by: Darren Baker [ ]
If there is one continued request in every news release covering figures it is “What about the Allies”, well it would seem that MiniArt was listening to those pleas. In this review I will be taking a look at MiniArt’s latest figure release, the US Tank Crew NW Europe, a five man World War Two American tank crew in the European theatre of operations.
This figure set is supplied inside the standard MiniArt end opening box with the figures printed on the front in colour and in the stances the included figures assemble into. Inside the box you will find two light grey sprues packaged inside a sealed piece of cellophane with a small piece of paper showing the parts of the figures and their part number.
The packaging is acceptable for getting the product to you in good condition, however it is worth mentioning that the box does have a lot of empty space inside allowing the sprues to move around which may break some parts free. The artwork on the front of the box is drawn by Andrey Karaschuk, on the rear of the box you have the same artwork pointing out part numbers and painting guide. The box lists six brands of paint which are Vallejo, Testor, Tamiya, Humbrol, Revell, and Mr. Color, The set also lists the colours by name in English and what I believe is Ukrainian.
Each of the figures consists of six basic parts;
• Two arms.
• Two legs.
• A torso.
• A head.
Moulding detail is of a good quality with nice crease detail. The flash or mould seams, depending on your stand point, does bother me slightly as it is very obvious and pronounced in some places, and with this being a new product I would not expect to see as much as there is. An area that could be praised or attacked depending on your point of view is the moulded on armoured corps badges and rank badges, for me I would have preferred the inclusion of decals rather than moulded detail but it can always be removed with some scraping with a blade. All five of the crew members have what appear to be M1944 shoe pacs.
Each of the crewman has been provided with a small arm, most likely a Colt 45. Two of the crew figures have shoulder holsters and the other three are provided with the standard holster, one of the figures is not shown with it attached though. Two of the figures are provided with standard steel helmets, and two with the correct and accurate tank helmet which are multiple part assemblies. The last figure appears to be wearing a cloth hat which is also depicted under the helmets of some of the other figures, I am unable to identify exactly what it is though. Four of the figures are wearing the one piece tan coveralls with the officer in jacket and pants.
Uniform detail appears accurate judging by my limited reference material on this subject. The hand detail with all crew members wearing gloves is of an acceptable standard, but the faces seem a little soft detail wise compared to MiniArt’s latest offerings. The multiple part helmets should provide some nice undercut detail on the figures wearing them as long as they are a good fit.
Overall this is fair product but is a little lacking in the shine I have come to expect of MiniArt. The subject matter is however much appreciated and MiniArt must be thanked for taking this subject matter on. The faces are also a little disappointing, but replacing them with resin heads will lose you the ability of using what does look to be very good tank helmets.