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In-Box Review
135
Village Road with Ruined House
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by: Keith Middleton [ KBM ]

review

This kit comes packed in a sturdy cardboard box with attractive box art revealing the kit contents. Inside you will find the parts for both the diorama kit and the bonus figure set securely wrapped in plastic.

The diorama kit consists of 4 “sheets” of vacuformed parts in a dark gray color and 2 sprues of injection molded building accessories. These include window frames, a building door, garage door, shutters, drain spouts, light posts, etc. The kit does not contain any clear plastic for window panes.

There is a front and back set of instructions that uses line drawings to show the steps to assemble the fairly simple building ruin. There are no painting instructions provided, but, as pointed out in the earlier review of the Diorama with Normandy House, kit 36021, Miniart has excellent assembly and painting guides on its website. There are no decals and, unlike other Miniart building sets, no posters included with the kit, however, the instruction sheet has black and white CAEN street signs to be used on the street sign included in the kit.

The vacuformed parts consist of a base, which measures 257 mm x 215 mm (approximately 10.25” x 8.5”) and three sheets containing the building parts. The base has a well rendered cobblestone sidewalk and what appears to be a dirt road. The dirt road has tank tracks. The locations for the building, the wall, and the street sign are easily identifiable and will provide a stable foundation for attaching the structures to the base. The base has a small build up of rubble for the building interior. Considering the devastated condition of the building, the modeler may want to add additional rubble to the base. The base itself is a raised surface that appears rather flimsy. The modeler should probably reinforce it by filling with plaster. Finally, the base is large enough for a Panther tank and a few figures. However, in my opinion, the layout will limit the modelers’ options on what can be attached.

The building parts have good brick detail. Once assembled, the building ruin will have interior walls but no other interior detail. While my knowledge of Normandy and Norman structures is based on photographs found in books and on the internet and a single visit back in 2000, and while the kit contains a Caen street sign, the building ruin does not appear to be distinctively Norman in design and could probably be used for other European locales?

The building accessories have good detail, including subtle casting and wood grain texture. However, there is considerable flash on many of the parts. There are also very prominent mold extraction points that may render some of the detail moot because it will be destroyed in the process of removing those raised points. There will be unused accessory parts for the spares box.

The bonus figure set, appropriately, is “Panzergrenadiers, Panzer Lehr Division (Normandy 1944). There is some flash on the figure parts and there are very prominent mold seams that will have to be removed. However, the detail on the faces and uniforms is good for non-resin figures. There are four weapons sprues that will yield lots of extras for the spares box. There is a color assembly and painting guide with the painting guide keyed to Gunze Sangyo Aqueous Hobby Color and Mr. Color, and Italeri paints.

A Build Log has been started in the Forums to evaluate the kit construction.
SUMMARY
Highs: A well detailed small diorama in a box that includes a nice figure set and lots of extra parts for the diorama spares box.
Lows: While this kit has good detail, it is marred by excessive flash and large mold extraction points. In addition, some modelers may find the vacuformed parts difficult to work with.
Verdict: While this is a decent effort at an almost self-contained package for a small diorama, I think the relatively small base size and layout will ultimately limit the usefulness of this set.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 36020
  PUBLISHED: May 18, 2009
  NATIONALITY: France
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.67%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.91%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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 Keith Middleton (kbm)
FROM: TEXAS, UNITED STATES

Copyright ©2017 text by Keith Middleton [ KBM ]. All rights reserved.


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