This kit is every bit MiniArt as all the other previous reviews. The box is very nicely done. It will serve as instruction assistance and a paint guide. It is nicely done as are all of their boxes. Inside the box you find standard fare. There are eight sheets of vacu-form (VF) containing 21 parts. Included with the kit are two injected plastic sprues containing window and framing details. The paper products are instructions and a sheet of posters and signs.
One of the first things I noticed with this kit was the adjustment in the sprues. MiniArt is known for extra details and this time they didn’t disappoint. They changed the sprue a little this time. This sprue set does not include the wrought iron details and lamps that are seen in more urban sets. This set includes windows of various types and sizes. There are pre-made frames and individual frame parts to customize your own. Notice that there are door handles on the sprue.
The VF sheets are molded very nicely. The pieces are not ‘deep’, when assembled the wall will not be thick. The shallow nature helps the molding process; there are no crushed places at all. My personal thought on the molding process is that the deeper the part the more chances there are for problems with detail and fit. You can see that there is solid detail on this kit, nice wood grain detail, chipped plaster, and roof details. The roof looks like it’s a tin roof, made of square pieces of tin. Not only nicely done, but different.
Close inspection of my kit shows a flaw in a couple of the parts. This is nothing major, but worth noting to make you aware. On the end piece with the triangular roof section you’ll notices a small spider line. I don’t know if this is an isolated incidence, or a mold flaw. It would not stop me from purchasing the kit. I do address this line later.
The instructions are good and if you inspect them closely there is much more information in them than a quick review gleans. Inspect the drawings closely and you are shown what parts of the ‘flash’ you need to remove. They also show you thickness, this is key to the roof and fascia of the roof support section.
The poster sheet is really interesting. There are some great visual posters and a bunch of street signs, house numbers, and directional signs. Very inspiring and they beg you to use them. One thing you’ll notice is that they are miss-labeled. The sheet is titled “German Posters & Signs”. Take a look at the text on the posters and you’ll quickly notice that that’s not German. This would not affect my buying decision either.
what this will build
This will become a one story solid mud/plaster building with a wood and tin roof. The build will yield three walls of the house. The roof is partially destroyed. There is a ceiling detail on the inside which is a great addition, you don’t have to scratch build it. On the outside there is a small two wall right angle detail. This opens up quite a few story possibilities. You can hide a spy behind it, place some civilians hiding from a patrol, you can place an MG nest in behind it, let your imagination go.
You don’t get a fourth wall and the open edges of the walls are jagged from damage. You are free to model this as is and include the battle damage in your story. If you don’t want a battle damaged building you can easily cut this detail off and place the building on the back corner of the diorama with the cut off edges running off the scene. This would be very easy to do with VF.
This is ‘big’ kit compared to other MiniArt kits I’ve reviewed. It’s no bigger in scale, or size. It’s big in scope and complexity. Let me explain…..
I’ll touch on the spider line first. In order to provide as much information as I can, I decided to try to ‘fix’ part of this line. I tried three tools, a knife, a sander, and a file. I found that the knife worked best for me. I held the blade at a very low angle to the face of the wall and gently
slid it along the length of the line, lifting the line right off the wall. Be Careful, you can gouge the VF easily. After one pass I flipped the blade over and scrape it down very close to the base using the back of the blade. I did touch up the line with some sandpaper. This is very fixable and is not that hard to figure out. Nothing you might run into resin or even close to PE. It will be totally covered with paint.
This kit has the de-molding nubs (as you can see in the same spider line photos). These are easy to cut off and fill.
Another area this kit is ‘big’ is in complexity. Each wall is made of at least two pieces (an inside piece and outside piece). With VF you have to be especially careful and concerned at corners because you are not joining two pieces, you’re joining four. MiniArt had to decide if they were going use a butt joint, a lap joint, or a mitre joint. (Wikipedia Joint Types
…. MiniArt went with a mitre joint. Look at the edges of the roof wall section and you’ll see a nice 45 degree slope. On top of the joint issues are the varying thicknesses, the wall is one thickness, the roof support triangle is another. This creates transition at the same point as the joints. I did some initial test fitting without removing the parts from the flash. I found that it was not as straight forward as you might think. There are at least four joints that will be prominent and require a great deal of attention. Test fit, test fit, test fit. I would recommend that you cut the piece from flash and do some test fitting by taping the parts together prior to committing to gluing.
Overall this kit has a ton of potential. It is solid MiniArt and looks to be a good kit. I wouldn’t recommend this to younger less experience modelers. There is just a bit much here for them. I would recommend even experienced modelers to take their time even more with this kit than other MiniArt kits.
This kit is a great subject and has a huge upside. I think if you take your time and be very patient you can build a standout building. This is a great kit for the price. You’ll never touch that price in resin for the size of building you’ll get.