by: Darren Baker [ ]
When it comes to looking for something unusual for a diorama that is affordable and cost effective, MiniArt has become the place to start your search. With their range of house furnishings from many areas of the world, usually from the World War 2 period or a Cafe scene in Paris, MiniArt has it. In this review I am looking at what MiniArt has labelled ‘East European Home Stuff’.
This offering from MiniArt is packaged in the usual end opening carton that is used for their figure sets. Inside there are 5 grey sprues, 1 white and a photo etched fret. Looking at the various parts on the sprues I noticed some breakages that needed repairing and I have indicated these in the photographs. The only other thing I noted was some flow marks that do not look or feel to have caused an issue.
The items can be broken down into furniture, fittings and home ware. The furniture consists of 2 chairs, 2 stalls and a table, these are all wooden with only the table having a distinct wood grain effect present. The table had two breakages present that I have highlighted in the images, I applied glue to these areas before removing them from the sprue. I cannot see why this area of the table broke as there is nothing to obviously cause damage, but the mouldings are tight on the sprue and so these areas are subject to stress when removing them from the sprue.
The cooker is a lovely article in this set with the slide moulding technique being used to great effect. The doors to the cooking area and the fire/ash tray are separate and so can be displayed as desired. Photo etch has been utilised to create a slotted grill area and the base of the cooker. Four parts are supplied for the chimney of the cooker in the form of two 45deg angles, a straight piece and a chimney cap, MiniArt has only shown the two 45deg angled parts in use with the cap. This really is a very nice item in the offering.
The home ware items offered are:
A water boiler (Samovar)
Knife, forks and spoons
Starting with the chairs supplied which were easily removed from the sprue, but care was requires doe to a very tight fit. Cleanup of the parts was difficult only in that some of the sprue gates extend slightly over the edges of the parts and so difficult to sand. Fitting the three parts together was easy and I was very impressed with the ease. The stools are a tad harder to assemble and clean up due to the small size, I resorted to cleaning up the legs of the stools with a knife and then attaching them to the seat, be careful to put them the right way round as there are small locators for the stretchers. The stretchers were then added to finish the stools, being a tight fit made the placement a lot easier to manage. The table I tackled by attaching the legs to the brace and then attaching that to the base of the table.
The utensils and home ware are easily assembled with a nice selection of items present. These items despite being listed in a Eastern European set are useful in many locations and for that matter period of times. The Samovar is one item I have not built that will likely test the modeller, this is due to the difficulty often encountered when rolling a flat piece of photo etch into a tube. The detail present is however extremely good and if you have a use for it will make an eye catching item. The samovar can be plain or very ornately decorated, the decorated items tend to be made of brass and sometimes have enamel paintings on them of flowers and such.
This is a very nice offering from MiniArt due to the wide number of uses it has. The cooker is the item that appeals to me most due to a use I have for it. The table, chairs and stools are also nice items to have due to the wide number of settings they can be used in. The kettle and coffee pot are nice items due to the commonality of the items and that really goes for all of the other items with the exception of the samovar which is an 18th century Russian item for making tea, but with hot water being needed in many tasks the items made their way into most Russian homes of the period.