safe-keeping. There is a low profile and higher profile variant included in the box, with the choice of either or none left to the modeller. Markings There are three options available from the box, with a variety of schemes that should suit most tastes. From the box you can build one of the following: Soviet Army 50s – Soviet green with white 224 on the turret sides. Soviet Army 50s – Winter distemper paint over green and white 222 on turret sides. Soviet Army early 50s – Summer camouflage. Green sand and black soft-edge wavy camouflage and no unit markings other than a small red star. The decal sheet is small and mostly white, with only the red stars to break up the colour (excluding the red border to the sheet). The registration between the two colours seems good, sharpness is too, but I suspect the codes may be slightly translucent when applied to dark colours. They can easily be used as a guide to touch in with a little diluted white on a sharp brush though, as these markings were usually hand-painted. If you wanted to see what can be done with this kit, check out Dmytro Kolesnyk's superb build here on Britmodeller, which you can see more of here. Conclusion Quite a box load! The sheer quantity of parts and the detail therein makes this easy to recommend, and there are endless possibilities for exposing the innards of the beast, which might need just the odd wire or hose added along with some grime to make it look real. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Greetings, all ! I present to you my recent work: T-54-1 model 1949 from MiniArt Painting with acrylic Vallejo, toning with 502 oil and chemistry AK pleasant viewing :-) foto is clicable
  6. Wine Bottles & Wooden Crates 1:35 MiniArt Dioramas. They always look better with some personalisation, as do AFVs and softskins. What could be more personal than some looted (or otherwise) booze that has been liberated from an abandoned pub, or the cellar of a ruined mansion. Simulated glass can be hard to replicate yourself, but injection moulding or clear resin moulding makes your life a little easier. Along comes MiniArt with a set of wine bottle AND the crates to put them in. Not only that, but they come with decals to replicate labels and crate stencils! Arriving in a figure-sized end-opening box, inside you get six sprues each of transparent green and red styrene, plus twelve sprues in an orange/tan styrene, and you can doubtless guess which ones the crates are made up from. The transparent sprues have sixteen bottles of two shapes each, giving you 96 green, 96 red bottles and 12 crates in which to put them, if that's your goal. The decal sheet gives you 144 labels of 9 types, plus 19 stencils for crates, most of which are French, with one type German. Additionally, you get five German Eagle symbols with the Swastika, although only half of the Swastika is printed, probably to save problems in certain territories where displaying Nazi symbolism is unlawful. You will have to paint the bottle foils, corks and caps yourself, but that's not too arduous a task, a description that can also apply to the location of the sprue gates on the bottles, which is on their bottoms, so easy to clean up. If you intend to depict a few on their sides, a touch with a drill bit should make the necessary indent to give the correct look. The crates are the only part of the kit that needs assembly as such, and this is detailed on the back of the box. The outer surface is built up from four parts, then the divides are made up and it is all brought together with the base to complete the process. The parts are all textured with wood grain and nail heads, so should respond well to painting and possibly a little dry-brushing to bring out the detail. Applying the stencils with some decal solution will help them settle down over the texture of the wood, but as they are pleasingly thin, the carrier film should almost disappear after clear coat. Conclusion A useful addition to any AFV model or diorama that has been carefully thought out to ease construction and finishing. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Railroad Water Crane (35567) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models We're on diorama fodder today, and if you saw my review the other week of the rail track here, this might be something of interest. MiniArt's latest is a railroad water crane that trains used to fill up their water tanks from at the side of the track. They were a common site around the railways of the world until Diesel and electric locomotives became more numerous, but have since almost disappeared. The kit arrives in a long custom-shaped end-opening box, and inside are three sprues in grey styrene, plus one in clear, and a small bundle of grey thread. Construction information is covered on the back of the box, and begins with the support column, which is split vertically, and in its lower sections is conical. A number of additional parts stack on top of the conical section, along with a couple of fine levers that are used in the operation of the crane. The column is topped with a dome-shaped casting, from which a support wire stretches out to the feeder tube. Two lamps attach to the top of the arm with clamps, both lanterns made up from two clear parts each that are painted transparent red. The final section of the feeder arm is able to rotate around its end for fine-tuning of the nozzle, and this is held in place by a pin, so with careful gluing could be left mobile. On the real thing the nozzle is moved using a pulley and rope, which is where the cord comes in. Two lengths are used, one hanging down for the operator to pull upon, and another running from a transfer box to the end of the nozzle. On the base is a cut-off valve set into a flat plate, which is bolted down onto a (presumably) concrete base. Painting instructions are given throughout the build as numbers linked to a paint chart at the bottom of the instructions, which gives you options for AMMO, Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, Mr Color, LifeColor and plain-old colour names, so you shouldn't be left scratching for the right shade. Conclusion An excellent addition to any railway based diorama. I have one formulating in my mind already involving a King Tiger and the railway track, or perhaps it'll end up next to my BR52 someday. Review sample courtesy of
  8. T-34/85 Running Gear Late Type 1:35 MiniArt The parts in this track and wheel set from MiniArt are suitable for their T-34/85 plus SU-85, SU-100 and SU-122 kits. There are 10 sprues of the track links with guide horns and 7 lengths of the intermediate links. The 10 sprues with the horned track links also contain the main road wheels. There are also two sprues with idler wheels and a small panel plus another two sprues with the drive wheels, which also have a stowage box with separate lids. The links with the guide horns have small pins on then which are designed to click into holes on the intermediate links. Conclusion While these links do indeed look good, while attempting to get a set to link together to include in the review I found that they would not "click" together easily. I found that the pins in the guide horn links would often bend over, rather than click into the receiving holes. With these it's a one-shot deal, as once they have bent there is no easy way of getting them back, so you end up with track links that you have to glue together. The wheels are very well moulded, and look great with the markings on the edges of the tyres also represented. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hi, all Let me to present my first building in the new year - test build new set of MiniArt - tank T-54-2 (model 1949) The model will go on sale soon. [/url] I started with the assembly of the engine I also gathered the bottom and running gear of the machine more progress: driver's seat hull assembly continued I also collected fuel tanks and containers
  10. Hi guys, I've been struggling to get any modelling time over the last few weeks, but for a good reason, I have been building a new man cave! I have it almost finished, in the meantime I have finished the winter diorama using the MiniArt SU-85. This is only my second tank build, it's not a bad little kit apart from the rubbish plastic tracks that were a fiddle to build. It was an experiment in modelling ice and snow, I used 5 minute epoxy for the icicles and tried a product called Krycell for the snow from a company called Precision Ice and Snow. Anyway it dragged on far too long and I am glad it's finished, overall I am happy with how it came out. Wear your winter woolies before looking at the pictures, I won't be held responsible for any frostbite claims LOL!
  11. Miniart 2017 video-catalogue. https://youtu.be/_czTH0wWpUc?t=42 V.P.
  12. This is my second attempt at building an armoured vehicle since I got back into the hobby a couple of years ago when I then built a Meng Merkava Israeli Main Battle Tank. I intend to put this vehicle into a winter snow diorama, this will be my first attempt at making a snow effect scene, so it should be a lot of fun. The kit itself arrived late last week and I began the build last weekend, it seems to be a nicely made kit however some of the sprue gate cutting points are extremely thick and unnecessary in certain areas which causes a lot more work for cleaning the parts up. However the plastic is very soft and with a Flory sanding stick does clean up quite quickly. There is a bit of history of the vehicle below from the build manual. History: The SU-85 (Samokhodnaya ustanovka 85) was a Soviet self-propelled gun used during World War II, developed on the basis of the T-34 medium tank and the SU-122 assault gun. Produced from August 1943 through July 1944. The 85-mm D-5S gun allowed the SU-85 to effectively hit enemy medium tanks at distances of more than 1,000 meters and was able to destroy a Tiger tank from 1000 meters out, proving much capable against the newer German tank designs.
  13. Dear Friends, I would like to notify all of you about latest new items that arrived in our shop's stock. - Soviet military motorcycle with sidecar MV-750 (K-750) from AIM Fan Model in 1:35 scale (AIM35003) - Material for dioramas - wooden boxes, 6 pcs from DAN Models in 1:35 scale (DAN35234) - Photoetched: Stencil for prints of tire treads from DAN Models in 1:72 scale (DAN72530) - German Half-track tractor Sd.Kfz.11 from First To Fight in 1:72 scale (FTF041) - German soldiers, winter 1941-1942 from MiniArt in 1:35 scale (MA35218) - T-34 Wheels set, 1942 series from MiniArt in 1:35 scale (MA35236) - Street lamps & Clocks from MiniArt in 1:35 scale (MA35560) - Railroad track (Russian gauge) from MiniArt in 1:35 scale (MA35565) - Soviet medium tank T-54-2 (interior kit), mod 1949 from MiniArt in 1:35 scale (MA37004) - Ammo belts feader Cal. 30 (7,62 mm), 4 pcs from Mini World in 1:72 scale (MINI7253a) Best regards, Alex Scale-model-kits.com - plastic scale model kits on-line shop
  14. Does anyone know when the new Miniart Modern U.S. Tank Crew is due to release? I considered using them with my Tamiya TUSK, but in not wanting to get rid of the figures that came with that I decided to scoop up an Academy TUSK for them. I'd checked a few times, but hadn't spotted any particular release date. Cheers in advance Gaz
  15. My year so far, it started with the Sabre models Platformwagen then the ICM JU 88. Then onto the Eastern Front (GPW) GB, once I've finished my MTO build that will be my modelling year complete. Depending how quick I can build an Avenger? Panzer IV Eastern Front Group Build, Platformwagen general build. Eastern Front Group Build. Joint second with Stix. JU 88 Group Build. What keeps me in plastic kits, a presentation I painted from my previous unit. It's a chap holding a Desert Hawk lll Remotely Piloted Aircraft flown by the British Army. MTO Group Build.
  16. This is now in stock and available to order. On first inspection it looks a superb kit and the box is rammed full with over 1,000 parts!! Miniart 1:35 - T-54-1 Soviet Medium Tank w/ Interior HIGLY DETAILED MODEL TOTAL DETAILS 1053 934 PLASTIC PARTS 105 PHOETCHED PARTS 14 CLEAR PLASTIC PARTS DECAL SHEET FOR 4 VARIANTS FULL-COLOUR INSTRUCTION FULLY DETAILED FIGHTING COMPARTMENT FULLY DETAILED DRIVER'S COMPARTMENT INTERIOR OF TURRET ACCURATLY REPRESENTED V-54 ENGINE INCLUDED CAST STEEL SURFACES ARE ACCURATELY REPRESENTED ALL HATCHES CAN BE POSED OPEN OR CLOSED
  17. T-34 Wafer Type Workable Track Links Set 1:35 Miniart These tracks from Miniart are suitable for their T-34 and Su-122 kits. There are 10 sprues of the track links with guide horns and 8 lengths of the intermediate links. The links with the guide horns have small pins on then which are designed to click into holes on the intermediate links. Conclusion While these links do indeed look good, while attempting to get a set to link together to include in the review I found that they would not "click" together easily. I found that the pins in the guide horn links would often bend over, rather than click into the receiving holes. With these it's a one-shot deal, as once they have bent there is no easy way of getting them back, so you end up with track links that you have to glue together. This could just have been my bad luck, or just down to me however your experience may vary. Review sample provided by
  18. European Tracks & Concrete Telegraph Poles 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models MiniArt are masters of diorama details, making figures, vacformed backdrops and styrene kits of unusual things such as these two kits featured today. Both are of the latter type, being moulded in grey styrene, and are intended to provide you with easily constructed infrastructure to give your diorama bases relevance. Concrete telegraph Poles (35563) This kit arrives in a long end-opening box with a selection of four types of posts on the front. Inside are four sprues with the same basic post, which is lightened with rectangular holes, with a choice of four different tops in the shape of a pair of insulators on one side, a T-piece with an insulator on both sides, a stack of five insulators on each side, and a lamp post with a short pendant lamp hanging from a decorative fixing on each side. From the box you can build four of the first three types, but only two of the latter lamps, unless you fit one lamp to each post. You can of course mix and match to suit yourself. The clear parts provide four glass domes for the lamps, plus four clear light bulbs for that extra bit of realism, which is a neat little addition. The parts are crisply moulded, and slide-moulding has been used to create a one-piece dome for the lamp, but the concrete posts don't have any texture to them. Initially this seems a shame, but when you think that you will be joining the two halves together and hiding the seams, this gives you the opportunity to stipple a texture pattern with liquid glue or Mr Surfacer after you have finished hiding the seams. A cool accessory that stands 200mm tall when completed. European Gauge Railway Track (35561) This set arrives in a top-opening box, and contains eight sprues in grey styrene. On each sprue are five differently textured wooden track ties/sleepers, which have the bottom parts of the rail shoulder-plates, to which you add the bolt-on shoulders after adding the rails. Each rail is 170mm long, and has small pips on the bottom at regular intervals to match corresponding depressions on the shoulder-plates, making spacing a doddle. The rails also have keyed ends to join two parts together to get the correct spacing between the connecting fishplates. The fishplates have their bolts moulded-in, but the track ends have holes that match pips on the back of the fishplate parts, which fit one on each side. The finished length of track from the box is 686mm, which should be plenty for at least one diorama unless you think BIG! If you were to need more, the track is designed so that successive sets will interlink seamlessly one after the other. Adding the ballast to the track is your responsibility, but the likes of Deluxe Materials produce ballast that you can mix with powdered adhesive, then wet it to lock the ballast in place once you are happy with your work. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Hi, all Let me to present my new test build. It's new set of Ukrainian "MiniArt" - tank T-54-1 (1947) The model will go on sale soon.
  20. Soviet Self-Propelled Gun SU-85 w/Crew MiniArt 1:35 History Early in World War II, Soviet tanks such as the T-34 and KV-1 had adequate firepower to defeat any of the German tanks then available. By the fall of 1942, Soviet forces began to encounter the new German Tiger tank, with armour too thick to be penetrated by the 76.2 mm guns used in the T-34 and KV tanks at a safe range. The Soviet command also had reports of the Panther tank, that was in development then and possessed thicker armour than the Tiger; both represented an advance in German tank design. Although the Panther was not seen in combat until July 1943, the new generation of German vehicles meant the Red Army would need a new, more powerful main gun for their armoured formations. In May 1943, work was begun on a new anti-tank gun. Military planners directed the design bureaus of both Gen. Vasiliy Grabin and Gen. Fyodor Petrov to modify the 85mm anti-aircraft gun for use as an anti-tank weapon. Petrov's bureau developed the D-5 85mm gun. Though much too large for the T-34 or KV-1 turret, it was thought the gun could be mounted upon the chassis of the SU-122 self-propelled gun to give the weapon mobility. The version of this gun intended to be mounted upon the SU-85 was called the D-5S, with the "S" standing for self-propelled. Initially the production factory at Uralmash rejected the proposed design. Nevertheless, the administrators at Uralmash were persuaded to proceed, and the new design was put into production. The weapon was later modified to include a telescopic sight and a new ball gun mantlet. This vehicle was renamed the SU-85-II. The SU-85 was a modification of the earlier SU-122 self-propelled howitzer, essentially replacing the 122 mm M-30S howitzer of the SU-122 with a D-5T high-velocity 85 mm antitank gun. The D-5T was capable of penetrating the Tiger I from 1000 m. The vehicle had a low profile and excellent mobility. Initially given an armoured commander's cap on the first batch, the SU-85's observational optics were improved by the introduction of a standard commander's cupola - the same as on the T-34-76 model 1942, along with the already existing prismatic observation sights installed in left side and rear. On later vehicles, the same optics were added, almost allowing all-around observation The SU-85 entered combat in August 1943. It saw active service across the Eastern Front until the end of the war. Though a capable weapon, it was found that its 85 mm weapon was not adequate to penetrate the armour of the larger German armoured fighting vehicles. It was replaced by the SU-100. The SU-85 was withdrawn from Soviet service soon after the war, and was exported to many Soviet client states in Europe and elsewhere. Some SU-85s were converted to use as command and recovery vehicles. In places such as North Korea and Vietnam, it remained in service for many years The Model Although not as complex as the SU-85 kit reviewed HERE, this recent release still has around sixty six sprues of parts, although these include some sprues with only two or three parts each. The attractive top opening box, with a nice rendering of the vehicle on the lid, contains a number of poly bags within poly bags, in which all the sprues are held securely, well until you open them, even carefully, and they fly all over the place. All the parts are very well moulded, with no sign of flash or other imperfections, and very few moulding pips. The sprue gates are nice and small, especially useful on the more fragile parts. A much simpler kit than the SU-122, construction begins with the assembly of the hull floor, onto which the torsion bar suspension arms are attached, along with the floor mounted escape hatch, and eight, four piece spring damper units. Although there isn’t a full interior, there are still some parts that are fitted to the inside of the hull sides, such as crew seats and idler wheel axles. On the outside the road wheel axles are attached to the torsion bars and spring damper units before being attached to the hull floor assembly. The front glacis plate is fitted with the prominent drivers hatch, which again has interior and exterior details, the spring shock- absorber units for the recoil, each of which could be left off as you won’t see them and without the rest of the interior are superfluous. The glacis plate and lower glacis plate are then attached to the front hull, whilst the rear mounted transmission covers, with its towing hook is also glued into position. The main gun assembly consists of a two part rear section, which includes the breech, is fitted with the crew guards, top mounted recouperator tubes, and the two trunnion mounts, before being slid into position inside the mantlet and mantlet cover. Two large storage bins are assembled and fitted with PE hinges and locks and put aside to dry. The two part road wheels, idlers and sprockets are then attached to their respective axles, whilst the gun and mantlet combo is fitted to the top glacis plate and the main barrel section attached. The tracks are possibly the tricky area of the build, with each link attached to the sprue by four gates, not only will they take time to clean up the pins on the guide horn mounted links are quite small and look like they will break easily. So, although they should just click together, you may need to add a dab of glue to keep them in place once the track length has been fitted to the kit. The two intake vents are each assembled from three parts whilst the fighting compartment roof is fitted with the various sights, periscopes and viewing ports, along with the two crew hatches. The single piece rear decking, which includes the track guards, has the intake vents glued into position, followed by the three piece intake grilles, mid mounted engine hatch, and the two stowage box assemblies, whilst the fighting compartment side panels are fitted with the pioneer tools, lights, and filter unit. The side panels are attached to the hull first, followed by the engine deck assembly, and rear bulkhead mounting frame. The fighting compartment rear panel is assembled with the fitting of the various vents, viewing ports and grab handles before being glued into position, followed by the fighting compartment roof, and rear hull bulkhead panel. More details are added, including the spare track links, front and rear mud guards, gearbox access hatch, exhausts and covers, gunners split hatch and aerial. The spare fuel tanks are each assembled from three parts and glued to the paired support frames, before being finished off with PE straps. On the right hand side rear track guard a rolled up tarpaulin is fixed into position by another pair of PE straps, whilst the four pairs of spare track links are held down by more PE straps finishing the build. Now, whilst the tank model is complete, this kit comes with five figures, which aren’t actually mentioned in the instructions, only on the painting guide. There are two looking over a map case, one casually standing about with a hand in his pocket, one sitting, and one who looks like he should be standing in the commander’s hatch, with one arm draped over the open hatch. All are in winter tankers gear and ribbed tankers protective headgear. Decals The small decal sheet provides markings for two vehicles and has been printed by MiniArt themselves. They are well printed none the less with good opacity, in register, although they are quite matt. The vehicles are:- SU-85 from the 2nd Belorussian Front, East Prussia, in January 1945 SU-85 from Factory Testing, Sverdlovsk Region in the Autumn of 1943 Conclusion This is another very nice kit from MiniArt. Probably a better build for, what I would term an intermediate beginner, than the SU-122, but still enjoyable enough for the more experienced modeller. There doesn’t appear to be much that would cause too much stress, as long as you dry fit and check before adding glue. The addition of the crew is a nice touch and will look great in a diorama, particularly if a snow scene is attempted. Review sample provided by
  21. Hi all, This is the latest diorama that I have just finished entitled "Blitzkreig in the West" and is based on a German unit in May 1940 advancing through the outskirts of a ruined village, rounding up POW's and preparing for their next encounter. It has been on the go for over a year although it has sat idle at times whilst I worked on other kits and projects. It's by far the biggest diorama that I've attempted and I'm pleased with the outcome as well as pleased that it's finally (99.9%) finished. Below is a list of the kits used: Building: Miniart 36028 Tank: Hobbyboss 83813 Motorbike and sidecar: Zvezda 3607 Figures: Dragon 6478, 6347, 6196; Tahk T-35023; Stalingrad S-3534; Soga Miniatures 3531 All figures were hand painted including the insignia on the collars and sleeves and on some I added the improvised camouflage grass on their helmets that I've seen on photos from the period (very fiddly!) as well as making all the slings from scratch using lead foil and finally they all received a light dusting with Mig pigments to blend in with their environment. The Hobbyboss tank is my first proper attempt at air brushing as this is a new skill to me as well as the weathering. In keeping with the storyline behind the diorama, I wanted the tank to have a used and dirty look but keep the damage minimal. The scene is based around the Miniart kit with the added collapsed wooden floor scratch built using balsa wood and coffee stirrers and the strewn debris is a mixture of different sands, rubble and scale bricks. The burnt area is made up of white metal corrugated sheets and Mig pigments - Black Smoke and Ashes White. The slate wall was built one piece at a time. Thanks for looking and all feedback is welcome. Regards, Lee
  22. I've enjoyed building vehicles in the the Great Patriotice War GB, so I've just ordered another - one of these: In the box, there is one version suited to the MTO, the version on the box top "Unknown unit, North Africa, 1942". I'll look arouind and see if I can see anything different.
  23. Soviet Self Propelled Gun, SU-122 w/Full Interior MiniArt 1:35 History Soviet High Command became interested in assault guns following the success of German Sturmgeschütz IIIs. Assault guns had some advantages over tanks with turrets. The lack of a turret made them cheaper to produce. They could be built with a larger fighting compartment and could be fitted with bigger and more powerful weapons on a given chassis. However, assault guns generally aim by orienting the entire vehicle, and were thus less suited for close combat than tanks with turrets. In April 1942, design bureaus were asked to develop several assault guns with various armaments: 76.2 mm ZiS-3 divisional field guns and 122 mm M-30 howitzers for infantry support, and 152 mm ML-20 howitzers for attacking enemy strongholds. A prototype assault gun, armed with the 122 mm howitzer and built on the German Sturmgeschütz III chassis was developed, designated SG-122. Only 10 of these were completed. Production was halted when the vehicle was found to be hard to maintain and judged to be unsuccessful. Simultaneously, a SPG based on the T-34 medium tank was also developed. Initially the T-34's chassis was selected for the 76.2 mm F-34 gun. This vehicle, the U-34, was created in the summer of 1942 at UZTM (Uralmashzavod – Uralsky Machine Building factory) design bureau, by N. W. Kurin and G. F. Ksjunin. It was a tank destroyer with the same armament as the T-34, but without a turret. The vehicle was 70 cm lower than a T-34, had thicker armour, and was 2 tonnes lighter. It did not enter production. UZTM then worked on combining features of the U-34 and the SG-122. Initial design work was completed between July and August 1942. The project emphasized minimizing modifications to the platform and the howitzer. It used the same chassis, superstructure, engine and transmission as the U-34 and was armed with (the then new) 122 mm M-30S howitzer from F. F. Petrov's design bureau. This vehicle also used the same gun bed cover and mountings as the SG-122, to keep costs low and simplify production. It had 45 mm thick frontal armour. The M-30S howitzer could be elevated or depressed between −3° and +26° and had 10° of traverse. The five-man crew consisted of a driver, gunner, commander and two loaders. By 25 November 1942 the first U-35 prototype was ready. Trials ran from 30 November to 19 December 1942, and uncovered various faults in the design including insufficient elevation, a flawed shell transfer mechanism, poor ventilation for the crew compartment, and the fact that the commander had to assist in operating the gun which made him unable to successfully carry out his other duties. The U-35 entered service with the Red Army as the SU-35 (later renamed SU-122) despite these faults. Production SU-122s were based on an improved prototype built after trials were conducted. They incorporated several modifications including slightly less sloped front armour to ease production, modified layout of the fighting compartment (the location of crew member stations and ammunition racks were changed), fewer vision slots, and a periscope for the commander. The first production vehicles were completed before 1943. The first SU-122s produced in December 1942 were sent to training centres and two new combat units, the 1433rd and 1434th self-propelled artillery regiments. Initially, each of these mixed regiments consisted of two batteries with four SU-122s each and four batteries with four SU-76 tank destroyers each. Each regiment had an additional SU-76 tank destroyer as a command vehicle. It was planned to raise 30 self-propelled artillery regiments operating within armoured and mechanized corps. In January 1943, the 1433rd and 1434th self-propelled artillery regiments were sent to the Volkhov Front near Leningrad as part of the 54th Army. On 14 January they saw combat for the first time in Smierdny region. After that it was decided SU-122s should follow between 400 m and 600 m behind the attacking tanks; sometimes this distance was shortened to between 200 m and 300 m. The use of SU-76 tank destroyers together with SU-122s proved unsuccessful. Based on combat experience, the organization of self-propelled artillery regiments was changed; the new regimental organization consisted of two batteries of SU-76 tank destroyers and three batteries of SU-122s, for a total of 20 self-propelled guns. In April the organization of self-propelled artillery regiments was again changed. Separate regiments were created for SU-76 tank destroyers (light self-propelled artillery regiment) and SU-122s (medium self-propelled artillery regiment). The medium self-propelled artillery regiment consisted of four batteries of four SU-122s each. Each regiment was also equipped with either an additional SU-122 or a T-34 for the commander and a BA-64 armoured car. This organization remained in place until the beginning of 1944 when the SU-122 started to be replaced by the SU-152, ISU-122 and ISU-152 heavy self-propelled guns and the SU-85 tank destroyers. The SU-122 proved effective in its intended role of direct fire on strongholds. The massive concussion of the 122 mm high explosive round was reportedly enough to blow the turret off even a Tiger I if a direct hit was scored, a trait shared with the larger 152 mm howitzers. A new BP-460A HEAT projectile was introduced in May 1943; however its primitive warhead design was only minimally more effective than brute concussive effects of the old high explosive shell. However, like most howitzers the accuracy of the M-30 was less than that of contemporary weapons designed for the anti-tank role. The Model This kit has been out a little while now, but this is the first chance we’ve had to see what’s inside the box, and boy is there a lot in the box. MiniArt are on a roll at the moment, and their products are improving with every release, even with the boxes. This kit comes in a nice sturdy box with a great study of the vehicle on the front. Inside, is filled to the brim with sprues, all contained in a large poly bag, inside of which the various combinations of sprues are in other poly bags, not quite separate, but in bunches. Now, the way MiniArt mould their sprues means that there are in fact seventy three in total, most other companies could probably have moulded the parts onto about twentyish, but that’s the way they like it. The reason for so many sprues and parts, this kit has a full, and I mean FULL interior. Even with so many sprues, the parts are all moulded beautifully, with no sign of imperfections, short shots, surprisingly few moulding pips, and certainly no flash. Seeing as there are literally hundreds of small parts it’s nice to note that the sprue gates are small and the parts look like they will be easy to remove and clean up. The only really awkward parts are the suspension springs, which will need to be trickier to clean as the gates are on the spring sections themselves and the track links, but more on those later. So, where the heck do you start with building? Some modellers will construct the various sub-assemblies in their own way before adding them all at the end. This would certainly aid with the painting and weathering, but if you go by the instruction booklet, which is surprisingly clear to read, the modeller needs to start with the engine. As with most things in the kit this is a very complex part, and is assembled just as a real engine would be. Every parts is included, all you‘d have to add are the ignition harness and some of the hoses. The assembly begins with the eleven piece block, onto which the two, six piece cylinder heads are attached before being finished off with the starter motor, coolant hoses, exhaust manifolds and the four piece engine mounting box. Each of the two large radiators are made up from three parts, glued to the sides of the engine assembly, then connected up with five hoses. The gearbox/transfer box is next, with the main section requiring fourteen parts, before being glued to the aft end of the tank floor. The drives for the sprockets, each made up from four parts and fitted with a PE brake band are then attached to the gearbox, supported by two five piece brake linkage cradles. The four piece, impellor style, flywheel is then attached to the rear of the gearbox. With the gearbox attached, the floor is then detailed with numerous parts, most of which I don’t recognise, not being au fait with the intimate details of tank internals. What I can identify, are the control sticks and brake pedals, and their associated linkages, oh, and the fighting compartment floor. The seven piece drivers seat is next, followed by various covers for the drivers control links. The engine is then attached to the dividing bulkhead, between it and the gearbox, and the fitting of the two air intake pipes and their filters. The whole engine assembly is then fitted to the floor and the gearbox mounted universal joint. On each side of the floor there are four, seven piece spring dampers for the suspension, the rear pair of which are joined together with two PE straps, which do look a little awkward to fit, seeing that the radiators are in the way, so dig out your finest tweezers for the job. The fighting compartment and drivers compartment are then fitted out with a number of spare shells, shell stands, control boxes and the idler axle fittings. The lower hull sides are fitted out internally with crew seats, fire bottles, fuel tanks, radios, escape hatches, and various other unidentifiable items. The sides are then attached to the hull floor. On the outside, the sprocket gear covers are attached, followed by the torsion spring suspension/axles are fitted, these also attach to the spring dampers. There more shells fitted to the rear of the fighting compartment, ten, in fact, each of two parts and kept in place by a long beam. The front armour plate is fitted on the interior with various sights, hatches, hatch fittings and two large springs, which I presume are part of recoil system to prevent the plate from cracking when the gun fires. The completed plate is then attached to the hull, along with the lower glacis plate, and rear mounted drive cover. The main gun is assembled from separate slides, barrel, recuperator, and breech block before being fitted to the two trunnion mounts, complete with elevation wheel. The recoil guard is then attached, along with the elevation spring units, seven piece sight, and sight mounting frame. Nineteen more shells are then assembled and fitted to their storage rack, which is then fitted with a supporting beam and three cordite bags. The gun assembly is then slotted into position in the front plate, which is also fitted with the lower gun recess. The bulkhead separating the fighting compartment and engine compartment is then glued into position, followed by the shell stowage assembly and rear hull bulkhead and its attachment frame. The gun barrel is then attached, along with the inner mantlet, and four piece outer mantlet section. The fighting compartment side panels are fitted out with more cordite bags, pistol ports, vents, and stowage boxes, whilst on the outside they are fitted with pioneer tools, air filters, and a single headlight. The completed panels are then glued into position. The roof panel is similarly fitted out, with a selection of ports, vents, sights, and the main hatch. With the model slowly looking more like the vehicle it portends to be, the sprockets, twin road wheels and idler wheels are assembled and attached to their associated axles. The exhaust pipes are fitted to the rear bulkhead along with their covers, and the engine deck intake gills are each assembled from four parts. The main engine deck, complete with track guards, is fitted with spare track links, the two engine intake grills, before being fitted to the hull, along with the fighting compartment roof panel and the numerous shackles, lifting eyes, engine hatch, and stowage boxes. The tracks are each made from seventy two links, with each link held onto the sprue by four gates, so there will be quite a lot of cleaning up required. Looking at the links, they are rather plain, particularly on the inside, but having checked out a few images on the internet, they are accurate. Looking at the links closely, the ones with guide horns have small pins, whilst the plain ones are moulded with corresponding holes, so they “should” just click into place. The pins do seem rather fragile, so whether this works in practice is another thing. It’ll probably be best to run some glue on the joints once the tracks are fitted, just to make sure they don’t fall apart. With the kit almost complete, it’s just a matter of fitting the front and rear mud guards, rear mounted rolled tarpaulin with its PE straps. The fighting compartment rear panel is then attached; along with the various grab handles, spare fuel tank supports, four fuel tanks, their associated PE straps, and the PE straps for the spare track links. Lastly the aerial is glued into position. Decals The small decal sheet contains markings for five vehicles, The decals themselves have been printed by MiniArt and although looking rather matt, they are well printed, in register and with good colour density. Some of the decals have even been printed with a well worn appearance. The five options are:- SU-122 from the 1433th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment of the Red Army which fought on the Volkhov Front in March 1943 SU-122 from the 5th Guards Tank Corps of the Red Army from the Voronezh Front in August 1943. SU-122 from the 1434th Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment of the Red Army, which fought on the Leningrad Front in December 1943. SU-122 from an unidentified unit of the Red Army from 1943 to 1944. SU-122 captured by an unknown unit of the Wehrmacht on the Eastern Front in 1943. Conclusion Well, what can you say? MiniArt sure like to give us modellers a challenge, and they’ve done it again with this kit. The sheer number of parts will make some to whimper, but for anyone who wants a highly detailed kit in their collection this is certainly the one to go for. The full interior also gives the modeller plenty of options, whether it’s a cutaway museum piece, or in a diorama, all opened up, engine out etc, the world is your lobster. Review courtesy of
  24. I've very nearly finished my airfield starter, and am planning my next build. Another GAZ project, this time with tracks ... I may regret the choice, since there are over 100 individual track links to assemble. Oh, and I've just ordered some brass for this (I hate brass ) The kit includes 5 crew members and decals covering five vehicles for December 1942 through Spring 1943. The crew are in winter coats that have shoulder boards (appropriate to 1943-45). I'm not sure how early those coats would have been issued, or whether they can be adapted to suit winter '42/'43?
  25. We've got some great items from MiniArt available right now, including two new kits: A Soviet SU-122 Self Propelled Gun with full interior detail and a set of Resting WWII German Tank Crew figures. For full details, please see our newsletter.