When it comes to diorama elements out of the norm, MiniArt excels beyond all other companies I can think of. MiniArt provides a huge range of items, from period military parts to period civilian articles that can be seen on a daily basis. In this release titled Street furniture with electronics and umbrella, items that I have seen supplied in previous sets have been brought together that I feel are suitable for one of the recent middle eastern conflicts, such as Iraq or Afghanistan.
This offering from MiniArt is provided in a cardboard tray with a separate card lid. Inside the injection moulded elements are provided in a single plastic bag, which also contains one further bag with a clear element in it. The instruction booklet if loose in the box, and a number of elements for this set are printed inside as well. Moulding of the parts is a mix of exceptional to expected, in that some parts have ejector pin marks on them.
Tables and Chairs provided in this release consist of four of the stackable plastic chairs that are seen in just about every country of the World and are usually white in colour. Also present are two of the plastic style tables that are also seen sold with these chairs, and these assemble in the same manner as the real thing, in that the legs are inserted into recessed holes on the underside. A nice touch here, is that both the table and chairs have realistic detail on the underside as you would see on the real thing. A low wooden table is also supplied, the legs again on this are separate mouldings, and my only concern would be in fitting the legs and keeping them correctly aligned.
Another element that has been well tackled in this release, is an umbrella which again has all the elements of the real thing. You get a two part base which would be filled with sand or water to prevent it falling over. The main pole has an adjuster handle which while you cannot alter the height, it is a nice detail to find included. Three different cloth tops are provided, even thou you only have parts to use one of them - these need to be cut out of the back of the instruction booklet, a small hole needs to be placed in the centre of it which acts as the locator. There is a small area where two of the panels need to be joined, which give you the slope. There is also a fringe around the umbrella that needs to be folded down. The support the cloth portion of the umbrella, six support arms are provided, and while there is a small amount of flash that is the least of your concerns as getting them off of the sprue without damage will be a task in itself. There are nine gates between each arm and sprue and they are very finely moulded, and so bending or breaking them would be all too easy.
Moving on the electronic items we are provided with a television, which has a number of cut out placards for placement to represent what is on the screen and there is then a clear cover to represent the screen itself. A game board is included, which has a chess board on one side and a backgammon board on the other. A ghetto blaster ( for those of us of a certain age!!) is also provided and you can paint and finish these as you wish. I do feel that the game board particularly the backgammon side will be a visually eye catching item. Another item hookah which is the item which to my mind places it in the Middle East. The last elements provided in this release is in the form of china items, with three shapes of jug which for me would represent water, tea and coffee - and I like that they have been slide moulded to give them a hollow appearance. A tray has been provided, as has a broad base plate for placing the teapot on. We also have three cups, mugs and saucers, again slide moulding has been utilised which is a nice touch. But I cannot help feeling that the inclusion of some teaspoons would have finished this set off a treat. I am not going to write a conclusion for this release, as it is what it is and you will either find the parts useful or not. But it does have a lot to be said about it.