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Found 92 results

  1. Flettner Fi-282 Kolibri. (Hummingbird) MiniArt 1:35 History Although the first helicopter to enter service with the German forces in 1939 in the shape of the Fl-265, the 6 machines built were really prototypes for what followed, the Fl-282. The Fl 282 shared the same "intermeshing" rotor design as the Fl 265, this arrangement involving two individual rotor blades crossing one another, without touching, while rotating in opposite directions and on individual masts to achieve the desired vertical lift. The Fl 282 was given an all-new engine in the Bramo Sh.14A, a 7-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine outputting at 160 horsepower. Flight testing of the Fl 282 began in 1941 and eventually involved two flyable prototypes. These two prototypes were given enclosed cockpits while follow-up units were to feature the well-photographed open-air design. It was the German Navy that saw the value inherent in the Flettner helicopter and ordered a batch of fifteen for evaluation from its surface ships. Prototypes were designated Fl 282 V1 through V7 and followed by the Fl 282A-1 single-seat reconnaissance version for launching/retrieval from German warships. The Fl 282B-2 designation was given to the submarine-launched, single-seat reconnaissance variants, which were actually two seaters, with a second seat to the rear of the frame. This was for an observer in the scout, reconnaissance or mission liaison role. The Luftwaffe was granted a production order for some 1,000 Fl 282 units sometime in 1944, these to be manufactured by the BMW for the sheer numbers required of the German war effort. But these plans were disrupted when the plant designated to build them was bombed by allied aircraft. In 1945, the Luftwaffe went on to establish a dedicated reconnaissance wing through Transportstaffel 40 (TS/40) which was to stock several Fl 282 helicopters and based out of the Muhldorf District of Bavaria. It is interesting to note, that after the war, Anton Flettner eventually went to work with the Kaman Helicopter company, renowned for using the twin intermeshing rotors on canted masts that Flettner had introduced with his wartime helicopter, and these are still being produced today. The Model I first saw the prototype model at the 2017 IPMS show at Telford and was greatly impressed with the kit and the decision to release such an oddball subject, but then MiniArt are renowned for producing kits that are a little different from the mainstream manufactures. The kit has now finally been released and comes in a nicely illustrated top opening box. Inside it is noticeable that the kit could have fitted in a smaller box as it takes up about half of the available space. That said, once the sprues are removed from the two layers of plastic bags, it does prove that the tightly packed sprues have kept the many fragile parts safe from damage. The model comes on eight sprues of grey styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a decal sheet. As usual with MiniArt kits the moulding is superb with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are an awful lot of moulding pips, particularly on the tubular framework which will require very careful clean-up. The model depicts V-21 which looking at the instructions is the prototype for the two seat submarine variant, later to become the Fl 282B-2. Construction begins with the frame work fuselage; with the main bulkhead drilled, out the two piece rear seat is attached. The floor is fitted with what looks like a keel beam, before the main and rear bulkheads are glued into place, followed by the two side sections. The rear roof section is then added, followed by the two piece fin and single piece rudder. Two tubular cross members are then attached, along with two tubular engine mounts. The engine is a model in itself with a single piece block, which is fitted with one set of conrods on a circular frame and the single piece crankcase, the other conrods are separate as are the cylinder heads which are glued on next. The four piece gearbox is the attached to the crankcase followed by the output shaft. The forward section of the upper fuselage, containing the main rotor gearbox mounting frames is then attached, as are the horizontal tailplanes, control runs and, rather strangely, a two bladed propeller and protective ring to the front of the engine which sits inside the fuselage. The main rotor gearbox is made up from no less than thirty three parts, and includes all the control linkages, filters, rotor masts and other fittings. Probably the most complex part of the build is the assembly of what we could loosely call the cockpit. There are four sections of tubular frame that make the cockpit surrounds, then it is fitted out with the control column, all the control linkages, collective lever, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant with linkages attached and the two piece instrument panel with decal instrument faces, which you can then glaze with your favourite glazing medium. With all this in place it is fitted to the fuselage and the rear of the cockpit fitted with its strangely shaped bulkhead and the two piece seat. The main rotor gearbox assembly is then fitted to its mounting and enclosed with three panels. There are two four piece side panels that enclose the rear seat area and a four piece under fuselage section that fits under the engine area. There are two fuel tanks, each made up from four parts, the seven piece main undercarriage, and five piece nose undercarriage. These are all assembled before being glued into their respective positions. The rear panel of the main rotor gearbox is then fitted, as are the two small instrument panels and two piece PE seatbelts which fit in the cockpit. Lastly the two six piece rotors are fitted to their respective masts completing the build. Decals The single smallish decal sheet provides markings for just the one aircraft, but there appear to be two variations for it. There are also stencils and swastikas, (split into two halves), if you wish to add it. They are well printed, in register and suitably opaque. Conclusion The arrival of this kit was as much a surprise as it is welcome. Although a small aircraft, being in 1:35 it does make for a nice size, and while some parts are quite fiddly, it doesn’t look as bad as some of MiniArt’s armour kits. If you make the side panels detachable then you will be able to pose the machine with the lovely engine, gearbox and ancillaries visible. Review sample courtesy of
  2. German Tank Crew – Special Edition (35283) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models A figure placed in or on a vehicle or diorama gives it scale, and as such they add life to our attempts at scaling down reality. This set from figure masters MiniArt depicts WWII German Panzer crew, and contains six figures in various poses, some more relaxed than others. It arrives in a standard end-opening figure box, and once you've got the film wrap off the box, you are presented with three sprues in grey styrene, plus a small ancillary instruction sheet for the sprue of weapons and kit that is included in this edition. Put the word MiniArt into discussion about figures and you know that the sculpting will be first class, which is the case with this set, having beautifully rendered depictions of cloth, unit badges and insignia, and the faces of crew members with their various headgear. Three of the figures are suitable for turret hatches, with one having no legs for those tight areas, while another could be adapted to fit a hatch, but is stood leaning forward slightly. The other two figures are sitting down with one arm up as if they are manning the front hatches, and one even has his hand out gripping a steering wheel or similar. The crew are wearing the black grey Panzer uniform, with the two front crew having their shirt sleeves rolled up, while the three officers have their jackets on. The commanding officer type is clasping maps etc. behind his back, and is wearing a similar design jacket, but in the Pea Camouflage material that was sometimes seen toward the end of the war. The third sprue contains the additional weapons and pouches as mentioned earlier, including the following: 2 x Kar 98 with ammo pouches 2 x MP40 so-called "Schmeiser" SMGs with ammo pouches and open or folded stock 1 x binocular (with slide moulded lenses) with case 1 x Walther P38 pistol with open or closed holster 1 x flare pistol with holster and ammo pouches 1 x First Aid Kit 1 x Map case 1 x flashlight The first aid kit, MP40s, map case and flare ammo pouch require some minor assembly, which is detailed in the small instruction sheet in the box. The painting guide on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours to use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, HUmbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The camo swatch is also annotated for your ease, which uses 5 basic colours for your delight and terror. Conclusion Realistic poses, excellent sculpting in a box of 6… well, 5.5 figures. Perfect for crewing your latest Panzer project to give it a little life and scale for very little cash. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. US Tank Crew (37005) 1:35 MiniArt A figure placed in or on a vehicle or diorama gives it scale, and as such they add life to our attempts at scaling down reality. This set from figure masters MiniArt depicts a modern US armour crew in a relaxed posture, either in on or stood next to their vehicle. It arrives in a standard end-opening figure box, and once you've got the film wrap off the box, inside you'll find a bag containing five individual sprues, three of which are still connected by a runner on my sample. Each figure (you get five) inhabits its own sprue, with arms, legs, torso, head, helmet and small details all separate for maximum detail. If you're phobic about painting faces you'll be pleased to hear that only two of the five aren't wearing scarves over their faces to protect themselves from the dust, which means that they are best suited to desert or cold weather situations. Put the word MiniArt into discussion about figures and you know that the sculpting will be first class, which is certainly the case with this set, showing all the modern traits of a combat soldier such as plate carriers covered in MOLLE loops, operator gloves with knuckle protection, and comms capable headgear worn by all, with goggles to keep out the dust. The box shows the uniforms in the newer digital cloth, which will make painting a bit tricky, but as more and more sheets of camouflage decal are being produced by the aftermarket companies such as FFSMC from France and Meister Chronicle from Japan these days, they are certainly an option, but a small swatch of camo is included on the box to assist those brave enough to paint their own. As they are AFV crew, they aren't festooned with equipment, but each figure has a separate chin-strap and helmet, with their balaclavas and comms headsets moulded into their heads. One figure (presumably the commander) is also carrying a paddle-holstered pistol on his hip, and most have a comms control box to place on their chests which will need some scratch-built wiring to finish them off. On the subject of poses, all figures are stood after a fashion, either leaning or partially sitting on the edge of their vehicle, which gives plenty of options for placement, either stood in hatchways, or lounging against the vehicle in between operations. None of them appear to tense or in fear for their lives, so are clearly intended to be somewhere where they can afford to relax. The painting guide on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours you could use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, Humbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The camo swatch is also annotated for your use – now where can I get a digital brush from? Conclusion Superb for adding to your Abrams, Bradley or any of the modern US armour that's available in this scale, and keenly priced. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. East European Home Stuff (35584) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Dioramas live or die based on the level of ordinary detail that the modeller puts into the background, from leaf litter to dust, from a broken coffee table to plates in the dresser. This set aims to provide the modeller with some of these items to populate their creations with, slanted toward an East European design, but with enough elements that are ubiquitous that they can be used in almost any situation. The set arrives in a standard figure box with a painting of the parts on the front, sprue diagrams and painting guide on the rear, and six small sprues inside. One sprue is in white styrene, but the rest are in mid grey, with a small card envelope protecting the Photo-Etch (PE) parts that are also included. A further sheet of instructions are in the box to guide you through the more complex aspects of the items, and help with placement of the small parts such as the PE. From the box you can build the following: 1 x Sturdy wooden bench table 2 x medium backed dining chair 2 x dining stools 1 x stove with flue 1 x coffee/tea urn 1 x coffee pot 1 x large pan & lid 1 x ladle 1 x frying pan 1 x teapot In addition there are cups, platter, a canister, water jug, slices of bread or cheese, sausage, and loaves in various states of consumption spread over two of the sprues, plus some spoons and a small shovel to feed the stove with fuel. On the PE sheet there are forks, a kitchen knife, plate, various handles for the aforementioned items, and perforated parts for the urn, which has a styrene and PE Fawcett set into the bottom. The painting diagram on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours you could use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, HUmbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The detail shown in the parts is impressive, and some care will be needed rolling the PE for the urn, but it will be well worth the effort. Even the food will give any scene that it is placed in an element of candour, as if the owners were disturbed mid-meal. The table has grain and scuffs moulded in, while the large pan is heavily dented as if from years of use and abuse – even the stove has the maker's mark in raised Cyrillic lettering on the front. Slide moulding has been used in places to create hollow pots, cups and stove parts, which is so much easier for the modeller than hiding seams from joining halves together. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. StuG.III 0-Series (35210) 1:35 MiniArt You can't beat a good StuG. The SturmGeschutz III was engineered based upon the chassis of the Panzer III, bit eschewing the turret of the latter, and replacing it with an armoured casemate 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. It soon found other uses as an ambush predator, and was employed as a tank destroyer hidden waiting for Allied forces to stumble into its path. 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 were also used in the Panzer IV for tank-on-tank combat. 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. They were however used in training up new crews, with one such site being the Training Grounds at Jüterbog in Germany until withdrawal in '41-42. The Kit A brand new tooling from MiniArt, who have really pulled out all the stop recently and are becoming a major player in the 1:35 armour genre. This is doubtless the first of many editions of the StuG III from them, and it seems appropriate to begin at the beginning with a training vehicle. It is important to note that non-combatant status of these early vehicles, as this will affect how you portray them as a finished model if you are looking for realism. Battle damage and evidence of long-standing occupation by a single crew wouldn't be realistic, and Panzer Grey will be the order of the day. There's no doubt that as a training vehicle they would have been used and abused by the trainees however, so the finished model won't necessarily be parade clean either. Note the foam protection to part 2 of sprue Ja to prevent crush damage in transit. There are 29 sprues and 18 more of track links in grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a small styrene jig to ease building of the tracks. The package is completed by a small decal sheet and the glossy covered instruction booklet that has colour profiles in the rear for the decal options. Construction begins with fabrication of the lower hull from individual panels, with suspension units and complex damping system added to the sides over a number of steps. Finally, eight sets of paired wheels are made up and installed along with drive sprockets and idler wheels on both sides. The tracks are built fairly early in the build, and as they're individual links the jig will come in handy. Each side uses 96 links, which you can build up in 8-link lengths on the jig, adding the small track-pins in sets of eight, whilst still attached to their sprues thanks to careful spacing of the parts. The links have five sprue gates each set into the curved edges of the part, with no sink marks of ejector pins to deal with, so clean-up before construction should be fairly quick by comparison. The pins fit into holes in the sides of the links like the real ones, and are glued in place with tiny quantities of cement of your favourite type, being very sparing with the amount for fear of gluing the links AND the jig together and making a general mess of things. Patience is most definitely a virtue in this instance. The superstructure is made up of a number of modules that are fabricated into sub-assemblies and then brought together later. The engine deck with PE louvers in the rear, various access panels and the twin exhaust mufflers is first, followed by the glacis plate with twin clamshell transmission hatches, after which the styrene fenders with tread-plate texture are detailed with their mudguards and sprung return mechanism for the inevitable "incidents" with the scenery. A number of holes are drilled in the treadplate to locate tools and such later on, and then all these assemblies are brought together on the lower hull with an engine firewall cutting the crew compartment off, with a pair of nicely detailed MP40s on the back wall, which will be visible if you leave the top hatches open. At this stage your StuG is a convertible, allowing the wind to ruffle the hair of her crew, but this doesn't last as you get a fair portion of the vehicle's interior in the shape of the main gun's breech and the framework that holds it in the chassis. It takes up quite a number of parts and includes three seats (I guess you could call them that) for the crew, all of which can again be seen from the top hatches. The roof of the casemate is fixed in place on two side walls, with a choice of upper glacis parts, one of which has twin holes above the driver's slit. The radio gear is fitted into a scabbed-on box on the fender, accessible from inside and this is then joined by a full set of pioneer tools, fire extinguisher and more stowage boxes, plus the light clusters, towing eyes, horn and antenna. The radio box is fitted with a shot-trap eliminating panel at the front and another on the opposite side, then the short 75mm gun is built up and inserted into the mantlet, with a scrap diagram showing how it mounts against the breech. More detail is added in the shape of jack blocks, stowage boxes, another fire extinguisher, jack and towing cables, which are supplied as eyelets to which the modeller must find their own cable to lay them out as per the overhead scrap diagram. The last part is to add the hatches to the roof of the casemate, which have PE latches added when depicted open. Markings The markings options are somewhat limited due to these early StuG's role and the fact that they are early war tanks, so it's Panzer Grey all the way. Each one has white crosses on the sides of the casemate, A,B or C on the glacis, and in a rosette for two of the options. The decal sheet is the size of a postage stamp as a consequence, and is printed in the Ukraine by DecoGraph with good register, density and sharpness. Conclusion This marks the start of a line of great new tool StuGs, which makes me happy as I have fondness for the squat ugly-but-effective little tanks, and while the subject of this first issue might put a few off, it's actually refreshing to see something in Panzer Grey that played little part in the actual conflict, while the type went on to become an important asset of the Wehrmacht later in the war. The model is well-detailed and should pose no problems during building, other than some mild boredom during the track building process, so it's a firm thumbs up from me. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Shar2

    Tiran 4 Late Type. 1:35

    Tiran 4 Late Type MiniArt 1:35 The meaning of Tiran [pronounced as Tiy-RAE-N] in Hebrew is beginner. Israel's chronic lack of AFV's on one hand and it's phenomenal victory in the 1967 Six Days War on the other, brought the IDF to adopt captured enemy vehicles for its use. The Arab armies lost hundreds of fighting vehicles - mostly Egyptian T-54 and T-55 MBT's which were abandoned by their crews. In order to allow for greater standardization in its armour corps, the IDF initiated a conversion program. The captured tanks were re-engined and re-gunned (with the standard 105mm gun used in the Centurion and Patton MBT's). Chief was the several hundred captured T-54/T-55 tanks that were taken and modified into the Tiran 4 (T-54) and Tiran 5 (T-55). The main difference between the two versions is the main gun armament. The Tiran 4 was armed with the original 100 mm main gun and the Tiran 5 was fitted with a 105 mm main gun, although the 105mm was also fitted to late Tiran 4’s, the subject of this kit. The Model Since this is an upgrade of the earlier T-54 kits there are a lot of similarities but quite a few new parts as well. As with MiniArt kits with interiors there are a lot of sprues, eighty five in this case, of grey styrene, plus three of clear, one sheet of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. The box, deeper than a standard tank kit box has a nice painting of the tank on the front. On opening you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. The mass of sprues fill up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues, anyone wishing to just take a look at the sprues and getting them out of their bags will realise that getting all this back in the box is one of life’s little challenges! Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, complete with the full engine, which is a beautiful model in its own right, and consisting of forty two parts if you include the engine mounting cradle. The lower hull is then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, and interior escape hatch plus PE beam covers. The interior is then built up from the fighting compartment floor and includes all the pipe work, seats fire bottles, steering mechanism and internal bulkheads. The interior and exterior of the sidewalls are also covered with detail, including the large racks of shells for the main gun, with additional shells stored around the fighting compartment. The detailed sidewalls are then glued into place, as is the engine assembly, engine compartment firewall and other ancillary equipment. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers’ wishes. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames and the large hinge for the main hatch. Another slight difference with the T-54 is the large grille on the rear bulkhead and the additional stowage bin that across the whole width of the hull. The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes, fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames plus the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The turret is another new moulding, which has even more equipment in it than the earlier versions, due to the improved technology. The turret appears to be where the main changes were made. As with the other kits the turret interior includes the full main gun breech, this time for a 105mm gun, rather than the old 100mm, radios, training motors, seats, hand cranks, and other equipment, but with additional sighting equipment for the main gun, and more spare ammunition boxes for the co-axial Browning 30 cal machine gun. Ready use shells are added to the inside of the upper turret along with a multitude of brackets and clamps. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, two highly detailed Browning 30 cal machine guns, consisting of fifteen parts, one for the commander and one for the gunner. There is also a twenty three piece Browning 50 cal heavy machine gun that is mounted onto the mantlet. Two five piece aerials are affixed to the rear of the turret, along with a large stowage bin; while on the sides are a pair of Jerry cans and their respective cradles. On the right hand side there is another large stowage bin, made up from ten parts. The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with a choice of two mantlet covers. There a many more grab handles fitted to the outside of the turret on this version, not to mention brackets and clamps. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller four options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- Tiran 4 of the Israeli Defence Force for eh 1970’s Tiran 4 of the Israeli Defence Force Training Unit for the Lebanese Army, Negev Desert early 1980’s Tiran 4 of the South Lebanese Army, Used on Operation @Peace For Galilee”, June to September 1982 Tiran 4 of the South Lebanese Army from the 1980’s Conclusion Ok, it’s essentially another T-54, with additional equipment and a different gun, but you can never have enough T-54/55’s. These kits are really coming thick and fast MiniArt’s moulding machines must be going full chat day and night. There is so much detail that it could overwhelm a modeller unless their mojo was really cranked up. But if you break the build into bite sized pieces as sub-assemblies, painting as you go, there shouldn’t be a problem. Not one for beginners or maybe even intermediate modellers, but there are versions being released, without interior, which would perhaps be more suited to their level to gain experience before tackling a full interior build. As bang for your buck goes, these have to be some of the best value kits around these days. Review sample courtesy of
  7. PanZair

    T-70M Miniart

    Hello friends, i'm starting a new build with this T-70M russian tank from Miniart i use Aber PE, Friul tracks and Blast Model resin parts soon the end of the building with more details and friul tracks cheers
  8. Panzerschreck RPzB.54 & Ofenrohr RPzB.43 Set (35263) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. The German Panzerschreck is rumoured to be a larger copy of the American made Bazooka, possibly captured from a delivery made to the Russians on the Eastern Front. It had an 88 caliber, and could penetrate over 100mm of armour at close range in its first incarnation the RPzB.43, which due to the smoke and heat it created was nicknamed the Ofenrohr, which translates to "Stove Pipe", requiring the operator to wear a protective hood to avoid the smoke and blast. The improved RPzB.54 had a shield fitted in front of the user, which was necessary due to increased power of the rocket motor and the smoke and heat that it generated on ignition. This later rocket was able to penetrate 160mm of armour, making it an almost certain one-hit-one-kill weapon in the hands of a skilled operator. This accessory set from MiniArt comes in a figure sized box, with the instructions and painting guide on the backside, and lots of little sprues inside, neatly held together with a couple of elastic bands. Inside the box are six larger sprues, twelve smaller sprues all in grey styrene, a card envelope with a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass inside, and a small sheet of decals for stencilling. From this mass of sprues you can make the Ofenrohr or Panzerschreck, or any mixture of the two up to the maximum of six. The smaller sprues each contain four rockets with separate stabilising rings, where you have a choice between the original ring which had the prominent wooden grip for the loader's use at the rear, or change 12 out to depict the later design that had the grip shortened and fitted inside the ring. You also get six crates that can hold two rounds each, and six backpack-style carriers of which you can only build three due to the amount of PE finishing parts that have been included, unless you fancy scratch-building extras. Building the Ofenrohr is simple, and involves gluing the two halves of the barrel together, adding the PE muzzle guide, trigger and sight brackets in PE, and then fitting a long sling, which is also made of PE. If you wanted to depict it in use however, your soldier would need the usage hood or he'd end up a bit crispy. The Panzerschreck adds a front ring, the protective shield, a shorter shoulder-strap, C-shaped barrel rest and the clamp that holds the shield to the barrel. The boxes are constructed from four bevelled sides, floor part with three brackets to hold the rockets, the lid, and a pair of PE clasps for the locks. There are stencil decals applied to both sides of the lids, plus the sides of the rocket in black and white. The shoulder packs have a support slotted in half way up the back that has 5 holes (one per rocket), a lower frame with PE waist comfort band, and a pair of straps that fit onto the soldier's webbing belt. There are also two small clips that fit to the tops of two separators within the pack, which will be really easy to lose so be careful when you're handling them, as there are no spares. Conclusion A useful set for adding background equipment to a scene, a truck or other vehicle, or for integration with a figure you have or are adapting. The Ofenrohr is less useful in the latter circumstance unless you plan on fabricating the hood on your operator. The inclusion of PE parts gives additional realism to the set, but take care to anneal those straps to get them malleable enough to drape realistically. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. German Soldiers w/Fuel Drums Special Edition (35256) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Being in an army isn't all guts and glory. Some of it (most of it, some would argue) is pure drudgery, and in wartime that's punctuated by moments of abject terror. Fuel of course doesn't transport itself at any time, and many an infantryman and storesman was chosen to move barrels of it around, load and unload it until the truck or train was full or their officer (who never usually partook) told them to stop or take a break. This figure set from MiniArt depicts exactly that scenario, and arrives in a standard figure box with Special Edition marked on it. Inside the box are three sprues in grey styrene, a sheet of thick styrene in a similar colour, and an instruction sheet. From these parts you can build five figures, and two fairly careworn fuel drums, plus the ramps often used to push them uphill onto the truckbed, sometimes assisted with a guy pulling from inside the truck with a rope wrapped round the drum. I've just described three of the figures without thinking about it, and the other two are their supervisor leaning lazily against something with hand in pocket and the other nursing a cigarette, plus an officer with a notepad counting off the barrels as they're loaded. Neither of them working particularly hard, bless them. Each figure is well sculpted and made up from separate legs, torso, arms and head, with hat. In the case of my review sample, someone at the factory seems to have popped a civilian figure in as the third smaller sprue, so check your box out before you commit it to the stash, watching out for the shirt and tie, and the pre-neckbeard Fedora, which typically has a wider brim than the Trilby, and the Homberg, with its rolled brim. Hat geek! I've since spoken to Creative who have checked their stock and this seems to be the only one with a civvie in the box. Good news! The back of the box shows the construction of the figures, and this is used in conjunction with the sprue map on the instructions, which also covers the building of the two included drums, both of which have a creased, beaten up look moulded in, which differs between them. Conclusion Apart from my one-off guy with the Fedora, who I think is sitting reading a newspaper (probably from the tram passenger set), this is a great addition to any truck in a diorama, adding a dynamic and candid appeal to an otherwise blank canvas on wheels. Highly recommended, just check your box for stray civilians! Review sample courtesy of
  10. SU-76M With Crew - Special Edition MiniArt 1:35 (35262) The SU-76 was one of the most widely used AFVs of WWII by the Russians, and was based upon an enlarged version of the T-70 Light Tank chassis, adding width and an extra road wheel to the length of the vehicle. Although the T-70 wasn't particularly effective or well liked, this much changed and improved development of its basic running gear was, because of its simple agricultural design, which made it easy to maintain, and forgiving in combat conditions. Initial problems with the drive-train were soon cured, and the SU-76M was the result, with the armoured roof of the casemate removed for ease of service and repair of the 76.2mm ZiS-3 gun. Production went on to reach almost 14,000 units before war's end, and although production of the SU-76 ceased, a further development continued production in the form of the ZSU-37, the first dedicated anti-aircraft tank in Soviet service. The Kit The kit has been around for a while from Miniart (since 2008) and if its not broke dont fix it here works. There is the main hull, a further 4 sprues of grey plastic, and a tiny clear sprue. There is one sprue of figures, four sprues of additional ammunition, and ammo storage boxes. There is also a sheet of PE for the kit to update it a bit, and a set of track links. The first thing that is immediately apparent is that the hull of this tank is rather small. One of its nicknames was "bare a**ed Ferdinand", which referred to its similar layout but diminutive size when compared to the giant German design. The tub struggles to make 5" in length, but detail on the outer hull is good, with rivets, panel lines and raised detail in good supply. There is also detail inside the hull toward the rear where it will be visible due to its open top. Whether you will need to remove the large injection moulding lump that sits in the middle of the hull bottom is questionable, especially as there is a panel placed between it and the viewer during later construction. Unusually for a tank, the gun and its support-work are first to be built up, and there are plenty of parts to make this a well detailed section of the model. The barrel is supplied in two halves, so the more aftermarket conscious amongst us might want to source a replacement, but with some careful seam-work, the kit part should suffice, particularly as it has a 2-piece flash-hider that is added after the barrel is pushed through the mantlet, giving the impression of a hollow barrel. Careful assembly and judicious use of glue should permit you to retain the ability to traverse and raise the barrel, which is of use to retain until you have chosen the final position of the gun, at which time it can be fixed by freezing the pivot points with liquid glue. Once the gun is completed, the chassis makes an appearance, and each side takes six keyed suspension arms, onto which a road wheel is glued. A triplet of return rollers fix further up the side of the hull on axles, and the idler wheel attaches at the very rear of the vehicle, almost as an afterthought trailing behind. The drive sprockets are mounted to the front on their final drive housings, the edge of which stand proud of the glacis plate once complete. The front of the chassis is boxed in with armour plate at this stage, and various shackles and detail parts are added to the forward and aft bulkheads. There are two hatches on the glacis plate, one for access to the gearbox and the other for the driver, which has a domed armoured surface that has a nice cast texture moulded in. The tracks are separate links that are provided on ladder-like sprues with only small stubs of sprue between each link and no outer runners. Detail is excellent throughout, and they should clip together with no glue, which is backed up by a symbol in the instruction. Each link has three sprue gates sensibly placed, and no ejector pin marks – these have been cleverly left on the sprue stubs between each link. Clean-up and construction of each track of 92 links should proceed relatively quickly as a result of these positives, and there are 8 links spare in case of broken pins. The slide-moulded fenders are then mounted with five bracing brackets on each side, along with some small details and stowage areas. A driving light is placed on the port fender, which has a clear lens piece, so the rear of the part will need painting silver to represent the reflector. On the rear of the starboard fender is a large box containing the radiator and the twin exhaust pipes. The open face of the radiator has moulded baffles that expand the surface area, which are neatly moulded, and the exhausts are made up from two halves with an exhaust pipe stub which will need drilling out to add a little realism. The upper hull is then covered with pioneer tools, while the fenders receive more stowage boxes, and the towing cable is bend into a C-shape for mounting on the glacis plate. My sample had already sheared where the two cooling wavefronts of styrene had met and cooled too quickly to mix, so the single-piece rope would be of no use. However, MiniArt have sensibly included an extra pair of towing eyes without rope moulded to them in case you want to make your own. As usual with my armour builds, I will be using a length of RB Models braided cable, because nothing looks quite like braided cable other than braided cable! At this stage the gun is installed onto a hub moulded into the rear of the top deck, and secured in place from the underside with a pin, which will take some very careful gluing to retain the ability to traverse. A basic floor piece is added, which has some treadplate detail moulded in, plus the aforementioned doors into the inner hull that blank off the moulding pip on the lower hull. A series of parts then build up into the rest of the cladding of the fighting compartment, blocking off the view into the rest of the chassis. Five palettes of shells are built up for the interior, containing a mixture of blunt nosed shells and more pointed armour piercing in each. These are sited around the crew compartment, making for a very loud bang indeed if it received a direct hit. The casemate is next to be built up, and is constructed from three individual sides, each of which is detailed up before installation. Painting the interior in stages is likely to be a necessity with this kit due to its open top and close confines. Fortunately, the casemate panels all meet the hull at an angle, so could be installed completely painted onto the model. A rear bulkhead is then added with a small door that simply eases the step over the back of the hull. Corner stiffener plates are added to the casemate, an aerial onto the starboard side, and safety "roll-cage" to the rear. Curiously, the exhaust pipes from the engine to the mufflers/silencers are almost the last parts to be added, disappearing into an angular box on the top of the hull. The Crew A set of five crew figures are included with this kit as a bonus item, and they are contained on the fifth sprue. There are three figures holding shells, one appearing to lean forward to operate the sighting mechanism of the gun, while the final figure would be the commander figure, who is looking through a pair of binoculars. The commander and one shell carrier are wearing heavy greatcoats, while the remaining three wear quilted Soviet tankers uniform. All the figures are wearing the protective leather helmets used by soviet tank crew, which are separate parts on the sprue. The figures are nicely moulded and the greatcoat wearers have separate lowers to their coats, to give a more realistic appearance to them. Some of the crew have separate hands where appropriate, while all have separate arms and legs. The legs are moulded separately and joined at the crotch to give better detail to the inseam area, and all the heads are separate parts. Some small personal items are included for the figures' belts, and eight shells are provided for the chaps to hold (the set is also sold separately as a figure set). Additional Ammunition and storage boxes Four extra sprues provide additional ammo storage boxes and rounds. Decals There is one small sheet of home produced decals with 5 options; SPG Artillery Division 11th Guard Army, Eastern Prussia, 1944 Unknown Slef-Propelled Regiment, Eastern Prussia, 1945 1238th SPG Regiment, Poland, March 1945 1448th SPG Artillery Regiment, 9th Krasnodar Kozak Division, Poland, 1944 1223rd SPG Artillery Regiment, 5th Guard Tank Army, 3rd Belorussian front, Vilnus, July 1944 Conclusion It is good to see this kit re-released as it's a good one. The additional PE and ammuntion are nice additions to the kit. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. T-60 Late Series, Screened Gorly Auto Plant. INTERIOR KIT 1:35 MiniArt The T-60 was the result of the ongoing development of light tanks that had started well before WWII. This particular tank started development in 1938 as an attempt to replace the T-26, T-40, the failed T-46 project and the T-50. Whilst such a large number were produced, it was hated by all who had to deal with it – all except the Germans, who found it to be a substandard and underwhelming opponent, and a rather nice ammunition carrier or gun towing tractor, once captured. As a result of its poor armour, substandard armament and sluggish performance, it was more dangerous to its crews than anybody else, earning it the title Bratskaya Mogila Na Dovoikh, literally: “a brother’s grave for two.” The basic design was completed in a mere fifteen days, and Astrov, seconded by Lieutenant Colonel V.P. Okunev, wrote to Stalin contrasting the advantages of the mass-producible T-60 with the more complicated T-50, which had already received the go-ahead. An inspection from a senior minister resulted in two decisions: firstly, the 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine gun was to be replaced with a 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK, although it was still inadequate against the Panzer IIIs and IVs that the T-60 would almost certainly engage whilst there was a shortage of T-34s. Secondly, the Main Defence Committee (GKO), headed by Stalin, ordered 10,000 T-60s to be produced immediately. Some sources have claimed that Stalin’s interest in the vehicle is because he attended the vehicle’s final trials in person. The displacement of the Soviet industry in 1941 disrupted production and further refinement of the T-60. In autumn, Zavod Nr 37’s work on the T-60 was transferred to Zavod Nr 38 at Kirov and GAZ in Gorki. Shortly after, industrial evacuations continued, and GAZ was the sole producer of the T-60. In 1942, the T-60’s frontal armour was increased to 35 mm (1.37 in), which was still inadequate and made the tank more sluggish. The GAZ-203 engine gave the T-60 theoretical speeds of 44 km/h (27 mph) on road and 22 km/h (14 mph) off-road, but this was always difficult to achieve as a result of horrifically bad mud and snow. Replacing the spoked road wheels on the 1941 model with all-metal disc wheels, especially as a result of rubber shortages, did not help alleviate this problem either. The development of removable track extensions also did little to help mobility. Finally, any attempt to increase the calibre of the gun proved difficult. There were attempts to replace the main gun with a 37 mm (1.45 in) ZiS-19 or a 45 mm (1.77 in) ZiS-19BM, but proved unsuccessful as a result of the small turret. By the time a redesigned turret with the ZiS-19BM had passed trials, the T-60 as a whole was cancelled with the introduction of the T-70 in late 1942, although 55 T-60s were produced in 1943. The Germans would use captured tanks under the designation Panzerkampfwagen T-60 743(r), and the Romanians would modify 34 captured tanks into TACAM tank destroyers in 1943 armed with captured Russian 76mm divisional guns housed in a lightly armoured superstructure. These vehicles were confiscated by the Russians when Roumania changed sides in 1944. The Model The kit comes in the fairly standard, yet sturdy and colourful top opening box MiniArt use, with an artists impression of the vehicle on the front. This later tank is easily distinguished by the solid road wheels. Inside there are thirty three sprues of varying sizes, mostly small, in a medium to dark grey styrene, along with one sprue of clear styrene, two small sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. As with most MiniArt kits there is a huge amount of detail contained on the sprues and in this one there are 490 parts, including the etched brass. The mouldings are superb with no imperfections and very few moulding pips. Some of the smaller parts, and there are a lot of them, do have a fair number of sprue gates, but fortunately they are relatively small and shouldn’t cause too many problems. The sheer number of parts is explained by the fact that this kit is equipped with a full, and I mean full interior, which for a model/vehicle this size will mean you will need a magnifying glass/Optivisor when building. The build starts with the lower hull floor, to which the drivers position is attached, complete with detailed gearbox, levers and brake drums. Then there is the comprehensively detailed engine, which is a model in itself, and has more parts than some whole kits, around 22 in total. The two batteries and battery tray are then added to the left hand side of the hull adjacent to the drivers position, followed by the right side panel which is fitted with a fire extinguisher and four support brackets. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with several parts on the outside, before being attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the gearbox via a couple of drive shafts. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare ammunition drums and boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the outer drive covers, idler axles, internal longitudinal bulkhead and several pipes. The upper hull plate is fitted with several panels before being glued into place. The drivers hatch is made up from five parts, while the drivers vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued to the driver position, and can be posed either open of closed. Depending on which colour scheme the modeller has chosen there are two options for the style of headlights to be used. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The engine cover is next made up of three plastic and two etched grille pieces. This is then glued into position on the top deck, along with the drivers access and viewing plate. The tracks are each built up from eighty five individual links, which, unfortunately are not click able, but have to be glued, making it a little more awkward to get the sag and fitted around the idlers/drive sprockets. But with plenty of patience and care they can be made to look the business. The track guards are fitted with many PE brackets, as well as storage boxes, pioneer tools and a nicely detailed jack. These are then fitted to the hull and the build moves on to the turret. There is a large PE grille fitted to the rear engine deck along with a PE surround. There are two covers that go over this if winterising the vehicle, each plate is fixed with four to six PE wing nuts. While the turret is very small there is still plenty of detail packed into it. The turret ring is fitted with commander’s seat, ready use ammunition locker, plus traversing and elevation gearboxes and hand wheels. Inside the turret itself there are two four piece vision blocks, spent ammunition plug, vent cover, the breech and sight for the main gun which is slide through the trunnion mount, as is the three piece co-axial machine gun. The turret roof is fitted with a two piece hatch and before it is glued into position the machine gun ammunition drum is attached and the spent cartridge chute to the main gun. The roof is then attached, as is the outer mantlet and barrel cover of the main gun. The turret is the attached o the hull and the build is finished off with the fitting of more PE brackets around the hull and the engine exhaust glued into position. Decals The small decal sheet contains markings for four tanks. Unidentified Red Army unit, 1942. 22nd Panzer Corps, South Western Front July 1942. 3rd Shock Army of the Kalinin Front, Dec 1942. Unidentified Red Army unit, 1942. Conclusion This is another amazing kit from MiniArt and brings yet another lesser known military vehicle to the mainstream modelling community. With the numerous parts count and the large number of very small parts, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller, it looks like it should build up into a superb model, absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be any need for aftermarket parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Creative Models
  12. T-55A Early Mod 1965 Interior Kit (37016) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, which began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Kit Part of the ever-expanding range of early Cold War armour from MiniArt, who seem to be kitting every conceivable variant from the earliest T-54 to the latest T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The toolings are all essentially brand new, and have been designed in a modular format to ease the way toward new variants, which makes for a high sprue count. Some of the kits have been released in augmented Interior Kit boxings, with all the extra details to open up your model as much as you please. This is one of those boxings, and it arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front, and the stylised "Interior Kit" branding on each face of the box. Lifting the kit gives the feeling of how much is inside, and I may have emitted a minor expletive when I saw how packed with sprues the box was, and when I say packed, I mean it. There is almost no room for anything else in the box, and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 94 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, a clear sprue, two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, three decal sheets (one larger, two small), and the instruction booklet. It seems that I was wrong about putting it back in too, as I have managed it although I wouldn't like to put anything else in there! Detail is everywhere, and is crisp, with judicious use of slide-moulding to improve details further, and make hollows where needed. The inclusion of PE helps further, allowing parts to be given a more scale-effect. Construction begins with the water-cooled diesel engine, which is built up from a substantial number of highly detailed parts for later insertion into the hull, which is next to be made up. The hull floor has cut-outs for the suspension mounts, hatches and access panels, all of which are supplied as separate parts. The suspension is torsion-link, so the bars are inserted with the axles at their ends, then the lowest parts of the interior are added on top, including the base for the turret basket and the driver's position. Ammo is festooned wherever the designers could fit a round, with a large store next to the driver's station in the position formerly occupied by the bow machine gunner. The hull sides are separate, and are well detailed parts, which have further detail layered on both sides before they are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall, the engine and its mount, plus sundry other details that make the T-55 quite cramped for its occupants. Externally, the T-55A could be fitted with a mine-roller, and although one isn't included with this boxing, the fitments and bracketry is included for the upper and lower glacis alongside the standard light clusters, lifting hooks and pioneer tools. The main lights have a choice of clean lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the wheels are handled next, with five pairs per side with separate hubs, plus the idler wheel at the front, and drive sprocket at the rear. Tracks are left until a little later and are of the individual link type, requiring 90 links per side, each of which have four sprue gates, but no ejection pin or sink marks to worry about. What is there however is stunning detail, which includes the casting numbers inlaid into the hollows of each track link, and close-fitting lugs that should make the building an easier task. The turret ring is fitted behind the glacis, and the fenders are build up alongside the engine access hatches, which are all then added to the hull, completing the engine deck first with some rather neat PE grilles and mesh backed louvers that have PE slats for realism. The fenders have additional fuel tankage fitted with hosing between them, and lots of PE fixtures, handles and such, with even more PE bracing inside the sprung mudguard parts, tools, toolboxes and the exhaust on the port side. The kit includes plastic towing eyes, but you are going to have to provide your own cables as none are include in the kit, but given the sheer volume of parts it's excusable. At the rear an unditching log is lashed to the bulkhead with PE straps, and the extra fuel drums so often seen are also lashed to curved brackets that overhang the rear of the hull. Between them the deep wading funnel is attached by a couple of pins to the bottom of the brackets, and it has its own group of PE brackets for the bracing wires that are seen when it is in use. The turret itself is a busy assembly, having a semi-automatic breech loading mechanism that is built up first, then the lower turret is fitted out with radio gear, shells, before the breech is installed on two mounts at the front, which have the breech guard and a rack of box mags for the coaxial machine gun attached on the right and underneath respectively, and the sighting gear on the left side. The upper turret has its anti-spall lining added in sections, and is then decked out with a number of small assemblies, after which the turret roof is fitted with hatch, vents and vision blocks. More anti-spall lining is attached to the inside of the roof, and yet more ammunition is stowed as ready rounds for immediate use on the wall. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a blast-bag around the mantlet are all added, and the single piece barrel with hollow muzzle slips through the centre and keys into the breech. The blast-bag is finished off around the edges with PE strips, and a large camo net is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps. An armature links the gun barrel and the searchlight together so they move in unison, and an ancillary searchlight is fitted to the commander's cupola, with a choice of the driver's poor weather hood built up in either the collapsed or deployed format, with the former stowed on the turret bustle, while the latter fits over the open driver's hatch. Markings Although on first glance it looks like there are three markings options, there are in fact nine, which is nice to see. Every single one is Russian Green, but there are some nice variations in operator and differences in the application of serials etc. From the box you can build one of the following: Romanian Army 90s – Romanian roundel and white 5049 on the turret sides. Soviet military parade colouring 60-70s – white accents on rims, fenders & Soviet medallion on the turret sides. Somali Army Ogaden War, 1977 – no markings other than small flags front and rear. Marine Infantry of the Soviet Navy 1970 – White 512 and Soviet naval flag on turret sides. Soviet Army 60-70s – White 423 on turret sides. Hungarian People's Army, Operation Danube, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Aug-Sept 1968 – White cross over turret and sides. 55th Marine Infantry Division, Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Navy, Ethiopia 1980 – White 116 and Soviet naval flag on turret sides. Yugoslav People's Army, 80s – White 18131 on turret sides. Hungarian Army 90s – Hungarian pennant and white 122 on turret sides. The decals are printed on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These Interior Kits are amongst the most comprehensive kits I have seen in a long while, with even the tiniest details catered for, down to the tiny nuts holding the snorkel to the rear of the tank. They're certainly not for everyone, as some folks don't want interiors for whatever reason, but as a T-55A with interior, it is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  13. MiniArt ( https://www.facebook.com/miniart.models/ & http://miniart-models.com/ ) is to release a 1/35th Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri V-6 & V-21 kits - ref. 41001 & 41003 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/groups/greenmats/permalink/1615939271798942/ https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/posts/1743221195749828 V.P.
  14. Shar2

    V-54 Engine. 1:35

    V-54 Engine MiniArt 1:35 The V-54 is a massive 12 cylinder 39litre water cooled diesel engine used in all T-54 variants. This kit is taken from the superb interior kits of the T-54. As I said in my reviews of the full kits this is a beautiful model in its own right. Well, looks like MiniArt heard me and have released a separate kit of it. The small, yet attractive box with artwork showing the engine in both early and late guise contains four sprues of grey styrene and a length of copper wire. Construction is as in the full kits, starting with the two piece sump, onto which the starter motor and alternator are attached, as is the electrical tube that sits between the cylinder heads. Each of the cylinder blocks are made up from six parts, each completed assembly is then glued to the sump assembly. The exhaust manifolds are then attached, along with the three lengths of pipe at the rear of the engine, and two lengths at the front, which in turn are attached to the separate water pump. The engine fitted with a four piece cradle, followed by the exhaust silencers and their attachment blocks. The modeller then has a choice of air filter to fit depending on whether they are making an engine pre 1957 or post 1957. The filters are very different in style, the pre ’57 being made from twenty three parts and the post ’57 from eleven. Once assembled the chosen option is glued to the front of the engine and two recirculation pipes fitted between them and the exhaust silencers. The copper wire is then cut to length and used as glow plug leads Conclusion This is a very nice and useful little kit. You can use it in the MiniArt kits that don’t come with engines, or use it on its own as part of a workshop scene in a diorama or whatever your imagination can come up with. Review sample courtesy of
  15. 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!
  16. T-54, T-55(Early) Wheels Set (37056) 1:35 MiniArt The Kit Arriving in usual Miniart style on multiple small sprues you get a complete set of replacement road wheels, drive sprockets and ideler wheels for your T-54 or Early T-55. These are taken from a tank kit so there are a few suspension parts also on the sprues which are not used. Moulding is excellent as you'd expect from MiniArt. This set is recomended if you need a new set of wheels for your T-54 or early 55. Review sample courtesy of
  17. T-55 MOD 1963 Soviet Medium Tank MiniArt 1:35 Having reviewed the massed ranks of MiniArt’s T-54, we are now onto the T-55’s. Since the T-55 was a progression of the T-54, there are still quite a few similarities, but with enough differences to make the builds interesting. As with MiniArt kits with interiors there are a lot of sprues, ninety two in this case, of grey styrene, plus one of clear, two sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. The very colourful box, quite a bit deeper than a standard tank kit box, has a nice painting of the tank on the front. On opening you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because modular nature of the tooling , with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. The mass of sprues fill up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues, anyone familiar with the old Krypton Factor will realise getting all this back in the box is one of life’s little challenges! Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, complete with the full engine, which is a lovely model in its own right, and consisting of forty two parts if you include the engine mounting cradle. The lower hull is then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, and interior escape hatch plus PE beam covers. The interior is then built up from the fighting compartment floor and includes all the pipe work, seats fire bottles, steering mechanism and internal bulkheads. The interior and exterior of the sidewalls are also covered with detail, including the large racks of shells for the main gun, with additional shells stored around the fighting compartment. The extra parts that go into this interior goes to graphically demonstrate how cramped these tanks were. There seems to be so much equipment and extra ammunition for both the main gun, the co-axial machine gun. The detailed sidewalls are then glued into place, as is the engine assembly, engine compartment firewall and other ancillary equipment. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers’ wishes. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames, which are much more complex affairs than in previous versions, being made of five parts. The rear mounted intakes, consisting of six parts are fitted with individual PE slats and the PE mesh is fitted from underneath, these are then glued into position, followed by the large hinge for the main hatch. There are quite a few parts that are intended to be used if the tank is fitted for use with the mine rollers, (which are not in the kit), The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes, fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames, as is the unditching beam and the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The separate exhaust assembly is also glued into position on the left hand rear fender, whilst the pair of nine piece deep wading kit tubes are attached to the rear bulkhead, one above and the other below the auxiliary fuel drums. The turret is another new moulding, which has even more equipment in it than the earlier versions, due to the improved technology. As with the other kits the turret interior includes the full main gun breech, radios, training motors, seats, hand cranks, and other equipment, but with additional sighting equipment for the main gun, and more spare ammunition boxes for the co-axial machine gun, which is just as detailed as before, consisting of sixteen parts, plus another eight for the new sighting system. Ready use shells are added to the inside of the upper turret along with a multitude of brackets and clamps. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, and rolled up tarpaulin. There are a pair of grab rails each side of the turret, as well as larger brackets and an aerial, including the six piece platform for the three piece fighting light.The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with a choice of two mantlet covers and a two piece bracket that attaches the fighting light to the gun barrel. The Commanders cupola is fitted with a smaller searchlight, and there is a large periscope for the commander, situated just in front of their hatch. Finally the driver's wet weather cover, that fits over his hatch can be posed stowed or in place. If you are stowing it, there are some PE straps to tie things down on the bustle. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller no less than twelve options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- T-55, Presumably the 51st Infantry of the Republic of Iraq, “Operation Iraqi Freedom” (“Shock and Awe”), Basra, March 2003 T-55, Vietnamese People’s Army, 2000’s T-55, Captured during the “Six Day War” as part of the IDF, 1968 T-55 of the Egyptian Army, 1973-1974 T-55 of the Syrian Army, during the “Yom Kippur War”, Golan Heights, October 1973 T-55 of the Cuban Army during the 1970’s T-55 of the Finnish Defence Forces, 1973 T-55 of the Ethiopian Army, during the “Ogaden War”, 1977 T-55 of the Iragi Army during the War in the Persian Gulf, Battle of Khafji, Feruary 1991 T-55 used for the Parade in Honour of the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution, Khakiv, November 7, 1967 T-55 of the 24th Motorised Rifle Division of the Soviet Army, Kiev, 1967 T-55 of the Soviet Army, Operation Danube, Prague, Czechoslovakia, August-September 1968 Conclusion These beasts of tanks, and models are really coming thick and fast for the moulding machines of MiniArt and you really just can’t fault them. There is so much detail that it could overwhelm a modeller unless their mojo was really cranked up. But if you break the build into bite sized pieces as sub-assemblies, painting as you go, there shouldn’t be a problem. Not one for beginners or maybe even intermediate modellers, but there are versions being released, without interior, that would perhaps be more suited to their level to gain experience before tackling a full interior build. As bang for your buck goes, these have to be some of the best value kits around these days. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  18. Shar2

    Soviet 1.5 ton Cargo Truck

    Soviet 1.5 ton Cargo Truck MiniArt 1:35 The GAZ AA 1.5 ton truck was a licenced manufactured version of the Ford AA truck for the Soviet Union, where more than 950,000 were built. There were many body styles, but the most recognisable version was the flat bed truck as depicted in this kit. The model is contained within a very attractive, bright and colourful box that MiniArt have started using recently. Inside, there are thirty five sprues in grey styrene, one of clear a single sheet of etch brass and a full decal sheet. Once again, MiniArt have included, what is essentially another kit, in the form of a large set of furniture for that can be placed on the truck bed. Inside the beautifully printed instruction sheet there are two printed carpets, with the backing also printed alongside, so that it can be folded over forming the complete carpet, for the modeller to cut out and use. The carpets can then be rolled up and placed on the truck. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block, head and sump being glued together followed by the addition of the starter motor, alternator, water pump, auxiliary drive belt, cooling fan, cooling pipes, oil filler pipe. The gearbox is then assembled from three parts and glued to the engine assembly, along with intake manifold. The two, chassis rails are fitted with an extra beam where the truck bed will sit. These are held on the rails by three “U” bolts and thir associated clamps. The rear leaf springs are then attached via their support links. Four cross members are then used to join the rails together, as well as the rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye spring is attached. There is a three piece box attached to the left hand rail, near the front. The wheels are assembled, and in this, MiniArt have deviated from the norm, by making the inner tyre half made up from four individual rings, while the outer section is made up of three rings. The wheel itself is then sandwiched between the two tyre sections. Whilst this sounds odd, I think it’s to make a realistic tyre with the type of radial tread used at the time. The rear axle and differential is made up from six parts, if you include the drive shaft. This assembly is then fitted to the rear leaf springs, while the front suspension is made up on a single leaf spring assembly mounted laterally and fitted with the front axle, steering rack and support arms. The rear differential is then fitted with a triangular support structure which also supports the brake rods. The front chassis end cap is attached as are the two bumper side arms, while to the rear there is a choice of towing hook styles, one, just a single piece unit, the other is made up from five parts. The spare wheel, mounted under the rear chassis is held in place by a support large clamp. The front and rear brake drums are then attached to the axles, followed by two wheels per side on the rear axle and one per side on the front axle. The engine assembly in then glued into position, followed by the two piece radiator, two piece front bumper and two support brackets on chassis rails. The five piece exhaust is the attached to the right hand side. The two front fenders are each single piece units to which a small hook is attached before being fitted to the chassis, as are two of the lateral truck bed beams. The cab floor is also attached and fitted with the bench seat, gear stick and panel support. The three piece wiper/wiper motor is fitted to the front screen surround, once the clear screen has been fitted. The screen is then fitted with two small arms, these can be glued in either the stowed position for a closed screen, or down, so that the screen can be posed open. The rear of the bonnet section is then glued to the front of the screen support, along with eh two side sections and engine bulkhead which has been detailed with several small parts. Inside the foot pedals are attached lower bulkhead, part of the floor panel fitted earlier, before the front cab assembly is glued into place, along with the steering column and wheel. The three piece rear panel and roof of the cab are then glued into place, as are the two bonnet supports, between the bulkhead and the radiator. Each door is made up from five parts, including clear section, door handles, latches and window winders. The doors are then put to one side. The bonnet halves, split longitudinally are each made from two sections, which can be posed in either the open or closed positions, allowing the modeller to show of the engine should they so choose. The doors are then attached; again, they can be posed open or closed as the modeller wishes. The three piece horn is attached to a rail, which in turn is attached to the front of the vehicle between the fenders. The two, three piece headlights are then fitted, as is the single, two piece wing mirror, on the drivers side. The truck bed is then assembled from five parts, bed, sides, front and rear sections, and glued into place, completing the truck section of the build. The rest of the build concentrates on the furniture. There are two styles of chair, each made up form five parts, a three piece miners lamp, two piece oil lamp and a four piece telephone. The main furniture items consist of a five piece office desk, seven piece cupboard, six piece chest of drawers, and ten piece circular table. Also included is a five piece radio telephone, used on some of the options. As mentioned earlier there are the two carpets printed in the instructions booklet, and there are also six large period posters and six small posters, which could also be the covers of pamphlets. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller no less than eight options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The names of the different companies are included, as well as their respective registration plates and insignia. The options:- GAZ AA, Emergency help, Trolleybus Park, Leningrad, 1937-1939. Black cab, chassis and wheels with green truck bed sides. GAZ AA, Emergency Technical Assistance vehicle, machinery municipal trust cleaning, Moscow, 1939-1941. Painted overall Ochre, with black chassis and wheels. GAZ AA, Technical Assistance of the Machine Tractor Station, Orel Region, Summer period, 1939-1941. Green cab and bonnet section, Emerald Green truck bed sides, black chassis and wheels. GAZ AA, Requisitioned transport of the needs of the Red Army of one of the collective farms in the Kiev region. Kiev Pocket, August to September 1941. Green 4BO cab and bonnet section and wheels, Emerald green truck bed sides, black chassis. GAZ AA, Freight Taxi, Moscow, 1938-1941. Emerald green overall, with Green 4BO wheels and black chassis. GAZ AA, Freight Taxi, Odessa region, 1947. Green 4BO cab and bonnet section and wheels, Dark Emerald green truck bed sides, black chassis GAZ AA, Postal truck, Stalingrad region, 1939-1942. Grey cab and bonnet section, Dark Emerald green truck bed sides, Green 4BO wheels, black chassis. GAZ AA, Postal truck, Ruza, Moscow region, 1950. Green 4BO overall, including wheels, black chassis. Conclusion I just love these trucks from MiniArt, they are so evocative of the period and can be used in so many situations, whether on their own, a military or civilian diorama. The added furniture and posters provide the modeller with even more options on how to display their creation. You really do get so much for your money with this and the German truck reviewed here. The staff at MiniArt should be commended for giving us modellers such great kits with pretty much everything you need, just let your imagination run wild. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  19. Hello all! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year ! I present to your attention the result of the test-build of the new model from MiniArt - the early T-55A Enjoy watching !
  20. T-54A Soviet Medium Tank MiniArt 1:35 By 1953, the OKB-520 design bureau saw the rise of a new team, under the direction of Leonid N. Kartsev. Their T-54A came equipped with the new STP-1 “Gorizont” gun stabilizer in a vertical plane with better guidance, an automated electric ejection device to purge the barrel, and the initial small muzzle counter-weight was replaced with a massive fume extractor. This new gun was called D-10TG. Now it was possible to conduct true aimed fire on the move. The engine received an air cleaner with controlled blinds, multi-stage air filter and radiator control to maintain optimum performance and a new OPVT wading snorkel. The driver received a night vision periscope, as the TVN-1 and related IR driving searchlight. A new R-113 radio was also made available. The gunner received an upgraded TSh-2A-22 telescopic sight. Other modifications included an electrical oil pump, bilge pump and automatic fire extinguisher. The most distinctive change in appearance, outside the gun’s fume extractor, were the massive rear mounted extra fuel tanks. T-54A production was scheduled for mid-1954 but not produced until the end of 1955 as an upgrade, which lasted until 1957. Some 2102 T-10TG guns were completed by the Sverdlovsk and Perm arsenals for 1955 alone, 1854 in 1956 and 840 in 1957. (Taken from Tanks-Enclyclopedia.com) The Model Having reviewed the T-54-1 here, T-54-2 here and T-54-3 here recently, we are now onto the main production machines proper. As with earlier kits there are a lot of similarities but quite a few new parts as well. As with MiniArt kits with interiors there are a lot of sprues, seventy seven in this case, of grey styrene, plus two of clear, two sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. The box, deeper than a standard tank kit box has a nice painting of the tank on the front. On opening you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. The mass of sprues fill up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues, anyone familiar with the old Krypton Factor will realise getting all this back in the box is one of life’s little challenges! Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, complete with the full engine, which is a beautiful model in its own right, and consisting of forty two parts if you include the engine mounting cradle. The lower hull is then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, and interior escape hatch plus PE beam covers. The interior is then built up from the fighting compartment floor and includes all the pipe work, seats fire bottles, steering mechanism and internal bulkheads. The interior and exterior of the sidewalls are also covered with detail, including the large racks of shells for the main gun, with additional shells stored around the fighting compartment. The detailed sidewalls are then glued into place, as is the engine assembly, engine compartment firewall and other ancillary equipment. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers’ wishes. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames and the large hinge for the main hatch. The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes, fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames, as is the unditching beam and the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The turret is another new moulding, which has even more equipment in it than the earlier versions, due to the improved technology. As with the other kits the turret interior includes the full main gun breech, radios, training motors, seats, hand cranks, and other equipment, but with additional sighting equipment for the main gun, and more spare ammunition boxes for the co-axial machine gun, which is just as detailed as before, consisting of sixteen parts, plus another eight for the new sighting system. Ready use shells are added to the inside of the upper turret along with a multitude of brackets and clamps. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, a highly detailed Dushka (DsHK) 14.5mm heavy machine gun, consisting of twenty nine parts, and rolled up tarpaulin. The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with a choice of two mantlet covers. There a many more grab handles fitted to the outside of the turret on this version, not to mention brackets and clamps. Finally the driver's wet weather cover, that fits over his hatch can be posed stowed or in place. If you are stowing it, there are some PE straps to tie things down on the bustle. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller seven options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- T-54A, No.221 of the 2nd Guards Mechanised Division of the Soviet Army, Budapest, Hungary, 24th - 30th October 1956 T-54A, No.411 of the 2nd Guards Mechanised Division of the Soviet Army, Budapest, Hungary, 24th - 30th October 1956 T-54A, No.312 of the 202th tank regiment of the Vietnam People’s Army during the initial phase of operation “Nguyen Hue”, April 1972 T-54A, No.212 of an Unidentified Guards unit of the Soviet Army in winter camouflage, 1950’s and 60’s T-54A of the 3rd Tank Battalion, 68th Guards Tank Regiment of the 6th Guards Motor Rifle Division of the Soviet Army, Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, October 1961 T-54A, No.823 of the 2nd Guards Mechanised Division of the Soviet Army, Budapest, Hungary, 24th – 30th October 1956 T-54A, No. 166, Celebration for the parade, an unidentified unit of the Soviet Army 1950’s and 60’s. Conclusion These beasts of tanks, and models are really coming thick and fast for the moulding machines of MiniArt and you really just can’t fault them. There is so much detail that it could overwhelm a modeller unless their mojo was really cranked up. But if you break the build into bite sized pieces as sub-assemblies, painting as you go, there shouldn’t be a problem. Not one for beginners or maybe even intermediate modellers, but there are versions being released, without interior,that would perhaps be more suited to their level to gain experience before tackling a full interior build. As bang for your buck goes, these have to be some of the best value kits around these days. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  21. T-54B Medium Tank (Early Production) 1:35 MiniArt - Full Interior 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-54A arrived in the early 1950s with a new 100mm gunand night vision equipment. The T-54B came out in 1955 with an improved 100mm gun and were equiped with an infra red searchlight, a new gunners sight and a commander search light. The gun was able to use modern APFSDS ammunition dramatically improving its performance. 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 as it contains a complete interior within the box, which is a lot heavier than your average model box. On lifting the lid you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with only a few parts going unused for this boxing. There are seventy sprues in grey styrene plus another ten for the tracks (in the same colour), two sprues 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, anyone familiar with the old Krypton Factor will realise getting all this back in the box is worthy of one of their challenges! 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. 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. There is little mentioned in the instructions other than there are 90 links each side. With the tracks done, the fenders are built up and 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. Markings There are four 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: Unidentified Soviet Unit 1950s. 2nd Guards Taman Motorised Rifle Division 1960s. Parade of the Guards units 1950s/60s. Unidentified unit, Winter Camo 1950s/60s 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 This is a big box quite literally packed out with plastic. The sheer quantity of parts and the detail makes this easy to recommend, and there are endless possibilities for exposing the innards of the tank. Very Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  22. T-54-3 Soviet Medium Tank MiniArt 1:35 The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and an amalgamation of all the alterations were incorporated into the re-designed T-54-2, which saw the fender machine guns removed and replaced by a more modern bow-mounted single gun, the tracks widened, and the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, eliminating the shot-traps on the turret sides, but retaining the more modern gun and sighting improvements that had been made to the dash-2 toward the end of production. The Model We reviewed the T-54-1 here and the T-54-2 here recently, and, as with the two earlier kits there are a lot of similarities but quite a few new parts as well. As with MiniArt kits with interiors there are a lot of sprues, seventy threer in this case, yes you read that correctly, seventy three sprues of grey styrene, plus two of clear, two sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, but this kit sees the return of the full engine, which is a beautiful model in its own right, and consisting of forty two parts if you include the engine mounting cradle. The lower hull is then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, interior escape hatch and PE beam covers. The interior is then built up from the fighting compartment floor and includes all the pipe work, seats fire bottles, steering mechanism and internal bulkheads. The interior and exterior of the sidewalls are also covered with detail, including the large racks of shells for the main gun, with additional shells stored around the fighting compartment. The detailed sidewalls are then glued into place, as is the engine assembly, engine compartment firewall and other ancillary equipment. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers wishes. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames and the large hinge for the main hatch. The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes , fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames, as is the unditching beam and the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The turret is a new moulding, but has as much, if not more detail added, including the full main gun breech, radios, training motors, seats, hand cranks, and other equipment. The coax machine gun is also beautifully detailed, consisting of fifteen parts. Ready use shells are added to the inside of the upper turret along with a multitude of brackets and clamps. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, a highly detailed Dushka (DsHK) 14.5mm heavy machine gun, and rolled up tarpaulin. The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with a choice of two mantlet covers. Finally the driver's "hood" that fits over his hatch for inclement weather operations can be posed stowed or in place. If you are stowing it, there are some PE straps to tie things down on the bustle. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller five options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- T-54-3 of the 2nd Guards Mechanised Division of the Soviet Army, Budapest, Hungary, 24th - 30th October 1956 T-54-3 of the 1st Armoured Division of the National Peoples Army of the GDR, Command Staff exercises of the NVA, GDR and Soviet Army, 1961 T-54-3 of the 23rd Guards Taman Motorised Rifle Division of the Soviet Army, beginning of the 1960’s T-54-3 of the 23RD Taman Guards Motorised Rifle Division of the Soviet Army in the Winter of 1962 T-54-3 of the Army of the Republic of Iraq, Baghdad, February 1963 Conclusion MiniArt really are cranking these tanks out, forming a complete collection of T-54’s. With the full interior, these kits really aren’t for the beginner and will, probably be built by the real enthusiasts for these vehicles. They will require plenty of time and patience to build and, particularly, paint, but it will be well worth it at the end. Releases without interiors have also been issued, for those modellers who don’t really require a full interior. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  23. Shar2

    German Cargo Truck L1500S

    German Cargo Truck L1500S MiniArt 1:35 The Mercedes-Benz L1500S is a rear wheeled drive light truck built for the Wehrmacht between 1941 and 1944. A total of 1500 were built and used throughout the various theatres of operations. After the war, many were taken up by civilian companies as they were reliable and could carry a decent payload. The Model The model is contained within a very attractive, bright and colourful box that MiniArt upgraded to using recently. Inside, there are eleven sprues, and a separate cab, in mustard coloured styrene. There are also, twelve in grey styrene, three of clear green, three of clear red, seven of clear, as well as two sheets of etch brass and a well filled decal sheet. There are really three kits in one, as the bottles and barrels have been released separately. Before building the truck, the instructions take you through the assembly of the crates, barrels and bottle carriers. There are six crates for beer, six crates for milk, two crates for wine, two milk churns, two small barrels, two large barrels and two carriers for milk. The truck build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block and gearbox halves glued together followed by the addition of the rocker cover, starter motor, alternator, front engine mounts, cooling fan, air filter, cooling pipes, gear stick and other sundry items. The instructions then move on to the chassis rails with the addition of six cross members and rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye, cover and pin are added. To the front of the chassis, there is a four piece sub frame, to which the two front engine mounts are attached. The four piece exhaust, which includes the silence box is the attached to the left hand rail. The front and rear leaf springs are fitted along with the front, (fourteen parts), and rear axle, (thirteen parts), assemblies. The engine assembly is mounted onto its supports and the radiator, which is attached to the four piece front bumper is glued into position. The two driveshafts are then be added, as is the exhaust pipe between the engine and the silencer. After fitting the four piece steering rack and four piece id plate/headlight assembly, it’s onto the wheels, these come as single piece tyres with outer hubs moulded onto them, the inner hub is attached and the inner section of the wheel is fitted with a PE ring, which will need to be carefully rolled, before being glued into place. There are seven provided, singles for the front, doubles for the rear and a spare which fits on the chassis behind the cab and under the bed. There are two PE plates fitted to the outer sections of the front bumper and two steps, one on either side of the chassis. The building of the cab begins with the fitting of several items to the front of the bulkhead. These include an oil can, air filter, linkages and brackets. On the cabin side of the bulkhead, the pedals, steering column, steering wheel are attached. The seat support and cushion is fitted to the floor, along with the handbrake, gear stick, and a complex heater assembly, made from nine plastic and PE parts. The windscreen, rear window, and instrument panel are fitted to the cab body, as are the indicators, wing mirrors, roof mounted ID triangle and inner wings. Onto the rear panel of the cab the seat back is attached, while the outer wings, each with two piece headlights and edge markers. The next assembly for the cab is the bonnet, which is made up of left and right hand parts, bonnet, radiator grille and centre mounted beam. The completed bonnet has been made to be posed either open, or closed. To finish off the front, the doors, which are made of the external panels, door cards, clear parts, map boxes and door handles. The last assembly is the truck bed, with the bed itself being fitted with the side, rear, and front plank sections. On the underside, four lateral strengthening beams are fitted. To complete the build the windscreen wipers, spotlight, bonnet clamps, three piece rear mudguards and a chain for the rear towing hitch are fitted. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller no less than eight options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. Not only are the names of the different companies included, as well as their respective registration plates and insignia, but also the different coloured bottle tops. The options:- L1500S, Milk truck, of Alpen-Milch, Saarbrucken, Germany in the 1950’s in overall white body with a black chassis and wheels. L1500S, Milk truck, West Berlin in the 1950’s in overall white body with blue chassis and wheels. L1500S, Reichpost, (Imperial Post, Germany, 1941-1945 in overall red body, with black chassis and wheels. L1500S, Deutsche Post, (Postal Service), Germany in the 1950’s. In overall yellow body with black chassis and wheels. L1500S, Beer Truck, of Dressler Bier, American occupation zone, Bremen, 1947-1949. Blue cab and bonnet, yellow wheel arches, truck bed and sides, black chassis and red wheels. L1500S, Beer Truck of Engelhardt, West Berlin, 1950’s. Overall green body, with red chassis, wheel arches and wheels. L1500S, Laundry Service, Grobwascherai, Province og Brandenburg, Germany, 1941-1945. Overall Ochre body, with green chassis, wheel arches and wheels. L1500S, Cargo transportation, Karl Ostermann company, Britishoccupation zone, Hansestadt Hamburg, 1947-1949. In overall dark turquoise, with red wheel arches, black chassis and wheels. Conclusion This is superb truck kit from MiniArt on its own, but with the additional details you can build a beautiful civilian vehicle straight from the box. Yet, there is plenty of scope to add extra detail, particularly to the engine and the cargo bed, if you’re not using the supplied accoutrements. Once built and weathered this truck will make a nice component to a multi-item diorama, or on its own with a bit of imagination and some figures, which MiniArt are releasing civilian packs separately. There doesn’t appear to be anything that would trouble anyone other than complete beginners, although some of the parts are very small, and the front axle assembly could be a little tricky. It’s great to see this and other civilian kits being released as they bring another dynamic to 1:35 modelling. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  24. T-60 PLANT No.37 EARLY SERIES. INTERIOR KIT 1:35 MiniArt The T-60 was the result of the ongoing development of light tanks that had started well before WWII. This particular tank started development in 1938 as an attempt to replace the T-26, T-40, the failed T-46 project and the T-50. Whilst such a large number were produced, it was hated by all who had to deal with it – all except the Germans, who found it to be a substandard and underwhelming opponent, and a rather nice ammunition carrier or gun towing tractor, once captured. As a result of its poor armour, substandard armament and sluggish performance, it was more dangerous to its crews than anybody else, earning it the title Bratskaya Mogila Na Dovoikh, literally: “a brother’s grave for two.” The basic design was completed in a mere fifteen days, and Astrov, seconded by Lieutenant Colonel V.P. Okunev, wrote to Stalin contrasting the advantages of the mass-producible T-60 with the more complicated T-50, which had already received the go-ahead. An inspection from a senior minister resulted in two decisions: firstly, the 12.7 mm (0.5 in) machine gun was to be replaced with a 20 mm (0.79 in) ShVAK, although it was still inadequate against the Panzer IIIs and IVs that the T-60 would almost certainly engage whilst there was a shortage of T-34s. Secondly, the Main Defence Committee (GKO), headed by Stalin, ordered 10,000 T-60s to be produced immediately. Some sources have claimed that Stalin’s interest in the vehicle is because he attended the vehicle’s final trials in person. The displacement of the Soviet industry in 1941 disrupted production and further refinement of the T-60. In autumn, Zavod Nr 37’s work on the T-60 was transferred to Zavod Nr 38 at Kirov and GAZ in Gorki. Shortly after, industrial evacuations continued, and GAZ was the sole producer of the T-60. In 1942, the T-60’s frontal armour was increased to 35 mm (1.37 in), which was still inadequate and made the tank more sluggish. The GAZ-203 engine gave the T-60 theoretical speeds of 44 km/h (27 mph) on road and 22 km/h (14 mph) off-road, but this was always difficult to achieve as a result of horrifically bad mud and snow. Replacing the spoked road wheels on the 1941 model with all-metal disc wheels, especially as a result of rubber shortages, did not help alleviate this problem either. The development of removable track extensions also did little to help mobility. Finally, any attempt to increase the calibre of the gun proved difficult. There were attempts to replace the main gun with a 37 mm (1.45 in) ZiS-19 or a 45 mm (1.77 in) ZiS-19BM, but proved unsuccessful as a result of the small turret. By the time a redesigned turret with the ZiS-19BM had passed trials, the T-60 as a whole was cancelled with the introduction of the T-70 in late 1942, although 55 T-60s were produced in 1943. The Germans would use captured tanks under the designation Panzerkampfwagen T-60 743(r), and the Romanians would modify 34 captured tanks into TACAM tank destroyers in 1943 armed with captured Russian 76mm divisional guns housed in a lightly armoured superstructure. These vehicles were confiscated by the Russians when Roumania changed sides ins 1944. The Model The kit comes in the fairly standard, yet sturdy and colourful top opening box MiniArt use, with an artists impression of the vehicle on the front. Inside there are thirty three sprues of varying sizes, mostly small, in a medium to dark grey styrene, along with one sprue of clear styrene, two small sheets of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. As with most MiniArt kits there is a huge amount of detail contained on the sprues and in this one there are 490 parts, including the etched brass. The mouldings are superb with no imperfections and very few moulding pips. Some of the smaller parts, and there are a lot of them, do have a fair number of sprue gates, but fortunately they are relatively small and shouldn’t cause too many problems. The sheer number of parts is explained by the fact that this kit is equipped with a full, and I mean full interior, which for a model/vehicle this size will mean you will need a magnifying glass/Optivisor when building. The build starts with the lower hull floor, to which the drivers position is attached, complete with detailed gearbox, levers and brake drums. Then there is the comprehensively detailed engine, which is a model in itself, and has more parts than some whole kits, around 22 in total. The two batteries and battery tray are then added to the left hand side of the hull adjacent to the drivers position, followed by the right side panel which is fitted with a fire extinguisher and four support brackets. The rear bulkhead is fitted out with several parts on the outside, before being attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the gearbox via a couple of drive shafts. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare ammunition drums and boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the outer drive covers, idler axles, internal longitudinal bulkhead and several pipes. The upper hull plate is fitted with several panels before being glued into place. The drivers hatch is made up from five parts, while the drivers vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued to the driver position, and can be posed either open of closed. Depending on which colour scheme the modeller has chosen there are two options for the style of headlights to be used. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The engine cover is next made up of three plastic and two etched grille pieces. This is then glued into position on the top deck, along with the drivers access and viewing plate. The tracks are each built up from eighty five individual links, which, unfortunately are not click able, but have to be glued, making it a little more awkward to get the sag and fitted around the idlers/drive sprockets. But with plenty of patience and care they can be made to look the business. The track guards are fitted with many PE brackets, as well as storage boxes, pioneer tools and a nicely detailed jack. These are then fitted to the hull and the build moves on to the turret. There is a large PE grille fitted to the rear engine deck along with a PE surround. There are two covers that go over this if winterising the vehicle, each plate is fixed with four to six PE wing nuts. While the turret is very small there is still plenty of detail packed into it. The turret ring is fitted with commander’s seat, ready use ammunition locker, plus traversing and elevation gearboxes and hand wheels. Inside the turret itself there are two four piece vision blocks, spent ammunition plug, vent cover, the breech and sight for the main gun which is slide through the trunnion mount, as is the three piece co-axial machine gun. The turret roof is fitted with a two piece hatch and before it is glued into position the machine gun ammunition drum is attached and the spent cartridge chute to the main gun. The roof is then attached, as is the outer mantlet and barrel cover of the main gun. The turret is the attached o the hull and the build is finished off with the fitting of more PE brackets around the hull and the engine exhaust glued into position. Decals The small decal sheet contains markings for eight tanks. Captured tank, unidentified German Unit, Eastern Front 1942. Captured tank, unidentified German Unit, Eastern Front, Spring 1943. Unidentified Red Army unit, 1942. 52nd Red Banner Tank Brigade, 9th Army Northern Group forces, Transcaucasian Front, Dec 1942 Unidentified Red Army unit, Winter 1942/3. 171st Separate tank battalion, 4th Assult Army, Kalinin front, Holm, Jan/Feb 1941. Unidentified Red Army unit, spring 1942. 64th Tank Brigade, 21st Panzer Corps, 6th Amry South Western Fron, Kharkov Offensive, May 1942 Conclusion This is another amazing kit from MiniArt and brings yet another lesser known military vehicle to the mainstream modelling community. With the numerous parts count and the large number of very small parts, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller, but looks like it should build up into a superb model, absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be any need for aftermarket parts. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  25. Hi guys, I never posted this build in the Armour section, only the Dioramas section, so here we are. I built this tank diorama last winter. 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!You can see my work in progress of this build in the box below. With the recent deluge of snow in the UK, I've taken some new shots of the MiniArt SU-85 diorama I built last winter.
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