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Found 187 results

  1. Soviet Tank Crew 1950s (37053) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd After WWII the Cold War began, and our former allies became our enemy although war was never declared, but was sometimes fought in proxy wars around the world. In the 50s Soviet armour was a key component of the expected invasion of Europe, and their tank force was substantial. Their crews still wore clothing similar to that worn in WWII with some evolutionary changes from lessons learned in the field. The average crewman would wear black overalls with an element of cold protection and padding, calf-length boots and a padded tanker helmet that at least softened the frequent knocks that must have been commonplace in such a confined environment. This set arrives in a figure sized end-opening box and as advertised on the front it holds four figures on separate sprues that can be posed on and around the vehicle. The officer figure is wearing a flat peaked cap and is consulting a map from a folio, while one crewmember squats either on the ground or tank, another leans with his arms over the lip of his hatch, and the final member is stepping on something with his hands on what could be the lip of his hatch. Each figure has separate arms, legs, torso and head, with the helmets made up from a central top section and hanging sides for a more realistic look, and they each have a bag slung over their shoulders that is another separate part. The crewmen have additional Y-shaped parts to represent the cables for the comms gear sewn into their helmets, and the commander has a pistol on his belt and the map is moulded into his hand, separately from the rest of his arm. Sculpting is as ever spot on, with sensible breakdown of parts along natural seams, superb understanding of the draping of different materials, and realistic poses and proportions that all add realism to the finished figures. 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, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models and Hataka brand plus the colours and their names in English and Ukrainian. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Continental R975 Engine (35321) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Originating as the Wright R-975 Whirlwind, the Continental engine was a license-built engine that was used in a number of US tanks and other armoured vehicles, far outstripping its service as an aero-engine. Tanks such as the M4 Sherman, M3 Lee, M7 Priest, M18 Hellcat (spookily I'm watching a documentary with this type right now) and many other lesser known examples used the engine, which was generally placed with the drive-shaft horizontally, leading at least in part to the high profile of some of these vehicles. Without the airstream of flight to cool it down it had to be cooled actively by a huge fan to prevent overheating. It was a complex 9-cylinder radial engine and was often lifted out of the vehicle when deep maintenance was required as it was just easier to have it mounted on a trestle than fishing around inside the close-fitting hull. The Kit This is a stand-alone kit from MiniArt that can be used alone, or in conjunction with any suitable AFV kit with the rear opened up for a repair-shop diorama or vignette. Arriving in a top-opening figure-sized box, it holds five sprues in grey styrene along with an A4 3-sheet concertina layout instruction booklet. The detail is excellent, and you can build either an early or late variant by exchanging some parts along the way, as well as including a trestle stand to mount your finished engine on. Construction begins with the piston bank with delicate cooling fins well-defined in the single-piece moulding. The bell-housing is added to the front along with push-rods at the rear, then a set of conical panels that focus the incoming air on the pistons with a cross-member support resting on a wedge on the bell-housing. The huge fan fits over the tin-work, and behind the exhaust collector ring and ancillary parts of the motor are fitted, interlacing into a complex-looking assembly that is reasonably simple when completed according to the instructions. The early exhaust is supplied in two parts, while the later version has separate pair of tubes that come out closer together. With all that glued and painted, the engine mount is glued in, passing around the ancillaries on both sides, then adding more parts to complete the equipment block. Finally, another v-shaped tube is attached, having early and late versions again, as do the additional small hoses that complete the engine. The Trestle is made up from five parts replicating the metal maintenance stand with castors moulded into the bottom frame to make moving the engine a much easier task for the maintainer. It is specifically designed to hold the engine on both sides of the front engine mount, exposing much of the motor’s greeblies for inspection. Markings There are no decals, but throughout the build the colours are called out using a boxed-in number that relates to the chart at the end of the instructions. Codes are given in Vallejo, Mr. Color, Lifecolor, Tamiya, AK Interactive, Mission Models, Hataka, AMMO, plus their names in English and Cyrillic. Conclusion The R-975 was used in a surprisingly large range of WWII Allied fighting vehicles, so anyone wanting to either show off the power plant next to their latest creation, or as already mentioned in a diorama scene, this is an excellent choice as it is loaded with detail and has early and late options that are sensibly placed to left and right of the page. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  3. M4 Quad Maxim AA Machine Gun (35211) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The Maxim machine gun was developed during WWI into a capable weapon, and was used by a number of nations, sometimes on opposite sides of no-man’s land with different names. By WWII it had been replaced to an extent by other more modern designs, but it still saw some use, often in Russian service as an Anti-Aircraft gun. One such use was a quad mount that were seen in use on trains, mounted to open wagons to defend against incoming air attacks. Mounted on a conical base that was fixed to its intended carrier, it was able to pivot and elevate as one, with the cooling jackets linked to one reservoir for ease, and the guns controlled by one trigger while the operator leaned into a pair of braces that allowed quick repositioning to track an enemy. The Kit This kit from MiniArt is intended to be used with your own choice of mount, be it a railway wagon, a truck or even a horse-drawn carriage with pictures existing that back up that unusual option. It arrives in a figure-sized box with painting guide on the rear along with a suggestion for a possible mount. Inside are ten sprues in grey styrene, plus a fret of Photo-Etched (PE) brass in a protective card envelope. A small instruction sheet is also included to guide you through the complicated build process. Construction begins with the base, with a three-arm mount at the very bottom, and bracing struts helping reduce flex. The height adjustment wheel and locking mechanism are mounted, the latter being higher up near the pivot. The four ammo cans are all made up identically with a grab handle and feeder chute with PE guide at the bottom. They are linked together by a box-shaped bracket with PE stiffeners running across all four, then the gun frame is made up in preparation for the weapons. These are each made up identically from a main breech and barrel/cooling jacket part, to which mounting hardware are added, in order to correctly mount is on the frame, then link the cooling jacket hoses into the frame and add the lead-adjustment wheel that moves the ring-sight from side-to-side according to the operator’s estimate of the speed of flight of the bullets and movement of their target. The operator’s yoke is added, flip-off muzzle caps are installed on PE chains dangling from the barrel, then the magazines are offered up from underneath with a few small parts added to finish off, including the important ammo belts. In addition, there are 15 spare magazine boxes to clutter up your mounting area. Markings There are none, but the mount, ammo cans, framework and cooling jackets were painted Russian Green, while the breeches were a dark metallic colour that I think we should call Gun Metal. Conclusion It’s a cool looking item to put in the back of a truck or wagon, but that horse-drawn option would be a bit unusual to depict, but you’d best release the horses before setting it up to fire. Highly recommended. They’re currently on discount at Creative as I type this, so hurry up! Review sample courtesy of
  4. M3A5 Lee - Exterior Kit (35279) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Lee was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. Another major user was the USSR under lend lease, the Soviets did not like the tank and its nickname was "a coffin for 6", not surprising in a way as at the time they were facing panthers and Tigers with it. The tank underwent some substantial changes including cast, welded and back to riveted hulls plus changes in the power pack and loss of the side doors to stiffen the hull. The riveted hulls suffered from rivets popping off and becoming projectiles when hit, which could be just as lethal as a penetrating round and was never fully eliminated. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port, it also had different wheels and drive sprockets. The M3A5 was a diels engined version the the riveted M3 The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and are expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The full interior kit of the Early Lee was reviewed here. This boxing now comes without an interior. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 60 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. At the read the exhausts are added with their protective plates and the rear mudguards are added. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short plates over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and armour plates protect the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted.. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Lee's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return roller at the top, and there are three of these assemblies per side. The wheels with their moulded-in tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up fro the previous reveiw. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret ring is added. Next up the US machine gun turret is added to the top of the main one. The small turret is built up with the gun and it mantlet being added, the lower ring is added as the main two part hatch. This is then fitted to the main turret, and the main turret then added to the hull. Markings There are a three options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, all of them green From the box you can build one of the following: US Army training unit USA 1941 US Army training unit USA 1941 (painted as an enemy tank) Brazilian Army, 2nd Battalion of Combat Cars, 1950s Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Lee as it was supplied to the US, Canadian and Red Army, plus a couple the Germans pinched. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering that's going to be echoed with the Grants and further Lees very soon. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Allied Road Signs WWII (35608) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII the Allied forces often re-signposted their conquests so that their non-French or German speaking troops would be better able to find their way in the unfamiliar places they were liberating. 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 European Theatre of Operations, and arrives in a figure-sized box with a painted example of what’s in the box on the front, plus a diagram on the back to help you with construction. There are three 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. There are 30 signs on the decal sheet for you to use as you see if, using the guide on the box or going off piste as you wish. There’s a bit of flash on some of the telegraph parts, but those are parts that get left on the sprue, so it’s not an issue. 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 little humour to any diorama or vignette. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Hello friends, i'm starting a new build with this T-70M russian tank from Miniart i use Aber PE, Friul tracks and Blast Model resin parts soon the end of the building with more details and friul tracks cheers
  7. Flettner Fi-282 V16 Kolibri (41002) MiniArt 1:35 via Creative Models History Although the first helicopter to enter service with the German forces in 1939 in the shape of the Fl-265, the 6 machines built were really prototypes for what followed, the Fl-282. The Fl 282 shared the same "intermeshing" rotor design as the Fl 265, this arrangement involving two individual rotor blades crossing one another, without touching, while rotating in opposite directions and on individual masts to achieve the desired vertical lift. The Fl 282 was given an all-new engine in the Bramo Sh.14A, a 7-cylinder, air-cooled radial piston engine outputting at 160 horsepower. Flight testing of the Fl 282 began in 1941 and eventually involved two flyable prototypes. These two prototypes were given enclosed cockpits while follow-up units were to feature the well-photographed open-air design. It was the German Navy that saw the value inherent in the Flettner helicopter and ordered a batch of fifteen for evaluation from its surface ships. Prototypes were designated Fl 282 V1 through V7 and followed by the Fl 282A-1 single-seat reconnaissance version for launching/retrieval from German warships. The Fl 282B-2 designation was given to the submarine-launched, single-seat reconnaissance variants, which were actually two seaters, with a second seat to the rear of the frame. This was for an observer in the scout, reconnaissance or mission liaison role. The Luftwaffe was granted a production order for some 1,000 Fl 282 units sometime in 1944, these to be manufactured by the BMW for the sheer numbers required of the German war effort. But these plans were disrupted when the plant designated to build them was bombed by allied aircraft. In 1945, the Luftwaffe went on to establish a dedicated reconnaissance wing through Transportstaffel 40 (TS/40) which was to stock several Fl 282 helicopters and based out of the Muhldorf District of Bavaria. It is interesting to note, that after the war, Anton Flettner eventually went to work with the Kaman Helicopter company, renowned for using the twin inter-meshing rotors on canted masts that Flettner had introduced with his wartime helicopter, and these are still being produced today. The Model MiniArt are renowned for producing kits that are a little different from the mainstream manufactures. The model comes on eight sprues of grey styrene, a small sheet of etched brass and a decal sheet. As usual with MiniArt kits the moulding is superb with no sign of flash or other imperfections, but there are an awful lot of moulding pips, particularly on the tubular framework which will require very careful clean-up. The model depicts V-16. Construction begins with the frame work fuselage; with the main bulkhead drilled, out the two piece rear seat is attached. The floor is fitted with what looks like a keel beam, before the main and rear bulkheads are glued into place, followed by the two side sections. The rear roof section is then added, followed by the two piece fin and single piece rudder. Two tubular cross members are then attached, along with two tubular engine mounts. The engine is a model in itself with a single piece block, which is fitted with one set of conrods on a circular frame and the single piece crankcase, the other conrods are separate as are the cylinder heads which are glued on next. The four piece gearbox is the attached to the crankcase followed by the output shaft. The forward section of the upper fuselage, containing the main rotor gearbox mounting frames is then attached, as are the horizontal tailplanes, control runs and, rather strangely, a two bladed propeller and protective ring to the front of the engine which sits inside the fuselage. The main rotor gearbox is made up from no less than thirty three parts, and includes all the control linkages, filters, rotor masts and other fittings. Probably the most complex part of the build is the assembly of what we could loosely call the cockpit. There are four sections of tubular frame that make the cockpit surrounds, then it is fitted out with the control column, all the control linkages, collective lever, rudder pedals, throttle quadrant with linkages attached and the two piece instrument panel with decal instrument faces, which you can then glaze with your favourite glazing medium. With all this in place it is fitted to the fuselage and the rear of the cockpit fitted with its strangely shaped bulkhead and the two piece seat. The main rotor gearbox assembly is then fitted to its mounting and enclosed with three panels. There are two four piece side panels that enclose the rear seat area and a four piece under fuselage section that fits under the engine area. There are two fuel tanks, each made up from four parts, the seven piece main undercarriage, and five piece nose undercarriage. These are all assembled before being glued into their respective positions. The rear panel of the main rotor gearbox is then fitted, as are the two small instrument panels and two piece PE seatbelts which fit in the cockpit. Lastly the two six piece rotors are fitted to their respective masts completing the build. Decals The single smallish decal sheet provides markings for just the one German aircraft, and one captured by the Soviets. There are also stencils and swastikas, (split into two halves), if you wish to add it. They are well printed, in register and suitably opaque. Conclusion The arrival of this kit was as much a surprise as it is welcome. Although a small aircraft, being in 1:35 it does make for a nice size, and while some parts are quite fiddly, it doesn’t look as bad as some of MiniArt’s armour kits. If you make the side panels detachable then you will be able to pose the machine with the lovely engine, gearbox and ancillaries visible. Review sample courtesy of
  8. Soviet Railway Wagon "Teplushka" (35300) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Railway trucks/wagons have been a major way of getting goods, livestock and even people around the countryside, and as the Soviet Union was geographically huge the railway was a primary mode of transport for goods and materiel come wartime. During Operation Citadel and the Soviet push back, many battles over stations and marshalling yards took place, and such wagons (Teplushka means boxcar) were often part of the backdrop. This four-wheeled unit was capable of carrying 8 tonnes and had a sliding door on both sides, with a small stove against the back wall for when live cargo was carried. The Kit Arriving in a standard-sized shrink-wrapped MiniArt box, the first thing that strikes you is how heavy it is. There are 37 sprues of grey styrene inside which accounts for most of the weight, a card envelope with two sheets of Photo-Etch (PE) parts inside, a decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a glossy cover and first page carrying the painting guide and some interesting posters and placards to put on your model. Construction begins with the underpinnings, starting with the central brake assembly in an H-frame which later forms the middle cross-rails of the chassis. The two axles are next with their wheels each end and leaf-spring suspension prepped for when the chassis is ready for them. The H-frame is joined with four more cross-rails to the main chassis rails, then stiffened by four diagonal cross-braces and a pair of end beams that accept the buffers and shackles later on. Firstly, the sides of the body are widened with a row of stand-off brackets on each side with a finishing rail and doorstep added to the sides after those are set up. Now you can put the suspension assemblies on the chassis-rails and push them slightly apart to accept the axles, which spin freely in depressions within the suspension assembly on their conical ends. The flat bed is fitted next in two sections, while the side and end panels are stiffened up with bracing and windows that can be posed open or closed, leaving the doors in the centre of each side open at this time. Before the roof it made up, the inside is decorated with three simple wooden platforms at each end, the top one of which is half depth and tilted upwards, possibly for luggage. The stove is also made up from a single body part and additional doors, grilles, top and smoke stack, then it is put to one side while the rest of the wagon is built up. More stiffening braces are added to the top of the side panels and the outer corners, plus a rail for the doors to slide on later. The roof is a long assembly made up from two sections that have wooden planking moulded on the inside, and a panelled roof with raised edges externally, braced from the inside by seven curved cross-rails. There's a small pre-engraved circular cut-out in each panel but you only need to cut one out to accommodate the smoke stack, with the stove sitting on a PE plate with a small scoop to top it up with fuel. That and the roof go on together, as the position of the stove is determined by the roof panel. It's up to you whether you decide to fill the other engraved hole, as it's unlikely to be seen unless you have eyes on stalks. The doors on each side have two layers, the inner side having a planked lower section and a diagonal bracing across the top. The pulley-like wheels are fitted onto the door frame while it is being laminated, and PE furniture and styrene handles are made up to complete them. A PE drip-rail is also attached over the door and its slide rail after it has been folded to an L-profile, then the doors are popped into place top first with the bottom edge dropped into the lower guides. Then it's just a matter of making up four three-part buffers, the brake rods with hooks on the ends, and the couplings that attach to them. That's the truck done, but now you need something to sit it on. There are four sprues filled with rail parts including 20 track-ties/sleepers, four sections of rail, linking parts and number of track spikes. The spikes on the inner edges of the rails are moulded-in, so the inner flange on the rails are inserted there first and secured by the separate pin on the outer edge. Do this 40 times (2 per sleeper) and you have a decent length or rail to put your truck on, and the beginnings of a diorama or vignette. Finally, you need to acquire a short length of chain to attach the last two hooks to the ends of the boxcar. There are also a pair of triangular mounts in the box that act as braces for the patriotic posters if you are using them. Markings There are seven sets of markings on the decal sheet with green and shades of brown the background colour onto which you apply the decals and some of the 28 posters and patriotic slogans that are included in the colour pages of the instructions. South-Western Railway. The train car with demobilised soldiers of the Red Army, 1945 Kuibyshev Railroad. Railway carriage as part of a military train 1942 Orenburg Railroad. Railway carriage as part of a military train 1943 Sanitary railway carriage of unknown military train, 1943-44 Deutsche Reichsbahn (imperial Railway Administration) occupied territory of the Soviet Union, 1942-44 South Ural Railway. The train car with demobilised soldiers of the Red Army, 1945 Railway carriage of unknown military train, 1942-45 The decals are printed by DecoGraph and they are all either red or white with no registration to worry about, but good sharpness and colour density. You can also decorate your carriages with some of the posters by cutting them out and pasting them to the sides either as indicated on the examples, or by making up your own arrangement. Conclusion This detailed kit is perfect for either adding to a train/loco, or as a participant in a diorama using the included rails. The painted example from MiniArt's website above shows the truck with a bunch of demobilised soldiers aboard, as per one of the markings options, although you'd have to source those yourself. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  9. Focke Wulf FW C.30A Heuschrecke (41012) 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. These were produced under licence by Focke Wulf using the AVRO pattern. The main difference being the use of a Siemens-Halske Sh 14 B radial engine. 40 were eventually ordered. The fate of these machines is not known. 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: D-EKOP - Germany 1934 D-EKOM - Germany 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. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important civil aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  10. Happy Christmas all, i built this festive Sherman as part of the STGB earlier this year, thought I'd post it in the ready for inspection on Christmas Day. As it didn't seem right to do it any other time of the year.
  11. Avro Cierva C.30A Civilian Service (41006) 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. It was also used by the RAF, as well as civilian examples requisitioned, they purchased 12 of these under to equip the school of Army Co-operation. It was to be used for observation and light duties but was not taken any further in this role. It was the invention or Radar which was to find a wartime use for the 671. In order to calibrate the Chain Home stations the RAF needed an aircraft which could fly very slowly on a pre-defined heading and altitude. The RAF formed Flight 1448 at RAF Duxford to preform these duties. This later become 529 Sqn at RAF Halton. Post war 592 Sqn was disbanded and the gyro copters sold off. One of these was sold to Sweden and purchased back by the RAF Museum. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this in 1.35 scale. The kit is upto Minart's modern standards; there are 4 main sprues, 4 smaller sprues, a small clear spure and a sheet of photoetch in the box. Even in 1.35 scale this is not a large kit. Construction starts with the front mounted radial engine. The cylinder banks are made up with the exhaust and collector ring being added. Ancillary parts are then attached to the engine and it is put aside for later. Construction then moves to the interior/cockpit. The two seats are made up complete with PE seatbelts. These then attach to their mounting frames. Onto the cockpit floor are mounted the rudder pedals and control column. Additional controls are added to the side frames and then these frames can be attached to the cockpit floor. Front and rear control panels are then added. The seats are added in and then the side frames added. The cockpit can then be closed up inside the main fuselage, Next up the mount for the rotor blades is made up and attached to the fuselage. The tail wheel assembly is added as are the tailplanes. At the front the engine cowl are is made up. The engine and its propeller are then added. The landing gear struts are made up and the wheels are added. Lastly the rotor blades are made up and added, these can either be in the flying or stowed positions. Markings There are four decal options provided on the sheet From the box you can build one of the following: LN-BAD Used to advertise Norwegian Tobacco Company Tiedemanns 1934 (mainly blue) VH-USQ private machine based in Marylands, Western Australia 1935. (mainly white) G-ACUT Cierva Flying School, UK 1930's (Mainly blue with Aluminium Engine covers) OK-ATD Used to advertise Bat'a Zlin, Czechoslovakia 1930s. (Green with white cheat line - as box art) Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important civil aircraft from the 1930s. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  12. Miniart have recently show the boxart for a new Russian railway flatbed, and coyly peeking out from the corner of the illustration is an Austin AC. Seems a little too prominently placed to not point towards a future release. Andy
  13. Hello guys, my T-70M Miniart is finished some picts
  14. Miniarts 1/35 triebflugel. fantastic model, great fun to build. I have a accident with my decal sheet, so i have made prototype V21, codes are from a hume DFS 228 kit and crosses and tail marking from my stash. paingt is a mix of tamiya and xtracrylix . the only problem i had was learning to use a double action airbrush to do the mottle, having used a single action for years. thanks for looking
  15. Avro 671 Rota Mk.I RAF (41008) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd There was a time when the Autogyro was looked at with great promise but the never materialised, The Avro 671 was a license built Cierva C.30 designed by Juan de la Cieva. This was built from the fuselage of the Avro Cadet biplane and used an Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major engine. Lift was provided by an 11.3m diameter 3 bladed rotor. The RAF purchased 12 of these under to equip the school of Army Co-operation. It was to be used for observation and light duties but was not taken any further in this role. It was the invention or Radar which was to find a wartime use for the 671. In order to calibrate the Chain Home stations the RAF needed an aircraft which could fly very slowly on a pre-defined heading and altitude. The RAF formed Flight 1448 at RAF Duxford to preform these duties. This later become 529 Sqn at RAF Halton. Post war 592 Sqn was disbanded and the gyro copters sold off. One of these was sold to Sweden and purchased back by the RAF Museum. The Kit Until now I don't think there has been a kit of this in 1.35 scale. The kit is upto Minart's modern standards; there are 4 main sprues, 4 smaller sprues, a small clear spure and a sheet of photoetch in the box. Even in 1.35 scale this is not a large kit. Construction starts with the front mounted radial engine. The cylinder banks are made up with the exhaust and collector ring being added. Ancillary parts are then attached to the engine and it is put aside for later. Construction then moves to the interior/cockpit. The two seats are made up complete with PE seatbelts. These then attach to their mounting frames. Onto the cockpit floor are mounted the rudder pedals and control column. Additional controls are added to the side frames and then these frames can be attached to the cockpit floor. Front and rear control panels are then added. The seats are added in and then the side frames added. The cockpit can then be closed up inside the main fuselage, Next up the mount for the rotor blades is made up and attached to the fuselage. The tail wheel assembly is added as are the tailplanes. At the front the engine cowl are is made up. The engine and its propeller are then added. The landing gear struts are made up and the wheels are added. Lastly the rotor blades are made up and added, these can either be in the flying or stowed positions. Markings There are four decal options provided on the sheet From the box you can build one of the following: K4230 used on HMS Courageous in the 1930s K4235 RAF Training use 1939-40 AP516 1448 Flight RAF Halton 1942 DR627 529 Sqn RAF Halton 1943-44 Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this unusual but important aircraft. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  16. US Bulldozer (38022) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Bulldozers have been around in construction since the 1920s however the term Bulldozer came from the 30s as before that they were called Bullgraders. The Blade (the curved front piece) peels layers of earth of and pushes it forwards. Tracks were introduced really with the Caterpillar company. The Kit This kit is a Caterpillar D7, however there is no information in the instructions on this (probably for licencing), given the different types of jerrycan available I would hazard a guess also that its post war. The kit arrives on 36 sprues, a small PE fret and a small decal sheet. Construction begins with the engine which is the heart of the machine. As this is visible it is a small kit on its own with a large number of parts. The engine and its transmission take up the first 3 pages of the instruction booklet and complete with the radiator fit into the front part of the chassis which builds up around it. The left and right track roller assemblies are then built up with a complex assembly including the wheels and track tensioning system. Next the driver area is built up over the engine/transmission area and the roller assemblies are attached to each side. the radiator grill is then added at the front and the side plates for the operator entry are added. Next up the complicated looking winch arrangement which moves the blade is made up and added. This fits at the rear of the cab and goes over it, with the cab roof being added. The tracks are added at this stage each link has 4 parts! and there are 36 each side. The last stage is to construct the large bulldozer blade and it supporting structure. The blade can be fitted straight on or with an offset to the left or right as needed. Markings As it's a civilian vehicle very little in the way of markings are supplied. Taken from MiniArt's website Conclusion This is an important piece of US construction equipment which miniart have made an excellent kit of. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  17. German Road Signs WWII Eastern Front Set 1 (35602) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd During WWII German forces renamed and re-signposted their conquests, partly through necessity but also to stake their claim and remind the subjugated masses that they were in German hands now. This set is full of signs of this nature, and includes military signs to guide their troops to rally points, service areas and so forth as they didn't have the luxury of GPS and satnav back then, which is probably just as well. This is one of their range of sign sets, in the shape of German road signs from France here, and Russian signs here, and as the “Set 1” part in the title implies there will doubtless be others. The set arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with a painting of the contents on the front and brief instructions on the rear. There are three medium-sized sprues in grey styrene in the box, plus a decal sheet on thick paper that contains all the painted descriptive fronts of the signs. As the box art suggests, you also get a length of picket fence and a gate, a couple of posts and a ladder alongside the signs, of which there are thirty eight in total spread across two identical sprues. Each sign is either metal or moulded with a restrained wooden texture that will show through the decals if you use sufficient decal solution during application. Some of the larger signs are also made from a few planks, so the joins will also show through the decal. Conclusion Dioramas rely on the minutiae of the background to give that "lived in" look to the terrain, and signage is essential for all but the straightest of roads. The addition of the fence and bench gives extra depth to any road scene, and the painting guide helps with painting the plastic parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  18. Focke-Wulf Triebflügel Nachtjäger (40013) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Toward the end of WWII the Nazis were desperately casting around for Wunderwaffe, or Wonder Weapons that would turn the overwhelming tide against their attempt to take over Europe and probably the world. This resulted in some distinctly left-field designs being considered, that under normal circumstances would more likely have been dismissed out of hand. One such project that has since gained traction in the minds of the Luft'46 community and beyond is the concept of the Triebflügel from Focke-Wulf, which was little more than a rocket-shaped body with a rotating set of blades tipped with ramjet engines providing the motive power. This arrangement was to enable it to take off vertically, which was of greater interest as the front lines got closer and air bases became bombed-out rubble, as was the use of the simple ramjet that was propelled up to speed by single-use rockets, all of which used little in the way of strategic materials or complex technology and metallurgy. It went nowhere in terms of production of course, and had some critical issues that would have needed to be addressed if it had gone further, such as the counter-rotation required to offset the rotational friction of the blades was supposed to be supplied by the cruciform tail pressing against the air, it would have to land vertically with the pilot facing forward and the rear view obscured by the still rotating aerofoils and engines to name but two. As usual with WWII German designs, they would have wanted to make it a jack of all trades, so a Nachtjäger variant was bound to have happened if it had gone into production. Post war the Convair Pogo was to attempt a broadly similar flight profile with similar issues raising their heads and helping ensure its eventual demise. If you've been following the Marvel Avengers film franchise (MCU), you'll have seen Red Skull absconding in a very Triebflügel-esque aircraft at one point, which although undoubtedly CGI could actually be attempted now with our computers and other technologies. We just need to find someone with too much money and who is just daft enough now… Elon? The Kit Until fairly recently there hasn't been a modern injection moulded kit in any of the larger scales, and now we have two plus this new boxing. This is the larger of them and should primarily appeal to modellers in 1:32 and 1:35 given the similarity in scales that should result in a "close enough" shrug from many, followed by the opening of wallets. The original interceptor went out of stock at Creative Models very quickly, so I would advise you to get your order in for this boxing before they run out again, as I can see it proving very popular. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped standard sized top opening box and inside are twelve sprues in grey styrene, a clear sprue, a small sheet of Photo-Etch (PE) in a small card envelope, a good sized decal sheet and the instruction booklet with a colour cover that includes all the painting and decaling profiles on three of the four sides. I have one of the smaller models as well as the MiniArt Interceptor kit (reviewed here), and this is a simple update with new parts added to an enlarged sprue containing an amended nose cone and two antenna masts for the nose with moulded-in dipoles. Detail is excellent, with lots of rivets and panel lines visible on the exterior, a nicely appointed cockpit and the cannon armament included in bays either side of the pilot, who was hopefully supplied with ear protection. There is also extra detail in the wingtip motors and the landing gear is substantial, partially from the increase in size, but also because of the design of the main leg. Construction is almost identical to the Interceptor boxing and begins with the cockpit with a floor part forming the basis and having rudder pedals, control column and bulkhead added, then the seat, pilot armour and a full set of PE seatbelts. The side consoles are attached to the upper section of the cockpit that is added from above and also forms part of the gun bays. To the consoles are added a number of PE levers to busy the area up, after which the instrument panel is fitted across them with decals provided for the instrument dials. The larger cannons are built up from a good number of parts and will look good if you pose them open, and benefit from hollow muzzles thanks to some sliding moulds. The smaller cannons are added after their bays are boxed in, again raising the level of the cockpit walls, which you'll need to take into account when you're painting things. These weapons are slightly less detailed and don't have hollow barrels, so break out the pin-vice when you're ready. The cockpit can then be surrounded by the nose, which is in two halves and has a short tubular section that helps support the spinning wing section. A rear deck is dropped in behind the pilot's station and the nose cone is added to the front, with careful alignment key to obtain the best join. The gun bay doors can be left off to display them or put in place for a streamlined look, in which case you don't need to install the cannons as nose weight isn't an issue. If you're closing up the lower bays, there is an additional barrel stub that fits to the back of its door to simulate the cannon being present. The canopy is a three-part unit with fixed windscreen and rear plus opening central section that hinges sideways if you're going to open it. There is an additional dome-shaped part included in the kit that makes one wonder if there will be another night fighter version with a radar operator's blister in the aft section? The wings spin perpendicular to the direction of flight on a short section of the fuselage, which is built up with three sockets for the wings on a toroidal base, over which the rest of that section is installed and left to one side until later when the assemblies are brought together. The simple ramjet engines are built up on a pair of stator vanes and have multiple fuel injectors moulded into their rear with a rounded cap in the centre. These are installed inside the cowlings that are moulded into each wing half so it would be wise to paint this and the interior of the engine pods a suitably sooty colour before you join each wing. There are three and all are identical. The final main assembly is the aft of the aircraft, and the four retractable castor wheels are first to be built. Each single-part wheel sits in a single piece yoke, which in turn slides inside a two-part aerodynamic fairing. One half of this is moulded to a strut, which slides into the trough within the fins in one of two places to depict the wheels retracted or deployed. If showing them retracted you ignore the wheel and yoke and install the clamshell doors, turning the assembly into a teardrop shape, but if using the wheels you glue the fairings folded back exposing the wheel. The main wheel is in two halves, as is the yoke, and should be capable of taking the weight of the model when finished unless you intend to load it up with motors or other silliness (go on, you know someone will!). The aft fuselage parts are brought together with two of the castor assemblies trapped between the moulded-in fins, and the other two trapped within the separate fins that fit at 90o to the seamline. The main wheel then slides into its bay if you are going wheels down and has the clamshell doors fitted open, or you use just the doors for an in-flight pose. It's good to see that some detail has been moulded into the interior of the doors, as they are quite visible on a landed display. The three sections are brought together at the end by placing the wing-bearing part onto the upstand on the aft fuselage then adding the nose, with its upstand sliding inside the lower one. This traps the rotating portion in place, and hopefully allows the aforementioned rotation to continue after the glue has dried. All that remains is to plug the three wings into their sockets, add the PE D/F loop and the aerial on the spine, then install the two commendably fine antennae into the small slots in the nose cone. Markings There are six decal options provided on the sheet, and they vary from each other and their smaller competitor quite substantially with some plausible and just plain silly options given for your delight. From the box you can build one of the following: Nachtjagdgeschwader 1. Germany 1945-46 Nachtjagdgeschwader 200. Germany 1946 Nachtjagdgeschwader X. 2nd Battle of Berlin, Germany 1946 Nachtjagdgeschwader 310. Germany 1946 Decals are printed by DecoGraph and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. The instrument decals have just the dials to place within the painted panel, outlined on the sheet for your ease, and there are split Swastikas there if you want to use them and your locality doesn't have laws preventing displaying such insignia. Note that this excellent build shows the top cannons omitted, whereas the instructions show both used. Check for interference with the antennae and make your own mind up. Conclusion This is a really nice rendition of this weird aircraft design with some interesting decal options and those antenna "whiskers". I'm sure some purists would still have preferred to see it in 1:32, but the size difference isn't too severe to stop you from adding one to your stash. We already have a winner in the Interceptor with this one probably following in its footsteps. The intriguing additional clear blister hints at more versions to come, which will be fun. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  19. TACAM T-60 Romanian Tank Destroyer (36230) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd The T-60 was a Soviet light tank design, and the Romanians pressed captured examples into service, hacking some about to create the TACAM, which was a shortening of the Romanian for Self-Propelled Anti-Tank Gun, and frankly much easier to say if you’re English. The design was rushed through in a very short space of time, literally days, and on a small chassis such as that of the T-60, the compromises were many and varied. Using yet more captured Soviet equipment in the shape of the F-22 field gun with a three sided splinter-shield and recoil guard to protect the crew from incoming fire and the rapidly moving gun breech respectively. Only a handful of these were made due to the less-than stellar performance that gave it quite the reputation as a poor fighting vehicle, mainly due to the reused technology and the engineering challenges that arose from the increase in weight and the stresses placed upon the chassis by firing the relatively oversized gun. The Romanians switched sides in 1944 and after that the exploits of the two armoured regiments that were equipped with the type are vague, and it is entirely likely that the Soviets retook their hardware, although what use it was to them is unclear. You’d think that would be the end of the TACAM type, but there were other variants on different chassis and using alternative guns. The Kit The kit comes in a shrink-wrapped top opening box, with an artist’s impression of the vehicle ploughing through snow on the top. Inside are thirty eight sprues of grey styrene, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a decal sheet and instruction booklet with integrated painting guide at the rear. As with most MiniArt kits there is a huge amount of detail contained on the sprues of various sizes. A lot of the sprues contain common T-60 parts and others hold TACAM specific parts, with a few new ones for the different wheels and other parts on this boxing. The kit is a full-interior edition which explains the high parts count, and should keep you busy for a while. Construction begins with the lower hull floor, to which the drivers position is attached, complete with detailed gearbox, levers and brake drums. Then there is the comprehensively detailed engine, the two batteries and battery tray are added to the left hand side of the hull adjacent to the drivers position, followed by the right side panel which is fitted with a fire extinguisher and four support brackets. The rear bulkhead is decked out with several parts on the outside before it is attached to the lower hull, as is the lower glacis plate. The engine assembly is then glued into position and connected to the transmission via a drive shaft and auxiliary hand-starter shaft behind an armoured cover. The interior is slowly built up with bulkheads, ammunition racks with spare drums, boxes and another fire extinguisher. The left hull panel is then attached, along with the final drive covers, idler axles, internal engine compartment bulkheads and several pipes and hoses. The hull roof is assembled from several panels before being glued into place while the five part driver’s hatch and his vision block is made up from six parts. Both assemblies are then glued over the driver’s position, and can be posed with the flap either open or closed for comfort or protection. Additional ammunition is stowed along the interior hull sides for access by the crew, plus even more in the extra stowage box on the rear deck next to the separate engine cover. The suspension arms are then glued to the hull, followed by the road wheels, return rollers, drive sprockets and idler wheels. The tracks are each built up from eighty six individual links that are of the glue-together type, which must be wrapped around the road wheels while the glue is still supple. Each link is attached to the sprue with three gates, has hollow guide horns, and a complete absence of ejector pin marks, which is nice. The sprue gates should be quick to clean up, but due to the small size of each link and their delicate moulding, it will be important to treat the parts gently both during clean-up and construction, taking care not to over-glue things and risk turning them into a melty goo. The track fenders are fitted with a number of triangular PE brackets, as well as large storage boxes, pioneer tools and other small parts. The 76mm gun, its breech and its mounting carriage is then built up and fitted with the barrel having a hollow tip thanks to a little slide-moulding. The part count here is high, and every aspect of the gun is supplied, some of which are PE and all are highly detailed. The inner splinter shields for the gun are then fitted along with the elevation mechanism and its manual controls, with this assembly fitted to the mount that bisects the lower part of the crew compartment, then shrouded with the external splinter shields that wrap around the sides of the emplacement to further protect the crew from flanking fire. A selection of PE brackets and straps are applied around the hull and splinter shield, then the large “bed frame” antenna is assembled and added to the upper hull around the gun position and engine deck. This, the different road wheels and additional ammo with crates are the main differences between this and the earlier boxings. The small decal sheet contains markings for three of these peculiar and unloved (at the time) vehicles: Romanian Army, Autumn 1944 Presumably 2nd Tank Regiment Romanian Army, Eastern Front, February 1944 Presumably 1st Armoured Division, “Greater Romania” Army Group “Veler”, Lasi District, August 1944 The decals are predominantly black, with a few white ones, and two red stars on a white circular background, which have been printed to look as if they were hand-painted, complete with runs where too much paint has been applied. They’re printed by DecoGraph, and have good registration where it counts (only on 2 decals), sharpness and colour density, so should cause no problems. Conclusion This is another excellent kit from MiniArt, bringing more of the lesser known military vehicles to the mainstream modelling community. With the high part count and detail, this kit is really aimed at the more experienced modeller and should build up into a superb model that is absolutely full of detail, so much so that there shouldn’t be much need for aftermarket parts. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  20. Soviet KMT-7 Mine-Roller (37045) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd. Mines are a problem for AFVs, softskins and foot soldiers alike, and there are different types used for different circumstances to inflict maximum damage to man and machine. Mines intended to disable tanks generally have larger charges to penetrate the thinner underside armour and tear off tracks and drive wheels, with a higher pressure required to trigger them. The resulting explosion can cripple or destroy a tank, leaving crew dead or injured, a valuable tank out of action and sometimes blocking the way. Most Soviet and Russian tanks are fitted with attachment points for mine-rollers that can be fitted as needed and clear a path for the tank's tracks to allow them to proceed. Other tanks without a mine-roller must follow in their tracks exactly or risk detonating mines that are outside the cleared paths. It's not an ideal solution, more of an expedient one that probably requires a more complete detection and cleaning later when the enemy aren't shooting at them. The KMT-5 saw service until the 60s and was used until the T-64 after which it was replaced for newer vehicles with the improved KMT-7. It operates by breaking the ground up with toothed rollers of substantial weight to simulate the footprint of an AFV, ploughing up the ground and detonating any mines it finds. Its rugged construction means that it can survive explosions, although they do take their toll on the hardware eventually. The improved KMT-9 eventually replaced the 7 in use. The Kit The KMT-5M and KMT-9M have already been seen individually and included with various MiniArt kits, but if you need a 7 to fit to another suitable kit you already have, now's your chance! It arrives in a figure-sized top-opening box in shrink-wrap with nineteen sprues in grey styrene inside plus a length of chain in shiny silver. The instruction booklet is like that of a complete kit, which is for good reason as it's a fairly complex build and there are plenty of steps. Construction begins with the toothed rollers, which each have three two-part wheels on a central axle plus two shallow T-shaped end-caps. These are joined by short tubes that have small sections of chain attached in strategic places for later fitting at the end of the suspension arms. These are next to be built and each has a pair of pads at the tank end and a hinged arm that is long enough to keep the tank away from the brunt of the blast, as well as absorb some of the upward momentum and reduce damage to the rollers. The arms spread apart near the hull so that the rollers are placed at exactly the same spacing as the tracks, and there are parts supplied to fit the roller to MiniArt models, and other parts if it's another manufacturer's kit. There are a couple a styrene cable parts in the box to further secure the assembly, with another momentum-absorbing spring at the roller end. The bogies are attached to the arms via the short lengths of chain fitted to hooks fore and aft, acting as a further damper for asymmetric detonations. If your model has a bow-wash panel on the glacis plate, you will need to leave that part off the model as they were not fitted with the mine-roller. Markings There are none! There aren't any decals and you're not even given any clues as to what colour to use other than the boxtop colours. Use your Google Fu or references to check before you start spraying your tank's main colour on it, just in case. Conclusion A useful addition to make your mid Cold War Soviet AFV stand out from the crowd, to add in the background of a diorama, or even as a stand-alone – maybe being repaired after a big bang? Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  21. German Gas Station 1930-40 (35598) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd With the proliferation of the internal combustion engine in the early 20th century, petroleum/petrol or gasoline/gas stations began popping up over most of the developed world to meet the demand of the newly mobile populous. Germany was one such nation, and the now familiar sight of a building with branded petrol pumps and equipment on the forecourt have become the standard indicator of a gas station. The Kit This set contains the likely accessories and equipment found on the forecourt of a German gas station in the 30-40s, and leaves you to source or create the buildings yourself. The kit arrives in a shrink-wrapped small top-opening box (think a little larger than a figure box), and inside are ten sprues in grey styrene, two in clear, a small fret of Photo-Etch brass, and a decal sheet. The package is completed with an instruction booklet, and all the sprues are closely packed in a heat-sealed bag, but the majority of the elastic bands had snapped in transit, so perhaps MiniArt should source some more durable bands for the next batch? Three sprues hold parts for two fuel barrels, with a hand-pump included and some small cans of varying shapes and sizes that you may have seen in other sets so far, plus a five-shelf storage unit to stash tools and the cans on. The major parts are used to create two pumps that stand on pillars, with the mechanicals hidden away in a cylindrical housing that can be posed open for business or closed, thanks to the two clamshell doors and PE clapping-plate that fits to the inside lip of one of them. Two clear halves of the brand sign are added either side of a circular frame and fitted to the top, and as these were often a semi-translucent white with a logo painted or etched on the front and back, there is an opportunity to put in lighting if you're adept with those types of thing. You'll need to provide a little wire to represent the hose from the body to the nozzle, so make sure you have some to hand. The remaining parts are used to create a stand-alone petrol or diesel compressor with a large receiver tanks underneath that has wheels at one end to allow repositioning wheel-barrow style. A set of handles and a spray gun are included, the latter needing more wire to act as the air hose of whatever length you choose. Markings The decals are printed by Decograph on a small sheet with good registration, colour density and sharpness, plus a part of the colour instruction sheet is devoted to printed replicas of typical signage, posters and so forth that would be found on the walls of stations at the time. No, the posters don't really look like that - I blurred them a little to make them unusable. Fair's fair. Conclusion Building a fuel station is a task, but not as difficult as making the hardware to go with it. This set takes all the hard parts out of the finishing touches, then it's up to you to hunt down a suitable building or build your own using your diorama skills if you have them. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  22. US Fuel Drums 55 Gals (35592) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd Can you hear the sound of drums? 55 gallon drums used by the US in WWII. This is another set in MiniArt's range of diorama accessories, and as usual (fairly usual) it arrives in a shrink-wrapped figure box with eighteen sprues in grey styrene plus a decal sheet containing a bunch of stencils for you to use. The instructions are kind-of simple and printed on the rear of the box, showing how you build up the two types of drum, one with simple ribs and the other with corrugated top and bottom sections. The end-caps are both covered with manufacturer's marks inappropriate to this set, but you are advised to fit those with the writing facing inward so it won't be seen. The twelve drum sprues contain one of each type of drum, so you can make a total of 24 and have six hand-pumps to add as you see fit with the addition of a little wire to play the role of the hose between the hand-cranked pump and the nozzle. Below the instructions are the painting and marking options with various colours and stencil options from the sheet. Under those are the paint codes in Vallejo, Mr. Color, Life Color, Tamiya, AK, Mission Models and Hataka, plus the colour names in English and Ukrainian (at a guess). Conclusion Lots of US fuel drums. If you're in the market, then go and buy some for your next diorama or to fill up the back of your wagon etc. Now what on earth is FOG oil? I didn't know fog needed oiling? Review sample courtesy of
  23. M3 Lee Late - Exterior Kit (35214) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Lee was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. Another major user was the USSR under lend lease, the Soviets did not like the tank and its nickname was "a coffin for 6", not surprising in a way as at the time they were facing panthers and Tigers with it. The tank underwent some substantial changes including cast, welded and back to riveted hulls plus changes in the power pack and loss of the side doors to stiffen the hull. The riveted hulls suffered from rivets popping off and becoming projectiles when hit, which could be just as lethal as a penetrating round and was never fully eliminated. The Late version deleted the side doors and left only one pistol port, it also had different wheels and drive sprockets. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and are expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The full interior kit of the Early Lee was reviewed here. This boxing now comes without an interior. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 60 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the front and rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. At the read the exhausts are added with their protective plates and the rear mudguards are added. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. The lower hull is finished off with a pair of short plates over the drive wheels and a host of additional equipment filling up the interior with more shell storage, tanks and auxiliary generator. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. Before it can be installed the super-structure must be built up to accommodate it, including the sidewalls, the curved surround and the angled front panels of the glacis. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, and an instrument panel is fitted to the inside of the glacis. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Fuel caps are added along the way, and when we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and armour plates protect the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted.. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Lee's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return roller at the top, and there are three of these assemblies per side. The wheels with their moulded-in tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up fro the previous reveiw. That said, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret ring is added. Next up the US machine gun turret is added to the top of the main one. The small turret is built up with the gun and it mantlet being added, the lower ring is added as the main two part hatch. This is then fitted to the main turret, and the main turret then added to the hull. Markings There are a generous eight options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, all but one of them in green, one being overpainted with a coat of white distemper winter camouflage, and one with some kind of brown. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options including captured tanks. From the box you can build one of the following: US Army, 752 Tank Battalion, Perham Down, UK 1942. US Army, 1st Armoured Division, Northern Ireland 1942. Unidentified Soviet Unit, Rzhev District, Winter 1942-43. Red Army, 91st Separate Tank Regiment, Karelian Front, Summer 1943. Red Army, 193rd Independent Tank Regiment, Central Front, Battle of Kursk, July 1943. Red Army, Presumably 193rd Separate Tank Regiment, Central Front, Battle of Kursk, July 1943. Unidentified German Army Unit, Eastern Front 1943-44. Red Army, 244th Independent Tank Regiment, 4th Ukrainian Front. Crimea, April 1944. Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed areas. Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Lee as it was supplied to the US, Canadian and Red Army, plus a couple the Germans pinched. The detail incorporated in styrene is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering that's going to be echoed with the Grants and further Lees very soon. Extremely highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  24. German Rockets 28cm WK SPR & 32cm WK Flamm (35316) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd These were spin-stabilised rockets that carried either high explosive warheads in the smaller diameter, or 50 litres of an incendiary mix of oil for the larger 32cm rocket. They were both suspended in wooden crates of the same dimensions, so they were interchangeable without any adaptation to the launch device. The rockets were launched by an electric signal, and due to their rather noxious vapour trail the name nebelwerfer literally means "smoke bomb". These weapons were used in ground-standing framework launchers, or attached to the side of a half-track, which gained the nickname Stuka zu Fuß, "Stuka on foot". Their smoke trails made it likely that they would attract return fire, so mobility was key, which led to the more easily transported versions finding favour, and the self-propelled half-track version even more so. The Kit We reviewed one of the launch options here recently, and if you need some more for a resupply truck diorama or to augment one of the other launch options, then read-on. The box contains 36 sprues in grey styrene, of which 24 contain parts for the crates, and 12 for the rockets, but in case you were thinking that doesn't add up, there are two rockets on each sprue but only one crate. The crates are made up with runners at the rear that holds the narrow cylindrical rear section of the rockets stable, and in the case of the smaller 28cm rockets, a set of adapter rails reduces the crate's internal dimensions to suit. As you have probably guessed, you can build 12 of each crate. The rockets are assembled in the same manner regardless of diameter, with two halves trapping a protruding ignition cap at the front, and a separate hollow exhaust at the rear. Again, you can build 12 of each for their accompanying crates. Markings The small sheet of decals is used on the rockets and their cases, with their positions shown on the painting diagram at the rear of the booklet. The rounds are all painted olive green, but their crates can be Dark Yellow, German Grey or bare wood. Highly recommended Review sample courtesy of
  25. Grant Mk.I (35276) 1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models In the years before WWII America realised that they were lagging behind in respect of armour, a fact that became especially clear when Germany came out from under the Versailles treaty to show off and then use their new tanks and Blitzkrieg tactics. The M3 Lee was conceived in 1940 as a medium tank carrying a powerful 75mm gun, partly for manning by their own crews, but also because Britain had requested a large number of tanks to make good their losses from Dunkirk. The Lee was a decent tank but suffered from a high silhouette and limited traverse of the sponson-mounted 75mm gun, but was still widely used. In British service it was known as the Lee if it was fitted with the original American turret, or the Grant when using the lower-profiled British specification turrets. The Grant eschewed the mini-turret on the commander's cupola that resulted in a reduction in height and a minor simplification of construction and maintenance for very little loss in flexibility, due to the coaxially mounted Browning machine gun in the turret. It was used primarily in Africa and the Pacific theatres where the 2nd line equipment seemed to be fielded (for the most part) by the enemy, and against the Japanese who were far behind with their tank designs and tactics. The Kit MiniArt began 2019 with a new tooling of the M3 Lee and have expanded their range by adding new parts as they go along. The primary changes in this boxing are the inclusion of a new cast turret with no machine-gun turret-let on top, and the inclusion of British equipment inside and around the exterior. We've come to expect great things from miniArt's new kits and of course this one is no different with a ton of detail included The original release we reviewed here was the full interior kit, now for those of us who dont build full interior kits (like myself) we have the great kit without all of that stuff. The box is standard MiniArt fare with an attractive picture from their usual artist, and inside are a huge number of sprues of varying sizes with 54 sprues in grey styrene, a single sprue in clear, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, decal sheet, 2 sprues of equipment/tarps; and the instruction booklet with painting guide at the rear completing the package. Construction begins with the vehicle floor onto which the transmission and final drive assemblies are fixed. The rolled lower glacis part is also added, and the final drive bell housings that are incorporated into the sidewalls mate with these to complete the shape of that area. The side plates are added and then the top sponsors. To the rear the engine compartment is built up, the doors are fitted along with the exhausts. At the front additional plates over the drive shafts are added. The big 75mm gun and substantial casemate are built up next for fitting into the hull front and the curved splinter shield that allows 14o of traverse to either side to counter any errors in position from the driver or enemy movement. The breech is surrounded by a shield. The various hatches can be posed open or closed, however as there is no interior best close them up! The bow machine gun is actually a twin mount with two .30 cal M1919s firing through a hatch near the port sponson. The rest of the hull is then built up in much the same manner as the real thing, but with glue and the rivets only there for show. Two large bins for the rear are then built up. When we reach the engine deck there are two large panels, the smaller of them having PE grilles and more filler caps, with both of them covered in small PE tie-down lugs. The rear of the deck overhangs the hull and a small armoured "skirt" protects the tops of the exhausts from stray rounds where PE brackets are used to hang the aft lights. The completed deck is then covered with pioneer tools and their PE tie-downs, plus the towing cables that you need to source yourself to go with the plastic eyes at each end. A scrap diagram shows their location and how to fix the PE straps to the tie-downs and eyes, with a length of 145mm suggested. At this stage the majority of the hull is built, but it is likely to fill with rain until the roof is fitted. The stiffening plates to the lower glacis are also glued to the hull and then the roof is made up from a large main part that is stiffened with a number of ribs, and an extra section is attached to the side with a small periscope in the middle. The three square access doors for the crew can all be posed open or closed with latches and small viewing hatches within that can also be posed open. After fitting the armoured cover to the main gun's periscope and a few grab handles, you get to build up the running gear. Aren't you lucky? The Grant's suspension is very similar to the Sherman's with two fat wheels on a bogie with a return wheel at the top, and there are three per side. The wheels with their moulded-in rubber tyres are attached to the bogies via swing-arms that pivot inside the cast bogie with an additional arm linked to the compressible rubber towers. Before the front of the bogie is fitted the return roller is installed so it is trapped between its two bearings. Repeat that six times and then make up the idler wheels, which have PE edges and separate hub caps. The bogies are attached to the sides of the hull on their mounting plates, and two stiffeners are added to the top of each one, while the idler wheels are attached to their axles on the adjustable tensioners. At the front the drive sprockets are made up from two parts with an internal collar allowing them to remain mobile if you're sparing with the glue. A short break has you fitting the driver's hatch and optional clear window with a PE wiper blade, plus a couple of towing eyes with shackles under the glacis and some truly tiny parts in plastic and PE between them. Tracks. Love 'em or loathe 'em, they're a necessary part of most tanks and you have to do them eventually. There are 79 track links per side, and each link is made up from four parts. The pads are split to accommodate the links between them, and this is a little fiddly. Mike built a test section up with the interior kit, each link is good looking with fine detail at the ends, and they are flexing nicely as per the real thing. It'll take some time to complete them, but they will be excellent as long as you're careful with preparation and the glue. With the tracks in place, the side skirts can be installed and the additional stowage boxes can be fabricated from their parts and attached to the hull with PE brackets, their shape conforming to the surfaces that they are placed on. The side skirts are finished off with mudguards at the rear by boxing in the tops of the track runs. The rest of the pioneer tools are bracketed to the hull along with the front headlights and their PE protective cages, the former having PE tie-downs and brackets holding them down. You will need to find some thin wire to link the headlamps to the gland that takes the cable inside the hull, then the single-part main gun barrel is nipped from the sprues, has its seamlines removed and is joined to the optional two-part blast-bag that has excellent realistic-looking canvas wrinkle and sag moulded in. We're still not quite ready for the turret though, as there are a number of PE parts stretching the length of the side-skirts which are used to hang additional stowage in the real thing. These fit onto small depressions on the sides of the hull, and scrap diagrams show the correct way to fold the perpendicular front sections. Now you can start the turret, most of which is held within the upper part, and that has some very nice casting texture moulded into it that should look great under a few coats of paint. The frames for the small hatches are first to be added, then the hatches themselves are fitted in the open or closed position with small stays holding them at the correct angle for the former. The breech is started by joining the two main parts together, adding the surround, the coax machine gun, then setting it aside while the mantlet and elevation mechanisms are made up. The barrel fits to the mantlet and the turret halves joined, the aerials are then added. Next up is the reduced height British spec cupola with grab handles and a choice of open or closed hatch with periscope in the port door. The commander's .30cal weapon is mounted on a curved fitting on the front of the turret and is fitted with a drum magazine that has moulded-in bullets plus a separate short length that feeds into the breech, sandwiched between the two end-caps with built in mounting frame. A studded bezel is installed in the top rim along with the hatches. The turret can then be fitted. There are additional parts for British Army specific stowage included in the box, which is good to see as a personalised model often looks better than a basic kit. Their locations and colour are shown on separate colour diagrams that can be found at the front of the painting diagrams. Decals There are a generous 7 options provided for the modeller on the decal sheet, split between camouflaged, green and sand coloured vehicles, as the Grant and Lee served mainly in warmer climes. Considering this is an armour kit the sheet is relatively large due to the number of options. From the box you can build one of the following: British Army, Royal Armoured Corps. 3rd Royal Tank Regiment, Egypt 1942. British Army, unidentified unit, Middle East 1942. British Army, 7th Armoured Division, El Alamein, July 1942 British Army, unidentified unit, North Africa 1942. British Army, Royal Scots Grey, 4th Armoured Brigade, Western Desert, Oct 1942. British Army, 7th Armoured Division, El Alamein, Oct/Nov 1942 Polish Land Forces, 2nd (Warsaw) Polish Armoured Brigade, Palestine 1943. Decals are by DecoGraph, and have good registration, sharpness and colour density, with a thin matt carrier film cut close to the printed area Conclusion This is a wonderfully detailed kit of the Grant as it was supplied to and used by the British Army. The detail incorporated in styrene even without the interior is phenomenal and the addition of the PE parts gives the modeller all the shackles for their pioneer tools, which are usually included in aftermarket PE sets. A really impressive piece of plastic engineering. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
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