by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt continues to add new diorama products to their already impressive range of offerings, and this time fast on the heels of their German signage set we get an Allied offering to cover the other side of the conflict. This offering looks to cover the period after D-Day and the end of the war judging from some of the contents.
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 somewhere to keep the items built until needed. Inside there is a single bag containing three sprues in grey styrene plus the signage on a very nice decal sheet. The instructions and painting suggestions are on the rear of the carton.
MiniArt has provided parts from their telegraph poles offering for mounting the signage on, and while I like that product I would not use it for this offering, I would prefer to find natural wood to cover this aspect for its realism and non conformity. As such I would assemble the telegraph poles as the original release intended. This part of the set does need some clean up as flash is starting to appear in places, but a little clean up will result in a pleasing finish.
The arrows and smaller boards are the same as the offering in the German Eastern Front set, but that does not detract from its appeal in any way. The boards have good rough wood texture and planking effect that when painted and weathered has the ability to be very convincing. The remaining sprue has eight large boards on it with a smoother wood texture present. This part of the set may be an all new moulding but that is a guess.
The decal sheet is well done with very good clarity and colour; the presented images are very convincing and are nicely thin. With that said I do have an issue with this set as regards the decals that has not bothered me previously; a lot of the signage is on bare wood or painted wood and that aspect has been replicated well, but I would have preferred the signs to have been the wording and images and not the painted wood aspect as I think it will make it more difficult to match the reverse sides of the signs.
This offering from MiniArt is a very nice offering in most respects other than my preference for the decals to have been the words and images without the painted wood effect behind them. The telegraph poles are suitable for displaying the boards, but I would utilise suitable wood from outside as it will save painting and trying to get a realistic finish, the telegraph pole set looks good as it was originally intended. So this set is one of those that is handy to have in the stash for when the need arises.