by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has re-released their German Artillery Crew figure set as a Special Edition, and to make it special have included four sprues of 76mm ammunition and ammunition boxes. This is a five figure set offering from MiniArt, that will I believe make a great crew possibility for their soon to be released 7.62cm FK 39(r) Field Gun.
Inside one of the end opening figure cartons used by MiniArt, you will find a single plastic bag containing the sprues for the figures and the ammunition. In addition there is also a single sheet of paper which covers construction of the ammunition boxes.
An inspection of the sprues included with this sample results in a very positive opinion of the ammunition and boxes tarnished with a little concern over the figures. My concern is not because the figures are bad, but there are signs that mould seams are beginning to produce flash; it is not the end of the world as far as this set goes, but is indicative of the moulds needing a refurbishment.
The uniform detail is fair and nice crease detail is included throughout. Three of the figures are wearing tunics (one is an officer) and these figures will benefit from a scribe around the hem of the jackets where they meet the trousers, this will improve the look of the area I feel. The other two figures are in shirt sleeve order and so the scribe will not be needed; the change in uniform is a nice touch I feel.
Facial detail is quite good on this offering from MiniArt, I especially like the look of the two figures without headwear as the hair has been nicely replicated. I know it is the current trend to replace heads with resin offerings, but in this case what is in the box will satisfy most I believe. The hands on the figures are of current standards, with some having very good finger detail. The hands of the soldiers doing the work have the handles of the ammunition boxes moulded in place. It was my understanding the wooden ammunition box did not have handles as it took up space that could be better utilised (Please correct me if I am wrong). While talking about the ammunition boxes there are two included with the figure sprues, and are of a comparative standard to the ones on the ammunition sprues.
With this offering there are four sprues of ammunition, these are from a previous set released by MiniArt. The moulds are holding up well judging by the looks of these sprues, as other than a light scrap where the two halves of the mould meet, these are ready to go. In this offering you get;
8 armour piercing shells
8 high explosive shells
8 fragmentation shells
4 used cartridges for the HE and fragmentation
4 used cartridges for the AP shells
This is a timely release from MiniArt with their new gun coming out soon. The crew in this offering will make for a nice working scene shown stacking up the ammunition for the gun. Clean up of the figures will require a bit more attention than we have become accustomed too, but they are not too far gone yet.