by: Andras [ ]
Finding mundane, everyday items in 1/35th scale is sometimes a challenge when building a diorama. Usually aftermarket companies were the ones stepping in to fill this void, but MiniArt has also been issuing buildings, ruins, lamp fixtures, cutlery, fences and other items in plastic.
In this set they have provided four telegraph/telephone/power line/streetlamp poles made out of concrete with four optional tops. (Iím not sure how to tell telegraph and telephone lines apart, but judging from the large ceramic insulators Iím fairly certain one option is a power line.)
These type of concrete poles are an ubiquitous sight all over the world from a very wide time period - from pre-war period up to today. You can use them in civilian setting, lining roads, next to houses (with a stork nest on top), or felled in a combat setting. They can be in a small Bavarian village or in Baghdad. They can be used in urban or in a rural setting; the point is: they are everywhere, so the set can be used almost anywhere you like.
The set comes in a very long, sturdy box, with four identical sprues containing the poles and fixtures, and two transparent ones containing the lamp lenses and some lightbulbs (!). The lightbulbs are a pretty cool touch; they are slightly frosted.
The poles are 20 cm long each (makes them about 7 m in real life).
The detail is very fine; in some cases too fine, perhaps. MiniArt seems to be following its usual way of casting very fine, thin plastic parts with several pouring gates; this makes it very difficult to detach and clean these parts. Perhaps a replacement using metal wire, and the plastic part as a template would be easier to do. The other minor gripe I have with the set is that the concrete poles are cast smooth, without the characteristic rough, grainy surface of poured concrete. This is, of course, a constant debate in the modelling community: there are arguments -very valid ones- that in this scale the texture would be invisible, and any texturing would be out-of-scale. While it is undoubtedly true, I think some ďartistic licenceĒ is necessary for depicting the world in small-scale; after all, the amount of rust, dust and paint chipping we depict on our models is technically out-of-scale as well. Personally I would have liked to see some texturing; however using some extra thin cement and a stiff brush it should not be difficult to make your own.
The assembly should be straightforward and easy; this is not a difficult model to build.