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In-Box Review
135
Soviet Tank Crew at Rest

by: Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]

Introduction


This is the second set of figures which I have reviewed from MiniArt (a third will shortly be posted) and, at the outset, is definitely better. There were previously a dearth of good (plastic) Soviet AFV crew on the market. Everything indicates that single-handedly, MiniArt are determined to fill the void. Their future release lists also indicate that this is going to be a strong area for them in the forseeable future...

The Basics...


MiniArt 35009 - Soviet Tank Crew at Rest is a five-figure, 1/35th scale, plastic figure set. The first notable aspect of this set is the variation in AFV crew uniforms portrayed - three types are presented, the Blue/Grey coverall, the Black coverall and the blouse and jodhpur uniform with epaulettes. Two figures are bareheaded, the remainder have the distinctive padded AFV crew helmets. Some flash and mould lines are apparent (although nothing disastrous!) with good, sharp moulding being the rule..

In detail...


Once again, the easiest (and most informative) manner to do a review like this is to look at areas of the figures and comment on them. In the penultimate section, I will summarize the set...

Sprue Layout: Each figure is attached to the sprues in a logical manner - all the parts are contained within the same area. Typically each figure consists of between 6-9 parts.

Legs: All of the figures are wearing the (typical) Soviet 'High-boots' although two have their coveralls down over the boots. Creasing is well done on the legs with some nice touches such as the adjustable flaps on the bottom of the trousers.

Upper Torsos: Nicely done creasing, good definition on seam lines and well-done pockets. One of the figures is in the process of removing (or putting on?) his coveralls and this is very well done indeed.

Arms/Hands: The arms are competently done (again) good, subtle creasing makes the painter's job just a little easier! The hands are not bad, although lack some of the crispness which is particularly notable in other areas - definite room for improvement.

Heads/Faces: I mentioned in the introduction, that there were some areas which seem to have been better done in this set. This is DEFINITELY one of them.. The faces are much better defined than other sets. Particularly well-done are the two bare-headed figures. The AFV Crew helmet is again, VERY well done. The shape is good with the neck-protector in place along with the chin flaps.

Poses: - Yes, the poses are relaxed (no doubt to the annoyance of some) but essentially natural but, after all, the title of the set says it all really...

Box Art The reverse side of the box has some pretty rudimentary painting instructions with no manufacturer's paint numbers given as reference. However, with the tonal variations exhibited in Soviet uniforms, this is NOT a particularly important oversight. Much more useful in fact, are the illustrations on the front of the box which should supply all that is necessary (apart from some good reference images) to finish them..

Final thoughts...


MiniArt are undoubtedly putting considerable thought into their releases. Not only in the subject matter, but in the sculpting process. Rather unkindly, I compared them to a Tristar Soviet AfV crew set which I have, and the MiniArt set is, in my opinion, far superior. This is an excellent set with many possibilities. While the quality may still have some distance to go to 'catch-up' with the 'Big Boys', nevertheless, they ARE beginning to make real inroads into the market. Imaginative, technically good and with much promise for the future - this company is on a good path...

Acknowledgements.


Firstly, my thanks to MiniArt for supplying the Soviet Tank Crew Set for review.

Secondly, a variety of sites and publications were consulted in the compilation of this review. Once again Google came up with some interesting sites and information!
SUMMARY
In this, one of the latest releases from the Ukranian company MiniArt, there are some notable improvements in quality - bringing this set up to a level which passes from 'Good' to 'Excellent.'. Not only has the quality improved, this is a set which offers an excellent variation in Uniform types with some superb touches along the way...
  SUBJECT:90%
  VARIATION IN UNIFORM:100%
  MOULDING QUALITY:80%
Percentage Rating
85%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35009
  Suggested Retail: Variable
  PUBLISHED: May 10, 2006
  NATIONALITY: Russia
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.06%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.91%

Our Thanks to MiniArt!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Jim Rae (jimbrae)
FROM: PROVINCIA DE LUGO, SPAIN / ESPAñA

Self-employed English teacher living in NW Spain. Been modelling off and on since the sixties. Came back into the hobby around ten years ago. First love is Soviet Armor with German subjects running a close second. Currently exploring ways of getting cloned to allow time for modelling, working and wr...

Copyright ©2017 text by Jim Rae [ JIMBRAE ]. All rights reserved.


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