by: Scott Lodder [ ]
This kit captures your eye from the minute you see the box or images on the Internet. First you’re grabbed by the green color of the building, then you focus on the shape, then the name. All are unique. You don’t see to many green buildings. You don’t see too many with a rounded ‘pass through’ courtyard. Lastly, you don’t see too many Hungarian subjects.
This subject brings interest and mass to any project. The creativity it opens for you is rich with ideas. Study the photos, drawings, and instructions before you settle on any diorama idea. The more you look at this the more ideas you will generate.
what do the parts look like
This kit is a robust kit. There are six sheets of vacu-form (VF) with 20 parts. As with all other kits (reviewed to date) you get two injected plastic spues of building accessories. Along with a bi-fold instruction sheet you get a gloss sheet of Hungarian business/commercial signs. On the sign sheet are four building numbers plates.
I’ll describe what will be built to give an idea of what the detail of the sheets will support. This building is a corner storefront building. There is a large corner ‘pass through’ courtyard. This area is the first floor and is open (no interior walls) wall to wall. There are stairs to one side that wrap 90 degrees at the bottom corner. They rise to a second floor that is included. The exterior corner is a wonderful large curved formation. The exterior is block and blaster while the interior is plaster over brick.
When all is built you will end up with four walls that have inside and outside detail (no blank walls to deal with). You will get a set of stairs and a second story. There are tops and bottoms to the stairs and second story floor. This means a ‘complete’ set of stairs with a bottom and top. You also will end with a second floor that has wooden floorboards on top and plaster lath ceiling on the bottom. The second floor is molded with battle damage so you will have to plan on mixing this with the battle-damaged walls in a battle or post battle story line.
The VF is very well done. There is detail everywhere. There is nicely detailed brickwork on wall faces and edges. There are molding details that outline windows, and frame architecture openings. You will see big cut stone details and even plaster lath-ceiling details. Let the pictures show them off.
On this kit I found small ‘nubs’ or ‘bumps’ at various points along edges of the majority of VF parts. These are the VF ejector pin marks. During manufacturing a set of ‘pins’ push the part from the mold leaving behind a ‘nub’. These are easily removed with an average hobby knife. Removal will leave a hole that will need to be filled. You can fill them as is, or add a small ‘backer’ piece of scrap styrene (or flash from the VF part). Once the ‘backer’ piece is dry you can fill in the hole from the front. Once filled you should sand the filler smooth.
As with the East Prussian City Building kit the backside of the VF parts shows off the crispness that is created by MiniArts manufacturing process. The detail is nicely done. Dry fitting the full sheet resulted in positive ‘fit’. Note: dry fitting without removing any flash is a very rough fit and is only a loose indication of final fit.
The spues are nicely detailed with lots of accessories. The style of the accessories fits the building very well. The details you are almost assured of using are the window frames. It’s up to you if you use some or all of the street lamps. This will leave you with spares for the ‘extras box’.
My vision of this kit is ‘wide-eyed’ and ‘open-ended’. I can see a wide array of story lines with this kit. You can use the open ground floor for a ‘market’ scene after a battle where civilians have moved back in. You can bury the ‘market’ under rubble in a recently destroyed building. Street fighting was a huge part of the war in the Eastern Front, this building fits right in. Add Soviet figures, German Figures, mix and pour out a great fight story.
The VF format makes this a true 360-degree building. The VF detail on the inside and outside will give you the ability to put this building in the center of a project with a sub-story on each side. Talk about open ended, one building can center four stories.
On the work side, the de-molding ‘nubs’ will add a bit of work for you. I also noticed that there were a few places in ‘deep’ recessed that were thin and a touch crushed. On my kit, it was easily pushed back into place. I must say I was disappointed that there was no roof or roof portion supplied with the kit. This is honestly a bit selfish because you can scratch build a roof. My disappointment comes more from the fact that it’s going to be difficult to find reference material to scratch build from. The building numbers on the poster sheet should be applied to a piece of bent/formed styrene first. This will give it more realistic thickness.
To wrap up, you get your monies worth with this kit. The detail will really ‘pop’ when you build this kit and add color and weathering. This is a great centerpiece for any diorama. If you have average skill levels you will be fine with this kit, take your time and test fit everything. If you are a newer builder, I would only advise you to practice and be patient. The instructions in this kit are very nicely done and will not be hard to follow. If you are patient and are willing to measure twice and cut once, test fit, and go slow you can do a nice job. You won’t need any special tools, a good sharp knife, a metal ruler will help and CA.
Last word – don’t let the name “Hungarian Country House” miss-lead you. This is an urban subject. The word “Country” refers to Hungary and not urban vs. rural.
Thanks MiniArt Limited for the kit. Great Kit. I look forward to the build review