Darren Baker takes a look at a MiniArt offering in 1/35th scale titled German Tankmen with gantry crane and a Maybach HL 120 engine.

Introduction

This offering from MiniArt is provided in a cardboard tray with a separate card lid showing an artist’s impression of the contents. Inside is a single plastic bag containing the moulded parts, a decal sheet, and another bag containing two sizes of chain. An examination of the contents causes me no concern, other than one of the figures having a quite glossy right leg, as it appears to be covered in release agent. However, if you wash your models in detergent, which I believe is still best practice; this will not be an issue.

Review

The figures provided are wearing a non-descript trousers and jacket, which could be from many periods of history, certainly within Europe. However, the game is given away due to both figures wearing forage caps with the German eagle present on the front. The clothing has good crease detail, and the figures have excellent hand and face detail. One of the figures is in the process of operating the chain hoist; the other is in the act of manoeuvring the load. As an indication that this is before the days of health and safety, you are provided with two 200 litre oil drums which are going to be used as a stand for an engine. These are particularly well done, having good detail top, middle and bottom, including raised stencilling on the end caps, and should you decide to use these for an alternate purpose, there is a hand operated oil pump, and a nozzle for the other end - you just need to supply the pipe in-between. 

Maybach HL 120 engine

The load provided in this set is in the form of the Maybach HL 120 engine, which is from the line of Panzer 4 kits with interior that MiniArt has been releasing of late. This engine has exceptionally nice detail, and with the addition of a little drilling to create recesses in the pipe ends and the addition of some wire where required, you will have a very realistic looking load from this set. The addition of the element creates the obvious scene, of an engine change taking place to a Panzer 4, or purely being lifted to be worked on. I cannot think of any reasons to complain about this element.

The gantry crane is two A frames with a cross member and running in two rails, set on the ground. The gantry and the rail system require very little in the way of work. There are two winches on the gantry crane legs, whose purpose I am a little confused by. My initial thought would be to move the gantry crane along the rails to where it was required, but a hook is attached to the opposing gantry leg which is why I am a tad confused.  With the way that it is mounted and if you turned the handle the winch would actually be pulled up and off of where it is mounted, and the cable would need to be mounted on the spool the other way around, as it would then tighten the location of the winch instead of trying to pull it off. The chain winch itself, has been very nicely tackled by MiniArt the body only requiring the larger scale chain to be trapped correctly within it, to give you the correct looking loop arrangement. Another spool then fits on to the side of this, which is actually the element for lifting and lowering the main chain which takes the load.

A second spool then fits on the top of the winch, which fits on the face or rear, depending on how you look at it. Another length of the supplied chain which provides the ability to laterally move the chain hoist. A simple block and tackle is mounted on the large chain, on which to attach the load and allow it to operate. The instruction booklet provided with this release, has been quite nicely done covering the assembly very well, and even providing the information on what to do on the engine for lifting it. On the last page of the instruction booklet, MiniArt has provided eight scale posters for use as desired.

Conclusion

This offering from MiniArt is a great release, for those modellers who like to produce a diorama, or just for the modeller who just wants away to display their Panzer 4 from MiniArt with interior in a visually appealing manner that is realistic. I can’t really think of any weaknesses with this release, as the moulding quality is very good, the detail is of a high standard, and all of the needed elements are present.

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