by: Andras [ ]
MiniArtís range of diorama accessories are increasing every year; they produce both civilian and military objects which can be used to populate a diorama.
This time we get a whole lot of Panzerfausts - probably enough to defend Berlin for weeks. The set contains sixteen Panzerfaust 30s and sixteen Panzerfaust 60s with boxes. This disposable anti-tank system needs no real introduction; their use was ubiquitous by the German armed forces, and they became just as iconic as the MG32 or the Tiger I tank. In short: the Panzerfaust was a disposable, one-shot shaped charge projectile against armored targets. They were cheap, easily transportable and could punch through every armored vehicle of the time; their main problem was their short range which required the operator to be near suicidal distance from the enemy tank (and its infantry support). They worked well in cities, and could be operated by untrained people easily.
The model Panzerfausts are exactly 3cm long- which is spot on for the scale; the original weapon was 1.045m. The difference between the 30 and 60 versions were minimal (from a model builderís perspective). The Panzerfaust 30 had a range of 30m and could deal with 200mm armor; the 60 had an increased range of 60m (and a slightly wider tube) with an improved sighting device.
The model comes in the usual envelope box that MiniArt supplies its smaller kits; it is quite fragile, but does its job. There are eight identical sprues containing two Panzerfaust 30s and 60s respectively, and their boxes. A PE fret contains the parts for the sighting mechanism, and thereís a large decal sheet for the warning signs that were plastered all over these weapons. Thereís a black and white instruction sheet for assembly -and boy you are in for a treat if you enjoy working with small PE parts! The painting guide is on the back of the box.
The plastic is good quality: the boxes have a somewhat over-emphasized wood grain texture, and the Panzerfausts are nice and clean. The PE, as usual, is great: thin and easy to work with. While the differences between the two versions of the Panzerfaust are not readily apparent, MiniArtís model does feature them; the sighting mechanisms are very well done for both. The problem is that they are made up by tiny PE parts, which make the construction quite problematic for an average modeller like me. On the other hand the decal sheet is a definite boon over any of the resin Panzerfaust sets Iíve purchased before; they do add to the realism of the model. I took some close ups of the decals with a macro lens; the text is actually legible for the most parts.