by: Mark R. Smith [ ]
Number three in a series of reviews on MiniArt Ltd.’s WWII Military Miniatures Series, we’ll examine kit #35009, “Soviet Tank Crew at Rest”, in 1/35 scale.
In the past few weeks I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of MiniArt Ltd’s model kits, and what I’ve discovered thus far is quite encouraging! Since these figure sets have become much more readily available in the U.S., I do believe the modelers on this side of the ocean should take a closer look. MiniArt Ltd. Has been in business since 2001, based in the Ukraine. Since its beginning, the company has expanded with a growing line of plastic model kits, all of various scales, types, and series, including figures, figure sets, building ruins and accessories for dioramas. Starting next year (2006) MiniArt will be delving into armor subjects as well.
This set comes from their “WWII Military Miniatures” series, in 1/35 scale.
Kit and contentsThe kit comes in a cardboard box which displays plenty of colorful artwork. On the front, a setting is depicted of the figures included, all in relaxed positions, each with different uniform styles and colors. On the bottom of the box there are numbered assembly diagrams, along with a paint reference listing, all clearly drawn and easily understood.
Inside the box you will find 1-˝ sprues of plastic model kit parts, 43 pieces total, all sealed in a plastic bag. There is also a one sheet paper parts diagram, numbered for easy assembly. On first inspection I found the detail and molding on this set to be terrific! The uniform detail is much clearer than the last set I reviewed, and the molding lugs that attach the parts to the sprue are much finer in nature, therefore parts removal should be greatly improved. The only flash apparent on this sprue is a little on a single Nagant holster. Some light mold seams exist on a pant leg and shoe or two, but really there are no major flaws; very clean overall.
This kit will build five separate Soviet tanker figures, all unique in pose, uniform, and expression. Three of the five men are involved in a relaxing conversation of their own with two standing and one seated. The seated figure is dressed in the blue service tanker coveralls, with just the stand-up collar of his khaki tunic showing underneath. High top leather boots, belt, and Nagant leather holster complete this figures look. His head is uncovered.
The two men standing with him are also uniquely posed. The figure leaning on the tank with one arm is dressed in the black armor branch coverall, M1937, black leather boots and a tanker helmet on his head. A service belt and Tokarev sidearm in a leather holster completes this figure.
Figure 3 is standing with his hands stuffed in his trouser pockets, smiling broadly as if laughing at the light hearted conversation taking place. With coveralls removed, he is relaxing in his khaki tunic and trousers (which makes for a neat break in color in the overall look in this scene). Good uniform detail is shown here, with proper armor branch insignia shown. High top boots with trousers tucked inside, tanker helmet, leather service belt and Tokarev sidearm in leather holster is this figures finished look.
Figures 4 & 5 , who are off to the side in their own conversation, are both molded standing upright. Figure 4, one of my favorites, is molded in the process of pulling on his blue coveralls, both legs and one arm already inside, while his other arm and torso are exposed with his tunic in view; he wears the M1941 tanker helmet, and black high top leather boots. No belt or sidearm accompany this figure.
The fifth and final is molded in an intently listening position, with both arms at his sides, while one hand holds his helmet. This figure is fully dressed in the black armor branch coverall with black leather high top boots, service belt and Tokarev sidearm and holster.
Test fit assemblyHere’s what everyone’s asking about now… "O.K., they look good, but how is the fit?" I try to include a test fit of at least one figure to demonstrate the fit quality. I picked what I thought to be the most challenging figure in this set; the fellow standing with his hands in his pockets. The two leg pieces for the lower half went together without problems. The upper torso fit perfectly to the lower half. The head and helmet went on like a dream, and…the right arm went on good with a perfect alignment of the "hands in your pockets” look. The left arm needed a bit shaved off of the shoulder area to achieve the right look/fit. Other than that, this figure went together well, and looks great. I can’t wait to try my hand at painting these to see how they finish out.
Final words…I must say that I am quite impressed with the quality of this kits molding, detail, and accuracy of subject material. This kit doesn't fall short anywhere. Simply a great set of figures at a good price. Highly recommended from this modeler.
Many thanks to Svetlana Dubchek, Commercial Director of MiniArt Limited for providing this review sample.