by: Darren Baker [ ]
When it comes to modellers who like to display their work in a vignette or diorama I suspect most have MiniArt sets in the stash ready for adding those touches that finish a model display just so. The reason I say this is that I feel and believe that no injection moulded plastic manufacturer has done more for the modeller than MiniArt when it comes diorama elements. A new release that will I suspect please even the pure vehicle modellers features two German soldiers pouring fuel into unseen vehicles or device requiring fuel.
This offering from MiniArt is provided in the typical end opening card box and I wish that as some others have started to do that MiniArt would switch to the tray with separate lid as used in their larger model offerings; my reasoning for this is that I feel that method offers better protection and the modeller can keep work in progress and finished parts safely in the box for when required. Inside of the carton you find a single bag containing the sprues and a photo etched fret. A look over the set reveals nothing to concern the modeller as regards moulding issues due to good clean mouldings.
This offering from MiniArt provides six jerry cans in halves with separate handles and lids, there is also photo etch to replicate the seam around the jerry can. It would seem obvious to me that some of the can lids will be open while in use with the figures and that will require the modeller to drill a hole in the needed spot of the jerry can. The latching system for the jerry cans are provided as either a moulded part of the cap or in photo etch for those who wish to go down that route. Also here are two triangular fuel containers that I know very little about, but they do have the embossed lettering seen in the few images I found. The difficulty I had finding images of these triangular 20ltr fuel cans would indicate they were not popular and produced in low numbers. One point I pickup on is that the handle on the top of these cans is not articulated as indicated in the instructions, but is in fact a moulded metal handle that does not fold down.
The figures provided by MiniArt has one soldier in cold/wet weather setting due to wearing a greatcoat and pouring fuel into something at shoulder height; the other figure is in a warmer weather uniform and depicted pouring fuel at something around knee height. The figure in the lighter clothing is wearing uniform typical to late during the war, the sharp showroom cut to the cloth is gone and features only the cloth it needs. Gone are the jackboots and the lower brown leather boots are in vogue with puttees to finish the look. The uniform is finished with a peaked cap.
The cold/wet weather trooper is wearing the uniform from earlier in the war. This features a wide over lap of material on the coat where it wraps around the body and the pockets have overlapping material to close them. The trousers such as can be seen cannot be identified, but I am very pleased to see them going up to the waist and so providing the great coat with a nice undercut. The boots are the high black offerings that everyone thinks of when the WW2 German army is considered.
The faces offered in this set are very good and up to the current standards I expect from MiniArt. The hands of the figure in the warmer weather clothing has good hand and finger detail as far as I am concerned but the cold weather figure is wearing gloves and that has weakened the clarity of the finger detail. The figures have a small amount of flash present with most of what is present being around the moulding nipples.
This offering from MiniArt is a little unusual due to the uniform differences and I find myself wondering if a set of figures along the same uniform time and season period may have been better or the mixed set as provided here, I suppose it comes down to what it is you wish to use them for in each case. If I had to find fault with the offering I think it would be nice to see MiniArt start to include uniform insignia decals with their figure sets. The moulding quality is good in most respects and offers the sort of poses you would only expect to find in resin usually. The result is an offering that provides more than one use and is a complete package.