by: Cpt. C. Sosebee, USA (Ret) [ ]
MiniArt is a newcomer in the armor model market, at least in the markets outside of the Ukraine. They have really improved over the past few years becoming one of the more prolific producers of 1/35 scale armor and figure sets. The subject of this review, the German Afrika Korps Tank Crew, kit No. 35141 is another of their rather well rendered figure sets.
What you get inside the 9.8” x 6.4” x 1.4” (250x162x35mm) box is a single cellophane bag with 2 sprues molded in a light grey plastic. There are 35 parts to assemble 5 figures. The sprues themselves have no part numbers so MiniArt includes a sprue layout sheet with the part numbers printed on it. On the backside of the box is printed the assembly instructions with the painting guide. Also provided is a color chart for paint equivalents for the following brands of model paints: Vallejo, Testors, Tamiya, Humbrol, Mr. Color and Life Color.
As noted above, there are 35 parts in the kit to assemble 5 figures. Each figure consists of 6 parts: a 2-part lower torso (each with a leg], upper torso, 2 arms, a head, and head gear. All of the figures are shirtless wearing the tropical DAK shorts. Four of the figures are wearing the tropical, low cut boots and the other figure appears to be wearing what looks like sandals. Three of the crewmen sport the tropical pith helmet while the other two have the early war type 1938 Field Side Cap.
The molding is well rendered with no or very little flash, the usual seam lines.
Overall molding is pretty good with only slight flash at the fingertips and the usual molding seams, nothing out of the ordinary. The faces are OK and are typical of other contemporary manufacturers and may be a bit more difficult to replace with resin aftermarket heads, seeing as the figures are shirtless and there’s no clothing to hide the joint. On that same note, filling and sanding will also be requires where the arms attach, as there’s no natural seam lines like on clothed figures.
The poses of the figures also appears to be pretty good. The crew looks to be going about daily maintenance tasks on their tank. The commander stands supervising the others, two crewmen are cleaning/swabbing the main gun of the panzer; one crewman relaxes on the turret while the final crewman digs around in the stowage bin. See the box art photo for a better idea of the poses. One note though: there is no cleaning rod for the crewman posed for that task. This will have to be scratched or sourced elsewhere.
Overall this is a useful figure set. There are many diorama possibilities right out of the box, but I’m sure many modelers will mix and match parts with other kits for even greater flexibility.