by: Gino P. Quintiliani [ ]
This review covers the following 1/35 Miniart Soviet Ammo Sets
1. Soviet Infantry Ammo Boxes #35090
2. Soviet 45-mm Shells w/Ammo Boxes #35073
3. Soviet 57-mm & 76-mm Shells w/Ammo Boxes #35064
4. Soviet 122-mm Ammunition #35068
5. Soviet 152-mm Ammunition #35076
Throughout history, armies have always been successful or not based on their ability to resupply its units in the field. Probably the two most important classes of supply are Class 1; Food, and Class 5; Ammunition, also known as beans and bullets. The Soviet Army in WWII was no different than any other throughout history. Their logistics system was very effective at delivering their supplies and keeping the guns firing. To make this task easier, they standardized ammo cases as wooden boxes with stenciled data on the outside identifying what ammunition was inside. The boxes were used for multiple shell-types for each caliber by changing the internal supports to fit the shell need to be boxed up. It was a very effective system and is still used today by most armies around the world.
Miniart continues to provide excellent detail and accessory sets that are great extras for diorama builders. Their new ammunition and ammo box sets are great to add extra details to a gun position or to fill the back of a supply truck with. The sturdy card boxes contain 6 sprues each in light gray plastic and a small decal sheet of markings for each box of ammo. The sets are quite simple, but exquisitely molded. Each set builds six ammo cases for each of the calibers listed. The sets are very versatile and can be used in a few different configurations. The wooden boxes are well detailed inside and out so they can be used as empty boxes, open boxes with rounds inside, or closed boxes and separate rounds to make the sets go further.
The instructions are the familiar exploded view style (printed on the back of the box) and are clearly written with good illustrations for parts placement location. Also on the back of the box are a paint color chart and the types of ammunition listed on the sets that include a couple different choices of type or caliber.
The decals look to be in perfect register with very thin film. Marking options are given for at least two types of ammo per set, usually HE, AP, Fragmentary, etc. Markings are provided for both the shells/canisters and the ammo boxes as well. The finely printed decals look very nice and should look great on the boxes and rounds.
The individual parts on the sprues look to be sharply molded and free of any flash. Each of the sprues has slide-molded sections to render fine details and hollow openings on the canisters and recessed portions of the shells. Each shell is nicely rendered and finely detailed with ogives and orbitrary rings nicely cast.
Details By Kit
Soviet Infantry Ammo Boxes #35090
Builds six metal ammo canisters and six wooden shipping boxes for them. The boxes are detailed inside and out with fine wood grain molded on both sides. The canisters can be displayed in open boxes, or the boxes can be used closed with the canisters to get more out of the set. The wooden boxes also have separately molded handles for extra definition.
Soviet 45mm Shells w/Ammo Boxes #35073
This set builds into six wooden ammo boxes for two types of 45mm shells. You can either build them for the UBR-243 APHE-T (Armor Piercing High-Explosive Tracer) or the UShch-243 Canister Shot rounds. There are also 12 empty shell casings with their ends hollowed out in the set. Appropriate decals are provided for both version for the rounds and the ammo boxes. The wooden ammo boxes are detailed inside and out with wooden dividers and spacers on the interior. All the wooden pieces have wood grain details nicely molded on them as well.
Soviet 57mm & 76mm Shells w/Ammo Boxes #35064
This set makes six ammo boxes for 57mm and 76mm rounds. There are two options for the 76mm; UOF-354M HE Fragmentation shells and UBR354P Armor Piercing with sub-caliber projectile BR-240P. There is also one 57mm option for a Solid-shot UBR-271K with 57mm AP-T shell. The wooden boxes have multiple internal spacers to allow for the different-sized ammunition to be placed inside. There are also decals for each round type and twelve empty shell casings with hollow openings: six long casings and six shorter casings to represent each type of caliber.
Soviet 122mm Ammunition #35068
This set also builds six ammo boxes with ammo inside. There are two shell-type options; the short APHE (Armor Piercing High Explosive) shell BP-471 or the longer OF-471 HE-Fragmentation shell. Markings are provided for the shells, canisters, and boxes for each type. Internal dividers are provided for the boxes as well to allow the differently-sized shells to be placed in them. The six canisters are molded with hollow ends so they can also be used as empty shell casings. This set is listed as a WWII item, but the same ammo boxes and basically the same shells are still used today for 122mm howitzers such as the D-30.
Soviet 152mm Ammunition #35076
This final set also builds six ammo boxes filled with ammunition. There are two options for the shells; either OF-540 HE-Fragmentation shells, or G-530 HEAC (High Explosive Anti-Concrete) rounds. Markings are provided for the shells, canisters, and boxes for each type. Internal dividers are provided for the boxes as well to allow the differently-sized shells to be placed in them. The six canisters are molded with hollow ends so they can also be used as empty shell casings. This set is listed as a WWII item, but the same ammo boxes and basically the same shells are still used today for 152mm Russian and former Soviet-bloc howitzers.
I highly recommend these kits. The parts are well molded and free of flash. These sets are most-welcomed and can add life to a heavily loaded supply truck or a gun position for a WWII to modern scene. They are invaluable for diorama builders to add that extra bit of realism. A winner for Miniart!