Jump to content
This site uses cookies! Learn More

This site uses cookies!

You can find a list of those cookies here: mysite.com/cookies

By continuing to use this site, you agree to allow us to store cookies on your computer. :)

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'MiniArt'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Calendars

  • Community Calendar
  • Group Builds
  • Model Show Calendar

Forums

  • Site Help & Support
    • FAQs
    • Help & Support
    • New Members
    • Announcements
  • Aircraft Modelling
    • Military Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Civil Aircraft Modelling Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Aircraft
    • Ready for Inspection - Aircraft
    • Aircraft Related Subjects
  • AFV Modelling (armour, military vehicles & artillery)
    • Armour Discussion by Era
    • Work in Progress - Armour
    • Ready for Inspection - Armour
    • Armour Related Subjects
    • large Scale AFVs (1:16 and above)
  • Maritime Modelling (Ships and subs)
    • Maritime Discussion by era
    • Work in Progress - Maritime
    • Ready for Inspection - Maritime
  • Vehicle Modelling (non-military)
    • Vehicle Discussion
    • Work In Progress - Vehicles
    • Ready For Inspection - Vehicles
  • Science Fiction & RealSpace
    • Science Fiction Discussion
    • RealSpace Discussion
    • Work In Progress - SF & RealSpace
    • Ready for Inspection - SF & RealSpace
  • Figure Modeling
    • Figure Discussion
    • Figure Work In Progress
    • Figure Ready for Inspection
  • Dioramas, Vignettes & Scenery
    • Diorama Chat
    • Work In Progress - Dioramas
    • Ready For Inspection - Dioramas
  • Reviews, News & Walkarounds
    • Reviews
    • Current News
    • Build Articles
    • Tips & Tricks
    • Walkarounds
  • Modelling
  • General Discussion
  • Shops, manufacturers & vendors
  • Archive

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


AIM


MSN


Website URL


ICQ


Yahoo


Jabber


Skype


Location


Interests

Found 179 results

  1. Miniart have recently show the boxart for a new Russian railway flatbed, and coyly peeking out from the corner of the illustration is an Austin AC. Seems a little too prominently placed to not point towards a future release. Andy
  2. Hello guys, my T-70M Miniart is finished some picts
  3. Miniarts 1/35 triebflugel. fantastic model, great fun to build. I have a accident with my decal sheet, so i have made prototype V21, codes are from a hume DFS 228 kit and crosses and tail marking from my stash. paingt is a mix of tamiya and xtracrylix . the only problem i had was learning to use a double action airbrush to do the mottle, having used a single action for years. thanks for looking
  4. Avro 671 Rota Mk.I RAF (41008) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd There was a time when the Autogyro was looked at with great promise but the never materialised, The Avro 671 was a license built Cierva C.30 designed by Juan de la Cieva. This was built from the fuselage of the Avro Cadet biplane and used an Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major engine. Lift was provided by an 11.3m diameter 3 bladed rotor. The RAF purchased 12 of these under to equip the school of Army Co-operation. It was to be used for observation and light duties but was not taken any further in this role. It was the invention or Radar which was to find a wartime use for the 671. In order to calibrate the Chain Home stations the RAF needed an aircraft which could fly very slowly on a pre-defined heading and altitude. The RAF formed Flight 1448 at RAF Duxford to preform these duties. This later become 529 Sqn at RAF Halton. Post war 592 Sqn was disbanded and the gyro copters sold off. One of these was sold to Sweden and purchased back by the RAF Museum. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this in 1.35 scale. The kit is upto Minart's modern standards; there are 4 main sprues, 4 smaller sprues, a small clear spure and a sheet of photoetch in the box. Even in 1.35 scale this is not a large kit. Construction starts with the front mounted radial engine. The cylinder banks are made up with the exhaust and collector ring being added. Ancillary parts are then attached to the engine and it is put aside for later. Construction then moves to the interior/cockpit. The two seats are made up complete with PE seatbelts. These then attach to their mounting frames. Onto the cockpit floor are mounted the rudder pedals and control column. Additional controls are added to the side frames and then these frames can be attached to the cockpit floor. Front and rear control panels are then added. The seats are added in and then the side frames added. The cockpit can then be closed up inside the main fuselage, Next up the mount for the rotor blades is made up and attached to the fuselage. The tail wheel assembly is added as are the tailplanes. At the front the engine cowl are is made up. The engine and its propeller are then added. The landing gear struts are made up and the wheels are added. Lastly the rotor blades are made up and added, these can either be in the flying or stowed positions. Markings There are four decal options provided on the sheet From the box you can build one of the following: K4230 used on HMS Courageous in the 1930s K4235 RAF Training use 1939-40 AP516 1448 Flight RAF Halton 1942 DR627 529 Sqn RAF Halton 1943-44 Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. US Bulldozer (38022) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Bulldozers have been around in construction since the 1920s however the term Bulldozer came from the 30s as before that they were called Bullgraders. The Blade (the curved front piece) peels layers of earth of and pushes it forwards. Tracks were introduced really with the Caterpillar company. The Kit This kit is a Caterpillar D7, however there is no information in the instructions on this (probably for licencing), given the different types of jerrycan available I would hazard a guess also that its post war. The kit arrives on 36 sprues, a small PE fret and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the engine which is the heart of the machine. As this is visible it is a small kit on its own with a large number of parts. The engine and its transmission take up the first 3 pages of the instruction booklet and complete with the radiator fit into the front part of the chassis which builds up around it. The left and right track roller assemblies are then built up with a complex assembly including the wheels and track tensioning system. Next the driver area is built up over the engine/transmission area and the roller assemblies are attached to each side. the radiator grill is then added at the front and the side plates for the operator entry are added. Next up the complicated looking winch arrangement which moves the blade is made up and added. This fits at the rear of the cab and goes over it, with the cab roof being added. The tracks are added at this stage each link has 4 parts! and there are 36 each side. The last stage is to construct the large bulldozer blade and it supporting structure. The blade can be fitted straight on or with an offset to the left or right as needed. Markings As it's a civilian vehicle very little in the way of markings are supplied. Taken from MiniArt's website Conclusion This is an important piece of US construction equipment which miniart have made an excellent kit of. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. German Road Signs WWII Eastern Front Set 1 (35602) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII German forces renamed and re-signposted their conquests, partly through necessity but also to stake their claim and remind the subjugated masses that they were in German hands now. This set is full of signs of this nature, and includes military signs to guide their troops to rally points, service areas and so forth as they didn't have the luxury of GPS and satnav back then, which is probably just as well. This is one of their range of sign sets, in the shape of German road signs from France here, and Russian signs here, and as the “Set 1” part in the title implies there will doubtless be others. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with a painting of the contents on the front and brief instructions on the rear. There are three medium-sized sprues in grey styrene in the box, plus a decal sheet on thick paper that contains all the painted descriptive fronts of the signs. As the box art suggests, you also get a length of picket fence and a gate, a couple of posts and a ladder alongside the signs, of which there are thirty eight in total spread across two identical sprues. Each sign is either metal or moulded with a restrained wooden texture that will show through the decals if you use sufficient decal solution during application. Some of the larger signs are also made from a few planks, so the joins will also show through the decal. Conclusion Dioramas rely on the minutiae of the background to give that "lived in" look to the terrain, and signage is essential for all but the straightest of roads. The addition of the fence and bench gives extra depth to any road scene, and the painting guide helps with painting the plastic parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Focke-Wulf Triebflügel Nachtjäger (40013) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Toward the end of WWII the Nazis were desperately casting around for Wunderwaffe, or Wonder Weapons that would turn the overwhelming tide against their attempt to take over Europe and probably the world. This resulted in some distinctly left-field designs being considered, that under normal circumstances would more likely have been dismissed out of hand. One such project that has since gained traction in the minds of the Luft'46 community and beyond is the concept of the Triebflügel from Focke-Wulf, which was little more than a rocket-shaped body with a rotating set of blades tipped with ramjet engines providing the motive power. This arrangement was to enable it to take off vertically, which was of greater interest as the front lines got closer and air bases became bombed-out rubble, as was the use of the simple ramjet that was propelled up to speed by single-use rockets, all of which used little in the way of strategic materials or complex technology and metallurgy. It went nowhere in terms of production of course, and had some critical issues that would have needed to be addressed if it had gone further, such as the counter-rotation required to offset the rotational friction of the blades was supposed to be supplied by the cruciform tail pressing against the air, it would have to land vertically with the pilot facing forward and the rear view obscured by the still rotating aerofoils and engines to name but two. As usual with WWII German designs, they would have wanted to make it a jack of all trades, so a Nachtjäger variant was bound to have happened if it had gone into production. Post war the Convair Pogo was to attempt a broadly similar flight profile with similar issues raising their heads and helping ensure its eventual demise. If you've been following the Marvel Avengers film franchise (MCU), you'll have seen Red Skull absconding in a very Triebflügel-esque aircraft at one point, which although undoubtedly CGI could actually be attempted now with our computers and other technologies. We just need to find someone with too much money and who is just daft enough now… Elon? The Kit Until fairly recently there hasn't been a modern injection moulded kit in any of the larger scales, and now we have two plus this new boxing. This is the larger of them and should primarily appeal to modellers in 1:32 and 1:35 given the similarity in scales that should result in a "close enough" shrug from many, followed by the opening of wallets. The original interceptor went out of stock at Creative Models very quickly, so I would advise you to get your order in for this boxing before they run out again, as I can see it proving very popular. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped standard sized top opening box and inside are twelve sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) in a small card envelope, a good sized decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that includes all the painting and decaling profiles on three of the four sides. I have one of the smaller models as well as the MiniArt Interceptor kit (reviewed here), and this is a simple update with new parts added to an enlarged sprue containing an amended nose cone and two antenna masts for the nose with moulded-in dipoles. Detail is excellent, with lots of rivets and panel lines visible on the exterior, a nicely appointed cockpit and the cannon armament included in bays either side of the pilot, who was hopefully supplied with ear protection. There is also extra detail in the wingtip motors and the landing gear is substantial, partially from the increase in size, but also because of the design of the main leg. Construction is almost identical to the Interceptor boxing and begins with the cockpit with a floor part forming the basis and having rudder pedals, control column and bulkhead added, then the seat, pilot armour and a full set of PE seatbelts. The side consoles are attached to the upper section of the cockpit that is added from above and also forms part of the gun bays. To the consoles are added a number of PE levers to busy the area up, after which the instrument panel is fitted across them with decals provided for the instrument dials. The larger cannons are built up from a good number of parts and will look good if you pose them open, and benefit from hollow muzzles thanks to some sliding moulds. The smaller cannons are added after their bays are boxed in, again raising the level of the cockpit walls, which you'll need to take into account when you're painting things. These weapons are slightly less detailed and don't have hollow barrels, so break out the pin-vice when you're ready. The cockpit can then be surrounded by the nose, which is in two halves and has a short tubular section that helps support the spinning wing section. A rear deck is dropped in behind the pilot's station and the nose cone is added to the front, with careful alignment key to obtain the best join. The gun bay doors can be left off to display them or put in place for a streamlined look, in which case you don't need to install the cannons as nose weight isn't an issue. If you're closing up the lower bays, there is an additional barrel stub that fits to the back of its door to simulate the cannon being present. The canopy is a three-part unit with fixed windscreen and rear plus opening central section that hinges sideways if you're going to open it. There is an additional dome-shaped part included in the kit that makes one wonder if there will be another night fighter version with a radar operator's blister in the aft section? The wings spin perpendicular to the direction of flight on a short section of the fuselage, which is built up with three sockets for the wings on a toroidal base, over which the rest of that section is installed and left to one side until later when the assemblies are brought together. The simple ramjet engines are built up on a pair of stator vanes and have multiple fuel injectors moulded into their rear with a rounded cap in the centre. These are installed inside the cowlings that are moulded into each wing half so it would be wise to paint this and the interior of the engine pods a suitably sooty colour before you join each wing. There are three and all are identical. The final main assembly is the aft of the aircraft, and the four retractable castor wheels are first to be built. Each single-part wheel sits in a single piece yoke, which in turn slides inside a two-part aerodynamic fairing. One half of this is moulded to a strut, which slides into the trough within the fins in one of two places to depict the wheels retracted or deployed. If showing them retracted you ignore the wheel and yoke and install the clamshell doors, turning the assembly into a teardrop shape, but if using the wheels you glue the fairings folded back exposing the wheel. The main wheel is in two halves, as is the yoke, and should be capable of taking the weight of the model when finished unless you intend to load it up with motors or other silliness (go on, you know someone will!). The aft fuselage parts are brought together with two of the castor assemblies trapped between the moulded-in fins, and the other two trapped within the separate fins that fit at 90o to the seamline. The main wheel then slides into its bay if you are going wheels down and has the clamshell doors fitted open, or you use just the doors for an in-flight pose. It's good to see that some detail has been moulded into the interior of the doors, as they are quite visible on a landed display. The three sections are brought together at the end by placing the wing-bearing part onto the upstand on the aft fuselage then adding the nose, with its upstand sliding inside the lower one. This traps the rotating portion in place, and hopefully allows the aforementioned rotation to continue after the glue has dried. All that remains is to plug the three wings into their sockets, add the PE D/F loop and the aerial on the spine, then install the two commendably fine antennae into the small slots in the nose cone. Markings There are six decal options provided on the sheet, and they vary from each other and their smaller competitor quite substantially with some plausible and just plain silly options given for your delight. From the box you can build one of the following: Nachtjagdgeschwader 1. Germany 1945-46 Nachtjagdgeschwader 200. Germany 1946 Nachtjagdgeschwader X. 2nd Battle of Berlin, Germany 1946 Nachtjagdgeschwader 310. Germany 1946 Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instrument decals have just the dials to place within the painted panel, outlined on the sheet for your ease, and there are split Swastikas there if you want to use them and your locality doesn't have laws preventing displaying such insignia. Note that this excellent build shows the top cannons omitted, whereas the instructions show both used. Check for interference with the antennae and make your own mind up. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this weird aircraft design with some interesting decal options and those antenna "whiskers". I'm sure some purists would still have preferred to see it in 1:32, but the size difference isn't too severe to stop you from adding one to your stash. We already have a winner in the Interceptor with this one probably following in its footsteps. The intriguing additional clear blister hints at more versions to come, which will be fun. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. TACAM T-60 Romanian Tank Destroyer (36230) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-60 was a Soviet light tank design, and the Romanians pressed captured examples into service, hacking some about to create the TACAM, which was a shortening of the Romanian for Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun, and frankly much easier to say if you’re English. The design was rushed through in a very short space of time, literally days, and on a small chassis such as that of the T-60, the compromises were many and varied. Using yet more captured Soviet equipment in the shape of the F-22 field gun with a three sided splinter-shield and recoil guard to protect the crew from incoming fire and the rapidly moving gun breech respectively. Only a handful of these were made due to the less-than stellar performance that gave it quite the reputation as a poor fighting vehicle, mainly due to the reused technology and the engineering challenges that arose from the increase in weight and the stresses placed upon the chassis by firing the relatively oversized gun. The Romanians switched sides in 1944 and after that the exploits of the two armoured regiments that were equipped with the type are vague, and it is entirely likely that the Soviets retook their hardware, although what use it was to them is unclear. You’d think that would be the end of the TACAM type, but there were other variants on different chassis and using alternative guns. The Kit The kit comes in a shrink-wrapped top opening box, with an artist’s impression of the vehicle ploughing through snow on the top. Inside are thirty eight sprues of grey styrene, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet and instruction booklet with integrated painting guide at the rear. As with most MiniArt kits there is a huge amount of detail contained on the sprues of various sizes. A lot of the sprues contain common T-60 parts and others hold TACAM specific parts, with a few new ones for the different wheels and other parts on this boxing. The kit is a full-interior edition which explains the high parts count, and should keep you busy for a while. Construction begins 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, the two batteries and battery tray are 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 decked out with several parts on the outside before it is attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the transmission via a drive shaft and auxiliary hand-starter shaft behind an armoured cover. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare drums, boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the final drive covers, idler axles, internal engine compartment bulkheads and several pipes and hoses. The hull roof is assembled from several panels before being glued into place while the five part driver’s hatch and his vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued over the driver’s position, and can be posed with the flap either open or closed for comfort or protection. Additional ammunition is stowed along the interior hull sides for access by the crew, plus even more in the extra stowage box on the rear deck next to the separate engine cover. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The tracks are each built up from eighty six individual links that are of the glue-together type, which must be wrapped around the road wheels while the glue is still supple. Each link is attached to the sprue with three gates, has hollow guide horns, and a complete absence of ejector pin marks, which is nice. The sprue gates should be quick to clean up, but due to the small size of each link and their delicate moulding, it will be important to treat the parts gently both during clean-up and construction, taking care not to over-glue things and risk turning them into a melty goo. The track fenders are fitted with a number of triangular PE brackets, as well as large storage boxes, pioneer tools and other small parts. The 76mm gun, its breech and its mounting carriage is then built up and fitted with the barrel having a hollow tip thanks to a little slide-moulding. The part count here is high, and every aspect of the gun is supplied, some of which are PE and all are highly detailed. The inner splinter shields for the gun are then fitted along with the elevation mechanism and its manual controls, with this assembly fitted to the mount that bisects the lower part of the crew compartment, then shrouded with the external splinter shields that wrap around the sides of the emplacement to further protect the crew from flanking fire. A selection of PE brackets and straps are applied around the hull and splinter shield, then the large “bed frame” antenna is assembled and added to the upper hull around the gun position and engine deck. This, the different road wheels and additional ammo with crates are the main differences between this and the earlier boxings. The small decal sheet contains markings for three of these peculiar and unloved (at the time) vehicles: Romanian Army, Autumn 1944 Presumably 2nd Tank Regiment Romanian Army, Eastern Front, February 1944 Presumably 1st Armoured Division, “Greater Romania” Army Group “Veler”, Lasi District, August 1944 The decals are predominantly black, with a few white ones, and two red stars on a white circular background, which have been printed to look as if they were hand-painted, complete with runs where too much paint has been applied. They’re printed by DecoGraph, and have good registration where it counts (only on 2 decals), sharpness and colour density, so should cause no problems. Conclusion This is another excellent kit from MiniArt, bringing more of the lesser known military vehicles to the mainstream modelling community. With the high part count and detail, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller and should build up into a superb model that is absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be much need for aftermarket parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Soviet Railway Wagon "Teplushka" (35300) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Railway trucks/wagons have been a major way of getting goods, livestock and even people around the countryside, and as the Soviet Union was geographically huge the railway was a primary mode of transport for goods and materiel come wartime. During Operation Citadel and the Soviet push back, many battles over stations and marshalling yards took place, and such wagons (Teplushka means boxcar) were often part of the backdrop. This four-wheeled unit was capable of carrying 8 tonnes and had a sliding door on both sides, with a small stove against the back wall for when live cargo was carried. The Kit Arriving in a standard-sized shrink-wrapped MiniArt box, the first thing that strikes you is how heavy it is. There are 37 sprues of grey styrene inside which accounts for most of the weight, a card envelope with two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) parts inside, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a glossy cover and first page carrying the painting guide and some interesting posters and placards to put on your model. Construction begins with the underpinnings, starting with the central brake assembly in an H-frame which later forms the middle cross-rails of the chassis. The two axles are next with their wheels each end and leaf-spring suspension prepped for when the chassis is ready for them. The H-frame is joined with four more cross-rails to the main chassis rails, then stiffened by four diagonal cross-braces and a pair of end beams that accept the buffers and shackles later on. Firstly, the sides of the body are widened with a row of stand-off brackets on each side with a finishing rail and doorstep added to the sides after those are set up. Now you can put the suspension assemblies on the chassis-rails and push them slightly apart to accept the axles, which spin freely in depressions within the suspension assembly on their conical ends. The flat bed is fitted next in two sections, while the side and end panels are stiffened up with bracing and windows that can be posed open or closed, leaving the doors in the centre of each side open at this time. Before the roof it made up, the inside is decorated with three simple wooden platforms at each end, the top one of which is half depth and tilted upwards, possibly for luggage. The stove is also made up from a single body part and additional doors, grilles, top and smoke stack, then it is put to one side while the rest of the wagon is built up. More stiffening braces are added to the top of the side panels and the outer corners, plus a rail for the doors to slide on later. The roof is a long assembly made up from two sections that have wooden planking moulded on the inside, and a panelled roof with raised edges externally, braced from the inside by seven curved cross-rails. There's a small pre-engraved circular cut-out in each panel but you only need to cut one out to accommodate the smoke stack, with the stove sitting on a PE plate with a small scoop to top it up with fuel. That and the roof go on together, as the position of the stove is determined by the roof panel. It's up to you whether you decide to fill the other engraved hole, as it's unlikely to be seen unless you have eyes on stalks. The doors on each side have two layers, the inner side having a planked lower section and a diagonal bracing across the top. The pulley-like wheels are fitted onto the door frame while it is being laminated, and PE furniture and styrene handles are made up to complete them. A PE drip-rail is also attached over the door and its slide rail after it has been folded to an L-profile, then the doors are popped into place top first with the bottom edge dropped into the lower guides. Then it's just a matter of making up four three-part buffers, the brake rods with hooks on the ends, and the couplings that attach to them. That's the truck done, but now you need something to sit it on. There are four sprues filled with rail parts including 20 track-ties/sleepers, four sections of rail, linking parts and number of track spikes. The spikes on the inner edges of the rails are moulded-in, so the inner flange on the rails are inserted there first and secured by the separate pin on the outer edge. Do this 40 times (2 per sleeper) and you have a decent length or rail to put your truck on, and the beginnings of a diorama or vignette. Finally, you need to acquire a short length of chain to attach the last two hooks to the ends of the boxcar. There are also a pair of triangular mounts in the box that act as braces for the patriotic posters if you are using them. Markings There are seven sets of markings on the decal sheet with green and shades of brown the background colour onto which you apply the decals and some of the 28 posters and patriotic slogans that are included in the colour pages of the instructions. South-Western Railway. The train car with demobilised soldiers of the Red Army, 1945 Kuibyshev Railroad. Railway carriage as part of a military train 1942 Orenburg Railroad. Railway carriage as part of a military train 1943 Sanitary railway carriage of unknown military train, 1943-44 Deutsche Reichsbahn (imperial Railway Administration) occupied territory of the Soviet Union, 1942-44 South Ural Railway. The train car with demobilised soldiers of the Red Army, 1945 Railway carriage of unknown military train, 1942-45 The decals are printed by DecoGraph and they are all either red or white with no registration to worry about, but good sharpness and colour density. You can also decorate your carriages with some of the posters by cutting them out and pasting them to the sides either as indicated on the examples, or by making up your own arrangement. Conclusion This detailed kit is perfect for either adding to a train/loco, or as a participant in a diorama using the included rails. The painted example from MiniArt's website above shows the truck with a bunch of demobilised soldiers aboard, as per one of the markings options, although you'd have to source those yourself. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Soviet KMT-7 Mine-Roller (37045) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Mines are a problem for AFVs, softskins and foot soldiers alike, and there are different types used for different circumstances to inflict maximum damage to man and machine. Mines intended to disable tanks generally have larger charges to penetrate the thinner underside armour and tear off tracks and drive wheels, with a higher pressure required to trigger them. The resulting explosion can cripple or destroy a tank, leaving crew dead or injured, a valuable tank out of action and sometimes blocking the way. Most Soviet and Russian tanks are fitted with attachment points for mine-rollers that can be fitted as needed and clear a path for the tank's tracks to allow them to proceed. Other tanks without a mine-roller must follow in their tracks exactly or risk detonating mines that are outside the cleared paths. It's not an ideal solution, more of an expedient one that probably requires a more complete detection and cleaning later when the enemy aren't shooting at them. The KMT-5 saw service until the 60s and was used until the T-64 after which it was replaced for newer vehicles with the improved KMT-7. It operates by breaking the ground up with toothed rollers of substantial weight to simulate the footprint of an AFV, ploughing up the ground and detonating any mines it finds. Its rugged construction means that it can survive explosions, although they do take their toll on the hardware eventually. The improved KMT-9 eventually replaced the 7 in use. The Kit The KMT-5M and KMT-9M have already been seen individually and included with various MiniArt kits, but if you need a 7 to fit to another suitable kit you already have, now's your chance! It arrives in a figure-sized top-opening box in shrink-wrap with nineteen sprues in grey styrene inside plus a length of chain in shiny silver. The instruction booklet is like that of a complete kit, which is for good reason as it's a fairly complex build and there are plenty of steps. Construction begins with the toothed rollers, which each have three two-part wheels on a central axle plus two shallow T-shaped end-caps. These are joined by short tubes that have small sections of chain attached in strategic places for later fitting at the end of the suspension arms. These are next to be built and each has a pair of pads at the tank end and a hinged arm that is long enough to keep the tank away from the brunt of the blast, as well as absorb some of the upward momentum and reduce damage to the rollers. The arms spread apart near the hull so that the rollers are placed at exactly the same spacing as the tracks, and there are parts supplied to fit the roller to MiniArt models, and other parts if it's another manufacturer's kit. There are a couple a styrene cable parts in the box to further secure the assembly, with another momentum-absorbing spring at the roller end. The bogies are attached to the arms via the short lengths of chain fitted to hooks fore and aft, acting as a further damper for asymmetric detonations. If your model has a bow-wash panel on the glacis plate, you will need to leave that part off the model as they were not fitted with the mine-roller. Markings There are none! There aren't any decals and you're not even given any clues as to what colour to use other than the boxtop colours. Use your Google Fu or references to check before you start spraying your tank's main colour on it, just in case. Conclusion A useful addition to make your mid Cold War Soviet AFV stand out from the crowd, to add in the background of a diorama, or even as a stand-alone – maybe being repaired after a big bang? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. German Gas Station 1930-40 (35598) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd With the proliferation of the internal combustion engine in the early 20th century, petroleum/petrol or gasoline/gas stations began popping up over most of the developed world to meet the demand of the newly mobile populous. Germany was one such nation, and the now familiar sight of a building with branded petrol pumps and equipment on the forecourt have become the standard indicator of a gas station. The Kit This set contains the likely accessories and equipment found on the forecourt of a German gas station in the 30-40s, and leaves you to source or create the buildings yourself. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped small top-opening box (think a little larger than a figure box), and inside are ten sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a small fret of Photo-Etch brass, and a decal sheet. The package is completed with an instruction booklet, and all the sprues are closely packed in a heat-sealed bag, but the majority of the elastic bands had snapped in transit, so perhaps MiniArt should source some more durable bands for the next batch? Three sprues hold parts for two fuel barrels, with a hand-pump included and some small cans of varying shapes and sizes that you may have seen in other sets so far, plus a five-shelf storage unit to stash tools and the cans on. The major parts are used to create two pumps that stand on pillars, with the mechanicals hidden away in a cylindrical housing that can be posed open for business or closed, thanks to the two clamshell doors and PE clapping-plate that fits to the inside lip of one of them. Two clear halves of the brand sign are added either side of a circular frame and fitted to the top, and as these were often a semi-translucent white with a logo painted or etched on the front and back, there is an opportunity to put in lighting if you're adept with those types of thing. You'll need to provide a little wire to represent the hose from the body to the nozzle, so make sure you have some to hand. The remaining parts are used to create a stand-alone petrol or diesel compressor with a large receiver tanks underneath that has wheels at one end to allow repositioning wheel-barrow style. A set of handles and a spray gun are included, the latter needing more wire to act as the air hose of whatever length you choose. Markings The decals are printed by Decograph on a small sheet with good registration, colour density and sharpness, plus a part of the colour instruction sheet is devoted to printed replicas of typical signage, posters and so forth that would be found on the walls of stations at the time. No, the posters don't really look like that - I blurred them a little to make them unusable. Fair's fair. Conclusion Building a fuel station is a task, but not as difficult as making the hardware to go with it. This set takes all the hard parts out of the finishing touches, then it's up to you to hunt down a suitable building or build your own using your diorama skills if you have them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. US Fuel Drums 55 Gals (35592) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Can you hear the sound of drums? 55 gallon drums used by the US in WWII. This is another set in MiniArt's range of diorama accessories, and as usual (fairly usual) it arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with eighteen sprues in grey styrene plus a decal sheet containing a bunch of stencils for you to use. The instructions are kind-of simple and printed on the rear of the box, showing how you build up the two types of drum, one with simple ribs and the other with corrugated top and bottom sections. The end-caps are both covered with manufacturer's marks inappropriate to this set, but you are advised to fit those with the writing facing inward so it won't be seen. The twelve drum sprues contain one of each type of drum, so you can make a total of 24 and have six hand-pumps to add as you see fit with the addition of a little wire to play the role of the hose between the hand-cranked pump and the nozzle. Below the instructions are the painting and marking options with various colours and stencil options from the sheet. Under those are the paint codes in Vallejo, Mr. Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models and Hataka, plus the colour names in English and Ukrainian (at a guess). Conclusion Lots of US fuel drums. If you're in the market, then go and buy some for your next diorama or to fill up the back of your wagon etc. Now what on earth is FOG oil? I didn't know fog needed oiling? Review sample courtesy of
  13. M3 Lee Late - Exterior Kit (35214) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Lee was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. Another major user was the USSR under lend lease, the Soviets did not like the tank and its nickname was "a coffin for 6", not surprising in a way as at the time they were facing panthers and Tigers with it. The tank underwent some substantial changes including cast, welded and back to riveted hulls plus changes in the power pack and loss of the side doors to stiffen the hull. The riveted hulls suffered from rivets popping off and becoming projectiles when hit, which could be just as lethal as a penetrating round and was never fully eliminated. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port, it also had different wheels and drive sprockets. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and are expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The full interior kit of the Early Lee was reviewed here. This boxing now comes without an interior. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 60 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. At the read the exhausts are added with their protective plates and the rear mudguards are added. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short plates over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and armour plates protect the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted.. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Lee's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return roller at the top, and there are three of these assemblies per side. The wheels with their moulded-in tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up fro the previous reveiw. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret ring is added. Next up the US machine gun turret is added to the top of the main one. The small turret is built up with the gun and it mantlet being added, the lower ring is added as the main two part hatch. This is then fitted to the main turret, and the main turret then added to the hull. Markings There are a generous eight options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, all but one of them in green, one being overpainted with a coat of white distemper winter camouflage, and one with some kind of brown. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options including captured tanks. From the box you can build one of the following: US Army, 752 Tank Battalion, Perham Down, UK 1942. US Army, 1st Armoured Division, Northern Ireland 1942. Unidentified Soviet Unit, Rzhev District, Winter 1942-43. Red Army, 91st Separate Tank Regiment, Karelian Front, Summer 1943. Red Army, 193rd Independent Tank Regiment, Central Front, Battle of Kursk, July 1943. Red Army, Presumably 193rd Separate Tank Regiment, Central Front, Battle of Kursk, July 1943. Unidentified German Army Unit, Eastern Front 1943-44. Red Army, 244th Independent Tank Regiment, 4th Ukrainian Front. Crimea, April 1944. Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Lee as it was supplied to the US, Canadian and Red Army, plus a couple the Germans pinched. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering that's going to be echoed with the Grants and further Lees very soon. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. German Rockets 28cm WK SPR & 32cm WK Flamm (35316) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd These were spin-stabilised rockets that carried either high explosive warheads in the smaller diameter, or 50 litres of an incendiary mix of oil for the larger 32cm rocket. They were both suspended in wooden crates of the same dimensions, so they were interchangeable without any adaptation to the launch device. The rockets were launched by an electric signal, and due to their rather noxious vapour trail the name nebelwerfer literally means "smoke bomb". These weapons were used in ground-standing framework launchers, or attached to the side of a half-track, which gained the nickname Stuka zu Fuß, "Stuka on foot". Their smoke trails made it likely that they would attract return fire, so mobility was key, which led to the more easily transported versions finding favour, and the self-propelled half-track version even more so. The Kit We reviewed one of the launch options here recently, and if you need some more for a resupply truck diorama or to augment one of the other launch options, then read-on. The box contains 36 sprues in grey styrene, of which 24 contain parts for the crates, and 12 for the rockets, but in case you were thinking that doesn't add up, there are two rockets on each sprue but only one crate. The crates are made up with runners at the rear that holds the narrow cylindrical rear section of the rockets stable, and in the case of the smaller 28cm rockets, a set of adapter rails reduces the crate's internal dimensions to suit. As you have probably guessed, you can build 12 of each crate. The rockets are assembled in the same manner regardless of diameter, with two halves trapping a protruding ignition cap at the front, and a separate hollow exhaust at the rear. Again, you can build 12 of each for their accompanying crates. Markings The small sheet of decals is used on the rockets and their cases, with their positions shown on the painting diagram at the rear of the booklet. The rounds are all painted olive green, but their crates can be Dark Yellow, German Grey or bare wood. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  15. Grant Mk.I (35276) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and have expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The primary changes in this boxing are the inclusion of a new cast turret with no machine-gun turret-let on top, and the inclusion of British equipment inside and around the exterior. We've come to expect great things from miniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included The original release we reviewed here was the full interior kit, now for those of us who dont build full interior kits (like myself) we have the great kit without all of that stuff. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 54 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, 2 sprues of equipment/tarps; and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Grant's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return wheel at the top, and there are three per side. The wheels with their moulded-in rubber tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up with the interior kit, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. With the tracks in place, the side skirts can be installed and the additional stowage boxes can be fabricated from their parts and attached to the hull with PE brackets, their shape conforming to the surfaces that they are placed on. The side skirts are finished off with mudguards at the rear by boxing in the tops of the track runs. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull, then the single-part main gun barrel is nipped from the sprues, has its seamlines removed and is joined to the optional two-part blast-bag that has excellent realistic-looking canvas wrinkle and sag moulded in. We're still not quite ready for the turret though, as there are a number of PE parts stretching the length of the side-skirts which are used to hang additional stowage in the real thing. These fit onto small depressions on the sides of the hull, and scrap diagrams show the correct way to fold the perpendicular front sections. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret halves joined, the aerials are then added. Next up is the reduced height British spec cupola with grab handles and a choice of open or closed hatch with periscope in the port door. The commander's .30cal weapon is mounted on a curved fitting on the front of the turret and is fitted with a drum magazine that has moulded-in bullets plus a separate short length that feeds into the breech, sandwiched between the two end-caps with built in mounting frame. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim along with the hatches. The turret can then be fitted. There are additional parts for British Army specific stowage included in the box, which is good to see as a personalised model often looks better than a basic kit. Their locations and colour are shown on separate colour diagrams that can be found at the front of the painting diagrams. Decals There are a generous 7 options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, split between camouflaged, green and sand coloured vehicles, as the Grant and Lee served mainly in warmer climes. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options. From the box you can build one of the following: British Army, Royal Armoured Corps. 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, Egypt 1942. British Army, unidentified unit, Middle East 1942. British Army, 7th Armoured Division, El Alamein, July 1942 British Army, unidentified unit, North Africa 1942. British Army, Royal Scots Grey, 4th Armoured Brigade, Western Desert, Oct 1942. British Army, 7th Armoured Division, El Alamein, Oct/Nov 1942 Polish Land Forces, 2nd (Warsaw) Polish Armoured Brigade, Palestine 1943. Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed area Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Grant as it was supplied to and used by the British Army. The detail incorporated in styrene even without the interior is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. T-34/85 Sea Star Wheels Set (37033) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-34 tank was a bit of a surprise for the Germans on the Eastern front, but as is often the case in wartime, the tank's main gun was found lacking when it came to cracking the heavier armoured Tigers, so was upgraded to a bigger 85mm unit. The vehicles underwent constant minor and major upgrades during the war to resolve problems, provide performance improvements or manufacturing short-cuts. One such aspect was the design of wheels used in the running gear. Initial units left the factory with dished wheels in early or late styles, which were joined by the "star" style wheels again with two types. Very late in the war a new sea-star or starfish wheel set was introduced, but there is very little proof of their use in combat, as they didn't reach factories in large numbers until after the war. It is fairly common to see different types in use on one vehicle, so this set from MiniArt gives you the option to portray an unusual combatant in very late WWII, or a vehicle from post war operations. Just take care with the latter that you also update the rest of the details to match. The Kit Arriving in a shrink-wrapped figure sized end-opening box, there are fourteen sprues in grey styrene within, and instructions printed on the back of the box. All the wheels are made up in pairs with all but the drive sprocket having separate central caps. You make up 10 pairs of road wheels, two idlers and two drive-sprockets, leaving all the other little parts on the sprues, which usually form part of the larger kit that these sprues have been culled from. There is also a two-entry painting guide with Russian Green for the metal parts and rubber for the… well, rubber parts. This is MiniArt, so you can be assured that moulding is very crisp, and within the box the parts are cocooned in a shrink-fit bag, with elastic bands further preventing chaffing during transit. Conclusion If you're in need of some sea-star patterned wheels for a T-34/85 then look no further. Even if the kit you're putting them on isn't MiniArt, they'll probably fit with the possibility of needing to adjust the size of hole or axle a little. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. Sharotank Soviet Ball Tank MiniArt 1:35 This is MiniArt's recently released Sharotank, part of their new What If...? series. Despite the somewhat far-fetched look of the subject, there were some experiments will ball tanks by the Germans and, possibly, by the Russians too. The design of MiniArt's kit seems to be based on some artwork that can be found floating around online. The kit itself is very nice, with the one exception being the grossly under-scale interior. There's seating for a five man crew, but the seats are closer to 1/48 rather than 1/35. That doesn't really detract from the model though, as you can't discernibly judge the scale of the interior through the open hatch. The figure comes from one of MiniArt's Russian tank crew sets. I added a lighting kit, designed by @Madmonk, to illuminate the interior and headlight, with the battery and switch being concealed under the base. Thanks for looking Andy
  18. Soviet Jeep Crew Special Edition (35313) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models LtdChoose... This boxed set with additional sprues for weapons is a new one from MiniArt for crewing your Soviet WWII era vehicles, with a full crew for a jeep and a matronly traffic direction lady with flags to aid the troops in their journey. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box, with five sprues of grey styrene and a small slip of paper that gives parts locations for use in conjunction with the instructions that are printed on the rear of the box. Two of the sprues contain parts for five figures that are broken down in to separate heads, torso, legs and arms, plus skirt parts for the female of the species. These sprues also contain a number of PPsH machine guns, pouches and bags, a Mosin–Nagant M1891/30 rifle and the aforementioned flags. On the other sprues are various accessory items including another two M1819/30 rifle, a shorter barrelled M1938 carbine, all of which have separate receiver tops with moulded-in bolts and a single sniper-scope that would be best suited to the longer-barrelled weapons. On another sprue two more PPsHs are found with a variety of drum and stick mags in and out of carry-pouches, and on the final sprue a number of types of pistol, flare pistols, holsters, folios, binoculars and their cases are provided, which would typically be stored around the vehicle by its occupants. Painting instructions as well as building details are printed on the rear of the box with numbers in blue corresponding to a chart which converts between Vallejo, Mr Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models and Hataka, as well as having swatches and colour names. The painting guide also extends to the weapons and accessories, which is good to see. Overall a well-sculpted set with plenty of detail and accessories to add value. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Garage Workshop (35596) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Garage workshops are places where you'll find tons of tools, shelves, tool boxes and all sorts, usually covered in muck and rust. During WWII garages sometimes got overrun by troops or pressed into use as temporary military workshops, and if they weren't co-opted to help the military they were likely to be used by the few vehicles still running during a period where fuel was usually a scarce commodity due to the needs of the military. The Kit This set arrives in a small shrink-wrapped top-opening box and inside are 14 sprues in grey styrene, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small decal sheet and an instruction sheet printed on both sides of a glossy A4 sheet. As well as a few instructions for the more complicated assemblies there are also posters printed in colour that can be cut out and stuck to the walls of your intended diorama, plus a colour rendering from the box art pointing out all the parts, their colours and where to place the decals on some of the cans and containers. Some of the sprues will be familiar if not identical to others from this range and there are a wide selection of items to populate your model. From the box you can build the following: 2 x fuel drums, one ribbed, the other with two ribs 1 x manual pump unit 1 x jack-stand 1 x bench-mounted grinder with two wheels 1 x pillar drill 1 x wooden tool box 1 x 2-man wood saw 1 x anvil 2 x bench vice (2 types) 3 x square fuel can of various sizes 1 x triangular profile oil can 1 x compressor 1 x hand saw 1 x box plane 1 x hacksaw 1 x blow lamp 1 x dining seat and stool 2 x 5-shelf storage unit 1 x large 8 drawer cupboard on short legs 2 x tool box, one open, one closed with a styrene and PE toolkit and PE lid There are various other small hand tools such as clamps, hammers, wrenches, oil cans and other cans dotted around the sprues and there are some decals for the cans as per the instructions. The larger assemblies are covered in the instructions and have many parts that result in faithful representations of the original that would be difficult to create yourself, but now you don't have to. Markings There are a few decals on the small sheet with their locations shown on the instructions. The various posters, 24 in total, range from car adverts through propaganda posters and even one tiny picture of a bathing scantily clad lady that is too small to make out any details. They're all in different languages too, so there will probably be one for most locations, within reason. Conclusion Another useful set from MiniArt, and even if you're not going to use them for an actual garage diorama, there's a lot of fodder for your models. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. German Feldgendarmerie (35315) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII Nazi Germany's version of Military Police were called Feldgendarmerie and were infantry-trained soldiers that underwent substantial training before they were unleashed on the field, keeping the soldiers and civilians within the line of the law… allegedly. They were implicated in many incidents of anti-Semitism with some associated with the SS and some of their dishonourable practices, as well as a reputation in their own right for pettiness and harsh treatment for even minor infractions if the mood took them. They wore a metal gorget on a chain around their necks as well as a cuff that marked them out as Police, and generally moved into newly conquered areas after the combat troops had left, directing traffic as well as upholding the laws that they brought with them. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with four sprues in grey styrene, a small decal sheet, larger decal sheet for sign-posts (another of their tasks), and a tiny instruction sheet that would struggle to be A6 in size. The main sprue has been cut into two to fit the box, and it contains five figures, including a driver figure leaning out of his cab in response to the typical "papers!" demand. An officer has his hand out for those papers and two of the other figures are wearing long leather great coats often seen on motorcycle troops, one directing traffic, the other banging a nail into a sign with the back of an axe. The other figure is wearing typical Wehrmacht clothing, his gorget and is holding more signs ready for the axe-wielding gentleman. Each figure is broken down to heads, torso, legs and arms plus hats and helmets that sit on their flat-topped heads. The two great coated figures have smoothed legs to allow the separate coat tails to sit correctly, and some hands are separate parts to allow better moulding of the traffic directing lollipop and the signs that figure 5 is patiently holding. The accessory sprues are split between equipment and guns, including more helmets, entrenching tools, water bottles and other bags/pouches, MP40s, Kar98 rifles, pistols and holsters, both of which will be familiar if you have any of MiniArt's other German sets. Markings The decals include helmet and cuff badges, Halt messages for the directing of traffic and golden emblems for the arms of their jackets. There are also a pair of red crosses for first-aid boxes that are included on the sprues. The signs are found on the main sprues, with a post to put them on if you don't have one already. The decals for those are on the larger sheet with 12 provided for the seven signs on the sprues, so you'll have a few spare if you don't make any mistakes. You are instructed to paint the sign faces to be decaled in gloss white to ensure clarity, and there is even a "Feldgendarmerie" sign on the smaller sheet that has cut-outs to match the soldier's moulded-in hands. Conclusion This makes a nice change from standard troops, and would be ideal to populate a crossroads, road junction based diorama or something similar. As always with MiniArt the sculpting is first rate, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed at natural joins to make the job easier. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. German Train Station Staff 1930-40s (38010) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Railway stations take more staff to run them than you'd probably imagine (unless you work in one too), and this was more true back in the days when porters were a thing and service was more important than profits. In WWII when the men were being conscripted to fight, women were drafted in to replace them in non-protected jobs where physical strength wasn't an issue. Older workers were also conscripted back into the workforce where their experience was useful. This set is a perfect accompaniment to your railway diorama, and contains four figures as depicted on the front of the shrink-wrapped figure box. Inside are six sprues of varying sizes in grey styrene, the largest containing the figures of two female conductors/platform staff, a male porter of advancing age sporting one of those attractive short moustaches that were popular in the early 40s, but not so much now (can't imagine why), and finally a Wehrmacht soldier that seems resigned to his fate. The rest of the sprues contain the ancillaries including a full sprue of army equipment such as helmets, bags, water bottles and entrenching tools – maybe a little much for one guy, but that leaves plenty of spares for another project. Two of the remaining sprues contain the porter's trolley and sundry railway equipment such as lights, oil cans, lamps etc., with the last two sprues holding lots of luggage options for the trolley and passengers. The instructions are on the rear of the box along with the colour guide, showing the parts for each figure, plus a few of the more complex suitcases and the trolley. Paint codes are given corresponding to Vallejo, Mr. Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models, Hataka, colour swatches and the colour names in English and Ukrainian. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Soviet Road Signs WWII (35601) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. If you're travelling unfamiliar roads you need a little help to find your way, which is where road signs come in, and with the size of Russia and the likelihood that most of their troops weren't used to being away from their home villages, it's hardly surprising that signs became more important once the Great Patriotic War began in earnest. This set is full of signs of this nature, and includes military signs to guide their troops to rally points, service areas and so forth as they didn't have the luxury of GPS and satnav back then. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with a painting of the contents on the front and brief instructions on the rear. There are four medium-sized sprues in grey styrene in the box, plus a decal sheet on thick paper that contains all the painted descriptive fronts of the signs. As well as the signs themselves there are a number of posts on which to hang then, one of which is a two-part telegraph pole with a lamp on a decorative bracket and ceramic insulators on short metal arms from which you can hang wires loose as shown in the diagrams, or taut if you have something to attach them to. Each sign is either metal or moulded with a restrained wooden texture that will show through the decals if you use decal solution during drying. Some of the larger signs are also made from a few planks, so the joins will also show through the decal. On the sprue that contains the pole there are also additional undocumented parts for poles and such, which you could also press into service if you can figure out how to put them together. There are 50 signs so there will be a few decals left over, but it's entirely up to you how you lay them out. The instructions recommend painting the faces of the signs gloss white before you apply the decals so they obtain the maximum brightness, and in case you don't read Russian, there's a helpful translation graphic on their website, which we have reproduced for you below: Conclusion Dioramas rely on the minutiae of the background to give that "lived in" look to the terrain, and signage is essential for all but the straightest of roads. The addition of the telegraph pole gives extra depth to any road scene, and the painting guide helps with painting the plastic parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  23. M3 Lee Full Interior Kit (35206) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Lee was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. It underwent some substantial changes including cast, welded and back to riveted hulls plus changes in the power pack and loss of the side doors to stiffen the hull. The riveted hulls suffered from rivets popping off and becoming projectiles when hit, which could be just as lethal as a penetrating round and was never fully eliminated. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and are expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. We've come to expect great things from MiniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included both externally and internally, as it is a full-interior kit with the increased part count that comes with that. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 60 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed along with a long drive shaft. The front crew stations are installed around the final drive, and in the centre is the ammo storage with a tread-plated top with the engine firewall behind it. The ammo bin can be posed open or closed using the same door parts, exposing the striking plates moulded into the assembly, and more shells are added to the firewall in racks. Just in case the tank isn't quite flammable enough, a spare fuel can is strapped to the firewall, as are a couple of radiators which I'm hoping can be switched off or redirected in the desert! Moving to the lower sidewalls, these are separate parts and are fitted out with equipment such as fire extinguishers, ammo and a Thompson machine gun with drum mags with the bow gunner's bench seat added to the starboard side as they are joined and the sponson floor fitted at right-angles using slots and tabs. Take care here to clamp them firmly against the bottom of the firewall to prevent them from drooping while setting, which would open up a world of pain if they set out of position. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The Lee/Grant and to an extent the Sherman were powered by radial engines that sat vertically in the hull and can be blamed for their slightly tall hull shapes. This is provided in detail with the kit with all the cylinders, push-rods and exhaust tubing, plus the tin-work that helps cool the engine all mounted to a sturdy lateral mount that goes around the ancillaries at the rear. Two cheek parts are added into the engine compartment first, and the engine rests on the brackets protruding from the walls. Various tanks and reservoirs are squeezed into the remaining space along with piping for the twin airboxes and the general "spaghetti" that's seen on this kind of engine. The supports for the engine cover are fitted to the sides and the aft bulkhead with access hatch and twin exhaust stacks close in much of the hard work, with twin doors (open or closed) at the back and a PE mesh grille completing the top of the area, allowing the rising heat to escape. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short arches over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield and has the manual traverse wheel and other driver controls plus his seat and sighting gear included, as well as another box containing the 75mm shells peculiar to his gun. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps and another Thompson are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. Before that the surround to the turret basket is completed with stowage space for six canteens moulded into the parts. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Lee's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return roller at the top, and there are three of these assemblies per side. The wheels with their moulded-in tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. I built my test section up on a flattened piece of blutak to hold them in place, but if you have a commercial or self-made track-making jig that you've purchased separately you might find it a little quicker. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The sighting equipment, racks, and fume extraction equipment are then fitted before the breech is built up and fitted, making adding parts after more fiddly. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. This all fits in the back of the riveted mantlet cover and includes a periscope next door to protect the viewer from being injured by direct small arms fire. The breech is slid into the mantlet and an ammo box is attached to the starboard side then the completed assembly is inserted into the turret from the outside. More equipment is fitted into the lower areas of the upper turret and into the lower turret part, including the increasingly important radio gear and their aerials once the two halves are joined. The little machine-gun turret has its internal structure added along with some PE vents then the upper gun with its tiny mount, vision port and a short length of ammo on a top hopper is made up and inserted from the inside into its slot, then closed in by the turret ring underneath, and on top the bi-fold hatch, which can be posed open or closed. A pair of armoured covers for the PE vents can be posed open or closed on the outside, completing the assembly. The turret basket is bucket-shaped with a cut-out to one side to allow entry and exit, plus stowage space for more ammo for the guns and the machine guns, fire extinguisher and small button-seats for the crew. Additionally there is an opening door to the basket that widens the aperture and contains a pair of tanks for the electro-hydraulic rotation equipment. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim and the rest of the traverse equipment is put in place along with a bit more wire that you'll need to provide, then one more seat on a pedestal is put in the centre of the basket which is then dropped into the turret ring in the top of the hull with the MG turret on top to complete the build. Markings There are a generous eight options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, all but one of them in green, the other still being green but overpainted with a coat of white distemper winter camouflage. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options, use of roundels and various personalisations of their tank by the crews depicted in the kit. From the box you can build one of the following: 1st Armoured Division US Army, military manoeuvres, State of California, Nov 1941 2nd Armoured Division US Army, Fort Benning (Georgia), early 1942 Canadian Army, training armoured divisions, Great Britain, 1942 Red Army, supposedly 192nd Tank Brigade, 61st Army, Bryansk Front, district north of Bolkhov (Oryol region), Jul 1942 Red Army, supposedly 192nd Tank Brigade, 61st Army, Bryansk Front, district north of Bolkhov (Oryol region), Jul 1942 German Army Wehrmacht captured unit, Mzensk, Feb 1943 German Army Wehrmacht captured unit, Eastern Front, 1943 Red Army, 5th Guards Tank Army, Steppe Front, Kursk, Jul 1943 Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Lee as it was supplied to the US, Canadian and Red Army, plus a couple the Germans pinched. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering that's going to be echoed with the Grants and further Lees very soon. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. Plastic Barrels & Cans (35590) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Plastic barrels are pretty useful, as they're light when empty, recyclable, can hold liquids that metal barrels can't and are often more resistant to impact without permanent damage. In addition they don't use up much in the way of strategic materials, so you're onto a winner. Civilians and military use them extensively, and wherever there is engineering going on, you'll usually find barrels dotted around. This set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box, and inside are twelve sprues in grey styrene plus a small decal sheet. There are six sprues of barrels and six of cans, and you can make two sizes of barrels from six of them, and two cans from the other six by following the simple instructions on the rear of the box. The large barrels are made of two sides and a top, while the small barrels have two additional clasps on the sides to facilitate carrying. The cans are simple two-part assemblies with the nozzle moulded into the left side to reduce seams. Markings There are a bunch of warning decals on the little sheet that is printed by DecoGraph with good register, clarity and sharpness. The back of the box also includes painting and decaling suggestions in various colours as well as the ubiquitous blue. Conclusion 12 barrels in two sizes, and 12 cans. All in realistic plastic for you to paint and add to your projects. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  25. Ukrainian BMR-1 with KMT-9 Mine Roller (37043) MiniArt 1:35 via Creative Models Based on the SU-122-54, which MiniArt have also produced, this kit is of this is the version of the armoured mine clearing vehicle. The main gun has been removed and the fittings of the attachment of the KMT-7 mine roller system. Where the top hatches would normally be, there is instead a round cupola fitted with a single heavy machine gun. The forward section of the lower hull was fitted with much thicker armour to prevent penetration in the event a mine exploded under the vehicle. Surprisingly these vehicles were still in use during the Soviet invasion of the Ukraine just recently. The Model As with the TOP engineering vehicle this is typically Russian in style, tough, rugged and with the singular purpose of clearing mines. As with most MiniArt kits the box, with an artist’s impression on the front is full to the brim with sprues, a total of seventy one in grey styrene, one in clear, a small sheet of etched brass, two lengths of chain and a small decal sheet. The way the sprues are moulded is how the company gets so many versions of their kits out, as there is a lot of commonality. The mouldings are extremely well executed with no sign of flash or other imperfection, but there are quite a few moulding pips which increases clean up time. While the build looks fairly simple there are a lot of parts used to build up the suspension and particularly the mine roller system. Construction begins with the lower hull, which is fitted out with the torsion beam suspension fixtures and you have the option of fitting the whole torsion beam or just the end part. Each suspension beam/axle plate consists of seven parts and there are ten axles to fit. Once the suspension is assembled the lower hull is built up from two side plates a rear plate and the internal firewall for the engine bay, the engine being available separate should you wish to fit one. The suspension bump stops are then attached, as are the drive gearbox covers and idler wheel axles. The large armoured plate is then fitted to the forward underside of the hull. The superstructure is next and is made up from separate plates which require holes to be drilled out before gluing together. In order to help get the plates the correct angles there is a small internal part the helps with this and give the structure strength and rigidity before the roof and mantle are attached. The roof is fitted with two, spades, with their respective clamps and the commander’s cupola is fitted with three vision blocks. The superstructure assembly is then glued to the lower hull, along with the track guards, and three multi-part engine deck covers. The rear of the superstructure has a single large hatch glued into place, as well as other unidentifiable fittings. The commander’s cupola is made up from no less than nineteen parts if you include the searchlight. There is a much simpler second hatch on the right hand side of the super structure. The front and rear mudguards are then assembled and fitted along with the very complex PE engine deck grilles, with separate shutters are built up and fitted. On the sides of the superstructure there are a lot more grab handles and brackets to be attached, while to the rear there is the five piece exhaust outlet fitted to the right track guard. The twin headlights fitted to the left and right sides of the glacis plate are assembled from thirteen parts including the base and all the support beams. On each front track guard there is a visual width pole fitted which are also fitted with reflectors. The turret ring is then fitted to the roof, while on the left side of eh superstructure the canvas roll is fitted with PE straps. The glacis plate is fitted with a selection of brackets, towing hooks and four pairs of spare track links. Two large stowage boxes are assembled and glued to the track guards, one per side. The BTR style conical turret is fitted with the 14.5mm heavy machine gun and a co-axial light machine gun via a separate mantle before being covered with an additional circular turret and fitted wot the turret ring on the roof. There is an aerial mount and aerial fitted to the front left of the superstructure and a further three pairs of track links fitted with their brackets, also on the left hand side. Each of the road wheels are glued into pairs and fitted with a small hub cap, as are the sprockets and idler wheels. Once assembled these are all glued into place, as are the large towing cables. Finally the tracks are assembled and draped over the running gear. With this kit you get the newer link and pin system that MiniArt have started using. This system is so easy to use and you can get a full length of track within minutes, even with 91 links per side. After completing a short run the pis work fairly well and its best to stretch them apart a little and do 2 links at a time. A small dab of extra thin glue securing the end. With the vehicle complete it’s on to the raison d'être of the tanks mission, the mine roller system. Now these are quite complex, so take care in reading the instructions carefully as it could easily go wrong. The KMT series of ploughs/plows have been in service since the 60s and were used with all Main Battle Tanks with newer vehicles using the improved KMT-7 and KMT-9. It operates by breaking the ground down with tough, sectioned rollers of substantial weight to simulate the footprint of an AFV, ploughing up the ground and detonating any mines it finds. Its rugged construction means that it can survive explosions, although they do take their toll on the hardware eventually. Construction begins with the rollers with two-part centres to which all the individual plates are fixed with equal spacing. The short axle threads through the centre and is supported by a three-piece yoke that is extended by another two parts that are in turn fixed to a central axle with one roller on each side, making a total of four sections, each free-wheeling. The end caps allow the rear axle to rotate freely if you don't glue them up, and then you start again on the other roller. Each roller assembly has a set of suspension arms added to each side and a cross-brace that links the suspension together. They are put to one side while the main chassis frame is made up, adorned with hydraulic rams that make up a large, heavy assembly with seriously thick parts depicting the sturdy design. Cleats are included to fit the plough the BMR-1, consisting of a number of parts for the lower glacis plate and two main attachment pads for the upper glacis. Brackets are fitted to the lower plates and the frame is hinged from those with strong cables attached to the upper plates and linked to the frame to support it further. The two roller assemblies are suspended from the arms facing back toward the vehicle with the long rods sticking up in pairs. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller four options, all of which were used in the war against Afghanistan. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- 3rd Ukrainian Engineer Battalion, UN Interim Force Lebanin 2000-2006 703rd Engineering Regiment, Ukraine 2015 Engineering Unit, Ukraine Armed Forces, Donetsk, Ukraine 2015 Engineering Unit, Ukraine Armed Forces, Lugansk, Ukraine 2019 Conclusion Continuing their march through the various T-55 variants, MiniArt are producing some really interesting vehicles. Although the mine roller system is quite complex to assemble it will look superb once complete. This is another vehicle that’ll make an interesting stand alone model or great in a diorama. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
×
×
  • Create New...