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  1. Hello. I'm happy to present my newest project. It is the Scammell from Thunder Model with US Tractor D7 (dozer version) from Miniart. All in 1:35 scale. Cheers
  2. Pretty much finished this diorama of the modern Ukraine fight back against the Russian invasion, featuring Miniart building (and air con), Masterbox figures and Zveda Tiger AFV. Added some resin flat tyres for the Tiger and a burned out resin car by MiG. I still have 4 more FC Modeltrend 3d printed figures to add at some point but my figure painting skills seem to be getting worse not better, so will add them later.
  3. European Agricultural Tractor with Cart (38055) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Lanz Bulldog was a peculiar early tractor, powered by a single-cylinder “hot bulb” diesel engine with a single piston, which although it was ahem… agricultural, was very effective and easy to repair, so it became very popular in Germany, manufactured at its base in Mannheim and built under license in other countries. The D8500 used a three-speed transmission plus one reverse gear, and the curious engine was upgraded over time with output eventually reaching over 50hp. The upgrades were evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and by 1938 they were still available with metal wheels that must have been horribly loud on any hard surface, but gave enough traction to carry it over rough or muddy ground so that it could carry out its job. Pneumatic tyres were often added later once they became commonplace, making farming a slightly quieter endeavour, and reducing the driver’s trips to the dentist to replace fillings. The last of them rolled off the production lines in the 60s, ending a very long run, although plenty have survived to the present day, attending retro shows. The Kit This is one of a string of brand-new toolings of this tractor family from MiniArt, and a little out of the left field in terms of subject matter. They have clearly done their homework though, and have released a number of variants of the tractor with rubber or metal “tyres” and with or without trailers. It arrives in a medium-sized top-opening box, and inside are fourteen sprues in grey styrene, a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret, a small sheet of decals and the instruction booklet with colour cover on glossy paper and profiles at the rear. The PE is safely cocooned in a card envelope, and the tiny size of the fret is surprising at first, but it’s great that they have included it to get the detail just right. Construction begins with the big, bolt-riddled chassis, which is made from forward and aft sections that both mate to opposite sides of a central bulkhead and adding axles, accessible ancillaries and towing arm at the rear. The top cowling is made of separate panels that are mated under a curved top panel that has filler caps fixed into holes in the top. It is shaped to fit snugly onto the surface of the chassis, and is joined by a large tread-plated deck on which the driver will later sit. Pedals and other driver controls are attached, then a sprung seat with perforations to drain off water and allow the driver’s butt to breathe are placed off-centre to the right, plus some linkages to the important areas. A large bell-housing glues onto the right, and another teardrop fairing that protects the drive-belt is attached on the left side, then the large rear mudguards and rear bumper are fitted under the driver’s deck. The underside is finished off by making up the front axle with steering arms, then two stacks are constructed, the aft one a slightly tapered pipe with mushroom cap, while the larger hot one at the front has a bulged section midway, and is prevented from swaying by a PE bracket wrapped around it, much like those on your downspout at home. The smaller front wheels are simple two-part assemblies that you make two of. The large toothed rear wheels are laminated from five sections to depict the various traction surfaces that are present on the real wheels. Again, you make two, and all four wheels are added to their respective axles, then the fifth wheel that the driver uses can either be fitted in place atop the steering column, or inserted into the bell-housing on the right flank of the machine, for the purpose of starting the vehicle manually. If you are fitting the wheel in the usual position, there is a cover with PE ring that fits over the socket, and that is shown hinged down when the wheel is inserted into the bell-housing, while the nub at the top of the steering column should be cut off for accuracy. That’s all there is to it, apart from the painting and weathering. Oh, and the trailer of course. The flatbed for the trailer is next, made up on a ladder chassis with two sections of bed that are completed and mated together, all of which has fine engraved wood texture on both sides, as do the other wooden structures in the kit. The fixed rear axle is without suspension, and has two large brackets that hold it onto the cross-frame. The front axle is similarly unsuspended, but on a frame that has a turntable between it and the bed to enable the axle to rotate freely to reduce the turning circle for easier manoeuvring. The wheels are each single-part carriage wheels that wouldn’t look out of place on a surrey-with-a-fringe-on-top, with a centre boss that can be glued carefully to the axle to leave the wheels mobile. The flatbed is made more useful by adding a set of dropside walls around it, each one being a single part, the front end is lower to accommodate the park bench-style seat that has L-shaped brackets holding the back at the correct angle. The A-frame that connects it to the tractor is a flex-fit on the rotating front axle, and a pair of additional hinge detail parts are added at the bottom of the rear. Figures There are two sprues of figures included in this boxing, plus another two sprues of accessories to add some interest around your model. The figures are dressed as typical farm workers of the period, a man that is operating the steering wheel fitted to the bell-housing on the side in the starting position and wearing a cap. The other figure is a lady that is crouching, with what looks like a flask in her hands, although I suspect it has a more mechanical use, possibly to warm up part of the engine to assist with starting a cold engine. As usual with MiniArt figures, they’re extremely well sculpted with a sensible parts breakdown, and have a lot of detail moulded-in. The accessories are typical of those found on a farm in the 40s and 50s, including a scythe worthy of the grim-reaper, three types of fork, a watering can, a sickle, and a separate handle that can be used either with a wide-headed rake, or with an adze head, although you could also make another handle to use both. There are two of everything of course, so plenty to go at. Markings Anyone that has lived or even visited a farm will know that a tractor is a beast of burden, and as such there isn’t much care lavished on the cosmetics of the thing. The mechanical parts will be horribly oily, and over the years the paint will chip and rust, while the greasy parts will become caked in a mix of dust, oil and grease, with frequent spills and impact marks adding to the patina. We are only given one scheme on the back of the instruction booklet, but the world is your oyster if you want to depict other colours that you have either seen, or want to portray. Decals are by MiniArt’s usual partners Decograph, and although it’s only a small sheet using just black and white printing, it’s all in good register with sharp, dense printing as we expect from them. Conclusion This isn’t the first of the Lanz Bulldog tractor from MiniArt, but it’s a different one, having a more aged look when compared to some of the others. The metal wheels and old-fashioned spoked-wheeled trailer lend its use to earlier eras, or in the background of a more modern diorama as a grizzled wreck. Great detail throughout of course, as we expect from MiniArt. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Meat Products (35649) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd As a species of omnivores, if you’d care to check our teeth that contain elements of carnivore and herbivore teeth layouts, we often partake of meat, usually from the local butcher or supermarket, or market place if we’re so minded. This set depicts a pair of displays of meat of various types that would typically be found in a market setting, and arrives in an end-opening figure-sized box that has a painting of the subject matter on the front, and the instructions on the rear, all in full colour. Inside are six sprues of grey styrene that contain parts for a two-wheeled trolley with leaf-sprung suspension and a pair of handles for the operators to lift it in order to change position. The other display area is static, and consists of an angled planked bed with different length legs front and back, plus cross-braces to stop it from falling flat. On top of the static display are six shallow boxes that can be doubled in height by adding a rectangular frame over the top. The meat products are found on the remaining two sprues, which are identical, each one containing the following: 1 x Half a pig 1 x Half a lamb 2 x chicken carcasses (2 parts each) 2 x links of eight sausages 1 x long curved sausage 1 x pig head 1 x leg of pork 1 x short sausage 1 x long sausage 1 x coiled sausage 2 x looped sausage 1 x “lump” of meat. Possibly a haggis? Bear in mind that I’m no meat expert in any sense of the word, so some of my identifications may be suspect, but check the sprues and accompanying artwork for further details if you’re unsure. The paintings and drawings on the rear for the box should give you enough information to paint the finished article, and there is a colour chart at the bottom that gives shades as swatches, and in Vallejo, Mr Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya and colour names to assist you with picking your colours. Conclusion A useful piece of diorama fodder to add some human scale to your latest creation. Aren't you proud of me for getting through this review without making any iffy sausage jokes? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. US Mine Detectors (35251) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Mines have been an unfortunate fact of war for many years, as a way to prevent the enemy encroaching on your territory, and giving you a loud bang and a bright flash as a tip-off if this happens at night. Minefields became a standard military practice during WWI and WWII, and only recently has the laying of mines been frowned upon by many countries due to the damage inflicted on hapless civilians once the combatants have gone home. During WWII there were many methods available to the Allies to counter German minefields, including manually searching for them using some kind of prod or bayonet, but the more efficient method was the use of electronic devices that could detect the presence of metallic objects beneath them. There were several types, but all used a coil, sometimes within a round or oval plate-like surround, held by the operator on a long broom handle-like stale, with a wire leading eventually to a pair of headphones that would alert the operator to an object beneath the ground with an electronic tone. If it wasn’t a rush-job, they would mark the mine with a small flag and move on, otherwise the tools would come out to extract the mine there and then, which although it was much less likely to explode because you were aware of its presence, it was still a very difficult task that could result in the operator becoming a victim. Of course, the best and safest solution was the flail-tank, but these units were often overwhelmed by requests for their presence, particularly on and soon after D-Day as the Allies attempted to break out from the beachhead. This set depicts a group of US mine detectorists at work in the field, and arrives in an end-opening figure box, and inside are eight sprues of various sizes in grey styrene, and a small decal sheet with some signs as well as stencils for equipment. As is common with this type of set, the instructions and painting guide are on the rear of the box, showing what’s included and giving painting instructions linked to a colour chart at the bottom, giving colour swatches, Vallejo, Mr Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya and colour names. You can build four figures with the set, two of whom are standing, one detecting with a long-handled device, the other waiting to either add a marker flag or dig out a mine with a small trowel. The other two figures are kneeling and crouching respectively, one feeling for the sides of a metal plate with a bayonet, the other digging a small hole to excavate a mine that has been discovered, bayonet stuck into the ground while he works. All figures have M1 helmets, half with netting covers, and they all have their rifles either slung over their shoulder or laid down next to them on the ground. They’re wearing standard WWII GI battle dress that includes puttees over their boots, and have webbing that holds their various pouches and equipment, plus their mine detecting specific equipment where appropriate. The instructions show the cables on the detecting equipment and carry-handles on the mines as parts that you will need to scratch build from your own stock of wire, but the pictures are enough to give you the information you need. In addition, there are decals for small square flags that are included, painting the flags yellow and applying the decals over the top. There are also curved stencils for the recovered mines, and eight of the afore mentioned small black Danger signs finish off the small decal sheet, which is printed by MiniArt’s usual partners DecoGraph up to their usual high standards, another Ukrainian company we’re glad to see are still trading. As usual with MiniArt kits their sculpting is exceptional with crisp detail and sensible parts breakdown of the figures and other parts, plus extras, although short lengths of wire will be needed to make the most of that detail for the wiring, additional flags, and mine carry-handles. Conclusion A finely sculpted set of highly detailed figures with their equipment to add to your next project that includes a minefield in the process of being cleared by some brave GIs. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. After sixty years of intermittently building plastic kits, I'm getting quite bored with the hobby. I made my latest and probably last aeroplane back in the F-4 GB and while the kit was state of the art, had to build it 'battle damaged' to keep my interest up long enough to finish it. So much for aircraft then. I've started a wooden model of HMS Beagle which has stalled at the moment, but will soon be reappearing on the bench. But there are a dozen or so AFVs in plastic that I don't want to waste. Half of them are associated with the Valentine tank which I'm doing a one-man GB with. This is one of that series. It's a Valentine turret on a fast, easy to build, cheap chassis provided by AEC. It carried a lot of armour and was quite a big vehicle. It's a 'wheeled tank' at seven tons. It's a strange shape. The kit was typical of MiniArt; well detailed and with very many small parts. I was still bored though. Until I came to paint the engine and threw the 'realism rules' out of my cot. A bright blue engine and bright red fuel tanks led to an exterior painted in grisaille style with exaggerated shadows and highlights which was then coloured with inks, not paint, giving splendidly varied hues. Then it was chipped like a supercomputer as though it had been attacked by an army of leprechauns armed with maces. And here's the result which delights and interests me. You may well hate it, but I didn't do it this way for you, so that's irrelevant really. No, I take that last bit back. I'd be very interested in the reactions of those who don't like it. I have a skin as thick at an armoured car so don't hold back. Imagine it on the stage of the Milan opera house behind large ladies and gentlemen dressed for the desert singing about armoured warfare and you will understand this (to me) new way of making my models. "It's a tank, it's a tank! No it's not, no it's not! Where are the tracks, tracks it must have tracks, I tell you! Rattatat! Bang! You're just as dead, dead, dead without the tracks, the tracks. It has no tracks. We are so dead....." Here's the AEC with the Archer and Valentine models both built in a doomed attempt to be 'realistic'. I think turning everything up to 11 is the way I'll be making my music models in the future. Until I get bored with it...
  7. Inspired by @Bertie McBoatface's joy at building MiniArt kits, I have decided to ride into the jaws of Death and tackle this mechanical marvel. The Ausf A Panzer III had coil-spring suspension which wasn't strong enough, so the engineers threw everything at the Ausf B in the hope that something would work. MIniArt have done a grand job of reproducing the complexity, including far too many "don't glue this bit" arrows in the 15 assembly steps I'm going to ignore the instructions and build a nice solid hull first, because nobody wants a wobbly twisted hull, do we?
  8. StuG III Ausf.G Mar 1943 Alkett Prod. (35336) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The StuG is a popular German WWII AFV, and the more you learn about it, the more obvious it becomes why. The SturmGeschutz III was based upon the chassis of the Panzer III, but removed the turret and front deck, replacing it with an armoured casemate with a lower profile that mounted a fixed gun with limited traverse. It was originally intended to be used as infantry support, using its (then) superior armour to advance on the enemy as a mobile blockhouse, but it soon found other uses as an ambush predator, and was employed as a tank destroyer, hiding in wait for Allied forces to stumble haplessly into its path, where it could be deadly. With the advances in sloped armour employed by the Soviets, the original low velocity 75mm StuK 37 L/24 cannon was replaced by higher velocity unit that was also used in the Panzer IV for tank-on-tank combat, extending the type’s viable career to the end of WWII. The earliest prototypes were made of mild steel and based on Panzer III Ausf.B chassis, and while equipped with guns were unsuitable for combat due to the relative softness of the steel that would have led to a swift demise on the battlefield, being withdrawn in '41-42. By this time the StuG III had progressed to the Ausf.G, which was based on the later Panzer III Ausf.M, with a widened upper hull and improvements in armour to increase survivability prospects for the crew. Many of the complicated aspects of the earlier models that made them time-consuming and expensive to produce were removed and simplified by that time, which led to a number of specific differences in some of the external fitments around the gun, such as the Saukopf mantlet protector. The Ausf.G was the last and most numerous version, and was used until the end of the war with additional armour plates often welded or bolted to the surface to give it enhanced protection from the Allied tanks and artillery. The Kit MiniArt have finally managed to get their production running again after the shock of the invasion on the 24th of February 2022 forced them to up-sticks wholesale to escape from the horror. Well, they’re back and we’re all very happy for them, and wish them the best with their business and hope they can return to normality at the earliest convenience. We’re all behind you! Just before the aforementioned event, MiniArt had released a new tooling of the late StuG III and this is a continuation of the Ausf.G series, which had changes laid over changes during the final batches. This boxing is another Alkett factory example from March 1943 and arrives in a standard top-opening box in the MiniArt style, with attractive artwork and profiles on the side. Inside the box are forty-five sprues in mid-grey styrene, one in clear, a good-sized Photo-Etch (PE) fret of brass parts, decal sheet and glossy-covered instruction booklet with colour profiles on the front and rear covers. Detail is excellent throughout, which is just what we’ve come to expect from modern toolings by MiniArt, with so much detail crammed into every part of the model, which includes individual track links that different from the earlier pre-series kit we reviewed some time ago. Construction begins with the floor panel, which receives the torsion suspension bars with their fittings, a pair of runners to support the engine that isn’t included in this boxing, and the support structure for the gun, which is made up from some substantial beams that have a traverse shoe placed on top to give the gun its limited 15° travel for fine-tuning lateral aim. The rear bulkhead is set against the engine mounts and the hull sides are mated to the floor, with the bases for the final drive housing glued to the front next to the two-layer front bulkhead. The glacis plate with transmission inspection hatches are given a similar treatment, plus another appliqué panel, and the usual exhausts, towing lugs and idler protection are added to the bottom section of the rear, and a radiator exhaust panel with PE grille is made up and applied above it, adding some deflecting tinwork to the hull. Narrow bolted panels are added to the sides of the hull in preparation for the upper hull parts that are added next. Much of the gun breech detail is represented, and a large trunnion is fitted onto the two pins on the sides of the assembly. Elevation, traverse and sighting gear is installed on the breech, although it’s unlikely to be seen. Before the gun can be fitted, the walls of the casemate must be made up, and these are well-detailed externally, including vision slots, smoke grenade dispensers and lifting eyes. The shape of the casemate is completed with the addition of the front wall, which has a large cut-out to receive the gun in due course. The front of the casemate is built out forward with a sloped front and some appliqué armour, dropped over the front of the lower hull and joined by the breech assembly, which is covered by an armoured panel after armoured protectors to the mounting bolts have been glued over them. A bridge over the top of the insert encloses the breech, then it’s time to prepare the roof with some details before covering up the interior, then making a choice of how to finish the commander’s cupola in either open or closed pose. It has a number of PE latches and a set of V-shaped binocular sighting glasses in the separate front section of the cupola that can be open or closed independently to the main hatch. The gunner’s hatch is a simpler affair consisting of a clamshell pair of doors, with the machine gun shield just in front of it and a well-detailed MG34 machine gun with drum mag slotted through the centre. This hatch can also be posed open or closed, and the MG shield can be posed in the flat position for travel. The engine deck is built up with short sides and armoured intake louvres on the sides, which are covered with PE meshes as the deck is glued down onto the engine bay. Two types of rear appliqué parts can be added to the slope at the rear of the deck, then armoured cover to the fume extraction fan is added to the back of the casemate. A rail of spare track links is fixed across the rear of the casemate with the barrel cleaning rods underneath, lashed to the deck with PE and styrene parts, then the four hatches are made with armoured vents. A pair of road wheels are carried on the deck with long pins through their holes that attach them to the rearmost pair of hatches. One decal option also has a field modification of a large stowage box mounted on the centre of the rear deck, with the other options mounting a much shallower box in the same place on PE brackets. As yet the StuG has no wheels, so the addition of the swing-arms with stub axles is needed, adding the highly detailed final drive housings under the front, plus additional suspension parts that improves damping further. The idler adjuster is covered with armoured parts, and a group of pioneer tools are dotted around the sides of the engine deck, after which the paired wheels are fixed to the axles, with drive-sprockets at the front and idler wheels at the rear, plus a trio of return rollers on short axles near the top of the sides. The tracks are individual links that are held together by pins, using 94 links per side, and each link has three sprue gates to clean up, plus a little flash on the highly detailed sides, which will need scraping away with a sharp blade. I created a short length in fairly short order, coupling them together, and the result is a very well detailed track with flexibility to adjust them around the running gear of your model, and as they are a tight fit, they shouldn’t need glue, but I’d probably set them in position with liquid glue once I had them how I wanted them on the vehicle. Once they’re in place, the fenders are attached to the hull sides, with integrated mudguards and tiny PE fittings added once the glue has dried. More pioneer tools and stowage are added to these, as space was a premium on these vehicles, and every flat surface ended up with equipment on it. This includes a convoy light and either a highly detailed PE fire extinguisher or a simplified styrene alternative if you prefer. Shovels, pry bars, jack blocks and the jack are also found on the fenders, as are the two towing cables, which have styrene eyes and you’ll need to supply the 110mm cable material yourself, with a set of PE tie-downs holding them in place on each side. The barrel of the gun has a large bulky Saukopf mantlet cover, which is made up from three parts with a barrel sleeve moulded into the front, which the single-part barrel slots into, tipped with a detailed three-part muzzle brake to give it the correct hollow look. It slides over the recoil tubes of the breech, closing up the interior, and the last parts of the kit are two whip antennae on the rear of the casemate, and optionally another pair of road wheels on both front fenders for one of the decal options. Markings There are five markings options included on the decal sheet, all of them with varying camouflage from bare dunkelgelb to predominantly green with splotches of other colours. From the box you can build one of the following: 201 Stg. Abt., Greece, Summer 1943 322 Stg.Abt., Eastern Front, Summer 1943 1st Company Pz. Abt. ‘Rhodos’, Rhodos, Autumn 1943 Bulgarian 1st Assault Gun Battalion, Autumn 1943 10th SS Panzer Div. ‘Frundsberg’, Pomerania, March 1945 Decals are by Decograph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A good-looking, well-detailed model of an important WWII German tank destroyer that saw action the Eastern and Western fronts in relatively large numbers. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Hello folks, I have built an SLA APC T-54 with Dozer Blade from Miniart. This is from their interior build range and the version that is shown is the South Lebanon Army, 1980's. There are quite a lot of pictures to show, as this model from Miniart is so well detailed, it's a shame not to show it off. Hope you like it. The model can be displayed as either just an APC or an APC with Dozer blade.. Here are a few photo's of the APC..... Some close up detail, I have added some extra detail in the way of cigarette butts, cans of soda, some ammo etc.... I always try to show off as much interior as possible on these type of builds, so various parts can be removed to show off the interior... A few photo's showing off the interior... A top view... Now some photo's showing the APC with Dozer blade..... Some close up's And finally the end... the tracks are metal alloy from Masterclub, wonderful detail... That's it, a brilliant model to make, definitely recommended, hope you like it... For anyone who is interested, here is the link to the WIP https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235104166-miniart-sla-apc-t-54-with-dozer-blade-37028-full-interior-finished/ all the best Ed
  10. Hi guys, hope everyone is well, onto my new build which is Miniart's SLA APC T-54 with Dozer Blade. There is only one version in the kit which is the South Lebanon Army, 1980's, so that's the one I'm going to do . I bought this over a year ago, I just liked the unusual colour scheme and that big red dozer blade, it was an easy decision to buy. As usual the kit comes in a big box, the whole lot has a good weight to it and as usual packed full of sprues. Miniart seem to have drawn upon their other T-54/T55 kits and have included multiple sprues where only one part is required. There is no turret on this model and yet I get a couple of gun barrels, oil tanks etc. At least I'll shall have some extra parts for my spares box. A couple of photo's showing the box art and then the colour scheme. The nature of the environment where this vehicle has been situated will call I think for quite a heavily worn tank and the red dozer blade should be interesting to do with lots of scratches and weathering etc. I think I'm going to build straight out the box, there's no tow ropes to buy, I'm not sure at the moment regarding the tracks. I've done these before on a T-55 and they seemed ok, but then again I really like the tracks made by MasterClub, I'll decide later on. I started work on the engine, which is typical of Miniart giving a really nicely detailed part, quite a lot of the assembly has been temporarily stuck with Maskol so that I could make sure everything fits together. I have pre-drilled the holes in the manifolds ready for me to add copper wire for the injection pipes after I have finished painting. That's it for now, I will be back when I have finished painting the engine. All the best and thanks for looking in. Ed
  11. German SPG Crew (35363) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd This new set from MiniArt will allow the modeller to crew their latest German WWII Self-Propelled Gun (SPG) with four figures that are loading their vehicle with new ammo to carry on the fight. Inside the shrink-wrapped box are nine sprues, four containing the figures and five containing ammo, ammo boxes, weapons and accessories. Each figure is moulded within his own frame, and we have the commander stood ordering people around with his pointed finger, another crewman standing around doing a little swaying motion (the Floss?) with his arms. The other two figures are hefting shells, one offering one up to his colleague that is leaning down from the vehicle to receive it. As is common, the workers have their jackets off and sleeves rolled up. As usual with MiniArt figures their sculpting is exceptional with crisp detail and sensible parts breakdown plus loads of extras to add some detail to their vicinity if you use them in a diorama. The sprues contain six ammo boxes, each of which can hold three shells apiece, and there are seven each of 7.5cm Kw.k.40 and Stu.K.40 shells, plus three empty casings with slide moulded hollow lips that are found on the box sprues. The small decal sheet gives you stencils for the shells, plus further stencils for the box tops. A detailed painting and decaling guide for the shells and their boxes can be found on the rear of the box along with instructions for making the ammo crates and painting the figures, with a chart offering colour swatches and codes for Vallejo, Mr.Color, AK Real Color, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya as well as colour names to assist you with paint choices. The accessories sprue has various weapons including STG.44, FG.42, MP34 & 35, a Kar.98K and Gewehr 41(M) rifles, while ammo pouches, map cases, pistols and their holsters/pouches can be used to fill up your scene. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. This will be my contribution to this GB, this will be the first tank I have built in over 10 years so thought I would start with something nice and easy.
  13. Finally done. Miniart 1/35 - Grant MkII plus metal barrel. Painted with MRP. Great kit, although - as Miniart is - over-engineered. Built more as a training ground, for various techniques. But overall I guess it turned out quite all right. Thanks for all comments! Appreciate any tips. Bart.
  14. In the post Christmas sales I picked up the Miniart Dingo Mk II. The boxing I have has a captured example on the outside, but also has some Allied markings available as well. The one that caught my eye was a for one serving with the Royal Canadian Dragoons, mostly as it has an RAF roundel on the back. Now, there appears to be some uncertainty in the actual colour, see the following thread for the discussion: I’ve decided to go with overall SCC2, with with an RAF roundel on the rear deck. The project was delayed due a missing sprues, which in some great customer service the guys at Miniart got to me just a few short weeks before the tragic events of the last fortnight. I hope they are keeping safe . This will be my first attempt at doing an interior on a 1:35 scale kit. So first the box top: Here is the example I am going to build (just imagine it’s brown): Oh oh - photoetch. The printing of roundel looks a bit out of register, so I may use the spare I have. So I started on the cabin interior (cockpit?). Lots of little bits, but went together well. Will need to leave some parts as sub-assemblies to be able to do the detail painting. I managed to use some of the photo etch, however there was some really tiny bits that defeated me. Painting underway, with the main colour being Vallejo 70826 German Camo Medium Brown. Detail painting with various Tamiya and Italeri acrylics.
  15. This is the third installment in my quest to build all of the major variants of the Panzer III gun tanks. This build is the excellent Miniart PzKpfw III Ausf. D/B backdated to a straight Ausf. D as it would have appeared in Poland in September, 1939. I currently have an Ausf. A on the workbench and will hopefully get to the Ausf. E before too long, so I can have all of the “grey and browns” out of the way. I have previously completed the Minart Ausf. B and Ausf. C and posted them in “Ready For Inspection” as well. Ausfs B, C and D for comparison:
  16. Soviet Ball Tank with Winter Ski (40008) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models This is a hypothetical design from an alternative reality where ball-tanks were practical, and although there are some quite realistic looking pictures out there on the web, this is a decidedly fictional or "what-if" design for a small infantry tank that might have been quite handy for approaching bunkers or installations with significant light weapons presence. It does appear to have some weaknesses though, such as the little outrigger wheels that if shot out, would result in a seriously dizzy crew at best, so it's probably for the best that it remains in the realms of the fantastic. The ball hull is static, with a large wide track running around the circumference, propelled by the motor inside. There would be some serious torque transfer to the hull on acceleration or deceleration, but as this doesn't seem to adversely affect those big-wheel motorcycles, it wouldn't be a huge impediment, especially as the majority of the hull won't be moving. There is a crew of five, with the top-most crew member in each side running the weapons stations, and the front-facing crew driving and operating the forward machine gun. The final rear-facing crew operates another machine-gun that faces to the rear. Oddly, the main guns face sideways in ball-mounts, which would make shooting straight ahead difficult without cooperation from the driver, which could be tricky in such a confined, noisy environment. In reality, it would probably have been a massive failure, but it's interesting nonetheless. This being a Soviet design of course it comes equipped with Skis for the winter! The Kit This is the third of this subject from MiniArt, who usually keep their subjects in reality, or at least prototype form. A lot of effort has been put into making it appear real however, including a complete interior, which gives the model a bit more gravitas and believability than an empty shell would have done, and also opens up the possibility for dioramas or vignettes. The kit arrives in standard sized MiniArt box, with a yellow/sand colour scheme, and inside are 23 sprues in mid grey styrene of various sizes, a single sprue of clear parts, and a decal sheet. The instruction booklet is bound in a colourful glossy cover, with greyscale drawings inside, and the decal options printed on the inside covers front and back. Detail is really nice for a relatively small kit, and I have to say that this is just the kind of silliness that appeals to me, as it is at least semi-believable and just a little bit left-field. Construction begins with the engine, which is quite a complex assembly, and has a large friction roller at the rear to apply power to the track. The crew seats are built up next, and then attached to the main frame, which consists of two large hoops with cross-members to retain its shape. Track rollers are fitted to the inside of the frames, and the engine, seats and ancillary equipment are all suspended from this. Ammo racks for the main guns are built up at the same time as the gun breeches and the machine guns, which also have spare ammo cans made up, and all these sub-assemblies are installed into the hull halves, which have cut-outs for the ball-mounts, a radiator grille (backed with a fairly standard looking radiator), and conformal fuel tank. In the centre of each side is a crew hatch that is operated by a wheel, with arched hinges and interlock parts included. With the breeches and machine guns fitted from the inside, and the hatches put in their required positions, the halves are glued to the frames, and the hollow tipped gun barrels are added, plus a headlight with clear lens for night operations (ha!). The track is supplied in four parts with a straight tread and matching joins to minimise clean-up. The four parts glue around the open section of the hull, with a scrap diagram showing the correct location on the lip, and of course the two skis that stop it from tipping over. That's all there is to it! Markings As it's all fiction, it's probably more a case of choosing the scheme that appeals to you, and as there are a choice of six, it should be pretty easy. You can of course mix and match decals and scheme, as no-one (sane) is going to be complaining that it isn't accurate! From the box you can build one of the following: 1st Separate Armd Div of Ball tanks. Red Army, Eastern Front, winter 1942/43 Red Army, Unknown Unit 1942-46 3rd Single Div Ball Tanks, Soviet Navy 1942-46 Captured Combat Vehicle. Wehrmacht unit, Eastern Front, winter 1943./44 2nd Separate Armd Div of Ball tanks. Red Army, Eastern Front, winter 1942/43 Captured Combat Vehicle. Finnish Army, Karelia Winter 1944. Decals are by Decograf, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The shark mouth is going to be quite popular, I'd expect. Taken from MiniArt's website Conclusion An awesome trip into alternative history that's got a certain hokey appeal, partly because it looks like it could possibly have worked. The internal structure has been well thought-out, and the variation in decal options makes for a fun project that shouldn't take too long to complete. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Hi there everyone, this is my entry into my first group build. Talking about first's, I have never built an M3 or an M4 (shame on me), so this will be really interesting for me doing something totally new. I have chosen a Miniart M3 as I have read good reports about them, plus the fact that I love doing Miniart kits anyway. I already had an M3 in my stash, a Miniart interior, but with 3 months to build, It would have been a bit of a stretch, for me at least to complete in time. So this is an external build, having said that It still comes with a good parts count. So on to a few pictures, this is the box art, I really like the look of this.... This will be the version that I hope to build... Kit comes with rucksacks and bags, interesting to see how these look... Some shots of a few sprues... You get a small PE set , some decals and clear parts. I have purchased the tow rope from Eureka XL. The kit will be pretty much OOB, along with the purchased tow rope and I have purchased last night some North Africa tank crew figures and some Hornet heads to go with them. So there you go, I'm looking forward to this, see you soon Ed
  18. The original-issue Pz.Kpfw. III Ausf. B kit from Miniart (this release was discontinued and replaced with an updated one) with the corrected engine deck, etc pieces from the newer issue provided by Miniart’s excellent customer service. The corrected kit also comes with crew figures-Highly recommended. I substituted Friul tracks, but the kit tracks are excellent.
  19. Dear Fellow Modellers This is the Miniart petrol pump set and a scratch built 1930’s scale petrol station made from wood, balsa and plastic. It has been wired to allow it to be fully illuminated. Leuna benzin was a petrol produced synthetically from coal by I.G. Farben. The production was subsidized by the Weimar Republic to reduce the costs associated with oil imports. Production began in 1927 at the Leunawerke refinery. Sales were carried out by the I.G. subsidiary Gasolin, which in 1939 had around 4000 filling stations throughout Germany. Some of you may remember my Miniart 170V cabriolet from an earlier post Hope you like it? Regards Andrew
  20. Dear Colleagues I hope our dear friends in Miniart are surviving? Here is their Mercedes cabriolet in pre-war civilian guise I used the old Archer instrument decals (plus Mercedes symbol on the steering wheel horn) And being tuned up in the Garage! I used appropriate wiring for the engine Hope you like it? Andrew
  21. The tractor was a testbed of sorts: Now to the real thing, the Miniart kit of the SLA APC T-54 with Dozer blade. First a rust primer, then chipping medium, and finally Tamiya XF-18 (blue) and Vallejo 70957 (red, on top of some light dusting of Mig Steel). And you know the feeling when you stop just short of overdoing stripping off the paint after using the hairspray technique? I think I did it just right. Hope you agree. A little weathering (oils and what not) will follow. Stay tuned.
  22. God dammit these builds seem to creep up on you far faster than you expect and it’s not even a quarter of the way through the year and build #3 (or #4 if I ever manage to get the MiG started). Well time something a bit different for me….a Tank … hopefully my success rate with finishing them will improve!! This is a by pure chance GB, as I just happened to see this model and couldn’t resist, MiniArt’s M3 Lee. This model comes with a complete interior and probably more sprues than I have ever seen in a box… I lost count after 40 odd! Now you’d think you would need any AM extras with this model…….. but you are wrong, there’s always room for AM extras! In this case a nice Master metal barrel replacement set, though I still may swap it back to a short barrel version. It wasn’t until after I bought this model that I discovered there was an Australian version as well, though the store didn’t have it at the time….bugga! So could I build one from this model? Well, it turns out I can pretty much do it without any real effort. This model has all the extra sprue/parts required to build an Aussie one (plus most of the others in the Lee series as well) but for one part, the turret hatch. The Aussie versions did away with the third turret and just replaced it with a hatch cover, so will have to scratch build that bit, that shouldn’t be hard. Plus if I want to fit the side skirts that were on some of these, Eduard do a nice replacement set if I decide to fit them. Schemes are pretty basic, interestingly these AVF’s were only used in training, they never operated outside of Australia. Their deficiencies were well know and they were replaced by M4’s and Matilda’s. This should be a nice simple straightforward build, so no Friul Model tracks, even though they are lovely and do look fantastic! I really have a low completion rate with AFV’s, hopefully this will be different this time!
  23. Wooden Crates with Fruit (35628) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Fruit gets sold in boxes quite often, and you can choose which pieces you want from the box, pop them in a bag or place them on some scales and then pay for them by weight. It has been this way for as long as fruit has been sold, and although modern supermarkets would have you buying your produce in superfluous plastic bags or cartons that end up on the rubbish tip, the old ways are best in this instance, and they can’t hide rotten or bruised pieces from your view. This is why my SO doesn’t let me go shopping with her. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped end-opening figure box, and inside are nine sprues in grey styrene. As is common with this type of set, the instructions and painting guide are on the rear of the box, showing what’s included and giving painting instructions linked to a colour chart at the bottom, giving colour swatches, Vallejo, Mr Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya and colour names. Close-up of the 'nanas and melons Double height boxes are included for displaying the fruit that is included in the set, and there are a total of sixteen on the four sprues. The instructions also show what fruit is which and how to make the boxes up, starting with the moulded layers that fill up the bottom of the boxes. In addition, there are a substantial number of single pieces of fruit to add to the boxes to give them some individuality, and both types of melon are supplied in halves, with the interior moulded into them in case you wanted to show any of them cut in half for display, or for eating (by model figures, not humans!). You also get advice on which colours to use, just in case you’re not familiar with the colour of any of them. Here’s a list of all the boxes of produce you’ll find on the sprues: 2 x Pears 2 x Lemons 2 x Green Apples 1 x Oranges 2 x Kiwi Fruit 2 x Red Apples 1 x Pomegranate 2 x Peaches 4 x Individual Melon Halves 4 x Individual Watermelon Halves 10 x Double Bunches of Bananas 2 x Empty Boxes Conclusion There’s not a lot to say other than if you’re in the market (pun!) for some fruit in handsome wood-effect boxes, you need look no further. This set has boxes of fruit that shouldn’t give you the pip. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Allied Mine Detection Equipment (35390) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Mines have been an unfortunate fact of war for many years, as a way to prevent the enemy encroaching on your territory, and giving you a loud bang and a bright flash as a tip-off if this happens at night. Minefields became a standard military practice during WWI and WWII, and only recently has the laying of mines been frowned upon by many countries due to the damage inflicted on hapless civilians once the combatants have gone home. During WWII there were many methods available to the Allies to counter German minefields, including manually searching for them using some kind of prod or bayonet, but the more efficient method was the use of electronic devices that could detect the presence of metallic objects beneath them. There were several types, but all used a coil, sometimes within a round or oval plate-like surround, held by the operator on a long broom handle-like stale, with a wire leading eventually to a pair of headphones that would alert the operator to an object beneath the ground with an electronic tone. If it wasn’t a rush-job, they would mark the mine with a small flag and move on, otherwise the tools would come out to extract the mine there and then, which although it was much less likely to explode because you were aware of its presence, it was still a very difficult task that could result in you becoming a victim. Of course, the best and safest solution was the flail-tank, but these units were often overwhelmed by requests for their presence, particularly soon after D-Day. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped end-opening figure box, and inside are eight sprues in grey styrene, and a small decal sheet with some signs as well as stencils for equipment. As is common with this type of set, the instructions and painting guide are on the rear of the box, showing what’s included and giving painting instructions linked to a colour chart at the bottom, giving colour swatches, Vallejo, Mr Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya and colour names. You can build the following from the parts within: 4 x Different mine detector handsets with headsets & electronics pouches 2 x Signposts on stakes 2 x triangular mine pins 2 x bayonet style spike 2 x walking stick sized spike 2 x shovels 2 x US electronics pouches 2 x US tapering pouches 3 x Teller Mine 43 2 x Teller Mine 35 The instructions show the cables and handles on the mines as parts that you will need to scratch build from your own stock of wire, but the pictures are enough to give you the information you need. In addition, there are decals for small square flags that you will also need to scratch build for yourself, painting the flags yellow and applying the decals over the top. Two red mine signs on stakes, four small white Ms for the triangular flags, curved stencils for the recovered mines, and nine of the afore mentioned small black Danger signs. Some US Army symbols for the pouches and white stencils for one of the detector plates finish off the small decal sheet, which is printed by DecoGraph to their usual high standards. As usual with MiniArt kits their sculpting is exceptional with crisp detail and sensible parts breakdown, plus loads of extra parts, although a little wire will be needed to make the most of that detail for the wiring, flags, handles and one of the headsets that are joined together with a wire loop. Conclusion A nice set of highly detailed equipment to add to your next project, whether it is stowed aboard a vehicle in anticipation of use, or on the scene of a minefield that needs clearing. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Market Garden, Holland 1944, w/ Resin Heads (35393) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd There’s little doubt that Operation Market Garden was a failure due to several issues that led to delays in the armoured column reaching the beleaguered troops that were valiantly holding the bridge at Arnhem, resulting in heavy casualties and many of the unlucky soldiers ending the operation as prisoners of the Germans. This set depicts the end of the operation, where a number of British paratroops were being taken captive by German troops. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped end-opening figure box, and inside are five sprues in grey styrene, a small sprue diagram for reference against the numbers on the instructions on the rear of the box, and a small Ziploc bag that contains the resin heads. There are five figures in the box, three of which are British Paratroops wearing their typical camouflaged jump smocks with boots and puttees, and two German soldiers in Feldgrau battle dress, one in knee-length boots, one with boots and puttees. Both the Germans are wearing the standard Stahlhelms and are carrying Kar98 rifles (there are spare MP40s on the sprues) with the usual equipment on their webbing. Only one of the Paras are still wearing their webbing with large ammo pouches, and he’s having his searched by one of the Germans for weapons or intel that their superiors may find interesting. The Tommies and the Germans are each on their own sprues, and the British smocks are made in two halves to prevent sink-marks, then you have three more sprues that contain the equipment, two for the Germans, and one larger sprue for the British. There are spare helmets on the equipment sprues, while the British have their camouflaged helms on the figure sprues, and the two still wearing helmets have their chin-straps moulded onto their lower faces. The resin heads have one with helmet straps moulded-in on the British side, and two for the Germans, who are both fully equipped. Interestingly, the helmetless British figure has a discarded helmet to place near him, and this has the interior suspension strapping moulded-in for added realism. Conclusion Sculpting is excellent as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt, with tons of detail, realistic poses, fabric drape and textures that are appropriate to the material types. The resin heads are highly realistic, but the styrene heads are good too, as are the various accessories and weapons that you’ll find on the sprues. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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