by: Darren Baker [ ]
Fuel drums may not be classed as the most exciting of items, but they have some great aspects to them and being a reasonably large object and an obvious item to be found near or on vehicles of many types. This offering from MiniArt provides a wide number of finishes and a good selection of 200ltr fuel drums covering an interesting period of history rather than World War 2 only.
MiniArt is well known as a provider of figures and diorama elements with this offering fitting in perfectly with their range. This offering is provided in one of the end opening cartons used for their figures, I do wish MiniArt and others would switch to boxes rather than end opening containers as they tend to be more robust and also provide something to keep the items built until needed. Inside there is a single bag containing 18 sprues in grey styrene plus a nice decal sheet. The instructions and painting suggestions are on the rear of the carton.
This set offers twelve oil barrels in three styles that are all very cleanly moulded. The three designs of oil barrel offered (four of each) are the standard design with twin rings on which to role and reinforce the barrel structure, four more of these are provided by MiniArt with the side seal open into which a pump can be added; these have been provided with separate rib detail, but it is not clear to me as to why this has been done other than they are much heavier in the way they look; they even look like re-enforcing bands rather than rather than a ridge in the barrel. The last four are the type with the extra ripples top and bottom that further protect the structure.
The ends of the oil barrels are provided in a choice of options with the specific HEER and WEHRMACHT with years dating 1941 to 1944 and an excellent level of raised stamped detail present. Also here are ends with Jupiter and Poudres Cre. Now you may not wish for any of these to be on show and MiniArt has thought this through by instructing the modeller ro revese the ends for the pain sides and the decals come into their own in these cases.
The decals provided are very well done with good colour and thin enough to keep me happy. The options here are:
BV (I dont know this one)
A very nice inclusion with this offering from MiniArt is six hand pumps with separate pump handle. Also provided here are the nozzles that would be inserted into the tank with a connection between the pump and the nozzle being the only thing the modeller needs to find. I recommend using the insulation sleeve of the wire found in phone cables for the task.
An examination of the mouldings offered here by MiniArt does not cause me any concerns at all. All of the moulded parts are well done and free from obvious moulding issues such as flash, I was also pleased that on the reverse sides of the barrel ends that may be used there are no ejector pin marks to overcome; there are some flow marks on the reverse faces which do not look or feel to have marred the surface. I also like that the gates are easily got at when it comes to removing the parts from the sprue.
This offering from MiniArt provides everything I could wish of it. There is nothing that I can complain about in this offering as it offers what it portrays to a good quality. I would like to see the end of end opening cartons as I feel they are not as robust as standard boxes and I would have like to see some wooded stands to place the oil barrels with the pumps in on.