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Found 103 results

  1. Luggage Set 1930-40s (35582) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Continuing their current theme of providing the modeller with a full range of ancillary items to bedeck and festoon dioramas, vehicles and vignettes, this set takes the theme of luggage. It arrives in a figure-sized box, and inside are five sprues all containing different types and styles of luggage, as well as some wheeled goodies in the shape of a pram and a cart. The instructions are printed on the rear of the box, and deal mostly with the creation of the cart and pram, with additional steps for the bags, sacks and suitcases that are also included in the set. A small decal sheet is also provided to dot around the suitcases as you see fit. Within the box you get one each of the following: 4-wheeled cart with framework 4-wheeled pram Large suitcase Medium suitcase Small suitcase Doctor's bag Hat box Folio case Sack with round vegetables showing through Sack with longer vegetables showing through Large sack Painting suggestions can be found on the front of the box, but the choice is yours, as are the placement of the decals. The pram is perhaps the most complex of the assemblies, with the cart following closely behind, which will require a little care in cleaning up, so that you don't break any of the delicate parts. Much of the pram is more robust, apart from the handle and leaf-springs under the chassis. This will be a perfect set for anything including refugees or travel situations, where personal effects have been abandoned due to circumstance, or stacked in the back of a truck/bus etc. Review sample courtesy of
  2. T-55A Late Mod. 1965 (37023) 1:35 MiniArt The T-54's gestation and transformation into the T-55 was long-winded and complicated by constant changes to an as yet unsatisfactory performing vehicle, which began at early as the end of WWII. Production of the T-54-1 was halted due to production and quality issues, and recommenced as the re-designed T-54-2, with the turret design changed to closer resemble the eventual domed shape of the T-55. The -2 didn't last all that long before the -3 replaced it, and the requirement for survival of tactical nuclear blasts led to the eventual introduction of the similar looking, but significantly different T-55 that we know so well. As the heavy tank fell out of favour, the T-55 became part of the burgeoning Main Battle Tank movement, with thousands of them being produced over the years in various guises. In the early 60s the T-55A was developed, providing more adequate NBC protection that required a lengthening of the hull and coincidentally added anti-spall protection for the crew. It also sounded the death-knell of the bow-mounted machine gun, which was removed to improve ammo storage, and hasn't been seen on MBTs for decades now. The Kit This partial new tool is from the extensive MiniArt line of T-54 and T-55s that they've been working on for some time now. We reviewed (amongst others) their Full Interior kit of the early Mod. of this type in March of this year here, and that was a huge sprue-fest due to the modular moulding techniques and the fact that it was presenting a full interior, even including the engine compartment, so is a staggering kit! This kit doesn't provide the interior but has its own fairly large quantity of sprues, some of which it shares with its sibling, which extends beyond the larger sprues into a lot of the smaller ones too. I've taken the liberty of pinching the shared sprue pics where I can, and taken new ones for the new ones, or sprues that were bundled with interior parts in the last review. The use of the smaller sprues for repeated parts is efficient because many can be reused, and it helps to keep tooling costs reasonable, so we see more kits of similar subjects. The kit arrives in a standard top-opening box, wrapped in cellophane to protect it from prying eyes and damage on its way to you. Inside are two bags that hold the large and small sprues, and these spill out with great gusto when you open them. There are an eye-watering 74 sprues in grey styrene, one of clear parts, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and of course the instructions. Why so many sprues? Some of them are small and only carry 4 parts each, with for example there are 16 with the individual track-links, 10 for the wheels, and so forth. It soon adds up. It will come as no surprise that the detail is excellent, and there are options for the minor variations that occurred between units, such as two types of fuel tanks and tool boxes, the rain cover for the driver in the stowed or deployed position, and fittings for the deep wading and mine plough attachments, although these aren't supplied in the box, but vehicles were fitted with them wore the attachment points at all times. The individual track links are workable, which should make their installation easier when the time comes. The lower hull pan is decked out with the suspension mounts and hatches firstly, with the torsion bars and swing-arms added through the holes along with the ancillary suspension parts, and the optional mine roller mounts on the lower glacis. Additional suspension parts are glued to the outer hull sides, and the inner sides are slotted into place on their backside. Although there is no interior, glimpses of these parts may still be seen through any open hatches. The sides are held in place by tabs on the lower, with a similar method holding the rear lower bulkhead, and two internal bulkheads giving the hull a bit more stiffness. The upper glacis is festooned with light clusters and more plough mounts, as well as the bow-wave baffle in either plastic or PE, with a pair of clear vision blocks added to the area above the driver's position. Road wheels are built up in pairs with separate hub caps, plus the idler and drive sprockets at each end, the former held out past the side of the hull on an adjustable axle that is moved to correct track tension on the real thing. Each wheel set is pegged onto the swing-arms, and can be left mobile with careful use of the glue. At this stage the first part of the upper hull is added in the shape of the turret ring, which overhangs the hull sides, and has small inserts fitted before it is cemented in place. The engine deck is made up in segments, one each for the main grilles, intake box, and the round-down toward the rear bulkhead. The main vents have PE mesh fitted, and the intakes have a set of PE louvers on a frame over a mesh installed later on, after they have been glued onto the hull along with the aforementioned rear bulkhead. The forward section has a number of access hatches moulded-in, and this is last to be fitted just behind the turret opening. With the majority of the hull done, attention shifts to the fenders, which are both loaded with equipment before they are fitted to the hull on long tabs. A choice of early and late fuel tanks, a host of pioneer tools, two types of stowage box, a number of PE detail parts and the exhaust trunk are all fitted along the way. Tracks. Love 'em or loath them, it's usually a necessity for a main battle tank. MiniArt have done some work on simplifying their construction here, and it seems to have paid off, at least partially. The track links are individual, as already mentioned, with separate pins that attach the parts together. Each link has three sprue gates that are easily cut and sanded away, while the tiny pins are cut from their sprues with a teardrop-shaped "handle" part of the sprue left attached. The pins are meant to friction-fit into the holes in the links, but in practice I had a few fall out during my brief experimental build of a couple of links, which I think could be remedied by brushing a tiny amount of liquid glue on the tip of each pin before insertion. If done with a dry(ish) brush, this should soak into the pin and not the pin through which it passes first, and shouldn't lock the links solid. I did another quick experiment, and it seems to work, but I could feel a little resistance when first moving the links, suggesting that a tiny bit of glue seeped in between the links despite my efforts. Once mobilised however, they stayed mobile, so this may still be a decent solution. With them pushed or glued in place, the teardrop handle can be cut off with a sharp blade, leaving the flat end of the track pin visible. The unditching beam, additional fuel drums, their PE bands and even a small number of PE bolt heads are fixed to the rear, and the towing cables are draped over the rear, the cable for which you must supply yourself, using some braided wire or fibre with the supplied styrene eyes. Even though this isn't marketed as an "Interior Kit", some parts of the interior are included, which applies mostly to the turret, which has the main breech parts, periscope and sighting gear within, the top hatch, vision blocks (with PE armour) and optional hatch-mounted search light on the outside. The main searchlight is mounted to the side of the barrel, and can be covered up for daytime operation, as can the hatch-mounted light. The mantlet can be depicted with a protective canvas bag around it, or bare, both of which are added to the model before the slide-moulded barrel is fitted through the aperture. The bag has a PE ring round the barrel, and four lengths of PE that clamp it to the turret on the real thing, with more PE used to depict straps on the rolled tarpaulin stowed on the rear of the turret. The commander's cupola is up-armoured with an appliqué part before his hatch is installed, and the driver's rain-hood is made up flat or erected, depending on whether you plan on using it. If it is stowed, it slings off the tarp on the back of the hood using another PE strap. The completed turret is then placed in the ring, and twisted to lock in the two bayonet lugs that hold it in place. Markings Eight markings options are supplied with the kit, with variations on the green or sand theme, depending on where and when they were deployed. From the box you can build one of the following: Macedonian Army 1999-2001 Northern Alliance Forces, Afghanistan, Autumn 2001 Taliban Units, Afghanistan 2001 Northern Alliance Forces, Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, Dec 2003 Soviet Army 60-70s 55th Marine Infantry Division, Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Navy, Ethiopia 1980 Soviet Army 70-80s Ethiopia's Army "Ogaden War" 1977 Quite a selection, and the decal sheet is printed by MiniArt's usual collaborator, Decograph from the Ukraine. The decals have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a set of excellent lightfast yellow circles for the Ethiopian option. Conclusion Another winner from MiniArt in their ever expanding range of T-54/55 kits. If you feel like tackling the full interior verion, look for the product code 37022 instead. Review sample courtesy of
  3. Cable Spools (35583) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Well this set's a load of bobbins! No, seriously, it really is. You often see cable spools lying beside tracks, in rail or engineering yards, even today, so this set is a handy one to have if you are planning any dioramas, or need to load up a truck or trailer. You could even have some soldiers having a tea party around one if you like! Arriving in a figure-sized box, the set contains six sprues in grey styrene, a large sheet of decals and an instruction sheet. Each sprue contains half the parts for a large and small bobbin/spool, measuring 51mm and 28mm respectively in real-world numbers. Each core is made from four parts that make up the cylinder, and two end caps, with wooden planking and texture on everything that will be seen after construction, plus screws/nails/bolts where appropriate. The decal sheet contains a whole raft of curved lettering, brand logos and various stencilling, depending on what's supposed to be on the reels. The rear of the box shows some typical colour schemes, and also shows where and when these types were in use. On top of all these decals you also get a bonus of two "Kilroy was here!" decals with their big-nosed accompaniment. I decided to make up a pair, which didn't take too long with a sharp knife and a sanding stick. They go together easily, although I think I would scribe the join-lines of the cylinder when the glue is dry, and the little pips that centre the parts are fiddly to register in the depressions due to the texture of the end-caps, but a little care gets you there in the end. I hope you like my spool sample They're the kind of addition to a model that adds some realism to any diorama, and with six spools in the box they should last you quite some time. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. German Tank Crew Normandy 1944 (35275) Special Edition 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models As WWII dragged on, uniforms as well as military equipment evolved, and the German tankers began wearing a more close-fitting utilitarian uniform in tank black, with smaller caps that replaced the rather foppish ones of very early war. This set depicts a set of German tankers in a seemingly buoyant mood, one of whom is entertaining the rest with an accordion. The figure sized box contains three sprues of grey styrene, plus a small sheet of instructions for the accompanying accessories such as first-aid kit, MP40 machine pistol, map and flare pistol cases. Instructions for the accordion aren't given, but it's not exactly rocket science to figure it out! The musical crew member is stood, presumably on the engine deck, while the crew watch, one stood with his hands on hips, another sat, while another leans on the barrel. The commander is stood in his hatch trying not to look too impressed, with both hands resting on the cupola. Sculpting is excellent, and as usual fall of cloth and poses are very realistic. The figures are broken down to torsos, legs, arms and head, with caps separated to glue to the flat tops of their heads. The additional sprue contains all the aforementioned items, plus bayonets, pistol holsters, pistol and flare pistol, ammo pouches (rifle and MP40), a couple of Kar98 rifles and even a pair of binoculars, which have slide-moulded outer lenses. Conclusion These gents represent a perfect accompaniment (excuse the pun) to a late war diorama of a Panzer parked up waiting for the inevitable invasion. The calm before the storm. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. German Grenades & Mines Set (35258) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Wars are full to the brim with things that go bang and if you're lucky, only leave you with ringing ears. During wartime the boffins become increasingly inventive while trying to kill and maim the opposition, with grenades & mines amongst their arsenal. The Germans in WWII were no exception, and developed all manner of ways to destroy their enemies, some of which are depicted in this set. Troops often have a small quantity of grenades on their webbing, but these and other items usually arrive in crates to be doled out to the soldiers as required. It's likely that a half-track or other AFV would have a box of grenades, or even shaped charges amongst their stowage for use by their crew and passengers during skirmishes. Arriving in a standard figure-sized box, there are six sprues of grey styrene, two sprues in translucent green and brown styrene, a tiny sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in a card envelope, and a small decal sheet. An instruction sheet is also included, as there are a few construction steps to some of the assemblies, but in the box you get the following: 1 x crate of magnetic mines with shaped charge warheads 1 x magnetic mine, (loose) 2 x crates of "potato masher" grenades of different designs 5 x potato masher grenades (loose) 1 x crate of "pineapple" grenades 5 x pineapple grenades (loose) 1 x Bundled grenade Geballte Ladung 5 x teller mines of 2 types 1 x crate of Molotov cocktails 20 x Molotov cocktails (loose) 3 x decals for mine warning placards The magnetic mine crate is made up with two rows of four mines within, and the fuses as separate parts. The clasps are formed from PE parts, The crate of the potato masher grenades are built up from two layers of conjoined grenades in their supports, which fit inside the box, and again use PE for the clasps. The pineapple grenades are in a single layer within a custom crate, with a few holes left for you to add or leave empty as you wish. The bundle-grenade has a separate handle, and a PE strap holding the cylindrical warheads together, while the mines are each made up from two halves, one with a flatter, ribbed profile, the other with a UFO-like raised pressure switch, both types with a PE carry-handle. The Molotov cocktails are individual translucent bottles of green or brown that are fitted into the completed crate and have fire hazard warning labels applied. Various stencil decals are supplied, and the back of the box shows the colours that they were typically painted in. Conclusion This perfect fodder for stowage on an AFV, softskin, or in a diorama. The parts are well-detailed, the crates have a wood texture, and you get decals for the stencils. Nothing else needed. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. USMC Tank Crew at Rest (37049) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models War is often described as interminable boredom punctuated by moments of terror, so on balance if you drop-in on a soldier randomly, you'll either find them training, or if they're deployed there's a good chance they'll be filling their time with some kind of recreation once the daily tasks are completed. The Marines despicted in this set are doing just that. Arriving in a standard figure box with one of MiniArt's excellent paintings on the front, this set contains four modern USMC tankers waiting for their call to whatever-it-is, and relaxing as they see fit. Each figure is split into separate legs, torso, head and arms, with additional parts for scarves, hats, scarves, gloves, and a few parts of the sides of a plate carrier, so that the MOLLE loops carry on around the torso. One guy in shades is stretched out with his back against something with his arms behind his head catching some rays, with another sitting looking off to his left. Figures three and four are both stood, one resting on something around waist height, the other about to thrown an American Football to someone that either isn't in the box, or isn't expecting a ball up the side of the head. They are all wearing tanker overalls, with a variety of headwear from a knitted beanie, parade cap or brimmed Boonie to the sun-worshipper with no hat at all. Two of the guys have their gloves protruding from pockets, as if they have been stuffed in there whilst dismounting their Abrams HA. Sculpting is excellent, and MiniArt know how to break down a figure for best effect and ease of construction. There is a little flash on my example however, but that's of the type that's easily scraped off, and is far better than short-shot parts! Poses, features and fabric sculpting are all on-point, with differing faces to such an extent that the figure in the plate carrier can be identified as African-American from the sculpt, not just from the boxtop painting. As usual, the painting guide covers a myriad of manufacturers, including Vallejo, Mr Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, Testors, AK Real Color, Humbrol, Revell, plus names in Ukraine and English, with little colour swatches on the far left for anyone else. Another superb set of figures from MiniArt, and yes you do get the egg-shaped football in the set! Review sample courtesy of
  7. German Rocket Launcher with 28cm WK SPR & 32cm WK Flamm (35269) 1:35 MiniArt Based upon the chassis of the 7.62cm FK 39(r) field gun, which was in turn based on a Soviet 76mm M1936 gun, this rocket launcher was cobbled together using the frame, trailing arms and part of the breech and recuperator assembly, with a framework "shelf" welded to either side of the barrel on which two 23cm or 32cm Nebelwerfer 41 crates could be mounted. 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 launcher. 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 stand-alone framework launchers, as well as 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 easily transported versions finding favour, and the self-propelled half-track version even more so. The Kit This is a newly tooled kit that utilises a lot of the parts of another MiniArt kit of the 7.62cm FK 39(r) (35104), which gives us the chassis, running gear and some of the upper structure. I don't have that kit, but on reflection I think I seem to have three sprues of it, which includes the barrel, splinter shield and most if not all of the elevation mechanism. The box is slightly larger than a figure box and opens at the top, containing nineteen sprues of various sizes, a sheet of Photo-Etch brass, decal sheet and a rather nice instruction booklet in a glossy colour printed cover. It's an interesting topic that combines a lesser known gun and these fearsome rockets that were used to good effect during WWII. Construction begins with the trails, which are rectangular in section and taper toward the rear. These have the usual grab handles and towing hitch applied, as well as the ground spike and spades, which can be show deployed for combat, or stowed for transport as you see fit, with alternative construction steps along the way. The carriage is next with the single axle through the centre, attaching to the trails by massive hinges, and each axle end is the capped off by a road wheel that is laminated from three parts and a rear hub, which results in a good representation of the grooved solid rubber tyres and pressed steel hub. The lower sled and remnants of the recuperator and breech are fitted next along with a large counterbalance that was welded in place on the real thing. The trunnions are made up on each side with some PE parts, and the whole assembly is installed on the carriage with recoil springs and the elevation mechanism. Meanwhile the crates and rockets are assembled, with four provided of each diameter in eight identical crates, four of which have the adapters for the smaller 28cm rounds. Frames are added to each side of the breech for the crates using PE parts, and they are each held in place with a cage that is folded up from PE, with two bracing strips between the cages. The transport lock between the trails is fitted in the stowed or active position, and the pins that lock the hinges of the trails are fitted in appropriate sockets depending on which variation you choose. 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. The gun/launcher/carriage is painted dark yellow, with the counterweight in bare steel, so you can have a bit of fun adding surface rust if you feel like it. There's probably plenty of scope for sooting up the launcher too, given their reputation. Conclusion I built a six-tubed Nebelwerfer a few years back and have a fondness for their oddities. Detail is excellent throughout, and the supplied munitions are generous, giving opportunity for diorama use or loading up the towing vehicle with ready rounds. Now, where can I get a Stuka zu Fuß from? Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  8. Railway Tools & Equipment (35572) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Dioramas thrive on ancillary items that lend an air of realism, where the devil really is in the detail. There are plenty of 1:35 railway engines out there or various eras (mostly WWII from what I've seen), and scratch-building the equipment specific to railways is a chore, as would be the research to get things right. This little figure-sized box from MiniArt contains all that hard work, and all you have to do is glue them together and apply a little paint. The box contains seven small sprues of grey styrene, and two individual parts in clear and red styrene. The build and painting guide is on the rear of the box along with a sprue map, as well as a paint conversion chart in Vallejo, Mr.Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, Testors, AK, Humbrol, Revell, and Mission Models, plus the names of the colours in English and Ukrainian (that's a guess, but a fair one). Each sprue contains parts for a particular item, which consists of a wheel barrow-like trolley, two spare sleepers/track ties, two sizes of bucket, a lamp with clear & red lenses, a set of grips, fire extinguisher and blow torch. There are also a bunch of other single part tools that require no construction, with shovels, axes, hammers and an oil can amongst the sprues, which you can see in the photos. Moulding is excellent, as is the detail, with proper engraved wood grain on the wooden parts of the trolley and sleepers. Just the sort of thing found in corners around railway and other engineering locations. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Soviet AA Type 1.5 ton Railroad Truck MiniArt 1:35 The GAZ AA 1.5 ton truck was a licenced manufactured version of the Ford AA truck for the Soviet Union, where more than 950,000 were built. There were many body styles, but the most recognisable version was the flat bed truck as depicted in this kit, although being slightly different, in that instead of standard wheels with rubber tyres, this on is fitted with rail wagon style wheels. The model is contained within a very attractive, bright and colourful box that MiniArt have started using recently. Inside, there are nineteen sprues in grey styrene, one of clear, and a single sheet of etch brass plus a full decal sheet. Unlike the original kit of this truck, you don’t get any cargo provided, but you do get a nice set of rails for the truck to be displayed on. The build starts with the nicely detailed engine with the block, head and sump being glued together followed by the addition of the starter motor, alternator, water pump, auxiliary drive belt, cooling fan, cooling pipes, oil filler pipe. The gearbox is then assembled from three parts and glued to the engine assembly, along with intake manifold. The two, chassis rails are fitted with an extra beam where the truck bed will sit. These are held on the rails by three “U” bolts and their associated clamps. The rear leaf springs are then attached via their support links. Four cross members are then used to join the rails together, as well as the rear chassis end piece, to which the towing eye spring is attached. There is a three piece box attached to the left hand rail, near the front. The rear axle and differential is made up from six parts, if you include the drive shaft. This assembly is then fitted to the rear leaf springs, while the front suspension is made up on a single leaf spring assembly mounted laterally and fitted with the front axle, steering rack and support arms. The rear differential is then fitted with a triangular support structure which also supports the brake rods. The front and rear brake drums are then attached to the axles, followed by two wheels per side on the rear axle and one per side on the front axle. The wheels are then assembled from the outer hub, to which the inner, flanged ring is attached and the central boss detail. The front wheels are then glued to direct to the brake drums, while the rears are fitted with a small spacer between the drum and the wheel. The front chassis end cap is attached as are the two bumper side arms, while to the rear there is a choice of towing hook styles, one, just a single piece unit, the other is made up from five parts. The engine assembly is then glued into position, followed by the two piece radiator, two piece front bumper and two support brackets on chassis rails. The five piece exhaust is the attached to the right hand side. The two front fenders are each single piece units to which a small hook is attached before being fitted to the chassis, as are two of the lateral truck bed beams. The cab floor is also attached and fitted with the bench seat, gear stick and panel support. The three piece wiper/wiper motor is fitted to the front screen surround, once the clear screen has been fitted. The screen is then fitted with two small arms, these can be glued in either the stowed position for a closed screen, or down, so that the screen can be posed open. The rear of the bonnet section is then glued to the front of the screen support, along with eh two side sections and engine bulkhead which has been detailed with several small parts. Inside the foot pedals are attached lower bulkhead, part of the floor panel fitted earlier, before the front cab assembly is glued into place, along with the steering column and wheel. The three piece rear panel and roof of the cab are then glued into place, as are the two bonnet supports, between the bulkhead and the radiator. Each door is made up from five parts, including clear section, door handles, latches and window winders. The doors are then put to one side. The bonnet halves, split longitudinally are each made from two sections, which can be posed in either the open or closed positions, allowing the modeller to show of the engine should they so choose. The doors are then attached; again, they can be posed open or closed as the modeller wishes. The three piece horn is attached to a rail, which in turn is attached to the front of the vehicle between the fenders. The two, three piece headlights are then fitted, as is the single, two piece wing mirror, on the drivers side. The truck bed is then assembled from five parts, depending on the colour scheme being built you can have either four plank sides, front and rear sections you can use six plank sections. The bed, sides, front and rear sections are glued into place, completing the truck section of the build. The rest of the build concentrates on the tracks. These consists of sleepers, two lengths of rail per side being joined by fishplates, and the individual rail ties. When assembled and painted there will look very realistic, when compared with the Trumpeter style of rail track. Since they are of Russian gauge, you won’t be able to use them with Axis vehicles, but MiniArt do additional sets of track if you wish to build a rail diorama with the Soviet armoured railcars that are on the market. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller six options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The different companies Initials are included for two of the options, as well as the other vehicles respective registration plates and insignia. The options are:- An Unidentified Waffen SS unit, presumably the Reichskommissariat, Ostland 1943 – 1944, four plank bed. An Unidentified Soviet unit used between 1941 and 1945, with four plank bed. An Unidentified of the Wehrmacht, on the Eastern Front 1941 – 1943, with a four plank bed. Deutsche Reichsbahn, (Imperial Railway Administration), on the Eastern Front between 1942 and 1943 with a four plank bed. An Unidentified Soviet unit used between 1941 and 1945 with a six plank bed. Deutsche Reichsbahn, (Imperial Railway Administration), Ostland, used between 1943 and 1944 with a six plank bed. Conclusion I just love these trucks from MiniArt, they are so evocative of the period and can be used in so many situations, whether on their own, or an evocative diorama. The oddity that is having a truck on rails will make it stand out in your collection and certainly be a conversation piece. The staff at MiniArt should be commended for giving us modellers such great kits with pretty much everything you need, just let your imagination run wild. Review sample courtesy of Miniart - Distibuted in the UK By Creative Models
  10. MiniArt ( https://www.facebook.com/miniart.models/ & http://miniart-models.com/ ) is to release a 1/35th Flettner Fl 282 Kolibri V-6 & V-21 kits - ref. 41001 & 41003 Sources: https://www.facebook.com/groups/greenmats/permalink/1615939271798942/ https://www.facebook.com/largescalemodeller/posts/1743221195749828 V.P.
  11. Hello everybody finally I can show one of my latest works this is a new set, will be on sale from August
  12. Shar2

    Tiran 4 Late Type. 1:35

    Tiran 4 Late Type MiniArt 1:35 The meaning of Tiran [pronounced as Tiy-RAE-N] in Hebrew is beginner. Israel's chronic lack of AFV's on one hand and it's phenomenal victory in the 1967 Six Days War on the other, brought the IDF to adopt captured enemy vehicles for its use. The Arab armies lost hundreds of fighting vehicles - mostly Egyptian T-54 and T-55 MBT's which were abandoned by their crews. In order to allow for greater standardization in its armour corps, the IDF initiated a conversion program. The captured tanks were re-engined and re-gunned (with the standard 105mm gun used in the Centurion and Patton MBT's). Chief was the several hundred captured T-54/T-55 tanks that were taken and modified into the Tiran 4 (T-54) and Tiran 5 (T-55). The main difference between the two versions is the main gun armament. The Tiran 4 was armed with the original 100 mm main gun and the Tiran 5 was fitted with a 105 mm main gun, although the 105mm was also fitted to late Tiran 4’s. The Model Since this is an upgrade of the earlier T-54 kits there are a lot of similarities but quite a few new parts as well. As with MiniArt kits with interiors there are a lot of sprues, eighty five in this case, of grey styrene, plus three of clear, one sheet of etched brass and a smallish decal sheet. The box, deeper than a standard tank kit box has a nice painting of the tank on the front. On opening you are greeted by a mass of sprues, many of them quite small because of the tooling's modular nature, with quite a few parts going unused for this boxing. The mass of sprues fill up just about all the space in the box, leaving only room for air between the sprues, anyone wishing to just take a look at the sprues and getting them out of their bags will realise that getting all this back in the box is one of life’s little challenges! Construction is almost identical to the earlier releases, complete with the full engine, which is a beautiful model in its own right, and consisting of forty two parts if you include the engine mounting cradle. The lower hull is then fitted out with a multitude of parts that include the torsion beam suspension, multi part axles, gearbox covers, and interior escape hatch plus PE beam covers. The interior is then built up from the fighting compartment floor and includes all the pipe work, seats fire bottles, steering mechanism and internal bulkheads. The interior and exterior of the sidewalls are also covered with detail, including the large racks of shells for the main gun, with additional shells stored around the fighting compartment. The detailed sidewalls are then glued into place, as is the engine assembly, engine compartment firewall and other ancillary equipment. The upper glacis plate is then fitted as are the three piece road wheels, drive sprocket and idlers. The turret ring assembly is the attached, followed by the rear bulkhead, each fitted with more detail parts. The engine deck is then built up and the separate hatches are able to be posed open or closed as per the modellers’ wishes. The deck is topped off with PE grilles in their frames and the large hinge for the main hatch. Another slight difference with the T-54 is the large grille on the rear bulkhead and the additional stowage bin that across the whole width of the hull. The tracks are of individual link type, with ninety links per side, and it will be a case of assembling it like a link and length style, gluing each link together before draping them over the road wheels. The fenders are fitted with stowage boxes, fuel tanks and spare track links plus front and rear mudguards before being glued into position. The two fuel drums mounted to the rear of the tank are assembled and glued into their mounting frames plus the pipework for the fender fuel tanks. The turret is another new moulding, which has even more equipment in it than the earlier versions, due to the improved technology. The turret appears to be where the main changes were made. As with the other kits the turret interior includes the full main gun breech, this time for a 105mm gun, rather than the old 100mm, radios, training motors, seats, hand cranks, and other equipment, but with additional sighting equipment for the main gun, and more spare ammunition boxes for the co-axial Browning 30 cal machine gun. Ready use shells are added to the inside of the upper turret along with a multitude of brackets and clamps. The turret roof comes complete with all the periscopes and hatch details for the commander and gunner positions, two highly detailed Browning 30 cal machine guns, consisting of fifteen parts, one for the commander and one for the gunner. There is also a twenty three piece Browning 50 cal heavy machine gun that is mounted onto the mantlet. Two five piece aerials are affixed to the rear of the turret, along with a large stowage bin; while on the sides are a pair of Jerry cans and their respective cradles. On the right hand side there is another large stowage bin, made up from ten parts. The single piece main barrel is glued into the breech, and fitted with a choice of two mantlet covers. There a many more grab handles fitted to the outside of the turret on this version, not to mention brackets and clamps. The turret assembly is then fitted to the hull, completing the build. Decals The decal sheet gives the modeller four options. The decals are beautifully printed, are clear and in good register with a slightly matt finish. The options are:- Tiran 4 of the Israeli Defence Force for eh 1970’s Tiran 4 of the Israeli Defence Force Training Unit for the Lebanese Army, Negev Desert early 1980’s Tiran 4 of the South Lebanese Army, Used on Operation @Peace For Galilee”, June to September 1982 Tiran 4 of the South Lebanese Army from the 1980’s Conclusion Ok, it’s essentially another T-54, with additional equipment and a different gun, but you can never have enough T-54/55’s. These kits are really coming thick and fast MiniArt’s moulding machines must be going full chat day and night. There is so much detail that it could overwhelm a modeller unless their mojo was really cranked up. But if you break the build into bite sized pieces as sub-assemblies, painting as you go, there shouldn’t be a problem. Not one for beginners or maybe even intermediate modellers, but there are versions being released, without interior, which would perhaps be more suited to their level to gain experience before tackling a full interior build. As bang for your buck goes, these have to be some of the best value kits around these days. Review sample courtesy of
  13. Pz.Kpfw.III Ausf.B w/Crew (35221) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Designed in the mid 1930s to be part of a pairing with the larger Panzer IV, the lighter Panzer III was originally intended to be sent up against other tanks, as well as to push through gaps in enemy lines to cause havoc with supply lines and generally disrupt the enemy's day. Production began in 1937, with few of the early marks reaching series production, using up A through D as prototypes, of which the Ausf.B was used in the Polish campaign briefly before being put out to pasture as a training vehicle along with the remaining Cs and Ds. The suspension was a work-in-progress, using leaf springs until the Ausf.E, which moved to torsion bars that were then seen on most new German designs during WWII and beyond. During the early period of WWII the Pz.II continued to do its prescribed task until the T-34 rained on the Nazis parade, tearing up the lighter armoured Pz.IIIs and necessitating an up-gunning of the Pz.IV with a new high velocity gun to combat its sloped armour. By 1942 it was relegated to tasks where its light armour and 3.7mm pop-gun wasn't an impediment, such as close support of troop advances. By this time it was clear that it was past its sell-by-date, and that the Pz.IV had much more development potential. The chassis went on to be used for many other developments, some of which were quite successful, like the StuG III, and our review of the O-series can be seen here, which incidentally shares some parts with this kit. The Kit We reviewed the original issue of this kit in 2015, which you can see here, and this is a slightly revised tooling with the addition of a full set of crew figures in era appropriate tanker gear, including the large berets worn at the time before comms became standard fit, necessitating a change to caps. There are a staggering 48 sprues of grey styrene, three hull and turret parts, a clear sprue, a revised Photo-Etch (PE) fret, decal sheet and instruction booklet with the figure painting guide in the front cover, and the markings & schemes in the rear. The kit is ostensibly the same as the original, so if you want to read about the build, have a quick click on the previous review above, but for those of you averse to clicking, a quick summary follows. The lower hull is made up from numerous slabs, with leaf suspension and running gear added to the sides in pairs. The individual track links click-fit together and are secured by the addition of the pins in batches of seven, still attached to their sprue runners until they are fitted, after which you can break or cut them off. The additional PE parts are used in providing in-scale louvers for the engine deck, as well as the trapezoid boxes on the sides of the deck, which improves detail. The upper hull is fitted to the lower in sections, each of which is detailed with small parts during application, while the breech, turret basket and zwilling coaxial MG34 machine gun mount are all present in the turret that has openable hatches with PE lips on the inside. Fenders are detailed with pioneer tools, fire extinguisher, jack block and so on, then installed on the sides of the hull. Figures Included in the kit are five sprues of figures, three of which were joined together on arrival, but were separated for ease of photography. Put the word MiniArt into discussion about figures and you know that the sculpting will be first class, and these are no exception. The figures are in a fairly relaxed pose, standing, sitting or leaning on their vehicle. The commander is standing cross-legged in his cupola with his hands resting on the edge, and the rest of the crew can be seen below in the instruction and painting guide. Markings Early war usually means panzer grey, but although there are some grey examples, there is also a rather fetching camouflaged example. There are five decal options, and you can build one of the following: Unidentified unit, Poland, Sept 1939 2nd Battalion Unidentified Unit, Poland, Sept 1939 Unidentified Unit, Chomutov, Sudetes, Czechslovakia, Oct 1938 (green camouflage) 1st Battalion, 1st Panzer Regiment, 1st panzer Division, Poland, Sept 1939 In service during the campaign in Poland, 1939 The decals are printed by Decograph in the Ukraine, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Colour call-outs are cross-referenced by letters throughout, which correspond to a table that covers Vallejo, Mr Color, LifeColor, Tamiya, Testors, AK Real Color, Humbrol, Revell, Mission Model, with the colour names in pictorial form, Cyrillic and English text too. Conclusion A nice reboxing of a fairly recent and well-detailed kit that adds figures to the mix to give it some human scale. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. Flettner Fi-282 Kolibri. (Hummingbird) MiniArt 1:35 History Although the first helicopter to enter service with the German forces in 1939 in the shape of the Fl-265, the 6 machines built were really prototypes for what followed, the Fl-282. The Fl 282 shared the same "intermeshing" rotor design as the Fl 265, this arrangement involving two individual rotor blades crossing one another, without touching, while rotating in opposite directions and on individual masts to achieve the desired vertical lift. The Fl 282 was given an all-new engine in the Bramo Sh.14A, a 7-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine outputting at 160 horsepower. Flight testing of the Fl 282 began in 1941 and eventually involved two flyable prototypes. These two prototypes were given enclosed cockpits while follow-up units were to feature the well-photographed open-air design. It was the German Navy that saw the value inherent in the Flettner helicopter and ordered a batch of fifteen for evaluation from its surface ships. Prototypes were designated Fl 282 V1 through V7 and followed by the Fl 282A-1 single-seat reconnaissance version for launching/retrieval from German warships. The Fl 282B-2 designation was given to the submarine-launched, single-seat reconnaissance variants, which were actually two seaters, with a second seat to the rear of the frame. This was for an observer in the scout, reconnaissance or mission liaison role. The Luftwaffe was granted a production order for some 1,000 Fl 282 units sometime in 1944, these to be manufactured by the BMW for the sheer numbers required of the German war effort. But these plans were disrupted when the plant designated to build them was bombed by allied aircraft. In 1945, the Luftwaffe went on to establish a dedicated reconnaissance wing through Transportstaffel 40 (TS/40) which was to stock several Fl 282 helicopters and based out of the Muhldorf District of Bavaria. It is interesting to note, that after the war, Anton Flettner eventually went to work with the Kaman Helicopter company, renowned for using the twin intermeshing rotors on canted masts that Flettner had introduced with his wartime helicopter, and these are still being produced today. The Model I first saw the prototype model at the 2017 IPMS show at Telford and was greatly impressed with the kit and the decision to release such an oddball subject, but then MiniArt are renowned for producing kits that are a little different from the mainstream manufactures. The kit has now finally been released and comes in a nicely illustrated top opening box. Inside it is noticeable that the kit could have fitted in a smaller box as it takes up about half of the available space. That said, once the sprues are removed from the two layers of plastic bags, it does prove that the tightly packed sprues have kept the many fragile parts safe from damage. The model comes on eight sprues of grey styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a decal sheet. As usual with MiniArt kits the moulding is superb with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are an awful lot of moulding pips, particularly on the tubular framework which will require very careful clean-up. The model depicts V-21 which looking at the instructions is the prototype for the two seat submarine variant, later to become the Fl 282B-2. Construction begins with the frame work fuselage; with the main bulkhead drilled, out the two piece rear seat is attached. The floor is fitted with what looks like a keel beam, before the main and rear bulkheads are glued into place, followed by the two side sections. The rear roof section is then added, followed by the two piece fin and single piece rudder. Two tubular cross members are then attached, along with two tubular engine mounts. The engine is a model in itself with a single piece block, which is fitted with one set of conrods on a circular frame and the single piece crankcase, the other conrods are separate as are the cylinder heads which are glued on next. The four piece gearbox is the attached to the crankcase followed by the output shaft. The forward section of the upper fuselage, containing the main rotor gearbox mounting frames is then attached, as are the horizontal tailplanes, control runs and, rather strangely, a two bladed propeller and protective ring to the front of the engine which sits inside the fuselage. The main rotor gearbox is made up from no less than thirty three parts, and includes all the control linkages, filters, rotor masts and other fittings. Probably the most complex part of the build is the assembly of what we could loosely call the cockpit. There are four sections of tubular frame that make the cockpit surrounds, then it is fitted out with the control column, all the control linkages, collective lever, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant with linkages attached and the two piece instrument panel with decal instrument faces, which you can then glaze with your favourite glazing medium. With all this in place it is fitted to the fuselage and the rear of the cockpit fitted with its strangely shaped bulkhead and the two piece seat. The main rotor gearbox assembly is then fitted to its mounting and enclosed with three panels. There are two four piece side panels that enclose the rear seat area and a four piece under fuselage section that fits under the engine area. There are two fuel tanks, each made up from four parts, the seven piece main undercarriage, and five piece nose undercarriage. These are all assembled before being glued into their respective positions. The rear panel of the main rotor gearbox is then fitted, as are the two small instrument panels and two piece PE seatbelts which fit in the cockpit. Lastly the two six piece rotors are fitted to their respective masts completing the build. Decals The single smallish decal sheet provides markings for just the one aircraft, but there appear to be two variations for it. There are also stencils and swastikas, (split into two halves), if you wish to add it. They are well printed, in register and suitably opaque. Conclusion The arrival of this kit was as much a surprise as it is welcome. Although a small aircraft, being in 1:35 it does make for a nice size, and while some parts are quite fiddly, it doesn’t look as bad as some of MiniArt’s armour kits. If you make the side panels detachable then you will be able to pose the machine with the lovely engine, gearbox and ancillaries visible. Review sample courtesy of
  15. German Tank Crew – Special Edition (35283) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models A figure placed in or on a vehicle or diorama gives it scale, and as such they add life to our attempts at scaling down reality. This set from figure masters MiniArt depicts WWII German Panzer crew, and contains six figures in various poses, some more relaxed than others. It arrives in a standard end-opening figure box, and once you've got the film wrap off the box, you are presented with three sprues in grey styrene, plus a small ancillary instruction sheet for the sprue of weapons and kit that is included in this edition. Put the word MiniArt into discussion about figures and you know that the sculpting will be first class, which is the case with this set, having beautifully rendered depictions of cloth, unit badges and insignia, and the faces of crew members with their various headgear. Three of the figures are suitable for turret hatches, with one having no legs for those tight areas, while another could be adapted to fit a hatch, but is stood leaning forward slightly. The other two figures are sitting down with one arm up as if they are manning the front hatches, and one even has his hand out gripping a steering wheel or similar. The crew are wearing the black grey Panzer uniform, with the two front crew having their shirt sleeves rolled up, while the three officers have their jackets on. The commanding officer type is clasping maps etc. behind his back, and is wearing a similar design jacket, but in the Pea Camouflage material that was sometimes seen toward the end of the war. The third sprue contains the additional weapons and pouches as mentioned earlier, including the following: 2 x Kar 98 with ammo pouches 2 x MP40 so-called "Schmeiser" SMGs with ammo pouches and open or folded stock 1 x binocular (with slide moulded lenses) with case 1 x Walther P38 pistol with open or closed holster 1 x flare pistol with holster and ammo pouches 1 x First Aid Kit 1 x Map case 1 x flashlight The first aid kit, MP40s, map case and flare ammo pouch require some minor assembly, which is detailed in the small instruction sheet in the box. The painting guide on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours to use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, HUmbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The camo swatch is also annotated for your ease, which uses 5 basic colours for your delight and terror. Conclusion Realistic poses, excellent sculpting in a box of 6… well, 5.5 figures. Perfect for crewing your latest Panzer project to give it a little life and scale for very little cash. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. US Tank Crew (37005) 1:35 MiniArt A figure placed in or on a vehicle or diorama gives it scale, and as such they add life to our attempts at scaling down reality. This set from figure masters MiniArt depicts a modern US armour crew in a relaxed posture, either in on or stood next to their vehicle. It arrives in a standard end-opening figure box, and once you've got the film wrap off the box, inside you'll find a bag containing five individual sprues, three of which are still connected by a runner on my sample. Each figure (you get five) inhabits its own sprue, with arms, legs, torso, head, helmet and small details all separate for maximum detail. If you're phobic about painting faces you'll be pleased to hear that only two of the five aren't wearing scarves over their faces to protect themselves from the dust, which means that they are best suited to desert or cold weather situations. Put the word MiniArt into discussion about figures and you know that the sculpting will be first class, which is certainly the case with this set, showing all the modern traits of a combat soldier such as plate carriers covered in MOLLE loops, operator gloves with knuckle protection, and comms capable headgear worn by all, with goggles to keep out the dust. The box shows the uniforms in the newer digital cloth, which will make painting a bit tricky, but as more and more sheets of camouflage decal are being produced by the aftermarket companies such as FFSMC from France and Meister Chronicle from Japan these days, they are certainly an option, but a small swatch of camo is included on the box to assist those brave enough to paint their own. As they are AFV crew, they aren't festooned with equipment, but each figure has a separate chin-strap and helmet, with their balaclavas and comms headsets moulded into their heads. One figure (presumably the commander) is also carrying a paddle-holstered pistol on his hip, and most have a comms control box to place on their chests which will need some scratch-built wiring to finish them off. On the subject of poses, all figures are stood after a fashion, either leaning or partially sitting on the edge of their vehicle, which gives plenty of options for placement, either stood in hatchways, or lounging against the vehicle in between operations. None of them appear to tense or in fear for their lives, so are clearly intended to be somewhere where they can afford to relax. The painting guide on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours you could use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, Humbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The camo swatch is also annotated for your use – now where can I get a digital brush from? Conclusion Superb for adding to your Abrams, Bradley or any of the modern US armour that's available in this scale, and keenly priced. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. East European Home Stuff (35584) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Dioramas live or die based on the level of ordinary detail that the modeller puts into the background, from leaf litter to dust, from a broken coffee table to plates in the dresser. This set aims to provide the modeller with some of these items to populate their creations with, slanted toward an East European design, but with enough elements that are ubiquitous that they can be used in almost any situation. The set arrives in a standard figure box with a painting of the parts on the front, sprue diagrams and painting guide on the rear, and six small sprues inside. One sprue is in white styrene, but the rest are in mid grey, with a small card envelope protecting the Photo-Etch (PE) parts that are also included. A further sheet of instructions are in the box to guide you through the more complex aspects of the items, and help with placement of the small parts such as the PE. From the box you can build the following: 1 x Sturdy wooden bench table 2 x medium backed dining chair 2 x dining stools 1 x stove with flue 1 x coffee/tea urn 1 x coffee pot 1 x large pan & lid 1 x ladle 1 x frying pan 1 x teapot In addition there are cups, platter, a canister, water jug, slices of bread or cheese, sausage, and loaves in various states of consumption spread over two of the sprues, plus some spoons and a small shovel to feed the stove with fuel. On the PE sheet there are forks, a kitchen knife, plate, various handles for the aforementioned items, and perforated parts for the urn, which has a styrene and PE Fawcett set into the bottom. The painting diagram on the rear of the box gives suggestions as to the colours you could use, which is conveniently translated between Vallejo, Mr Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, HUmbrol, Revell, and colour names in (probably Ukrainian) Cyrillic and English. The detail shown in the parts is impressive, and some care will be needed rolling the PE for the urn, but it will be well worth the effort. Even the food will give any scene that it is placed in an element of candour, as if the owners were disturbed mid-meal. The table has grain and scuffs moulded in, while the large pan is heavily dented as if from years of use and abuse – even the stove has the maker's mark in raised Cyrillic lettering on the front. Slide moulding has been used in places to create hollow pots, cups and stove parts, which is so much easier for the modeller than hiding seams from joining halves together. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. StuG.III 0-Series (35210) 1:35 MiniArt You can't beat a good StuG. The SturmGeschutz III was engineered based upon the chassis of the Panzer III, bit eschewing the turret of the latter, and replacing it with an armoured casemate that mounted a fixed gun with limited traverse. It was originally intended to be used as infantry support, using its (then) superior armour to advance on the enemy as a mobile blockhouse. It soon found other uses as an ambush predator, and was employed as a tank destroyer hidden waiting for Allied forces to stumble into its path. With the advances in sloped armour employed by the Soviets the original low velocity 75mm StuK 37 L/24 cannon was replaced by higher velocity unit that were also used in the Panzer IV for tank-on-tank combat. The earliest prototypes were made of mild steel and based on Panzer III Ausf.B chassis, and while equipped with guns were unsuitable for combat due to the relative softness of the steel that would have led to a swift demise on the battlefield. They were however used in training up new crews, with one such site being the Training Grounds at Jüterbog in Germany until withdrawal in '41-42. The Kit A brand new tooling from MiniArt, who have really pulled out all the stop recently and are becoming a major player in the 1:35 armour genre. This is doubtless the first of many editions of the StuG III from them, and it seems appropriate to begin at the beginning with a training vehicle. It is important to note that non-combatant status of these early vehicles, as this will affect how you portray them as a finished model if you are looking for realism. Battle damage and evidence of long-standing occupation by a single crew wouldn't be realistic, and Panzer Grey will be the order of the day. There's no doubt that as a training vehicle they would have been used and abused by the trainees however, so the finished model won't necessarily be parade clean either. Note the foam protection to part 2 of sprue Ja to prevent crush damage in transit. There are 29 sprues and 18 more of track links in grey styrene, a sprue of clear parts, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, and a small styrene jig to ease building of the tracks. The package is completed by a small decal sheet and the glossy covered instruction booklet that has colour profiles in the rear for the decal options. Construction begins with fabrication of the lower hull from individual panels, with suspension units and complex damping system added to the sides over a number of steps. Finally, eight sets of paired wheels are made up and installed along with drive sprockets and idler wheels on both sides. The tracks are built fairly early in the build, and as they're individual links the jig will come in handy. Each side uses 96 links, which you can build up in 8-link lengths on the jig, adding the small track-pins in sets of eight, whilst still attached to their sprues thanks to careful spacing of the parts. The links have five sprue gates each set into the curved edges of the part, with no sink marks of ejector pins to deal with, so clean-up before construction should be fairly quick by comparison. The pins fit into holes in the sides of the links like the real ones, and are glued in place with tiny quantities of cement of your favourite type, being very sparing with the amount for fear of gluing the links AND the jig together and making a general mess of things. Patience is most definitely a virtue in this instance. The superstructure is made up of a number of modules that are fabricated into sub-assemblies and then brought together later. The engine deck with PE louvers in the rear, various access panels and the twin exhaust mufflers is first, followed by the glacis plate with twin clamshell transmission hatches, after which the styrene fenders with tread-plate texture are detailed with their mudguards and sprung return mechanism for the inevitable "incidents" with the scenery. A number of holes are drilled in the treadplate to locate tools and such later on, and then all these assemblies are brought together on the lower hull with an engine firewall cutting the crew compartment off, with a pair of nicely detailed MP40s on the back wall, which will be visible if you leave the top hatches open. At this stage your StuG is a convertible, allowing the wind to ruffle the hair of her crew, but this doesn't last as you get a fair portion of the vehicle's interior in the shape of the main gun's breech and the framework that holds it in the chassis. It takes up quite a number of parts and includes three seats (I guess you could call them that) for the crew, all of which can again be seen from the top hatches. The roof of the casemate is fixed in place on two side walls, with a choice of upper glacis parts, one of which has twin holes above the driver's slit. The radio gear is fitted into a scabbed-on box on the fender, accessible from inside and this is then joined by a full set of pioneer tools, fire extinguisher and more stowage boxes, plus the light clusters, towing eyes, horn and antenna. The radio box is fitted with a shot-trap eliminating panel at the front and another on the opposite side, then the short 75mm gun is built up and inserted into the mantlet, with a scrap diagram showing how it mounts against the breech. More detail is added in the shape of jack blocks, stowage boxes, another fire extinguisher, jack and towing cables, which are supplied as eyelets to which the modeller must find their own cable to lay them out as per the overhead scrap diagram. The last part is to add the hatches to the roof of the casemate, which have PE latches added when depicted open. Markings The markings options are somewhat limited due to these early StuG's role and the fact that they are early war tanks, so it's Panzer Grey all the way. Each one has white crosses on the sides of the casemate, A,B or C on the glacis, and in a rosette for two of the options. The decal sheet is the size of a postage stamp as a consequence, and is printed in the Ukraine by DecoGraph with good register, density and sharpness. Conclusion This marks the start of a line of great new tool StuGs, which makes me happy as I have fondness for the squat ugly-but-effective little tanks, and while the subject of this first issue might put a few off, it's actually refreshing to see something in Panzer Grey that played little part in the actual conflict, while the type went on to become an important asset of the Wehrmacht later in the war. The model is well-detailed and should pose no problems during building, other than some mild boredom during the track building process, so it's a firm thumbs up from me. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. PanZair

    T-70M Miniart

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

    V-54 Engine. 1:35

    V-54 Engine MiniArt 1:35 The V-54 is a massive 12 cylinder 39litre water cooled diesel engine used in all T-54 variants. This kit is taken from the superb interior kits of the T-54. As I said in my reviews of the full kits this is a beautiful model in its own right. Well, looks like MiniArt heard me and have released a separate kit of it. The small, yet attractive box with artwork showing the engine in both early and late guise contains four sprues of grey styrene and a length of copper wire. Construction is as in the full kits, starting with the two piece sump, onto which the starter motor and alternator are attached, as is the electrical tube that sits between the cylinder heads. Each of the cylinder blocks are made up from six parts, each completed assembly is then glued to the sump assembly. The exhaust manifolds are then attached, along with the three lengths of pipe at the rear of the engine, and two lengths at the front, which in turn are attached to the separate water pump. The engine fitted with a four piece cradle, followed by the exhaust silencers and their attachment blocks. The modeller then has a choice of air filter to fit depending on whether they are making an engine pre 1957 or post 1957. The filters are very different in style, the pre ’57 being made from twenty three parts and the post ’57 from eleven. Once assembled the chosen option is glued to the front of the engine and two recirculation pipes fitted between them and the exhaust silencers. The copper wire is then cut to length and used as glow plug leads Conclusion This is a very nice and useful little kit. You can use it in the MiniArt kits that don’t come with engines, or use it on its own as part of a workshop scene in a diorama or whatever your imagination can come up with. Review sample courtesy of