by: Ian Barraclough [ ]
Presented in the now familiar end opening small box, the MiniArt 1/35th scale Household Crockery & Glass Set is one of those sets you’ll probably buy 2 or 3 of over your modelling life. They’ll sit on a shelf getting covered in dust, until that moment you need a stein for a celebrating US infantryman; or a kettle to hang off the back of your Syrian T-whatever… then you’ll remember the dusty corner of your modelling shed (other modelling facilities are available) where the MiniArt set is… if like me you end up with all your diorama accessories in one box, you’ll probably spend the next 15 minutes searching for the part you know is in there; finding many other MiniArt diorama parts you forgot you had… I think what I’m trying to say is that you need this set; you just don’t know it yet…
In comparison to many of the other MiniArt diorama sets coming out at the moment, the box art in this case is a bit boring. MiniArt, having just released the Café Furniture and Crockery set have missed a trick – this set could have been presented with the Café in the background, as opposed to what is actually presented – which to me just look a bit too… budget packet of biscuits… the description is on the outside of the packet, but no bells or whistles.
Opening the box, the first thing I did was to look inside the (now empty) box to see what was still left in there – I was very surprised to find that all the parts for this set are contained within a sealed polybag, about the size of two end to end matchboxes. I suppose in reality there’s not much to be damaged but that bag just rattles around inside that box, like a marble in a bucket… There’s no instructions inside the box, they’re on the back of the box; however don’t expect millions of steps – there’s only 3 parts to be connected in the entire set!
The parts are presented on 10 sprue trees (actually 5 trees, although each one is doubled up) moulded in white; and clear/coloured clear plastic; as well as a set of decals for decorations on the mugs and steins.
Contained on the white sprues are beer jugs, plates and trays and small coffee/tea cups and saucers; as well as a kettle and typical coffee type jug. MiniArt have done well in connecting the beer jugs on their bottoms, meaning that they are easy to remove from the sprues without damaging their delicate handles… on the flip side, they’ve connected the handles of the kettle and coffee jugs directly to the sprue trees, making them very difficult to remove without causing damage.
There are 4 clear sprues although of only two types. The first type contains wine and port type decanters, as well as 3 clear cups. The second type contains 3 wine glasses; 3 continental style small beer glasses; and three ‘pint’ type beer glasses with dimples.
The red and green clear sprues contain 5 each of two different types of carafe; tall and thin and short and fat (just how I like my women!). Across all of the clear parts there is some evidence of air bubbles formed inside the parts – unlike bottles with labels, these will be difficult to hide.
Across the set there was no flash and I could find no mould lines on any of the clear parts – ideal as cleaning up mould lines on clear parts is a nightmare! The white parts are made of quite soft plastic, although with care can easily be removed from the sprues and cleaned up with no damage.
I think this set will become one of those modelling clichés; when you see the various parts spread around dioramas and vignettes as shows you’ll raise a smile to yourself – much like the venerable Tamiya wagon wheel (from the signage set) or the Italeri Workshop set. You won’t know you need it… until you need it!