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Found 217 results

  1. Scaffolding (35605) MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd If you’ve been watching the procession of the new 1:35 Triebflügel kits from MiniArt, you’ll have noticed two things. One that the kits are excellent, and two that one of the kits includes a scaffold for the pilot and ground crew to access the cockpit of this weird and whacky late WWII project. This scaffold is now available separately for purchase in case you bought an early boxing, or just want some scaffold for a project you have in mind. It arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with nine sprues in grey styrene within. Due to the modular nature of the scaffolding, there are only two different sprues, five of one, four of the other. There are three assemblies to be made up that are basically the same but have the N-shaped tubular frames reversed to add strength to the assembly. The parts are fixed to a bottom frame and have a ladder section attached to the bottom, and can be stacked as far up as the contents of the box allows, and these are then topped off with a flat section of tread-plate, with inverted U-shaped brackets that give the user a modicum of safety. To facilitate movement there are four castors at the bottom, which have pedals to apply the brake once they are in position. These are made up of the wheel, yoke and pedal, with eight in the box that can be used to complete two mobile bases with up to five layers of scaffold able to be made up, with a stack of three and two shown on the box, each with a standing area at the top. Conclusion A scaffold is a handy thing to have for any 1:35 diorama, especially if you’ve got a Triebflügel that your pilot can’t get into or out of. They can be painted any colour you like, but a few examples are given in the instructions printed on the rear of the box. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. SLA APC T-54 w/Dozer Blade (37028) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During the period that the South Lebanese Army existed from 1985-2000, they had a small force of tanks that included T-54s that had been bought from Russia, with little opportunity of topping up losses. When one T-54 was hit and had its turret destroyed, it was recovered to the workshops and had the remains of its turret removed and replaced by welded sheet metal to give it an open-topped “doghouse” to fill a new role as an Armoured Personnel Carrier, hence the designation APC-54. It was sometimes seen using a large red makeshift dozer blade that was attached to the glacis plate with a substantial base plate supporting the V-shaped blade. The APC was painted a pale blue colour and was used in the 80s, surviving to end up in an Israeli museum without its blade, where it has been photographed many times by visitors in a fresh coat of light blue paint. The Kit Hot on the heels of dozer-less variant we reviewed here only a few days ago, this boxing has the dozer blade sprues and a small revision of the armoured upstands that protected the crew from incoming rounds. The box is slightly more full than the previous boxing due to the swapping out of unnecessary parts for their replacements, with seventy six sprues in grey styrene, one in clear, a revised sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass and the new instruction booklet. Construction begins with a blow-by-blow recreation of the hull as per the earlier kit, with the exception of the more makeshift bench seat mounted perpendicular to the direction of travel, and a box-like seat with stowage space underneath at the rear. The glacis plate is amended due to the fitment of the dozer, and at the rear the arrangement of louvers is also slightly different, using more individual PE louver panels. The replacement doghouse parts have been moved forward in the build process, with the addition of two prominent aerials mounted within the corners. The fenders are then made up with exhausts with additional fuel tanks and a slightly different connection route for the hoses that feed the fuel into the engine compartment. Pioneer tools, stowage boxes and other items on the fenders are subtly different from the earlier boxing, showing MiniArt’s attention to detail with this duo. The tracks and road wheels are all identical to the earlier boxing too, with 90 links each side that have four sprue gates and should be easy to clean up and put together. Moving on, the weapons are made up with rolled PE cooling jackets running full-length on the M3, and the shorter one fitted to the M2. Each gun is well detailed and has a box mag and length of link leading to the breech, plus pintle-mounts that fit inside the doghouse. The most visually different aspect of the build is of course the dozer blade, with the first job to build up the attachment assembly, which has a large number of parts for its size. It has rams to adjust the angle and deployment of the blade, which is next to be made. The straight rear is firstly glued together with stiffeners and attachment points for the rams created, onto which the angled blades are added, making a two-layer affair that could presumably allow it to be used in a straight or v-shaped configuration. Various small fittings are added to the back, then the two sub-assemblies are mated and secured in place by three stout pins, with a slender link at the top. It is fixed to the glacis plate along with the machine guns, with an overhead drawing giving sufficient detail to ensure it is positioned correctly. Markings There are none! Again. The APC is blue, while the blade assembly is a rusty red, and once it has seen any action at all, that paint will become distressed and damaged, with plenty of opportunity to practice your weathering and chipping techniques. Conclusion I don’t know what it is that appeals about this kit, but it does. The addition of the dozer blade in the contrasting red is the cherry on top, or in front at least. The detail is excellent throughout, with so much scope for weathering that you could go crazy if you really wanted, as some of the photos of it in service show it quite well worn. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. SLA Heavy APC-54 Interior Kit (37055) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During the period that the South Lebanese Army existed from 1985-2000, they had a small force of tanks that included T-54s that had been bought from Russia, with little opportunity of topping up losses. When one T-54 was hit and had its turret destroyed, it was recovered to the workshops and had the remains of its turret removed and replaced by welded sheet metal to give it an open-topped “doghouse” to fill a new role as an Armoured Personnel Carrier, hence the designation APC-54. It was painted a pale blue colour and was used in the 80s, surviving to end up in an Israeli museum where it has been photographed many times by visitors in a fresh coat of light blue paint. The Kit This is a re-tool of the recent series of their highly detailed T-54 and T-54, with the base sprues being those of the T-54 Interior Kit, which is crucial with the visibility of the hull inside through the re-engineered turret ring. It arrives in the usual shrink-wrapped package with handsome box art and all the contents secured inside with tight-fitting heat-sealed foil bags. Did I mention? It’s a full box thanks in part to the extra internals but also the redundant parts that will be found on many of the sprues, which will be excellent spares box fodder once the kit is complete. There are an eye-watering 75 sprues in grey styrene in the box thanks to the modular design of MiniArt kits, plus a single clear sprue, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in a card envelope and instruction booklet found in the bottom of the box that has colour covers and the painting guide on the rear cover. This is a full interior kit, and not just the crew area. The engine is constructed first, with all of the ancillaries, mounting frame, exhaust manifolds and hosing added along the way. The lower hull is initially missing its sides, and first needs its axles mounts adding, then the suspension arm with their torsion-bar linkages (long or short) threaded through, plus the crew escape hatch in the middle of the floor, and later on some armoured covers for the axles. The centre section is covered with liftable tread-plate sections, then the beginnings of the driver’s station is begun with control linkages threading across the floor. The side plates are made up next, with masses of ammo boxes in racks, radio gear and various other equipment adorning the inner sides. The engine firewall is also assembled with a small fan at one side for later installation. The starboard side is mated with the floor, and the driver’s side bulkhead with controls and instruments are dropped into holes in the floor, as is the big power-pack in the rear, with the lower section of the aft bulkhead slotted into the large housing for the drive sprockets. The port side undergoes the same treatment and is inserted into the hull along with the firewall, plus the remainder of the aft bulkhead. It’s all fairly standard T-54 equipment so far, until you assemble and add a double-sided bench seat in the centre of the floor where the turret should be. The interior is ostensibly complete, and the roof is added next that is again fairly standard fare apart from some small depressions. The hull top is made up from sections that are detailed with lights, vision blocks and sundry equipment before it is glued in place, starting with the glacis plate, moving back to the vestigial turret ring and then the engine compartment, then adding the final drive bell-housings at the rear and suspension bumpers along the tops of the suspension mounts. All the hatches are fitted after detailing, grilles and their mesh covers are fixed in the rear, fenders are glued into the slots in the side of the hull, then decked out with stiffening brackets plus mudguards at the rear. Now for the fun part, which although it’s not a turret (that’s my usual fun part of an AFV), the three castellated armoured upstands are attached to small depressions in the deck, then the fenders are fitted out with fuel tanks, pioneer tools, the fluted exhausts, stowage boxes and even fuel cans in PE cages. The fuel tanks are linked to the fuel system by snaking tubing that is included in the box, with PE clips to act as the tie-downs and lock parts for the stowage boxes that are lockable. We’ve had no track or road wheel discussion so far, but it’s unavoidable so here we go. The tank has five pairs of road wheels on each side, made up from two wheel parts and a hub in the inner face, held to the axle on the outer surface with a central pin and hub cover that hides them away. Careful gluing will be needed if you wish to keep them mobile, then you repeat the process with the toothed drive sprocket and smooth idler wheel on each side. There’s a little break while you build up the big M2 .50cal and smaller .30cal that can be attached at any of the three mounting points in the lower sections of the doghouse, with highly detailed barrels, ammo cans and mounts. After that brief interlude, it’s time to build up the tracks, which are individual links that fit together in runs of 90 links on each side. Each link has four sprue gates that are on the connection points, so should be quick to tidy up after nipping from the sprue, and there are no ejector marks or sink marks to be seen anywhere, which is nice. They’re of the type you’ll need to glue and drape around the wheels, taking care to obtain the correct sag before the glue sets by packing the runs out to suit. Pretty standard stuff, but covered with beautiful raised and engraved detail on each link that makes it almost a shame to cover them in mud. Markings It’s an interesting one-off vehicle, which we believe was painted pale blue at the time it saw action, as replicated in the museum where it now resides. There are no decals, just lots of opportunity for grime, chipping and so forth. Conclusion Such an unusual derivative of the type deserves to be kitted, and it wasn’t too onerous a task, so MiniArt went ahead and did it, adding a few parts on new sprues to achieve their aim. There will be quite a few parts left on the sprues when you’re finished, so prepare your parts bin for action. We've since reviewed the dozer blade equipped version of this kit, so if a red dozer appeals, you can see our other review here. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Hi Guys, This is my first work in progress, i've picked a miniart T-55A early mod. 1965 model. This is the second Miniart model i've had, in fact i bought this first from Creative Models at their 40% discount about 18 months ago for around £30, which was amazing value for money. However when i opened the box and looked at all the parts my first thoughts were, this is too much. So i bought the Panzer III ausf C also from Miniart which i built instead so i could get to grips with the Miniart way of doing things. The T-55A is quite a complex kit, its in my stash and has to be done some time, so why not now. The kit has 1304 parts with 95 sprues, 2 etch sheets and 3 decal sheets. This is the box cover, showing a 55th Marine infantry Division, Pacific Fleet of the Soviet Navy, Ethiopia 1980. This is the version that i will hopefully try to complete in the way distant future by the look of the amount of parts. The instruction book looks really well done and it takes 104 stages to complete the model. The first 8 stages complete the engine assembly. This is typical of their instructions. Here is a picture of the assembled engine with holes drilled in the manifold ready for the lead wire. Lead wire in place, now all ready for painting. Here's a few photo's of the completed engine. Now on to the base, just another 96 stages and about 1200 plus parts to go! Ed
  5. Bantam 40 BRC w/ British Crew (35324) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. WWII saw the increased mechanisation of war that had begun in WWI, including lighter vehicles that could transport a small number of soldiers, staff, weapons or equipment quickly across the battle-space with rugged design and good rough-field performance as well as being fast and manoeuvrable. A specification was issued by the US War Department, with three companies vying for the contract, one of which was Bantam, who despite being in poor financial shape, designed a simple vehicle that used many pre-fabricated assemblies to speed construction and ease maintenance, while Ford and Willy’s made their own designs. There was no clear winner initially, so a number of each design was ordered to be sent mainly to Allied forces under the Lend-Lease programme, as America wasn’t yet a combatant. As the jockeying for position continued between the three contenders, designs converged and the Bantam’s design features were pillaged to improve what ended up as the Willy’s GP. Whether the name Jeep came from the shortening of GP, or from the Popeye character is unclear, but Ford and Willy’s ended up making hundreds of thousands of Jeeps during WWII that made it ubiquitous on the battlefield, with many of the survivors reaching civilian ownership after the war, and a ready market for them still exists to this day. The poor Bantam however was consigned to being a footnote in the creation of the Jeep. The Kit This is reboxing of MiniArt's earlier kit containing the same British crew, with the original dating back to 2008. There have also been releases with US and Russian crews, plus a Russian driver figure transporting a heavy machine gun in the cargo area at the rear. This boxing contains three crew that were previously seen in the British Staff Car boxing from 2010. The detail is good throughout, although there is a little flash here and there on my review samples that could have been due to the age of the moulds, or over-pressure during injection. It’s not difficult to remove flash from such well-moulded parts though, so don’t let it put you off in the slightest, as it’s streets ahead or short-shot parts! There are three sprues in grey styrene, one of clear parts, a small fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass in a card envelope, two small decal sheets and the instruction booklet. The delicate grille in the corner of one sprue is protected by a small piece of foam sheet and held in place by a staple through it. Construction begins with the ladder chassis, to which is added the four-cylinder engine, drive-shafts, transfer box and leaf-spring suspension. The exhaust is protected by a pair of large cross-braces with slats underneath, and a control linkage is fixed to the outside of the rail connected later to the steering column. With the chassis completed, the body is built up from an almost complete shell to which the front grille, foot well (left-hand drive) and grilles within the front wheel wells are added. The front foot well has driver controls added, as is the dashboard, then seats and rear bench seats are fitted, with the chassis attached underneath the floor on the lugs moulded into it. The windscreen has some nice PE fittings and two panels of clear styrene are secured into the frame by another PE frame, then clipped into the body with a tubular frame wrapping around the rear and the two-part wheels slotted onto the axle stubs in each corner. The spare is slung onto the rear on its bracket, the bonnet/hood drops into the top of the engine compartment with a stay glued to the underside unless you want to prop it open. The lights at the front have clear lenses with PE protective metalwork in front of them, and PE straps on each side of the front seat door cut-outs to reduce the likelihood of crew being thrown from the sides on rough ground. The three crew include a driver in a cap and goggles, sergeant major-type with a map, and an officer with googles leaning toward the back seats as if in discussion with the chap with the map. All are dressed in tropical uniform with shorts, a lovely pair of cool thick knee-high socks and low-rise boots. Sculpting is up to MiniArt’s usual standards with each figure broken down into head, torso, separate legs and arms, plus headwear, pistol holsters and ammo pouches in addition to the goggles and the aforementioned map. Markings There are two colour options in the box , one in plain sand, the other with blue, pink, and green swatches of camouflage all over it. From the box you can build one of the following: 1st Armour Division, HQ Unit, North Africa, 1942 No.3 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, Libya, 1942 Decals are printed on two small sheets by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion It’s a reboxing, but as it has been absent from MiniArt’s line-up for a good while, there ought to be a ready market for it. It’s still a good kit, and the inclusion of the figures is a nice bonus, as you know they’ll fit well. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Going to try and build something where the kit parts are bigger than a dust mite ... MiniArt's Su-85, the Mod 1944 early version ... This boxing comes with an interior ... but, since a) completing any GB is a struggle for me, b) I have other GBs on the go, or planned, and c) I paid less for this kit than normal price for a non-interior boxing - I may skimp that little detail Beyond that ... I have no settled plans for this build
  7. T-55A Polish Production (37090) 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, and 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 Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechoslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers. Poland also produced over 7000 tanks between 1964 and 1983. Polish tanks had different stowage and slightly different rear decks. Many found their way to other countries and the were used by all sides in the Yugoslavian civil wars. 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 later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were 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. The kit arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 75 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. 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 lower hull, which 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, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 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. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. 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 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 itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are 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 folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. 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. Additional ammunition for the DshK is added to the turret. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood made earlier. Markings There are six decal options, and plenty of colour (and operator) variation, which is nice to see. From the box you can build one of the following: Polish Army, 70s Yugoslav Army 80s. Slovenian Army 90s. Republic of Bosnia & Herzegovina Army 90s (Winter camo) Polish Army, Lublin 1995. Yugoslav Army, Kosovo War late 90s The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These 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. It is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Cargo Tramway X-Series (38030) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Trams have long been used for mass transport within built-up areas of larger cities, using rails set into the street and making a familiar dinging noise just before they run you over. They’re making a comeback in some cities recently, but were far more numerous pre-WWII, and some operators took advantage of the lines to carry cargo deep into cities where the standard railways couldn’t reach. Soviet Russia operated these trams in their cities, carrying the daily necessities around, and probably pressed into service as munitions carriers when war came to town. The Kit This is new boxing is based upon the passenger X-Series tram, with new parts to fill the gutted centre-section where the passengers would otherwise be. These parts replicate the beaten-up look that would result from the rough handling of heavy items in and out of the cargo area. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped heavy box with typical MiniArt painting, and inside are twenty three sprues in grey styrene, nine in clear, an A4+ sized vacuum-formed cobblestone base with suitably gauged tracks travelling along the longest side. The package is rounded out by a decal sheet and instruction booklet that has the painting options laid out on the covers. Detail is excellent as we've come to expect from any new tooling from MiniArt, and the instructions are printed on good quality glossy paper in their usual manner. Construction begins with the sub-frame bogie, with two sets of motors and axles sandwiched between the brake actuators and wheels, then slipped inside the long frame along with their leaf-spring suspension mounts and cross-braces. The two axles are then integrated in the frame by adding end-plates and more cross-braces to stiffen up the assembly. The brake actuators are joined to the rest of the armature by a small cage and long rod that is connected to the driver’s cab later on. The body is made up on a two-part base with a laminated bulkhead with windows at each end and a framework wall with badly beaten and dented low side panels that can be posed up or down as you please. Two control uprights and a seat are made up and added to each end of the floor that makes them instantly reversible, then the two cab surrounds are fabricated with glass panels and interior panelling added along the way. The sides are added first, then the front is fixed in place, repeated at both ends and accompanies by a pair of two-panel folding doors on each side of both cabs, totalling eight panels made up into four doors that are handed, so take care when assembling them, their bars and handles. Crew steps are added to each door at each end (there’s a lot of repetition), then the big soviet star with integrated headlight that includes a replica of a bulb in the centre is plonked front and centre in the nose at each end – unless you’ve opted for the simpler and less ostentatious headlamp of course. Underneath the floor the linkages are extended with plastic chains to holes on the underside of the cabs, a receiver for the compressed air and small leaf-suspension mounts are fixed to each corner ready to receive the sub-frame that was made up first. A folded cow-catcher grille is attached under the front/back along with a single buffer, then it’s time to turn it from a cabriolet to a hard-top. The roof is made of two mirror image sections with panelling moulded into each cab end and on the curved sections where adverts would be placed on the passenger version, with a pair of lighting bars running along the rest of the length next to roof-mounted handrails. Upstands are glued to each side of the flat section of the roof and have a nicely detailed heat-exchanger unit fitted front and rear (front and front?). Lights, placards for route numbers and the big pantograph loop is assembled then fitted in the centre of the roof, angled toward the rea… whichever direction it has come from. If you’re not a diorama fan you can end it there, but it would be a shame to waste the base and accompanying catenary posts that suspend the wire above the track. The base is vacformed, so will need some method of support underneath to prevent it from sagging under the weight of the model, such as balsawood, which can be glued to the underside of the base with epoxy. The two posts have a four-part base and single riser part, with a choice of a simple or decorative arm for each one. They are held taut by wires that you will need to supply yourself, and you will need to do a little research to correctly wire in the rest of the cables to your tram’s pantograph. Markings There are six decal and markings options out of the box, with a wide choice of colours but only a few decals for route numbers and vehicle identification. From the box you can build one of the following: Cargo USSR 40-60s Repair USSR 40-60s Repair USSR 40-50s Emergency USSR 40-50s Cargo USSR 40-50s Service USSR 30-50s Decals are by DecoGraph, which is a guarantee of good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion A well detailed model of a cargo tram that was used in Soviet Russia for more than just hawking goods around. There’s plenty of scope for dioramas with the included base a healthy start, and lots of opportunity to practice your weathering techniques to depict a well-worn example. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Soviet Infantry Tank Riders Set 1 (35309) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd We have all seen pictures from all forces in WWII with infantry soldiers riding on tanks, after all why walk when you can cadge a free ride from the tankies. This set arrives in a figure sized end-opening box and as advertised on the front it holds four figures that can be posed on and around the vehicle. There are then 4 additional sprues of personal weapons and equipment. They are all armed with the Soviet PPS 9mm gun. There looks to be one officer and 3 other ranks. Sculpting is as ever spot on, with sensible breakdown of parts along natural seams, good understanding of the draping of different materials, and realistic poses and proportions that all add realism to the finished figures. There does seem to be some larger seem lines of these figures which will need to be removed, however that is an easy process. The painting and construction guide can be found of the back of the box in colour, with paints called out as numbers that relate to a table below converting between Vallejo, Mr Color, Mission models and AMMO brands plus the colours and their names in English. Recommended if you need some Soviet Infantry to ride on your latest Soviet tank model. Review sample courtesy of
  10. US Armoured Tractor with Angle Dozer Blade (35291) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Bulldozers have been around in construction since the 1920s however the term Bulldozer came from the 30s as before that they were called Bullgraders. The Blade (the curved front piece) peels layers of earth of and pushes it forwards. Tracks were introduced really with the Caterpillar company. These machines were used extensively by the military to construct all manner of bases, airfields, roads etc. The Kit This kit is a military version of the Caterpillar D7, however there is no information in the instructions on this (probably for licencing),. The kit arrives on 37 sprues, a small PE fret and a small decal sheet; and a figure. Construction begins with the engine which is the heart of the machine. As this is visible it is a small kit on its own with a large number of parts. The engine and its transmission take up the first 3 pages of the instruction booklet and complete with the radiator fit into the front part of the chassis which builds up around it. The left and right track roller assemblies are then built up with a complex assembly including the wheels and track tensioning system. Next the driver area is built up over the engine/transmission area and the roller assemblies are attached to each side. the radiator grill is then added at the front and the side plates for the operator entry are added. Next up the complicated looking winch arrangement which moves the blade is made up and added. This fits at the rear of the cab and goes over it, with the cab roof being added. The tracks are added at this stage each link has 4 parts! and there are 36 each side. If building the armoured version for option 9 then the armoured box surrounding the cab needs to be built up, and the machine guns added in. The last stage is to construct the large bulldozer blade and it supporting structure. The blade can be fitted straight on or with an offset to the left or right as needed. The figure can be used on the bulldozer if needed, though for some strange reason its pose is a man getting in or out of a vehicle with a door? Markings There are markings for several US units; 5 regular units which were; USAAF Construction Unit, North Africa 1943 US Aviation Engineer Battalion, Ledo Road India/China 1944 US Navy Seebee Mobile construction Battalion, Rhode Island 1942 US Army Engineers, Pacific WW2 299th Combat Engineering Battalion, US Army Omaha Beach, June 1944 312th Combat Engineering Battalion, 87th Infantry Division, Saint-Vith, Belgium 1945 US Army, Cherbourg 1944 Capital Mechanised Division, Republic of Korea Army, Bong Son, Vietnam 1966 The last markings are for an up armoured and armed vehicle from the 1 St Provisional Tank group, Burma 1944. This was a particularly interesting but not well know joint US / Chinese command in Burma. As the areas has no real roads construction equipment was heavily used. Click here to read more on this interesting command. Taken from MiniArt's website Conclusion This is an important piece of US construction equipment which miniart have made an excellent kit of. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  11. Liore-Et-Oliver LeO C.30A Early Prod. (41007) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd There was a time when the Autogyro was looked at with great promise but the never materialised, The Avro licence built the Cierva C.30 designed by Juan de la Cieva. This was built from the fuselage of the Avro Cadet biplane and used an Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major engine. Lift was provided by an 11.3m diameter 3 bladed rotor. In Germany the Air Ministry thought as well that the Autogyro was the future for aviation and it was licence built Bu Forke Wulf.. Twenty-five aircraft were built in France by Lioré-et-Olivier as the LeO C.301 with a 175 hp (130 kW) Salmson 9NE 9-cylinder radial engine for the French and Belgian armed forces. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this in 1.35 scale. The kit is upto Minart's modern standards; there are 4 main sprues, 4 smaller sprues, a small clear spure and a sheet of photoetch in the box. Even in 1.35 scale this is not a large kit. Construction starts with the front mounted radial engine. The cylinder banks are made up with the exhaust and collector ring being added. Ancillary parts are then attached to the engine and it is put aside for later. Construction then moves to the interior/cockpit. The two seats are made up complete with PE seatbelts. These then attach to their mounting frames. Onto the cockpit floor are mounted the rudder pedals and control column. Additional controls are added to the side frames and then these frames can be attached to the cockpit floor. Front and rear control panels are then added. The seats are added in and then the side frames added. The cockpit can then be closed up inside the main fuselage, Next up the mount for the rotor blades is made up and attached to the fuselage. The tail wheel assembly is added as are the tailplanes. At the front the engine cowl are is made up. The engine and its propeller are then added. The landing gear struts are made up and the wheels are added. Lastly the rotor blades are made up and added, these can either be in the flying or stowed positions. Markings There are two decal options provided on the sheet From the box you can build one of the following: F-407 French Air Force Late 1930s Belgian Army Artillery Observer Aircraft, Many 1940 352.8 352 Sqn French Naval Aviation, 1940 352.1 352 Sqn French Naval Aviation late 1930s Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Fished model picture from Miniart Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important civil aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Hallo This is my way to get a little distance from modelling aircarft. This famous truck is my first of many. The AAA I also did. In a few days I show you this truck too! Happy modelling
  13. Grant Mk.II (35282) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics to over-run a large portion of Europe. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but it was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where 2nd line equipment was often fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The Grant II replaced the more inflammable petrol engine for twin diesel units, retaining the controversial riveted hull, and often fitted with the Lee machinegun turret, although this was sometimes removed in the field. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and have expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The primary changes in this boxing are the inclusion of a new cast turret with no machine-gun turret on top, and the inclusion of British equipment inside and around the exterior. We've come to expect great things from MiniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included. The original release we reviewed here was the full interior kit, now for those of us who don't build full interior kits we have this great option without all of the interior gear. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 54 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed together to form a shallow box. The curved lower glacis part is also added, and the final-drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsons. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added as are the radiator baths. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are made up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver, or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield that overlaps the elevation/traverse slot. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior, it’s best close them up or place a figure in the aperture. The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue instead of rivets, which are there purely for show. A large stowage bin is added to the rear with towing cables and pioneer tools spread around it, plus PE tie-downs and filler caps on the diagonal edge panels. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm of cable from your own supplies suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Grant's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two wide wheels on a bogie with a return wheel at the top, and there are three per side. The wheels with their moulded-in rubber tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return-roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. I built a test section up with the earlier interior kit, and each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, flexing well as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. With the tracks in place, the side skirts can be installed and the additional stowage boxes can be fabricated from their parts and attached to the hull with PE brackets, their shape conforming to the surfaces that they are placed on. The side skirts are finished off with mudguards at the rear by boxing in the tops of the track runs. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull, then the single-part main gun barrel is nipped from the sprues, has its seamlines removed and is joined to the optional two-part blast-bag that has excellent realistic-looking canvas wrinkle and sag moulded in. For some decal options a muzzle-mounted counterweight is fitted, made up from two halves that clamp around the barrel. We're still not quite ready for the turret though, as there are a number of PE parts at the front for some of the decal options, and others use the metal side-skirt hangers that stretch the full length of the sponsons, and are detailed with PE hinge and bracket parts. More PE parts are added around the light clusters, and as tie-downs for additional pioneer tools on the angled parts and sponson tops. A small PE basket is folded up for two of the decal options, with two mudflap stiffener plates fixed to the front. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some convincing casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The 37mm barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret halves are joined, then the aerial bases are added, with aerials from either stretched sprue, carbon rod or anything suitable you have lying around. Next up is the low-rise British spec cupola with grab handles and a choice of open or closed clamshell hatch with periscope in the port side. The commander's .30cal weapon is mounted on a curved fitting on the front of the turret and is fitted with a drum magazine that has moulded-in bullets plus a separate short length that feeds into the breech, sandwiched between the two end-caps with built in mounting frame. The barrel has a PE cooling jacket fitted after rolling it, which requires the tip cutting off to slide it on, then re-gluing the tip in place. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim along with the hatches, then the turret can be fitted to finish the model. Markings The decal sheet is quite large for an AFV model and you can make one of six options from the box, as shown below: 500th Grant produced by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Eddystone, Pennsylvania, USA, June 1942 Tac HQ’s Defence Company 8th Army, El Alamein, General Montgomery’s Command Vehicle, Nov 1942 4th County of London Yeomanry, 8th British Army, Tripoli, Jan 1943 2/4th Armoured Regiment, 2nd Armoured Brigade, 1st Armoured Division, New South Wales, Australia, early 1943 Advanced Base No.5, Workshop in Al Mussaiyib, Iraq, June 1943 2/9th Armoured Squadron, North Queensland, Australia, Spring 1944 The decals are printed by DecoGraph as usual for MiniArt, and have good register, colour density and sharpness, with thin matt carrier film cut closely to the printed areas. Conclusion There are additional parts for British Army specific stowage included in the box, which is good to see as a personalised model often looks better than a stock kit. Their locations and colour are shown on separate colour diagrams that can be found at the front of the painting diagrams. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  14. LGOC B-Type London Omnibus (38021) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd After the invention of the motor car, it was only a matter of time before someone thought to apply it to carrying us proles around in groups, partly because the general populous couldn’t dream of affording a car at the time, but also because it cut down on traffic in the sprawling metropolis that was early 1900s London. The London General Omnibus Company – LGOC for short, developed the Omnibus X, the omnibus part relating to everyone or all. It was replaced by the improved B-type Omnibus which has seats for 16 inside and another 18 less salubrious seats upstairs open to the elements. It was capable of breaking the speed limit of the day and could do a staggering 16mph on the flat, with headlights being introduced just before WWI began. Up to 900 buses were shipped to the continent to bus the troops around the battlefield from trench to trench, with up to 24 fully-equipped men being carried on the two decks. Of course, the word Omnibus didn’t last long and gave us the Bus that we know and don’t really love today. With the side glazing easily broken by the men’s equipment and gun butts, it wasn’t long before many were covered up with planks, making for a dark but less draughty lower deck. Some were even converted to mobile homes for pigeons, with a loft built on the top deck and able to be driven from place to place where telegraph or telephone wasn’t a suitable means of communications. At the end of WWI, the remaining operational buses were also used to ferry the soldiers back to the UK, but it can’t have been very comfortable or quick on balance. The Kit This kit began with the militarised version in olive drab (39001), and now we’re looking at the civilian version on which it was developed. A few additional sprues are included to improve the comfort of the passengers by adding cushions to the seats, and to add a safety barrier to the area of the side between the wheels to prevent people from being swept under. The decal sheet is also brand new, and the Photo-Etch (PE) sheet has been re-organised to accommodate the curved advertising hoardings on the staircase at the expense of number plate choice. Detail is excellent with a full chassis, engine and interior included in the box, giving you just about everything you need to build a detailed replica of the early omnibus. Construction begins with the engine, which is well detailed and even has diagrams showing you how to wire up the spark plugs with some of your own wire if you wish. The exhaust manifold, big clutch flywheel are added to the block along with a load of ancillary parts and hoses, then the gearbox is made up with its short drive-shaft to link it to the engine later on. The chassis is made up from the two side rails and cross members, then the engine is inserted from below while the fan belt and blades; starting handle; leaf springs for the suspension; and a large rear axle are all added, then flipped over to begin work on the engine compartment. A wood-textured bulkhead is installed aft, and at the front the large radiator is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis, then linked to the feed hoses that were fixed earlier. A small linkage is made from 0.3mm wire and joined with and end-piece that completes the link, which has a couple of scrap diagrams to assist you, one at 1:1 scale to ensure you have it right. The chassis is flipped again and the front axle is built then inserted into the leaf-springs, while brake rods are threaded along the length of the vehicle to provide the meagre braking force to all wheels. The gearbox gets a guard fitted to its bottom as it is inserted into the chassis, at which point it is also linked to the back axle with another drive-shaft that is bracketed by a piece of PE. The chassis is flipped again, and the gearbox is linked to the cab, with steering wheel, PARP! style horn plus the cab floor with foot board and cut-outs for the steering wheel, foot brake and other pedals (right-hand drive of course). Now the front and back of the engine bay are linked by the fixed centre panel, and you can build the cowling in either open or closed positions with PE plates attached to the vertical panels. The chassis continues again with the exhaust pipe and muffler, which has a PE lip added to each end of the welded cylinder. This and the remaining driver controls are fixed into the chassis, which is then set aside while the passenger compartment is built. The passenger compartment starts as a U-shaped floor with duck-board flooring, which receives end panels that are first fitted out with glazing. Seats are added along each side with back cushions fitted later, and the sides of the lower floor are made up with glazing and long slim openers at the top of each pane, capable of being posed open or closed by choosing different glazing parts. The front of the passenger box is also the seating area for the crew cab, with seat board, a thin cushion, and a cylinder in a pair of PE restraints installed ready for the later joining of the two assemblies. Long advertising hoarding brackets are fitted on the window frames outside and the lower floor is set to one side while the upper floor is made up. This has a slightly curved floor, solid sides, front and back, and four rows of double seats facing forward with a central walkway. Various rails are added to the top, beginning the handrails for the winding stairs, as well as ceiling-mounted grab-rails for the floor below. The two floors are joined together, and the staircase is begun at the bottom with the step-on platform at the rear, which allows access to the lower floor and leads to the stairs winding up the back of the vehicle. These steps are curved and have two parts added together, then strengthened by a side panel, and two curved sections on the outside that are combined safety rails and adverting hoardings that have three PE panels fitted to the outside ready for the included adverts. A number-plate and more handrails finish off that area. Underneath, the double length mudguards are glued to the cabin by brackets, and then the whole assembly is installed on the chassis along with front mudguards, crew steps, choice of lights and a front number plate. The wheels were built up earlier from a central hub surrounded by two tyre halves, and with drum-brake for the rear wheels, and simpler wheels for the front. Now that she’s stood on her own four wheels for the first time, the side-mounted people catchers are installed under the chassis between the wheels, preventing anyone unlucky enough to fall between the wheels from getting smooshed by the heavy back end. Markings The bus is painted in a dull red overall, with various accent colours from wood, metallics and brass colours, while many of the standard markings such as the destination and general stencilling are applied as decals. The adverts are all printed on the rear page of the instruction booklet and must be carefully cut out and pasted onto the hoarding boards in the top floor sides and rear of the bus, taking care to use a non-marking glue. The opposite side of the adverts are gloss white, so glue absorption shouldn’t be a major issue. The standard decals are shown applied to the bus inside the front cover of the booklet, while various advertising options are shown there and on separate pages at the back of the booklet next to the adverts themselves. This gives a pretty wide range of options to the modeller who takes a mix-and-match approach, but there are several options provided to get you going. Decals are by DecoGraph, with good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. There is a small addendum sheet included with the initial release, due to a misspelling of the word “Bridge” on the main decal sheet, so remember to discard those before you apply the wrong ones. Conclusion If you’ve been planning to adapt the military version to civilian use, now you don’t need to, as this highly detailed kit provides you with everything you need to create a great replica of this early bus. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of https://www.britmodeller.com/reviews/graphics/bin.jpg
  15. Been a while since I've posted anything out of the Group Build area, as ive got a bit of time on my hands now thought I'd upload my latest project. A mixed unit stalking a Sherman Firefly as it travels up a French lane. My references, My work so far,
  16. MiniArt Models – A Visit By Our Man in Kiev Back in April I was very fortunate to be in the Ukraine visiting their wonderful Armoured and Aviation museums. On the off chance, once I had realised that MiniArt were based in Kiev, where I was staying, I contacted Alina through their website. Not expecting a reply, I was very pleased to then get an invite to see their operation just a short drive from Kiev near Boryspil Airport. It was a lovely sunny day and Alina, along with the company driver picked me up from my hotel. Having arrived at the factory I was introduced to Alexey, a nicer man whom you couldn’t meet. His enthusiasm, not just for his company, but modeling in general, shone through, and was a most wonderful host. He and Alina then showed me around the building. Downstairs, the two injection moulding machines and vacform machine are housed on one half of the factory, whilst the packing department is located on the other half. It was the first time I had actually been up close to a moulding machine and it was quite fascinating watching the operators working their magic, producing sprue after sprue of parts in quite quick order. I was also lucky to see all the injection moulds from previous kits sitting on shelves at one end of the room, while the moulds for the vacform buildings were at the other end. It was also interesting to learn that MiniArt had had a problem with the plastic being supplied from Russia, it being quite brittle, which I had come across in their kits. Now though, the plastic is imported from Belgium and is much more modeller friendly, being softer and easier to work with. Yurii, Alexey, Ben and Alina In the packaging department it was a hive of activity with sprues being gut to size by two staff, while another two were putting them in the poly bags and sealing them up, adding the instructions, decals, and etched brass, before filling the kit boxes. The completed kits were then moved upstairs to the distribution and packing warehouse, which, to be honest, is getting too small for the amount of kits that are being produced as there were piles of stock everywhere, particularly on the second floor where it resembled something like the large warehouse from Indiana Jones and the Ark of the Covenant, only on a smaller scale, naturally. In the only open area there were stacks of kits being packed up and sent to the distributors around the world. I was then directed into a smaller room which was the design office, inside, three men were busy designing the latest models on the CAD stations, whilst at one end, Dmytro was building the latest test shots of the T-54B, which he has since shown off on Britmodeller. Design Team MiniArt Models was established in 2001 by Alexey, who started modeling as a child and has continued to do so to the present day. Originally a business man with several enterprises, he decided to create a manufacturing company as he saw some gaps in the presented models on market. After two years of initial research and development, MiniArt Models released its first model in 2003 – 35002 SOVIET INFANTRY ON THE MARCH. In the same year, the company released fourteen model kits to market and began distribution of the models through established hobby distribution companies. In the same year the company also introduced its first four vacuum-formed buildings in what would become a new series –Buildings, Accessories and Dioramas. Which were unique products as for that time only resin kits of dioramas and building existed. MiniArt wanted to create more convenient and interesting models using plastic. In 2004, they launched another new model series HISTORICAL FIGURES SERIES (1/16 scale) and HISTORICAL MINIATURES SERIES (1/72 scale). Test Build Area In 2005, MiniArt Models presented its kits for the first time at the International Toy Fair at Nuremburg and since then continues to showcase the products there. In 2006 MiniArt Models released its first military vehicle kit. It was Soviet tank 35025 T-70 M Early Production SOVIET LIGHT TANK w/CREW. Since then MiniArt Models started to launch various models of AFV, tanks, guns, vehicles, cars etc. Over the years MiniArt Models has much improved the level of quality and continues to strive for increased detail, accuracy and innovation. Injection Moulding Machines In 2011 a new slogan was created: “MiniArt, where innovation is always at work”. This slogan was first presented in MiniArt‘s Catalogue of 2011 with the following preamble: “At MiniArt, our goal is to create models that will feed your hunger for original concepts. At the same time, we strive to be at the forefront of molding technology. The results are kits that showcase world-class quality and uncompromising creativity. Join us at MiniArt, where innovation is always at work”. Injection Moulds In 2012 the slogan was converted to a shorter variant: “MiniArt Models. Innovation is everything”. A new and additional product line was launched in the summer of 2012 – multi-colored kits – models of buildings in 1/72 scale. This series of kits features plastic in six different colors and the buildings can be assembled unpainted for use by railway modelers, although in practice most are painted and weathered for a more realistic finish. Vacform Moulds In 2013 was released a new series in 1/35 scale Miniatures Series – Civilian Subjects. The first item in this series was 38001 European Tram. This was to be the very first model kit of a tram to be reproduced in plastic. In 2014 the company together with all manufacturing facilities was relocated to Kiev, the capital city of Ukraine. The relocation was urgent and only in one week. After 3 months they have restarted the business activity starting with relaunching of manufacturing and release new items only 6 months after relocation. Sprue Cutting Area MiniArt Models continues to expand the range not only to existing series but also in developing new lines. In 2016 they launched a new series Military Miniatures with the first kit 37002 T-44M SOVIET MEDIUM TANK. The current MiniArt Models range consists of some 300 kits. In 2017 Military series was expanded with T-55 series and more kits on this line will be launched during 2017. Decals and Etch Storage Packaging MiniArt now employ thirty people, including freelancers, the ones I met were and am very grateful for allowing me to photograph them:- Alexey – Owner, and all round great guy, and wonderful host Alina – Marketing/Sale coordinator, (she is also developing her own line of products which we will hopefully see soon in stores), also a wonderful host Ben – marketing and Website designer Yulia - Accounting and Logistic Yurii - Manufacturing control Victor - Engineer (injection machine control) , Vladimir (senior), Oleksiy and Roman – Development Dmytro - Modeler(test builds) Natalia, Katerina, Anton (also a modeller) -Packing of the kits Eugenii - order packing, (warehouse control). This year MiniArt are beginning further expansion through the building of a much larger factory, in fact almost 3 times larger. I hope to return to Ukraine later in the summer to see the new factory, and will update this article when I get back. The new factory will also introduce another pair of injection moulding machines and give the company the opportunity to employ another 10 or so staff, much need in the area. Dispatch Area/Warehouse A Forlorn Pile of Trams SHAR2
  17. Road Signs WWII North Africa (35604) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII the North African theatre was a constant round of taking and retaking territory, with locations changing hands more than three or four times on a daily or weekly basis, with German, Allied of Italian masters seemingly interchangeable, while the locals carried as best they could while trying to avoid getting caught in the crossfire. This set is full of signs of this nature, and includes military signs to guide their troops to rally points, service areas and so forth as they didn't have the luxury of GPS and satnav back then, which is probably why we have it now. The Kit These signs relate to the North African Theatre of Operations, and arrives in a shrink-wrapped, top-opening, figure-sized box with a painted example of what’s in the box on the front, and a set of instructions inside. There are eleven sprues of styrene parts, plus a large decal sheet with the sign fronts to complete the set. One sprue seems to be made up of wooden box sides, but these are actually repurposed into signs and are used throughout the set along with the custom arrows and the posts that they are applied to. In addition, a sprue of parts for a telegraph pole is included, but this is repurposed into more sign posts to suspend those signs you’ve got, a set of three oil drums spread over six small sprues, and a small quantity of sandbags of various sizes to act as bases for posts that aren’t driven into the ground. There are 51 signs on the decal sheet for you to use, using the guide on the box or going off as you see fit. There’s a bit of flash on some of the telegraph insulators, but those are parts that get left on the sprue, so it’s not an issue, and you’ll find some bags of vegetables and hand pumps knocking about on the sprues for your use or otherwise. The decals are printed by DecoGraph, and have good registration, clarity and sharpness, with a thin carrier film fitted closely around the printed areas. Conclusion Great diorama fodder, as the devil’s in the details. The printed decal signs are so much better than most of us could do with a paint brush, and will add a little extra realism and a some humour to any diorama or vignette. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. British Military Lorry B-Type (39003) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Built by the Four Wheel Drive (FWD) company, this was a very early truck used by the military of Britain and the US during WWI, beginning in 1915 with a small order from the British Army. It was full of curious technology from a modern standpoint, but then vehicles of this type were still in their infancy, so that’s hardly surprising that there were a few dead-ends. It was originally supplied with solid tyres and the front wheels had a strange toed-in look due to the suspension geometry set up to give a light steering load. Its T-head engine produced a monstrous 36bhp and it could be connected to all four wheels or either front or rear in the event of necessity or damage to either drive-shaft. It also had a distinctive pig-nosed front due to the fact that the engine was mounted below the cab, with only the radiator housed in the front and precious little (read: none) cover for the driver and crew. Over 12,000 were made up until the end of WWI, with them finding a ready market in the post-war period in the civilian sector, sometimes with pneumatic tyres added to improve the ride quality. The Kit This kit began with the militarised version in olive drab (39001), and was developed into the London Ominbus. Detail is excellent with a full chassis, engine and interior included in the box, giving you just about everything you need to build a detailed replica of the truck. Construction begins with the engine, which is well detailed and even has diagrams showing you how to wire up the spark plugs with some of your own wire if you wish. The exhaust manifold, big clutch flywheel are added to the block along with a load of ancillary parts and hoses, then the gearbox is made up with its short drive-shaft to link it to the engine later on. The chassis is made up from the two side rails and cross members, then the engine is inserted from below while the fan belt and blades; starting handle; leaf springs for the suspension; and a large rear axle are all added, then flipped over to begin work on the engine compartment. A wood-textured bulkhead is installed aft, and at the front the large radiator is assembled and fitted to the front of the chassis, then linked to the feed hoses that were fixed earlier. A small linkage is made from 0.3mm wire and joined with and end-piece that completes the link, which has a couple of scrap diagrams to assist you, one at 1:1 scale to ensure you have it right. The chassis is flipped again and the front axle is built then inserted into the leaf-springs, while brake rods are threaded along the length of the vehicle to provide the meagre braking force to all wheels. The gearbox gets a guard fitted to its bottom as it is inserted into the chassis, at which point it is also linked to the back axle with another drive-shaft that is bracketed by a piece of PE. The what must have been uncomfortable solid tyre wheels, and the front vehicle lights are made up and set to one side. The chassis is flipped again, and the gearbox is linked to the cab, with steering wheel, PARP! style horn plus the cab floor with foot board and cut-outs for the steering wheel, foot brake and other pedals (right-hand drive of course). Now the front and back of the engine bay are linked by the fixed centre panel, and you can build the cowling in either open or closed positions with PE plates attached to the vertical panels. The chassis continues again with the exhaust pipe and muffler, which has a PE lip added to each end of the welded cylinder. This and the remaining driver controls are fixed into the chassis,. The rudimentary drivers cab is built up and installed onto the chassis which is then set aside while the load compartment is built. The load bed is built up from the bottom part, and four sides all of which have fine wood grain moulded in. Underneath five mounting rails are added for mounting to the chassis. The load bed can now be added. The front mud guards are then assembled and these can be mounted along with the lights and a front grill over the radiator. A rudimentary bumper is added for one of the decal options. Finally the wheels can be added. Markings A small decal sheet from Dechograph is included with the minimal markings seen on wartime truck. Markings are included for four Royal Army Service Corps trucks from WWI. Conclusion This will be a good model in its own right, or great in a WWI diorama, Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. Pigeons (38036) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. No, that’s not a typo. Pigeons. An absolute necessity for any diorama, or indeed any model. There simply must be a pigeon in, on or near every model you ever build - it's a well-known fact. Now MiniArt have solved your problem with sourcing sufficient pigeons to make your dream of permanent pigeon patronage (PPP) come true. Some call them rats of the sky, or vermin, but love them or loathe them, they get around and are seen everywhere in any town or city, especially where people feed them. This set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box, and inside are six sprues, linked in pairs. There are two different sprues, so three of each in grey coloured styrene. There are no decals (no surprise there), with instructions and painting guide found on the rear of the box, showing that there is a huge variety of colours and patterns seen on your average pigeon. Their poop isn’t documented though, so you’ll have to look up the FS shades for the white splatter with black blobs they seem to leave wherever they go. Each bird has a separate set of legs for detail, and they are striking a few different poses to add further variety to your models, aside from the paint jobs. There’s a little flash here and there, but that’s easy to remove, even on small parts like these, and don’t forget a small paint brush to detail all those feathers and stripes that are a theme on their flight feathers. Conclusion Awesome! Well, for pigeons they are. Nice little models that are much simpler than making your own. A scrape of the seams, a little glue and you can be “doing the pigeon” with Bert and Ernie with 36 tiny-weeny models of these feathery, beady-eyed, food scavenging nuisances! Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. British M3 Lee (35270) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and have expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The primary changes in this boxing are the inclusion of a new cast turret with no machine-gun turret-let on top, and the inclusion of British equipment inside and around the exterior. We've come to expect great things from miniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included The original release we reviewed here was the full interior kit, now for those of us who dont build full interior kits (like myself) we have the great kit without all of that stuff. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 70 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, 2 sprues of equipment/tarps; and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return wheel at the top, and there are three per side. The wheels with their moulded-in rubber tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. There are two different types of track in the kit depending on which marking option being done. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up with the interior kit, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. There are both WE-210 & T-41 track links included, and use depends on marking option. With the tracks in place, the side skirts can be installed and the additional stowage boxes can be fabricated from their parts and attached to the hull with PE brackets, their shape conforming to the surfaces that they are placed on. The side skirts are finished off with mudguards at the rear by boxing in the tops of the track runs. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull, then the single-part main gun barrel is nipped from the sprues, has its seamlines removed and is joined to the optional two-part blast-bag that has excellent realistic-looking canvas wrinkle and sag moulded in. We're still not quite ready for the turret though, as there are a number of PE parts stretching the length of the side-skirts which are used to hang additional stowage in the real thing. These fit onto small depressions on the sides of the hull, and scrap diagrams show the correct way to fold the perpendicular front sections. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret halves joined, the aerials are then added. Next up is the reduced height British spec cupola with grab handles and a choice of open or closed hatch with periscope in the port door. The commander's .30cal weapon is mounted on a curved fitting on the front of the turret and is fitted with a drum magazine that has moulded-in bullets plus a separate short length that feeds into the breech, sandwiched between the two end-caps with built in mounting frame. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim along with the hatches. The turret can then be fitted. There are additional parts for British Army specific stowage included in the box, which is good to see as a personalised model often looks better than a basic kit. Their locations and colour are shown on separate colour diagrams that can be found at the front of the painting diagrams. Decals There are 4 options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, split between camouflaged, green and sand coloured vehicles, as the Grant and Lee served mainly in warmer climes. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options. From the box you can build one of the following: Eighth Army, North Africa 1942 (overall sand) Eighth Army, North Africa 1942 (earth / sand) Eighth ArmyNorth Africa 1942 (green / sand) - without top machine gun turret Captured tank , North Africa 1942 (overall sand) - without top machine gun turret Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed area Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Grant as it was supplied to and used by the British Army. The detail incorporated in styrene even without the interior is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. T-55 Mod. 1970 With OMsh tracks (37064) 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, and 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 Czechs built their own versions of the T-54 and T-55, with quite an export market developing due to their being of better build quality than the Russian built alternative. Of the many sub variants produced by the then Czechslovakia, many were exported to Soviet Bloc aligned purchasers. Starting in 1970 these tanks were fitted with the 12.7mm DShK 1938/46 or KPVT loader's anti-aircraft heavy machine guns. These tanks were known as Model 1970. OMsh track is the standard type fitted to all T-54/55/62. These were later upgraded to the RMsh type which was fitted to the fitted to the T-72. 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 later T-55, which will hopefully include some of the more unusual marks as well. The initial toolings were all brand new, and were 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. The kit arrives in their current orange themed box, with a painting of the tank in question on the front. Lifting the lid gives the feeling of how much is inside, as it is packed full and I'm dreading putting it all back in. There are 80 sprues in mid grey styrene, many of them quite small, and some of the larger ones linked together in pairs, two clear sprues, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet, and the instruction booklet. 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 lower hull, which 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, or shorter stubby versions if you want to freeze the suspension in the level position. The hull insides are separate and are well detailed parts, which are added to the lower along with engine bay firewall and rear bulkhead. Externally, the T-55 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. With the glacis and the turret ring "bat wings" added to the hull sides, the upper hull is assembled from the top with turret ring aperture, a multi-part engine deck with individual slats added before installation, and some PE mesh panels added later with optional raised covers supplied as additional parts. The main lights have clear lenses, and fit inside a multi-part cage to protect them from damage, which will take some care to glue together neatly. 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 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 itself is a busy assembly, having the basics of the breech mechanism and coax machine gun made up and mated with the lower turret on two mounts at the front. The upper turret has some holes drilled out from inside and is attached to the lower, after which the two-part turret roof is fitted with hatches, vents and vision blocks. Externally the grab rails, forward mounted searchlight, commander's cupola and a choice of cast mantlet or moulded blast-bag over the mantlet are 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 folded tarp is attached to the back of the turret by more PE straps near the included stowage boxes. A series of extra cans for the 12.7m gun are added to the turret sides. 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. The 12.7 mm DShK heavy machine gun is the last assembly, and is made up along with its mount, ammo box with a short length of shells leading into the breech, which is fitted into the mount in front of the loader’s hatch. The turret is dropped into the hull and your choice of location made for the driver’s poor weather hood made earlier. Markings There are six decal options, and plenty of colour (and operator) variation, which is nice to see. From the box you can build one of the following: 101 st Mechanised Rifle Regiment, 5th Guards Motorised Rifle Division of the Soviet 40th Army, Afghanistan early 1980's. Presumed Syrian 85th Separate Motorised Infantry Brigade, Beirut Lebanon June 1982. Unknown Iranian unit, Iran-Iraq war 1980's. Iraqi Army, Al Mutla District, North Of Kuwait Operation Desert Storm 1991. Peruvian Army, 2010. Kurdish Peshmerga unit, Battle of Mossol 2016. The decals are printed by DecoGraph on bright blue paper, and have good register, sharpness and colour density, with a closely cropped thin, matt carrier film. Conclusion These 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. It is a fabulous kit and will keep you modelling for hours and hours. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. Dinner on the Front (35325) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Soldiers need to eat. It’s an immutable fact, and during an advance such as those pioneered in Blitzkrieg, they need to have their feeding facilities either with them or close at hand behind the lines. During the advance into Germany by Soviet Russia toward the end of WWII, the space between battles were filled with soldiers either sleeping or eating. We’ll ignore the other stuff they may have gotten up to for decency’s sake. This new set from MiniArt depicts one such incident that could have taken place within a building or shack, where the squad takes the time to rest and enjoy a meal together before their next task. Arriving in a figure-sized shrink-wrapped top-opening box, the set includes some elements that you may have seen before, plus a set of five figures to use with these parts. There are eleven sprues in the box, one in white and the rest in grey, plus a small Photo-Etch (PE) fret of brass that supplies parts for the Samovar, handles for the pots and a few pieces of cutlery. Build up is simple as you’d expect and careful painting will be key to adding realism to the ingredients for this snapshot of life in WWII Soviet military. The scene is exactly as you see it on the box art. Five men, three sitting with food or drink, while one tends the fire, and a Commissar or Officer in a greatcoat stands and eats from a billy-can with a spoon. The soldiers all have typical leather boots and quilted uniforms, and that Soviet staple the Ushanka ear-flap hat in fur to keep their heads warm. Also included in the set is a table, pots, crockery and cutlery to fill it, a Samovar self-heating urn and a barrel-shaped wood-burning stove (how fashionable!) with large chimney. Four chairs complete the scene, but there are other Easter eggs hidden away on the sprues such as a makeshift stick rotisserie using a pair of y-shaped sticks and cross-brace, lots of odd-looking helmets, tools and sundry items from the typical soldier’s inventory, which includes plenty of rifles, PPSh machine guns, grenades and pistols. My example had a few parts rattling round inside the heat-sealed bag, but it also had a missing torso, which is a shame but won’t affect my review other than to say that this is a first for me with MiniArt, and advise you to always check your new acquisitions for possible missing parts. As always with MiniArt, the sculpting, figure breakdown and naturalistic poses is excellent, with detail incorporated everywhere and seams placed at convenient locations to minimise clean-up time. There is a page of the instructions devoted to the making and painting of the soldiers, and at the bottom of that is a list of accessories with names and painting suggestions laid out for you to copy. In addition, on the rear page of the instructions above a copy of the salient parts of the box art, you will find a selection of four posters printed for you to add to the walls of whatever dwelling you intend to place the set within. The paints called out during the build are referred to by a table on the back page that converts them to Vallejo, Mr.Color, Lifecolor, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models, Hataka, AMMO and plain English, which is always helpful. Floor not included Conclusion As is pretty standard from MiniArt, this is a great set with details that add realism everywhere you look. Good news if your Soviet soldiers are getting hungry. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  23. Evening folks. Thought id better make a start and post my maiden build on the forums. A 1/35th BA-64b Russian scout car by Miniart. The build will pretty much be straight out the box as it’ll take too long for any detail sets to arrive. I have already made a start on the gearbox and chassis, leaf springs and rear axle. The chassis had some pretty noticeable injector pin marks and recesses on the underside of the frame. Nothing a bit of green putty can’t fix. anonymous pictures website Cheers Andy
  24. Hello guys, my T-70M Miniart is finished some picts
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