by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has a new set of 1/35th scale figures out for sale. These figures are early World War 2 German tank crew figures and this set offers five figures for adding some life to your armour builds.
This product is packaged in the typical end opening box preferred by MiniArt. It does a good enough job of protecting the contents on a shop shelf, but is not in of itself up to the rigours that the post office can put it through. Inside of this is a single plastic bag that contains five grey sprues.
This being a new offering from MiniArt, you will be pleased to hear that I cannot see any issues of note with the mouldings. The sprue gates are not always located in areas that would be advantages to the modeller, but they are of a reasonable size and should make clean up fairly straight forward. I have observed a very small amount of flash on figure ‘B’ and this is by the sprue gate where it connects to the right foot. Moulding seam lines, a necessary evil of the production process are minimal, so minimal in fact I had to look very hard to see them; perhaps I am getting older.
The set comprises of five figures that are all in relaxed seated or standing poses, three seated and two standing. Of these three are wearing full uniform and two are in shirt sleeve order. Starting with the figures in full uniform; MiniArt has done a splendid job with the wrap over jackets; they really do have some very nice crease and uniform specific detail present. Areas such as the eagle on the right breast are well represented, but the shoulder flashes are weak in some cases. While in this area it is worth mentioning that the side arms displayed on the figures on the box artwork are not present on the moulded figures themselves.
Moving onto the trousers worn by all of the figures, these are the baggy or loose fitting type and have been well replicated here. The crease detail present looks natural and will allow for those skilled at figure painting, to use subtle variations in colour that makes plastic figure look so life like and realistic. I believe that tank crews wore a slip on style of high sided boot, similar too a walking boot today, these had no laces to get entangled with anything on or in the vehicle. The footwear is reasonably good, having the sole and heel portion represented with an instep, but there is no tread pattern present.
The leather motor cycle helmets covered with the black beret are well represented in this offering from MiniArt, they have even done a pretty fair job of replicating the insignia on the front. The head wear is not hollow as the figures in this set have flat top heads, and so you cannot depict the figures with the head gear removed without replacing the heads. The grey shirt worn under the jacket and on show with two of these figures is a little confusing for me. The moulded figures have breast pockets on the shirts, the artwork does not. A search of the internet shows shirts both with and without pockets. I do not know if this is dependant on the time period or not and so I am unable to say if it is accurate or not.
The facial features of the crew members is good for injection moulded plastic, they could be further improved with a little bit of scribing around the rear of the ears to provide better definition to them, but on the whole I am happy with what is in the box. The hands are a mixed bag with some very good detail mixed with average. The fingers could do with some scribing to improve the look. With that said I am very pleased with the fore arm definition of the figures in short shirt sleeves, the shape of the forearms and muscle definition is well represented without looking like body builders.
So far as I can work out the stance of the figures match those depicted in the artwork on the front, and so you get what you expect. The instructions on the rear of the box are straight forward, and the various parts are easy to locate as each figure is on its own sprue. I would like to see MiniArt start to use images of the assembled figures on the rear of their boxes as I feel this would be informative to the potential buyer. Painting wise MiniArt has offered paint codes for a good number of suppliers and this should satisfy most.
This is a good set of early World War 2 German tankers that would look at home on a Panzer III or such. The stance of the figures is not that of a crew in action, and so these are a welcome addition for after action settings or possibly travelling to a new location. The quality over all is good and with a little detailing by the modeller could be lifted higher.