Miniart have just released the German 76.2mm FK288 gun with crew, and as usual with Miniart armour release, they've released the included crew as a separate kit! Well done to Miniart!
The set arrives in Miniart's usual end opening boxes, and inside a sealed plastic bag you'll find a parts map, since the parts on the sprues are not numbered, two sprues of very light grey styrene, and full colour depictions of the assembled figures on the rear of the box.
The set includes five figures, detail is a little soft in places, but still passes muster! All the figures have fairly prominent mould seams that will need removing, and the join of torso to legs will need a tiny amount of filler for a perfect fit. Each figure has two separate legs, the joins of which are good, separate heads, torso, and headgear in the case of three of the figures which have headgear.
In the past, Miniart have included things on their box art that they have not included in their kits.......not so here. There are two wooden ammunition crates shown on the box art, which are indeed included in the kit.
The first of the five figures is shown wearing no jacket or headgear, with braces, and his left hand holding the handle of one of the ammunition crates, His left arm is moulded integrally with the handle, and therefore the handle of one of the crates, should you wish to pose them as on the illustration, needs to be partly removed. As mentioned, the detail is pretty good, although a little soft, and there is a gap between the torso and legs that will need to be filled. There are large moulding seams that will need to be removed, if you look closely at the figure you will see that I've left them on at this stage. The pose is extremely natural, the only fault I could fnd is that the crate handle moulded with the left hand seems to be the wrong way around?
The second figure is of course, holding the other handle of the crate the first figure is holding. He too has his hand moulded with the handle. This one is the wrong way around as well, and the hands cannot be posed as on the box art illustration, which has his left hand gripping the handle and his right hand on top. It must be constructed the other way around! He's dressed in a similar fashion to the first figure, but is wearing a sidecap.
The third figure is an officer wearing full uniform including peaked officer's cap. He's standing with his left arm on hip, and pointing with his right arm outstretched. The other two figures are posed in a similar way to the first two, sharing the load of a crate between them. Both of these figures are wearing their jackets open collared, one with sidecap again, and one without belt.
All the poses look natural, and the fold of the cloth shirts and jackets etc., are extremely well-done. As with other Miniart figure sets I've come across, the heads of all the figures will need replacing, as the detail here is particularly soft, but most modeller's would choose to replace them anyway.
The two wooden crates included (there are 3 shown on the box art), don't look too bad once they're made up, although they're not particularly easy to make up, having very little in the way of location pins or anything. In fact, I had to remove a little of the moulded-in hasp detail in order to get them to 'square-up'. The engraved wooden grain detail is very subtle, and not over-done at all.
A very nicely posed, good value for money set. The heads will need replacing, and some work on the hands will be necessary, or even the hands themselves replacing, but for the cost, an imaginative, good value set. Recommended.
A really imaginatively posed, reasonably good quality set of five figures. Parts will need replacing that probably would have been anyway, but for all that, a set that represents real value for money.