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German Tank Riders – Ardennes 1944 (35411) 1:35


Mike

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German Tank Riders – Ardennes 1944 (35411)

1:35 MiniArt via Creative Models Ltd

 

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Getting a lift on a tank was a treat for the foot-soldier that occasionally turned sour if their lift came under fire from an enemy tank, especially if the turret starts to rotate and the crew begins using the main gun.  Sometimes they’d ride into battle on the back of a tank, using the turret as temporary cover until it came time to dismount, usually off the rear avoiding the exhausts, other times it was a case of sitting somewhere flat on the hull of the tank for a well-earned rest, and saving some boot-tread whilst still getting from A to Battle.  During winter periods, especially in the freezing cold of the Ardennes during the Battle of the Bulge, a seat on the warm engine deck would be prime real-estate, helping to defend against the biting cold that required heavy uniforms and great-coats, of which the Nazi invaders were woefully short.

 

 

The Set

This set arrives in a figure-sized box with a painting of the four figures that are depicted on the front, and annotated portions of the painting with part numbers and colour call-outs added to facilitate construction and painting of the figures.  Inside the box are seven sprues in grey styrene, the sprues having wisps of flash here and there, although very little encroaches on the parts themselves.  The parts for each figure are found in separate sprues for ease of identification, and parts breakdown is sensibly placed along clothing seams or natural breaks to minimise clean-up of the figures once they are built up.  The sculpting is typically excellent, as we’ve come to expect from MiniArt’s artists and tool-makers, with natural poses, drape of clothing and textures appropriate to the parts of the model.

 

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There are three sprues that are devoted completely to a substantial quantity of accessories that include Small Arms, Stahlhem helmets, pistols in and out of holsters, ammo pouches, bags, satchels and map cases, water bottles, ribbed cylindrical gas mask canisters, entrenching tools, and bayonets in and out of scabbards.  The weapons range from MP40s, Karabiner Kar 98k rifles, Walther P38, and an MG42 with various magazine options, open or closed bipods, and a length of link that can be carefully heat-formed to shape.

 

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The colour call-outs on the rear of the box are given in Vallejo, Mr.Color, AK RealColor, Mission Models, AMMO, Tamiya, plus swatches and colour names to assist with choosing your colours.  These refer to the blue colour numbers on the paintings above the chart.

 

 

Conclusion

Another realistic set of figures for your late war German AFV projects, with so many accessories you’ll be spoilt for choice.  Detail and sculpting is first rate, and what we’ve come to expect from MiniArt.

 

Highly recommended.

 

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