by: Stefan Halter [ ]
Armorama gave me this item for review. This is to my knowledge the 9th release of the excellent MiniArt WLA motorbike since 2009. As the previous 7, this simply is the WLA bike with a new figure, this time giving us an action packed little scene from the box.
First impression / Contents
The kit comes in a nice sturdy box with an action packed box art. The instructions are in full color for the painting guide and the standard line drawings for the assembly. The kit contains one grey and one clear sprue for the WLA, a PE fret for the WLA and one small grey plastic sprue for the figure. Also included is a small decal sheet with markings for the WLA, as well as some U.S. marks for the figures pouches, a nice touch.
There is no use in re-reviewing the WLA, there are several reviews of the bike already available to which I have nothing to add. Suffice to say, as with any motorbike kit of current standards, this one is certainly not for the beginner. While being a small kit, it has lots of details and quite a few PE parts to accurately represent the bikeís finer details. I really like MiniArtís approach to include bending jigs for the PE, which really simplifies things.
Some of the previous incarnations of this kit have been reviewed by
- Patrick Selitrenny, Kit 35085 in 2010 (LINK: http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=5667)
- Andy Renshaw, Kit 35080 in 2011 (LINK: http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=6607)
- Gino P. Quintiliani, Kit 35168 in 2015 (LINK: http://armorama.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=Reviews&file=index&req=showcontent&id=11706)
The new figure is molded in standard MiniArt grey plastic on a small sprue of its own. It is likely a messenger who has been ambushed during his ride. I really like the pose of this figure; action packed as he takes cover behind the bike on the side of a road and fires his Thompson SMG (not rifle!) from over the side of his bike.
The kit includes no instructions on how to build the figure, however that is not an issue as assembly is straightforward enough. After cleaning up the quite heavy but standard MiniArt mold lines, the fit is good with no issues encountered. The painting instructions are basically the box art with colors pointed out from different manufacturers.
The figure is clad in "Jacket, HBT, Camouflage, Army", which according to my information would place him either in the pacific theater of operations or would make him a soldier of 2nd Armored Division in June/July 1944. Fortunately, the cut of the uniform was standardized, so it can easily be painted in normal OD uniform and you can use it in any time setting of WWII.
I used a Bronco Triumph motorbike to get the right alignment for the figure parts, but it is straight forward enough. The painting guide points out a med kit for the figure and even a decal to be added to that, however there is no med kit included, only an ammo pouch for the colt and the colt itself.
I do not like the head in particular, while itís not bad, it looks too relaxed for the situation. The helmet in my opinion definitely needs replacement, as the net looks more like a very rough castingÖ
So in essence, great pose on the figure, too bad there is no med kit as indicated and I recommend replacing both head and helmet. Altogether I must say it leaves the impression that this was just a very quick way to get more money out of the WLA molds and there could have been a bit more effort.
The WLA is the same kit as previously released and is great. The figure pose is great too, with the detail adequate. However, I do recommend replacing head and helmet. I would really like to see more of these in action figures in non-standard poses.