by: Ian Barraclough [ ]
Another set from Miniart aimed at the diorama market, this time around it is milk that is on the menu. Presented in the usual end opening small box with box art that looks good. I did find myself thinking that uses for this set may be slightly limited.
In a similar fashion to some of their recent releases, on opening the box you’ll find that the parts contained within seem somewhat insignificant and… small. I had to shake the box to make sure there was nothing left inside it! All the parts are contained on 24 sprue trees; 12 ochre (?) coloured sprues containing the wooden crate parts; and 12 clear sprues containing the bottles. There’s also a decal sheet containing the bottle labels and crate logos.
Each of the ochre sprues has 5 parts for one crate: 2 x end pieces; 2 x side pieces, a bottom piece with segregating ribs to hold the 10 bottles in. Detail on the crates is good, with some subtle wood grain effects and nail holes in the relevant areas.
Each of the clear sprues contains parts for 10 ‘glass’ milk bottles. There are some very fine mould lines on the bottles themselves, although these should easily clean up with a fine polishing stick. There’s no diversity of shapes in the bottles which I would like to have seen – I’m sure not all milk bottles are the same shape.
The decal sheet contains square black labels with white lettering for the bottles – again, I’d have liked to have seen more variation’ especially as there’s logos for the crates with what I assume to be British/US, French and German logos (the German ones include some for ‘Dr Lahmann’s Planzen Milch – plant milk nonetheless… a nice touch for a late war diorama...?).
The entire set will allow you to make up 12 wooden milk crates and 120 milk bottles.
Making up a crate contains no surprises: glue the 2 ends to the 2 sides and fit to the bottom piece – voila! Carefully cut the milk bottoms from the clear sprues – they’re connected at the bottom so no need to clean up if you’re going to put them inside the crate.
I painted up one set each of the British/US, French and German sets; using wood colours, blue and green respectively before applying the relevant decals over a coat of Klear. After the initial Tamiya acrylic colours, I added some light and dark chips with a sponge; then I washed with a dark sepia oil wash before wiping with a soft cloth.
For the milk bottles I simply painted the bottles with gloss Tamiya acrylic white and various colours for the bottle tops. Yes, it’s that simple… For the spilt milk I cut out the shape from white plastic card and painted with a thick coat of gloss white acrylic.
A simple set that will add background detail to any farm yard or village diorama; but I’m a bit unsure as to where else you’d use it.